December 31, 2005

Rookie Night!

I've been asked more times than I care to admit "what're you doing for the holiday?", and I'm proud to admit that I've done nothing more than play a few video games, and hang out at the house. I've decided that if I'm to get "fit-shaced" on this most glorious of drinking occasions, then I'd better do it under adult supervision.

Man-Alive! I've been luckier than I should have been more time's over the year's than one persons karma should be able to stand. I've pulled the "Roll down the window...even though it's 12 degree's out...with the heater going full blast" trick. I've done the "cover one eye with your hand, to stop the "world spinning" when travelling at seventy-plus miles an hour" deal. I've even done the "pull over and take a nap, 'cuz you're too drunk to keep going" trick.

Chalk all that up to experience. Tonight, I've done all my drinking in the comfort of my own home... and my house hasn't been stopped (or even threatened to be pulled over) by the local constabulary.

Being pulled over for "DUI", then adding on "Resisting Arrest", and possibly "Indecent Exposure", I'll leave to the younger of our ilk. These are lessons I've already learned.

Happy New Year!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 30, 2005

Sample Post

My littlest roommate (she's nine years old) was curious about how a post is made on a blog, so here's the example for her.

Please move along...Nothing to see here...

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 07:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 25, 2005

Christmas vs. Holiday's

(I'd like to start this out by illuminating the fact that I'm typing this on one of my Christmas Gifts. It's one of these, and I'm here to tell you that it's Uber cool. The backlight works like a charm, so if you're another of those folks who likes to keep the room darkenned when you're blogging, this thing is the bee's knees.)

This season has been festooned with a lot of drama. I'm certain taht you've had to have been living a box over the last month to miss the whole "Happy Holiday's" vs. "Merry Christmas" flap that's been going on this year. I thought that I'd give you my opinion as it's from the point of view of a "secular" individual.

UIt would seem that most of the people who are attempting to enforce the whole "HH" thing are individuals who are of a similar religious persuasion as myself, ie: none of the above. As you may know...I'm an Athiest. Yep, I don't believe in God, in any of his popular (or even obscure) forms, but I'm not one of the "Athiest's with agenda's" that I normally get lumped in with. A lot of my colleagues are guilty of doing the same thing that the religious folks do... they become zealots. Their belief in their "Unbelief" makes them go way overboard in trying to make a point. A typical zealot will take any situation that does not agree with his beliefs, and then try to force it onto others. Hey man..I ain't that guy.

I went on about being an Elitist awhile back, and here's another reason why I think I am one: The average Athiest has a higher IQ than the rest of the population, however, they fall into one of three categories... The zealot, the sellout, and the realist. The zealot tries to remove religion from every activity that anyone ever participate's in. The sellout will mention God in both his writing's and speech's, and I believe that he is the first person to spurn the whole "intelligent design" thing. This person is trying to subvert the more popular opinion of having a God, by pandering to the folks who have one, and then inserting his own thoughts about how it doesn't exist. Then there are the realist's (a true minority if I can be frank here.). Realist's are the one's who've figured out that the vast majority of the population absolutely require a God to ensure that they do what they should from day to day, but they don't need that influence to do the same. they've also realized that just because the God Lover's are different, it doesn't necessarily make them wrong, or stupid. My opinion is that you believe what you wish to believe to make yourself able to get throught the normal trials and tribulations of every person out there, and if it's good for you, then it's good.

I think that if you wish we a Merry Christmas, you are doing the same thing as wishing me a happy holidays, or a happy hannukah. It's merely an expression of the season, and a well wish at that. I'm of the inclination that you should take every well wish that you get at face value, and believe thatfolks just want you to be happy. Don't take any offense at somethign that is well meant, as if you do, you are the one who means ill. If you're one of those folks, I highly recommend that you do a little soul searching. If you don't figure that you're wrong, then just chalk yourself up to being an idiot. You'll be in good company.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 10:04 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 24, 2005

More on shopping...

I've been trying to finish up my Christmas shopping for the last three day's, but it seems that the fate's were against me. Wednesday night, there were traffic jam's that were so horrible that you'd have to be a fool to try and get out in it after you (finally) made it to your house. Out on the Interstate, people were knocking each other's fenders off with such zealous abandon, that the people on the side-streets decided to join in on the fun. By the time I got home, my nerves were so frazzled that I felt it necessary to imbibe some adult libation to calm them. By the time I thought of shopping again, I'd already had a bourbon or three, and decided that going out was not in my best interests.

