Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, January 31, 2008

And I don't think, you see the places inside me that I find you

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Death Would Have Been Easier

Last night I fought through a terrible bit of influenza or something. When Carter and my wife returned from Vegas, Carter had some diarrhea. Whatever he had, or some form of it, I had last night.

I went to bed about 10:00, and all of a sudden my stomach and lower intestines revolted. I was puking and crapping every few minutes. I spent the rest of the night downstairs on the couch praying for a swift death. I couldn't even drink water without throwing it up. I was having the chills, and my whole body ached from being contorted into a ball. At around four A.M. I was finally able to drink water. I was so dehydrated that my arms and legs were tingling.

Last night ranks right up there with the most horrible nights I've ever experienced.

I feel better today.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This is it, last night alone.

I’m listening to music loudly at almost midnight.

I watched I am Legend tonight on the computer.

It was pretty fucking good.

I wept like a fucking baby at the end when the Bob Marley song started as the credits rolled. You cork up emotion for long enough and it will come out.

I miss my family too.

One More

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why do I always have to be on B-squad? You’re the LEADER of B-squad.

I’ve completely destroyed my normal sleep schedule with this whole being home alone thing. I’ve been staying up till around 3 in the morning this past weekend.

Last night I went out drinking with my hockey comrades. The strip club had it’s sub-sub-par B-squad out. We had fun drinking and bullshitting though. It was snowing like hell when we left. It took a long time to drive home. I took the long way on the interstate since I guessed it was in better shape than the rest of the roads. When I got back I was up until around 2 in the morning fixing a problem with our computer. Windows Explorer kept resetting over and over and over and over. I finally got it to stop through trickery and deception.

6:30 came quickly, but surprisingly I’m not very tired. The beer must have made me sleep soundly for the four and a half hours. I need to try and not take a nap when I get home so I can get back to a normal schedule prior to The Boy and Wife returning tomorrow night.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

That didn't take long

Wow, one day and some dude looking for dog on woman action was directed to last nights post. It's a crazy world we live in. I'm trying to think of some joke about kosher food, but it's not really coming to me.

We got our asses handed to us today against the B-league team. It was a good skate. I had one assist. We lost 12-3.

After, me and my hockey comrades went to Taco Johns for some food. The dudes I hang out with are cool and tattooed. Good people. NOT ENGINEERS. We're going to hang out and drink some beer tomorrow night. I'm going to be a bad kid and stay out late on a school night. It's not every week you have no responsibilities other than letting your dog out, and not burning down the house.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

What I’ve done

Holy shit it’s cold. It’s that cold where you get ice crystals forming in your beard. If you don’t understand that I guess you should man up and grow a beard. It’s also too cold for electronic data acquisition systems to recognize they have a thermocouple card in them. For the first time ever I went into work on the weekend. I was all set to get some data collected and the fucking EDAQ wouldn’t read my temperature channels. This happened once before, and I reset the EDAQ and it was OK. This time it didn’t work. So much for being a good little corporate monkey, also no one is going to be at the proving grounds on Sunday and Monday so I can’t do any work on those days.

I steam cleaned the carpets after my disappointing morning in the dirt. My arm was burning from being tattooed last night.

I think I’ll need one more session to finish my sleeve. It’s come together nicely. I got two big nautical stars, and a naked little mermaid (not to be confused with the movie, this one is old school Sailor Jerry), and some background fog and little stars.

I’m to the fourth venue on expert in GH3. I need to finish this Sonic Youth song and the encore song to move on. I’ve figured out what GH3 actually is. It’s really just a typing test put to rock and roll. Once you get really good at typing, you don’t even think about it, you just think of what you want done and you fingers do it. It’s the same thing with GH.

I was talking politics with my tattoo artist last night. This was prior to discussing the new artwork the shop had purchased of a stylized drawing of a woman getting her pussy licked by a dog. (very classy by the way, and it would be a free chest piece if I wanted. I decided to pass.) (I’m going to get some twisted people coming to this page via google now.) Anyway, we were talking about how, if Clinton ends up getting the Democratic nomination and winning the presidency, it will be at least 24 years of rule by a Clinton or a Bush. Our country is turning into a fucking monarchy. Go Barack. If he doesn’t get the nod, I may have to vote Republican as long as it’s not Mitt. Crazy Mormons.

