Pure Gonzo Engineering

Monday, June 30, 2008

Holy Balls, This is Hockey

Interesting weekend. On Friday I was sick, must have had some bad shellfish ;)

The the old girl finally kicked the bucket. I've been waiting for our 35+ year old furnace and blower unit to die. I knew it was just a matter of time. That shit just isn't engineered to last that long. I was sitting using the computer upstairs. The unit kicked on and I heard what I can only describe as what it would be like if you threw a kitchen knife into big steel fan spinning. That nice sound of shearing metal and the clanging aftermath of it bouncing around against other metal.

Then, just like an unbalanced load of laundry the bastard started to shake bad. I ran downstairs and shut it down. Sure enough, one of the blades of the fan sheared right off. Of all the failure modes this one was the about the best at the best time of year. The heat exchanger could have cracked when it was -20 outside and started to poison us.

This way I get to shop around for a new one at a more leisurely pace. I found some guys through some friends who will do it for a good price. Luckily it's been like 75 all weekend so we haven't needed the AC at all.

Here are some death photos.

Then on Sunday it was my first B-League hockey game. Holy Shit! I thought I was playing hockey before with my buddies on the frozen fields, and then here in Peoria in C-League. Nope. I was playing something that used the same equipment and followed the same basic rules.

What I played last night was this explosive high powered game where you need to give every bit of energy you have for the 1:30 or so you're on the ice. I didn't really understand what anaerobic meant until last night.

The league is actually an A/B league because in the summer there aren't enough A-Leaguers to form a full league. So I'm skating against dudes who have played some college or some juniors or other very high caliber players. It was fun. I'm on a good team, and we won 10-8. I made some good defensive plays.

I made some "how the fuck is this guy even on skates" plays. The most memorable was being on the blue line and side-stepping and falling with no one near me. You've got to watch out for that blue line, it trips you sometimes. I broke a stick blade right at the hosel.

It was fun though. I like not being one of the better players and having the pressure to try and make something happen My job is to concentrate on not fucking up and just making basic quality passes and try and be in good position. Hopefully by the end of this summer I'll be at that point.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Do I Always Have to be on B-Squad?

I went to the rink last night to grab a paper schedule for summer league. I saw my buddy Phil’s car in the parking lot.

A developmental hockey session was going on and Phil and another dude I know Nate were shooting around. I gave him a yell and we talked a bit. He told me he hadn’t skated since winter league and he was struggling. It made me feel better and I figured that would be the case for most dudes in the league.

Phil was on a different team I had tried to get on but in the end they were full up. I had forgotten that Nate played for Blue as well so I felt good there would be another familiar face on the team.

As I left I was less nervous and more jacked up about playing. I found out there is a developmental hockey session this afternoon at 4:30 so I’m going to hit that so I can at least remember what it feels like to be on ice before I play on Sunday. It’ll be good to break apart some weak muscle and give it four days to heal.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Shear Intensity of the Thing Made Me Nervous

Summer hockey is finally going to start. I called today to find out my first game is this Sunday at 8:00. I made the decision to be nervous and uncomfortable and play in B-League. I can’t play with the hacks any more. I managed to get on the team of one of my tattooed buddies who skates out in C-League and plays goalie in B-League.

I’m pretty fucking nervous about playing. I’ve been sitting on my ass not doing anything for the past month while they’ve been doing this maintenance on the rink. I was going to try and do something to stay in shape, but I’m a lazy bastard and don’t like working out for no competitive reason. I’m hoping that all the other dudes who play haven’t really been doing anything either. I feel pretty strong, but I know my heart and lungs aren’t where they need to be. I’m a bit lighter than I was at the end of winter league (If that makes any sense, I was at about 177 at the end of winter league and now I’m right around 172) so I’ve got less weight to move around.

I just really need to skate like a motherfucker the first few games to get some respect from my teammates. If you’re shagging (how does MS word know that motherfucker is one word???) anyway, if you’re shagging ass around the ice like you’re out for an open skate dudes get pissed. I need to go out there and skate hard until my guts are burning. You’re always forgiven a few mistakes with the puck if you’re skating hard.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Love and Hate

Just like it was tattooed on my knuckles, I’ve got this love hate relationship going on with Carter right now.