Thursday looked like it was to be the day. Traffic was still bad on the way home, but I was able to take an Alternative to the Interstate, and get here in a fairly timely manner. My leg's were absolutely killing me after working all day, so I decided to sit down for awhile and let the ibuprofen kick in. Whilst I was checking my email, Jenny came in from the other room, and advised me that her Bronco was leaking Antifreeze and "could you look at it? I need it to get to work tomorrow." Of course, by that time it was getting dusky-dark, but I'm the resident mechanic around here, so it's back on with my jacket, and out in the driveway I go. We refill her radiator with water, and I advise her to start it up. Yup, there was a small leak (In much the same way that "Old Faithful" is a small geyser) at the front of the engine. At first glance, it seemed like it was coming out of a fitting right on the intake manifold. I thought it had worked loose or something, so I spent some time trying to get a wrench onto it to tighten it up. I futzed with that for awhile, and determined that I couldn't tighten that thing any more, so it probably wasn't the issue. After retrieving a flashlight (It had gotten all the way dark by then) I did some more looking and found a split in a heater house. Off to Advance Auto Parts I go, and return with the replacement. After much tugging and pulling, and some judicious razor blade work, I was finally able to get the old one offa there. All the while, Jenny is being a good "helper" by holding the flashlight for me. She's shivering like crazy, as the temperature has dropped down to around 20 degree's. I needed some new hose clamps because the factory ones won't go back on, so I sent her in the house to warm up. At the door she said "Tell me when you get back, so I can come out and help. I hate leaving you out here by yourself, when you're fixing My truck." I said "Allright" and went back to the parts store. When she finally decided to check and see if I was back, I had the new hose in place, the radiator refilled with coolant, and the engine running. I got scolded for not telling her I was back, but like I told her "At least you didn't have to shiver any more." It was already a quarter 'til nine, so shopping would have to wait.

Yesterday, I had a short day. The jobsite only had myself, my helper, and three electrician's on it. No point in staying around there, so we loaded up some excess stuff we had, and headed on to the shop. When I got home, I was able to relax for a couple of hours, and decided that it was time to join the retail fray. I was in and out of the store in 45 minutes, and was able to finish up the last of my shopping...and it really wasn't that bad. Sure it was crowded, but it seemed to me that the people were pretty relaxed, and nobody was pushing and shoving. Everyone was polite, and things were generally cheery. It was surreal.

Now I have to go wrap all the booty I got for everyone, as I just didn't feel like it last night. Christmas at my Sister's is at 1:00 today, so I better get it done. Thank goodness things got better, or I think I would've wound up on a water tower with a magnum. Merry Christmas all!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 21, 2005

Of all the...

Low-down, dirty, sidewinding, backstabbing, underhanded, evil, wretched, conniving, hornswaggling, "piss in my beer" things that have happened to me in lo these thirty and four years of my existence... Being memed is nowhere near the worst. Don't get me wrong though, it's still pretty bad.

Christmas movie's huh? Five of 'em huh? Let's see what the ole punkin' has to offer up: (In no particular order.)

First: Hondo. There's that one scene, where the little boy (Johnny is his name... I like that.) is fishing in the stream, and Hondo explains to him that he can't catch any fish because they can see his shadow, and suggests that he swim to the other bank. Johnny's Mom explains that he can't swim, so Hondo gives her a "look", walks over, picks the boy up, and chucks him into the water. Mom is freaking out and wringing her hands and such, but Hondo keeps her from going to the boy's rescue...Lo and behold, the kid figures it out, and sputters his way to the other shore. I get through each Christmas season in much the same way as that child got back to dry land, wet, dejected, and utterly flabbergasted... but still with us, and better for it.

2.) Falling Down. This particular film is a catharsis to me in these hectic day's. Just the thought of being able to "go off" on the more trite of injustices in this world in such an extreme manner just does my heart good. There's been more times that I'd like to whip out an automatic, and give that rude clerk what for than I can ennumerate.

C. Groundhog Day. The film's concept just rings true to me. Working stiff, who can't find love, get's to relive the same day over and over until he can nail Andie MacDowell. MAybe there's hope for us single guy's yet. All we have to do is get caught in a temporal loop until we figure out the right thing to say or do to make the chick we like fall in love with us. It is the "Season of Love" right? (Sidenote: If Andie wants to look me up for a "retelling" of this tale, she's more than welcome to look me up.)

