July 31, 2005

Aparrently, I'm a lightweight.

I have no idea when I passed out last night, but I know that it was after midnight, but earlier than 2:00am. I got a little bored with blogging and commenting, so I played some music on my PC and was playing driving games on my PS2. I was drinking, so I just had to drive. I managed to turn off my Playstation, but left my music going all night. My roommate's were complaining about it this morning. I think it's amusing that neither one of them woould get up and turn it off, they would just wake up every time one song came around on the rotation, then go back to sleep.

I see that several intrepids were still out there way into the early morning hours, and my hat is off to each of you. They managed to stay in there when us old people crashed out early. Still, it was fun for me, and I hope it was fun for everyone else.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Good Lowered! I'm currently consumed with the desire to "bump uglies" so much that you wouldn't believe. I believe that I could Fuck a mayannaise jar with a favorablr outcome at this juncture. Let['s face it. I'm hornier than a thre peckered billy-goat, and that's HORNY.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:18 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 30, 2005

See a pattern forming?

I just got back from the bar, where I was ensuring that I was limber for the blog crawl. Stretching is important. I've only had 2 tall beers (26oz), and one short one(16oz). Really, I'm fine. I just got set up at the chatroom that is set up just for the crawl, so hop on by if'n you get a chancet.

Anyhow, Happy crawling!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 07:41 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Just got back from the bar...

and I'm damn proud that I wasn't the one driving. I had six 26 oz. beers, and three double bourbons on the rocks. I'm feeling pretty damned okay right now, but I'm resisting the urge to call up old girlfriends with a passion. As soon as I arrived home, I rigged up my stereo so that I could listen to my music from my PC on my stereo. I'm jamming out to tunes that are being played at roughly "eleven" on a scale of ten.

Consider this preparation for the infamous Blog Crawl that will be transpiring on the morrow.

It's all about the training, people. You can't enter something like this cold. I'm an athlete Goddammit! We'll see you all shortly.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

If I had a million dollars...

you know, just "burning a hole in my pocket", I'd have some terrible trouble on my hands. What the heck would I do with all that cash? I could take a much-needed vacation, but the trouble there is the fact that I'd blow through the cash in a week, and have to come back home. I could buy myself a really fast car, but I'd just have to see what it would do on the road, and wrap it around a tree. I could dump it into the stock market, but I ain't gonna waste my cash on something like that. I know what I'd do! Invest in some Real Estate!

I've wanted to put down roots for a little while now, but just haven't found the right place. I think maybe I've located it now.

View image

Nice huh? The only problem there is with it is the location. I guarantee you that place ain't in Tennessee. Ah well. I guess I'd just have to give it to Tammi for her Birthday. The place would be big enough for her and her Momma, and she could do with it as she pleased (She's got great taste, so I know it'd be decorated wonderfully).

Alas, all I have in my pocket is about twenty bucks, so I can't do it, but at least I have a place I can post my birthday wishes for her. She's one of the sweetest, and kindest ladies I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She deserves nothing less.

Happy Birthday Tammilicious!

Thanks go to Teresa and Boudicca for reminding me that today was special.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:02 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

A Glut of Satire.

I was having a conversation with a cowworker the other day, and it came around to the perfect quote. "I'd like to extend this laurel, and hearty handshake to our new...nigger". I think we were talking about race relations and affiormative action at the time, "but that's not important right now". It's unfortunate, but the helper that we have on this job just didn't get the reference. I think he's a bit too young "or what have ye", but he's never seen this piece of cinematic genious.

Tonight, I had to go and get a frickin' haircut. This is always an ordeal for me, as I have naturally curly hair...in places. (Not THOSE places ya dirty minded freaks!) Once my hair grows out to a certain length, my bangs start to get curls in them, and they are very frizzy curls at that. If I was still in the eighties, I would make a wonderful "Valley Girl" 'cuz I wouldn't have to use much hairspray to get the poodle-poof going on the top-front of my head. When I was getting into my late teenage years, I tried to grow the back long, and after it reached about shoulder length, it started to do the same thing. ie: Curl like dammit! I fought it for a little while, but eventually gave it up as a bad job, and kept my hair shorter. The nice lady who was cutting my locks this evening kept trying to talk me into using some "product" or other to fix my hair issues, but I cannot (or Will not) bring myself to go to any sort of extreme to get my mane under control. When it gets long, and starts to get frizzy, I go and get the curls cut out of it, and go on with life. That's just my style. I've no time to worry about things that are trivial to me, I've got a life to live. I ain't gonna waste it on things like hair product, I've bigger fish to fry.

