Sunday, February 28, 2010

But It's a Machine

I went to the softball field with Little A Saturday. We did the sign in, name tagging and spoke with the coaches and reassured Little A that she would do fine. We chatted with some moms and dads explaining that no, we weren’t the grandparents. We did in fact go thru this same process three other times starting 16 yrs ago. But thats another story. The coach was telling the kids to line up for batting skills assessments. Then , THERE IT WAS!!! A beam of light came from the heavens spotlighting it and I think I heard the Ah Ah Ah of angels. The pitching machine!!! I am prolly going to lose a few of you here but machines are my thing like Jimmy Choo’s for other folks. It was simple compact and prolly cheap to make which does not necessarily mean it was cheap. Every since I was a kid I have been amazed by the intricacies’ of machines. I have been blessed in my working years to be immersed in all kinds of equipment from autos to cameras to Zamboni’s. Well not Zambonis but it started with a Z plus how hard could it be? We took the kids to the circus and had great seats up close. While the kids watched the show I was lost in the ceiling looking at the rigging, It was quite amazing you know, Oh?? You didn’t notice? Anywho, as I was looking at the pitching machine a thought popped in my mind…. I can build one of those for Little A. The wife knowing that was coming rolled her eyes. Time to fire up the welder.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I have the Pig Flu, No, Not That One

I took Little A to the Softball field this morning for skills assessment. I prolly should not have gone as I have been a bit sick but it is her first year and I was as excited as she was. I was sick before but now I’m sitting here with 101 fever watching Canada win the Gold in Curling. Not sure I could stand much more excitement. Every time I try to talk it makes me cough. Every time I breathe I cough. Lots of coughing going on. My ribs feel like I have been used as a punching bag . I have been sitting in my office watching TV while going thru the sweating and freezing cycles. I have my hat and blanket handy. Coughing is a mixture of a headache throbbing and AB master workout. Not that I don’t need it. I have been snacking all day. My sis in law brought me some Whoppers Robin’s Eggs. One of the kids made rice krispy treats. I had a sub sandwich for lunch, and 2 bowls of soup for supper. The family went to my parents tonite for a B-B-Q for my nephew who just returned home from Iraq. Now they brought some queso and chips. I wernt so sure about the hot tea as I love sweet iced tea but it did feel good on the throat. This will be the first time I gained weight when I was sick. It’s a bit hard to complain.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where's My Video Camera

Recently, my 7 year old, Little A has had a bout of bronchitis. She has been coughing and hacking for a couple days. She had laid down the other night to go to bed when she had such a coughing attack it made her nauseous and she ran to our bedroom. Why she passed the bathroom is beyond me. We were able to herd her back to the toilet before she lost it. I was holding her hair back while the wife stood at the door with a towel over her mouth and nose because she can’t handle it. My years in the rescue squad prepared me well. In the midst of gagging she asked me what time it was. I said 9:30, Why? She gagged a bit more then she said Americas Funniest Home Videos came on at 7. OK, I said, So ?? After a bit more gagging she announced she was done and would be fine now. Good. I was wiping her face of and she said it was on for 4 hrs. Yea?? So?? Was it still on? I don’t know, why? It’s Funny. Yea it is. Can I watch it now?? No. Why not? You have to go to bed. But I’m sick. You still have to go to bed. But I can’t sleep now. Get in bed. Dad!!! Now!! She slinks to bed mumbling how she never gets her way. Actually she is the baby and usually gets her way, a small point she forgets when she aint getting her way this time. I was wondering if she had this planned but my nose told me different. I wonder if that would have been worth $10,000?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dirty Jobs, Nasty Meals

I love watching Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs. If you have never seen the show, he highlights the unsavory jobs men and women across America do behind the scenes that keep this country running. Not only does he report it, he gets down and dirty while doing it.
Last week he was out west at a fish hatchery where they breed striped bass to restock lakes and rivers across the US. He demonstrated how they caught them and vaccinated them. Is amazing how many thousands they gave shots to in a day. It did speed things up since they didn’t require each one to have a signed HIPAA form on file. As they grew they would soil the water so they brought in fish that ate the poo. As the striped bass grew so did the poo eating fish so when they hauled the Bass away they removed the largest poo eating fish for sale as well.
Here the point of this posting. The fish that grew big and strong on poo were Tilapia!! If you have ever wondered what gives Tilapia that unique flavor, well now you know. Next time you are at your favorite seafood place and see the Cedar Plank Tilapia on the menu, you might want to ask for a roll of Charmin on the side.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Compliment? I'll take It

