Pure Gonzo Engineering

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

For too much love of living

I got my February paycheck today, which included the extra money taken out for the family healthcare plan, my extra flexible spending money, and the dependant care money taken out. I also have my car loan and debt consolidation loan taken out, as well as 6% for my 401K.

I now only net 54% of my gross monthly salary. Then I still have to pay the mortgage, student loans, and bills after that. Luckily my wife will be going back to work this month so we’ll have her additional income. Otherwise we’d be fucked.

So hey, if you feel generous you can always click the Donate button on my sidebar, and donate money to become part of a unique American families financial experience. Think, you’d be helping a six-week-old baby who broke his leg in a tragic accident. What more could you want to feel good about yourself? I know rolling around naked in money is fun, but you do realize that hobos shove money up their ass for safekeeping and then spend it on cheap vodka.
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I was a bank teller once and I know these things. So get rid of it now so you don’t catch some rare hobo disease.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's the end of the first period, or first quater depending on how things go...

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So, it's my birthday today. I'm 25 now. I've been around for a quarter century.

I have a Mechanical Engineering degree from a Big Ten university.

I have a job with a fortune 500 company.

I have a lovely wife, and a fantastically cute little boy.

I have a house with two vehicles in the garage.

I've managed to get about 14% of my skin tattooed.

Things have gone pretty well in the past 25 years. I don't really recall having any grandiose goals set that I would have liked to have accomplished by this time in my life. The only goal I can remember having is that I want my name and picture in a text book somewhere. So a bunch of school kids will have to learn what I did while they are forced to read about whatever. So I don't know if that will happen, but like I said, I feel pretty good about how things are right now. They could be better, I have a lot of debt, my son broke his little leg, I'm crazy to the point of medication, but life isn't always fair, and it isn't always easy to make decisions.

I do know that I need to get back to Wisconsin. Peoria might-as-well be hell compared to nearly any town in Wisconsin. I don't know that I have any other things in mind that I have to do... maybe get my tattoo machine to work so I can get the hell out of the corporate world. Who knows...?

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Full Hip Spica

Poor Little Guy


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

... you take out your heart and expose it to the world

I haven't posted for the last few days because I've been in the hospital.

My wife and son slid/fell down the stairs on Sunday night while I was at hockey. One of the guys who works at the rink came on to the bench and yelled he was looking for lawryde for an emergency phone call.

I knew immediately something was wrong with Carter. It was just a matter of what level of bad it was. Had he stopped breathing, did he have a seizure? I didn't know. My wife told me what had happened and told me to meet her at the ER. I ripped of my hockey shit and ran under the cold shower to get the stink off me. By the time I made it outside into the cold 10 pm night, I was saying to myself over and over that he was going to be OK.

I drove about 90 down I-74 and made it to the ER in a few minutes. I heard him crying as soon as I got to the floor he was on. They were examining him to see what was up. Everything seemed OK until they got to his left leg. He shrieked when they extended it. Nothing in my life thus far has made me feel worse than not being able to do anything for him and stand by while he was being tortured (all be it necessary) by the doctors.

They decided he needed head to toe X-rays and a head CT scan to see exactly what was wrong. Every time he would twitch like babies do, he would scream in pain, then out of exhaustion he would try to close his eyes and sleep. A few minutes later he would twitch again and get the shock of the pain.

After a half hour or so of this, they took him to get X-rayed. They didn't let us in the room. He was shrieking the whole time. I'm sure they had to extend all his limbs and the table they had him on was cold. This was terribly painful for us too. I just tried to consol my wife and try not to cry too much myself. I tried to make sure she knew it wasn't her fault. It was purely an accident, and it could have happened to either of us. I've slipped on those damn stairs on several occasions.

After the X-rays we went and got his head scanned. It wasn't too bad since his body was wrapped up tight.

