Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Fan

I have a fan!

Nice post, in a drunk, profound way. You're posting less and less these days. You hate California, and your life there, right? You left everything behind, the Barn, your friends, your family, the PGR...

At least, try to post more often. You have a good, direct and amusing, straightforward style, that its not that easy to find. In 4 words, you're fun to read. Despite all our differences.

Cheers from Europe/Portugal


I never thought my troll would be the one that comes back regularly to read my posts.

So, sincere or a smart ass jab? meh, who cares.

Everyone can stop reading here except "Europe/Portugal"

-------------------

Yes, I'm posting less and less. I'm on face book daily... or more. I must admit, I do kinda miss your ranting and posting here in a more anonymous manner.

No, I don' hate California, the weather is great and I'm meeting some really great people. I do miss the Barn, my friends, family, the PGR... There are PGR here and like i said, I'm making friends.

And thanks for the complement.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Saw A Spider

Yes tonight I saw a spider.

It’s at least 50 feet between the building I’m staying in and the one across the way. Yet he hung there… 40 feet above the ground, blowing in the wind.

If this had been Indiana, I’d say a storm was brewing. You know the feeling… A suspiciously warm night, a strong breeze coming in from the south… rain is coming, big storm. Big rain. But here in Southern California, phft, I don’t have a clue. This weather is… weird.

The spider.

He was blowing in the breeze, moving around at least two feet. Completely oblivious to the impending death that surly awaits him should he fall the 40 or so feet to the ground. But yet there he was, making his web. Working tirelessly to construct that which would sustain his life.

There was a point… somewhere.

I know, “What the f’hell?” Yet some how, for some reason, to me, it is… was profound.

Yes. I’m drunk.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

29.95

Sigh - when your 29.95 room comes with a fly-swatter. It should be obvious you're not going to sleep much... crickets. In the room. Under the bed. All night.

Oh, and now... no hot water.

If there was ever a sign I should just go back to bed, this is it.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

There’s a party at the Barn

It’s 12:30am Wednesday morning and I’m not sleeping again. Not sleepy… maybe choosing not to sleep. I’m actually not sure which.

Earlier today a friend posted on FB (by the way, that’s where I’m spending most of my time these days) he was headed up to the barn to get some ink done. Sigh. Sitting at my desk (it’s really a table, I don’t have a desk… and don’t even ask about ‘an office’) I pondered on that statement just long enough to get a lump in my throat.

I’m here, they’re there. And life goes on.

I may have to drink a bottle of Jack this weekend just so I can pretend I’m there.

If, somehow, someone, were to read this and happened to get the Barn Bunch together for a ‘biker’ style (you know, fingers, moons, maybe ‘twins’) group photo and sent it to me… I’d be really grateful.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In My Short Time Here In California

I’ve learned:

Traffic. No matter where you are from, where you have driven, the traffic in LA is unique. Here, the terms ‘defensive driving’ and ‘situational awareness’ have completely new depths of meaning.

It DOES rain in Southern California.

Palm trees, left to their own devices are gnarly. (note So Cal terminology) Nothing like you see in the post cards.

No matter how my day was, if I have to park more than 2 buildings away from my apartment, the day sucked. Yesterday (last night) I got a “notice of intent to impound” sticker on my car. I am in building L. I have had to park as far away as building A.

I get the heebe jeebes (we’re talking serious panic attack here) when traffic makes me stop on the highway under a bridge. All I can think about is “squashed like a pancake”…

The barbed wire on the sign poles is to keep people off the signs, not necessarily for birds. Some guy was on the news, being convicted of vandalism on (tagging) the big green highway signs. He did over $100,000 in damage. Said he climbed up on them at night and painted away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Left Coast

Again, Not what I expected.

I expected a culture of hug the planet, save the trees, flow control faucets on everything, don’t drink sodas, only eat salads, you know, the left cost way of life. I also expected PC-ness to be running rampant.

From the people here, I have observed, they are worse than any Midwesterner. They litter, freely. We’re talking sandwich wrappers, empty cigarette boxes, multiple napkins… it’s almost disgusting. Use it, drop it out the car window. On the freeway, at traffic lights, in a parking lot… wherever they are.

There is fast food everywhere and everyone eats it. Now some times they tend to go for the ‘chuck-wagon’, (one of those traveling trucks that brings food to a business) What they get from there are fries with cheese, super sloppy burritos… all kinds of stuff that isn’t good for you.

Sidebar – the chuck wagon is more like a carnival food truck, not the little pick-up-with-a-heater-and-refrigerator like the other factory had. These have deep fryers, griddles, freezers and 2 or 3 workers in them. They must come from somewhere near by here because in the mornings, I see a half dozen of them on the road. Oh yea, they are here for breakfast too.

My apartment does not have flow control on the shower head. I was genuinely surprised to see this. The water pressure is great. I have the hot and cold valves turned less than one-eight of a turn and I can spray parts into my hair. Any more opening of the valves and I think the shower streams would cut my skin.

