June 30, 2005

The Commandments of America.

I started another post, but an idea crossed my mind while thinking on it. I've decided to reinterpret the Ten Commandments Listed in Exodus of the King James Bible, in the context of America and its core ideals. This should create much controversy and generate much bile, but who gives a fuck. Here goes.

Exodus 20: 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

I am your country, that accepted you after you denounced the ideology/strife/persecusions of your previous land, and you owe a service to me for my understanding of your differences, and allowing you the right to be yourself.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Look people. I know that our system isn't the "be all and end all", but it's the best goddamn thing going. It'll behoove you to keep that in mind when you are nitpicking about inane issues or other items that you deem important, and espouse their virtues. Thse systems are the ones that your ancestors fled...for a good damn reason. If you hold true to my intent, you will enjoy the fruits of the freedom that I granted you, but if you betray my ideals, your children will suffer from the same atrocities that you ran away from.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

This one is false, as in America your "Freedom of speech" is guaranteed. Say what you will against her, but don't be surprised if your thoughts are disagreed with vehemently, and you are proven to be incorrect time and again. It doesn't say that you have to be correct, just that you can say it.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

This is a long way of saying:"Hey! Take a damn chill pill! You've worked a lot in a very few amount of days, and you really need to get some damn rest. I know you Love what you do, and it gives you a certain stisfaction, but you really need to focus on yourself, and your family for at least a day. (Recently we turned it into two days, but the concept still stands: You are not only what you do, but who you are as well. Exercise who your are for a little while.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Take care of your Fuckin' Family. They carried your dead ass when you were nothing but a whippersnapper, so now you should take care of them. They're the people who made you. Good or bad. Right or wrong. They made you who you are, and you should respect that. Nothing but good sense in this one.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

This one is easy. You only have so much potential to be "what you can be" within your lifetime. As do those around you. If you take the life of another (In an act of murder..as opposed to killing someone who's trying to kill you.) then you are taking away all the potential they ever could have realised. (I once had a conversation with a friend of mine about the death penalty. Their argument was: "What if the Killer (to be executed) was deigned to cure cancer? My (Delayed) reply is: What if was Deigned that the person he killed was to cure cancer? Potential is the key. If you take it from someone, then you deserve to have all of yours removed as well. (War's of principle, don't count.)

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

If you enter into an agreement, honor that agreement. It's that simple. If you can't keep the agreement, then don't enter into it. Really straight forward.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

You know that it isn't yours, so don't take/take credit for it. It's been said that: "Ownership is nine-tenths of the law", but it is my experience that the people "on high' will take credit for the one's that actually did the work, mor often than not, and the people who can steal it from you, could earn the bread to actually buy it with less effort. They just don't realise it.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Your interpretation of events doesn't matter, just state the damn facts. Don't fuckin' Lie to support your suppositions. Tell the damn truth, as you see it, and it'll all come out in the wash. If you benefit from your lie, you are to be ostracised by your community, and rightly so.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Sure, he's doing good, but don't try to undermine what he is doing for your own personal gain. Focus on your situation, and decide what you ned to do to get yourself to the same position. If you will violate any of the above Commandments to get there, then it ain't worth it.

God...human nature...It just makes sense!!!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:57 PM | Comments (4)

June 29, 2005

Procreating is Fun!

So... I'm sitting at me PC the other day and I check my email. I found a little missive in there from a former coworker, and a good buddy. It goes thusly:

Just wanted to let you know: I am blogging now. I just
started - might ask for a hand. I see it as

Ye God's! It's A BOY!

Everyone please welcome my new boy Tuck to the 'sphere. He started out proud with the traditional "sucky first post" (but he gets extra points for the sucking up to his blog-daddy). He went on to his adventures playing with balloons, and then goes on to bitching about work. Seems like the lifespan of a blogger in microcosm doesn't it?

Tuck is a wonderfully bright guy, who helped me keep my sanity when I worked at the retail store Hellhole where he is currently employed. I'm expecting great things from his site in the future. Welcome to the fold Bubba!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:15 PM | Comments (9)

June 27, 2005

Allright Already!

So...It seems that somebody is getting impatient to hear about how the damn "rock thing" worked out. Well...my day started out with a quick (120 mile) run down to Chattanooga in order to open up one of the freight elevator's that I installed down at the museum. It seems that there was a small water leak in the pit. They had pumped it out like seven times or so over the last few months, so today they decided to try and stop it with a bunch of concrete sealant. After I got the elevator up to the upper level and the bottom doors open, I got to sit around for most of the day. I HATE just sitting around.

Ford was with the driller today, so I called him at around 11:00 this morning. The driller had only just arrived, so I wished them luck.

