Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Monday, April 28, 2008


Before Spun (an excellent film about speed freaks),there was The Salton Sea.Another excellent film about speed freaks.And this is one of my favorite scenes...

Enjoy (?)

Sunday, April 27, 2008


And jam we did...

Reverse hangover
I'm generally a big promoter of in-home partying. And there's probably no better reason to party at home than discovering you have a big bottle of vodka when you are flat broke. After all, getting drunk is best done at home. You aren't driving anywhere provided you are stocked up on all the things you are likely to want later as a drunk (cigarettes, more booze, food.) You can act as stupid as you want without anyone other than family/roommates as witnesses. Should you feel the immediate need to lie down, the bed is just a few steps down the hall. This increases the odds that you might make it to the bed instead of passing out on the floor. That said, unless you want to seriously annoy your family/roommates, you should probably save this behavior for nights when they are also inclined to get just as drunk as you. That way, when you are playing music at an ear bleeding volume and singing at the top of your lungs at 3:30 in the morning, they'll be joining in instead of feeling the urge to hit you over the head with a cast iron skillet and knock your ass out cold.

(Note: no real skillets were harmed in the making of this post, just imaginary ones.)

Fortunately, the reverse hangover is easily cured with a few laughs and a couple of extra cups of coffee ;)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Getting by
This week at work wasn't so bad. I've made good progress on not letting the job get to me. That may only be because money matters have taken it's place, but the fact remains that I got two nights of good sleep this week - the first good night's sleep since November. Yay! Oh, and it probably also helped my stress level when I missed work on Thursday due to a recalcitrant doorknob that jammed and wouldn't let me shut the front door. Or not... given the previous mentioned money matters. There was good news on Thursday though because not only did I eventually beat the doorknob back into submission, but I also completed a major house cleaning project in the dining area of the house. That's something that has been on hold since November when my back first started acting up and proof that the old back really is getting better. But damn it's been a long road. I'll probably never be pain free, but it's manageable most days now.

I mentioned money matters earlier as a problem and we are so very broke that I've had to blow the dust off my $2.00 dinner recipes again. Tonight's special was pigs in a blanket. Take 1/2 of of a 75 cent package of hotdogs & cut the 5 hotdogs in half so you have 10 pieces. Open a 75 cent tube of dinner roll dough (has 10 roll pieces). Smash each dinner roll flat, then roll up a hot dog piece with a 1/2 slice of cheese. Seal the ends so the cheese doesn't leak out (good luck with that.) Bake in the oven 10-15 minutes along with 1/2 of a $1.50 package of tater tots. With the cheese that might have come out to more than $2.00 total, but it's close. Not the healthiest of meals, but we can eat healthy when Rob gets paid on Thursday.


Friday, April 25, 2008


Another audio file with pictures.

...I'm liking this idea.

This is an audio post....

Thursday, April 24, 2008


That's what it's like trying to push 8 inch long pieces of #10 wire into a box with 2 duplex receptacles attached.I went out of my way to minimize the amount of wire with success,but short lengths of # 10 are very unforgiving.
Plus I had my upper body inside the cabinet where this earthbound version of hell was located.It was like being in an oven and a subwoofer cabinet at the same time.Hot,and with every bang on the box in question,loud.Very unpleasant,but I prevailed.
There are owls in the hangar next to our break area.I saw them yesterday,and they are a sight to behold.The one flying around in the rafters had a wing span of at least 3 feet,you could hear the whooshing sound as he flew.I took some pictures with my shitty camera phone and ended up with blurry blobs on the rafters.I forgot my real camera today,but it's in my tool bag now,so hopefully they'll still be there tomorrow.(the guys working out of that hangar said they thought they were gone.We'll see.
Speaking of birds...I'm really enjoying the feeders/baths out front.Mostly our visitors are doves,with a few grackles thrown in,and a couple of smaller birds I'll call sparrows for ignorance on the species.We had some smaller doves this evening that are either juvenile members of the usual ones,or a smaller species.
The larger ones land on the feeders and go around knocking out seed and then jump down to the ground to eat.Pretty cool.

The shoveling out of the seed...

Feeding time!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

plus the AC was on...