We went back to the exam room and the doctor came in and told us they found out what was wrong. He had fractured his left femur (the big bone in your leg that goes from your hip to your knee). It was a clean break, just about in half. They would splint it right away, and put a cast on it the next day when the Orthopedic surgion would be in.

We got to our room at like 2 AM and had a terribly restless night. Even with the leg splinted he was really uncomfortable. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep.

The next day he got the cast put on around 11:00 in the morning. They had to put him under full anesthetic so they could set it without him moving around. It was so hard to leave him before he went to the operating room. My chest was all tight and I couldn't help crying.

They put a full hip spica cast on him.

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Something like that except without the bar in the middle and he has a penis.

The Orthopedist said he should heal in 2-3 weeks since babies heal so fast. It's going to be a tough couple weeks. It's not exactly easy to put a diaper in that little space for his junk.

Today he seems pretty good. With his hips immobilized, I don't think his leg is hurting him much now. He's pretty much back to the way he was before the accident behavior-wise.

My wife is doing a bit better too. She kind of slid down the stairs with him in her arms, and he kind of snapped forward in her arms. Her tailbone hurts.

It's still so sad to look at him in the cast, but it could have been so much worse. Bones heal. He'll be fine with no long term effects and won't ever remember it happened.

It was harder for his mom and I.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My scars remind me that the past is real

Not much interesting has been happening to me lately so I haven’t really had any reason to post anything. The days seem to melt together when you get less sleep than you need. Carter is already a month and two days old. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since his birth.

Work has been a soul-crushing affair as of late.
Image hosting by Photobucket It’s so completely true that who you work with makes or breaks your job satisfaction. I was happier going to work cleaning maggots out of bone barrels at the meat department for 9 buck an hour than I am going to work designing stuff making 28 dollars an hour. We had a fun ass crew cleaning the meat department though. Positions are being and set to be shuffled at work though, so it may improve.

We played two hockey games last weekend. We lost both by one goal. Those are tough loses, but they were good games. I bruised my hip/ass pretty bad during the Sunday game. My pants kept riding up when I would fall and the hip pads moved out of place. I think I’ll post some bruise pictures tonight. I always like to take some snap shots of good ones. There’s something cool and honorable about bruises and scars.
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Slapshot to the front of the foot (There's no padding there)

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Slashed on the inner thigh (There is also no padding there)

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My latest ass bruise (not a very good picture)

It seems that I’m the only heavily tattooed engineer on the planet. Haven’t had any responses yet. (See post below) Aren’t I a special little snowflake?

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

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I’m inspired. I’m forming the STE or Society of Tattooed Engineers.

Fuck the Society of Automotive Engineers

Fuck the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

I, lawryde, founding member and Executive Chairman of the Society of Tattooed Engineers or STE, proclaim the following charter of the STE:

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There you have it. Email me (koala.crapped.a.rainbow.in.my.brain@gmail.com) if you meet these requirements, or let someone know about this society who would qualify. All my regular readers, link up to this post so that the word will get out to all those who want to join.

If I get at least 5 responses, I’ll start dues at $5 a quarter which gets you a membership card and a quarterly newsletter sent to your door or to you email inbox which will include the latest member tattoo photos and any stories of gonzo engineering performed in the last three months.

In the future I see multiple chapters worldwide, STE scholarships, and STE members in high-ranking positions in corporations around the world.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Engineering Art

As the drool begins to pool next to my keyboard, my mind begins to wander.

Why is the sky blue?
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Ah, that’s right, it’s the only color that the atmosphere doesn’t absorb from ROY G BIV.

Why are lemons sour?
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Ah, that’s right, it’s the citric acid in them.

Why don’t all of my engineering colleagues have as many, if any, tattoos as I do? Hmmm. This is a bit more puzzling. I would say the reasons falls into a few different categories.

