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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Today Is A Good Day For A Rant

I'll start with the Obamacare fiasco. All the hype, crap, lies, posturing, politics, bureaucracy and incompetence doesn't change the fact that the Constitution doesn't need to be interpreted and is not a living document. It's well written, concise and I don't need anyone to decipher what I consider as comprehensive text. If anyone has any uncertainty, go read The Federalists Papers and see what was on the mind of those that wroted (Even my computer is giving me a rations of crap. What happened to spell check?) wrote the document. If you're too lazy to do so, stay home on election day and play with your genitals.

Next rant is about people that put bumper stickers with phrases like: "Follow me to the __________Casino. First of all, you're not going in the right direction. Second,: You can't stay in your lane. Third: It would be a wise decision to forego your next trip to the casino and fix your damn car. If I owned a casino, I'd fire the first person that suggested this type of bumper sticker.

Last for now: When I order something at your counter, and I end with "to go", don't ask me "Is this for here, or to go?" You might as well throw ice water on me. Pay attention.

Also: Coke and root beer are two distinctly different soft drinks. I don't care much for root beer and you ruined my lunch. Remember, I know where you live.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Opinions

That's what Supreme Court justices are paid to render. It even says that all through the documents they create after they ponder on the cases brought for their attention.

There's an old saying: "Opinions are like a**holes; everyone has one." In this situation, my opinion is that five of the Supreme Court justices are just that: a**holes and full of crap. They're not fit to wear the robe. They've allowed politics to rule and ignored what's right. May history damn them for their actions and may their remaining days on this Earth be plagued with regrets. They deserve nothing better.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pain Chronicles

This is night three of waking at 10:30 pm, with annoying to sharp pain in my leg, back, knee....wherever. It keeps me awake for a few hours, subsides enough to where I fall asleep and wakes me again at 3:30. It seems to be better tonight, but the night isn't over.

Bleh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Buckling Pavement

I noticed some maintenance workers removing a section of buckled pavement on the way home. They had one lane almost finished, which left the other lane. This lane still had a section paving that buckled upward about four inches. This is bad, but I've seen worse.

Years ago, while working on a highway patch job, we received a call one Sunday evening requesting immediate mobilization on the project. We hadn't planned on working, but a section of paving buckled, which cause the pavement to heave the full thickness on the downstream side. If this had been the upstream side, cars would have sailed over the "ramp" and the damage would have been minimal. Unfortunately, this wasn't the situation and the pavement buckled under the car of a young woman. The result was the car flipped and she was killed by the accident.

What causes this? Heat. It's been over 100 degrees for the last two afternoons. The pavement expands and eventually finds a weak spot to relieve the pressure. Sometimes it only cause the pavement to become uneven. Others can be catastrophic, like the wreck I described above. One of the worst I've ever seen was where the pavement shattered and threw huge pieces of concrete over a large area. I missed the event, but saw the aftermath as people slowly drove through the rubble.

So, it's hot and there will be more of this to come. Watch as you drive and pay attention to the bumps in the pavement. The small ones you've been traveling over may become substantially larger. All it takes is a hot summer day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Watching the Gulf

Tropical storm Debby has awakened the chattering mob of weather forecasters, old wives and voodoo doctors. The conjecture is thick and the forecasters are near orgasmic with the opportunity to talk about a tropical system. The Weather Channel, as usual, has coerced their personalities to stand in rain squalls, flying debris and wonder for hours on end on how much a beach will erode, or to speculate how long before someone drowns in a rip current, which will close a beach.

Me? I'm sitting with my feet hanging down. This is an annual occurence and can be fun. The comments are astounding and methodology for predictions can involve the amount of fruit born by a tree. I've reached the point I'll just make something up and see how long before it becomes common knowledge. I might as well, that's what the experts do.

