Pure Gonzo Engineering

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Life Aquatic With Lawryde

Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go on an overnight drunk...

and in 10 days I'm gonna set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it.

Anyone that would care to join me is more than welcome.

Last night my wife and I went to a Halloween party at a friend’s house.

I went as Steve Zissou, and she went as Jane Winslet-Richardson. My costume was tits, my wife made it.

Early on in the night I decided I was going to get fucked up for a few different reasons.

1. I hadn’t gotten fucked up in quite some time.
2. I was paying money for a babysitter so I was going to enjoy myself.
3. I had a designated driver to drive me home.

We arrived at the party around 7, and I proceeded to drink sweet, sweet beer.

It was a fun party; I became chattier and chattier as I drank more and more. Not very many people had seen The Life Aquatic, but my costume was still tits.

The host of the party, Tom, pulled out some German apple schnapps and started pouring so I had a couple of those. Then he pulled out this other German booze that was labeled Korn, not related to the band. It was kind of like drinking isopropyl alcohol without the blinding side effects.

He also had some Sailor Jerry rum, so he mixed up some ‘bruisers’ (spiced rum, amaretto, coke, and a twist of lime).

By the time 11:30 rolled around and it was time to go, I was feeling no pain.

As soon as we got into the car I knew I was in for a bad time. We had to pull over one exit after we got on the interstate to go back home. I opened the car door and yacked. My wife said she could smell a whiff of alcohol after each splat hit the ground.

We ended up stopping 3 more times, twice on our street, before we got home. A 25 min drive turned into a 45. My world was spinning, and I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep, but my stomach was going to punish me for drinking so much. I spent most of the early morning hours sitting hunched over on the downstairs bed with a bucket dry heaving and puking every so often. I couldn’t lay down because it was just too dizzying. By 3 AM I had sobered enough to be able to sleep lying down.

This morning I feel pretty good, bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but no major headache, and I’m able to keep the food down.

It was a good time, with the exception of those 3 and a half hours. (kind of makes me hope that time is like a straight line rather than like a mountain range). Anyway, we’ve got another party to go to next Saturday. I think I’ll take it easy at that one.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

My dad never went to college.
- So it was real important that I go.
- That sounds familiar.

So I graduate.
Call him up long-distance
and say, "Dad, now what?"

- He says, "Get a job."
I Make my yearly call again.

"Dad, now what?"

He says, "I dunno. Get married."

I had to drop some Fight Club on you since I haven’t in a while. So I’m at this point in my life that I’ve achieved all these milestone sort of things. I’ve graduated college. I’m married. I have a house with two cars in the garage. I’ve got a son. I’ve got a stable, well paying job. These are big things to have done in life.

It’s not like I’ve fucking landed on the moon or anything, but I’ve accomplished a lot of major life goals.

I was trying to think of what my goals are now.

I don’t really have any killer ambition at work to climb super high on the corporate ladder. I just want to make enough money to live comfortably, and pay off all my debt in a year.

I want more kids, because Carter is the coolest little thing ever.

I want to play hockey every week. It’s a pretty short-term, simple goal, but I derive immense enjoyment from it.

I don’t want to die in Peoria. There’s my big long-term goal.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

They call me “Hat Trick” McLawryde

We had our first hockey practice of the winter season last night. My buddy Phil showed up at the same time I did and he told me last Sunday at rat hockey he got $250 stolen right out of his wallet. He was going to use it to pay for league registration, now this season is going to cost him double. He thinks it was this one dickhead kid who no one really likes. Apparently he’s been busted for shoplifting before, but there’s no way to prove he took Phil’s money. The whole story just pissed me off. What kind of asshole steals money from one of his fellow hockey players? I’ll steal from large corporations or banks, but certainly not from another guy in a locker room.

Basically practice is just a big pickup game with a shit-load of players on the bench, you’ve got four teams worth of players combined into two teams. The first half hour or so, my performance was pretty lack luster. I hadn’t played seriously for 2 weeks, so I was a bit rusty. Then all of a sudden I opened it up, and pucks started to kind of bounce right for me. I got a nice little five-hole goal, and then two shifts later had two consecutive goals within about 5 minutes. Playing rat hockey with the higher-level players has really helped my game. Everything gets slowed down when you drop back into C-League. Depending on how this season goes, I may play in B-League next summer.

So before practice (I’m telling this story a bit like a Tarantino flick), this woman walks into our locker room and sets her shit down like she’s going to get dressed in there. Phil and I glance at each other, and exchange some looks. She leaves to change into her hockey underclothes in the women’s room, I guess. This other dude, a Japanese hockey playing heart surgeon, notices Phil and I giving each other questioning looks, and says that the lady is a doctor. (The local hospital has a C-League team) I’m like, OK, whatever. She’s going to see some naked dudes after practice.

After practice everyone’s getting their gear off, and she’s in there. I’m about ready to take a shower, but she’s on the bench right by the shower, facing away from the entrance, but still right by the showers. I head into the shower with my combo cup-shorts and flip flops and turn on the water to get it heated up, which usually takes a while. I figure she’ll kind of hurry up and get done and leave. Steam starts rolling out of the shower so they’re ready. My other buddy Mike goes ahead and strips down where he’s at, and saunters over to the showers, cock flapping in the wind. Since Mike broke the ice, I say fuck it, and, with a bit more discretion, go into the showers and remove my combo cup-shorts.

As we’re showering I hear her discussing with some of her fellow doctors how being in a locker room with naked dudes isn’t an issue for her since she’s had to deal with a guy who had a 72-hour erection during her residency.

She packs up all of her gear and leaves. Apparently she wasn’t OK getting naked herself. That would cross that thin red line, and, as a married man, I’d have to leave at that point.

Strange shit, but a fun practice. It should be a good season.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I don’t work for Initech or Intertrode or any other lame ass company that tried to combine an adjective and technology; I work at Opposite of Dog.

I was going to put together a cool post based on that sentence, but I’m pretty tired right now and I’m going to go home.

Sorry to leave you hanging like that kids.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Short Man Syndrome and How to Operate a Pipelayer

My father taught me several key lessons in life, many of which I don’t recall.

Perhaps the most important, and the one that sticks out in my mind, was to be cautious when dealing with short men (men who have a small stature). I kind of recall this Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes, Beware Man speech he gave to me, but about short dudes.

The thing is, he was absolutely right. All my life, any short dude I have encountered has always been trying to prove something to me because they were short. They always kind of have this little (ha ha) chip on their shoulder. If they’re good at something, they wrap themselves around it and define themselves by it, and want to always tell you how much better they are at it than you.

I’ve known some cool short dudes as well, but I can count them on about two fingers.

Carter is pretty short right now on the growth chart, which means nothing really. My dad, and my wife’s dad are both average height, and I’m 6’2” so I’m not terribly concerned for him.

I’ve been working on a deregulated 587R pipelayer. It’s old school and billows black smoke when you pull the mechanical governor to full throttle. It doesn’t have any roll over protection on it, so if you tip over in it, you’re dead unless you can jump away from it in time.

To steer it there are two levers and two brakes in front of you. Clutches and Brakes. You pull in the clutch on the side whose track you want to slow down or stop and push the brake. The art and grace that is involved in turning a pipelayer like this comes in because you’ve got several tons of winch and counterweight over the right track which means you have lower traction the left side.

If you’re on concrete and make a right hand turn and don’t really know what you’re doing, it kind of sounds like the worse nails on chalk board sound you’ve ever heard in your life.

It’s a good way to piss everyone around you off who isn’t wearing earplugs. Got to learn somehow.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Like a Phoenix He Was Burned to the Ground

I talk to all these smart, intellectual people who tell me they are waiting to have kids, and I see these myspace profiles of married people who “some day” want kids. Society tells everyone that it’s OK to wait to have kids.

Modern society has lied to you about waiting to have kids. If you do wait until your late thirties or whenever you decide, your baby making tools will have started to deteriorate. You can expect to have a higher risk pregnancy, with a higher likelihood of genetic defects, if you can conceive at all the natural science free way.