Hey man it's bedtime!
Hot, humid... oh yeah, it's Texas
Our traditional two weeks of spring are over and it's been hot and muggy the last several days. Come August we'll think this was cool weather, but right now it feels pretty damn miserable. I wasn't in the mood to cook a hot dinner tonight so I thought back to my childhood when we didn't have air conditioning and tried to remember what my mom used to do on evenings like this. Unfortunately my mom wasn't much on variety when it cames to meals and we either had cottage cheese and toast, deviled ham and crackers or sandwiches. Sometimes she might open up a few cans of vienna sausages to make things interesting, but for the most part it was just plain ol' luncheon meat and cheese on white bread sandwiches. But thinking of childhood summer sandwiches reminded me of how cool I used to think those finger sandwiches were that I sometimes got at wedding receptions. And so I made those - chicken salad & pimento cheese with the crust cut off, arranged on a plate with pickles and chips just for fun.


I got to work with Adolph today,piping in the fire alarm system in the addition.I've worked with him before,but not in a while.We've been on several jobs together,and he was the first journeyman I worked with when I left UT.
He is an excellent electrician and I always learn something new from him.Plus,he's just a nice,easy going dude.And funny too.He calls me "Robber",don't know why,but he's called me that from the get go.
And when a particular task is completed he says "That's game".
One of many unique personalities I've met in this field.
It's getting hot here already,and that means it's time for summer food.Last night Ann and I had tuna salad sandwiches w/ chips.And tonight we had a "garden party meal",but I'll let Ann tell you about that.
Summer here can be brutal,and if today was any indication,this one's gonna be a pure D bitch.I might even need to get a hair cut...ha!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ann turned me on to this gem,prior to my re-education my favorite Down song was "New Orleans is a dying whore".Behold...

But no more.I give you "Ghosts along the Mississippi".

In the morning, it takes me quite a while to clear my head
And as the day moves on, I find it hard to smile at something said
So I took control, priority number one, and that's me
Then I cut the dragon's head off, and put away my gun, so let it be
So let it be

I'm dying prematurely, I'm wasting my life for sure
I'm trying to kill what's happening to me
A ghost along the Mississippi

I never thought before, a life could be so strange, but it is
And I guess my one a day, became ten or twelve or more, and more
But I've got a gift, it's something called my friends or love
With them and I combined, I'll beat an early end, it's been done before

No time of passing away, of losing just one more day
I'm trying to kill what's happening to me
A ghost along the Mississippi

Can't happen to me
Won't do it to me
Can't happen to me
Won't do it to me
Can't happen to me
Won't do it to me

Destroying what's got ahold of me
No more the ghost of Mississippi

Lou dog fucking rules.


When my parents first bought this house,there was one street behind ours and then an expansive field where I would go to smoke out and walk a variety of dogs.It has been usurped to the developers.That field behind my house will soon be called the crossing at bouldin creek,a creek which is now choked and gray with silt from the construction.
We walked back there tonight to see the "progress",I am not impressed.
There will be 56 houses here soon,and with them increased traffic and higher property taxes.One can only hope that there is an (acknowledged) recession and the market crashes and they move the fuck on,but that's not likely to happen.

This used to be woods...

On an unrelated note,Pisser...It's called a spider...:)

Emerson,Lake and Palmer,Lucky Man.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday is Beanzie Day
Or at least it seems so lately. Today Irene (aka Beanzie) got to go to the greenbelt as well as a trip to Home Depot, plus a few rides to the corner store and aside from the time we were at my folk's house attending to some yard work there, she spent the rest of the day on the front porch with us. All that adventure made it hard for her to stay awake and alert on the porch, but she struggled and persevered lest she miss something. I had the camera handy in case we saw the first ever instance of Irene sleeping on the front porch, but it didn't happen. Well, maybe down the road hanging out on the front porch will become routine enough that she will actually take that much needed nap. For now we will just chuckle over the conked out "sack of potatoes" dog that occupies our bed on Sunday nights.