Friday, June 22, 2012

CBS, Pathos and Culpability

Obama was in Florida addressing the Latino Officeholders, whatever that is. His usual rhetoric was towards lambasting his opponent and his supposed concern for Latino people of the United States. How do I know this? That was the lead story on CBS news tonight, which neglected to mention anything about the Fast and Furious debacle.

The irony is thick, especially when you consider that Obama's concern is so great, he's helping conceal the officials involved with helping Mexican criminals acquire guns. That's true concern; help these criminals acquire guns so they can kidnap whoever they please, tie them up and then garotte them until their heads are  severed. These, they scatter in various places to intimidate anyone that has any intention in stopping their criminal activities.

CBS is culpable, in my opinion. Neglecting to report is as heinous as the criminal acts. Boycott them, their advertisers and write them a nasty letter if you feel it's necessary. They should be held responsible and suffer the consequences of their obvious political manipulations.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Something I Didn't Know

Some of the weapons that were allowed to be illegally sold by the United States Government to criminals south of the border were Barret 50 caliber rifles. That's a weapon that can literally decapitate a person from over a mile away. If that doesn't get your attention, nothing will; especially when you consider there are probably well paid mercenaries on the business end working for people that don't have good intentions.

This is beyond reprehensible.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Little Known Facts

We worked in a tourist bureau today, replacing some pipe that was damaged by a half asleep, derelict truck driver that should learn to drive  had a difficult time negotiating a half acre of open parking turn into the parking area.

It was an interesting day. Tourists were everywhere; snapping photos of family members standing in front of the huge galvanized steel star in the front. What really caught my attention was a sign in a grass area with these words: "Pet Rest Area", which is a euphemistic way of stating your pet can crap anywhere they want.

So, if you've ever wondered on how friendly Texas really is, remember you only have to get a few thousand feet inside the border and there's an open area where your pet can take a dump without anyone getting angry.

You're welcome. Buy some gas. It helps pay for this kindness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's All About Choices

On some days, the best choice seems to be carving a wood beak and picking shit with the chickens.