“Pregnancies from men younger than twenty-five years are 40% less likely to end in miscarriage than pregnancies from men 25-29 years. Pregnancies from men older than forty years are 60% more likely to end in miscarriage than the 25-29 year age group.” From Wikipedia.

I guess standing around microwaves and not wearing athletic supporters during contact sports can make your guys swim less effectivly.

Back when Rome and Greece ruled the world, people only lived between 25 and 45 years. If you didn’t get to the business of making babies at an early age, you were dead before they were able to take care of themselves. Do you really think our reproductive organs have evolved as quickly as our standards of hygiene and medicine have?

So all you intellectuals who are waiting until you can’t conceive to try and conceive, maybe you should reevaluate you plan and start trying to make more little intellectuals because you known stupid people, the ultra religious, and people from the south are cranking out babies like crazy.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Lady, Shall I lie in your lap?

We’ve decided to postpone our trip to Madison until the first weekend in November, another non-badger home game.

Why you ask?

Well, I’d rather not tell you right now. I don’t think we’ve progressed that far in our relationship yet. “We” being me and you (my online readership).

I mean I like you, but I don’t LIKE you. All those long walks on the beach we’ve taken together, and those special presents I gave you on our one and two year anniversaries just isn’t quite enough to let you know everything about me.

We can still be friends though, and maybe that friendship will eventually blossom into something more, where I share all the reasons I don’t go on trips with you.

I’m going to sleep, enjoy the company of my wonderful wife & son, and play hockey this weekend. I hope you get do all the things you want to as well.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I didn't vote for him twice for a reason

How can anyone defend or support this ass-hat anymore?

Seriously, ...providing healthcare to children, which is paid for by a "61-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes to pay for the measure". What a dick. How can you veto something like that.

You're paying for healthcare for children with money from dumbasses who choose to smoke and put a burden on the system.

Seriously... (shaking head)

Explain this to me Steve, I don't get it, and please don't give me it's a slippery slope to socialized medicine. That's a bullshit excuse. You're paying for this by taxing people who are idiots, not everyone.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

There Will Always Be Yesterday

This afternoon I went out to play on my D6T since I was waiting for a response as to whether or not I needed to test more.

As I carved into the side of a twelve-foot tall wall of dirt, I began to try and recall the dreams I’ve had the past two nights. I’ve known I was dreaming the past two nights, and can recall the dreams were emotionally intense, but I can’t remember the content.

My subconscious must be in turmoil, if dreams are the subconscious trying to communicate with the conscious self.

Or maybe it’s just random neurons firing in my brain while I sleep. People, places, and things I’ve been encountering the last two days in some happenstance order that seems to make sense. Some twisted story line that will never, and has never happened. Big things are happening, are going to happen, that are out of my control.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

I designed the Sears Tower; I make two grand an hour

I had a productive Monday morning. I got all the testing done I needed to. I thought it would take most of the week, but everything went well and we got it done. On Friday I learned how to put a 47,000-pound bulldozer up on stands. They don’t exactly make jacks of that size. Basically you put wood blocks under the tracks and back up on them. Then you slide stands under the back, lift the front end up with the blade, and then put stands under the front. The tracks are completely off the ground, and you can do steering tests. I have an awesome job. Of all the boring shit I could be doing as a mechanical engineer, I get to put bulldozers up on stands and brake stall the tracks.

Tonight I’m turning in my hockey roster for winter league. I’m happy with the team I put together. It should be a fun season. I don’t expect to win every game, but it’ll be fun.

I played Rat last night with a bunch of really good players. It was a lot of fun. I was blasted when I got home. There were like 30 guys there so I didn’t get all that many shifts over the hour and a half, but I was working hard skating up to their level.

We’re going to make a trip to Madison on Saturday. There isn’t a home football game so we’ll be able to enjoy the downtown campus area on a nice Fall day. We need to make trips back to Madison every so often so we don’t start to think that Peoria is actually a good town to live in. I’m looking forward to eating some good Thai food. It should be a fun day trip.

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