I recently completed designs to adapt our tooling to our partner company's tooling for a big job in sunny Ohio. I tested it at our partner’s plant in Atlanta a couple times and was pretty pleased with it. The inspection team took it back down to our partners to train and demo the unit for the client. Per the project manager, all went better than expected, equipment worked well and they pulled some good scans. It was good news and I was ready to strut a bit. Then he continued saying, Their equipment was really complicated with lots of joints and motors and gears, Yours was really simple. It looked like a 3rd grader built it. HUH?? Wha…? Jeeepers, Thanks, I think. Deflated me a bit. I’m taking my tinker toys and going home.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just a quickie, More of a Bliggle Than a Blog

Wow!!! What a day!! Carolina Blue skies. 60 degrees. First sunny weekend in weeks. Spent the morning at softball signups for little A. Spent the afternoon in the yard, raking leaves and picking up limbs from the wind and ice storms. Little A on the trampoline with a friend. Dog under my feet. Worked on the deck awning that the ice brought down. It needs a bit of welding. That’s for another day. It don’t get much better than this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


It’s 5:00 AM. I am laying in bed semi-alert. My first conscious thought?? “What am I going to write in my blog today?” Whaaaat!!! Why am I worrying about that now?? This has been the routine since I started my blog. This is when my creative juices flow and supposed to be my design time. Writing is not my craft as I (and maybe you)have discovered. It looked easy enough in the beginning. In the past I would take a design challenge to bed and more often than not wake up with a sunrise solution. Blog dreams have not been as productive. I have ideas and thoughts but they never come out clear or interesting. I have felt like the comic, crashing and burning on stage. But so far no hecklers or tomatoes. TY TY Very much, LOL

I had never even read a blog till a couple months ago. Since then I have enjoyed reading the blogs of others. For many of you, writing is a real gift. Your funny or serious insights to life are written so crisp and refreshing. While you guys use the keyboard and mouse as creative tools to weave words and ideas, the blog is your palate. I use the computer to create models and drawings. Then I move to the milling machine to bring them to life. Metals and plastics are my medium. I assemble the parts to create a useful tool much like a writer creates their message to the masses. Machines are my Thing, Blogs?? Ehhh Not so much. But it gives me and outlet when I have something to say and I think I am addicted.
It’s 3:30 AM. My mind clicks on. “What am I going to write in my blog today?” Sheesh!! Here we go again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does She Still Have a Chance??

My oldest daughter, who her mom calls the ice queen, announced that she did not want to be alone and stuck single forever like her cousin. She wrote on her Facebook page that she wished her car would go out of control and run over one of the roadside Valentines vendors displays that sprung up on every corner this year. Wow!! LOL
Tell me does she still have time to find the right guy?

Poor thing is already 23, her older cousin 26. LOL

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Aint Technology Great?

My dad tries to embrace new technology; however it doesn’t return the love. He recently bought a new phone. He was all excited because it would voice dial. He feels if it has a feature he should use it. He was at the house helping me with a project. As he was leaving he said he was going to call mom (He calls Mom, Mom) to see if she wanted him to pick up dinner on the way home.

There he was, standing at the end of my driveway hollaring into the phone 10 inches from his face.
This is about how it went
He takes the phone out and says “make a call”.
Phone Beeps
Call Mom
Did you say Paul?
Do you want to make a call?
Who do you want to call?
Call Mom
Can you repeat the name?
Did you say Paul?
Do you want to make a call?
Who do you want to call?
Call mom
Did you say Mom?
Calling Mom now
He never got flustered, like this was normal, proud as could be, just a smiling like aint technology great?
Yes dad, it is, Great for a good laugh.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

South's Rare Snow Could Turn to Ice

BREAKING NEWS!!! The above title was posted on AOL news by CNN. I want to clear up a couple points. It is true we don't get a lot of snow and at the risk of ticking off our snow bound northern neighbors we do enjoy seeing it once in a while. We do close our schools and our news folk embarrass us by sitting down at the slag shed explaining how they plan to melt the ice and name it Winterblast two thousand something. We don't get alot of practice driving in it as we are constantly reminded but we get around just fine. We know what black ice is and also know how ice forms. Heck, we even make it into little cubes and put it in our sweet tea. Most of us don't panic, we know it will be gone in a day or two. All in all it is much more Media Circus than the Ice Capades they try to portray. Southern don't mean Stupid. We now return to your regular programing, The Andy Griffith Show.

In the Spirit of Valentines, A Redneck Love Poem

Collards are green,
my dog's name is Blue
and I'm so lucky
to have a sweet thang like you.

Yore hair is like cornsilk
a-flappin in the breeze.
Softer than Blue's
and best of all
you ain’t got them fleas.

You move like the bass,
which excite me in may.
You ain't got no scales
but I luv you anyway.

Yo're as satisfy'n as okry
jist a-fry'n in the pan.
Yo're as fragrant as "snuff"
right out of the can.

You have some'a yore teeth
for which I am proud.
I hold my head high
when we're in a crowd.

On special occasions,
when you shave under yore arms,
well, I'm in hawg heaven
and awed by yore charms.

Still them fellers at work,
they all want to know,
what I did to deserve
such a purdy, young doe.

Like a good roll of duct tape
yo're there fer yore man,
to patch up life's troubles
and fix what you can.

Yo're as cute as a junebug
a-buzzin' overhead.
You ain't mean like those far ants
I found in my bed.

Cut from the best cloth
like a plaid flannel shirt,
you spark up my life
more than a fresh load of dirt.

When you hold me real tight
like a padded gunrack,
my life is complete.
Ain't nuttin' I lack.

Yore complexion, it's perfection,
like the best vinyl sidin'
despite all the years,
yore age, it keeps hidin'.

Me "n" you's like a moon pie
with a RC cold drank,
we go together
like a skunk goes with stank.

Some men, they buy chocolate
for a Valentine's Day,
they git it at Wal-Mart,
it's romantic that way.

Some men git roses
on that special day
from the cooler at Krogers,
that's impressive, I say.

Some men buy fine diamonds
from a flea market booth.
"Diamonds are forever",
they say, oh so suave and so couth.

But for this man, honey,
these jus won't do.
Cause yo're too special,
you sweet thang you.

I got you a gift,
without taste nor odor,
more useful than diamonds....

Anon. from the internet

One Person's Memory

My family used to be very involved in the fire and rescue department in our small town. Mom was in the first class of women EMT’s in the county. I was for a while the youngest EMT in the county. Dad became Chief for a couple of years and my sis and her husband are still active in a small town down the road. We had assigned nights to answer calls so that not everyone on the squad would show up and cause a bigger mess than was already there. I can’t ever remember being on the scene and working with either of my parents. Not sure why but it just worked out that way. Mom and dad have gone thru some health issues the past few years and we have called for the rescue squad a couple times and it can be somewhat of a reunion. It is nice to know your loved ones are in good hands. I was at Lowes and ran into an old squad mate that was on call with me for a couple years. He asked about mom and dad because he had been on one of the calls to their house. I assured him they were doing pretty well and thanked him again for their service. He said that’s what they are here for and related a story I had never heard.
They had responded to an accident where a large truck had lost control and overturned, pinning a woman in her car. They did not have the equipment to raise the truck enough to extract her so they called in a crane and rigging company. The woman was not seriously injured but was panicking and it would be a while before the riggers arrived. My friend said dad lay on the cold ground and held the woman’s hand while praying with her for an hour until the equipment arrived and she was removed from the wreckage.
I was touched to hear that is what someone’s memory of my dad is. That’s the kind of folk mom and dad are as well as those that continue to volunteer lots of hours to help us in our time of need, at any time, in any weather. Thanks to all those who answer that call.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jockstrap Maids

I was listening to my radio station when they annouced a new employment opportunity that has arisen for men needing extra cash. A website is advertising Jockstrap Maids. They will come clean your place dressed only in their jock straps. I won't be hiring one anytime soon and unless jockstraps have gotten a lot more comfy since my days in gym class I wont be cleaning my house in one either. Whats next? Landscapers, painters? I spose the plumber's halfway there already. Then again the wife may have already hired one. I just don't won't to walk in when he is picking up the crevice tool. Jeepers!!! I think I'm going blind.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celebrating 30

As a teenager I hung out with a group of good ole boys. They were and still are known by their nicknames. There was Cockroach, the oldest who earned his name by eating a really large bug on a bet. Weasel, his brother who looked like a Saturday morning cartoon weasel with glasses and my future brother in law who earned the name Packrat by setting traps for beaver but only caught large rats. Not sure where he got the idea there were beaver about but he tried. I also earned my name. Due to some untethered testosterone and poor judgment I began to rack up a list of speeding tickets and wrecked cars and got the name Crash. The day I got my license I clocked 100mph on a country road. I totaled the parents station wagon in a pasture, wrecked my motorcycle in a curve, hit a boat on the way back from the beach, got hit by a fire truck at a fire and wrecked the ambulance on the way to the hospital with a wreck victim. It just weren’t his day. I had more than a few other minor incidents as well. My multiple tickets added up to a conference with the DMV and 1 year of probation. But I did learn and last month I celebrated 30 yrs of no tickets and no accidents that were my fault. This blog will prolly be the end of that. LOL It must be in the genes tho. We call my oldest girl the red rocket. With my past it is hard to say too much but I do know a good lawyer.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Down Home Saturday Morn

I have a small machine shop in a building at my parents place. I picked up a bit of side work this week. I called over to my parents to let them know I would be coming over Saturday morn and to ask dad to turn the shop heat on. Mom asked if I would like to have breakfast there while the shop warmed up and I said Oh Yeah!!. If I made breakfast it would be a Poptart. Mom was raised in the mountains so no Poptarts there. I walked in and dad was doing his morning Sudoku puzzle and mom was over the stove. Dad laughingly annouced they knew I wouldnt be late for breakfast. Mom had made bisciuts, scrabbled eggs and country ham. To top everything she had made sausage gravy. There was jelly and some molasses a cousin from the mountains had made. I had a little of everything, and a lot of some. Mom was excited to do it. She can never do enough for ya. We chatted about the week and doctors appointments and the grandkids. She kidded about dad going to the shop with me and hindering, which he usually does but we always enjoy the time. Breakfast prolly knocked a few days off the end of my life but made the present a lot more pleasant.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No Humor In Wal-Mart

My dog was scratching her ears and whimpering so I took her to the vet. They gave me a prescription for an ear infection and told me to bring her back in a week and a half. I took her back and they said I needed a human strength antibiotic and gave me another prescription to get filled. It weren’t cheap so I called around and found the best price at Wal-Mart. They were busy so I waited in line for my turn. When it was my turn I gave the assistant the prescription and she began with the questions.
Her: Patients name?
Me: Shelby
Her: Last name?
Me: She don’t have one she’s my dog. The prescription is from the vet.
She never looks up.
Her: I'll Use your last name. Patients birth date?
Me: I don’t know she’s a dog.
Her: Patients age?
Me: People years or dog years?
Her: People years.
Me: About nine.
Her: Filing Insurance?
Me: No she’s a dog.
Her: Your prescription should be ready in about 30 min.
Me: I am going to shop, just page me when it’s ready.
Her: We can’t do that, HIPAA privacy rules prevent us from paging.
Me: I am sure Shelby hasn’t signed a HIPPA form and won’t mind if you page.
Her: I can’t do that, do you have a HIPAA form on File here?
Me: No, I don’t usually get my prescriptions here.
Her: You will have to sign one to get the meds.
All the time the girl hardly looks up despite my best efforts to at least get one grin she never seemed one bit amused. At least the folks in line behind me got a chuckle. Best of all the meds took care of the ear infection.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Giving 100%

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been to those meetings where someone wants over 100%.
How about achieving 103%?

Here's a little math that might prove helpful.
What makes life 100%?


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11 = 98%

11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96%


1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%


2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103%

So it stands to reason that hard work and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there,
but bullshit will put you over the top.

And look how far

1 19 19 11 9 19 19 9 14 7 = 127%

will take you!!! :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cure for a bad day

We had snow and ice over the weekend here. I have a 45 minute drive to the office so I decided to work from home. Not ideal as the schools are closed and everyone will be home as well. I have my office but it is a challenge at times to concentrate. But all in all it works pretty well.

When you have an "I hate my job" day try this:
On your way home from work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the thermometer section. You will need to purchase a rectal thermometer made by "Q-tip." Be very sure that you get this brand. When you get home, lock your doors, draw the drapes and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed during your therapy. Change to very comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit and lie down on your bed. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Carefully place it on the bedside table so that it will not become chipped or broken. Take out the written material that accompanies the thermometer and read it. You will notice that in small print there is a statement: “Every rectal thermometer made by Q-tip is personally tested."
Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times, "I am so glad I do not work in quality control at the Q-tip Company."