B Vs. C hockey tomorrow. I’m excited.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Goals For While My Wife and Son are Gone for a Week

Subside on only $25 worth of groceries. Kroger has a 10 for $10 mix and match sale going on so I’m only going to pick up things on the dollar list.

Get some more ink. Tomorrow I’m going in again to hopefully get most of my sleeve done.

Clean my living room carpet. Our carpet in the living room is gross after 2 years of a baby and 3 years of animals running around on it. I’m going to rent a steam cleaner and get it done.

Make it look like I’m a super dedicated worker. I’m going to go into work on Saturday, Sunday and MLKJ Day and do some runs for my cold test. I’ll only have to go in for like an hour and it will make me look good.

Play hockey, hopefully twice. We’ve got a game on Sunday and maybe I’ll try to catch a rat session or DH another day.

Rock some GH3. I’ve moved to expert and it’s pretty fucking hard. I tend to obsess over video games until I’ve beaten them. Now I’ll have some time to put in.

Watch some illegally copied movies. Joox.net and rapidshare are pretty sweet for watching movies that are in the theater. I enjoy being part of the problem.

Clean up the house after my week of sloth and excess prior to them returning, and make sure there is more then $25 of groceries in the fridge.

I was sad and misty when I dropped them of, and I know I will miss them, but I’ve got a lot of shit to do.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The $5 Gentlemen’s Lunch

I got tattooed last night. If there is one universal truth in the universe, it’s that tattoo artists have no concept of deadlines and time, that’s why they’re tattoo artists and not accountants.

I show up at 3:50 for my 4:00 appointment. My artist Kalib and piercer George pull in as I am from lunch. Got to love a 3:00 lunch, at the strip club no less, I found out. Although I must say, I’ve gone to the strip club for lunch on occasion, you can’t beat $5 for a huge plate of good bar food.

So Kalib starts setting up and we’re chatting. He also hasn’t gotten a picture of the nautical star (classic old school) ready, so he has to do that. The needles start penetrating my skin at about 4:30. The nautical star goes fast.

The filler I wanted for the rest of my sleeve is pin-striping. Kalib planned on just sketching it with a ballpoint pen and then tattooing it. It took a long time to get a small section of the design done. I’m glad it turned out the way it did, but I only got tattooed for an hour being there for 3. I’ve got to schedule something again for when my wife and Carter are in Vegas (visiting a friend). Hopefully we can knock out the rest of the sleeve in like 2 solid hours of tattooing. I do like how it’s shaping up.

When this arm is done I’ll be at this point where all of the relatively easy areas of my body will be covered. I don’t really dig leg tattoos.

If/When I do my chest it needs to be a really well conceived full piece. I would want it to span from my collarbone down to my pant line. The pain, time, and money for something like that is pretty staggering. I don’t know if I have that in me.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Two is Terrible

As if by magic, the moment my son ate his birthday cake he became this evil little two year old. He was all jacked up which was fun to play with him, but he didn’t want to go to sleep at all. He’s testing all these boundaries now. Bothering the dog, throwing food he doesn’t like, throwing objects, and just being a jerk about sleeping. Like everything, I’m sure this is just a phase, but it sucks.

Last night I scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Orange team. This kid (16 or 17) on the other team had his family there, and his mom was being very vocal. When I scored the goal, I skated to center ice held my stick up and did a little dance. (Kind of a naked Irish Jig with hockey pads on.) I looked up at them and asked where the applause were. They just shot me dirty looks.

The end of this month, and all through February, we’re going to be playing the worst B-League teams. It should be fun, and will give me a flavor of what it’s like to play in B-League. Most likely we’ll get our asses handed to us. We’d be competitive if we didn’t have a few of our worst players, but we are a C-League team.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jury Duty Day’s 2 and 3

I’m all done with jury duty. I didn’t get picked for any cases and they filled them all for the week.

Tuesday was really boring. I sat in the jury holding pen for most of the day, and only got called in for a traffic case. I didn’t make it in to the jury box. That one would have been nice to be on. It was a suspended license thing with only two potential witnesses. It would have been done that day.

Yesterday we didn’t have to show up until 10:30. Before being brought in for a misdemeanor trial, they asked for volunteers for coroner’s jury. I decided not to try to get in on that since I didn’t want to look at pictures of dead people.

The misdemeanor trial was a dude was accused of beating (kicking and punching) his kid. As they questioned the initial twelve they put in the box, one of the questions was do you use corporal punishment on your kids, and do you think that kids should not be physically disciplined in any case. Sadly, most people did, in fact, hit their kids, and EVERY single on said it was ok to physically discipline their child. I wish I had been questioned in that one. It’s never OK to smack a child. What does that teach them? Fear is your only God. I don’t want that kind of relationship with Carter. I want him to respect me out of love and caring, not fear and pain. One lady talked about how her parents beat her and her siblings with a hairbrush and a belt, and she thought it was justified.

Once they picked the twelve, the rest of us who had survived the entire three days without getting on a case were let go for the week. Overall it wasn’t too bad, I got to do some reading and made about $50 over my normal salary.

Court is a weird place though. It’s like it’s own little universe, a microcosm of what’s going on outside with special rules and procedures for doing everything.

I’m happy to be back in the dirt.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

I Know I Got a Tattoo for a Reason

Jury Duty Day 1

I show up at about 8:40 and get put in the jury holding pen. I’m reading my book about Hunter S. Thompson and the room starts to fill up. After about 30 minutes we all get called into the courtroom for jury selection for a civil trial. It’s a malpractice lawsuit. Doctor Vs. Disgusting man and woman who’ve had bad things happen to them. (Yeah, I’m a fucking dick), but I don’t want to be there. I’d rather be at work running a test.

I’m not part of the first twelve who get called into the box to get questioned. Three get to leave because they have good enough excuses. I’m #3 to get filled back into the twelve. Shit, we’ve already found out this is going to be about a two week trial. I really don’t want to be in court for two weeks.

We all get questioned until noon lunch break by the plaintiff attorney, and things aren’t going well for my chances of getting out. I haven’t really been able to play the crazy card. I don’t want to go too overboard and have the judge call me on it.

I take a walk downtown for lunch and get a bite to eat. I really need to focus after lunch.

The doctor’s lawyer gets to ask us questions after lunch. His first or second question is if any of us have had negative experiences in the healthcare system. My hand shoots up like I’m a giddy second grader who knows how to spell “dismissed”.

I talk about the time Carter broke his leg and how much of a headache the insurance was, and how I felt the care was very systematic, not personal. I use strong, but not vulgar language, like “I despise the healthcare industry”.

Defendant’s lawyer wraps up and the judge and the counsel go into the judges chambers to determine who is going to serve. Moment of truth, did I do a good enough job?

Right off the bat, they dismiss this dude who I didn’t think would get dismissed. Some farmer, I guess farmers are too, or not sympathetic enough in malpractice. Judge calls four peoples name to stand and swears them in. At this point I think I’m screwed. He calls four others and swears them in. Myself and two other women who also talked about negative hospital experiences get moved down to seats 1,2,and 3. They then pull 9 others who’ve been sitting and watching the whole time.

Did I mention it was like 80° in the courtroom since we had this warm snap and they must not have turned of the heat.

Now I have to sit through both attorneys questioning the new 9. I’m starting to sweat like I’m running a foot race. I can’t sit still.

Finally they finish. At this point I feel pretty good they’ll pick four other jurors and two other alternates who aren’t me. I was right. I felt good. I dodged a two week bullet.

I got to go home, and I have to come in tomorrow. They have to fill one more felony trial for the week. Even if I get called into that I should get excused since I look like a criminal.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Lawryde of Death Metal

I’m really into the death metal band All That Remains. Listening to the music you’d think that someone who is pissed off or angry would like it. I’m not feeling either of those things right now, but I’m really digging it. I like how they combine melodic sections in addition to the screaming. Kind of like life, you hope for more melodic sections than screaming sections, but the screaming works sometimes too.