Penultimate: Bullitt. This movie has the greatest car-chase scene that was ever recorded. Two classic muscle car's careening through the streets (and into the countryside) of San Francisco. Burnouts, bent fenders, automobiles leaping over steep hills, powerslides, and crazy speed. I've done my fair share of all of those things, but nothing but Christmas traffic makes we want the ability to do them all again...This time in a 1972 El Dorado with the fenders filled with cement. People would be justly rewarded for their stupidity in traffic, and I'd make it home fifteen minutes to a half-an-hour earlier each day. We all could stand a few "assertive driving" lessons during the season.

Fin: Scrooge. I know what you're thinking..."Finally, an actual Christmas Movie", but this one's all about redemption, rather than religion. Upon being taught the error of his way's, Old Eb decides that it's in his best interests to shell out a few greenbacks to buy his way back into the good graces of his friends and cowworkers. Scrooge was a miserly soul, and the film portrays this as a "bad thing". Actually hanging on to your hard earned wealth is depicted as being the most nefarious deed since Dahmer had lunch, but I don't believe it is so. Give what you can, and appreciate what you get, is my motto. That cheezy, macaroni encrusted greeting card from your youngest is much more precious than a Rolex, any day of the week.

I'm supposed to tag five folks with this, but it's after eleven, and I've got to be up at 4:45, so I'll forgo that little part of the chore. Fuck a bunch of the "giving spirit". I'm tired.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 20, 2005

RBAM! aka: Red-Blooded American Male.

I started a little debate with the esteemed Mr. Contagion in the comments to one of his recent posts, and I felt that my rejoinder to his last statements should be posted here for all to see.

As I (eloquently I might add) pointed out in my last post, I'm what you'd call a "Man's Man". I thought that my esteemed fellow MuNuvian was one as well, but I found a line in that post that just stood out to me:

Ever since I can remember, I always hated Christmas shopping. I’ve been thinking about why that is since November when I started doing this years. (emphasis mine. Ed.)
Now every RBAM should know that ideally you do all of your Christmas Shopping on December 24th. It's just the rules folks. We didn't create these stereotypes for no reason. Hell, I started this season's round of shopping on Sunday, and I still consider that "early". Luckily it's within a week of actual "C-Day" so I get dispensation.

I told him that he should get his "Man Card" revoked for starting so early, and was absolutely flabbergasted by his retort:

I started shopping in November so I could avoid going the mall/stores during the busy time, thus not body checking an old lady and ending up in jail...
. I sit here "jaw agape" as you should be. Something like: "My wife/significant(female)other tricked me into it." or "I bought something for myself, but it sucked, so I'm giving it to Aunt Martha." would both have been acceptable answers. Not this namby-pamby drivel about "busy time" and "old lady's". These are opportunities to display your "manhood" that just fell by the wayside, my friend.

"Busy", I scoff at busy. This allows me to show off my prowess at operating a motor vehicle. Not to be immodest, but Mario Andretti ain't got nothin' on me. Sure, he's a decent driver, but I've never seen him cross a parking lot at Seventy MPH, and then do a 180 degree slide into that choice parking space. Have you? Didn't think so.

"Old Ladies" I prefer to bowl them over in groups of ten or more. As far as I'm concerned, it's their own fault that they got knocked out of the way, as they are the ones who should be shopping early. If they're out there during "Man's Shopping Week" (December 18th thru the 24th) then they deserve any and all abuse that they get. The "extra-added bonus" is the fact that breaking hip-bones of multiple antigenarian's is reminiscent of the "crackling fire" we alway's have blazing on Christmas Morn. Ahhh, Good times.

At this point, I feel that I must dock the distinguished gentleman in question 100 "Man Points" for his transgressions. (I know it seems a bit harsh, but I'm hoping a little "tough-love" will will work here.) I fear that he's on the "slippery slope" toward becoming a dreaded "MetroSexual", and if he achieves that status , I'll be forced to revoke his "Man Card" entirely. This Christmas Eve, I fully expect you to Don your Stars and charge into the breach. That's what a "Man" would do.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 06:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Reason #452 "Why I need a good chick"

You see...I'm what you might call a "guy's guy". I wear flannel with pride, I work a construction job, I wear a hard hat and work boots, I drink my beer from a can and my liqour straight, I don't call my Momma as much as I should, I forget Birthday's and Anniversary's, I hate shopping, and I HATE SHOPPING! I get "Man points" for merely waking up in the morning. (Did I mention that I "hate shopping"? Just checking...)