Last week, my tool-bags were sitting in the back of Ford's pickup when a tremendous deluge came down from the heavens. There was enough wood laying around for me to build a boat, but I was afraid tthat I'd be unable to round up all the animal's before the flood came. I'm here to tell you that it was flat raining. Needless to say, my tools got a drenching. We're talking about better than $1000 worth of them stuffed into two bags. I was upset. Since I hadn't had the chance to get to them, there were a few items that were starting to rust, so I decided to use the downtime to clean them up and oil them. My claw-hammer was in particularly bad shape, so I got out a piece of emory-cloth and used it to scrape off the oxidation. Now I can tell people that I spent all day "Polishing my hammer".

Oh? The Rock? I'd nearly forgotten. I tried to call Ford around 3:45 this afternoon, but I was unable to reach him. After I got to the house this evening (around 5:30) I called him again, and got through. The concrete had set up enough that they could start drilling, so they had commenced. After they got down to the rock, things appeared to be going well. The concrete held the bit over the rock, and they had made some good progress. After they pulled the hammer out of the hole, they dropped a plumb-bob down to see how things went. Through the rock, the bit walked off three inches laterally in three feet of vertical travel. Dammit!

The phones were being burnt up again to see what could be done about it. My boss, the driller, and the owner of the drilling company, were in a conference call to figure out what needed to happen. They came to the consensus that they needed to core drill that hard ass piece of granite. Tomorrow, they'll drill out three or four slugs all the way through that cussed thing. After that, it should be weak enough to drop the big hammer back down on it and bust it to shards. At this rate, we may even have the hole ready by the time the elevator's supposed to be completed. This (particular) job is FUBAR.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:05 PM | Comments (7)

June 25, 2005

Just a quick Bitch-Session

So...On wednesday, it was determined that, due to the slack in work, I was to take off Thursday and Friday, in order to give the driller enough time to finish digging his hole for a new install, so that Ford and I could start putting in the elevator today. I got a call yesterday morning to go over to the job and assist the driller, as he is currently between helpers, and the hole has got to get sunk, and sunk right (Dead straight, plenty of room for the jack, etc.). When I arrived on the job, I was early, so I took a look around to see what was what.

We need a 40 foot deep hole, and we've got one down to around 17 feet. The ground that he was digging through is mostly clay, but at around 12 feet down, he hit a boulder, or more correctly, the edge of one. This rock pushed the end of the drilling hammer off course, and then it came back in line after it passed it, so there is a huge "dog-leg" in the hole. This won't do. We attempted to use some Oxylance's to burn holes through the rock to weaken it, but after using up 300 feet of their burning bars, and punching 3 holes in the top of the rock, we were only able to chip off maybe six inches of the rock. The rock that's four feet thick. (Sidenote: Those Oxylance's are a thing to behold. I have no idea how hot the end of them gets, but once you get a hole started in a piece of granite, it will soon be shooting molten rock out of it. Really, REALLY, impressive!)

It's one hour until quitting time today, and Corey (I swear that's his name. Kinda funny for a person who "Core's" holes into the ground.) and I are burning up the cell phone lines trying to come up with a solution to this big, honking problem. The only thing that we can come up with (other than your's truly going down there with a hammer drill and putting a shit-ton of holes in it) is to pour concrete up over the rock, let it harden, and then set a piece of steel pipe on tope of it, plumb the pipe and backfill around it, and then start the drilling process again. The pipe will start the hole straight, and the concrete will keep the hammer from walking off the boulder again. It's the only (Real) solution.

We made a run to the local Lowe's, and picked up 15 eigthy-pound bags of quick-setting concrete, mixed it by hand in a wheebarrow, and poured it into the hole. After that, we went back to Lowe's and picked up another 15 bags, and mixed that and poured it into the hole. Finally, we are above the boulder, so all we have to do is let the concrete set at least one full day, and we can come back and try to drill that thing again. Drilling will resume on Monday. The elevator is supposed to be completely built by Thursday. Ain't gonna happen.

In the elevator "bidness" you generally provide one week per landing/floor as a rule of thumb in determining how long it will take to put it together. Running three shifts 24/7 still won't get this contraption together on time. There's nothing I can do about that. However...At least today was my 34th Birthday. How did they know that 30 bags of concrete was just exactly what I wanted? They must have consulted a Ouija Board.


Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:57 PM | Comments (12)

June 23, 2005

Mini-vans are the new black!