Anyway, we were hanging out today being "porch monkeys" again when I decided we needed an afternoon snack. I took a look around and found we had some left over "smokies" sausages from last Sunday. We also still had chips, but no more queso so I couldn't repeat last Sunday's snack without doing a store run. But smokies and chips by themselves didn't sound like much fun so I came up with what has to be one of the most unhealthiest snacks around. I cut up some flour tortillas into strips, rolled up the smokies in them and fried them thereby making tiny sausage taquitos. Rob thought they needed a side of Ranch dressing, but I would have much preferred queso (which, by the way, is short for "chili con queso" - a mixture of melted cheese, tomatoes, peppers and other ingredients depending on the recipe.) Even without the fantasy sides, they were extremely tasty and we'll definitely have to add this to our list of party appetizers. Well, not that we throw parties much anymore, but ya never know, that could change if our neighborhood loses it's pretentious yuppie-ness due to the housing downturn. But I think that's not likely considering a house down the street with less square footage and goodies than ours just sold for $265,000. Sigh.

We also made a few improvements to the front porch hang-out area today. One very minor improvement was to replace the powerstrip we had with one that has an on/off switch so we could turn all the outside electric powered stuff off with one switch instead of unplugging all of it each night. The other project came about from us lounging on the porch and noticing a cheap, plastic oscillating fan that we had tossed after the remodel. It was spotted with spackle and had been rained on for at least a year, but we wondered if it still worked. And work it did. Not only did it still work, but it also worked just fine upside down which made it perfect to mount to the porch ceiling.

All in all, it was a very good Sunday. My current schedule of six day work weeks means shorter hours per day, but more days per week which has it's advantages, but having only one complete day off work makes that one day being a good one to be a very nice thing indeed.

I ended up going to the show with my buddy Bill.To save money,I did my drinking at home.The plan was to have a couple of beers over the course of the night.That was the plan.After 2 shots of jager,they wouldn't let me back into the show,fearing the TABC would bust them for over serving me.And while i didn't understand that logic last night,it's clear to me now-I was stumble fall down drunk,and it was instant,one minute I was fine,the next I was gonzo.
I haven't had jager in a long time,and it put my peter in my watch pocket.Thankfully I had Bill to drag my sorry ass home.I owe him a show.

Had it worked out with Kyle,this would have never happened.
So,another lesson learned.No more jager...
Irene and I were off to the greenbelt this morning,(not so)bright but early.She's gotten our Sunday trips ingrained and was ready to go!We went to the Zilker access and walked to Campbell's hole and back...prolly 3 miles round trip.It was a walk down memory lane for me.As Irene and I walked along I was flooded with memories of other dogs and other walks.With Sunday when I was in high school,with Buddy when I was in my 20's,and Skeeter,and Diamond...the list goes on.

These walks are good for Irene,and for me as well.They give me time to clear my head.
Early Sunday morning is a good time to go,I only saw 4 other people the entire time.
And,on an unrelated note,I saw a giant snapping turtle.That was cool.
Enjoy your Sunday...

Saturday, April 19, 2008


For reasons I don't fully understand,my son and his family were served an eviction notice by local law enforcement.I knew they were moving back to Austin,in with mom,but that got weird too.They thought they had worked it out with the complex where they live,but apparently that has gone screwy as well.
They have to be out of the current place today.The 19th...Blind Melon day fer Christ's sake!
Kyle of course,needs to focus on the important issues at hand,but god damn!We were so looking forward to this show,and now,for reasons beyond anyones control,it's all fucked up.
I'll either be going to the show with Ann or with a friend,or by myself and try to sell the extra ticket or pass it on to a drag rat.I don't even want to go anymore really,truth be told.
This was going to be a milestone for me and Kyle,and when that's subtracted from the equation it's loses much of it's appeal.
Conflicted doesn't come close to describing my heart right now.

Friday, April 18, 2008


*If you can identify that lyric and the band,you are old,just like me.:)I saw this at work the morning and just had to take a picture,my shitty camera phone fucked it up,but in a good way.It was a spectacular sight to behold.The sky was still gray and angry from the previous nights thunderstorm,but was lighting up to provide what turned out to be an awesome day.

We are back to 10 hour days all next week,and 8 this Saturday.Except for me,I got a concert to go to!See you on Monday,suckers!!!Ha!:)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I ressurected the bird feeders/baths the other day to the resounding approval of the neighborhood birds.It was really cool to watch the scouts of several species come check it out and then bring the others to the party.Overwhelmingly it was doves,and some grackles and one lone bluejay.Bluejays are not well liked in this community,he didn't stay long before the others ran him off.I took a picture with my shitty camera phone to show the herd of doves grazing and bathing,but it did'nt turn out for shit.