At any rate, the aforementioned conversation sparked a little something in me. After my haircut, I wandered the retail store that it's attached to in search of a few items that I needed. You know. Combs, Contact Solution, shit like that. I had to go over to the electronics section of the store in search of a new driving game for my PS2, and I was unable to find anything suitable, so I started searching the DVD's in hopes of finding some entertainment. I searched and searched, but I finally found the film I first quoted iat the beginning of this post. I brought it home and watched it, and found it to be just as satisfying as it was the first time I saw it. What fun!

I'm certain that most of my reader's have "Gotten" the first and second quote's of this post, but I'm interested in hearing from people who haven't heard them before. Just as a frame of reference.

I don't know why, it just feels like he thing to do at this time. Let me know.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:46 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Sarah's are entertaining.

Last night I went out to my favorite bar. This is something of a tradition for me, Friday night is "bar night". My roommate and myself just ease on down there, grab us a table, and proceed to talk about whatever subject is at hand (Meanwhile enjoying the scantily-clad scenery as it goes by.). We have a bit of a reputation in this place, as we used to be down there three or four nights a week, and we are trying to maintain our sterling reputation. We alway's flirt with our server's. Just light-hearted horsing around at first, but after they've served us a couple of times, we get downright dirty. We've made more than a few of them blush, but they alway's remember us. Steven and I are having a discussion about the merits of different WW2 airplanes, when one of the Manager's In Training comes up to say Hi to us. She was standing there no more than 30 seconds before Sarah comes walking up and tells her to stop trying to muscle in. "These are MY Men!" she said. It's nice to be appreciated.

A little later on, Sarah stops by for a celebratory beer for her finally getting back into radio. She dives right into stories about her trip to Arkansas, and all the work she did on different things out there. We also discussed all the things that are going on on our favorite blogs. Just a lot of fun to hang out with.

This morning, I've gotten to watch Sarah and Max playing all through the house. Sarah is a cross between a Black Lab and a Pit Bull Terrier. Just the sweetest little (Well, about 70 pounds of "little") puppy you'd ever want to meet. We are watching her for a friend while they are out of town. When she first was dropped off, she was extremely excited. Bopping around from room to room, and generally making a nuisance of herself. I was sitting in my easy chair playing a video game, and she just decides that she has to be in that chair with me. It's a challenge to drive cars around race tracks when you've got a big ole' dawg leaning on you. Max the beagle didn't quite take to her at first. Every time she would go up to him, he'd snap and bay at her. Steven tried to talk to Max and get him to chill out. After the fourth or Fifth episode of this, I had had enough. It was 11:15pm, and Max snapped at her. I recall utterring the words "that's IT" and dragging that dog to the back door and throwing him out into the back yard. He managed to get back into the house through the cat door (I can't believe he actually fit his ass through it.) and went over and laid down in the corner. Max and Sarah have been friendly ever since. I think I got through to him. Their play this morning has been right on the edge of bloody warfare, but it's still a pleasure to see two dogs rough-housing like dogs are wont to do.

Right now, having a bunch of Sarah's around is pretty cool.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

More Work Talk

I predicted it. Kevin and I were working in the machine room of some traction elevators today, and I heard him ask "How's it going back there, Johnny - Oh?". I just replied to him with a little "knowing" smile on my face.

We've been working for the last two weeks on a modernization of a group of three eight-stop gearless traction elevators in a local teaching hospital. It's been really interesting, and quite informative. These machines were installed sometime around 1962 or so, and have been running ever since. The controllers are nothing more than a huge set of relays (electro-mechanical switches) that are wired in such a way as to be able to control all the operations of the elevator. Certain relays "pick", and the car moves up or down, other's make the doors open, and still others dispatch which car comes to get you when you push the hall call. It's a very archaic way of doing things, but it still works. However, it's way past time for a little upgrade.