So...about a week and a half ago I started to notice a little noise coming from the right front corner of my van. Just a little clicking noise, nothing to get worked up about. Fast forward to yesterday, and the noise had grown into a cacaphony of popping and squealing that definately denotes a problem. I jack it up, and fiddle around there for a bit, and determine that my half-shaft on that side has lost a CV-Joint. No big whoop, I'll just head on down to the nearest auto parts store and get a new one. I found that they had 14 of them, however they were in a warehouse somewhere between here and Zimbabwe, so It'd be until today before I could get it. Shit, Ford's truck is in the shop, so we were gonna take my van down to Cleveland, TN so we could unload some jack's for two elevators at this little residence (A 3,000lb commercial-grade passenger, and an 8,000lb freight. Oh yes, 42,000 square feet of residence!).

At any rate, I coughed up the 59 bucks for the part, but there was a 60 dollar core charge. No problem though, I'll just put it on the ole debit card, and get the bread back later. Blog Daughter Sarah, came over to make sure I had a ride down to the parts store, and she really came in handy. Once I got the wheel off, I took a look at the big nut that holds the shaft to the wheel, and realized that I didn't have a socket big enough to fit it. We went down to Sears, and I got the one that I thought I needed, brought it back and it didn't fit. Back into Sarah's truck we go, and to Sears once again. This time I got the right one, and proceeded to take everything apart. Once I got all the steering parts, and the brake assembly hanging, all I had to do is pull the shaft out of the transaxle. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything that was small enough to get into the confined space, yet sturdy enough to pop the shaft loose. Sarah came through for me again, as she had the perfect-sized little wrecking bar. It took about five hours start to finish, but I got that sumbitch changed out, and my van is once again road-worthy.

I load up the old shaft in the van, and proceed back down to Advance Auto to get my $60 core-charge back. Unbeknownst to me, since I put the part on my Debit caard, their policy is to just credit the funds back to the card. "It'll only be a couple of day's." the guy says. Since that money came directly out of my checking account, I was kinda counting on having it back in my hands right after my dealings with them were over. Now I'm broke until Friday, and pissed off about it. Word of warning folks. If you're a shade tree mechanic on a tight budget, make sure to go get cash out of the bank to pay your core-charges, because those idiots at the parts store won't tell you about the extra "couple day's" before you pay for the parts.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:42 AM | Comments (5)

June 18, 2005

It seems I've been Memed.

Blog-Niece Denise over at A Peek Inside My Mind Tagged me with the Childhood Meme. I've gotta tell you 5 things that I miss about it. Here goes:

1. Family trips. Mom's parents lived up in Upstate New York as well as most of my extended family. Dad's parents lived in Tampa, Florida. We would generally go north in the summer, and south in the winter. Just good quality time spent with family. Can't beat it.

2. I miss the joy that I got from a new book. A collection of Alan Dean Foster's sci-fi stories would take me to that world. The sense of wonder was so deeply instilled in me that I'd just lose myself in the story for hours on end.

3. Learning to code BASIC on a TRS - 80. I've always had an affinity for analysing code-strings and finding where I'd messed it up. It was a fun passtime for me to write a little program that would flash the words in different colors or something like that. Lot's of satisfaction when it finally worked.

4. I miss having Lego "Wars" with my brothers. My Mom crocheted me a winter cap one year that was essentially cone shaped. During the summer, it became my Lego-holster that I'd tie around a belt-loop. That thing carried one helluva lot of Lego's, so running out of ammo wasn't much of an issue for me. Running around the partially finished basement of our house in Georgia dodging, sneak-attacking, and generally being a nuisance to Mom was way more fun than it should have been.

5. I miss our dog Prince. He was an Australian/German Shepherd mix. That was the jumpinest dog I've ever seen. He'd fly right up on the top bunk with us when we called him. I once witnessed him clear a six-foot chainlink fence chasing after a peeping tom that hung around the house. Princey came back about a half hour later with a smile on his face. Old Tom never did come back. We'd be playing frisbee in the back yard, and he'd invariably get ahold of a low throw, and it'd be "off to the races" trying to get our flying disc back. He was a great dog.

That's all I could come up with on short notice.

The rules are as follows. Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place, add your blog to the # 5 spot. You need to actually link to each blogger.

1. One Happy Dog Speaks
2. ArmyWifeToddlerMom
3. Ramblings of an Ordinary
4. A Peek Inside My Mind
5. Closet Extremist

This one has made the rounds of just about everyone I read, so I'll forego passing it on.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

Nature and Nurture

So... tomorrow is Father's day. Sure, it's one of those trite "buy a card or a cheap ass tie" kinda holidays, but it gets me thinking about Fathers and Dads. As you may or may not know, I've been blessed with one each. One Father, One Dad.