There are TV and radio commercials (PSA’s) telling everyone there is ‘mandatory water conservation’. Don’t hose of your driveway, take only 5-minute showers, fix broken sprinklers, etc.

PC – again, political correctness seems to be an elitist philosophy. Some customer name and or job name had something like fine china in the name. ho boy, you wouldn’t believe the vagina gags running around and being shouted over the walls. Funny, yes. Expected, no.

Maybe what I have been told is just from Hollywood. Maybe these people are too busy working and trying to get by in this crazy economy (like the rest of the country) to worry about what the Hollywood Elite seem to worry about. It’s kind of comforting but in the same since, it’s disheartening.

Being conservative doesn’t mean I’m not ecologically aware. I don’t litter, I try to eat right when time allows. And does any body really ‘hose’ off their driveway weekly or daily??

If I’m more conservation conscious than 70-80% of the left coast… what does that mean?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Minority

That's me.



I went to Wal-Mart here the other day to get some supplies. You know, soap, paper towels, butter and such.



Anyway, standing in the checkout line I started looking around. First of all, the place was packed. Must have been 20 open register lines and all of them had at least 3 people waiting in line. It was packed like Christmas in Indiana. As I was scanning the crowd, just taking in the scenery, it hit me... black hair. OMG everyone here has black hair. That got me looking and I actually did find one guy with a ball cap on that might have had lighter hair.



Everyone else was latino or asian. I was the only 'white' guy.



The trend even carries on here to the new office. I AM the only white guy. There is one guy, Jesus, with red-black hair and the bleached blond/red latinos don't count.



Here it's not just appearance. It's language too. The owners speak hebrew, a couple guys in the office and a couple on the factory seem to speak it too. Then of course there is the spanish. In the middle of phone conservations they (the latinos) change back in fourth like it's the same language. On top of that, I know I've heard korean (seen it come off the printer too).



It really is amazing to listen to this modern day melting pot of cultures mix and enter act.





Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 01, 2009

Work

So... Yesterday I drove to the new office just to get a feel for the directions and the time required. Took me about 25 min.

I figured a 2 to 3 times the time... this being LA and all. Nope. Took me 25 minutes. I'm an hour early. On top of that, no one is here... The place is empty.

Think they closed and went out of business without telling me?

Naaw, me neither...


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Monday, May 25, 2009

Question...

How do you, or more specifically I, tell some one they are being a dumb ass?

Besides the obvious, just come out and say it.

In a few posts below, I've talked about Tom. He has esophogas cancer. He says from years of smoking. Like since he was 19, since Vietnam.

Because he was a real man (his words) he never went to the doctors. If he had they may have found it early enough to make it not be fatal.

So... what causes a mid 40's, intelligent man to start or re-start smoking?? Peer pressure...? Really? Naw, can't be.

Ok... I'll just say it.

DC, you're being a dumb ass! Just stop smoking! Ok?
That shit WILL kill you!

And Steve, my gut tells me you aren't doing everything you should. I hope I'm wrong.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Turmoil

What would you give up for a job?

Would you move...
... across town/city?
... across the state?
... the country?

I know, I know. I'm beating this to death.

BUT

I've said before, these PGR guys (and gals) around here ARE family. There is more love here than any church I've ever attended.

I'm gonna miss them. All of them.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Big Catch-Up

Where the Hell am I...?

If you’ve asked a question recently, the answer is probably here.

Party at the Barn –
After lots of big plans and many people coming, it finally happened. Not as many soldiers as we would have liked and not as many friends as I would have liked but it was a good time. The Corpsman brother came up and got some ink. I got mine finished… well the outside. We’ll see if and when I get to the inside. Brian (the tattoo’er) sketched out a concept. It’s gonna be cool!













The Corpsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Blogger
(click'm for big'm)

The son –
Reserve center on or about June 1, then training in the California desert. Then off to the sand box. Unemployment aside, this is going to be a tough year for me.

The Test –
I passed. I am an official state of Indiana licensed bartender. Should get some apps out today. We’ll see what happens.

JOB –
Good news, guess I have one. They want me to do the contract thing for 4 weeks, then make me an official offer.
Bad news, like I said below, it’s in California… Los Angeles.

Tom –
Sigh.
He has asked me to take him to the Nickel Plate (local Steelers bar). He knows he’s going to miss the ’09 season so he wants to go have some of the bar food ‘one last time’.
We’re going today.
God! I’m gonna miss him!

Friday, May 08, 2009

IMG00133-20090508-2346.jpg

I'm not drunk... I'm just drinking.
It is q good night at the barn!!


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Testing

I hate tests.

I've spent the last two weeks in a bar tending school and today... in about 5 minutes. We have our final.

I have to write out the ingredients for 20 drinks and make 12 drinks in 8 minutes.

I'm sooo screwed!

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

4 to 6 Weeks

Sigh…

It is amazing the range of emotions I go through while riding.

Tom was told last week, “the chemo is not helping anymore, we are going to stop it and make you comfortable. You have 4-6 weeks.”