Monday, June 18, 2012

You Have a Call On Line One

It was early December, 1989. The typical late fall on the Gulf Coast rewarded us with cool mornings and pleasant afternoons. Winter wasn’t far away and I had a lot on my mind.
Work was busy. The small company I was working for was struggling. The ending of a large job preparing an abandoned ship yard for the new owner was winding down, which meant layoffs and the hunt for more work.  Besides the distractions of life, I was constantly interrupted with bids by phone calls from suppliers. The distractions could be maddening; especially if I was in the middle of a takeoff or calculation.
I’d been thinking of my father. I’d seen him Thanksgiving Day, which was only a week ago. I had hopes; the doctors were sending him home for treatment.
About six months before, my father slipped on a catwalk and fell between the dock and the ship. In the process, he hurt his back. Months of treatments weren’t successful. The doctors were trying what they knew, including Cortisone shots, but he still had a lot of pain. I was getting the opinion the doctors were scratching their heads.
An x-ray revealed a mass on my father’s spine. More x-rays revealed spots in his lungs, which biopsies revealed as malignancies. His treatments started in a local hospital, but sound advice demanded M.D. Anderson in Houston. I went to see my father before he was transported to Houston. He was optimistic and looking forward to his retirement, which was a few short years away.  
My wife and I visited my father on Thanksgiving Day. Surreal is the only description of the visit. The stark institutional surroundings removed any semblance to what were once joyous family gatherings. The few indications it was Thanksgiving only added darkness to what was already depressing. My father was asleep when we arrived. I was shocked at how gaunt he was and appalled by the straps that held him in bed. My question of why was answered with a description of delirium and combative episodes during the last few days.  My mother needed time away, so we went to have dinner in the cafeteria.
I don’t remember what I ate. We discussed the future, treatment strategies and the good news my father was going home to complete his treatments. He would be home in a week. Arrangements were being made. A nurse would be provided and a hospital bed would be set up in the living room.  
I visited my father before we left. He appeared asleep, which I now knew was his common condition. I held his hand and told him I’d see him later. His weak squeeze and slight nod gave me comfort. I had hope and felt better knowing he knew I’d come to visit.
“You have a call on line one.” I quickly answered. My mother’s voice was surprisingly strong, but the news was shattering: “Your father just died”
Time stood still. Thousands of things crossed my mind in the moment between the announcement and my answer: “I’ll be there soon.”
I could only speak a few syllables to the secretary and told my boss: “I have to go.”
He replied: “For a long time?” with a questioning smile on his face. I couldn’t answer. One wrong word and I’d shatter into a million pieces. I only shook my head, walked to my truck and started home.  When I could breathe again, I called the secretary, broke down and explained what happened. She could only offer condolences; I could only prepare to call my wife. She was like me. Neither had any idea my father wouldn’t make it. Her response to my call was: “What happened?” I could only answer: “I don’t know.” I would pick her up and we’d go to my parent’s house.
On the way home, I stopped for a beer. I’m guessing I wanted some relief from the hurt. I know I didn’t care if all the local cops pulled me over.  Nothing fit. Nothing was right any longer. I had just reached the point in my life where I realized how precious time could be and relished the moments I spent with my father.
I picked up my wife; we went to my parent’s and I found my father was gone. They moved him after the official pronouncement, which I guess was best. The empty hospital bed was a stark reminder of the hollow void I now found in my heart.
I couldn’t speak. I tried, but all I could do was sit on the back porch and sob. Unable to console me, family members would only stop to sit for a moment while I cried. They were reaching, but I couldn’t be reached. The earth had shifted and reality was like the faint memory of a summer sunset on a bitter cold winter day.
The next few days are blurred memories. There were visitors and family, although I can’t tell exactly who they were. We gathered for the final moment, which was when we’d honor my father one last time.
Before they closed the casket, I touched my father’s face one last time. The morticians did what they could, but they couldn’t begin to re-create the exuberant spark of my father. His cold, waxy skin was that of a macabre mannequin dressed to look like my father. It only accentuated my loss and deepened my sadness.
I walked with my father one last time.  I helped carry his casket to the mausoleum, which would hold him forever.  We gathered, shed more tears and left before they slid all that remained into the dark cabinet of lost memories. It was the final moment of what can never be final.
I still miss my father. As I look back, I realize I’d reached the point we had really connected. It’s that point where the son and father have both had enough experiences to find they have more than they can share over one visit. Every subsequent visit yields new tales of life and the treasures to be found.  An afternoon barbeque and a few cold beers unlock the secrets of the world. Profound wisdom is developed and the discovery of heritage is found in the present.  The son is the father and the father is the son. Each is commonly different and so familiar.
I know it’s the day after Father’s Day. I wanted to write this yesterday, but it didn’t fit. If your father is still living, gather moments of your day to share. If you could share every moment, you still wouldn’t have enough.  Life is short and there is never enough time.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not Blogging Much

Sitting, standing of walking have become lessons in pain, which runs from bad to excruciating. I've found one position, where I lay on one side that keeps it to a dull ache but it's hard to type from that position.

The good doctor says no more than four Aleves over twenty four hours. If that doesn't work, come in and they will have a look.

I will go in and tell him six Aleves in twenty four hours keeps my sanity and he can run some bloodwork to see if I fubared my liver.

Bleh!

Update: I climbed from bed this morning is the same pain I've had for days. After two Aleves, I was able to function; even drive, so I went to work.

Mother Nature decided we would not work, so I went to the doctor, explained my symptoms and was asked I ever had a back injury. Officially no, but considering my experiences, I probably have had a least one, or a dozen.

Long story short: Take it easy; don't lift anything heavy; quit taking my cholesterol medication; come back in two weeks and a new medication: Sulindac

Sulindac is a heavy duty non-steroid anti-inflamatory medication. Whether it works will soon be determined. If it allows me to sleep, it will be wonderful.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FNG's and Interpreting

We have some new hands, who are willing but ignorant as a box of rocks. They've had little exposure to my type of work and what I'm sure sounds like a second language. They don't understand what Type D means, or a tenth, or percent of slope, or water shed, or safety end treatment, or RCP.....the list goes on forever. I'll have to get them through the basics, like grade rod, asphalt lute rakes, tack oil, pinching the edge and the reason you constantly dip asphalt tools in diesel.

I hope my patience doesn't wear thin, especially if I have to keep reminding them that working next to traffic is more dangerous than it appears. That's one of those things I don't repeat but once or twice. I'd rather fire someone than pull them from the grill of a truck.

Lightning to the North

This time of the year, we get clusters of thundershowers that follow low pressure impulses that travel along the boundary between the warm, moist air from the Gulf and the cool, drier air from the North. They migrate to the South and sometimes reach the coast.

This morning, there's a fair sized cluster heading this way. The storms aren't real violent, so the system is on the down side, although it could become more intense as it interacts with the coast. Still, the lightning is something to watch and the possible shot of nature's air conditioning might bring some welcome relief.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Figuring Things Out

Yesterday, at work, I spent a good portion of the day on uneven ground and changes in grade. This morning, when I took the first step out of bed, the dull ache in my leg became a sharp pain from my lower back, across my butt, down the front and back of my leg and around my knee cap. This, from what I've read, is Sciatica, or maybe Spinal Stenosis and it could be a tumor. If I had to describe the pain, I'd say it feels like an ice cold rod stuck through my right femur and connected to a taser.

As I've written: getting old is not for amateurs. If I known this would happen, I'd taken better care of myself when I was younger.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Interesting Fact, If True

I was listening to a radio show, when one of the callers stated that in all the Presidents that won a second term, their votes increased during the second election. Otherwise, they won with a greater margin than their first election. If true, and you consider how Obama is losing voters daily, statistics show he doesn't have a chance....maybe he'll resign.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some People are No Damn Good

I won't elaborate, but one of my neighbors needs to be neutered with barbed wire....in public, with all his family in attendance. I would feel better and the world would be a better place.

Today's Forecast

Hot. The temperature will be in the low 90's, which can be bearable in low humidity. Unfortunately, the high humidity will bring the heat index above 100 degrees, which means I'll be soaked with sweat most of the day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Getting Old Is Not for Amateurs

That's my opinion. Things ache, won't move like they would, or something new will develop without warning.

The current "new" thing is a dull ache in my right thigh. In a scale from one to ten, it's a constant three, with times it reaches a 5. Otherwise, it's annoying, but that's not what really bothers me: I have no idea why, can't think of anything I've done to strain muscles and scanning the internet only reveals there are a few dozen things that can cause the pain.

So, Bleh. Getting old sucks.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Leaky Whitehouse

News reports are stating there's a concern by members of Congress, and the general public, about sensitive information appearing in the media. The source is unknown and the reaction by the Obama administration gave me some thoughts. I can see three different reasons for these leaks and none are comforting.

One reason could be an intentional effort for political gain. If so, that would explain the lack of enthusiasm by the administration and justice department to find the leak. That, to me, borders on treason. When your violate your breach of trust for gain, you've crossed the line; especially when that trust involves swearing to uphold the Constitution.

Another reason is an intentional effort by an individual, or group, to cause political harm to this administration. This one doesn't fit. If this was so, there would be a strong effort to root out the leaks and a special prosecutor to insure a non-partisan investigation. This isn't happening, although it may in the future.

The third reason, which may be the most disturbing, is a combination of ignorance and an effort to hide this fact.  Otherwise, somebody leaked classified information, had no idea it was classified and now the administration is downplaying the event, making efforts to hide any information and hoping it will all go away.