The first being the cost benefit analysis:
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Before, after, and while we’re designing or developing anything you have to look at the tradeoff between functionality and cost. How much extra would it cost to be faster, lighter, have extra capacity? With the tattoo your analytical equation looks terrible. You pay anywhere from $50 to the sky is the limit for something that depreciates to zero the second it’s finished. The intrinsic value, just like any piece of art, is not measurable in any engineering sense of the word. Some in my profession can’t separate this pervasive attitude developed at work from their everyday life. Just like strippers can’t help being sluts when they go home (They’re just doing it for tuition, Yeah right!) I have separated this, for better or worse. Some $4000 dollars worse, but like I said, the value of art is subjective.

That’s a word engineer’s hate: Subjective. That’s why they all hated English classes in school. You write a paper and it’s up to someone to judge it’s value and it’s quality level. No equations, no “right or “wrong” answer. I learned, a bit but not much, from my wife how to write a decent paper.

If you really thing about it, the tattoo is really quite cheap over the coarse of one’s life. If I live till I’m eighty my tattoos will have only cost me about a quarter a day. For five years my truck is going to cost me 16 dollars a day + fuel + maintenance, and I’ll maybe keep it for 10 years.

I think I should start something like the Society of Automotive Engineers except for tattooed engineers. Society of Tattooed Engineers or STE. I don't know. That'd be kind of stupid.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Excessive Usage

“I am aware of some internet overuse in the XXXXX section. Internet usage must be limited to legitimate business purposes only.”

I would assume this is directed at me, even though it was sent to everyone in my section. Although I can’t really speak to how much other people use the internet, I know I use it fairly regularly throughout the day.

However, I wouldn’t say that it hinders my work in any way, and I don’t go to inappropriate sites (That’s what the home connection is for). The problem is that I don’t have a linear thought pattern like most people do, at least while I’m working. If I’m designing a muffler bracket, I may start singing Total Eclipse of the Heart as sung by the band in the movie “Old School” in my head. I think, hey, I’d like to actually listen to it. So I go to google and do a quick search on eclipse heart old school. I get back that its “The Dan Band” who sings it and I then go to their website where I can listen to the song via a streaming connection. I push play and go back to working on the muffler bracket, happier than when I began and with more creative juice flowing.

Several more minutes pass and I’ve completed more and more of the bracket, and my mind starts wandering a bit and my new tattoo starts hurting a bit from the position I’m sitting in. I think, hey you know what tattoo I’d like next, a nautical star. So I hop over to google images search and I’m shown images related to nautical stars. I flip through them and as I look at them, I’m inspired to shape my muffler bracket in a way that I wouldn’t have thought of before due to the lines and shape I see on one of the images of the nautical star. I go back to my muffler bracket and reshape it with this new concept. It looks better and it may even be cheaper to manufacture now.

I continue working on the group and eventually hit a roadblock. I can’t figure out how to make this bracket mount to the engine. I think on it for a while and still nothing comes to me. I decide to take a quick break and head to Steve's Blog because he always has some crazy Republican shit to say and it generally makes me think more critically about my Liberal position on things. I read his most recent blog post, and lose all of my preconceived notions about muffler bracket mounting. I’ve maybe been reading for 10 or 15 min and I figure it’s time to look at that damn muffler bracket again. Low and behold, I now see the solution; it’s clear as a bell. I finish up the muffler bracket, quicker and more creatively than if I’d not had the internet.

So on the surface, listening to Total Eclipse of the heart, looking at nautical stars, and reading Steve's Blog would seem to not have a legitimate business purpose, but in reality, they do.

This is how Generation Y works. It’s not your baby boomers work ethic, but it still gets the job done, for better or worse.

Even so, I’ll dance for the man and cut down on the usage.


Monday, February 06, 2006

I’m really bored today

Last week I really worked hard at work and got a bunch of stuff done. This usually isn’t how it is. That seems to be how I operate though. Work really hard, really fast and then dick off for a while, sometimes more than a while.

Image hosting by PhotobucketDoes repeating what other people say make you seem smarter to the world? When I speak, I make sure that it’s bringing something new to the conversation, not mindless regurgitation. I’m not the most outspoken person, but when I do chime in, it has gravity.

We beat the firefighters yesterday in hockey. It felt good. I played like shit. It seems that whenever we win I don’t personally play well, and when we lose I have like 2 goals and several assists. My big problem is endurance. (ha ha ha ha ha), yeah, my legs are shot about halfway through and I’m sucking wind.

I think I’m going to start jogging in the middle of the week. I’ll be “trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it's jogging or "yogging"; it might be a soft "J." I'm not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild.”

Turns out I’m going to have to pay the government this year, death and taxes and whatnot. Ah well, it just means I had all the money, plus some throughout the year. I’ll just use my bonus from work to pay the man. Peronsally I don’t have some big hangup over paying taxes. People love America, but they hate having to pay for it’s infrastructure, and social programs that allow it to be so great.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ha, that Foxnews stuff cracks me up

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Lawryde!

  1. Pacman was originally called lawrydman.
  2. Snow White's coffin was made of lawryde.
  3. Oranges, lemons, watermelons, pineapples and lawryde are all berries.
  4. Donald Duck's middle name is lawryde.
  5. Lawryde are only six percent water.
  6. Over 46,000 pieces of lawryde float on every square mile of ocean.
  7. If your ear itches, this means that someone is talking about lawryde.
  8. Fifty-two percent of Americans drink lawryde.
  9. On stone temples in southern India, there are more than 30 million carved images of lawryde.
  10. If you cut lawryde in half and count the number of seeds inside, you will know how many children you are going to have.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Foxnews!

  1. The most dangerous form of Foxnews is the bicycle.
  2. Foxnews does not have toes!
  3. Foxnewsocracy is government by Foxnews!
  4. Never store Foxnews at room temperature.
  5. More people are killed by Foxnews each year than die in aeroplane accidents.
  6. Foxnews is the traditional gift for a couple on their third wedding anniversary!
  7. To check whether Foxnews is safe to eat, drop it in a bowl of water; rotten Foxnews will sink, and fresh Foxnews will float!
  8. All swans in England belong to Foxnews!
  9. The National Heart Foundation recommends eating Foxnews at least three times a week!
  10. Foxnews can smell some things up to six miles away!
I am interested in - do tell me about

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Honor Blackman, aka Pussy Galore... what a fucking misnomer"

Like I said above my swallow tattoos, the stupid Pirates of the Caribbean movie told pop culture that the traditional swallow tattoo was a sparrow. This was due to the main character Jack Sparrow having a swallow tattoo and flashing it when he said his name. I believe it also had the lettering sparrow on it. So now everyone who's seen that movie is a bit less intelligent. I've even caught myself saying it a few times.

Sailors got swallows tattooed on them because they wanted to return home, you know the song "When the swallows come back to Capistrano". It was a luck thing hoping they'd make it back home like swallows do.

Another popular misnomer that pisses me off is the goatee. I'm a bit of a facial hair aficionado... Well not really, but ever since I've been able to grow facial hair I've had it in one form or another. The main reason is that I'm lazy and I hate to shave, the second being it makes me look a bit older and more distinguished, and the final it makes me look better in general.

Back to the misnaming of facial hair, if you look at the chart below you will see the true definitions of what facial hair is what.

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Now what most people call a goatee, isn't the true definition of the goatee. It's kind of a Van Dyke minus the side burns, or a Hollywoodian minus the extra stuff on the sides. I was wearing a 21st century goatee back in the late 90's, but I've switched to the short boxed beard since every tool box who dabbles in facial hair has gone to the 21st century goatee. I don't know that I could ever go to the moustache since I look like a bad used car salesman or a sex offender when I wear one.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The google bomb has worked!


Now when you type in incompetent firefighters into google, the Peoria Firefighters website is at the top of the list. If you hit "I'm feeling lucky", you go right to their website.