The first lawn mowing of the season by our lawn kid claimed our beloved lilly,planted by Ann in 2004 or 05,neither one of us are sure.But it made a comeback and I surrounded it with the turtles to protect it from the evil blades coming to visit this saturday.

If you look closely you can see her,coming back up to life in the center of the wise ones.Hopefully we'll have some blooms before the choking heat of summer shuts her down.
On a lower note,we lost a friend today.Buck.A rescue greyhound,owned by a close friend with a load of other rescued dogs,kinda like us.They had to put him down today.Buck was a beautiful boy,all blonde and long and graceful.But the cancer got him.I won't pretend to know the true nature of Buck,that would betray his memory,but for my money,he was a cool dog,and I liked him just fine.They gave him a fine send off and underlined for me yet again the awesome commitment to dogs in the family.
Emphasis on family.A cup of coffee?Wow...Godspeed Buck.
Speaking of lost friends...here's Annabelle's resting place,she's under there.On my way to and from the truck every day,buried near Nils and Maurice and oddly enough,near the lilly.

And they should all be gone,but not forgotten.And with the renewal of spring,we carry on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day Blues
Once again it didn't work out. For 2007 Rob claimed Married -Zero and I claimed Married -Zero plus $25/check (which is an extra $600 bucks a year) and we still ended up owing over $500 bucks when all was said and done. Crap. The extra $25 a check worked for us last year, but what the fuck was the difference this year? I have no idea. The cumulative effect of this over the years has us owing enough to the IRS in interest and penalties for it to almost be worthwhile to high-tail it to Mexico. We have been stuck in some shit-ass tax mess for years and I'm sick of it. One year we are fine, the next year we are fucked and the only thing that changes are the god-damned tax tables the IRS gives our employers to use. Grrr.....

Bad lighting and Ann's inability to operate a camera (just kidding) and that one little hint of man boob on the left prevented me from posting this at hot or not.Just keep in mind I'm 48 years old and have never been much of one to exercise.

Ann says it's totally 70's porn...HA!I'm just pleased with the weight loss,which I can thank a semi smarter diet and my job for,fuck pilates,get on a ladder.

There...that lil' bit of man boob in the first pic is gone...if you subtract the weight of the ink,I'm probably there.
Don't let the imagery frighten you too much,or offend your sensibilities.Or make you question your beliefs.Wait,that was my whole point.
But my whole point in this is you can lose the weight...I could be a satanic Richard Simmons,oh wait...
On second thought,that was the whole point really.The satanic part anyway.

Back in my time as a nut cracker,they called it "multiple personality disorder",after it was largely debunked,the eggheads who hatched this in cahoots with the psych community and big pharmaceuticals laid back for awhile,tweaked the Sally Field out of it and re dubbed it "dissociative Identity Disorder" and the latest victim/book writer about this total sham is non other than former NFL great Herschel Walker.
You can read all about it here...

Total horse shit...really

You might remember him from an old SNL skit where Eddy Murphy parodied him in an interview with Joe Piscipo's sports reporter and said his autobiography was called "thoughts that got stuck in my neck",and he planned to use the proceeds from the book to "Buy more shirts"...funny stuff.
But back to the matter at hand.
He does not have "D.I.D",he has "E.O.C",commonly referred to as end of career,and he is (one diagnosis I support) "S.B.O.A.I" or seriously bummed out about it.
But he has mistakenly latched on to the D.I.D because a bunch of greedy intellectuals in the psych field in the pockets of drug makers have said it is so,to the tune of 100 or so dollars an hour.They gather in a Freudian circle jerk and tweak the DSM to meet the needs of same.What are we now?Up to DSM.V.575?
I don't know,and I don't care.
For the record,here is a list of other "diagnoses" I find to be totally fabricated...
Conduct disorder (and all of it's permutations)...an excuse to market Tegretol.A punk is a punk,if they are young enough,reasonable spankings work wonders,consistant parenting and limits work well too.If older,lock them up and subject them to military based discipline for a while,you'd be surprised.
ADD,ADHD,AADHD and all the other A's they trot out at the annual big pharma "look at our new drugs that we will pull in a few years when the people taking them start killing themselves,their families and random students where they go to school".
I have suffered from S.A.B.O.A.I myself several times in my life and have exhibited symptoms described by Mr. Walker,except for the russian roulette thing (I suspect there was crack involved in that one,or maybe Ice,two meds I have never tried).I was angry,I was an asshole,I got drunk a lot.I even cried uncontrollably in socially awkward situations.
Was it "D.I.D"?Was it "M.P.D"?No...each and every time,it turned out to be a common disorder,experienced by us all to varying degrees.
It's called "F.S.F.M" or feeling sorry for my self.And the prescription was and is always,get the fuck over yourself and move on.
This is why I am now an electrician.And for the record,the ones I do believe are real are...Depression,Bi-polar disorder and the varying forms of schizophrenia,all of these have a chemical or organic base and can be proved medically.The others are just an excuse for bad behavior and a way to push drugs on an unsuspecting public.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