We are replacing the old controllers with a newer system. Everything is computer controlled, which should be right up my alley. The hard part is getting the physical connections made. It's a big "job O' work" just pulling i all the new wire. You've got to create a whole new conduit structure ("cuz you can only have one elevator down at a time, and there's hot wires in the old trough) that deviates from the original. One this job, everything is run through the floor, so we have to run our new stuff through the ceiling. We are rebuilding the fucking wheel here, and it's not a simple process. We do one machine at a time, and the other two are running while we are working. It's dirty. It's dangerous, and I completely love it.

Enough for now. Work at 7:30AM.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Kids ask the darnedest things.

Damn kids always asking questions! "Why's the sky blue? Are we there yet? How are babies made? Why? Why? Why ? What's on your desk? Why? Why? Why?" Yeesh! At least I can answer one of those questions.

Currently I have the following objects on the only desk I own, my computer desk (In no particular order.):

A glass of Jim Beam.
Two beer cans (one empty, and one with one awallow gone out of it.)
My BF Goodrich Ashtray. (The outside edge is a small tire that uses a glass ashtray as its wheel.)
Two packs of cigarretes.
Four lighters (Three cheap throwaways, and my Zippo)..
Two ballcaps (One Cubbies hat, and one for the University of Tennessee.).
A Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback joystick.
A Sony Clie PDA in its charging stand.
A stick of deodorant.
A Bottle of Ronsonol Lighter fluid.
My guitar tuner.
A Toshiba T2150CDS "Satellite Pro" laptop.
An original PALM PDA (Yes, this is the model made just before they were called "PALM Pilot".).
My manual for my Cell phone.
A tin of cinnamon-flavored "Altoids".
A Northern Tool + equipment catalog.
A stack of various games for my PC.
Two bottles of Acetaminophin.
A Mini-MagLite.
My earplugs.
A spare CD-ROM drive for my desktop.
A carton of cigarrettes (With two packs missing).
My safety glasses.
A picture from the Bad Example Family Reunion.
A jar with assorted pens and pencils.
The manual for an MCE "IControl with DC drive".
A couple of check stubs.
A number 2 pencil, ballpoint pen, two Sharpie's, and my wiring screwdriver (normally in my shirt pockets when I'm wearing my work uniform.).
Some nail clippers.
Four remote controls (Stereo/TV, Cable box, VCR, and DVD player.).
A can of Kiwi shoe polish (In brown.).
And an almost empty bottle of Very Old Barton Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

I hope this provides you with some insight into the carefree life of a journeyman elevator man. Sarh thought she needed to clean her desk. I think I've got her beat in that department.

Anyone else wanna play?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Elevator Man (tm)

Over the last few months, I've been a little bitchy at work. I've been in the job for pushing nine months now, and all accounts are that I'm doing a great job. However, I've not been remunerated for the job that I'm doing. Still working for the wage that I got starting out, and it's been way long enough for me to see a little something. At the three-month mark, I looked for a little courtesy raise. Something like a quarter or fifty-cents on the hour. Just a little something to keep my attention. Nothing. I expected to see something like that at the six-month mark as well, and got not even an "Attaboy". I stuck with it because I like the job, but I must admit that my "Give a Shit" was getting a little worn around the edges.

On the Fifth, I had a sit down with the boss, and he informed me that I was to be a "Lead Mechanic" on the second shift of a remodel job if I wanted it. He also let me know that some more cash was forthcoming. Well duh, of course I want it. I'm ready to start making a few mistakes of my own, and learning ever more about my trade. The best way to learn is to teach, so this is a golden opportunity for me.

The downside is that Ford loses "The best helper he's ever had". Hell, I'll miss working with him, but it's time for me to spread my wings a little. I like the way this is set up as well. Once I start on the second shift, I'll be leading the work, but I'm not the lead man on the job. There's a much more experienced man that I can lean on, on first shift, and the shifts will overlap by an hour or so, so everything can be lined out. I'm working on my own, but with a net. It's win-win.

