Friday, March 10, 2017

Traffic, drivers...other irritants.

Merging onto traffic...Its really NOT difficult.

To be sure there are situations and conditions that might make the average merge into freeway traffic more difficult than it should be.  Some might be heavy traffic on the targeted freeway, lack of sufficient entry ramp to gain speed, slower traffic in front, a weak-kneed vehicle that cannot accelerate faster than its squirrels can run or perhaps a timid driver, lacking in intestinal fortitude, situational awareness and the will to press sufficiently on the accelerator pedal.

On my way to the shop yesterday I was in the right lane for my upcoming exit ramp, maintaining traffic speed with over 30 lengths open ahead of me and perhaps 10 behind me, when a minivan attempted to enter the freeway from my right.  Now to be sure, the ramp is only a 3/10 mile long from the turn-in to the fade-out of the merging lane.  The van started to merge DEAD BESIDE head check, no blinker, just blithering along totally oblivious to the fact that there were OTHER VEHICLES ON THE ROADWAY.  A blast of the horn brought a swerve TOWARDS me as well as further braking on the part of the merging vehicle that was already traveling at approximately 45 mph to merge into 60 mph traffic.  Due to traffic to my left I was forced to brake heavily as the van forced its way onto the roadway at now-indicated speed of 35 MPH. 

I laid on the horn again to indicate that the van was now obstructing traffic and the formerly 10 car gap between me and following traffic was now on the order of 2 lengths and still shrinking as the following driver braked heavily.

NOW the van driver finds the accelerator pedal and speeds away from me reaching speeds estimated at over 70 mph and slides over across 3 lanes (with little regard to other traffic, in fact producing several hard braking incidents on the part of other drivers to avoid collision) to the HOV lane and departs northward.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Things that go "BUMP" in life.

Yeah I know that things happen as we get...Uhm, (Older), some of which are good - like gaining some wisdom regarding life.
Other are less good - like discovering that its food sensitivities that are causing the rest of the body to get slightly whacked out and uncomfortable.

So at the urging of a Dr friend, I had the requisite testing done.


Wheat - there goes yummy breads, pizza crusts, hamburger buns, things coated and deep-fried.
Eggs - WHAT?? eggs with morning steak, to be wiped up with the Verboten toast.
Dairy - there goes cheese, yogurt, a tall cold glass with the now banished Oreos.

Almonds - my FAVORITE nut snack...and the source of ONE of the non-dairy substitutes.
Peanuts p #2 fav snack and an integral part of Pud Thai....
Hazelnuts - I like those too.

Soybeans? - REALLY? There goes another dairy substitute. And edamame.

Means that things like my usual on-the-run breakfast sandwich (English muffin, ham/bacon/canadian bacon, cheese and an over hard egg) is reduced to a slice of ham.  Its harder to eat things that you need to be sitting with a fork to do when you are at a dead run from A to B to C and back to B again all in two hours.  Breakfast wraps - washed right out.  PIZZA....yeah there are Gluten free crusts...and non-dairy/soy/almond cheese-like substances...just don't QUITE have the same zip...or texture or taste.

Talk about a radical upturning of ones daily routine.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reasonable Bytes: The Looters need you...

Reasonable Bytes: The Looters need you...

The Looters need you...

Work harder, lazy people need your money. Entitlement programs are YOUR responsibility.
Work harder, you need to pay for other people's poor decisions. They chose whether or not to do their homework, study, try, go to college, where to live, and therefore the jobs that they have available. It is YOUR responsibility to pay for their lack of health benefits, their lack of retirement savings, THEIR lack of a job. It's your DUTY (insert guilt here) towards your fellow humans.
Work harder, your investment in your education needs to help pay for those who didn't even try. Most of them decided along time ago that it took too much effort to be successful members of society. So much easier to just get by.
Work harder, your investment in your business needs to help pay for those who don't care. You need to work late to keep your business alive so that you can keep paying for those who leave at 3:30 to go home and drink beer not to think about work again until an hour after they show up the next morning.
Work harder.....the Looters need you.

This is the kind of thing that leaves me grinding my teeth, yes its tongue FIRMLY in cheek in its delivery...but its also the Bit-O-Truth for the day. Yes, there are folks who genuinely cannot fend for themselves, they DO need some help as a part of our humanity and the obligation to care for those who cannot truly do so for themselves.  This does NOT excuse the JUST FLAT LAZY who would rather dabble in games, art, mindless sloth, babies for dollars or pharmacological oblivion.  I feel NOT ONE BIT of obligation to support them for a second. Some may think that this is a horrible and unfeeling position, if so, please open your purse or wallet and just randomly hand any money in it to the next person you see.  Do this EVERY time you have ANY money in your wallet.  Now...don't you feel enlightened?  Possibly BROKE? 

I care, for people, for friends, even for strangers who, having lived lives of work and honor, just need a little support. Those folks I do not mind in the least, sharing what I may have that will help them through the setback.

As for the terminally lazy and unmotivated? Sorry (or not) I have worked HARD for what I have, what I have made of things and I am not in the least sympathetic for those who do not wish to put out the effort.

So Sue Me. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where did the time go?

This morning's snowfall brought me up sharp with the thought that its WINTERY...not the summer of the SO recent thoughts and the Oh SO too busy life.

On the slippery commute, interupted by those who cannot seem to drive with a slip of snow and slickness (its NOT dry pavement folks), punctuated by red and blue flashing lights, I had some time to reflect on the whirlwind that the last 8 months have been.

Off time, firewood permits and woodcutting, stacking the little blue S-10 to its capacity with firewood, cut off the slash piles, unloaded and stacked for splitting down to stove size later.

Turkey hunting on a friend's ground and very successfully to boot! Some time in the hills with a rifle, around trips to the Land of the Rising Sun, but no deer to fill the freezer with.

 The occasional peek into the woods that soothe my soul and refresh my mind.  Even ONE trip out on the water...very short trip...mostly spent playing tug boat captain with my old boat for another boaters broken boat.

All of those things rammed into and around an incredibly heavy, every expanding workload...hiring 5 folks wasn't enough, 15 more followed and STILL the workload climbs past capacity.  As it turns out...various minor models are NOT Red, Blue and Green Legos...and do NOT fit together that way.  Integration is the watchword, the curse and the muttered password, said with rolling eyes.

My boys and I spent the last few evenings checking out the trucks and preparing them for the forecast foul weather...shovels, tire chains, flashlights, gloves (axes, chainsaws, ropes, logging chains, peavy and safety gear in mine) sandbags and raingear.  Its seldom that we cannot get where we need to go, in spite of the conditions of the roads and other drivers.

Ah well... such is life, today will pass, safely one hopes and tomorrow will come.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blargh...but life goes on. (Shaking the rust off...)

Well, I am sort of back in the saddle, a bit the worse for wear but doing OK.  I'm told that getting back on the horse is the remedy for being tossed off.

Life has a been a multitude of twists and turns over the last year, some good, some bad.  This too shall pass, or so I am told.   This year's celebration of my arrival in this world reminded me that I have a cadre of good friends as fine wishes and thoughts brightened the day.

The wild wintery weather has given way to spring-like bouts of rain (toad-strangler variety), blustery wind (branch and tree carpets on the ground) and brief bouts of a blinding light emanating from the glowing yellow orb in the sky. Its still chilly enough on most days to need a jacket or at least an extra shirt.

Its firewood gathering season again...wood cutting permits, chainsaws and splitting axes.  Also to include the occasional stuck truck or blown tire due to arrowhead rocks in the roadway. Pictures to follow soon of the magificent views in the woods of the great Pacific North'Wet, the slash piles that get converted to firewood and other things of note in the woods.

Its also spring turkey season, an opportunity to hit the hills and match wits with a tasty bird.  Friends have graciously offered the use of their land for the search.  I'll be taking them up on it. I'm looking quite forward to that!

The Himalayan blackberry, the scourge of the open lands up here, is also growing but with a good coating of  last winter's snow to smash it is vulnerable to the blade of the Billy Goat brush mower and later the torch.  Land is getting cleared, next will be rototilling and gardening.

Work, that thing that pays the bills, is starting to slow down long enough for me to take a breath.  I have managed to hire 6 folks so far, more to follow, which will help reduce the workload to something that only requires 8-10 hour days...and maybe only 5-6 days a week.  GAH...thought that a new program would have alleviated that. 

We are well into the process of designing one of the world's finest flying machines for the USAF to replace the now-long-in-the-tooth craft by the same company nearly 50 years ago that are being flown by crews young enough to be the children of the original crews.  Its a fun and CHALLENGING job, fraught with pitfalls, surprises and the usual churn of taking a design and reworking it to do something very different from what was originally intended.

Back to work!

Monday, March 28, 2011

NOT 24 anymore.

Dang I'm wouldn't think that a single trailer of rack would be too much to unload. Heck it even looks like a spot of work, but nothing too strenuous.

HAAH...just unloading this one load, mostly the STANDARDS, which are heavier than they look, ...left me sore and feeling way closer to my age. They will support 3000 pounds per shelf...and 10,000 total per pair of standards which PROBABLY exceeds the floor's capacity.

Next is getting Long-term College Friend's shop ready to receive those pumpkin beauties, bolt them to the floor and start filling them and clearing the floor space.

That of course means moving the ammo cans again. My back is already cringing. Full of nuts and bolts, screws, washers and clips...they are heavy. A few even have ammo in them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jobs, work and steady employment!

Having been at the same Salt Mine for just shy of two decades, I sometimes regard management, managers and the whole idea of direction a bit askance. ( Lots of !WHAT! were they THINKING????)

After the last 6 years of extreme stress and unending toil, dismaying new discoveries, incessant globe trotting and not nearly enough sleep, I've suddenly found myself doing something I hadn't chosen to do. Apparently several of the management types decided that they needed an experienced Sr Manufacturing Engineer to attempt to side-step some of the hassles that have befallen the previous program.

I was shanghaied.

Much to my surprise things are much better, while not by any means laid back, I have some control of the trajectory short of turning in my badge and I get to choose the folks who will be working on my assigned work-package.

Per the last visit with the Doc, the BP is down 20 points or so...I'm sleeping again (well sorta) and I see daylight NOT through a window but actually walking about in it producing Vitamin D the old fashioned way. At least I will as soon as the Deluge ends.

It appears that there MIGHT be something TO this gig after all!

While the financial strictures of the program tell me that we will be doing anything and everything with very little resources, I'm confident that we DO know how to make THIS project work and be a moneymaker in spite of a very Scotch bid to get the work.

I'm working on the initial estimates to get the workload, to spec out and hire a crew and get down to doing what we are known the world over for... making flying machines. This time for the USAF, a very demanding customer.

I've even been told that a smile has crossed my visage in the last few weeks.

What next, Sunshine?