God damn...where's that riff?

Oh...here it is,a long time ago I had some roses delivered to Ann,and the card said "All things beautiful"-she still has that card and I got everything,funny how shit works out,a dozen roses equals a lifetime...We loved Craker then and we love them now.
All things beautiful...after all these years.

A Most Awesome Sunday
The weather was absolutely perfect today with a clear blue sky, a nice breeze, and mild temps. We spent the afternoon and evening out on the front porch soaking in the ambiance of a perfect spring day (a pretty rare phenomenon here in Austin, TX.) Rob even had a nice afternoon nap in the chair though I've never figured out how he manages to sleep so well sitting up. I should have done a bunch of household related stuff today, but I wasn't about to waste a perfect spring day inside the house. We had an afternoon snack of queso and chips and little smokeys (small sausages) to tide us over until dinner (a pot roast with carrots and potatoes was a cookin' in the crock pot.) I suppose we could have been considered "porch monkeys" today watching our neighbors mow their lawns and work on their cars while their kids rode their bicycles around. But I didn't spend the whole day just sitting on my ass - I washed my car which hadn't had a bath in about six months. Unfortunately, it didn't actually get clean, just clean-er. Let's just say it's a whiter shade of pale *grin*.

I took Irene to the green belt this morning...this is becoming a sunday ritual for us.It's a beautiful place,one that I have enjoyed since I was a kid.Very little has changed in all those years,except the nature of some of the people that go there.

She is an amazingly well behaved dog,but I still carry a leash and maintain an awareness of our surroundings,when I see other dogs/people approaching I put her leash on,out of common respect for those dogs/people and after all-there is a leash law in effect on the belt.

On our way back to the car,after a 2 mile hike to airmans cave(above),this guy was jogging with his dog,off the leash-which is cool with me,this is a wilderness area and dogs should have the opportunity to run free of restraint,but unlike me and Beenz,this guy didn't even have one.I saw them coming and put on Beenzi's leash.
His dog,much bigger than Irene,lunged at her and we had an exchange...
Me:Where's your fucking leash?
Guy:Oh,that bothers you huh?
Me:You got to follow the fucking rules asshole.
Guy:Said something smart and sarcastic.
Me:one more word out of you and I'm gonna fuck you up.
End of conversation.
Some California asshat harshed our buzz after a truly beautiful walk.
Irene was non plussed about it,but I should of decked that guy,just to get some closure-HA:)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A week of Serenity - NOT
Last Saturday I came up with a new Serenity prayer. I repeated it multiple times during the day this week at work, but alas, my prayers were not answered. Blue Witch commented, "But don't you think that's WHY things are as they are today, because everyone who once cared has had the crap kicked out of them by The Stupid System?" I suspected that she was right and my co-workers and managers did care at one time, but had given that up before I met them. Gee, I used to think they were just lazy, but now I had to give them the benefit of the doubt.

And I tried really hard this week to stop caring, to stop noticing where things could be improved and to stop bringing those observations to people who could do something about it. I failed miserably at all three. I did, however, make some progress on an idea that notification was my only obligation. So today, when we were ridiculously short-staffed (as we have been on Saturdays for months and months in a row), I reminded myself that I had already repeatedly notified everyone that could possibly do something about it. Of course, that didn't change the fact that it was still a horrible day with one supervisor call after another and three more holding at any one given time. Nor does it help that I can't really dismiss this as "not my problem" completely because I'm the one the customer yells at when they have to hold a ridiculous length of time to speak with a supervisor or can't be called back in a timely manner. And then later I'm yelled at by the service providers and the team leaders who happen to be the very people who actually could do something about it, but don't. In my consideration of this one issue, I came to realize that it is the exact same scenario for all of the issues at work that frustrate me so deeply.

It's a classic formula for stress to be given responsibility with no direct control and that thought led me to consider that maybe the reason my coworkers and managers don't seem to care isn't because they are "burned out", but instead because they are so much younger and from a completely different generation, a generation where many don't seem to really grasp the concept of responsibility, or at least not in the same way that I do. After all, you can't be frustrated by a lack of control if you don't feel any sense of responsibility in the first place.

So perhaps the answer to this problem isn't to stop caring (which I think is going to be impossible for me to do), but rather to minimize the sense of responsibility I feel towards the customer, the job and the company. That too will be a hard nut to crack, but it might be the easier path to take. I'll take up this little experiment again on Monday, but for now it's the weekend (or at least my version of it) so I'm planning on a little beer drinking, a bit of cooking on the grill and some general goofing off over the next 30 hours or so.

Friday, April 11, 2008


If you gave me more than one bag of moist food a night,I wouldn't have to do this shit.

Shortly after doggy feeding time tonight,Irene bolted out of the patio door,clawing Ann's foot on the way out.Ann cried out in pain and cursed her for her bad manners.And seconds later we heard the oddest sound.Which turned out to be the death squalls of a squirrel,fallen prey to my beloved beanz.It turns out that she and Theo were acting in congress to get this cute little morsel,and got it they did.
She didn't want to give up her bounty,I had to gently bonk her on the head with the flashlight 3 or 4 times before she dropped it followed by verbal commands to do so.By that time it was dead,fallen victim to the vice like grip that is the beenzi-maw crush of death.
She did not want to give it up.But she did,like a good girl,to her Dad.She knows who the alpha dog is.However,I could never hunt down a rodent and kill it with my teeth.
I already knew that she could kill the fuck out some rats,but I have never seen her hunt down and ambush a fucking squirrel.Amazing really...considering her age.
We were bummed,because we both like squirrels,but I can't help but be proud of her and the grumpy old man for giving me an awesome fucking picture.
Thanks kids!

Sometimes you have to punt.What you see below is a transformer,and true to its name,it transforms one voltage to another (ex:480 to 120 volts).This one weighs 250 pounds,relatively small really.
Our mission was to mount it-from the ceiling.Yesterday 4 guys tried to lift it into place,which worked pretty well until they got it over their heads.That's when it started wobbling and swaying around like it was alive.
So today we got a chain hoist from the shop,and that's what we got,the hoist.We had nothing to attach our transformer to it.So,my coworker improvised some straps.

And here it is...in place without anybody having to go to the emergency room.That's an 8 foot ladder to give you some perspective.

We are working tomorrow,and while the money will be nice,I was really looking forward to a weekend off and if not playing,at least visiting with Badger.You gotta get it while you can as far as overtime on this particular job.I can't pass it up.
Have a good weekend!
Oh yeah...I found another,more elaborate movie making site.I present:

Ju Ju Ganja man

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


My son called me today to tell me that Blind Melon was on tour with another singer (being that Shannon Hoon died of a heroin overdose so long ago).I don't know if it put all this in motion,but I took him to see Blind Melon when he was like 9 years old and when Shannon snuffed it he was crushed,and who can not hear "No Rain" and not get that creepy stoned out grin on their face?I know I do every time I hear it.
These events apparently had an impact on the boy,so I guess we are going to see them when they come to town this summer.
I wonder if he remembers riding on my shoulders at the free Cracker show at SXSW out side the driskill hotel when he was like 5?
You can only lead them to culture and hope it pays off...I think it did :)

Poor Clarke,he shouldn't have eaten that burrito!Seriously,what happened was the driver opened the business side of the truck and the giant tupperware pitcher of green salsa fell out.But you still shouldn't eat the burrito...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Wire nuts,a spring nut,a quarter,nickle and a dime...and ear plugs.

Yesterday was a very difficult day,I had bend you over stomach cramps followed by a run for the port-a-let at least 10 times,but I toughed it out and finished the task at hand.This morning the cramps were even worse,and I pussed out.
I called in sick,as luck would have it (I guess) Ann was deflicted with the same thing.So she stayed home as well.As I've said many times before,I like to deal with my illnesses alone,so I was initially bummed that Ann was staying home too,but completely understood why,if she felt half as bad as me she needed to stay home too.
And it worked out for us,she stayed in the living room on her computer and I stayed in the bedroom watching the Iraq hearings-all fucking day.We took turns in the bathroom.And as the hearings unfolded,I realized those 2 guys were as full of shit as we were.As an old coworker used to say,you can polish a turd all day and at the end of the day you have a shiny turd.Iraq is the shiniest turd.ever.
The doggers kept vigil over us the whole day,with Irene staying with me on the bed,and Theo dividing his time between the bed and his corner,by his mom.
They are sweet like that,somehow knowing that we are not right,and guarding us with snuggles and kisses.If people could be more like our dogs,there would be no need for day long hearings about the turd that is Iraq with a general and an ambassador stuttering their way through a lame attempt to justify the unjustifiable.Showered with praise and lobbed softballs by most of the republican senators,showered with praise and hammered by the democratic senators by and large.Guess which party generated the most stuttering?
The general and the ambassador would not answer questions directly,offering vague generalities and repeating talking points ad naseum.They reminded me of the compulsive liar character Jon Lovitz portrayed during his time on Saturday night live.All stuttering and sputtering-you could almost hear them say "yeah-That's it".
The tension was palpable,but nothing was resolved and we are still fucked.
And then I watched CSI:Miami,I felt a little better,at least Horatio beleives in something.

Monday, April 07, 2008


This is fun!

Irene,living the good life...She loves her ottoman,that one.

I,on the other hand,have been spending my time up here.Finally finished the last relocation.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Works every time...


Irene and I went to the greenbelt this morning,it was awesome.

You can walk in the creekbed...normally filled with water,and we did.

Irene had a good time

As I did...saw the Fosters as well-that was cool,small world.Aiden is a cutie.

I redid our living room yesterday,I said I was going to be house productive this weekend and I was.It wore me the fuck out,Beenzie too apparently...

Please enjoy your Sunday...You know,the day of rest.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Time for a new "serenity prayer"
I worked considerably more hours last week which resulted in a number of things, including a complete lack of blog posts. More hours mean more back pain and more stress which translates to a lot less sleep which then results in even more back pain and stress. The stress from this job doesn't just result from the customers yelling at me about things that I have no control over and no resources to fix. It also results from my identifying problems that can be fixed and then the frustration that results when a fix isn't made after weeks, months and in some cases, years of pointing out the problem, even when the solution is readily apparent and simple to implement. And so I have decided that I need a new philosophy about my job. One that acknowledges that nothing will ever be fixed and there's no point in trying to effect any sort of change.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to stop identifying problems in the first place,
and the wisdom that comes from not wasting brain power
on a job that doesn't value it.


I was talking to my buddy Clarke about this painter on the job who is a real character,and lately ,he's taken to calling me an "old hippy".Clarke said another coworker of ours had called me that too.And then he laughed and said "Shit,you and Rusty,you ain't hippies-you're decoys".I found that very amusing,and accurate.

That's Clarke on the left,Rusty on the right...

Friday, April 04, 2008


I spent my entire day either on my back under a counter or on a 10 ft. ladder.The ladder was in a confined space in the ceiling that I barely fit in.The mission was to connect a four inch box and a four and eleven sixteenths box to a 2x2 ft. junction box with metal conduit to provide raceways for data cables.I did this for 9 hours...and didn't finish.I was so close,but I ran out of time.My feet are fucking throbbing and my arms are coated with sheetrock dust from all the sawing and drilling.I had to do some creative bending as well...back to back 90's,kicks with 90's...it was awesome.
I have to admit though,it would have been more fun if Chuck had been there.Other than some situational help,I did this on my own.
However,I reloaded my mp3 player last night and listened to a weird amalgam of bluegrass,industrial and heavy metal throughout the day.I guess the benefits of working alone include not having to communicate with another person,which allows you to jam out with the headphones.And...WE DON'T HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW!!!
The money would have been nice,but fuck it,I'm tired and there are things I want to do around the house (like finding that Subhumans shirt for work wear on Monday).And maybe even that picture of Tanya for Bill.That would be a score.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The first thing I can say about today,is there was a cocktail or 5 with my name on it when I got home.Another ladder intensive day replete with circuit conundruns to boggle the mind.We figured it all out in the end.Our foreman was back at work today,and I'm not surprised.Trooper,that one.
On a sad note,I found Annabelle (the turtle) had passed when I got home,she was headed that way for a few weeks now,I could see the signs of age taking it's toll.I put her in a bag and into the trash bin outside and went back in the house.Before the door closed I was back outside.Got her out and gave her a dignified burial-I just couldn't put a dear friend and companion in the trash.She will be missed.
I have been on the search for a Subhumans tour shirt that got packed away during our remodel and while I haven't found it,I've found a bunch of other t shirts and this cd player I bought to listen to on the airplane to my buddy Johns surprise birthday party in Colorado.That was in 2002.The batteries were all blown up and I thought it was a lost cause.I cleaned it up and put in some new batteries and it still worked!I spent all of 20 bucks on the thing-so-good on ya audiovox!A momento of a special trip lives on.
That back room of ours is a treasure hunt.Mostly full of smiles and happy memories.
And no,Bill,I haven't found the picture of your dog,but I'm looking:)


Back in the day, people reset bowling pins...One of my favorite bands from the 80's had this song about one of those people...And I'll be damned,I found it on youtube.Enjoy.

Teenage pin queen-Eleventh Dream Day,from the album "Beet".

That makes 5...goodnight!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I could rattle on about the new guy I worked with today (new for me,not the job),But I could sum that up in 2 sentences-and here they are:1.The only thing worse than a 5th year apprentice is a first year journeyman.2.Attention deficit disorder has never been more annoying.Otherwise,I like him just fine.
Or,I could regale you with how our foreman tried to cut his forearm off today with his pocket knife because he was breaking the #1 rule of using a knife-NEVER cut toward yourself,but I stabbed myself in the leg last year doing the exact same thing,so it would be hipocritical of me to critique this freak accident.I am kind of surprised by it though,he is generally very safety conscious.And since I hold him in high regard and consider him a friend,I'll spare you the details save 2-he managed to sever an artery and they carted him off in a EMS wagon.OK-3-it was very bloody.
Maybe I could share the joy of Irene horking up grass and bile,leaving a trail to the patio door right after I got home.By the time I made it to said patio door to unlock the burgular bars,she was all done and back to her normal needy self.
I could bitch about the traffic.I could whine about how my new boots are almost broken in,but when I step onto a ladder they become Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes (a very funny book),and a ladder is where I spent much of my day today-3 ladders actually,an 8,a 10,and a 12 footer to navigate the varying ceiling heights.
On second thought,I don't really have anything say.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Theo nudges me awake along with low grumblings.This used to an Ann exclusive habit,but lately he's been dividing it pretty evenly between us.It usually means I want to go out or I'm thirsty.
So I got up and stumbled down the hall saying "What bud,show me"?Only he wasn't following,but instead standing in the bedroom doorway continuing the muffled "boof"s and wagging his tail.I got him water anyway and he still didn't come.
It wasn't until I started back to bed that I snapped to what was really bothering him.He saw me returning and did his running start jump up on the bed and settled into his usual spot for his early morning snuggle under my neck.It appears that between me,Irene, an errant comforter and Ann,the foot of the bed was completely blocked.His solution?Wake up Dad and fake him out.Pretty smart for a grumpy old man!

7:00am to 4:30pm...
On the way to work I was thinking about one of my favorite war movies,The Beast,about a lost Russian tank/crew in Afghanistan.The commander is a nutjob,and after purging 2 members of the crew,the driver comments cheerfully "The tank seems roomier sir".With yesterdays lay offs,the job site felt the same way.
Those of us that remained moved in the UPS system,or,uninterrupted power supply.Basically a back up power supply consisting of 2 cabinets full of giant batteries (5000 pounds each) a monitor cabinet and a panel cabinet (2200 pounds each).
We had to lay out a path of 8 4x8 ft. sheets of 3/4" plywood across the floor to avoid damaging the tile,and when we reached the end,move it all around in front of the cabinet.We completed this process 4 times for each of the bigger cabinets.We moved the smaller ones in the previous afternoon,sans plywood path.I was reminded of the way pyramids were built for some reason.
The afternoon was spent moving it into the UPS room in the proper order and then hooking it up.I spent my afternoon helping the fire alarm tech install air sampling units,a new experience for me,and now I know a little bit more about how these systems work.
The ground turkey/black olive/garlic and herb spaghetti sauce is simmering as I type,and the water's ready for the pasta.