My mood has improved quite a bit since this revelation, but I got something today that made it even better. The company mails its check stubs out every friday, and I get it on Saturday. When the mail came today, I was bouncing like a puppy after a treat, to open up my paystub. I checked the number next to "Rate:", and found that it had risen by over three dollars an hour! Patience and being just a little bitchy around people who I knew would talk to the boss, has paid off. My boss really took care of me, so now I'll keep taking care of him.

I'm so tickled right now I could bust. I think a celebration at the bar tonight is in order. I'll raise one for all of you as well.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:40 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

More Mini-Van Mechanicin'

Thursday, I went out and started up my vehicle to head on in to work. It fired right up, but I still had to hold my keyswitch to get my guages to function. It's a bit of a pain in the ass, but I can live with it until I come up with a more permanant solution. Got through work, and was preparing for the ride home when I discovered that now Nothing Works. I turn the key, but get absolutely no indication of power from anything in the vehicle. Shit.

I called up by Brother in Law for a ride, but he was way out in North Knoxville, luckily my Cousin was headed right by where I was at, so I got a ride over to my Uncle's (and back) to get some specialty tools that I needed. I tore the steering wheel off, and began to try and see what I could do to get my van started. After about an hour of futzing with it, I determined that there was nothing I could do to get it started.

(Mechanical Sidenote) Back in the old days, automotive key switches were designed a lot differently than they are today. Cars back in the 70's had a keyswitch that made up all the electrical contacts inside the tumbler itself. Not so with my van. The tumbler assembly just splines onto a little shaft that has a gear on the opposite end of it. The gear meshes with a little lever that goes perpendicular to the keyswitch, and runs down the column. Somewhere down inside the column, that lever makes contact with switches to complete the circuits that allow my vehicle to start and run. In order to get down in there and find out why those contacts weren't being made, I would have had to bull out the steering column completely, and dissamble that thing into a thousand pieces. There's only so far I'm willing to go to get things fixed. (/Sidenote)

Dad decided to let me borrow his car until I could get back in there and fix the problem. That thing is SO fun to drive! It's also a lot of fun seeing the reactions of people when I get out of it. Here's this refined sports/luxury car, and then "Joe-sixpack" climbs out of it in his work uniform. I've gotten a few strange looks, let me tell you. I had his car all day yesterday as well, while he and Mom went and rented a tow dolly and used my Mom's truck to tow my van over to my Uncle's. After work I came home and changed clothes, and then headed over there to work on it.

Since the problem was due to switches not making up, I decided that the cheapest and simplest way to fix it was to just bypass the factory switches and install some new ones. Dad and I went down to the auto parts store and got 3 on/off toggle switches, one "Momentary" toggle, and some assorted conectors. Total price: $20.00. (The alternative would have been to replace the entire steering column, and I'm certain that it would have been well over that amount.) Dad and I wired them up, and I mounted them on a cover panel that sits below my steering wheel. Now I'm all "nascar" style. Flip the switches for Accessory, Run, and Radio, then bump the Momentary to activate the Starter, and it's off to the races. The only thing that the keyswitch does now is lock the wheel and shift lever, and activates the warning buzzer. That'll be a lot of fun to explain to the salesman when I go to trade this thing in someday.

Hard to tell I'm a redneck huh?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Been Busy Mechanicin'

Sorry no Postie lately. I've been slightly distracted by the intrusion of life and stuff. The last three days, I've been experiencing some difficulties with my ignition key not starting all of my components in my van. Yesterday, when I got off of work, the damn key would only start the vehicle, and then turn on just a few of my guages and accessories (fuel, oil pressure, alternator charge, water temperature, and my radio). The important stuff wasn't working. Stuff like my speedometer, tachometer, windows, and my A/C fan wouldn't come on. The mahcine would start up and run, but when I tried to go down the road, the transmission was starting me out in second gear, so I had to manually shift it (I assume that the ECU was not powered along with the other devices that were vital to actually driving down the road, so all of the important things that it does weren't happenning.).