My Father was my Mom's first husband. She had four kids with him (Three boy's, one girl) of which I am the youngest. I get a lot of my physical traits from him, all of us boys did. Unfortunately, I also got his propensity for alchohol. (At least I haven't gotten to the point where I have to have beer taps sticking out of refridgerators on my front porch. That's something I guess.) He was alway's a bit of a lagabout. Bumming around from one mechanic job to the next. I haven't spoken to him in probably four years, but I'm sure that he's still pretty much the same way. (He did quit drinking though.)

When I was four or five, my Mom got a divorce, and took back up with her highschool sweetheart (who had recently returned from a hitch in the Navy). They got married, and my Dad decided that he would adopt us kids. My eldest brother decided to stay with my Father, but the rest of us chose to go with Mom and Dad, so our last name changed, and we moved to Tennessee.

Dad is an Electronics Technician. He's worked for several of the largest companies in the field, and he's worked for Mom and Pop shops. He's the guy who's always there on time, does his job to the best of his ability, and will work overtime if the company is strapped to get things done. I got a lot of my work ethic from him. I get my stoicism from him as well. I remember one year when he sold his prized "Gold Spike Comemmoritive" Winchester .30.30 carbine, to a coworker in order for us kids to have a Christmas. It took him some time (six months to a year), but he got the scratch together and bought that rifle back. I didn't hear about that until after I was grown.

When my brother David turned sixteen or so (He's four years older than I am), he really turned into a hellion. Whenever Mom and Dad tried to discipline him on his behavior, he would throw the old "I'll just go live with my Father" at them. Mom and Dad put up with it for awhile, but after he landed himself in jail for boosting a car to go on a joyride with his buddies, they'd had enough so he got his wish. One Greyhound ticket to New York to live with our Father. You've got to dig pretty deep into my Dad's ground before you hit bedrock, but it's there. Such a great guy, I can't put it into words. He was (and still is) the best role-model I could have asked for.

Father's Day is a bit bittersweet for me though. If you didn't know, I have a son. He lives with his mother. She and I dated for about a year, and I wasn't happy with the relationship, so I broke it off and split. About a year after we broke up, she showed up on my doorstep with my boy. As you might guess, this rocked my entire world. I held him, played with him, and loved on him for about four hours that day. I studied on the situation for about a week, and then I made my decision. I haven't seen my son since that day. I've observed so many situations where kids are caught in the middle of parents who couldn't make it work, and I refuse(d) to put my son through that. Better to have him with his mother than bouncing back and forth between us.

He's ten now, and as much as I try to avoid it, he creeps into my thoughts at least once a day. My mind wanders to all the good things that could have come from our interaction. Macaroni pictures, music, art, baseball, or just a hug when he skinned his knee. I get a little wistful for these things that I've missed. I then have to remind myself that I made my choice for his sake, and it's one that you can't just back away from or it will have no meaning. I tell myself to picture the arguments over parenting styles that would inevitably happen. I see us using him as an emotional cudgel to bludgeon each other with. He doesn't deserve that.

But what I wouldn't give to get that cheezy #1 Dad ballcap. Just once.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

June 13, 2005

One of these things must GO!

So... I'm cruising the "family" blogroll and run across a nice little post by Blog-Niece (and fellow MuNuvian) Sissy. She describes some interesting things that she saw on her trip home from her vacation/blogmeet (of which I'm very jealous by the way.) Here's a quote of one:

I passed the largest cross I have ever seen in my life. It was right off the interstate. My guestimate was it was probably about 20 feet tall. Then, about 20 feet away, there was a huge Adult Store, about the size of a walmart (before the supercenters). I had to laugh! Nothing like some intimidation while walking in to buy/view your porn.

I believe that I am familiar with the establishment that she speaks of. (Hey, I'm single. Gimme a break) It's a monolithic Pink edifice (Why are porn shops always pink?) that is well visible from the Interstate. The cross? Absolutely can't miss it. Something like 60 feet tall, by 40 feet wide, White Cross. Kinda cool actually.

You may not know that I have absolutely zero issue with either of these buildings, their proximity to one another (although it's damn-funny), or what they symbolize individually. But...one of the structures has to go. Yup. Gotta be torn down. Sure, the matter is in litigation, but the rules are strict. It's not in compliance with the law of the land, so its destruction is imminent. How much the subject is politically polarized is immaterial, it's all about building codes.

The cross is too tal, too close to the "other structure", and it's not attached to the ground by guy wires . A good strong storm could blow that mother over and make it crash into the porn shop, so the Cross must come down. They could move it further up (or down) the road, and it wouldn't be an issue, but as it stands, the public's safety is in mind.