You'll never guess what I went and subjected myself to this evening...Yup, shopping. Now I realize that I'm a week early starting this, but I wanted to get a jump on things this year. Last year things were a bit hectic, so I wanted to take a little pressure off this season. I went to one store and got items for 70% of the people on my list. It took me nearly an hour and a half, and it was all a complete nightmare. Crowds, holiday cheer, holiday angst, bad parking, and scrounging through bargain bins. I got some gifts that I'm certain my friends and family will like, and they fricken better after all I had to put myself through.

At any rate...I need to find me somebody who actually enjoys doing this kind of thing. I'm certain that there's someone out there that I can fob this crap off on get to help me with these chores...and actually enjoy it. In the meantime, I'll resign myself to watching Sleepy Hollow...just to get back into the "Holiday Spirit".

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

Another Meme,,,

So...Blog Bro _Jon tagged me with this one (Just because I happenned upon his post.) And I feel it's my duty to respond... "Three wishes", and not for someone other than yourself." Could be a toughie.

1): I'd like to not have such dry skin. Whenever winter rolls around, I find that I have a lot of "hard skin" flaking offa my body. I can't help it, as I've got psorriasis, but there it is.

2): I'd like to be able to sleep without alchohol. It's so rare that it is an aberration that I actually get a little shut-eye without imbibing a shot or three. I;ve gotta do something to shut the brain down.

3): I'd wish to be "independantly wealthy". Not just for myself and my own fullfilment. but to ensure that those that I love and care about can revel in my success along with me.

Not ignoble, to my way of thinking,

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 11, 2005


So, I'm supposed to describe five weird habits that I currently possess huh? I'd like to state for the record that I do not have any so-called 'weird habits" at all. I prefer to think of them as eccentricities that enhance my already prodigious charm. (It's these little distinctions that get me through my day to day.) Let's see how many I can think of.

First, I can't sit still. No. Really. If I'm seated for a length of time of over a minute, one of my legs starts to bounce. I don't even think about it, but after awhile I notice it. (My monitor usually starts rocking back and forth from the vibration. It's irritating, but I can't stop doing it.) As a matter of fact, I'm doing right now. Right foot is up on its ball, and the leg is bouncing up and down with around a half-inch travel at the knee. Dammit! Will you STOP? Not a chance.

Now for a little OCD action... I'm a stickler for the things that I carry around on my person. You know...the important stuff. Wallett, car key's, house key's, change, Zippo lighter, at least two backup lighter's, and my lock-blade razor knife. These are the things that I carry in my pants pockets, work or play, they're alway's with me. each evening, when I doff my britches, I leave all of these items inside my pants. When I arise the next morn, there they'll be. I'll choose a new pair of slacks, and load all of these important items from the previous day's pants into the new day's. (You know.. to ensure that I know where they're at. )

Onward ho! I refuse to listen to our national anthem when it's played on T.V. This is a problem for me as I'm a "sports fan". Baseball, Football, Auto Racing, I'm all about it. If I happen to catch the beginning of the "Event In Question", they'll nearly invariably play the "Star Spangled Banner" before things get truly under way. The problem is... I consider myself a Patriot. If I'm out at the park/stadium/raceway, I'm one of those guy's who is standing with his hat over his heart, and I'm singing along. Unfortunately, if I'm at the house, I'm compelled to do the same thing. I'd feel like a fool standing at attention in my living room saluting the flag, so I avoid it at all costs. Thank goodness for the remote control!

I have an aversion to the "swizzle stick"... You know, the little straw that the bartender puts in your mixed drink before presenting it to you. Generally they come in quantities of two or three. Sure, they're useful if you've orderred an actual "Mixed Drink", but I normally order my Bourbon "mixed" with Ice, so they're just not needed. I have a speech prepared for when this happens: "Look. I don't need no straws. I only suck three things: Tits, Clits, and Bottles of Beer so lay off." The female bartenders tend to like that statement the most.

The last item will just have to wait awhile... Building suspense and whatnot.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

Another Stupid Elevator Post.

I know, I know. It's all I ever talk about. "Elevator-elevator-elevator." Well, I'm passionate about what I do, and if you're not, you should just get another gig, and keep on getting them, until you are! Ahem...

I don't know if you've ever had to be a manager or anything like that, but if you have, let me tell you that being a Lead Mechanic is completely different from that. Sure, I've got to try to keep my Helper busy, but I've also got to be an engineer, electrician, and a fabricator. Every aspect of this job is my responsibility. It's gotta be done in a timely fashion, and it's gotta be right.