I’ve been selected to participate in the Peoria County jury system next week. I finally get setup for my cold testing and I have to serve fucking jury duty. I haven’t been in the field for like a month.

Lawryde’s steps for getting ejected from jury duty:

#1 Wear short sleeve shirt: Any prosecuting attorney worth a shit will axe me after he takes one look at my girls boobs. Tattoos = flaw in decision making ability.

#2 If asked the question: Do you feel you can fairly evaluate this case, answer NO. The follow up question will invariably be Why? My reason will be that each time I tried to contest a speeding ticket with scientific evidence the prosecuting attorney was a total ass bag with me. He assumed I was less intelligent than he was. He was in the position of power. That really pissed me off. I don’t like, trust, or respect lawyers, particularly prosecuting attorneys, therefore I can’t be fair with the bubbling hatred for the jackasses prosecuting and defending clouding my reason.

We’ll see how it plays out next week.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Paging Doctor Lawryde

Yesterday I felt genuinely intelligent at work. I’ve kind of had to lay in the weeds and try to learn for the past six months. Most of the time people ask me a question about something I’d say, “I’m not really sure about that. I’ll have to look into it.”

The boom winch on a pipelayer was only operating the in the raise direction, and the hook winch was fine.

Where do you start trying to diagnose the problem?

Take some pressure measurements. Is the brake getting pressure to release? (For safety the brakes are on all the time and you need hydraulic pressure to release them). We had brake pressure. What are the raise and lower loop pressures during both a raise and lower command? Raise was normal as it should since it was working fine. Lower was hitting high pressure cutoff on the lower “A-side” of the counterbalance valve, and was getting absolutely no pressure on the raise “B-side of the counterbalance valve. (A counterbalance valve is a collection of valves in a casting that is on the motor that drives the winch, which allows for a smooth controlled lowering of a load. If you didn’t have it, when you lowered a several ton load it would just overrun the hydraulic system).

That was the big problem, high pressure on A and no pressure on B. This meant that somehow the oil wasn’t getting from the A side of the counterbalance valve through the motor giving up it’s energy and dropping in pressure to some level greater than zero on the B side.

I studied the hydraulic schematic for a while and figured it had to be one of the valves within the counterbalance valve was sticking and not allowing oil to go where it should. We took it apart, and one of the valves was kind of tough to move. It didn’t seem like it shouldn’t have been working, but we put it back together to give it a test.

It worked. It would raise and lower. I was exactly right about what was wrong. That must be what a doctor feels like when they correctly diagnose and treat a disease.

They finally posted the stats for our hockey league online. I have a link on the sidebar, but here they are:

We’re in second place. The first place team, which we’ve beat, is an offensive powerhouse with 48 goals for. We, on the other hand, are a defensive powerhouse with only 17 goals against and 14 penalties. Defense isn’t nice or pretty, old time hockey.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Empty Walls

It’s bitter cold today. That cold where your only hope is to have enough layers on so that you’re only cold instead of really cold, where frost starts to form on your beard from your breath.

Things have wound down after our epic trip to Wisconsin for the holidays. Carter is back to sleeping a reasonable schedule. The house is clean and normal. All the gifts have been catalogued, sorted, returned or put away. (You’re asking yourself if the one you gave me got returned? You’ll never know.) Skitch has survived his dog bite. He’s doing pretty well. I think I need my pimped out van before we attempt a trip like that again. Even then, 10 days is a long time to be away.

I’ve been playing Guitar Queer-O 3. I ran through easy and most of medium and now I’m giving hard a go. Hard is hard, just like boring is boring. (Machinist jokes are dumb).

I’ve got to go to my tattoo artist to figure out what I want to get done on my left sleeve. I’ve got this tits idea that I’m not going to share right now. I don’t know how well it will execute, so I need to go in for a consult.

I’m easing back into work. Hopefully they’ve jumped my pipelayer and it’s warming up.

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