Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, August 18, 2016

6015B #6015B

6015B #6015B LWN LWS WSN PZE FKD MKE PWW ZEN HLD 6015B Caterpillar Cat #6015B

Thursday, August 04, 2016

6015B #6015B Caterpillar Cat

6015B #6015B LWN LWS WSN PZE FKD MKE PWW ZEN HLD 6015B Caterpillar Cat #6015B

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Morning of June 19, 2014

I haven’t written anything on this blog in quite a while. I tried to pick it back up when I moved to MKE and started working at the now Opposite of Dog consumed company. I’m not really sure why I stopped. Maybe I had more stuff going on, maybe I was busy.

I don’t know. I’m in a pretty low place right now.

On the surface you’d be very valid in wondering why the hell that is. I’ve got lots of good things. A wife and kids who care about me, a good paying easy work job, a second house we are renovating to move into, any number of people I could talk to and be friends with.

Yet I feel like wanting nothing more than to sleep. Sleeping makes me happy, waking up pulls me down. Nothing bad is happening during the day. It just feels like a painful process to my mind. I would rather just stay in bed and sleep most of the day.

The depression is just on top of me, suffocating me, smiling while I lay there in pain. I’m trying to move forward, but it’s not easy. I hope this helps. I hope this is the ball starting to roll down the mountain.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Semi Charmed Kind of Life

My coworker asked me at the start of the year if it seemed like nothing was happening with this merger.

I told him yeah, but what is it supposed to seem like? Does he expect them to come in and paint everything highway yellow. All the lawyers and accountants are busy little bees right now.

There was this fantastic fucking news.

Aurora plant capital investment has stopped. Engineering of Opposite of Dog hydraulic shovels has stopped. +1, double-plus-good, Like.

Milwaukee will engineer and produce mining shovels for Opposite of Dog. The first twitch my brain had when this was announced that was that I’d have to move to Aurora. Not anymore.

So now I’m just enjoying living a few blocks away from a big frozen sheet of ice that has a bunch of guys who enjoy playing hockey on it and keeping it maintained.

The boys are going to be crazy good. They learn exponentially fast. At 2.5, having only gone skating 4 times Oz can stand up on his own, hit the puck around and shuffle skate. Carter can go full on forward with no support.

Brings me back to skating at Witter and Robinson. Some of my more lucid memories have the cold and/or outdoors associated with them. I'm fairly smart, but my memory of events in my life is pretty much garbage, sort of like a goldfish... a bit better than a goldfish, but not much.

Maybe that's why I like skating outside so much. It brings back those crisp, clear memories, not the haze or complete voids of most of the last 29 years.

An all 90's rock radio weekend can bring back some clear memories as well.

I don't really know if liking Third Eye Blind is a positive or negative memory.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When it was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved.

Great line, but anyway...

We took the boys skating today at our local frozen lagoon in our neighborhood park.

Peoria can go fuck itself. You're too far south to even consider having outdoor ice for any meaningful amount of time, and your taxes are too low to support a massive park system this socialist construct of a city has.

Using something that is 120 years old , doing something as pure and amazing as ice skating, is so fantastic I can't even put words to it.

Spent too much this Christmas, head hurts, work room is a mess, things to do, bills to pay...




The ice, and the cool air, and the sun, and the sound of the blades on the ice make everything OK.

Playing hockey with my boys, or whatever it is they do as they flop around learning to skate and hit the puck, makes everything well with the universe.

The fact that, other than tomorrow when it's going to rain (WTF?), I'll be able to come here whenever I want for free and do this makes me the warm little center of the universe.

Feel free to crowd around me.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

At the End of the Day Goddamnit I’m Killin’ this Shit

When Christmas break rolls around I’ll have seven months in at Crawford County, OH. I’m looking forward to having a week and a half off. It’s been a furious string of designing for the last 7 months. The way we are designing this machine is A-typical, really Pure Gonzo Engineering. What we did at Opposite of Dog was structured and regimented compared to this. This is fun, and raw, and hectic. It’s all being done in parallel to get it done faster, which means more changes, and more mistakes that need to be fixed.

The scope and scale of this is just mind blowing. I saw the frame of my piece being built in Manitowoc last Wednesday. It’s about 30ft wide, 7ft deep, and 13ft tall and weighs around 30,000 pounds, just the frame of just my piece, three male African elephants. I’m in charge of a piece that is as heavy and as complex as an entire Opposite of Dog machine. Me and four other guys are bringing it to fruition.

It is a God damn Greek tragedy that Opposite of Dog is going to buy this company. It celebrated 130 years in December. It won’t see 131. I plan on wearing all black the day the sale is final. The death of a legend.

Sure Opposite of Dog will retain the name on some product, but far enough down the line all the horrible things Opposite of Dog is about will slowly leach into this company. The useless managers will come with their useless processes.

What a fucking shame. I really like it here. I like how things are done. I like how my boss actually knows something. I like my coworkers. I like this town.

Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Operation Impending Doom 2

I've always fancied myself a pretty good engineer.

Not necessarily the kind that will ever be recognized in any way for greatness, but one that is creative. I think I have the ability to come up with elegant creative ways to address a problem. Something you can't necessarily teach or become good at through study or even training.

I see the forest for the trees. I'm a system designer with the big picture in mind, other people can worry about the details.

Last week I got the warm fuzzy feeling that my boss also thinks I'm a pretty good engineer.

He came up to me and asked to talk privately with him. I initially got struck by that cold bucket of water of fear. Had I been on the internet too much? Did I do something wrong?

We sat down as I started to sweat a little.

"First," He said, "I want to ask you to sit in on interviewing candidates for a senior test engineering position."

Ahhh, fear washes away.

"I think you can ask some intelligent questions to any candidates that come in."

A little ego stroke once in a while feels good. His second agenda item in our little talk took me a bit more by surprise.

"What interest do you have in being a test engineer on this machine?"

I wasn't really ready for that. I kind of just started talking out load to him about how number one I don't want to travel all over the world for months on end to test this behemoth. (South Milwaukee doesn't really have any open pit mines in it.)

I kept blabbering a bit and finally made my way to the real reason I didn't want to test this machine. I'd be set up to fail. I know the time lines they are looking at, and I know what it takes to test a machine that isn't much bigger than a Ford F250, so this thing would be a monster task. This companies upper management does not understand that right now.

Plus, with opposite of dog taking over in 6 months who knows if that sort of position would be relevant in 6 months.

My boss seemed to respect what I said. Overall I think I turned down the proposition pretty gracefully.

I sat in on the interviews on two clowns they wanted to run test. Neither really impressed me. We are kind of looking for a Unicorn of an engineer though. Too much experience and breadth of knowledge required (I don't have enough on paper.)

I had never been on the other side of an interview table before. It was kind of surreal, especially asking the guy who was like 50 years old some tough questions and watching him dodge them.

I feel pretty good about what people think of me after 6 months of working here. It's just a shame this shadow of corporate evil is looming in the future. My only purpose at work now is to get this machine designed and built and working before our new corporate overlords take over.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

What do we do now? … Now? Now, We Wait

I’m more at peace with this entire situation now. It doesn’t give me this dream like feeling when I’m confronted with the information. Just like everyone will die some day, Opposite of Dog will be our new corporate master some day in the future.