This is way different for me than what I've been through in the past year. Working as a helper for the older dog's was a great experience, but now I don't have them to lean on. With them, they were surprised that I actually wanted to work, and was capable of doing things right without them over my shoulder. I always knew they were there though, in case I got into something that was over my head. No more. There's been so many cases where my mechanic did something on every job, that I've not had to experience them yet. Now I do, and I've got to figure it out for myself.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not complaining in the least. Since my helper is a chowderhead, I've got to think of pretty much everything. If I miss it the first time, I've got to go back and redo it. This has forced me to learn so much that it's almost scary. I thought I knew what I was doing before, but without my safety net, I'm being forced to learn the rest... With a helper who cannot read a tape measure properly. I'm just Loving It.

I stopped by the shop this evening (to get my money back for some supplies I'd purchased) and I stuck my head into the Bosses office to show the flag. We had a quick conversation that included a statement of "I want to be able to say: "Here's a van, here's your tools" and for you to be able to go out with a helper from WorkForce and build an elevator." I'm not trying to get my hopes up, but as I walked into the building, I noted that there was a brand new set of DeWalt 18 Volt cordless tools that the Warehouse Man was toying with. There's also a brand new van sitting in the parking lot with new stickers on it.

Here's Hopin'.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 11:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 04, 2005

What are you gonna do?

Wednesday... My first day of being a "Lead Man" on this job. I get up at 4:45 AM, and proceed to carry my ass northwest across the county that I live in (Knox), through the next county (Union), and halfway into the next county up (Claiborne). Most of the drive is on two-lane roads with low speed limits, and since I've got the company logo on my van, and have plates from a strange county... I watch my P's and Q's. Within five MPH of the limit at all times, and it's really taken my drive time into the stratosphere. Sixty-seven miles takes me about an hour and a half to traverse. It's Sucky, at best. We get to the job and finish piping up the hydraulics, and go ahead and build the sling. We are ready to run now.

I had my helper find an electrician, and see if he could get our disconnect powered up. "No problem" they said, and it wa just a few minutes until they had us "hotted up". We'd previously pumped all the oil into the tank, and were ready to go, but when I flipped the switch to "on", I got some errors from my starter. Research, troubleshoot, Troubleshoot, research, and I'm frustrated that I don't have an answer. It's late in the day, so we decide to knock off, and regroup in the morning. We load up the oil transfer pump (the one we use to pump it from the drums it's shipped in into the tank) and the pipe machine (that we use to cut our oil pipes to the proper length, and groove them to accept a fitting between two pipes) as they needed them on another job the next day.

My helper had left his truck in Ed's driveway, and ridden with me to the site, so we had to haul all of this in my van to where he was parked. When we got to Ed's house, I backed my van into the driveway, and let it idle while we unloaded the equipment into his truck. Shortly after that was done, we heard a "Pop" sound and a sharp hissing noise shortly after. Steam is boiling from under the hood of my vehicle! Not good, as I'm still an hour away from my house.

After checking in my shop book, and feeling around inside the engine bay, I determined the the problem was with a small tube that takes coolant from the water pump to the intake manifold. After removing the alternator, I realize that the hose is not the problem, but the fitting that the hose attatches to has rusted through and come away from the manifold. A quick run to the nearest Advance Auto determined that my only solution was to get some "Perm-Epoxy" stuff, and hope that I can reseal the fitting into the manifold. Three hours worth of fixing that, and I'm back on the road.

Get to the job on Thursday, and we still don't have a resolution for our power issue's. Talk to "Field Engineering", and they can send me another transformer to make my starter run, but the office has to make that determination. I wasted half a day sitting out in the truck waiting on return phone calls from all over. Finally got something done in the latter part of the day, but just some wiring trough and such.

I lost another half a day on Friday due to a huge car crash that happenned on the way out to the job. One fatality, and two other people taken to the hospital via helicopter. All that equated to me sitting there in traffic for just under three hours. I'm glad that I filled up with gas first thing in the morning, or I would have been screwed. When we finally arrived, the eletrician's had come up with another transformer for us, so we I went ahead and got it in place, and got myself into a running sling. Now we're getting somewhere! We got the platform in place, and got it situated pretty close to where it needs to be... then we ran out of day.

All in all, it was not as productive as I'd have liked, but I think I did okay for my first time as a Lead Man. Now all I need to do is get a little more practice at it, and I'll be rockin' in no time. Lot's of challenges arose, but what are you gonna do? I just kept powering on, and advanced the job as much as I could. I'm happy enough with that.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 03:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack