Pure Gonzo Engineering

Monday, August 28, 2006

Planes Crash… That’s what they do.

I flew ComAir a few weeks ago from Peoria to Atlanta, in a CRJ nonetheless. I’m always a little nervous when I fly, not nearly as bad as I used to be, but still a bit nervous. Like I’ve said before though, that nervousness is founded in the fact that we all think we’re special little snowflakes. Being in a plane crash is like winning the lottery, but you die. Out of the millions of people who flew since the last plane crash in the US (2001), only 49 have died. There have been more than 49 lottery winners since 2001.

It is kind of messed up those people had to die fiery deaths as a result of the dumb ass pilot picking the wrong runway. Wouldn’t you know from flying enough how much runway your plane needs to get airborne? It’s like parallel parking. I know how big a spot I need to make it work. Ah well.

I got a few more quotes for the termite problem I have. I found a reputable local company that’s going to charge me $650 for doing just the house, then $90 a year after to make sure the bastards are gone. It would be another $400 to do the garage, but this treatment should kill the colony, so I’m going to roll the dice and pay for the garage only if I have to. Also, the dude said that he though the house had already been treated way back in the day when they were using a chemical in the same class as DDT to treat for termites. He showed me a repeating pattern of drilled holes in the basement wood, which he thought indicated that. I was reading up on that old chemical, and they say it lasts almost forever, but I’m not going to risk it and just drop the 650.

I was highly disappointed in the season finally of Deadwood last night. Instead of going out in a cliffhanger or a bunch of action, it just kind of fizzled to an end. I did like Al’s line: “In the aftermath, play the lie as mine, knowin’ I speak of you in heaven.”

Buy Instant Grocery List, and I can stop putting these plugs at the end of every post!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The F*ing South

I have negative radar. I can spot the flaw in something even if it’s not showing. I gravitate to leaking gas pipes. I can sense if a drain is backing up.

Two days ago my negative sense was tingling as I looked at this little rock that was sitting in my back yard right in front of my deck. “I think I should lift up that rock”, I said to myself.

I saw about 20 “white ant” looking creatures begin to scurry back underground as I lifted up the rock. I’m from Wisconsin and I don’t know what the fuck a termite looks like. I didn’t know what else they could be, so I killed one and put it in a baggy.

The next day my wife called Terminix and had them come out to take a look. They already spray our house for spiders and carpenter ants.

Sure as shit, those are termites. They haven’t made it into the house yet, and they’ve never been in the house ever. It’s only a matter of time though until they do get into the house. I have a block foundation so it inherently has cracks in it. They can work their way into the cracks and then into the wood. So, now I have to drop $1500 to get rid of the bastards. They’ll drill holes all around my house, which has concrete pads all around it, and then pump in hundreds of gallons of poison to kill them.

God I hate living this far south. Stupid termites are going to cost me like $120 bucks a month. That basically drains my expendable income until the first of the year and I get another raise.

Why do I have suck bad fucking luck? Why is God taking time from his busy schedule of killing puppies and babies to mess with me? I guess it’s good that my negativist sense was able to spot them before they made their way into my house. Then it would have cost more, and I would have had to make repairs to any damage and had a hell of a time trying to sell later. This way I get a guarantee that they’ll be gone.

Everyone, buy Instant Grocery List, I need the money to kill the bastard termites. (Or you can just click on the donate button on the this blog’s side bar and just add to the termite killing fund) Instant Grocery List is worth it, I promise. I even put an Ebay auction up so you can trust I’m not just going to take your money.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

The band Coldplay is so fucking pretentious…

That being said, they do have some very heart wrenching infectious songs.

I learned today why my comrade at work was gone for the past two days. His brother’s baby died due to a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (a hole in the diaphragm). Call me a big pussy, but I wanted give him a hug.

I didn’t.

It would have been uncouth.

Having gone through a miscarriage with my wife, the news that his brother’s full term baby had died just cut right to the heart of me. It made me want to cry, as I thought about my Carter.

I had been listening to Fix You by Coldplay because it was in my head since it’s on the preview for that 9/11 movie.

It fits so well. So fucking tragic though…

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vietnow-Rage Against the Machine

Turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off

Fear is your only god on the radio

Nah fuck it, turn it off

Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off

Fear is your only god on the radio

Nah fuck it, your saviour's my guillotine, crosses and kerosene …

Terror's tha product ya push
Well I'm a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush …

Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?
Is all tha world jails and churches?

Radio, nah fuck it, turn it off
Fear is your only god on tha radio Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on tha radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour's my guillotine, crosses and kerosene

Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your, fear is your only god

We all need to stop being such weak-tit pussies and turn off our fucking TV’s with their 24 hour news channels. You’re not going to die in a terrorist attack. It’s not the end of the world because the Israelis are fighting the Lebanese (again). We need to stop worrying, and start living. (I personally need to take my own advice).

We’re not all special little snowflakes. Most of us are going to live out our normal lives with not very interesting things happening and then we’ll die in some normal average way.

No breaking story.

No live coverage.

Just the memories of those that loved us, and the improvements or detriments we left with society. So stop being so afraid, and allowing it to control your actions, feelings, and thoughts.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My child is an ingenious little monkey.

Yesterday my Carter figured out two new tricks. He’s officially 7 Months 3 days old. In the morning he figured out how to go from lying on his belly to sitting up. Then at night we were all downstairs and he figured out how to crawl for the first time. He’s been up on all fours and rocking back and forth for a few weeks. It’s incredible seeing him do something like that for the first time. It’s like watching the moon landing and the first time you got to third-base all rolled into one event.

Anyway… I guess we’ll be baby proofing the house this weekend. Now that he has the basic mechanics of it down he’ll have it mastered pretty soon.

The more he grows and develops, the less scared I am of life in general. It’s an amazing phenomenon.

Instant Grocery List is a time saver. Buy it!

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Monday, August 14, 2006

I am Jack’s aching muscles…

My parents came down this weekend. My dad and I had the project of replacing all of the old galvanized steel plumbing in our house with new PEX (high density polyethylene) tubing. It’s a relatively new product for plumbing, and it’s way cheaper than copper. ($0.25 per foot compared to $2.50 per foot for copper).

We started at about 9:30 on Saturday morning. Things started kind of slow, but after we got moving it went pretty well. The PEX is really easy to install because of its flexibility. You never need to be dead nuts on any lengths, plus or minus a few inches will get you where you need to be.

The biggest pain in the ass for the whole project was ripping out the old pipe. We had to cut and disassemble as we went. After the first day we had the manifolds (see below picture) and 50% of the fixtures hooked up. We put all the old pipe on the curb to be picked up by the trash.

The next day we worked for a few hours, and my mom said that all the old pipe was gone from the curb. I couldn’t believe it. Someone had taken all of it. It was really shitty and old. One man’s trash, I guess… We had everything wrapped up by about 2:00 on Sunday. The pressure is so much better now in the house. Plus with the manifold system, there isn’t as much affect when multiple fixtures are on.

So the grand total for installation was about 12 hours of work (24 man hours) and about $500 in material (manifolds, tools, fittings, and hangers). If I would have had a plumber do it, it probably would have been in the $2500-$3000 range.

At 4:00 I had a hockey game. I was already tired as hell from all the plumbing work. We didn’t even have a full line on the bench to sub so it was a long ass game. We lost per usual, and I was dead tired. Good thing I have a cushy desk job.

Have you bought your Instant Grocery List yet? Your mom or wife would love it.

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The cold water manifold

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Hot and cold connections to the kitchen

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Work Travel

This was in Jacksonville, before being delayed 2 hours in Atlanta due to thunderstorms, one day before all this no liquids on planes nonsense

Thoughts from Gate A4

I just saw a man carting a baby by as I sit here waiting to go to ATL. It made me miss my Carter. It made me want to cry. I’m so fucking tired right now. We’ve been working and going out to eat for something like 12 or 14 hours each day. I just want to be home right now. I’m not cut out for this much travel. I just saw another little boy. I still miss my Carter, and I still feel like I have to cry.

I’m glad I’m not (drawn square). It makes life more interesting. I’m also glad I’m not conservative. It makes you so hateful. I’m still pretty hateful, but it seems conservatives are more so.

Are Pilots scared of heights? Do they ever get scared before a flight? I’m less than I used to be, scared that is. I still take Dramamine before. It calms and quites me. This is such rambling bullshit. Oh well, I’m not reading it. My plane is here.

Buy Instant Grocery List, I promise you’ll use it and love it.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad Luck, Good Karma

Yesterday started like any other workday. Before I left, my wife asked me to start the washing machine. I went downstairs and started it. I looked over at the floor drain because our sewer backs up every so often because of tree roots. It looked OK, but I bent down to take a closer look.

I guess I bent a little too far because my 1 Gig flash drive slid out of my pocket an plopped right into the center of the drain. I watched in horror, unable to react as it was falling. It began to sink and I tried to snag it. My fingers couldn’t fit down far enough. I ran upstairs and grabbed some silverware and tried to pull it out. I couldn’t see it because the pipes are so old and rusty the water got mudded up right away. I was so fucking pissed off. The latest version of Instant Grocery List was on it, a bunch of music, and all the pictures of Carter were on it. I gave up and went to work.

I was pissed all day, but I thought I might be able to get it with some magnets or something.

When I got back home I went downstairs and took a look. The rust in the water had settled down and I could see the flash drive sitting at the bottom, maybe six inches down. (Luckily it has a 90° elbow at the bottom.)

I was able to fish it out with some pliers. It was all wet and nasty so I ran it under some clean water. It couldn’t get any more wet so why not? I lodged it into the front of a small plastic fan and left it.

It finally cooled off so I went and did some yard work. I pulled the car out so I could get to the mower, and had at it. When I went out to pull the car in from the street, a dude in a white truck stopped and gave me a honk. I figured he wanted directions.

He told me he had to get to Bloomington (40 mi away) and he was almost out of gas. He said he was a painter and just got paid by check but didn’t have any cash. He had a construction radio in the passenger seat that was covered in dust and paint flecks. He told me he had another job in Peoria tomorrow and he’d stop by and give me double what I gave him. I didn’t really believe him, or have any faith that he’d come back if I gave him money, but shit… fate had saved my flash drives so why not. I gave him 10 bucks and told him where to get the cheapest gas in town. He thanked me. Sometimes you have to do good deeds like that. I lie, cheat and steel enough that I need something to even out the Karma.

I went back upstairs and plugged in the now dry flash drive. It fired up right away and I didn’t loose any information.

Thank you Karma thank you very much.

P.S. Have you bought your copy of Instant Grocery List yet? If not you should. It will save you time, and you can’t put any price on that. Buy it. It’s good. It’s Instant Grocery List!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Buy my shit, and a Google Bomb.

I’ve created the Instant Grocery List.

What is Instant Grocery List?

It’s a Microsoft Excel based program that you enter in all the meals you and your family typically eat: Spaghetti, Hamburgers, Chicken Kiev, etc. With those meals you put in the ingredients for each meal. Then Instant Grocery List will automatically generate a random menu for the number of days you want. Done. I made it because my wife and I were getting stuck in a rut of eating the same things week after week. Now, we get a great variety, and we don’t waste time thinking of things to put in our weekly menu.

Buy it. I know you want to. At the very least buy it for your wife or computer savvy mom.

It’s wonderful.

It’s Instant Grocery List.