Since my key switch was acting a "wonky", and I could sometimes jiggle it and the important accessories would activate, I assumed that it was the problem, and got another one. $14.95 at the local parts store, and they had it in stock. I eased the 1/2 mile up the road, paid the man and brought that booger home. roughly six hours later (after working a full 10 hours at the elevator bidness) I gave up trying to get the damned steering wheel off. I needed a Steering wheel puller, and I didn't have one. All the stores were closed as it was nearly midnight, and I was "highly pissed". I couldn't get to sleep, and I wound up getting to work late this morning. It was a combination of lack of rest, and the fact that my damned van didn't run properly.

After work today, I stopped by my Uncle's house, and borrowed a wheel puller from him (God Love him, he's got just about every automotive tool under the sun.) and commenced to try and fix the issue right there in his driveway. I got there at about 6:15PM, and didn't leave until 10:30. Damn what a fight, but I got the new key switch installed and functioning. Unfortunately the issue was somewhere deeper in than that. The first time I tried it, the same thing happenned that it did with the old one. Lot's and lot's of troubleshooting later, I finally can determine that there is a switch somewhere deep down in the steering column that is not making up. with the key in the normal "run" position, things are boned, but if I turn it another eigth of an inch, "Yahtzee!" everything works.

After reassembling everything, I came on home, all the while holding the key switch so that my daggun speedometer functioned. A couple of times, my hand started cramping, so I had to let go. The guages died. A couple of times, I had to light a cigarrete, and they died then too. When the cherry fell off of my smoke, I just grabbed for it so it didn't burn a hole in my leather seat. After pithcing that bitch out the window, I realised that my guages were still functioning. Sweet!

I made it the rest of the way home with no issue, and my car appears to be fine. I think I may have just (accidentally) fixed that fucker. I sure hope that it works in the morning. I'd hate to only work a 7 and a half hour day, in order to work another four on my own POV afterwards.

We'll see.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

For lack of motivation...

my kingdom was lost...or something. What's been going on? A lot of the same. Went out and spent Saturday on the lake with Mom, Dad, Sister, and Brother in Law. Just chillin' mostly. Had some fun on the "personal watercraft" though. Shortly after I arrived, the Step-Neice demanded that I go out and ride their Waverunners with her. We went up the lake apiece, and jumped a few wakes, but upon our return to the cove where the houseboats were anchored, it was time to do some doughnuts. Those machines are so "slick-hulled" that all you have to do is get them up on aplane, and then just jerk the hadlebars all the way to one side, and the machine will just break loose, and do a sliding 180 on top of the water. If you're not careful, it will roll over on you, which I did a couple of times (If I get copies of the pictures from my sister, I'll post'em.). At any rate, BIG FUN.

Later in the day, my sister and the iece decided that they would go for a ride up the lake. I eased on over to Mom and Dad's boat, and asked if I could take out the Sea-Doo, and got permission. Now this machine is something else entirely. It's quite a bit faster than the other ones (20mph or so), is a three-passenger design, and about ten years newer. This thing can easily pull me on water skis. Nice machine. 'Chelle and Nicole got a sizeable head-start on me, but I gained that back in no time.

Another fun thing about the Sea-Doo is its hull design. It's got a more pronounced "Vee" to it, so it's more stable in the water, but it has some ridges in the front that throw water out to the sides. This is excellent for splashing people who are riding other watercraft that do not have this effect. I sidled up between the other two, and just rode there for a few minutes before temptation got the better of me. I pulled out in front of my Sister, whipped the machine toward her, then away, and then laughed like a loon when I saw the wall of water cover her and her Waverunner. That was fun. Time to get Nicole!