I’m glad some people are going to make some fast cash out of the deal. This lady will get a settlement I’m sure, and our boss cashed in right away. (Legal, but still kind of a shady move. Why didn't he sell last Friday? Oh right, he knew he'd make around $600,000 more if he waited the weekend.)

I’m comforted in looking at other companies Opposite of Dog has swallowed. They’ve kept their identity and colors, but just have a little owned by Opposite of Dog subscript on their website. We have more of their core product so our assimilation may be more yellow than the rest.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here we are trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

I’m still having a hard time grasping this reality.

When I was walked out of the Sandbox I expected to never set foot on Opposite of Dog property ever again.

Yesterday my wife was sick so I stayed home to watch the boys. I decided to put window plastic up on our drafty 60+ year old windows.

It’s not a job I’d normally be any good at. It takes too much patience and precision.

I paint with broad strokes.

I slowed down and let my mind come to terms with this new world I was thrust into. My head was clear as I put down the tape, put up the plastic, shrank it with the hair dryer and trimmed it was a razor.

By the time I had several done I felt less scrambled.

The irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.

I appreciate this sick sense of humor the universe has.

I left Peoria, and Peoria decided to follow me. I wanted freedom from the endless processes of the machine and the bosses bosses bosses boss, none of whom know a damn thing about what is going on, yet they will be back. They will come to this group of engineers who still exist in a corporate framework, but at the end of the day are accountable to each other more than their superiors. We design to make something great, not to fulfill metrics and be “Green” for gate reviews.

Maybe I can take part in how the transition happens. Maybe I can make my voice heard as the big fish swallows the little fish.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Was I Asleep? Had I Slept? Is Opposite of Dog my bad dream, or I am Opposite of Dog’s?

I began the day like I had most work days since I moved to Milwaukee. I got up, took the dog out, showered, shaved, put on my shirt and tie and went to work.

I got in before my boss, sat down and looked at a few erroneous emails I had gotten late Friday.

At about 6:40 am Central Standard Time, I got an email in my inbox from Opposite of Dog’s press release department.

I blinked hard. This was a joke, a clever email sent by an old coworker. It had to be. I clicked on the link. Opposite of Dog’s website came up, the highway yellow staring me in the face. Sure as shit, they bought us. By this time my boss had showed up. I went over to him and relayed the shocking news. He didn’t believe me either.

The rest of the morning was kind of a shell-shocked blur. This bizarre string of events had my mind swimming.

There was fear, relief, wonder, loathing. I left this place, and now they bought the company I went to.

This could be a good thing. They are keeping global mining in South Milwaukee. If they keep me, I get my seniority back, and my week vacation. By leaving I just piggybacked up to a 24 salary grade, 6% 401K match, 18% bonus, cheaper health care, all the shit they dangle in front of people to keep them in Central Illinois Hell I would get to have in wondrous Wisconsin.

There is the danger of being considered a “redundancy”. I think I left on good terms. No lawsuit to get that weeks pay they boned me out of, some strong words to an HR guy that he should have let me know I wouldn’t be getting paid, but I gave up on it. I know their system, I know this system, I should be valuable enough to keep.

I can only speculate on what the next year will hold.

Just like doctor Frankenstein. I officially bring this blog back to life because there are going to be some kick ass stories to tell as this shit goes down, and that’s the only reason anyone does anything any way, to have a good story to tell.

Pure Fucking Gonzo Engineering.

Since I am the main character in the story of lawryde. I can only assume this is how the conversation went in Opposite of Dog's board room.

“How much to get lawryde back…

8.6 billion…

Do it.”

Un-Fucking Believable


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Pure Gonzo Engineering

I've been silent for the last month because I've been running the biggest deception of my life.

Tomorrow I'm going to resign from Opposite of Dog I'll give them my two weeks notice, and they'll probably walk me out because I work on machines that are critical to their new EPA emissions product launch. I'm on the front lines and I'm going to work for "competition"

I'll call them Crawford County Ohio, even though they are in South Eastern Wisconsin.

That's right, I'm moving back to the state I love, the resolution of the subtitle to this blog.

I'm getting a 9% raise over the 5% I just got from Opposite of Dog. Crawford County Ohio is paying me a grossed up $7500 to cover incidental moving expenses, paying the closing costs on my house in Bay View, paying in full a moving company to move me out of this cornfield hell, fully packing, moving, and storing my stuff for up to 60 days. Pretty nice deal.

This has been in the works for a while now. Seems like forever. It's the perfect job for me. Same line of work, same type of machinery, hydraulics, and I get to wear a tie to work. The Sand Box and the dirt was fun, but it couldn't last forever. Opposite of Dog's philosophy of management is horrible so if I stayed I'd end up being a jackass who makes powerpoints and attends meetings all day. Crawford County Ohio keeps its managers involved in the technical aspect. I like that.

We sold our house in 24 hours. It's pretty great, and I'm sad to leave it. We've made it our own. It has our blood and sweat in it. It's were Oz was born. We bought a new house in less than 5 days, just in time to take advantage of the $6500 repeat home buyer tax credit. Things that fall into place like this did were always meant to be. (You're always reading this blog post.)

So that's it. I start May 24. We close on the Peoria house on May 28, the Bay View house on June 2.

This is also the official end of this blog.

It was created to deal with Peoria and Opposite of Dog. That is done now. It would be disingenuous to continue posting under its title. Maybe I'll start something new and let people who I know would be interested about it, but this blog is done.

In the words (more or less) of Hunter S. Thompson

There is no point in looking back. Fuck no, not today, thank you kindly. My heart is filled with joy.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Perfect on Paper

Still alive. Just Busy.

Working on wrapping up this wretched assignment.

The American Dream in action, Pure Gonzo Engineering.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cold and Alone


Monday, March 01, 2010

A Moose and a Beaver

That was a nice little blog break this weekend. My birthday was pretty good. I got some books, and some money, and some boxers. Then I put my self into an all you can eat sushi and Chinese buffet coma. Luckily I came out of it in time for some vigorous sex.

What a great weekend for hockey. Too bad the USA couldn’t pull it off, but a great game. It sucked Crosby got the game winner too. I would have rather seen anyone else on team Canada get it. Anyone, a moose, a beaver, anyone.

That game had some of the highest ratings of any sporting event in recent history. The NHL and Gary “I want to go on several dates with Sidney Crosby then make sweet, sweet love to him and have his baby” Bettman shouldn’t be too excited though. Olympic hockey is something special. I like watching NHL hockey, but those two USA-Canada games were the best hockey games I’ve ever watched. It cracked me up they were trying to somehow explain fore checking to NBC viewers by relating it to the blitz in football. Guess what? Hockey will never be anywhere near as popular as football, basketball, or baseball in the United States. Why? You can’t just go out and play it in 90% of the United States 95% of the year. (They say 60% of the time it works every time) It takes special equipment and a special surface. Those other sports require a ball and a surface you can find almost anywhere or make up on your own easily. Hockey will always be a niche sport, but that’s part of its charm. I don’t want every asshole to like hockey.