No, I guess it wasn’t really that cold when he relayed the info to me but is was that abrupt, at least to me. Since this post in October of ’07. I had gotten used to him being sick and not dying. It’s been 18 months since that ‘Stage IV’ post and he’s still here, I had become complacent. Now …

When I left his house this evening, I was in a rage. If I could have gotten to a computer then, this would have been a VERY different post. But a bit of a ride and some tears on the inside of my ridding glasses and I don't need to kill anything. I want to remember. I want you to know.

***********************
I’d guess about 7 years ago we (me and my family) were a little tight for money. So, I got a second job. I think I was making $8 an hour as a cashier in a Shell station. As football season came around, I was grumpy that I was missing all of the football games, not just the Steelers. See, I was working 10 hours Saturday and Sunday, plus 8 hours 2 or 3 days a week making ‘the shell station’ almost another full time job.

On Sundays (with my Managers permission) I started bringing a 13 inch tv to work. I would at least get to watch whatever game was on the local airwaves. Amazingly, quite a few were Steelers games. Customers would loiter and watch the game for a few minutes, once they figured I was going to do this regularly some would drop their wives off to get groceries then ‘go get gas in the car’. Heh, amazingly ‘getting gas’ would take just as much time as the whole grocery trip. One of those regulars was Tom. He is a Steelers fan. We got to the point where he’d stop at Subway and bring us sandwiches for the late games. He was a Marine… we became friends.

Tom, my friend, this is going to be a tough month. For both of us. Like another friend of mine says, “you are where you are suppose to be”. I am so glad I decided to work at that gas station.

God bless, God’s peace. I will not forget you.

Overheard #2

"some diarrhea is good. It flushes the system of kooties. A lot of diarrhea is... shity"

Fire guys are hilarious.

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Overheard

I'm sitting in an EMA CPR and AED training class and an old Marine talking about monies going to public colleges.

"they all are a bunch of God damned communists. How in the hell do they get millions of dollars to teach communism? Aren't we in America?"

I love this guy.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 27, 2009

Inquiring Minds

So... about California...

It is a small company. Apparently they have hired 2 or 3 other 'experts' and they got screwed. One nearly took them to bankruptcy.

Yea, they wanted me to work for a bit, to kinda prove myself. I did. Seems they were impressed.

Being previously scorned they are approaching me in baby steps.

The next step is for me to work for them at their place for a month, maybe two. THEN they might make me an offer for full time permanent work. Right now they want me to do a type of contract work. Making a little less than I was, even a little less than Connecticut.

Did I mention it's a small company? Yea, no benefits. None. Not even a company policy on vacation.

I'd be an awful big fish in that pond... really big.

They talk a good game. Making all kinds of promises for the future. Big promises.

I'm all wierded out. I don't know what to do... Probibaly take it. We need the money.

* * * * * *

PS - coolest thing about this BlackBerry thing is I can address menstrual rags when they show up almost immediately. How cool is that? Just a couple clicks and the stench is gone.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 24, 2009

All Done

Interviewing is done. Amazing how exhausting two days of question and answers can be... that or the jet lag is catching up with me.

Going to try going to West Coast Choppers in Long Beach before heading to the airport.

Wouldn't it be cool if I got to meet Jessie James?

I get home about 9 tomorrow, gonna be a long day.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

I Love Jack

Almost done with the second double (strong) Jack and Coke. I feel good. Maybe i'll actually get some sleep tonight.

One more day of interviews, then home on saturday. Looking forward to riding in the first 80 degree weekend this year.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Working

Is it a new business model to bring in skilled people and require them to prove themselves by actually producing work or product?

I've been working on a reflector design all day... for free.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We are everywhere

It is a Steeler Nation!


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Grrr

Stupid spell check. That should be traffic.


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Traffic

405 105 interchange. How many levels of stopped traffic can you see?

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Yep, I'm in LA

The first class steward(es?) was doing the 'thanks for flying with us, come again thing...'. She had a deeper voice than I do. And was over 6 feet.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Question

Why does everyone stand up to board the plane when they call first class only?

Granted the seats in the waiting area aren't great but they are much better than sitting on the plane.

Crazy, impatient people.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Edit 02MAY09 - because if your last and there is no more room for bags in the over head, they get checked weather you want them to or not. Fuckers!

Overheard

Sitting in an airport BBQ restaurant I overheard a NWA Captain buy the lunch of 5 Navy seamen.

Warms the heart.
I had to thank him my self.


Grrr

So the plan was they (execs at this company) were going to pick me up at the airport and we would go to dinner. They just called... Reserved a rental car for me and will pick me up at the hotel.

Soooo... I will be in this monkey suit all day for nothing. The longer I have it in the more chances I have to spill something on myself. I really prefer to travel comfortably in jeans.

Oh well, at least I look good. (no comments DC...Dazd)


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Interview

Thursday last week an acquaintance gave me a lead to elite Lighting. I sent a resume, they called, we talked, they want to see me in person.

LA here I come. Yep, flying to Los Angles tomorrow. Fly back Saturday.

Hopefully I can send text updates while I'm gone.

I hope whatever (if) they offer me will let me stay here and not make me move to the west coast.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vice Versa

Kinda.

You may remember my frequent trips to The Barn... Some of you may know of or about the Missus' trips to Camp Atterbury for training.

Well, this weekend we switched places. I went to Camp Atterbury for training and she went north to the barn. Granted she wasn't partying like I do but she was there, using The Barn as base camp and helping the local community.

I know she had a good time and some successes. I, on the other hand, was in school. Ground Search II. How to use a compass, how to look for people that might get lost... in the rain. Yea, rained all day Sunday. I got soaked.

The highlight of the weekend was going to a local Buffalo Wild Wings and watching UFC 97. Got back to the hotel about 1am. Good times!

*********

--- overheard at lunch Saturday;

Firefighter to attractive married lady, "so, what color is your equipment?"

Dead silence at our lunch table.

A different firefighter 'whispers' loudly, "I hope it's pink"

Lady with head in hands and turning bright red says, "some is blue and I have green and yes some of it pink."

The whole table burst into laughter.

It was great.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dreams... Maybe Nightmares

I had two this morning. Thursday morning. Yes I know it is nearly 2am Friday.



1 - I noticed a leak in our bed room ceiling. At least evidence of a leak. The ceiling was sagging and had that shiny wet look.

I called my wife over to see and told her not to poke it because it might rupture causing the drywall and whatever else to come falling down.

She poked it. Made a huge mess.



2 - We (me and the missus) are at some formal function with the CEO lady I interviewed with in Connecticut. She found me and said she had found her dog and cat. I was glad for her. Guess I knew they had been missing.

What I saw was this; the dog was nearly folded in half. Obviously hit by a car. Whimpering and in obvious pain. She said 'doesn't look like he is going to make it.' The cat, also hit by a car was cut open and also in obvious pain.

She had them both in a shopping cart... like you use at the grocery store.

She turned to head back into the function saying, 'they'll be dead soon enough.' And left them.

I woke up appalled.

If this is what my subconscious thinks of her, I'm really glad I did not take that job.





Sigh - why can't I just have raunchy sex dreams like normal people?





Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Down Time

This weekend I burnt off some... "bad attitude".

The missus and I went to see 'Monsters vs Aliens in 3D'

This is quite the funny movie. Even in my hyper frugal state this was worth the money for the escape.

Some time Saturday morning we saw one of those behind the scenes things... you know, where they show you who does the voice for each character.

I had wanted to make a mataneé but a re-attempt at geocaching Saturday afternoon had us trapesing around in the woods too long. I learned I am WAY out of shape. Barley walked 2 miles and I was pooped. I'm not really gaining any weight on these days... Weeks... months off. Just getting soft. I need to fix that.

Where was I... oh yea, the movie.

When (If) you see it, tell me if you can't help but wonder why she ain't naked. Then there is the fiancé... Does one assume 'all' parts grew in proportion? Poor guy would be nothing more than a living dildo. I mean how long can you make raspberries before everything goes numb? Talk about 'straping a 2x4 across you ass so you don't fall in'. Maybe if he could run in place for a few minutes.

I digress... Seriously, it was a good movie. Comedy was funny, the action was sharp, the 3D was unique. And the mad scientist-cockroach having Hugh Laurie's (House from TV) voice, classic.

I recommend it. This one is even worth full price admission.

Edit 02MAY09 - Fixed spelling and spacing.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Interview

An interview and the prospect of employment in this economy should not be depressing.

This was.

17 years with one company and 20 years in one industry it is safe to say I'm an expert. Hell, I'm on a committee that writes the test questions for lighting professionals certification.

Today I interviewed for a technicians position with an instrumentation calibration company.

It's all i'm qualified for... An entry level, just starting, shit turd over minimum wage position.

Fuck me. I want to crawl under a rock.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 06, 2009

Another Week

I can't believe another week has passed and I'm still not posting like I should... like I want. I'm still getting the occasional comment, so I guess a few are still stopping by now and then.
Big thanks to kat, becky, nancy, tani and airmanmom - you guys make me smile. I'll be stopping by soon, promise.
Thanks to kartman, lobo and DC - you guys don't comment but I know you come by. Thanks again!

Let's see... what's been going on.

21 update - it went well. Took the kid and some of his friends and his gf to BD's Mongolian BBQ. The food there is always good. It's an 'all you can eat cook it the way you want and if you don't like it try again' place. I highly recommend it. Seems he has my endurance for alcohol. He had 1 - long island iced tea, 2 - marguita's on the rocks, 1 - peppermint schnapps about 2 ozs, and 2 - Bailey's on the rocks about 2 ozs each.
He got happy, but never really got drunk. As we were leaving he was heal-toeing a line and touching his nose. Hahaha. Spent well over a hundred dollars but hey, your baby only turns 21 once, right?

Job hunt - ya know, with CareerBuilder sending me daily updates on new job listings, i'll bet I'm sending out 10-20 resumes a week. And still nothing! I've given up on the lighting industry. Right now I'd take anything, especially if it pays decent.
I did get a lead from a guy I used to work with. Seems one of their vendors is hiring. Spoke to the owner and he is giving me an interview this Wednesday. WooHoo!! Again, I'll let you know what happens.

The other son. He didn't call today with any more details. He was at drill this weekend. I figure the COs made them stay late for one reason or another and he didn't have time. Guess i'll call him tomorrow.

The weather here Saturday was GREAT! Bright sunny all day with a high of about 65. Started out kinda cool though. It was 29 when I left the house. Went with the missus to Lafayette for a search. I rode. Had to, it had been too long again. Plus the IPG (Indiana Patriot Guard) was having a meeting in the afternoon. We are planning the 2009 rally.
I left the search about 3 and rode over to Silver Lake. The Barn. Had the meeting, some cookout food, a beer and of course a double shot.
Left about 9, made it home about midnight.
It was a great day. Got to help the wife on a missing persons case, got to spend time and eat dinner with my PGR family AND rode nearly 300 miles!

Speaking of the IPG event, you all are invited! May 8 and 9. Seriously, drop me an email and I'll get you directions. Any one questions you, just tell them you are 'DNR sent ya'. I'll bet someone hands you a beer then apologizes for you having to know me. hahaha

Till next time.
If you can't be good, be good at it!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Barocky Road

In Honor of the 44th President of the United States , Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has issued a new flavor, " Barocky Road .."

Barocky Road is a blend of half Vanilla, half Chocolate, and surrounded by Nuts and Flakes.

The Vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient.

The Nuts and Flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow.

The Cost is $100.00 per scoop.

When purchased, it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone, but then the Ice Cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you.

Thus you are left with an empty wallet, no change, holding an empty cone, with no hope of getting any Ice Cream.

Aren't you feeling stimulated?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

21

My youngest turns 21 today.

Jeese, am I really that old?

After watching DC and me get drunk he decided he wants us, his parents, to take him out and be his DD.

Responsible kid. Makes me proud.

Anyway... Should be fun. Doesn't have his dad's craving for plane whiskey. So we're gonna try some mixed drinks.

I'll post pics if he let's me take a few.

More about the other son THIS weekend.


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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Joke Time

jok The Dept Of Defense briefed the president this mornings



They told President Obama that 2 Brazilian soldiers were killedin Iraq . To everyone's surprise, all the color drained from Obama's face. Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in his hands,visibly shaken,almost in tears. Finally, he composed himself and asked, 'Just how many is a Brazilian?'



This is not surprising, since he obviously has no understanding of billion or trillion either.



H/T to DC

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Seems Uncle Sam

...wants MY son.

Just got off the phone with my son. Seems the man I didn't vote for and have very little, if any, respect for has decided he needs my son to fight for him.

I've decided not to look at it that way. My country has asked... You have asked and he has said yes.

He says we'll know more next weekend.

I couldn't be more scared.
I couldn't be more proud.

Stay tuned for details and don't tell the missus. Nick and I agreed not to tell her till he knew for sure.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update

Hey everyone!



Yes, I'm still alive. I survived the Blues Bash. Not for trying though. Looking back I was in a hurry to get my drink on. Too much of a hurry. I have no idea how much I drank... too much... too much shine, too much Jack and all WAY too fast.



Before the band finished it's first set I had fallen on some lady and was pretty much unconscious. (that is, I don't remember anything).



I have a couple pics... Guess i'll post them. I know there are more floating around. They'll have to be emailed to me... Maybe i'll post them too.



The job search is going slow. One company expressed interest but even that is waning. Plus I don't think I really want to move 1,400 miles east. Still have some money to make ends meet for a couple more months... I fear the recession will out last my cash reserves though. Wonder if I can get bailed out...?



PGR has been busy. We've had about 8 funerals in the last couple weeks. I RC'd Cpl Donte Whitworth. A very beautiful family. He was buried about ten miles from my house. Besides the Marine honor guard, a small group came in. Found out they (a Major, other Cpls and PFCs) were with Donte in Iraq. They were all home on leave but had come to Indy to be with Donte's family. To me, that speaks volumes about the character of the man.



Heading out (actually just got back...) to an IPGR members funeral this afternoon. He was killed earlier this week. Steve Ray. Owned a local pub and would often give a whole weekends profits to the PGR. He was killed when another driver turned left in front of him. Spoke with his kids (one daughter and two sons) this evening.



His older son (his name escapes me right now) said "he was doing what he loved. Riding on a nice day with friends. You can lie in a bed and wither away or you can just go... He preferred to go this way."



Stevie, you will be missed.



Hopefully this is the beginning of some regular posting and reading on my part. We'll see.



Please be safe and watch out for us riders, k? Thanks!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pic from the Bash

Kinda says it all. Bigger post coming.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The '09 Version

Remember this... 2008 Mid Winter Blues Bash?

The '09 version started yesterday. I'm leaving today at noon. DC (the bastard) is already there.
Update (with pictures) to follow some time next week after I sober up.

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We... He Won

Remember this?

Web Design Contest Vote



Well, with 112,000 votes, it seems CJ and the They Have Names site one a free web page make over. Thanks to everyone that voted. I can't wait to see the new page.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Well Shit

That didn't work. Fix it tomorrow.
Trying to send a long post "Today's Word is Cold" from a new blackberry has it's challenges.

Edit - 19FEB09 @ 1626 - Fixed the post, see below.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Today's Word Is 'Cold' - Take 2

... and sore.

Last time I rode was the long over due 'Therpy' session I had. Today, riding for SSG Burkholder was hard on this old man.

It was 20 here when I pulled out at 1:30 am... seems to me last tome I did this I said something about using a windshield next time. Well, maybe NEXT time.

Door step to staging area was 125 miles, about 2 hours. Things weren't to bad, fingers were a little cold and so were my toes but over all I was doing ok.


Semper Gumbi

The Illinois part of the escort was suppose to stop where we were, regroup, then all of us were going to head down the road.

5 or 6 of us were sitting at a weigh station and we could see about half a mile down the interstate. Blink, blink - we could see the Illinois State Police Escort coming down the highway, when 'zooom', they went screaming by at about 80 miles per hour. The RC (Dan) had this look of dismay mixed with frustration on his face and everyone else was looking at him like, 'WTF - Wow That was Fantastic'. Dan gathered himself and barked 'mount up. Looks like we're gonna have to catch them!'.

The Indina State police escort we were to have jumped in their cars the couple other riders there got on their bikes and 'vroom' everyone was off... except me. See, I know if i sit around fully dressed, I'll start sweating, then when we start riding again I'll freeze. So, put on my gloves, and face mask, zip up my coat, fire up the 'ol therapist and hit the road.

By now everyone is out of sight. I hit 90 for a mile or two and caught them in about 10 miles. Took my place at the rear of the procession right in front of the last police car. He never did ask me what I did to catch up. I wasn't about to tell him either.

The next stop was Mt. Comfort exit on I-70, just east of Indianapolis. This leg was just under a hundred miles. When I got off the bike I could not feel my fingers and I couldn't stop shivering. Being that cold was uncomfortable. Maybe I should be more like the other old guys and buy some electric gear, at least start using the windshield when it is under 32. I called it a day and as the group left heading for Ohio I headed home.

240 miles in 20 degree weather, a long hot shower and a nap with a heating pad and I was ready for the day to begin... after all... it was just 10 o'clock... am.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It Has Been A While

It is nearly 2330 hours and I can't sleep. I wish I could say I forgot what this is like but...alas. I remember it all to well. See, I'm suppose to get up at 0130 tomorrow and ride to escort SSG Jason Burkholder.

I don't even know the whole story... Buy I do know he was killed in action, fighting for freedom. He is to be buried in Ohio tomorrow, and there was a memorial service in Illinois yesterday.

I almost didn't go. I made an excuse, argued it was too short a notice... Too cold... Too far to ride just to 'escort'. But I have to, I have to go. There is no excuse.

I have other things I could be doing... Should be doing. I have to do this. Much to the irritation of those I have an appointment with tomorrow, I may ride to the Ohio line. I may have to.

It is a heart thing and truly, I mean with no disrespect, if you do not already understand, I cannot explain it.

God be with all of the riders that will be out early tomorrow. And God bless the Burkholder family. I pray that you rest a bit easier, knowing that Jason is in my thoughts and I will not forget him.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Help me!

Web Design Contest Vote





Please vote for CJ and the They Have Names site for getting a professional make over.
Click on the ‘Ranked’ button above, then click on the pink ‘Ranked ___ vote now’ button. (You’ll need to scroll down a bit.)

I’m not sure I can even begin to list all of the things CJ dose for the Troops but I do know one thing he does and that’s manage and dedicate his time and money to is the web site “They Have Names”.

If he gets enough votes, the web site will get a professional make over.

So, vote, please. And remember, you can re-vote daily.

Oh, and if you are wondering why CJ does this, read here.

PS: this post stays on top until the contest closes on 15FEB09.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

OK… The Interview

Let’s see, where to start.

The interview trip was an add on trip to my twice a year committee meeting thing in KC (Kansas City). I bought the KC airline ticket about 2 months in advance. Then the CT (Connecticut) trip was added. That is, they wanted me there that Monday (the 26th) because of various schedules of people at the company. Interview would start with breakfast at the hotel with the CEO at 8 am.

No problem. Cancel the existing ticket buy a new 3 stop that jumps me all around, no problem.
Heh, right.
The first ticket was ‘non refundable’. Yea, they’ll cancel it and give me a credit for the purchase amount… BUT… to use the credit there is a fee and a processing fee and a convenience fee and a screw you fee and a fee fee. You get the idea. I was money ahead to just buy a second ticket that went from KC to CT and back to Indy and let the other one go, not using the KC to Indy leg.