Unfortunately she'd witnessed the aforementioned drenching and decided that she didn't want any, so she just turned away from my approach in gradually decending circles before I gave it up as a bad job. Not to be deterred, I hung back, waiting for an opportunity. As we headed back to the cove, ouor formation was roughly the form of a \. Nicole was in the lead at the upper left. 'Chelle was in the middle, and I was pulling drogue at the lower right. Since the machine I was on is much faster than the other two, I decided to pounce. Before Nicole knew what had happenned, I had snuck up on her left, and managed to catch a nice little wake when I made my move. She was inundated with the water from the side of my "Ski", and I was once again giggling like a man without his Lithium.

when we got back into the cove, I decided that I was going to try and do a "180" with the big machine. Why Not? It was fun on the little ones, it should be just as fun on the big one. The first time I tried, I got up to about the same speed as I did on the smaller ones, and cut the thing to the left. All I got was a firaly spe3edy circle out of the deal. This won't DO. After a few more tiy's, I came upon the perfect combination: After applying about 3/4 power, get the machine up on plane. Once planed out, let it back to just above 1/2 throttle, turn about halfway to the right, then cut all the way to the left. The thing is so stable, that even as it is spinning out, I felt completely in control of it. I did about twenty "180'S" before I decided to call it quits.

I'd like to get that same sentation from another medium. Unfortunatley the only other place I've felt that "In Control, But not so much so" was on a motorcycle, and that's just before I wrecked it.

Dammit! I want another Scooter! IF not for anything wlse, than to remind me that I'm alive.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 12:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

Traction Elevators and the WTC

I wsa just cruising my blogroll, and I came across a post over at SayUncle's that had a line in it that I thought I should comment on.

After both buildings were burning, many calls to 911 resulted in advice to stay put and wait for rescue. Also, occupants of the towers had been trained to use the stairs, not the elevators, in case of evacuation.

There's a very good reason that people are trained to use the stairs. It's because the elevators are designed to STOP when there is a fire. If a smoke detector goes off in the machine room or the hoistway, modern elevators will immediately stop answering calls, and proceed to their lowest level (or the lowest level easily accessible by firefighters), open the doors and park there. People that were currently in the car can then get out, but the machine will not respond to any more calls. There is a special system installed that allows firefighters to utilize the conveyance with a set of keys, but once in this state, the elevator will not move without a "Fire Service" key or the whole system being reset after the alarm has been cleared.

In the case of the "Heat detector" being tripped, a shunt-trip will kill all the power to the elevator machine and the controller, to keep the systems from being overly damaged when the sprinklers go off. When that happens, noone uses the elevator.

I checked the NIST findings one the WTC disaster, and found an interesting fact right there on page 26 of the "Life Safety (Evacuation, Emergency Response, Active Systems)" section of the report.

After aircraft impact, only two elevators out of 198 were operating inside the two WTC towers. WTC 1, from the lobby to the 16th floor. WTC 2, from the lobby to the 40th floor.

I'm surprised that those two were actually running, due to one specific safety device that's installed on all traction elevator's. Somethign that I did not outline in this post is what's known as a "Compensating Shieve". This is a weighted pulley that hangs from ropes that attach to the bottom of the car, and the bottom of the counterweight. It's there to keep the car from jumping up at the end of an "up" run, and generally keeps tension on all the ropes no matter how lightly the car is laden.

Attached to the compensating shieve assembly, there is usally a little lever that keeps a switch in a closed position. There are little tabs attached to the box that the CS rides in (to keep it centered under the car, and pointed in the right direction) that will engage that lever if the CS moves too far up or down. If there is a slack cable situation, the switch will trip from the upper tab, and if the "ropes" stretch too far, it will trip from the lower one. If this switch is openned, it will kill all power to the drive motor, and the brakes will set, thereby stopping the car (No matter where it is in the hoistway, potentailly trapping passengers inside.).

I'm certain that when the airplanes crashed into the towers, this was the safety that disabled all the elevators. The cars "jumped" in their hoistways, and the safeties did what they were designed to do.

Anther interesting tidbit from page 7 of the obove report:

Functioning elevators allowed many (roughly 3,000) survivors to self-evacuate WTC 2 during the 16 minutes prior to aircraft impact. All but one of the 99 elevators in WTC 1 were not functioning, and survivors could only use the stairways.

So, people who do what I do, had a big part in saving the lives of around 3,000 people. If that doesn't give me a little pride in my job, nothing will.

I can only imagine how many more lives could have been saved if the firefighters could have used the elevators between the impacts, and the collapse of the buildings. Total death toll would likely have been in the hundreds instead of the thousands.

Anyone out there still wonder why I'm an Elevator Man?

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2005

Poverty is as poverty does.

