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, I started another blog:

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.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blogger Is Like The Supermarket

Blogger has changed: things disappeared, to reappear somewhere else and I've had to spend some time looking for the correct location. 

It's like the supermarket. You know exactly where to go, find they've moved it and realize nobody asked if you thought it was necessary. 

No explanation; no warning; no email to explain the reason. I'm thinking the change in software is due to security reasons, or that some bored programmer just felt like being a dick.

I'll toss a coin. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Harmonica for a King

Some fine harmonica music. Even a real king would enjoy it.

Choom and Gloom

I wonder if more stories, and information as such as this, will sift through the censorship by our own media?

This entire Presidency was built upon incomplete information, an effort by the media to avoid their job and the pinheaded voters that were so gullible to believe being able to read teleprompter is proof of the qualifications required to be the Chief Executive of the United States.

I'm hoping so. After the terrible efforts by the press to discredit George Bush - even trying to portray outright falsehoods as news - it's only fair that the actual past of Obama be laid out to U.S. citizens, so they can see who he actually is. Hiding his past was not only despicable, it was an injustice to any U.S. voter that actually trusted the media to present facts that would help them make a good decision.

About Speechwriters

From my point of view, if the President can't write their own speech, then they're probably not qualified to be President. Not being good at public speaking, I can understand; that's a special talent; but to not have ability to write something that concerns the entire nation is unfathomable in my mind. Being so lazy to not try is even worse.

As He Travels About

Obama is on a mission to talk. He's good at that, but it seems that's only when someone writes something for him to say.

The media will cover every event, although I doubt they'll show much of the audience, since it will be thin. I'm thinking many will be paid to attend. The others probably don't have a job, live off public funds and will be promised a free meal.

Meanwhile, the real citizens of the United States will go to work, or continue to search for a job. Those without jobs are who I worry about. They are being punished so a political ideology can continue to fail at a pace that would accelerate if most of the media did their jobs.

Considering how much of the press corps depends on watchers to allow them to continue their misleading reporting, I'm thinking the best way to show your disdain is to avoid any of the alphabet networks, so their advertisers will get the message the productive people in this country have had enough. The plain, simple fact is that people that live off public money will never spend enough to make up the shortfall of revenue required to continue the charade. Things don't work that way. You can't pull buckets of water from one end of the pond, pour it in the other end and expect the water to rise. The water spilled in the process is never recovered, and evaporation eventually leads to stagnation.

SOTU and Poker

Years ago, I figured out how to play poker the right way. Up to that point, I was playing foolishly and not with the odds.

In poker, if your hand sucks at the deal, you have two options: Bluff, or fold. The decision should be based on the knowledge you gained of the other players.

If they're amateurs, they'll bluff all the way to the last bet, even though the odds are against them. With those type of players, you just fold, wait for the next hand and take advantage of their ignorance. If you play them right, you'll have most of their chips in a few hands. Even if they have a good hand, the good players bow out, leaving them only the ante, or a little more.

If they're good players, you can take the chance of a bluff, but only to the point you know they're either playing a better hand, or you know the odds are against you. The odds say you'll have better cards in a future hand, which will give you the opportunity to win. That's when you fold.

So, how does this pertain to the State of the Union Address? The President played his best hand a few days ago, which was releasing the talking points. From what I've seen, it wasn't a bluff, so he could use other talking points during the speech. That would have required the President to have the capability to speak without a teleprompter, some really good material and the fuzzies to pull such a stunt.  He's never shown he has such capabilities, so he was hoping to build support for his ideas, which are losing support daily.

To add to this bad poker player analogy, news reports yesterday stated the President was going to issue an executive order to raise the minimum wage on future government contracts. That's holding on to a pair of deuces, with the hope another will pop up. Unfortunately, few wage requirements in government contracts come anywhere close to just minimum wage. The wages are much higher, most people know this and he was betting again on a bluff.

The SOTU address was the last round of bets. In the hope of gaining support, he blathered the usual hollow words, avoided leadership, by admitting his failures and his new plan is to waste money by traveling around the country in the hope of gaining support. I can see mostly empty halls in his near future. Words don't replace lost wages, insurance and the desperation of knowing the next few years promise to be as bad as the last five.

So, he's all in, with a bad hand. The odds say he's lost all his chips and the odds are usually right.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some News Folks Are Off In The Ozone you go. Proof of my statement. 

Andrea Mitchell must be taking LSD. Her view of reality is so distorted, there is no other explanation.

No More Rice Krispies

Yeah, you read that right.

Federal Contractor Imperial Mandate

The President is supposed to sign an Executive Order mandating the raising of the minimum wage with Federal contractors.  That's probably within the gray area of his powers, but it has consequences.

Contractors are paid due to contract stipulations. If the contract is a good contract, the demand for higher wages gives means for the contractor to recoup costs. If not, the contractor can only use legal channels to make the effort to be reimbursed.

The additional cost source is the sticky area. If the money is already allocated, the costs will be taken from other sources to make up the difference. That's were you'll probably see this money come from, but you'll not find out where money was cut, until the harm is done.

I'm thinking the military will bear the brunt of the differences in costs. They're the least favorite of Obama's least favorites and he doesn't care how much it affects the people that serve this country.

I don't know how those in the military, or any agency that is faced with budget shortages due to the whims of an out of control President, will react, but I'm willing to bet their wishes for the health of the President aren't good.

Lie Detectors and Speeches

When the President starts his speech, he needs to be connected to a lie detector, and a dog collar. When he lies, he gets a jolt.

I'm thinking his speech would be more truthful, or very, very short. Either way, it would be better.

Monday, January 27, 2014

While Shooting Pool

We had a pool table in the crew quarters offshore. It was opposite the card table, which was surrounded by some comfortable chairs. After work, the crew would gather to play cards, shoot pool, or watch the three channels we received on the television in the other room.

I was shooting pool, while listening to the songs coming from the transistor radio that sat in the window facing the production facilities. As I played, a song came on the radio from a female artist.

Now, you may imagine a few hundred female artists, but this was the seventies, the only station played was a country western format and the typical lineup featured female artists such as Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline or Dolly Parton. So, when the song came on, and it was something different, I listened and liked. To add to my enjoyment, I saw pictures of the artist later and I must say she cut a fine figure in a pair of tight jeans.

It might not be your taste in music; it might even make you become defensive, like the old men offshore, and make you proclaim: "That's not really country."

Maybe so, but that's where she could sell her music and I didn't have any objection.

So, here you go. Two versions. The second has another of her other popular recordings included.

Hillary's Regret

Hillary Clinton's biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi. Now, I don't know how you think, but I don't regret anything I never was responsible for happening, such as the weather, or automobile accidents in another state.

I consider her regret an admittance of incompetence and culpability. Anyone that even considers her for President is due for consideration of "The Biggest Dumbass of the Year" award.

She's not worthy to transfer piss from one toilet to another.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bach Like You Never Heard It Before

The Piano Guys version, which I like.

I Call It a Stalemate

The President is ignoring laws, making his own with executive orders and Congress is sitting on its hands. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is taking their sweet time making decisions on appeals that should be slam-dunk easy; if they follow the Constitution. The military is taking a hickey with downsizing and too many in charge aren't leaders; they're administrative pogues impersonating officers.

Meanwhile, the economy is stumbling along and the media is ignoring the fact they're as much a contributor to problems as the panderers and crooks in Washington.

Where does this all lead? I don't have a crystal ball, but the majority of the country has had enough.

Me? I'm boycotting every media outlet I don't like. That may not seem like much, but my effort seems to be joined by others. Some outlets are suffering to the point of laying off people and scrambling for programming that makes them money. Fat chance they'll be successful, since they haven't a clue how many people would rather see them all panhandling on the street corner rather than watching or purchasing products from the advertisers.

I find enjoyment in seeing these outlets falling. Their traitorous efforts to remove Constitutional rights only make me wish them the greatest of harms. People died to have the opportunity of liberty. Any attempt to remove liberty is as vile an act as murder. The final outcome of either action is death and suffering.

Many in the government are abusing their power and using it in an attempt to silence detractors of current political leaders. That's a terrible mistake and will only lead to their failure. We aren't a country of people that accept tyranny. Never have been; never will.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some Songs Don't Need to be Explained

Here you go.

Another Song To Tug At Your Hearstrings

Some days make you think of those you lost; for whatever reason.

So, here you go.

I Wasn't Expecting That

I was telling the operator what I planned for the day, so he could complete my work permit. We were in the control room for a polyethylene facility and the operator was in charge of running the unit.

Unlike in the past, modern facilities use computers and electronics to monitor the process of manufacturing plastic. Instead of having people moving about the unit (which can be unsafe), the operator can control the valves and equipment from a single workstation. Problems are solved quickly and safety is increased. The operation is observed on a large computer screen and keyboard, or mouse, commands control the equipment.

As I was speaking to the operator, and observing the screen, the smiley face at the bottom of the screen smiled to notify everything was in order. I thought for a moment about the programmer. They added their own touch to the program and made it a little entertaining.

The operator finished writing and handed me the permit for my signature. As he was handing it to me, the smiley face turned green and a frown appeared. I signed the permit, looked at the screen and asked the operator - who was now staring at the screen - if everything was okay. He said yes, which didn't give me much comfort, since the tiny face was now blood red, with eyes closed, and with an expression of extreme concern. I watched for a few seconds, grabbed my copy, went out the door, and headed to the engineer's office; to let my engineer know my concrete pour was on schedule. Hopefully, he'd been there awhile and would offer me a fresh cup of coffee.

The typical procedure for severe problems in a petrochemical facility is to warn everyone with horns. These horns, which are explained during orientation, may be simple, or not, but they are the last ditch effort for everyone to know something is about to happen. I was passing the reactor when it vented, without the warning of a horn.

Venting a plastics reactor is the last ditch effort to keep it from blowing up. The same plant I was working in had a huge dent in a water tower, where a chunk of steel hit after a reactor exploded decades ago. By luck, nobody was near the unit, when it happened. They found pieces of the six inch thick steel walls miles away. It takes a lot of pressure to make plastic and the vessels are extremely thick to handle the pressure.

Venting a reactor can just be the gasses being escaping, or a combination of the gas and raw product, which is a hot wax that sticks to skin. This plant required long sleeve shirts for that very reason. After a vent, the hot plastic was easier to remove from clothes than the skin by a doctor.

Whatever comes from the vent, it's loud. The large pipes protruding from the top of the reactor allow a substantial amount of escaping product. My ears started ringing.

I ducked, put my head down and headed toward where my crew was working. As I passed the control room, the horns started sounding and I hurried to manage my crew. I had a pretty good idea they wouldn't panic, but if they did, I wanted to at least try to stop the stampede to someplace they didn't need to go.

 I reached the crew within seconds. Only one hand had ventured away; he was fast walking toward the gate, pausing to look, and continuing his journey. The all clear horn sounded as I watched. The reactor was under control and if the damn thing blew, we were a few thousand feet too close anyway. There was no need to panic.

I motioned to the hand that was now stopped and looking at me. Carefully, and constantly looking at the unit, he returned where we were preparing to pour concrete. My concrete truck arrived within a few minutes, but a new problem arose: They wouldn't let any deliveries in, and I had one hour before I had to send the truck back.

I headed towards my engineer's office to explain the problem. The engineer, who could pull a few strings, made some calls, we waited for a few minutes, and I was allowed to continue with my pour. I don't think he liked the idea of paying for an entire load of concrete they couldn't use; plus the downtime for labor and equipment.

 I finished my pour before the hour was up, left the crew to finish, and returned to drink some coffee with the engineer. He had no idea what happened, since the warning horns didn't precede the vent. He did point out a new compressor, that pressured up the raw products for the reactor. About a year before, the old one came apart one night, and pieces were scattered around the plant. Nobody was hurt, but if the event was during daytime hours, it was likely a casualty, or two, would have been part of the disaster.

We eventually finished the job and went on to others. I worked again in the same facility about a year later to build a concrete containment for new tanks. During that project, I walked through a puddle of vinyl acetate and had my work boots fall apart within seconds. I didn't know anything was wrong, until walking felt like when a sandal breaks and I had to change my gate to keep from tripping. I changed to my rubber boots and bought some more work boots that evening.

Such is life when working construction in the petrochemical industry. Strange things happen and some are dangerous.

Out For A Look

Freezing weather, and precipitation are rare in my part of the universe. I awoke, thought about things and decided to go for a drive to "look around".

The glistening trees were brilliant in the rising sun. The grass, covered with ice, was a silver carpet across the fields. Street signs, power poles and eaves of houses looked as though they started melting and time froze the process.

I stopped for a cup of coffee; Stephanie, the young, beautiful women of Cambodian descent, flashed me a big smile as she took my coffee money. I think her extra joy was due to the wonderful, bright sunshine, which was sweeping away the dismal remains of the last few days.

Continuing on my way, I noticed a few patches of ice on roads less traveled. That was surprising; such things are more than rare hereabouts.

It wasn't long, before I had an epiphany: Ice will fall from things. It did. A band of ice from a high tension power cable fell across my pickup as I drove along.

I decided to head on home. The temperature was rising and pieces of ice were constantly falling from trees, power lines and the insulators on power poles. I can only imagine the larger pieces that were falling from the bridge I wanted to go observe. If the large icicles hanging from overpasses were any indication of what was on the bridge, the ice could shatter a windshield or dent the hood.

So, arriving home, I thought of a song to crank up your morning.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Some Bach to Soothe Your Soul

The music explains itself.

We Have Some Ice

A blast of Arctic air made it to just off the coast, which allowed the warmer air to continue aloft. The result is a mixture of frozen precipitation, with my area receiving freezing rain.

There are reports of snow, further up country, but we won't see any. The conditions aren't right, so we'll deal with frozen bridges and bitter, cold, wet weather.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Stars Were Like Diamonds Scattered On Black Velvet.

It was after midnight, the wind was from the north and the temperature was a little above freezing. A call from the bank let me know we lost 8 million cubic feet of gas and it was my duty to wake someone to go find the problem.

I don't remember who I woke, but I knew before they reached the control room which well was down. The analog meter on 1351-13 was still and I had a pretty good idea it shut in.

The well was a satellite well about a mile from the production platform. It stood alone, without any production equipment, since it was close enough to just pipe to the main platform. We called the boat to go take a look.

Natural gas controls on the platform were simple. Pressure pilots were part of the safety system, which included the pilots and the fire loop. A problem with either would shut the automatic valve and close the well.

It didn't take long to reach the platform. A thorough check revealed no problem, so the gauger felt it was only some moisture in the controls and the well could be put back on line.

I stayed at the platform to slowly turn the manual valve until it was at full pressure. If the CRRBM stayed in the open position, the gauger was right and they would retrieve me when he made the final checks on the main platform.

They left me with a radio. The guager would call, when he was ready for me to start.

Over the next few minutes, the noise from the work boat faded. As they pulled to the main platform, I could barely hear the engines as the boat maneuvered to tie to the structure. When the engines were shut down, the only sounds were the occasional fog horn, the light chop against the structure and the sound of the wind.

There are few experiences in life like the next twenty minutes. I was completely alone, my flashlight provided all the light to be found and the awesome grandeur of a winter night was mine to be enjoyed.

The air was crisp, full of the smell of cold air and found any weakness in my heavy clothes. I pulled my collar up, my sleeves over my gloves and looked up to the stars.

Like myriads of diamond scattered on black velvet, the stars seemed to hang right over my head. Just a simple reach, and I could scrape them from the sky; they'd rain down, like jewels, so I could fill my pockets.

I was awed. Maybe it was the moment, or the splendor of the event, but I was overjoyed with the opportunity. What I observed, and felt, could never be described with words. My soul was touched and nothing could ever describe the feeling.

Eventually, the guager called, I put the well back on line and the boat returned. I was soon back to the platform and found the gauger was on the way back to the living quarters to finish their interrupted sleep.

The rest of the night passed without any more problems. Soon, I woke the cook; then the crew and had my morning meal. The night was over, but the memory will last forever.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Way Back When

I left home when I was eighteen. I had an opportunity to rent a garage apartment for $50 a month, with water paid. Gas ran around $10 a month and I didn't have air conditioning.

The apartment can only be described as a dump. The peeling, plastered walls were a poor insulator from north winds and my furniture was collected from what was discarded at the curb.

Still, it was my home. I was free, working in the oil patch, had some almost dependable transportation and the entire universe was my kingdom.

I had no television, but I did have an electric piano, which I would haul around to band practice, or to a gig. I'd play, but I needed more, so I saved and bought a stereo.

With my limited funds, I was faced with a dilemma. I could afford a few bucks for one album, but I had to be sure my choice was correct. Eventually, I bought Elton John's "Honky Chateau"

I like every song on the album, but one seemed to be the one song that touched a chord. It was never popular, and I don't think it ever made it even close to the top forty.

You might not like it, but it's one of my all time favorites. Bernie Taupin, one of the greatest lyricists, and Elton John created a song that touched my soul.

Well; I Suppose I Should Write Something

The problem is: I don't have any words of wisdom, sarcastic thoughts and I'm too lazy to write anyway. So, this is all.

Thank you for visiting; even though it's probably disappointing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Music Doesn't Stop

I bought the album "Gaucho" years ago, after "Hey Nineteen" hit the radio. Beside liking the music, I was impressed with the production and clarity of the sound.

So, here you go: "Hey Nineteen" live.

Some George Jones For Your Sunday Afternoon

To some, George Jones was a big disappointment. They spent hard earned money to go see a concert, and he'd continue his reputation as "No Show Jones".

Still, he sang some songs that touched hearts and his errors in life weren't without consequences.

First Ladies

The first First Lady I remember is Jackie Kennedy. From my perspective, she was somewhat of a better behaved Paris Hilton and paraded around as though she was royalty and we all needed to be amazed.

After her, there have been more; some I liked, some I didn't and one had those eyes that make you wonder if the light is on, or thoughts that would make a spider recoil are bouncing around in her brain.

Still, whether I like them or not, we didn't hire them. Being married to the President leaves no obligation to taxpayers to foot the bill for them to wander around Hell's half acre in pursuit of their particular whim.

To put it in perspective: If I hire a man to paint my house, I don't have any intention of paying for the taxi so his wife can go run the food drive at her church or make a trip to the mall. That or pay a security company for a guard to go along for protection.

The First Lady is no different and I think there's a boatload of money needed to be returned to the taxpayers by former Presidents. I'm betting we'll never see it and it only makes me that more suspicious of every President during my lifetime.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Spending Bill

It's now signed and there's not a single member of all the houses, the Executive Branch, or the Supreme Court that have a clue what's written on the thousands of pages.

Hopefully, somebody that really loves me had a moment to add to the bill and bequeathed me a few million to start research on why concrete is hard. Of course, I'll need a few million after that to prove concrete is hard, but that's part of the game. At least I'm not trying to find what aeronautical maneuvers are required for a fly to land on the ceiling.

Friday, January 17, 2014

While Standing In Line

I didn't bring my lunch today, so I went to a local grocery store that has a deli.

The woman in front of me in line was small, frail, soft-spoken and concise with her order, which was a piece of baked fish, that looked delicious.

As she spoke, and I observed, I realized how she reminded me of my mother and I felt this huge amount of respect and honor. I think I'd have rolled a red carpet through the store for her to walk on if she asked.

We're who we are because someone walked through life before us. Some made it and some did not, but to reach an age of over eighty, still have the ability function and do so without any demands is something to be respected. Many live on the money that was taken from these folks under the guise of "running the government". The least we can do is show respect, courtesy and admiration. They gave and too few understand the sacrifices that were made.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I was thinking about the things I can do, so I'm going to list them, so I don't feel like a small cog in a big wheel.

Operate Heavy Equipment - Rubber Tire Backhoe, Tracked Excavator up to 2 yard capacity, Bulldozer, Hydraulic Cranes up to 65 tons, Motor Grader, Skid Steer.

Drive Trucks - Not currently licensed, but driven up to tractor trailer combination.

Build and Place Concrete Forms - Bridge piling footings, caps, deck, walls up to 20 feet, paving, textured and foundations.

Finish Concrete - Paving, sidewalks, curbs.

Grouting -  Repair, Equipment leveling, Epoxy, Pumping.

Piping: Weld, Screw, Plastic, Composites

Ducting: Spiral Wound, S and Drive

Framing: Wood, Hollow metal.

Underground Utilities: Water, Gas, Sewer, Electrical

Earthwork: Site prep, Grading, Compacting

Road Construction: Limestone Base, Concrete, Asphalt

Structural Steel: Bolted, Welded, Lightweight Rigid Frame

Pile Driving -  H-Beam, Pre-stressed Concrete, Wood, Sheet

Painting - Home, Industrial

Surveying: Project Layout, Site Capture

CAD - Autosketch, some AutoCad and Foresight

Computer - Excell, Word, TDS Survey Works, Autosketch, AutoCad

Business - Basic Accounting, Job Costing, Construction Estimating, Correspondence, Project Management, Contract Review, Project Buyout, Engineering Review

Project Plan Reading - Civil, Concrete, Framing, Piping, Finishes, Flooring, Ceiling

I know I've forgotten something and it's hard to believe I've either done those things, or was responsible to see they were completed.

There; I feel better. Forty years of doing a lot of things leaves me wondering what the hell I've done with my life. At least I learned something.

Where Does It Stop?

Web pages accumulate more crap; the crap is a resource hog; and all the bells and whistles only make me leave, because the damn page won't load, due to all the crap.

I don't know about you, but I feel the attempt to make everything shiny has dulled the internet. There's a point where the accumulation of crap only makes the entire experience a lesson in futility.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dropping Like Flies

My sister-in-law, who is the widow of my brother, lost her mother this week. She was fighting cancer and cancer won.

This is one of the things that age brings; and nobody can prepare for the onslaught of losing people they love.

God bless her and may she find some moments where the sorrow doesn't overwhelm.

Monday, January 13, 2014

It Just Popped Into My Head

I won't elaborate, since anyone half decent with math would have grasped the concept a long time ago. Since my mind doesn't work that way, I can only write that I'm pretty proud I figured it out. I give myself an attaboy and will celebrate with a good supper.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm Blaming Solar Activity

The internet has been flaky for the last few days. While I could think of this as a temporary problem with one isp, multiple isp's are involved, sometimes it's only single sites,  and the problems persist.

Since I saw a photo of a huge sunspot facing our direction, I'm figuring it's the culprit. I might be wrong, but it makes more sense than more than one service provider having a bunch of technical problems. That's possible, but when something else explains it better, I'll go with the something else.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Unintended Consequences

I haven't been following too closely, but from what I do know, Chris Christie wasn't happy with all of his kingdom, made some comments that were taken to heart, and a bridge was closed for frivolous reasons, which caused unnecessary traffic delays. This is bad, since the effects weren't frivolous.

Now, the Democratic Party minions have turned on Christie like a feral hog on a garter snake. Satan is a Sunday school teacher compared to the reprobate they're portraying. They show Christie as a vindictive politician that used his power in an attempt to punish, and is now trying to cover it up.

So, supporters are coming up with reactions like: "This is child's play compared to "Fast and Furious", or Benghazi, or the I.R.S. scandal, or Obamacare and some things that were intended to be downplayed are now being exposed by the same media that was doing everything possible to keep the general public clueless of the scandals.

If you're not convinced that most of the media is as feckless as most government entities, this should convince you how little information is released due to a political agenda.

If not, you're wasting oxygen and should find the nearest tall bridge to take care of a serious problem with our society.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Another Long Day

Age has made me very aware of the necessity of naps. They're what keeps a society sane.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Freeze Is Over

The big freeze is over, for here, although many places are still below freezing. I guess the true believers will turn this into some direct result of global warming, even though the last 14 years haven't shown any increase in global temperature averages. 

Many will probably be trying to figure out how many trees they need to plant, because they forgot to turn off the porch light. 

Meanwhile, Al Gore naps, comfortably warm in his private jet; on the way to bilk a few hundred thousand from his fans. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold Weather

Yesterday, the high temperature was 34 degrees, which pained me considerably, because I'm a weenie, due to my geographical location. I went home feeling as though I spent the day finishing concrete, which I'm guessing is due to spending the day trying to hide from the cold.( I wasn't successful )

It's 23 this morning and we're to reach the mid 40's, which will be downright pleasant. We pay for the warmth at the end of the week with rain and generally sloppy conditions.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This Song Is One Of the All Time Greats

Some songs are great; not that they're extremely complicated, or clever; the sentiment grabs you and won't let you go.

It's Different, But Good

I was debating whether to freeze the last of my pot of Great Northern beans, when I had an idea: "Why not re-fry them.?" So, I did.

Since I long ago lost any hunger for lunch meat sandwiches, I always look for something different to pack in my lunch. So, tomorrow, I'll have bean burritos and some slices of the roast I cooked last night for lunch; and probably for at least one day after that.

I'm looking forward to it. After years of the typical sandwich lunch, things that are different make lunch more enjoyable.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Watching and Waiting

Over the last few days, I've had double the view of what I considered a good day. After perusing the outer perimeter, I realized it's due to bots.

In the past, bots would occasionally happen by, test the defenses and go on their way. I'd have days of peace.

Now, I realize they're amassing in a large group; waiting and hoping to find a weakness in the walls.

I hope I'm ready for their onslaught. The moat is full, the oils is heating and the arrow maker notified me he has reached maximum storage capacity.

I wait....the night will be long.


I sold my mother's car a few months ago, through a bank, to a private individual. All legal paths were followed and no circus animals were hurt during the process.

I received a notice for payment from a far away toll agency, because the car was used to avoid multiple tolls, after the date of the sale.

I wrote on the original notice that my mother was deceased and the car was sold before the toll running. Apparently, that doesn't satisfy the bureaucrats, so I've explained to the point of my quandary.

Should I send a copy of the bill of sale, transferred title and a letter? Or, should I just send a Death Certificate and see how they respond?

We Have The News, So Who Needs Drugs?

I won't provide any links. Not only am I lazy this afternoon, you can just enter a few words and find anything you want with a search engine.

The fact that scientists, with their entourage of sycophants, became stuck in ice...during the summer in the southern hemisphere... and most of the news sorta ignored the fact the scientists were on a mission to find more evidence to prove AWG is the subject of drug induced fiction writing. I'm guessing they'll have some splaining to do to whoever financed this adventure in absurdity.

 Hopefully they don't change their strategy and go to prove that bears are really just big cuddly animals and misunderstood.....then again, that might be a really good idea.

Obamacare is turning out to be somewhat of a disaster, since the goal was to give those without medical insurance, the opportunity to purchase low cost health insurance, yet it isn't low cost, those that are attempting to buy it don't have the money and even if they do, they're finding out their hours spent to sign up were wasted hours, since there's no record of their signing.

There's always Medicaid, but many doctors don't accept Medicaid and the number of those that do is becoming smaller daily.

Fallujah has fallen to Al Qaeda militants. Can you say Saigon? I knew you could.

Colorado ushered in the new industry of furnishing government sanctioned pot....the price is really, really high (no pun first) and the fact that the only difference between legal and illegal weed is the shiny package and taxes.

How come I have the feeling there will be a cottage industry of illegal/legal weed spring up and become the lucrative livelihood of some industrious drug dealers?

Meanwhile, a child finds a cookie on the ground, eats it, and gets stoned. I'm guessing this isn't child endangerment, since there's no bible or  preservatives involved. Hopefully it was gluten free.


New York City gets a new mayor and he's crazier than an outhouse rat. So how is this news?


Finally: After eating six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a man tells his brother he eats to much, which prompt the brother the brandish a knife, which leads to an arrest and my curiosity of why was six the magical number? It seems to me that it's overeating after two, but that's just me; appetites are different.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Shadows and Fog (Re-Post)

I wrote this about a bridge I did work on. (not the original construction, but for a retrofit) The description of the structure is accurate, and the eerie feeling when you walk through the structure alone is accurate, too. 

The plaque, as far as I remember, didn't have the names of the few that died during the construction, but they may have been listed. Still, those that could, signed their names, and they're preserved under the plexiglass that covers the plan table that was modified for the purpose of recognition.

I drove over the bridge the other morning, and the conditions were exactly as I describe in this story. All I could think of was a story my aunt told me about another bridge, on a foggy night, when she was driving across real late. 

As she reached the top, she thought she glimpsed someone on the rail. Since she needed to concentrate, she just shook it off as her eyes playing tricks on her - until she read the paper the next day. Someone jumped off the bridge that night, and they found the body the next afternoon.

It rattled her, and she had friends tell her the bridge was haunted by those that did the same before. 

I don't know if either of the bridges are haunted, but if you happen to be on either - by yourself late at night - a lot of things cross your mind and you find the hair standing up on the back of your neck.



I’d seen evenings like that one before, but never from that vantage point. I was leaning on the concrete bridge rail, 140 feet above the ship channel and watching the darkness slowly settle for the night.

I looked toward the water. The deepening darkness and low wind made it appear as though it was deep purple oil. Small ripples reflected the sky glow and the reflection of the few clouds was a scintillating, brilliant dark orange.  The surreal beauty was mesmerizing.

 In the distance, a small push boat was in the process of tying up for the night. The engines would race for a moment, pause and race again as the skipper maneuvered the fuel barge against the dock.  I could barely discern the deckhand as he wrestled the ropes along the deck.

The squawk of a brown pelican broke my concentration.  A small flock flew under the bridge, headed toward the bank and landed in the salt water marsh along the bank.  I examined them for a moment and returned to my observation of the evening.

To the south, I could see the solid gray of the approaching bank of fog. It would take a few hours, but not long after nightfall, the bridge would be covered and the only point of reference would be few street lights penetrating the heavy, damp blanket.

Years ago, I’d worked on this bridge. Like all bridges, it needed some maintenance, which we’d accomplished over a long week.  It gave me time to examine the bridge, which I still found amazing.

The bridge was hollow. The main center span was precast concrete sections that were buttered with epoxy and bolted together. Shipped to the site, the huge sections were lifted into place, large cables were attached to the sections and the cables were draped across the two huge towers on both sides of the channel.  As one section was added, another was added on the other side of the tower to balance the weight. Huge bolts were attached to hold the sections together, until the cables were post-tensioned with huge jacks. The joints were buttered with epoxy, which you’d never see, unless you went inside the hollow sections. From the outside, the joints were fine, barely discernible lines. From the inside, where cosmetics didn’t matter, the epoxy that was squeezed from the joints was still visible.

Eventually, after all the sections were attached, jacks were used to align the sections at the center and the bridge was finally a complete span. Cables were run in hollow tubes; both exposed and hidden in the concrete. Jacks pulled the cables to the correct tension and the tubes were filled with grout.

So, why was I here? I was the night watchman. I was retired, but I was asked to watch by the superintendent. He knew I would do what I could, if necessary, and would call if I had any problems. I had nothing better to do, and the change was good.  My only stipulation was to have someone else to help. With one lane closed on the bridge, one drunk could knock down enough barrels where I would need someone to help.

Traffic was still somewhat heavy, but would soon become light.  After a few hours, it would reach the point where minutes could pass without any cars. That’s when I felt my helper could handle his job of doing nothing well enough and I could walk through the inside of the bridge. It gave me time to examine the work, which was epoxy injection of cracks. All concrete cracks, but cracks aren’t good for the reinforcement in the concrete. The epoxy would keep the salt laden air from attacking the reinforcement and shortening the life of the bridge. They were almost through, so my job was soon to end.

I had a few minutes before my helper arrived, so I went back to watching the evening. The passing traffic stirred the damp air, which was now becoming colder. After dark, when the fog rolled in, the wind would pick up and I’d be looking for my heavier coat.

I heard my helper pulling behind the barrels, so I looked to make sure he didn’t block the access like every other night before.  I was surprised. He left the shoulder lane open and parked where he should. Maybe he was learning, although I doubted he’d remember for long.

He climbed from his pickup and slowly walked toward where I stood. Again, I was amazed a young man could be so out of shape. He was at least one hundred pounds overweight and generally kept a slovenly appearance. One shirt tail was out and flapped as he walked. The large drink he carried bore the name of the fast food restaurant where he stopped for supper. I could only imagine how much he super sized his order and really didn’t want to think about it.

He made his usual greeting, which was “Hi John.”  After that, he just stood with me by the rail and stared at the disappearing horizon. He hadn’t shaved, so the fuzz on his face only added to his disheveled appearance. 

“Evening, Tink.”

Tink was short for Tinkerbelle. I was curious about the nickname, so I asked. When he was around eight years old, his mother decided he needed to understand the fine arts, so Cameron was enrolled in dance. From what I could gather, it was a disaster. His father, who was raised by an old-school engineer (who I knew from various projects), remarked how his son looked like a faggot Tinkerbelle.  It was all downhill after that. The nickname stuck, which he didn’t really like, but his usual story was about how he liked to tinker with things. I managed to get the real story when I hounded him for a few hours one night. My contention was that the only thing he really liked to tinker with had two all beef patties, special sauce and a sesame seed bun.  I guess he felt guilty.

“It looks like this might be our last night. They’re almost through and should pull barrels tomorrow.”

Tink didn’t say anything. I could tell be his expression he’d hit another quandary. He was on the second year of his first year of college.  He’d spent more time deciding on what he didn’t want to major in. At the rate he was going, he’d retire before deciding on a career.  He had decided on what careers he wouldn’t follow. The list was enormous.

“I talked with the superintendent before he left. He’s worried the fog will lead to accidents, so his instructions were to stay away from the barrels unless it’s absolutely necessary.  We can call if too many are knocked over.”

“I guess I’ll be looking for a job again.”

I didn’t say anything; I doubted he’d try very hard. From our conversations, I gathered his initiative was a little lean; unlike his appetite. 

“Yep, and I’ll be back to retiring.”

“You need to walk to the end of the setup and check the barrels before the fog rolls in.”

It was now almost dark; although not so dark I couldn’t see his pained expression. Walking to the end of the setup was over 500 feet.

“Put on your vest first and bring your radio.”

“Oh yeah; I forgot.”

I just stared at him. He looked at me with a sheepish expression and headed toward his truck. He was back in a few minutes.

“Check. Check.”

His radio was clear. I responded and he started his “long” journey to the end of the setup. The headlights from passing traffic were reflected from his vest. I’d be able to see him clearly, until he walked past the crown of the bridge. Playing it safe, I’d walk a few hundred feet behind until I could see the end of the setup. 
If something happened, I’d be able to help almost immediately.

I gave him a good head start before I followed. When I reached the crown of the bridge, I stopped and watched a push boat with a long string of barges pass underneath the bridge. They were ahead of the fog, but not by much. My guess was they didn’t have much further to go, or were planning on pushing the barges against the bank in the turnaround basin. They’d wait there until the fog lifted tomorrow.

The sound from the twin engines oscillated between a steady tone and the tremolo when the engines were out of phase. I’d heard it thousands of times before and it still caught my attention. My first experience with the sound was riding in crew boats offshore. I’d spent many hours fighting the urge to sleep as the lullaby of the engines eventually defeated my effort.

There was nobody visible on the deck of the push boat. The radar antennae steadily turned and only the navigation lights were lit. The streetlights on the bridge reflected off the damp deck and the wheelhouse windows. Behind the window were a few visible lights, which made the skipper look like an apparition.

The sound of a horn made me jump. An obviously drunk young man yelled: “Get to work” as they passed. I quickly looked down the bridge for Tink. He was walking back; they honored him with a honk and the same words as they passed.

Tink turned as they passed and kept walking. I had to give him credit for not giving them the finger and answering. Drunks were unreasonable to start with. Giving them a reason to become more unreasonable was foolish.

I was now rattled. The loud horn had placed my nerves on edge and I knew it would take awhile before the jagged edges were smoothed out again. I’d worked in traffic for too many years. I’d heard the same honk before as a driver slammed into a truck and narrowly missed the crew.

“What a bunch of asses.”

I turned to find Tink had arrived.

“Yep; it’s ladies night down the road and I’m betting there’ll be more.”

He returned to the rail where I stood and we watched the fog as it rolled in. The distant lights disappeared, a few tendrils of fog appeared in the light and the fog eventually completely enclosed the bridge. The crash truck at the start of setup was now only a dim shape and barely visible in the street lights.

We spent the next few hours talking, or making a trip to the end of the setup. Our conversations varied, and I really don’t remember much, except when I had a fatherly moment, while we discussed women.

Tink was amazed I’d been married much longer than he was alive. He asked how I’d met my wife, which I explained. We’d met while working for the same company. We were friends long before we were married, which I explained was more than important than the romance. He just shook his head and commented on how he had few girlfriends, much less one that he could marry.

“Tink, women like a man that is neat and appears confident. You’re sloppy in your habits, you don’t shave as often as you need to and being out of shape only makes you less desirable.”

I could tell I’d hurt his feelings, but I knew what I was saying was important. Maybe his father had told him the same things, but if so, they didn’t sink in. Maybe the advice of a near stranger would help. He needed all he could get.

After awhile, we just stared into the darkness. Tink eventually commented: “I’m getting hungry. Is it time?”

Looking at my watch, I realized it was a after one in the morning, so I asked: “Did you bring a lunch?”

“No. I’ll have to go get something.”

I was a little irritated. I’d suggested he bring his lunch the night before. Pulling back into the setup was more dangerous than he realized. An inattentive driver might follow him in and cause a wreck.

“Before you pull back into the setup, turn on your flashers and give anyone behind time to go around.”

“Okay. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

I watched as he climbed into his pickup, drove through the setup and disappeared into the fog. I’d worry until he was back.

While he was gone, I ate the lunch I brought. After I finished, I stood at the rail and stared into the darkness. 

A loud noise caught my attention from above and a seagull fell onto the deck a few feet away. I was rattled again. To make matters worse, it flopped around for a few moments, tried to fly and fell over the side. I heard the “plop” when it hit the water. Looking down only revealed a roiling mass, which looked like a thick soup; the sodium vapor lights made it a sickly yellow.

The seagull had flown into one of the stay cables, which stretched above my sight into the fog. Judging by what happened, I figured it didn’t survive, which bummed me out for a few moments.

The sound of someone laying on their horn startled me. Within seconds, I looked to find Tink pulling into the setup, without his flashers. The car behind swerved to avoid crashing into Tink, hit a barrel and sped off across the bridge. The barrel hit me before I could dodge and knocked me to my knees.

Disoriented, I paused a few seconds before I tried to stand up. I knew there would be a bruise and I was too shaken to get mad.

I slowly stood; made sure nothing was seriously injured and looked toward Tink. He hadn’t noticed anything, since he was busy preparing to eat his burger and fries.  I walked toward the truck.

As I went through a few ranges of emotions, I finally settled on being calm. I walked to his truck, tapped on the window – which made him jump – and told him: “I’m going to go into the bridge and check the equipment. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

He nodded between bites and I left him to his meal.

The access manhole was in front of the crash truck. They’d placed the truck about fifty feet from the manhole and there was a small rail section around the entrance. I carefully stepped onto the ladder and climbed down into the bridge.

I shone my flashlight on the three -way switch mounted next to the short stair and turned on the lights. Instantly, the darkness was broken by the long row of lights that stretched from one end to the other on the ceiling. I could only see the lights in the section I was in, but the ambient light in the next section showed they were working, also.

I edged down the short slope to the “floor”, which was a combination of walkway, huge connection bolts and the cables that stretched through the bridge. Looking through the bridge, I could see the long row of lights that disappeared into the distance beyond the crown of the bridge. There were two other manholes in the bridge. One was as the center and the other was hundreds of feet away in the last span of the main bridge sections.

The set epoxy still looked new along the joints. Time didn’t remove the external luster of the gray plastic, which looked as though it was just applied. The epoxy had squeezed from the joints when they tightened the bolts and was left where it set. No effort was made to remove the excess, which now was as hard as the concrete it held together.

I carefully stepped across the staggered bolts and tension cable conduits. As I walked toward the end of the bridge section, my flashlight caught eyes beyond the expanded metal grating that was mounted across the access hole to the bridge cap.

Stopping, and a little unnerved, I spent a few moments trying to determine what the eyes belonged to. It didn’t take long. A raccoon had climbed the long telephone conduit mounted to the columns and was looking for a meal.  From past experience, I knew they would eat the eggs of the pigeons that nested on the flat sections of the bridge cap.

I stared for a moment and the raccoon did the same.  It moved away from the opening and back to foraging. I started examining the new construction.

Over the next hour, or so, I examined the epoxy injection locations. The cracks were almost all filled, which was the objective. The excess epoxy was ground smooth with the surface. All that was left were the injection ports on the last section, which were mounted by epoxy to the surface. Tomorrow, they’d place a low viscosity epoxy into the ports under pressure. As one port filled and the other started weeping epoxy, they’d shut off the nozzle and move to the next port. This process would continue, until they were through.  The final job was grinding away the ports with the excess epoxy. After that,  the only thing left was demobilizing. That wouldn’t take long, so they probably would finish tomorrow.

With my curiosity satisfied, I called Tink on the radio: “Come in Tink.”

I waited and tried again: “Come in Tink.”

He answered: “Go ahead.”

“I’m just checking. Am I clear?”

“Yep. You’re loud and clear.”

"Is everything okay?”

“Yep. It’s quiet”

He sounded like he’d been sleeping, which didn’t surprise me. I’d caught him sleeping at least once. He was bored and I didn’t really care, as long as I could reach him on the radio.

I decided to walk through the bridge. I’d done this before, and I always found it interesting.

The center part of the bridge had three sections. The section I was in had one end that rested on a bridge cap that rested on long concrete columns, which went to the ground. It stretched to the first of the main support sections on the side of the ship channel. The center section, which stretched across the channel, was the longest section. It hung from the main support structures.  The far end was the same. All of the main center part of the bridge was suspended with cables that ran from one section, across the main supports and to the other section on the other side. Stairs allowed inspection of the jacking points above the deck in the main support structures. Below the bottom of the precast section was inaccessible without a ladder. Even though they were hollow to right above the water line, no ladder was ever provided. If required, temporary ladders could be placed for inspection. Uncontrolled access was not considered safe, or advisable from a security standpoint.

I walked to the first access hole through the main support section and climbed through to the center span. As I crawled through the opening, I looked at the small piece of plywood that covered the manhole into the structure. If it was rotten, the drop of around one hundred feet would be more than surprising. I tapped it with my foot before I proceeded.

As I climbed into the center span and stood, I remembered why I really liked to walk through the bridge. It was amazing. The arch of the bridge was definite and the lights stretched into the distance, until they disappeared below sight. I paused and just took in the moment

The draft through the bridge was now substantial as the wind increased outside. The passing of a truck overhead, with the gentle sway of the bridge gave me vertigo for a moment.  I’d experienced this before and was glad I wasn’t prone to being seasick.  It was then I had a strange feeling.

I felt like I was being watched. Turning back from where I came didn’t reveal anything. I thought it was the raccoon back to observing from the grate. I found nothing, so I looked all around. The feeling was strong, yet there was nobody, or anything to be found. Shaking off the feeling, I continued my path through the bridge.

When I reached the middle, I stopped and looked at the plaque mounted to a small platform. Covered with Plexiglas were the signatures of all the people that were working on the bridge when they completed the center span.  There were a few dozen, with four circled with red ink. I knew the names and knew the reason.

At the very end of the project, at the final cleanup stage, a five man crew was involved in an accident that killed four of the workers. After they finished removing the last of the equipment from the bottom of a main center structure, the ladder they were climbing collapsed. The only survivor was the man steadying the base of the ladder. Severely injured by the collapse, he only remembered the other four were almost to the top, when he felt the ladder shift. He was hit by sections of the ladder and laid for almost an hour before they were found. He was conscious, described how he heard the last breath of his friend and couldn’t do anything. 

Some people blamed him. They said he did something to shift the ladder, since they were all known to horseplay on the job. The truth was never known and the worker spent a few years with the stigma. They found his car one morning at the top of the bridge. They found him about three miles downstream.

As I examined the names, I felt a deep chill like the temperature had dropped below freezing. For a few moments, my breath was visible. As quickly as it started, the chill went away. Again, I had the feeling I was being watched.

I don’t know why I didn’t retrace my steps, but I decided to complete my trek through the bridge. I felt I was being foolish and wasn’t going to succumb to my fear.

I finally reached the far main support structure. After testing the piece of plywood, I crawled through into the far section. For some reason, I decided to pull the plywood away and look down into the large open space below. I had a good flashlight, so it revealed what I’d seen years before.

Far below was a double stand of scaffold. Beside the scaffold were numerous scaffold frames and a few other objects too large to fit through the manhole. In the final phase of construction, some things were needed that would remain forever.  Careful consideration kept these things to a minimum, but some things were required that would never be retrieved.

As I was replacing the plywood, something pushed me away from the opening. Immediately, the lights went out and all I had was the narrow cone of light from my flashlight. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I noticed movement by the manhole. Turning my light to the movement revealed a man on his knees pulling a rope from below. As he pulled the rope hand over hand – as though he was raising something from below – I examined him closely. Something was wrong.

There was no color to the man or his clothing. He was all grays, blacks and lighter grays. The muscles in his forearms flexed as he lifted his heavy load. As he worked, I could see his lips move, as though he was talking to someone below.

The hair on the back of my head bristled. The chill I felt was beyond description and my only thought was to retreat.

Backing, I tripped over a bucket left by the construction crew. Falling, I quickly retrieved my flashlight and turned it back toward the apparition. He was looking directly at me, and spoke: “Be careful old man.”

The voice was soft and sounded as though it was from far away. Without thinking, I turned and ran toward the access ladder below the manhole in this section.

I found the manhole was closed. Pushing up barely budged the lid. Placing my back against the lid, I pushed with the strength  stark terror brings. Within seconds, I pushed the heavy lid away, scrambled through the opening and found myself on the far side of the bridge. Without hesitating, I pushed the lid back toward the opening and was satisfied when it slammed in place.

Trembling, I waited a few moments to see if the lid would rise and something crawl through the opening. 

Seeing nothing happen, I turned and ran across the bridge to where Tink was waiting.

Tink spoke as soon as I arrived: “That’s not funny.”

“What’s not funny?”

“Rocking the truck and then hiding.”

I only stared at him. I was trying to catch my breath, sort my thoughts and processing this new information. Something rocked the truck and it wasn’t me.

“I’ve been in the bridge. I didn’t rock your truck.”

Tink’s eyes grew wide as he digested what I said. Quickly regaining his composure, he responded:  “I don’t think it’s funny.”

Something in my expression must have changed his feelings. I can only imagine what I looked like, but I know how I felt. Spooked doesn’t even come close to my feelings. I was terrified and wondering what to do.

Tink’s eyes grew wide again before he spoke: “Who’s that?”

I turned and found nobody. Looking back at Tink, I realized he was now not seeing anybody either. Before I could say anything, he was gone. He reached his truck before it could all sink in, started it and raced away into the fog.

I was now alone on the bridge, mind racing and still trying to calm down from my experience. Before I could decide what to do, a police car pulled behind the barrels with the flashing lights on.

The officer pulled up, stopped next to me and said: “I’ve had two complaints tonight, so you need to stop what you’re doing.”

I was now really confused. I could only ask: “What do you mean?”

“Two motorists reported they almost hit workers carrying boards on the bridge. It’s dangerous enough working at night, without fog. You need to wrap up and stay out of traffic. Don’t make me come back.”

Before I could respond, he drove away.

For some reason, I needed to know the time. Looking at my watch, I found it was 4:00 in the morning; one hour before the superintendent was supposed to show. I don’t know why, but I decided to stay.

Over the next hour, I stayed near my pickup. I was ready to leave but unwilling to run. Any sound or movement would put me on edge.  As the hour wore on, I became less tense and found I was exhausted. 

The sound of a diesel truck forecast the arrival of the project superintendent.

“Good morning, John.”

“Good morning, Jesse.”

“Quiet night?”

“Yep; only a few drunks and hardly any traffic.”

“Where’s your helper?”

I paused. I wasn’t really sure what to say, but knew anything out of the ordinary wouldn’t do.

“He ate something that didn’t agree with him for lunch. I sent him home an hour ago.”

“You look tired, John.”

I imagine I did. That and still freaked out about what I’d seen.

“That’s what you get when you get old. Even an easy shift is tough.”

“I’ll leave you a message, if we need you tonight.”

“That works for me.  I’ll see you later.”

I quickly climbed into my pickup and started the engine. The windshield was covered with moisture from the fog.  Before I could run the wipers, I noticed something different on the passenger side of the windshield. When I realized what it was, a chill ran up my spine.

I recognized four signatures. They were the same as the ones circled in red on the plaque. I didn’t recognize the fifth signature, but had a good idea who it belonged to. I turned on the wipers and they disappeared.

Placing my truck in gear, I checked the rear view mirrors; saw it was clear and quickly accelerated through the barrels. Within a minute, I’d cleared the bottom of the bridge, which now disappeared into the foggy darkness.

I don’t know if they needed me again the next night. If they called, I never answered; I turned my phone off. I wasn’t going back and never crossed that bridge at night again.

Canon in D Major; A Version I Like

Pachelbel's Canon in D Major is one of my favorites. I like it most any way arranged, but this one is different and I think you'll like it.

My Brain Is On Overload

Some people have brains that think in numbers. It's like the entire universe is nothing but another group of variables to crunch, rearrange and turn into mathematical equations.

My brain doesn't work that way. I'm thinking it has something to do with getting hit in the head during the fourth grade. 

Anyway, I've spent a substantial part of the day calculation radius points from chords, figuring theoretical elevations after determining the percentage of fall and plotting the information, to load into my total station for a job start on Monday. 

I think my brain is about to explode. If you hear a loud noise, you know what happened.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Okay. What's the Deal?

I bought some new socks and underwear the other day. Call it my Christmas present, since that's about all I got.

For some reason, the socks - even after washing - smell like a mixture of hydraulic fluid and insecticide. Maybe they spray them with exactly those two things to insure they don't spread the plague, when they ship them from some third world country.

The underwear is comfortable, but damned if I can figure out which side is supposed to be out. Thank goodness nobody sees them. I'd be embarrassed if I was walking in Walmart and the other customers started pointing and exclaiming: "Look at that idiot. His underwear is inside out!"

Anyway, I feel a little behind the times this evening. Between tweeting, twerking and some other things that start with a "t", I haven't got a clue.

Congress Is Soon To Go Back To Work

I don't know the official day, but it's soon, since spending that much time at home leads to a longing to enact new laws, ruin lives and spend money they don't have.

Anyway, I'm hoping at least half come back with bruises from the rotten vegetables they were pelted with over their time off. They deserve it and a less polite society wouldn't be throwing vegetables.

Six Figures on the Way

No; not money. At 1:56 pm CST, my stats say 99,999 visitors to my blog. I'm thinking that probably around 40,000 real people, with the rest being bots.

Still, that's good, I'm happy for the moment and want to thank those that come for a peek.


There are a few takes on the new owners of Chrysler, which is being purchased by Fiat.

This version is what many in the media want you to think is the news, but there'a another article about this purchase, which isn't such a rosy picture of a successful business venture.

Long story short: The current administration pumped 12 billion of taxpayer dollars to put substantial amounts of money into the hands of political friends; at the cost of not only tax dollars, but in the theft of pension funds for those that weren't such good friends of the Obama Administration. To add insult to injury, unsecured creditor were included in those that were left with damn near nothing.

So how does this play out? Fiat hasn't been doing well either, so to make all this work, it will need to push the manufacture and sell of the "environmentally unfriendly" vehicles that Chrysler is making money by selling. I'm guessing this fact will be overlooked by an administration that has pissed off billions into renewable energy at the cost to taxpayers, who not only lost the money, they're now required to pay interest on the money borrowed and used for this fiasco.

So, due to the circumvention of law, a failing Italian automaker will soon be owner of an American automaker, thanks to an administration that had no qualms about stealing the company from honest individuals for political gain. Think about this the next time you see one of those Dodge truck commercials. I don't know about you, but I think it's unpatriotic to purchase one of these vehicles. Any profits go overseas and you only perpetuate a criminal enterprise.

It's Not All Commercial Drivel

I doubt you'd find the following song on many pop stations - even country stations. You'd find it on religious stations, but even some of those are more geared to the pop faction of that music genre.

It's pretty simple stuff and has been around for a lot of years. I've heard it many ways, but the simpler the better; in my mind.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Everyone Has A Different Take.

Bob Dylan is who most people think of, when they hear the title: "Don't Think Twice It's All Right". There's a lot of things to be thought of in the words, but no matter how you think, they bring a lot of thoughts to mind.

Starting the New Year

Well, it's here, so I'm starting the year by making a pot of beans. This batch will be great northern, with smoked sausage.

This is what they'll look like. The taste you'll have to imagine.