Fine, whatever. Money hungry bastard airlines. Just FINE!

No issues in KC, meetings went well. The lighting geek in me has so missed the technical side of things. *sigh* it was good for my soul to be yucking it up with those people.

Fast forward to Sunday, the day I left KC headed for CT. Get to the KC airport, get my boarding pass, heading to Minneapolis. Get off in Minneapolis and the gate attendant asks me where is my connecting flight headed… as I say “Conne…” while looking at my boarding pass, I realize that I’m checked into the Indianapolis flight.
Great.
I explain what has happened to the gate lady and she directs me to one of the ticket counters where I can get a new boarding pass and all should be good. Luckily both flights laid over in Minneapolis.

I get my new boarding pass and hesitantly ask about my checked bag. “It is less than an hour before the flight leaves, there is nothing I can do with your bag”, she snaps. FUCK ME!

Why the colorful language, you may ask… Let us take inventory of the situation shall we; I’ve got a briefcase with some reading material in it. I’m wearing jeans, underwear, a t-shirt, socks and tennis shoes… that’s it. I have nothing else. No more clothes, little lone a suit. No razor and I didn’t shave Sunday morning so the beard is like sand paper. No deodorant. Nada, nothing.

OK – deep breath, CT is a thriving area and Hartford and New Haven are thriving metropolis’, right? There has to be a 24 hour something-or-other where I can buy the stuff I need.

Landed in Hartford CT at about 10 pm. Head down to the baggage area to find the unclaimed baggage office to see with is up with my bag. “yep, it is in Indianapolis” the baggage lady tells me in some eastern block accent that is so think I have to strain to pick out the English in what she is saying. It takes the next hour to get her to understand and communicate to the Indy office that I will be there Tuesday and they should hold it for me. She kept insisting they could have it 'here' for me Tuesday morning. Grrr, but I fly back to Indianapolis Tuesday.
Another half hour to get to and out of the rental car lot. 11:30 pm, I’m finally on the road for what Google tells me is an hour drive. Oh, and I haven’t had dinner yet. Good thing there weren’t any deer on the side of the road, I would have had fresh venison. And yes, raw.

Actually found a 24 hour Wal-Mart, thanks to an attendant at a gas station along the way. I get inside and I’m scanning the overhead signs as I walk… pants, black. Shirt, white. Socks, black. Underwear… Cool, I’m outta here. Almost to the check out and, DAMN “white tennis shoes will not go with this”, and head back to the back of the store for shoes, size 9. (Side bar – I always wear a 9. Have for years. These were too small. I nearly broke my finger trying to wedge them onto my foot. I think I know how you ladies feel cramming your feet into shoes. Let me tell you it felt good to get those bastards off at the end of the day. – End side bar) Done, good… SHIT, razor *sigh*, it’s going to be a long night. Grab a 4 pack of disposables, figure I’ll just use hotel bar soap to shave with… and you guessed it. Back into the store for contact solution and a contact case. Back again for deodorant. The whole demented shopping trip took over an hour. (Side bar – I also bought a duffel bag so I could get all of my new travel junk home. Being the thrifty guy that I am I bought a 4 pack of razors and a 12 oz bottle of contact solution. You might have done the same, after all, the bulk stuff is ultimately cheaper, right? Well… razors are not allowed on the plane in a non checked bag, trash’em. And 12 oz of saline at 8 bucks a bottle exceeds the FAA’s “4 ounces max of fluids in carry on bags”… trash it! Damn terrorists. - End side bar)

I finally roll into New Haven at about 1:00 am.
New Haven is a college town and has grown up around its founding father short sightedness. Alas, there are many, maybe nothing but, one way streets in New Haven. The hotel in on one, and I missed it. There is no sign or street address on the building. Fine, down to the next street turn left. I figure I’ll just do the four lefts thing and circle back and try again. Hahaha!! Whatthefuckever. The next two streets are one way the wrong way, yes two in a row going the same (WRONG) direction. On the third, I can go left. (Don’t ask me why I didn’t just do the four rights thing. Call it tunnel vision, sleep deprivation, I don’t know, I just didn’t. K?) I tried to keep count, I was about 4 blocks from where I needed to turn to get back to the hotel but there was construction, closing the road, then more one ways going the wrong damn direction again. Would you believe it took me almost 45 minutes to go 'around the block' and get back to the hotel? *big sigh*

I finally get checked in and up to my room. (see picture below). It’s nearly 2 am and I’m exhausted. As I’m about to lie down, I realize that the clothes, being new and in cellophane packaging, are wrinkled. Not like thrown on the floor wrinkled but those square ‘just came from the store’ wrinkles. I stayed up for another half hour and ironed.