Blog-Daughter Sarah the Penguin at Because we have thumbs, has an interesting post about poverty and the jobless in general, and I thought I'd put my two-cents worth in here. I'll quote the specific statements I'm referencing, as her post is quite lengthy.

The beginning of her post is in reference to another discussion she was having about Obesity in the Armed Forces. There's a few points that I'd like to respond to in that section of the discussion as well. A commenter of her's (Edith) responded to it thusly:

Have you ever thought that soldiers, and Americans in general, might be overeating because they were compensating for not getting enough of some other satisfying stimulus, like, oh let's say, sex? Or, maybe, praise?

Do something useful, like inventing fat free french fries or sugar free
catsup. Or come up with the perfect recipe for an eternally satisfying

Sarah retorted with:

Am I to assume that drinking/drug abuse, gambling, domestic violence and sexual abuse shouldn't be condemned either? Making an excuse for destructive behavior contributes more to the problem than it does to the solution.

We don't need fat free french fries or sugar free ketchup. We need people with the courage to face their own demons head on.
If I were to invent a type of cocaine that didn't have adverse health effects, would I be a part of the solution?
Human beings have emotional needs that must be met in order for them to thrive. Often people don't take steps to get what they need because they are worried about rejection.

As I see it (Please be sure to place these words in front of everything I say here. This is my opinion, but it does NOT invalidate yours.), each of these ladies is looking at the situation from opposite sides. Sarah is focusing on the Cause, and Edith is focusing on the Effect. Sarah recognizes the needs of people, and wants to eliminate the need for the crutches, or at least to encourage people to stand up to their shortcomings, and find a way past it. Edith is looking to make the "Destructive Behaviour" less destructive.

Equating "Eating too much" with "Drinking/Drug Abuse" may seem like a bit of a leap into different realms, but really it's not. These are both behaviors that humans have, and both have the same cause (for the most part. Thyroid issues being the exception.). They are crutches that people use to get through their daily lives. The destructiveness of the crutch does not make it more or less of one, it just is a crutch.

In order to eliminate the Cause of the problem, you'd have to determine a single thing that would solve all the problems that people have (thyroid included), and eliminating the Effect is no good either. If you could invent something that dives the same effect as cocaine, but doesn't have the adverse side-effects, that'd be great...But there would still be the "Real Thing". The "Real Thing" would also wind up being cheaper than its replacement (The market would make it so), so there would be an insurgence of even cheaper harmful stuff, that the people would avail themselves of.

It's a Lose-Lose proposition. You Can't solve everyone's problems, you can only focus on your own. If you can't handle it, there are always crutches available.

On to the Poverty Issue.

Susie argues that poverty is all about personal responsibility. I disagree on the grounds that "it takes money to make money". I agree that some people live on handouts because it is easier than working for a living. But that does not mean that everyone who wants a job can get one. It doesn't mean that there is a level playing field out there.

I'm more inclined to Susie's point of view here than Sarah's. It's my contention that the majority (75% or more) of the people (In America) who are listed as impoverished, are that way because they choose to be. No house, no mortgage, no automobile, no license fee's, free food when you're somewhere close to a soup kitchen, alway's mobile as long as your feet still work, and no identity other than the one you create that day. Sounds to me liike the epitome of freedom. They don't HAVE anything, but they don't WANT for anything either.

I'll continue down the list, just as soon as I'm sober enough to make a valid point. I Promise.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 08:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 04, 2005


So...I went to the lake again today, as it is what good Americans do on Independance Day. (If you weren't at the lake, you're obviously a Commie, and need to be beaten and sent to a Gulag, where you'll be beaten some more.) When I got down there, all the women-folk had taken a trip out to the local Hobby-Lobby in search of crafting material for the creation of various and sundry items to be used/decorate their respective abodes. All the Guys were fishing. Good quality family time was being had by all.

My sister and Brother-in-Law had taken their houseboat, and headed down river to Tellico Lake to stay for the remainder of the week in a cove. They SUCK! I have to work. However, Dad mentioned that I could take the Sea-Doo out for awhile, and I got the notion of trying to catch up with my sibling. I advised Dad that I might be out for awhile, as the place where my Sis' was heading to is roughly 27 miles downstream. Sure, that's nothing when you're driving your car, but when on the river, it's quite a ways. I gassed that thing up and headed out.