I find that funny. Thanks for the thought Sissy.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:33 PM | Comments (8)

June 08, 2005

The Blog-Daughter makes me proud.

So...Sarah over at Because we have thumbs (My blog-spawn, fruit of my loins) had a little episode the other day. Well, I've been there, and heat stroke ain't fun. This was back when I was 21 or 22 years of age, and I was laboring for a comercial masonry company. The job entailed: Mixing mortar (Throwing 100 lb bags of it up onto the mixer), hauling block, and just generally keeping the masons happy. All for the princely sum of $5.50 an hour. During the summer, I was assisting in the construction of a twenty-plex movie theater. BIG, TALL walls with a lot of sound deadener pured down the holes, and much concrete. This was a big "job 'o work".

I recall one day when we were topping out tone of the rear walls that OSHA showed up on the jobsite. They lectured the foreman about the lack of hard hats on a certain number of the crew. I was one of the offenders. We had the scaffolding stacked up six jacks high, which equates to approximately 36 feet up in the air. When I am standing that high up, and there's nothing above me, I think it's reasonably safe to assume that nothing's gonna fall on my sweet little noggin', so I woould doff my beanie bowl, in favor of your garden variety ball cap. After the powers that be got done with their inspection, I was up there wearing my turtle-top like a good boy. Did I mention the 120 degree heat indexes? I thought not.

Once I started to feel a bit woozy, I excused myself and carried my butt down to the ground. After I got myself a cool drink of water, I realized that I had drank too much, too fast, too cold. I had me a little 20 minute sit down in the shade. It tought me an important lesson. Listen to your body. It'll inform you when things are about to go awry. Learn the signals, and do the proper thing to avoid it in the future. I completed that job, and went on to the next one to "line out" the help that was fucking up a Celebration Station ( a Chuck-E-Cheez's on steroids. Batting cages, video games, go-cart track, the works.).

Now that I'm back into the "real work" game, I take a few precautions. Always take a bunch of liquids with you to the job. In the morning, I stop off for a 20 oz. coffee, and I get myself a 1 liter Coca-Cola to tide me through the day. Sometimes I actually finish it, but mostly I don't. It's not about what you have, but what you may potentially need. Just recognize the problem, and prepare for it. That's the difference between a professional, and a dilletante. I know you for a Pro girl. Fix it.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 01:18 AM | Comments (3)

June 06, 2005

Sometimes I HATE being right.

So...I roll on into work this morning (Not knowing where in the world I'll be sent, or what I'll be doing), and wound up getting sent down to Hixson (aka: Chattanooga) TN to unload a "little lift" on the jobsite. Allright. No big whoop. Ford and I head on down there. WE take his shop truck, which is a 1985 model Ford pickup that's getting a little tired. It'll reach interstate speeds if it's in overdrive, going downhill, and has a tailwind. Any uphill grade will bring you quickly down to Grandma speeds if you don't thump that thing down into Drive, and then put your foot in the carburator. The 110 mile trip takes a little longer than you would expect when you're rolling in one of these bad boy's.

We get to the jobsite around 10 or 10:30, and then are informed that the truck is in Bristol, TN and on its way. "It's only an hour behind you" I believe the qoute was. If you study the logistics of the situation, you will find that the trip from Bristol to Hixson generally takes around 4 to 4 1/2 hours to complete. I think someone was misinformed as to the location of the two places. We went to lunch in order to stave off the boredom of waiting for the truck to arrive. Found a nice little Mom and Pop eatery called "Karl's Family Restaurant" and had a really good repast. On the way out of Karl's, it was sprinkling a little rain. I commented something to the effect of: "Watch. As soon as the truck shows up, it'll come aup a Frog Drowner". Went back to the job, and proceeded to kill time in any way possible.

The truck showed up around a quarter after two. A full flatbed semi-truck trailer full. Yeah. The "Little lift" was actually a stage-lift that measures around 16'4" by 12' deep, and has a 10,000 lb capacity. After I borrowed a boom-lift from the contractor and got started unloading, I realized that I was a prophet. I no longer got two palletts of equipment offa that damn truck than the deluge began. It started with just a little rain. Then turned into a little rain with wind. Then transformed into a lot of rain with lightning. Which ended in a near-tornado type situation. Was I drenched? Oh Hell Yes.

When taking a break from all the unloading the truck in the driving rain festivities, I quipped that "It'll probably do this all the way home". Stupid Fucking gift that I have, it did! I turned off the windshield wipers about a half an hour before pulling into the shop. I'm wet,. I'm tired, and I'm a blogger.

Who knew?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:36 PM | Comments (3)