Made it down stairs for the breakfast interview with the CEO. Everything went really well, guess I was running on adrenalin most of the day. The worst part was right after lunch. The VP of engineering took me on a ride around town to see the area and what not. There I am in a car, with a full belly on 4 +/- hours of sleep and the sun shining in on me. God as my witness, I was doing the whole 'head nod/jerk myself awake' thing for the last half of the ride. He said he didn’t notice. I talked with the CEO, the VP of sales and the VP of engineering. Also chatted with some of the other employees. They also had me take a 90 minute phyc test. You know;

If an employee after 3 years of flawless service begins coming in 30 minute late every day, do you;
A – fire her
B – talk to her once and fire her if she is late again
C – talk to her at least 3 times then fire her if she is late again
D – Do nothing

Great stuff.
I must have done ok. They have made me an offer. I guess you could call it that. Dollar for dollar it is about 5% less than I was making here. With the 35% increase in cost of living and 45% increase in housing, plus taxes, the ‘offer’ is a lot less. I will be talking to them this week about how far off we are. I doubt they are going to add 30-40% to their offer, so. I guess I’m not moving to CT.

Pending opportunities are in Raleigh, NC; Detroit, MI; Nashville, TN; San Diego and San Jose, CA.

Holy Crap, 2nd Place

Last time I looked CJ was in 3rd at like 3,000 votes to 12,000… Now he over 22,000!!

Holy Crap!!

Go CJ Go!!

If you haven’t voted, please do. And remember, you can vote once a day.

Edit - Holy holy crap crap!!! CJ's now 1st with over 25,000 votes!!!
WHOO HOOO!!!
BTW - Its been just over 3 hours.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Welcome Home

video

Welcome home!
2-150FA, Bloomington Indiana.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Study, New Haven CT

How do they come up with 'rack' prices for hotel rooms? According to the sign this little room is $1,500 a night...

That's more than the rooms in Times Square.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aahhh Kansas City... I remember

Aahhh Kansas City...
I remember it well.
Wonder if anyone would think I was crazy if I went home via Hays?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

DNR IS alive, really

So… how are you guys doing?

Me?

meh

A couple weeks ago the missus and I made it to the Indy 1500 gun and knife show. She picked up a Sig Mosquito .22 and I got a Taurus PT111, 9mm. We both have agreed, the next fair weekend day, we’re hitting the range. Even if we have to drive all the way to Camp Atterbury.

This extended vacation shit is getting old. I think I’m at 6 weeks now. It’s been freezing ass cold around here too. I know, I know nothing like Wisconsin or them other ‘real’ north states but for central Indiana, sub zero is ridiculous. Been making the ol’ furnace run non stop. Gas bill next month is gonna be nice…

What else?

Oh yea, the big coil spring on the garage door broke. It’s amazing how much you take those for granted. I’ll bet our double insulated door is 250 pounds. You know what that means, right…? Broke the garage door opener *sigh* some cheap ass plastic part that they don’t make a replacement for.

Last months gas bill was over $400, fixing the spring thing was almost $200, the new opener was $180 (I installed it or that would have been another $110). Can’t help but wonder what’s next. Don’t karma and fate know about the job situation here?

Speaking of the job situation, funny thing about the lighting industry, there ain’t much in Indiana.

Tomorrow I head out for my bi-annual trip to Kansas City. Then off to an interview. Yep, the first face to face interview. I’ve had several phone interviews… 30 minutes, 45 minutes, some over an hour. I know this because I’ve actually gone over on my cell minutes. Which sucks to the tune of $.45 a minute. Damn Verizon!

Anyway, the interview is in Connecticut, New Haven actually. The home of Yale… yippee. The wonderful interweb tells me there is a 32-36% increase in the cost of living between here and there. The big kicker is housing, it is 45% higher there. That’s just great.

Wow, I just read back through this post… things really aren’t as bad as this makes them sound. Hell, I stay up past mid-night, sleep in til 8, 9 sometimes even 10. I surf the web and watch TV all day. It’s great.

Miss you all, hope to make some rounds here soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hummm...

Why is cyan (sp?) pepper the same color, texture and temperature going in as coming out?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year bloggosphere, Happy

Happy New Year bloggosphere, Happy New Year!!

Aaaahhh… Therapy

It had been 23 days since I was laid off and I finally got to spend some time with my therapist Saturday and even a little Sunday.

Saturday afternoon I had a little free time so I just showed up to see if she would talk. Man, she was reluctant at first, her eyes dimmed and almost went shut when I tried to start the conversation. She sounded more like I was awaking her from a long winters slumber. Groaning and moaning “leave me alone”. After begging and pleading and promising not to bother her again, she agreed to talk. And we talked and talked. We started at 1515 and didn’t finish until after 1830. 66 degrees and heavily over cast, we spent the entire time out side. Severe weather (tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm watches) be damned.

Sunday we chatted for about an hour, again outside. In and around down town Indy. Come to find out eh groaning wasn’t so much that I had awakened here, but more a feeling of rejection. The fact that ‘I’ had not been around recently was bothersome to her.

With a promise to return weekly we parted. As I walked away I could hear the occasional ping and ting coming from her heated jugs, I knew she was mind, and I WOULD return, often, for more therapy.

2009

Happy New Year Blogosphere!!

Happy New Year!!