My team of misfits almost beat the second best team in our league. We were winning most of the game an only ended up loosing 4-3, this after loosing to them like 8-1 or something like that last time. I can not score though for whatever reason. I had a chance all alone in front of the net about 10 feet out, and I buried it right in the guy’s chest. I need to work on elevating the puck.

Now that I’m a Senior Engineer at work I feel as though I need to contribute in a more meaningful way. I rocked it out pretty well this morning, but when I rock it out I’m too good and then have nothing to do in the afternoon. I need to pace the brilliance out.

When my promo announcement comes out I have a feeling there is going to be some unhappy people. My nonbeliever status in regards to overtime doesn’t go over well with the dudes putting in 50-60 hours a week. That’s not really my fault though. Fuck taking a pay cut. Find a metric a manager cares about and hang your hat on it. The rest will follow.

I’m attempting to cut my soda intake. I’m backing it off slow, like a junky trying to get clean. I’m limiting myself to 2 cans at work and one at home per day. In a week I’ll cut it to one at work and one at home. Then hopefully one in the morning and that’s it. My 29 year old body can’t handle all the high fructose corn syrup and mercury and aluminum.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

You Electrify My Life.

30 or so minutes into my birthday it was already a good day. I haven't felt that good since Archie Gimmel scored against Holland in 1978! I’ll have to remember to thank my friend? Will when I see him again for his butterfly flapping its wings creating a hurricane.

I was able to post every day for a month straight. I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m coming up of the 5 year anniversary of this blog. My wife says the tone and content of my posts has changed dramatically over the five years. I’ll have to start reading the archives and see. I imagine it has, when you know no one is listening you yell a lot louder. Now I can’t be fully sure who all reads this. I have a vague idea based on the IP traffic I can see. If you read this post, leave a comment. Anything. Just say hello if you don’t know what to say, or wish me a Happy Birthday, or I’ll block you IP address. I can do that. I’ve blocked several Opposite of Dog IP addresses so no one from work can actually look at this at work, can’t be too careful in that respect.

So yeah, there it is. I’m 29. It’s my last year of not being old. Yes, I’ve already got a careerish type job and a family and a mortgage, but if you’re still in your 20’s you can at least still say you’re in your twenties, grasping at those wonderfully free and burden free early twenties. Hopefully it will be decent, 28 wasn’t particularly great.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I have a Couple Rhetorical Questions.

The first being, Is it wrong that I find women’s curling mildly erotic? Strange I know, maybe it’s just pornography escalation coming full circle back to the mundane.

This has by far been the worst month leading up to my birthday ever. It hasn’t been all bad I admit, but the highlights have just been muted, like my promotion. I’ve only had it dangled in front of me for like 6 months, so getting it wasn’t full of elation, it was just a well yeah, I’ve deserved that for way longer than this.

Just people dying, relationships fracturing, frustration escalating, and fear rising.

The only thing I can think of to make things better is to make detailed plans to make things better, which in some cases I have.

As a birthday/promotion/make me feel better present to myself I think I’m going to buy some new hockey pants, Warrior brand of course. With gift money from my parents, remaining fun tax money left over after buying my new shin guards, and money from selling my old shin guards, they’ll only cost $29 of real money. I think I deserve that. I’m such a whore for Warrior gear. I think that’s about all the Warrior stuff I could buy other than shoulder pads, but they would be so overkill for a no check league it would be ridiculous. (Some dudes don’t even wear them, and I cut off the hard plastic pads on mine anyway.)

Looks like I’m going to make it. One more post tomorrow on my birthday and I’ll have done it. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, maybe I’ll be able to keep it up, maybe not once a day, but I’ve been able to see the anecdotes in daily life now again.

Second question: Am I less of a man for really, really liking show tunes?

Substitute Peoria for skid-row and downtown, too many syllables I know.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mmmm, That Feels Good

I am pleased to announce the promotion of Lawryde to Senior Engineer effective March 1, 2010. For the last 3 1/2 years, Lawryde has been in the in Hydraulics System Development team at Opposite of Dog. He has been instrumental in the development and validation of Track-Type Tractor and Pipelayer Tier3 and Tier4 new product introduction programs. He has exhibited leadership and initiative with responsibilities for the D6T Tier 4i machine level hydraulic validation. This significant Tier4 machine has been aggressive and demanding. He has identified multiple issues and drove resolution through his strong working relationships within the product groups and Hydraulic Systems Group.

Please join me in congratulating Lawryde on a well-deserved promotion, and wishing him well as he continues to provide highly valued work to the enterprise.

**** *******
Opposite of Dog
Hydraulic Development & Validation
Opposite of Dog Proving Grounds
Phone: ***-***-****

Once again: They bought it.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You'll have a hard time convincing me

of any benefit of religion, or that there is an active God for that matter.

This shit breaks my heart.

16 months old? Seriously? Most 16 month olds only have the capacity to say a few words and certainly don't have a full understanding of the context of them.

What a fucking world we live in. What is the separation between these nut jobs and your common Christian. If you believe in a virgin giving birth why can't you believe God will resurrect your son you just starved to death?

Absolute bullshit. People like that should be stoned to death with crosses by women who've made the hard decision to have an abortion and gay men and women who can't get married.


Monday, February 22, 2010


This is it, final week of posting every day. Friday is my birthday. Have you picked out my gift yet? I’m pretty difficult to shop for.

Did you watch the USA vs Canada hockey game last night? It was probably one of the best games I’ve watched in a long time. The way the bracket is set up now, either Canada or Russia can’t win a medal. Neither of them might if they lose earlier or later, but if you asked someone to predict who would medal you would have said Russia, Canada, and Sweden, maybe the United States if they got their shit together. Now who knows how it will go down?

Totally unrelated, I know that if you’re religious it really matters to you, but I really can’t stand people who are so obsessed and into it that it’s the only thing they talk about. Yeah, I know you love god and it just makes you so great, but stop talking about it. Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees. I vaguely do, so you really should know because you love Jesus so much. Carter loves Jesus and he’s only 4, and we don’t ever go to church. I guess that’s god trying to lasso me back in. At least he’s just being subtle and not shoving it in my face like all his crazed followers constantly do.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Hope Tomorrow is a Snow Day

I'm really tired from laying carpet in our basement (my hands are dry and raw), playing hockey (losing 10-0 and getting in a ruckus at the end of the game), and watching the Olympics this weekend. (Awesome USA Vs Canada game)

I really want it to snow enough tonight so I don't have to go to work tomorrow.

6-8 inches could justify that in Peoria.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calling a Spade a Spade

Apparently that phrase is not racist as it predates the racial slur of calling African American's "spades". (I wasn't going to title the post this, but I checked and it's OK.)

So I've found that Menards yard rats are the same jack off no nothings even when they work at the upscale we're too good for Peoria one in Washington. Fucking pretentious Washington.

We got some carpet for the basement today and they didn't have enough at the Peoria Menards so we had to go to pick up our third 15' section at the one in Washington. I had to go to the yard to pick it up. Ugh, I thought I'm going to have to talk to a dirty yard rat. Literally the bottom rung of societies jobs. (It's funny I was worried about being racist at the beginning of this post. Although yard rats are not a race, just a socioeconomic class I think.)

So I drive to the gate the head yard rat tells me to go to, and I talk to this kid who looks like a slacker geek. I hate to judge books by their covers, being a tattooed engineer, but I do it all the time. I think I've thought every person I've ever met (including friends) is a huge jackass who I'd never want to associate with, and then later find out they are pretty cool.

I don't think that would happen with this kid. He goes and gets my carpet, which isn't already cut like they said it would be. He comes back with this other kid and they give me some quick mental math thing about how much they gave me, which doesn't sound right to me. He claimed he gave me more than what I paid for and he had "saved me big money by shopping at Menards" I smiled a pained smile and thanked him.

I hurried out of the yard so as not to draw any more yard rats to my vehicle.

When I unrolled the carpet I think he gave me a bit less than I actually paid for, luckily I over estimated to allow for some scrap. Seriously, can't trust a yard rat.

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Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm thoroughly convinced that the engineers at faucet companies are incompetent douche bags. Back when I was trying to find an adapter to fill our birth pool I found our sink aerator had 55/64-27 threads on it.

Our Moen shower cartridge valve is leaking so I need to replace it. The set screw on the handle has an allen head on it. I tried all the allen wrenches I had at home and none of them worked 1/8 was too big and 3/32 was too small.

Really guys, you had to use one with a 7/64 allen head? Really? 1/8 too common for you? Is it trying to be different or just difficult? Why not make it a torx bit to make it even more of a pain in the ass to change, or how about those queer bolts with just to small holes on the head like they have on elevator panels. Make it a real challenge to get into.

I guess that's the way you tell the world to fuck off because you're designing shower handles.

I can see that design review meeting right now.

"Whao! Whao! Whao!, Johnson, what the hell is that? Is that an 1/8 allen head set screw you've got holding that handle on."


"How long have you been working here son?"

"6 months"

"Ah, the impetuousness of youth... You do realize you're designing shower handles? You're going to be designing shower handles for a long time. You really want to give Joe Pulic the ease of taking off an 1/8 allen head set screw?"

"It's serviceable though, everyone has an 1/8 allen wrench in their set."

"You're Goddamn right it is, and you're Goddamn right they do. You better make it a 7/64 allen. We are fucking shower handle designers, are we not."

And.... scene.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Go Olympics

Yesterday the Olympics had higher ratings than American Idol. That's awesome.

Maybe there is hope for use yet.

(Shortest post ever, but it counts.)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Just watched Shaun White win gold in the half pipe. He is just so much better than everyone else. Too bad he's an ugly ginger kid. I do dig the American flag bandanna over the face too.

Kind of reminds me of the Flobots. Did he steal it from them, or them from him? Hmmmm.

I'm taking a half day tomorrow. My parents are here, and I also want to play hockey later tomorrow night.

It's a shame too because I kind of felt good again about work today. Earned my raise as it were. Came up with a creative solution to a potentially expensive problem. It was just hanging their in the meeting we were having, and no one else could grab it. I was reluctant to because it potentially meant more work for me, but I had to let it fly. I got some "Oh, sweet idea, why didn't we all think of that" looks and comments. It felt good.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yeah, and Maybe I'm a Chinese Jet Pilot

I have nothing else to write about so it's going to be this sexist post about women's hockey.

In particular Chinese Women's hockey. It's really just painful to watch. It's so slow and so lack luster. It's like looking at a Kohl's women's underwear add when you could be having sex.

I'm sure if the Chinese worked on it they could have the best women's team. Which is like being the being the winner of the ugliest dog competition.

I had watched like two women's games and then saw the men's Canada vs. Norway, and I could barely follow the action, my mind had fallen so asleep and docile. It was like coming out of the dark ages into the Renaissance.

For any women who read this blog, I'm really sorry. You're sex is just not exciting to watch play hockey. I'm not a huge fan of watching sport in general so I need something to wow me.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Dreams in Which I'm Dying are the Best I've Ever Had

I'm having a hard time keeping this up.

I finished my paper review so I can get my raise. I did it in 2 hours. Makes sense though, it takes most engineers weeks to do their reviews. Writing papers on time got me my raise. It's what I can hang my hat on.

I also get to have a one on one with my bosses boss on my birthday. Hopefully I get a big pat on the back since that's the last day I'll just be an Engineer, and I'll be reborn as a Senior Engineer.

I fell asleep putting the kids to bed tonight thinking about dying. It was kind of funny, it was kind of depressing, but no fear.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marcus Aurelius is Dead

I walked out of my first hockey game earlier tonight.

Let me set the scene for you.

Our goalie doesn't show up. He didn't realize we had a game tonight, so when I called him he was at a Rivermen game. Ok, I can deal with not playing with a goalie. It sucks, but at least we still get to shoot at a goalie. It's implied we are going to lose. I can deal with that. I just want to skate hard and get better personally.

So we play and it's like 4-1 at the end of the first, so the game is pretty much over. One of their dudes skates over and is like, hey why don't we switch ends and our goalie can play for you for one period.

mmm, no thanks I say, because then it will be dumb because we'll just take a bunch of cheap shots to try and get up and then you'll just take a bunch of cheap shots to win the game. Let's just keep it how it is and roll with it. You guys are going to win, whatever.

Period two starts and they score a few more goals. Then I'm on the bench and halfway through the period they just say hey we're switching ends and we're going to shoot on our goalie. I yell from the bench "No, no way!!" They just go right ahead and do it anyway. I say, fuck this, I'm out of here. You don't get to win, and get to shoot on your own goalie for half the game and have him let a few in if we happen to get close on the open net. Fuck that. I have better things to do on a Saturday evening than pay a babysitter so I can shoot at a shooter tutor.

So I pack my shit up, shower and leave. I was fucking pissed. My guys just went along with it and switched ends. Did they really think they were giving us a chance to win? I'd already said at period break we weren't going to do it. I'm the goddamn Captain.

I'm over this town, and now I'm starting to be over this hockey league. Jackasses poaching down into lower divisions, that can't even win gracefully. If you can't win with some class I'm not going to be your wiping boy you let shoot at an open net to try and feel a bit better.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Holy Shit

Don't watch this if you have a weak heart.

The Olympic investigation said something to the effect that the dude just overcompensated in the turns prior and it was all his fault he lost control and is dead.

Mmm, maybe if you had some fencing along those steal girders he just would have glanced off it rather than imparting all that energy into his spine.

You see the more time it takes for an impact to happen, the less energy that is transferred into the parts of your body you need to live. Hence crumple zones and padding.

Take some responsibility for this guys death. Put up some snow fences or something like they have in downhill skiing, maybe it won't look as nice, but it might save someones life.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Bologna Skins

My wife is heading to Fargo today for her friend's mom's funeral. Yesterday I got the tires rotated on the car she was taking. Turns out the reason it's been a death trap skid machine in the snow this winter is that two of the tires were worn down to the steel belts in spots and had no tread left. Stupid Hyundai and their shitty OEM tires. (33,000 and two of them are toast and the other two have like 6000 miles more in them maybe.) I guess that's how you drive down the purchase price.

So I decide to lay down some decent money for two Goodyears that have a 65,000 mile warranty on them. I figured that if I bought a set of shit tires, I'd just be replacing them in 33,000 again rather than these that should last twice as long so it's actually a bit less than replacing them twice, saving on the mounting and balancing fees.

The tread on these new tires is sick compared to the old ones, even when they were new. I'll be able to rally car it in the snow next year, since I'll have to replace the other two by then.

So I guess I've been cheating death for the past few weeks on the bald bologna skins that could have failed at any moment due to being down to the steel. Glad I found out before my wife took them another 1400 miles though, and what else would I want to spend the first month of my promotion raise on rather than two new tires?

I can't think of anything.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Everything will be Alright

I’ve tried to convince myself of that. When I was younger I had overwhelming optimism which made it easy to think that during difficult times.

I’m more realistic now. Your life is bound to have a bad ending, until then you just need to tread water so you don’t drown.

I hope I don’t pass that on to my children. I’d like to teach them not to fear life, not to die 1,000 deaths worrying about their own.

My Grandma had a picture or sewn thing in a room of her house that said Why worry when you can pray. Maybe that’s my problem. I can’t put my fate in the hands of an unseen benevolence, but in doing so I put all the pressure on myself.

It’s why I don’t like flying. I’m not in control, relying on someone else’s talent and wisdom to keep me safe.

I’ve got to hand to the management at work. I didn’t think forced morale was possible, but they are making our performance rating for this year count to our merit increases next year. Super smart and clever way to prevent people from slacking this year with no possibility of getting a raise this year. Whoever came up with that one should get a big fat raise… next year of course.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Loves Me (Gonzo Engineering)

Although I somehow need to get above that dude who has the gonzo engineering website.

On a side note about engineering, everyone is shocked or surprised that Toyota is having these quality problems. I’m not.

Here’s how it works, you build a name for yourself by having stellar quality when you have low market share. People flock to your product because of it’s high quality and you drastically increase your market share.

You no longer can really gain much more market share, or increase your price so the only way to increase your profit (which is all anyone at the top cares about) is by cutting your product cost.


Things cost more for a reason. Someone spends time and care making them and/or they are made out of higher quality materials. This is true for a purely manufactured good. Once you’ve made it to the product level this may not be true because then you may be paying for a name or marketing.

So Toyota, you got greedy. You get to sleep in the bed you made, which is speeding away uncontrollably fast.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Waves of Emotion

So that tingling feeling of something going to happen, happened, as it were.

My boss instant messages me and tells me he set up a one on one with me the next day early in the morning and wants to make sure I can make it.

My brain immediately recoils in horror thinking that I’ve been caught using the interweb too much, or that fact that I’m at work for exactly 8 hours a day now, not a minute more.

I try to feel out the situation so I don’t spend the evening throwing up in anticipation.

I message back, sure no problem. Do I need to have some yearly goals put together to discuss or something like that?

He messages back, Well, I wanted to tell you in person… Oh shit … that your promotion went through.

Cooling calm and joy fill my heart. All my finishing reports on time has paid off. I tell him that’s awesome and thank him for working it on his end.

So I get 5%, and now I’m a Senior Gonzo Engineer. Maybe the Gonzo won’t be listed, but we all know the truth. I guess the grays in my beard are deserved now. It will look nice on a resume too, puts me in a different category and bargaining position.

This morning the kids don’t wake up at some point from 5-7. Seriously, the day I need to get in by 7:30 and they don’t make a sound. On top of that we find out my wife’s friend’s mom died this morning. I’m full of panic, self worth, and sadness. I need to get to this meeting so I get out the door buy 7:08. Luckily Peoria did a halfway decent job clearing the streets after 3 inches of snow.

I tear up a bit as I climb the hill to work. It’s a combination of relief of getting this promotion they’ve dangled in front of me for so long, and the loss my wife’s friend has to deal with. I remember her wedding and talking to her mom, this kind, lovely, gracious woman, nevermore. I try to pull my shit together and navigate the country road without killing myself.

I make it to work 5 minutes late, no big deal, everyone is 5 minutes late to every meeting they go to.

I sit down after the meeting, which is really nothing groundbreaking after finding out the high point the day before, and I am able to breath and let my head stop swimming.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

X was Larger than the Cost of Recall

I’ll admit, I’m not a strong proponent of American cars, but I also don’t have a huge boner for the Japanese philosophy of design and engineering. Much like many of the people in the company I work for do, and they had a hard time hiding it until now.

Nothing softens you up like a family of four uncontrollably accelerating into a 25 mph curve on a country road.

This whole thing proves that Toyota’s methodology, and the Toyota Production System are nothing special. They just got lucky for longer than their American counterparts. Eventually you’re going to design something that kills someone.

Maybe all the American design and manufacturing firms should stop trying to be like the Japanese and get back to what made us great, innovation and Gonzo Engineering. Take your philosophies and methodologies and go sell them to someone with too much money. Let’s just design some cool shit.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

You Have to Know the Answer to this Question.

Narrator: [Tyler steers the car into the opposite lane and accelerates] What are you doing?

Tyler Durden: Guys, what would you wish you'd done before you died?

Ricky: Paint a self-portrait.

The Mechanic: Build a house.

Tyler Durden: [to Narrator] And you?

Narrator: I don't know. Turn the wheel now, come on!

Tyler Durden: You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?

Narrator: I don't know, I wouldn't feel anything good about my life, is that what you want to hear me say? Fine. Come on!

Tyler Durden: Not good enough.

I didn't feel good about my life this morning. I was tired and angry, and I didn't want to be awake with the kids, and I didn't want to go grocery shopping, and I didn't want to be in Peoria, and I didn't want to be working a job I find no meaning in anymore.

Luckily we went skating this afternoon. Carter was able to let go of the buckets and just hold my hand and skate. His fourth time on this ice and he's almost on his own. Pretty impressive. Oz is just too young. Somehow he fell on his but and bit his lip and was bleeding about 5 minutes into the whole thing. Poor little guy. He looked so tiny on the ice, totally out of place. He's not even two yet.

Then tonight while most people were enjoying the Super Bowl, I found a spot on one of my basement tiles. Devil water... There is no containing you. Turns out I had fucked up my drain line routing on my kitchen sink back when we did it a year or so ago. I didn't have the straight far enough into the trap so the little ring didn't have enough surface to seal on. So I ran over to Lowe's and grabbed and extension and put it in. No leaks after running a bit of water through it and the dishwasher draining into it. I probably should have looked for a vacuum breaker since my vent pipe in that line is also fucked, (I'm guessing a possum is stuck in the line, or so my Canadian friend and I have theorized) but I was in a bit of a hurry at Lowe's so I didn't stay and look around much for the breaker.

Tomorrow we are supposed to get like 5-7 inches of snow. Maybe I won't have to go into work, or Tuesday maybe.

I told my wife I had a good feeling that some company was going to call me this week. Either that or the feeling relates to some other looming system failure in my house. I guess I'll find out.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Getting it in Under the Wire

My mind is like a fog. I have no good ideas for a post, and am just trying to put something down out of obligation to myself in saying that I would post once per day until my birthday no matter what.

Today the snow outside was perfect. It had melted a bit from the sun and the boys and I and the dog went outside. I picked up handfuls of snow and wadded it up into a ball. Carter tried to do it, but he kept pushing too hard and they wouldn't stay together for him. I made a few for him, as I made my own and threw them against the dead/dying tree in our back yard.

The pop of a snowball as it impacts something is one of my favorite winter sounds. There's no other sound like that. It ranks right up their with the scrape of skates on the ice, and the sound your breath makes when it's absolutely silent out after it has just snowed. Pure and distinct sounds, ones that would make you sad to be deaf.

I'm a lousy aim so I only got to hear it four times out of like twenty. We went inside and did mundane things for the rest of the day.

The perfect snow made today worthwhile.

Still kind of seems like a StoneSour song to me. Live you get a bit more of the special percussion though.


Friday, February 05, 2010

Working Title

To wrap up my discussion of my new Warrior Hitman shin guards, which I’m sure has been enthralling for everyone to read, they are fucking awesome.

They are much lighter than my old ones, although I don’t know if this is because they have less dried sweat on them or if they are truly lighter. They fit more snugly than my old ones. The strapping system is better, and the inner material doesn’t slide on your skin as easily. They have more of a curve and contour to them as well which make them hug and fit your legs better. I’m super happy with them. I had a couple goals at rat last night, and I can really only attribute them to the new shin guards… or something.

I don’t really have any special plans for this Super Bowl weekend. I got invited to a party, but I don’t know that I’ll go. We’re going to take both boys skating earlier in the day for sure.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Consecutive Blog Post #10

This gets a bit easier as you go.

My new shin guards are pretty tits. (That’s hard to read, like is it beautiful tits, or is it very nearly tits? I don’t know. I guess I’ll go with beautiful tits, although that wasn’t the original intent.) I’ll give them a little test run tonight at rat. Hopefully they will perform as such.

I tend to get to work pretty late these days.

I don’t even wear a tie to work anymore.

Little Oz woke up this morning all bleary eyed and sauntered into the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. He pulled up a stool and sat down and just watched me for like 5 minutes. I looked over at him, his hair all disheveled, and he gave me a big smile.

I find both boys incredibly lovable and entertaining after they’ve decided to get up and have made it out of their room on their own.

I need to seriously look into employing a headhunter to find me a job in Wisconsin. My current strategy is taking too long. Anyone know how that works? I don’t really.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

On Death and Dying

I have a friend who's Mom is dying. Cancer. Not the funny kind, the kind that kills you.

It sucks. I'm so wrapped in my own mortality that when someone else is dealing with death I have a hard time pushing it out of my mind.

I've had these mini-rapid fire fear of death episodes in the past few weeks. Not the typical long philosophical wanders of my mind that eventually lead to me realizing I will die and then panicking for several minutes. More of all that compressed into like 10 seconds. It's nice in that it passes quickly, it sucks in that it's unexpected.

And then I read this story today about this woman who stabbed her two infant/toddler sons to death and it makes me doubt the existence of any higher power or thing after death.

There's still the possibility time is just a loop for us, but that still doesn't make me feel any better for those little boys, or my friends dying Mom.

There is no Why.

My homage to Nihilism tattoo sounds better and better to me. The concept is 9X4=38 in block lettering and then all my favorite quotes that tend to be dark and Nihilistic in the style of a schizophrenic's journal written inside the numbers. Kind of like Homer's writing of No TV and no beer make homer go crazy all over the walls in that Simpson's episode.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I've Got Special Unique Specialness.

I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?"

Why did I cause so much pain?

Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?

Can't I see that we're all manifestations of love?

I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong.

We are not special.

We are not crap or trash either. We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.

And God says, "No, that's not right."

Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything.

I long for a phone call from any company in the Milwaukee or Madison area I've applied to. I'm a really good engineer. I swear it. Don't take all the negative things I say here seriously. It's just where I come to blow of some condensed water vapor. (See I didn't even call it steam. Steam isn't visible. I'm super smart.)

I have no desire to start working on another machine at work. I like (or in some cases can put up with) my D6 guys and don't want to deal with other people's quirks and expectations.

My lusted after shin guards are somewhere between here and St. Louis right now. They will be in my hot little hands by tomorrow, in time for rat hockey on Thursday, and I even already got my Federal tax return so they are paid for too. Not that I dropped all that money just on shin guards, I just allotted some for fun stuff, not just fixing and paying off stuff.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

That's Your Theory?

It's amazing how things go downhill so fast. The desperate fight against the mass disorder and unraveling of the universe is impossible to hold off for any amount of time.

I wasn't even feeling that great, maybe kind of zen after that kid spared me.

Then a little bit of this, some of that and then it looks like you have an internal water leak in your wall. I think it's not quite that bad, but my spigot is all fucked up. The freeze cover didn't work. The plastic cover I had burst when it froze and water started leaking back into the wall. Not cool.

What a shitty freeze cover. I need to rebuild the internal shutoff and the outside spigot itself, as long as I haven't actually created a leak inside the wall due to freezing. Then I'd have to replace it all with a freeze proof silcock. He he he silcock.

I don't know. I really want some company to call me and tell me I can leave here. I'm don't feel like I have a purpose at work. I'm getting jerked around on this promotion. It's not doing it for me.

Ordered my lusted over shin guards. They came down $20 so I snapped them up. One bright point, although they will probably not have them in stock or some bullshit.

That's the way things are going. Higher and higher levels of entropy.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pulling a Stupid Face

Ever crossed the road and looked the wrong way? And hey presto, a car's nearly on you, so what do you do? You freeze. And your life doesn't flash before your eyes, 'cause you're too fucking scared to think – you just freeze, and pull a stupid face.

We lost our hockey game 1-0 tonight. It was disappointing. I had a few good chances, but their goalie was hot. He didn't let any rebounds. I was on the doorstep waiting 4 or 5 times.

I almost died too, well, maybe not died, but broken ribs or who knows what. We were in our defensive zone on the penalty kill. There was a scramble in front of the net and I got pushed down. The puck squirted out to the point. Their defense-man got the puck. I was between him and the net laying on the ice. I see him pull back for a slap shot. This is one of their best players with a hard, hard shot. My instinct is to pull up in the fetal position. My whole body tensed, and I'm pretty sure I pulled a stupid face, like please don't kill me. A second passes and I'm not feeling shooting pain in my ribs, or blood oozing anywhere. He's faked the shot and is handling the puck.

I told him thanks during intermission.

I'm usually a dick on the ice, but I'd like to think I'd do the same. I know I will now, since I was spared.

Check out 1:25

I also love the line "Now we are fucked..."


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Posts are Hard

This is where I might have fallen off the wagon with my post a day till my birthday thing. It's just harder on the weekend.

I'm currently lusting over these shin guards.

For a while I was into Mission products, but now Mission has been sold to Nike-Bauer so I'm getting into Warrior stuff, which is a bad thing because it's kind of a premium brand.

After I get these shin guards, whenever they go on clearance to make way for the 2010 models, I'll really have no reason to buy any new gear for quite some time.

Game tomorrow. One we have a chance to win. I really need a goal though. I'm on a bit of a dry spell. I can score at will in Rat Hockey, but in a game I just get all tense or something. I need to relax and just try and have fun.


Friday, January 29, 2010

The Devil Went Down to Peoria

How much is my Mechanical Engineering soul worth? $5000, $10,000 or maybe $15,000? How about $20,000?

If selling my soul gets me back to Wisconsin would that make it OK?

I don’t know. I’m not a Pure Mechanical Engineer so maybe it really doesn’t matter.

It just really sucks that I’m doing this job right here, right now. I’ve peaked at 28. It will only be downhill from here no matter what. It’s just a matter of timing though, even if I stayed here I’d be forced into something worse, and it would be worse than anywhere else because it’s Peoria.

Would leading people who are designing something cool (in their opinion not necessarily mine) give me the same sense of worth as working on a complex machine?

If nothing else it could be a Purgatory I could cut my teeth in to move somewhere else that actually does make cool things. Lead people that actually make something I could get an engineering boner about. (ha ha get it, just like a culinary boner, but with engineering, and far less exciting than the real thing.)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Now I Remember

I’ve been kind of down about Barack Obama. I was expecting a lot quickly just like a bunch of other people. I wanted a single payer healthcare system, the Iraq war to be completely over, strict Wall street regulation, etc. We didn’t get any of that, but he saved us from another Great Depression, and tried to work with an opposition party that has no fresh ideas and is unwilling to work with him on anything. Republican’s think they win if he fails, which may be right, but eventually American’s will catch on and be pissed.

I was reminded why he’s an exceptional leader last night. Last night he reenergized his base, and probably swung some from the middle over to his side again. Those nut jobs on the far right are too far gone, but even they have to admit he can give a speech.

I’ve said it 1000 times, great leaders give great speeches to bring public opinion behind them and force their opponents in government to work with them.

Obama is the most skilled orator of our time, and perhaps one of the best ever.


China isn’t waiting, Germany isn’t waiting, India isn’t waiting. They aren’t playing for second place. I won’t accept second place for the United States of America.

Way too many other great lines and moments. (Calling out the Supreme Court! Awesome!)

It was a great State of the Union. Even if you hate him, check it out. If nothing else watch the last 10 minutes.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh no! I know!

A helping the universe post today. Maybe it will increase traffic to my blog.

I've been making ring tones because I know how now. It took me scouring over the internet since I don't have a web browsing phone, and I didn't want to pay anything for them.

So here is a tutorial on how to make yourself free ring tones for an env3 on Verizon. It would probably work for other phones too, but I know it works for the env3. If you don't have unlimited text messaging it's going to cost you.

If you have an .mp3 file you like, skip to the next step. If you know a youtube file of a song, or of a funny saying you want as your test message alert, go to this website to convert it to an .mp3 file.

youtube to mp3

Once you have an .mp3 you can chop it up to whatever size and place you want on this website

.mp3 editor

Now is the tricky part. How do you get that bastard on your phone? At first I was using this website to send myself a multimedia text message

free text message site

That site started to not work every time so I figured out that if you email your phone with the .mp3 file attached to it then you can save it as a ringtone.

For Verizon you need to send it to:


There it is, free ring tone.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blog Post a Day Till My Birthday

Nick started blogging again which kind of blew my fucking mind. I think it’s kind of like when you stop using that piece of exercise equipment you bought and it’s never used again. Anyway, he had this post about some website that supports people doing a post a day for a month.

I like the idea of doing a post a day for a month, but don’t like the idea of signing up for some site. So I’ll try it without the support of this site. It’s January 26th, and in a month I’ll be 29. I’ll try for a post a day till then.

We’ll see how it pans out.

I’ve become an orphan at work. I’m done with my beloved D6 until the end of the year (hopefully I won’t be here for that test anyway). So now I’m just going to be passed around from machine to machine to do whatever comes up. Unless some sweet pipelayer work does, then I get to run that because I’m the pipelayer guy.

I was wondering today who thinks about me (because I’m selfish, but that’s another post altogether and I don’t want to burn it here.)

Not necessarily the obvious people who think of me everyday like my wife and kids who are in direct contact with me. I hope they think of me often and fondly, but maybe like random people that I’ve only come into contact with briefly or maybe a long time ago.

Like how about the dudes I used to cut meat with at the grocery store. Do I ever cross their minds?

I can’t remember the dudes name right now, but just now I was listening to Buckcherry “For the Movies” and I thought of the meat department because this dude brought in their CD one day and got me into them. Damn my bad memory… Dan? I think that’s right. Dan was a middle aged dude who trained me how to clean the department and eventually worked his way up to cutting. I wonder what he’s up to. Does he ever wonder what I’m up to?

Probably not, I’m just the warm little center of my universe, no one else’s.

Unless you’re reading this of course, then you’re thinking of me. (Blushing and giggling like a little girl.)

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Friday, January 22, 2010

What are you doing, Ness? You just gonna do your taxes right now? Is that hot? Is that what's going down in the streets?

Got about 95% done with my taxes in the past few days. Found out I was getting more back than I thought.

I think we'll pay off the remainder of my student loans, fix some stuff, buy some more things for the basement to finish it off, and I'll either get the warrior shin guards I've been lusting after or some more tattooing.

My hockey team has moved into 5th place. If we can manage to win the next two games I think we could jump up to 3rd, not to bad for a team that only has one A-league player and several BC level players.

Last week we won, but I didn' t play particularly well. I pulled out some old Lawryde play and got into some shit with some guy on the other team.

There was about 30 seconds left at the end of the game and they were down by two goals. Their best player takes the puck down the left side and he comes into our zone and I take away the outside with my body forcing him to pass it into the middle of the ice to one of our players.

He didn't like it for whatever reason and said some bullshit to me about watch out or something. I, of course, tell him to go fuck himself. (I'm not very nice on the ice.)

As I skate away he decides to slash the back of my legs. I don't take kindly to this and skate up to him getting well into his personal space and ask him if he'd like to fight. He's a little less confident with someone 4-5 inches taller than him staring down at him and smelling if I needed a breath mint or not. He doesn't say anything so I turn away again. Again he gets his stick inbetween my legs trying to trip me.

I've had enough and skate into him, my full cage hitting his half visor. He thinks I head butted him because my cage hit his visor. The game ends and I skate away. He doesn't shake my hand after the game, even though I offer it.

As I'm skating off he asks me why I head butted him. "It's just men's league," he says. I shake my head and tell him whatever and hit the showers.

I'm not the smartest dude in the world, but I knew enough when I wasn't wearing a full cage to not start shit with someone wearing one. I had nothing to lose, I was fully protected, my team was winning, and I was taking one of their best players out of the end of the game. He had his teeth, jaw, and the game to loose.

It was good fun, it brought me back to fun times in C-League.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


deleated due to too many companies I listed checking out this post.

Really... you pay someone to check out everything people are writing about you?

4 is more than I thought would have. Creapin' on my blog.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tempt not a Desperate Man

The end of the work year. What a shit year. No raise, no bonus (be happy you’re still employed Lawryde.) Suck it, I’m a skilled professional, not some unskilled jack off. I did more work this year than I ever have.

We also learned no raises and most likely no bonus next year. That was a mistake on their part. Sure they get to maintain dividends and all the rich just keep on getting richer. Our CEO gets a check for over $70,000 the first of the year.

I am Jack’s total lack of motivation to do anything more for this company.

I’m owed 5% for the promotion they keep dangling in front of my face and won’t give me, 8% for my merit raise this year, and 8% for my merit raise next year I won’t be getting, or roughly $13,500.

I will be searching for a new job in Wisconsin with renewed vigor and intent in January. This economy is turning, and companies are hiring.

I will find a new job and be done here.

I’ve been fantasizing about the few weeks I’d have after I got a new job and was still working this one. (We used to read pornography…) Telling everyone what I really thought.

No turning back, once I was in Wisconsin I’d never be coming back to central Illinois.

Being able to operate machines every so often does not make up for everything else that’s wrong.

I’d be happier closer to family, where it stays cold in the winter, and cultural things exist and are generally free or cheaper than here.

I’d miss my hockey bro’s, my team I created, my work cohorts, my wife’s support system, but I’m over the rest.

Take your Team Opposite of Dog, you can have it. Soak these local douche bag engineers who don’t know any better and dream of nothing more than going to Bradley, getting a job at Opposite of Dog, farming in their spare time, and dying and being laid to rest next to a corn field.

I need something different.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Eli: I remember as a kid, I was ... I dunno, maybe seven or eight ... my grandfather died and my parents took me to the funeral. Watching his casket getting lowered into the ground, it ... it was the first time that I realized I was gonna die one day. I mean, I knew people died. I'm talking about the idea that my consciousness was gonna end. I wasn't gonna see what happened to the world. It was such an empty, dark feeling, like I was falling down a pitch-black hole. It was ... it scared the crap out of me.

Rush: I take it you don't believe in the afterlife.

Eli: That fear was almost too much to handle. I guess maybe I thought I'd just get used to it.
Rush: But you don't.

Eli: No. No. It scared me just as much every time.

Rush: Most people realize their own mortality at some stage of the game, Eli. It's not a particularly unique experience.

Eli: I know.

Rush: The question is, did it change you? Did it inspire you to make something of this short existence that we have?

Eli: Well, I'm here, aren't I?

When I was like seven I remember crossing the bridge over the Wisconsin River driving to or from church having the realization that I exist in this reality. That my consciousness was real, it felt almost out of body, like I was watching myself riding in the car. Then there was a moment like I fell back into my body, it was like a shock. A splash of cold water in the face almost. I had the same feeling when I walked into the room and seeing my grandma’s dead body in the casket. It was more of a hammer in the face and mind.

The panic and fear didn’t come till later. It ebbs and flows, and I’ve talked about it before. Why I can’t get used to it annoys me. Either there is nothing, and it won’t matter because I won’t be able to care, or I just keep living this life over and over, or I’m punished for eternity for not loving Jesus, or I get to go to happy land forever.

None of them sound great. Even eternal happiness seems strangely boring. The ups and downs of life make the ups that much better. If the coin always comes up heads what the fun in flipping it. Maybe the real end is better, not really… still terrifying and depressing, all those kids who die because of their horrible parents, all those people who suffer every day while I philosophize about life and get stomach aches from eating too much.

Some levity

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Friday, November 06, 2009

The Candy Man Can

I know, I know… I suck. It’s been like, another 2 and a half weeks since I last wrote something. Like I said before, it’s so much easier to just write a sentence and post it as a facebook status update. It’s the death of blogging.

I feel better than I did last time I wrote. Things got moving along so I could process the things that were bothering me. 11 hours in a car listening to some tracks I haven’t in years was good. Let my mind deal with everything.

Then there was Halloween. I was Willy Wonka, the Gene Wilder version of course. It was pretty sweet. My wife and I went out two nights since my parents came down to visit and watched the kids. It was pretty great, and we both had a lot of fun. I need to remember to send a thank you note to the woman my wife was a being a Doula for, for not going into labor until the Monday after Halloween. It allowed my wife to drink. On Friday we went to a party of a coworker of mine. A dude ended up getting shot in the side with a bb-gun, so you know it was a good party, and the beer was free. On Saturday we went out with some of my wife’s friends and I had to listen about divorce for the first part of the night which was a big downer, but then we made our way to the gay bar because the women “wanted to dance”. Whatever, if the day prior had told me anything is that I was entirely heterosexual so I went. Now I’d never been there before with out my normal facial hair. Mr. Wonka is clean shaven so I got rid of the beard for the costume. Little did I know that clean shaven lawyrde = gay magnet. I get it, I’m a good looking skinny dude, and without facial hair I look a lot like I did when I was 18. I got hit on like 4 times (I’d like to top that hat! Leaving so soon! Dude in drag grabs the air behind my ass and tells my wife to keep me close to her.) and got a simulated bj from Cher. It’s good to feel loved.

Had our first hockey game, interleague playing down against a C-league team. We destroyed them 8-2. I had two goals, the very first of the season on my first shift which felt good. Something seems to have clicked inside me lately playing hockey. I feel way more confident. I think the key is getting low. You watch a good player and their legs are bent and they are crouched down. Shitty players are almost vertical. You don’t get any power skating and you can’t make tight turns like that. I played pickup last night and scored a sweet top shelf goal that made even some of the better players give me an atta’ boy.

I think we may get destroyed by some of the better b-league teams, but I think we’ll still have fun. I put together a good group of guys. We’re the expansion team so it’s kind of expected we won’t do very well.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

20 days... really?

That's really too long in between blog posts. One of my old friends called me out on it via a facebook message a few days ago.

I could say I have excuses, work and family and all that.

Truth is I've hit some sort of low point so this seems like as good an idea as any other. It's helped in the past right?

It doesn't feel as bad as times before, yet, at the same time it is.

I nearly punched a 2 inch thick piece of steel today I was so overwhelmed. I would have broken my hand.

At the time it didn't seem like a bad idea. I'd get to leave work, have minimal tasks after. I'd get sympathy, mind numbing pain and mind numbing endorphins and mind numbing pain killers.

He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.

All these Nihilistic and generally depressing quotes and phrases have been bombarding me all day. Thinking about all the bad things that have happened and that could happen, and wondering if my children's smiles make up for all of them.

Is it ironic or not that it's been raining all day today and still is... no you'd expect that. Bad weather to match a bad mood, too predictable.

I can only hope that hockey makes me feel better tonight. That's a true sign of depression, not enjoying what you've found pleasure in in the past.

Perhaps this will be like a steep economic recovery. A V not a U. Maybe I'll score like 3 goals tonight, and then come home and have great sex with my wife, and then sleep soundly till morning, and then maybe the sun will come out, and my machine's software will not act like mentally retarded monkeys wrote it, and maybe they'll say they are reinstating raises at work, and my kids won't be so exhausted when I come home after work that they only want to test the limits of my patience, and everything, every little thing will be all-right.

Three Little Birds and Redemption Song always make me sad in that music is so beautiful my heart aches kind of way. Bob Marley as well as David Bowie have that affect on me. I'll make sure to que that up in the MP3 player tomorrow.