Whatever the reason, it's not good. The leaks aren't new and the administrations failure to control this potential danger to United States citizens is reprehensible.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Almost Seven Decades

That's how long it's been since thousands of brave souls started the campaign to liberate a continent from the tyranny of a cruel government with only conquest and subjugation as its goal. Many were U.S. soldiers that spent their last moments in a strange land, on a strange beach surrounded by what can only be described as horrific.

Nothing I write will change this day, or honor them for what they accomplished. May this nation never forget their sacrifice or the reason for D-Day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A True Champion

When you feel decent people are too far and few, something like this happens. The true winners crossed the finish line together.

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Not The Twilight Zone....Is It?

My day started off with finding road kill on the job; big road kill. I won't go into details, although somebody has a vehicle that needs a substantial amount of repairs.

Next, I was trying to travel down the highway to a supplier, but Mr. Magoo, (that's what he looked like in his rear view mirror) and his entourage decided that 65 mph was too excessive, so they kept both lanes to a saner 45 mph.   I did manage to exit before they ventured into the "real" traffic area, where people are not kind., although I'm sure they didn't pay attention to that traffic either.

To embellish this strange morning, I found my way to an intersection that was originally only controlled by stop signs. Now they have traffic signals, which like all traffic signals, have bright lights, in various colors, that can be seen for miles down the road. Unfortunately, the local officials didn't feel the general public had enough sense to make the transition, so every intersection had an electronic changeable message board to warn the general public. While I can understand some concern, it escapes me why this would be any different than driving through a town you never drove through. Then again, I took driver's education, which stipulated I needed to pay attention to the lights - if I wanted to keep my license.

The morning ended with a pickup and some local municipal workers wrestling the ripe road kill into the bed of their pickup for disposal. I was a quarter mile away, so I wasn't expected to take part in the process.... thank goodness. Been there; have the t-shirt and it's not for those with a weak stomach.

So, after observing a eclipse of the moon, I should have known it would be a strange morning. It was and the day isn't over.

It's Monday

Try not to screw it up.

One other thing: If you're in the middle of United States, to the west and have a clear sky, you will see a partial lunar eclipse until the moon sets. You have around an hour, or less.

It's 5:30 Central Daylight Time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wood Fake

Way back when, in 1917, the Army Air Service built a base in a rural area way south of Houston, Texas. As a training base, it went through different phases, including almost closing before WW2. During that war, the base was upgraded and continued in training aviators. In the 60's, NASA adopted the base for astronaut training, which is when I became aware of its existence. The astronauts, while training, would escape from the crowded air space around Houston and fly over my hometown. The even broke the sound barrier on one day, which led to some angry complaints, grounding of a few astronauts and a thrill only a child can understand. A flight of jets, at low altitude, breaking the sound barrier, while being watched, can only be described as a once a lifetime event. I still think it was a reaction to a bet, friendship, dare or retribution for some infraction by a local.

NASA built the Manned Space Center, which eventually was renamed the Johnson Space Center. The workers, scientists, engineers and astronauts lived in the adjacent community of Clear Lake. During the moon missions, it was an idylic place full of the then celebrity astronauts and those that took part in one of the greatest efforts of the human race. Not only was the community proud, the entire nation was proud of these pioneers of the next frontier. No space flight was possible without these people and the facility.

At the facility is a museum. I toured it when I was teenager. Besides the space capsules, rockets, and equipment on display, there were moon rocks, which I remember as though I looked at them this morning. A fine place to display the miracles of the space age, you would think one of the shuttles would finally come to rest at this location, but that's not the situation. The facility will get a shuttle made from wood, which I consider an insult to the fine people that made it all happen.

To those instrumental in this politically motivated travesty of condescension, go suck an egg. I hope your political career ends due to your decision. If not, I hope someone throws rotten vegetables at you daily until you can't live a normal life.

Bastards!

                      A real shuttle, in case you bastards don't have a photo.