Now, Dad's Sea-Doo is not slow by any stretch of the imagination. It tops out at around 55 to 60 mph if you're going wide open. That's not an option when you are cruising along with literally hundreds of other boats/Jet Skis/Houseboats/Cabin cruisers on the water with you at the same time. You see, Cabin Cruisers throw out a wake behind them that can be up to four feet high, and travels back and forth across the river. Hitting these waves at 50-plus mph could wind you up in the hospital pretty quick, so I ran the whole way at about 3/4 throttle (around 40 MPH).

I wound up catching my Sis' at about 3/4 of the way through their trip (Houseboats are slow), so I went ahead and scouted out a place for them to anchor. There was a lot of waiting involved for me, but luckily there was a lot of bikini-clad young lasses to ogle during my stoppage. Once they showed up, and got their anchors out, I got fed a nice meal, and headed on back to the marina.

Iwas out on the water for more than four hours today, and the sun was brutal. To say that I've been "Scourged by the Day Star" would be an understatement of epic proportions. The tops of my thighs, and my shoulders are redder than Carrie's Dress at the prom. Sunburn is a real bitch. With enough aloe-vera, I may be able to make it through work tomorrow. Dammit! I shoulda worn sunscreen. Luckily, I go from burned to bronzed in a couple of days..but it's gonna be an unconfortable couple of days.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Independance and SamSung

So...I've been spending quite a lot of time out on the lake this weekend. A few aunts, uncles, and cousins are in town to visit, and we've all been having a grand time. My sister and brother-in-law just got ahold of a couple of older Yamaha WaveRunner's, to go along with my parents' Sea-Doo, so we've been doing a lot of zipping up and down the river on them. I was on one of the older one's, and had pulled up beside the houseboat, when one of my young cousins (she's around 5 or so) wanted to go for a quick ride. She jumped on in front of me prepared for a fun ride, but got a little disappointed. My sister decided to help push us away from the houseboat (to avoid sucking the anchor line up into the impeller) and she got a bit too enthusiastic in her effort. The handlebars went from their traditional position at 12:00 to a nominally less effective 6:00. Kaitlyn and I went in the drink.

This wouldn't have been a big deal if not for the fact that I had my cellphone clipped to my waist. I scrambled up onto the overturned hull of that watercraft, and pitched my phone over on the deck of the houseboat. My Sis' took it out of its leather case, got the battery out, and proceeded to go over it with a hair-dryer. After 15 minutes or so, I tried to turn it on, and got nothing. Shitshitshitshitshit! I don't have the cash to replace the thing. All my number's are on it, I use it as my alarm clock, and it's also my home phone (Cable Internet, so no landline is needed). I had to go ahead and leave after that incident, as I had a dinner engagement with a friend, and was decidedly wetter than I had previously planned, so I had to stop at the house and change. On the ride home, I plugged my phone into the car-charger, and at least the LED that tells me it's charging came on. When I got home, I plugged it into the AC charger, and soon got a flashing amber indicator. I grabbed up the manual for the phone, and delved into its wonderful mysteries in search of the meaning of the flashing amber LED. Nothing was found to tell me what it meant. Ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap. My phone's dead, and there's no way to get it replaced due to the holiday weekend.

I decided to try it one more time, and Lo' and Behold the thing sprang to life like Frankenstein hooked up to a 480volt service. Yay! my phone works. Quick call to my sister (to let her know my phone worked), and all went well. Checked my voicemail, and found that my dinner-partner had called. "Call me by 4:00 to let me know you'll be there." It was 4:15. Dinner was washed out, but my phone worked!

As far as I'm concerned, SamSung makes some fine-quality cell-phones. Total downtime was about an hour and a half, but there is no indication that this thing has been drenched in lake water. It works perfectly. From now on, I'm recommending SamSung phones to everybody, but I'm still taking it off the next time I'm on a jet-ski. Just as a precaution you understand.

Oh yeah. Happy Independance Day!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:18 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack