In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, they can be found by clicking the labels button "stuff I made up".

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

jescordwaineratgmail.com

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Captcha Code

I don't know why they went to something even humans can't figure out. The best way to describe it:

It Sucks!

I haven't figured out a way to change it, or turn it off, but I will.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busy

So I don't have much time to write. My blog is working, although it's different because of a required update to make the damn thing work. They call it progress, I call it fixing things that aren't broken. Between Windows and the tons of bloat that is now part of any software, the resource waste is almost unbelievable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Maybe Having Problems

Either Google, or Internet Explorer had a problem. My problem was I couldn't post.

My first effort to update to the newest version of Windows Explorer left me with the information I either upgraded to the bestest version of Windows, or keep my Neanderthal version, which isn't supported. So, I'm trying Google Chrome for a browser, because Blooger (intentionally mispelled) likes Chrome because it's their bestest, newest version of a browser and allows them to peek into my world, I'm sure.

Anyway, this is my post and I'm still learning about the interface. I'm also learning how to use Google Chrome. If you hear my scream, or find my picture on the wall of the Post Office, you know why.

* Chrome is definitely faster, although getting used to the features will be a pain in the ass.


*Afternoon update: After playing with the buttons and navigating through the interspace, I've decided I like the changes. So, the coffee break is over; everybody go back to standing on you head. 


*I'm beginning to wonder if the lack of visitors today is because of a fear of misery loving company, or because to most people, this is incredibly boring and they have something better to do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

There's Always Good News

Except there isn't much to find today. After reading a news report about Baby Boomers, I realize I'm at the tail end of this experiment in breeding and will undoubtably be faced with limited, to non-existant retirement options.

Blech.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eh?

I have tinnitus. I hear a constant high pitched tone in both ears, with the left ear louder. The volume will change, and when it's quiet, the "ring" can be distracting.

So, why am I writing about this? It's distracting me today, which it does occasionally. I'll eventually push it out of my thoughts and ignore it once again. Until then, it's aggravating.

It's Foggy

After the cold spell on the weekend, it's warmed and brought fog - dense fog like you find offshore. The forecast is for the fog to remain through mid morning - maybe- but there's no guarantee; it could last until the next front pushes it away on Saturday. Until then, it's dealing with crummy drivers that like to drive too fast in the fog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Economic Advice

I live by simple economics. If I don't have the money, I don't spend what I don't have. Now, you can say you mortgaged a house and financed a car, so how does that apply? My answer: That was risk I undertook, with me as the only responsible party.

In the past, I could only afford rent, which meant I lived in a house, or apartment, that was within my price range. In the early days, that was an almost dilapidated garage apartment. It was cheap, but it didn't have air conditioning, was very small and really drafty in the winter. It wasn't much, but I got by. At that time, I had no choice. I could only afford the $50 a month, so that's where I lived.

My first automobile was a 1963 Chevy pickup with a six cylinder and 240 air conditioning (that's both windows open at 40 mph). Parts of it were held together with baling wire. I performed the repairs, even though I had no idea how. I learned as I went. I bought it for $300, which was all I could afford.

So, my advice to cities, counties, states and the Federal Government: Don't spend what you don't have and don't risk taxpayer money for any reason. This method worked for me and it will work for you. If you don't, you'll have nothing. If you don't believe this, why do you think businesses and people are moving away before the final economic collapse?

Alternative Energy

It sounds real good, until you stop and realize it's a huge money pit, with the money thrown into the pit coming from naive investors and public funds. Even with this money, the companies that supposedly are developing this "green" energy are not surviving. Meanwhile, enough energy to last for centuries is sequestered by regulations, permitting and political discussion. From my perspective, the asylum is being run by the inmates.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Robots Are Scanning

I received quite a few hits from a site I won't name. The reason I won't name the site because it has taken over Bing and absolutely nothing is linked through the search engine except marketing traps and glowing reviews of a product that few have tried, but are willing to tell you how wonderful it is. Otherwise, the visits to my site are robots looking for a way to sell something, which is okay - if you're a robot. I seriously doubt they're reading the content. If so, what part of my blog do you find interesting?

Update: Within minutes of posting this morning, I was bombarded with visits from the robots. I'm thinking they're on to me. I may need a phaser.

Fire Ants

I found one on my coffee cup. This means they're foraging for food and found a way to get into the office. So, it's time for some poison and bait.

For those that never had experience with these critters, they can build nests in walls and you may find yourself covered with them while you sleep. They don't bite; they grab with their mandibles and sting like a wasp. The toxin is painful and can cause severe allergic reactions. At best, the sting leaves an irritating pistule. At worst, the result may be a trip to the hospital, or death.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Afternoon Epiphany

We're doomed. How do I know? After researching some possible side effects from my medications, I realized I don't trust any of the sources, including the FDA.

Do you ever have the feeling you're riding on a bus, with a demented driver and no brakes?

I may forget....

...but my stomach doesn't, so I need to not forget my Proton Pump Inhibitor medication and eat Taco Bell ever again.

This is not surprising.

Sometimes, you find you're observing a slow motion train wreck. This usually happens with people, especially artists. It's as though their path to self-destruction is inevitable and you can only watch it as it happens.

Whitney Houston is the current example. Beautiful, an amazing voice and the ability to shine in front of thousands without effort. I can only say it's sad and I feel for her family. Losing someone to the ravages of substance abuse and an emotional illness is one of the most horrible things a family can face. All I can offer is prayers and the hope their grief isn't shattered by the viciousness of the media.

It's Cold

It's not freezing cold, which is better than good. We rarely get below freezing and the chances of rain during that time are pretty slim, although it does happen.

In the late 90's, we had an ice storm. Before it was over, the ice took a heavy toll on trees and power lines. For a week, I didn't have electricity, except for a small generator, which was only good for a few lights and a small space heater. 

The entire event was far from pleasant. Heating bottled water on a colander - with a candle -was hardly a soaking bath, although it was far better than no bath. My wife and I would take shifts: one would sleep and the other would keep an ear on the generator to keep it fueled. For the week, I never slept more than a few hours at a time and the final deficit required a 16 hour "nap" to recover and forget about cutting live oak branches in the night to preserve my electrical service drop.

When it was all over, I helped a friend remove two large trees from his house, which made me count my blessings. They'd awoken when the trees crashed into the house while they were sleeping. One tree had missed their son's bed by a few feet. I can only imagine the feeling of surveying the damage with only the dim light of a flashlight.

So it's cold, but far from cold enough to make me worry. I know some people are living what I lived years ago, and I don't envy their experience.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shocking Statistic

Twenty percent of the people in the United States rely 100% on the Federal Government for food, shelter, medical care and retirement.....and cigarettes and alcohol if you know the local grocer.

I have a lot to write about...

...but there seems to be a short circuit between my brain and my hands.

Bleh

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Is Just Wrong

I was listening to a news report, which stated that 1 out of every 3 people that work is getting food stamps. That means that 2 out of every 3 people that work are paying for food they don't eat. Considering I'm one of those 2, what's for supper?

Monday, February 6, 2012

And Another Thing...

What's this crap about the economy rebounding? Where? Washington D.C.? Green Manufacturing and Tax Pit Inc.? It's not rebounding in my life. My salary is still frozen at a 2008 level, the cost of fuel is going up, the cost of groceries is going up, the cost of insurance is going up and I paid more in taxes last year. So, where's his rebounding economy?

Damn the lying politicians and press.

Why Are So Many Politicians Weenies?

That's my impression. If they had to build, or repair, something, their soft hands would break out with blisters and they'd bemoan their fate in life. Meanwhile, some poor bastard gets up every morning, braves brutal weather and tries to make a living with his hands, while the politicians jet around the country doing what they do best: selling words. They're word merchants and the merchandise is crap.

Be Careful For What You Ask

In the last month, we've received over 6 inches of rain, which is substantial, since that was probably more than we received in the previous six months. It's not enough to make up the deficit, but at this rate, that will happen and we'll end up with more rain than we need. After that, the complaints will be "When will it ever stop raining? We've had enough!"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some People Don't Have a Clue

About 20 year ago, I worked with a project manager that was the best representative of the "Peter Principle" I ever encountered. Over the year I worked around him, I slowly realized he was full of crap and as disengenuous as they come.

I ran into the project manager a few years ago in a grocery store. After the usual pleasantries, he asked how my father was. I replied: "He's fine" although he'd died a year before I met the project manager. As it turned out, the project manager was enjoying retirement, although I can't figure out how he earned that distinction.

Some people don't have a clue. I'm beginning to think I'm one.

Sometimes, You Get Caught In The Rain

It was a hot summer afternoon; a little hotter than usual at our location between the tall trees that stretched down both sides of the highway.  From my experiences, I knew we'd either be near, or under, an afternoon shower. In a perfect world, stopping and waiting to see would have been nice, but that was out of the question. We had a concrete wing wall to pour and needed to finish the forms.

We'd placed the box culverts a few weeks before. After the general contractor finished their embankment around the culverts, it was our responsibility to place the concrete wings that held the embankment and protected the road from washing away. The creek wasn't extremely large, but the debris in the brush along the banks showed the water could be over a person's head when the creek was full.

Our concrete was set for 3:00 pm. We were finished with the forms by 2:00 pm, but I was checking braces and forms to feel comfortable about the pour. While I didn't expect any problems, making the rounds killed the time I would spend pacing and worrying. Concrete does that to you; especially after you've seen a large form give and lose a few dozen yards of concrete.

As I walked around the forms, I watched a patch of gray to the east. It was growing large in the hazy summer sky, so I knew a heat shower was brewing. Over the next hour, it grew larger and I could see the sky was almost black behind the tree line across the highway. Rumbles of thunder started as the first load of concrete arrived. I had thirty minutes to empty the truck before the finish up load arrived. As we placed chutes and backed the truck, the rumbles became louder and an occasional bolt of lightning would flash behind the trees.

As we placed the concrete in the walls, an occasional drop of rain would fall. At around 20 minutes into the pour, the wind suddenly gusted from the east, dust started billowing and torrential rain started falling. The shift of the storm to the east I hoped for was not to happen. The storm, now in full fury, was drifting over our location. We couldn't pour in the heavy of rain, so we all scattered to the various trucks on site to wait for the rain to end.

As I sat in my truck, I was thinking about the time limit on the concrete and how long it would be before I'd have to "eat" the remainder of the load. From my calculation, I had about 5 minutes left. As I was thinking, the finish up load arrived. After 10 minutes, I decided I needed to tell the driver of the first truck the concrete was too old and would be rejected by the project inspector.

Stepping into the rain was like walking under a waterfall. It wasn't letting up and the dark gray sky was a sign the rain wouldn't stop anytime soon. Cursing our luck, I walked through the mud on the shoulder to look at the concrete  already placed. There wasn't much to look at, since the raging creek was over 5 feet deep and rising. Cursing my new discovery, I went to both drivers and told them they were done. One was leaving with one yard of concrete; the other was leaving with eight.

Rain was still heavy. The crew, now realizing it was pretty well over, loaded what tools were left and headed to the tool house. It was still pouring rain as we finished and headed home. Everybody was soaked and tired. The cooling rain wasn't pleasant any longer. The cool air from the thunderstorm dropped the temperature to the low 70's, so being outside was like standing front of an air conditioner while soaking wet.

 As I drove, I turned the heater on full to warm up and dry off. I called my boss to tell him about the disastrous afternoon. He understood, we'd both been in construction for well over two decades. We'd fought these types of battles before, so it was business as usual. Still, it was a big disappointment.

After about a week, the creek finally drained and the water stopped running. It took two days to clean up the mess, replace the forms and prepare for the pour on the third day. It went without a glitch. Within a week we were through with that location and well on the way of having another ready to pour down the road.