I love how he’s developing into this little dude who can think for himself. He likes and dislikes things, he has an amazing memory of streets, construction equipment, and people, even though he thinks all things are blue and can’t count past 7. He tries though. He’s just fucking amazing and sometimes I just want to hug him and feel his Mohawk hair and tell him how much I love him and how cool he is.

Then he’s this little jackass who I want to be as far away from as possible. He’ll spit over and over even when you ask him not to, and tell him not to, and yell at him not to, and punish him for doing it (albeit a positive and non-physical punishment). He’ll put stuff in the dog’s water, he’ll scream inside, he won’t listen, he’ll throw a tantrum because he can’t have yogurt.

Being a parent is hard. Two year olds are lucky they do cute things every once and a while.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

I see the strings that control the system

I should be angry. I should want to burn everything down and then piss on the ashes. I should want to breathe smoke.

For whatever reason I don’t. I guess it’s a sign of maturity. I keep trying to get mad, thinking about it over and over. Rehashing it in my brain trying to find a way to make it illicit that hate. Listening to angry music, but still nothing.

I’m definitely less motivated now, but I don’t think the two are related. I’m never particularly motivated, my big problem in life. If it don’t come easy, it ain’t never going to come at all. (There are a few exceptions but it’s normally true)

I guess I’ve been beaten and bloodied enough to just accept whatever is given now. It’s not worth the frustration and pain. The ability to let that, which does not matter, truly slide. It’s like some sort of higher plane of existence, one step closer to enlightenment.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yes it’s come to this, I’m commenting on some Internet article

I found this article on CNN.

Some of the statements they make are just stupid

So, does the fact that body art is as prevalent today as mullets were in the 1980s mean that the tattoo-friendly tide is turning in the workplace?

Really, you’re equating the mullet to one of the oldest forms of human expression?

I’ll have to check out this inkedinc.com, not while I’m at work though. Opposite of Dog isn’t progressive when it comes to tattoos, nothing excessive or offensive according to the dress code. One man’s excess is another man’s back piece.

I need to find some time to get my left sleeve finished off.


Monday, June 16, 2008


Friday I took a vacation day, and we headed up to Madison for Ehron’s wedding. We got there about an hour before the wedding was supposed to start so we had to hustle to get ready in time.
We drove along John Nolan Drive and then Williamson Street on the way to Olbrich Botanical Garden. In the first five seconds on the road I saw more cyclists than I’ve ever seen total in Peoria. The lake was pretty high from all the rain, but there wasn’t any major flooding going on. The interstate to Milwaukee and north of Madison were closed due to flooding.

We arrived just in time, but the wedding didn’t start for another fifteen minutes or so. It was a nice short wedding, and then there was an open bar. I wanted a Vodka Stone Sour, the drink my alcohol grandmother introduced me to when I was underage. They didn’t have any sour mix though. What the fuck? All I want is Vodka, OJ and some sour mix. Ah well.

We ate some good food and I got a little liquored up since I haven’t drank in a while. Then we took a walk in the garden. It was awesome since there has been so much rain. All of the plants and flowers and trees were doing incredibly well.

We ended up leaving a bit early since Oz couldn’t fall asleep with the music.

The next day we got up gradually and made our way to the zoo. The other thing I love about Madison is that all of the fun things to do are free. We grabbed some lunch at Bluephies and then headed back south.

Father’s day I just relaxed and let the storms roll over. It felt good. I had a good time in Madison and a good rest of the weekend. This is turning into a pretty lame post, but it’s hard to write well when things are OK and find and dandy. There’s not really any passion in those feelings, no fire.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Somewhere Between Jesus and Huey P. Newton

I saw one of the laborers (lowest level worker at the sandbox, not unionized, not an Opposite of Dog employee) from the sandbox at Kroger last night in the self checkout area.

He was like, “Do I know you?”

I was all, “Yeah, I work at the Sandbox.”

And he comes back at me with, “Now I see why you wear long sleeves all the time.”

“Yup,” I retort.

We chat a bit further. Carter is in the cart so we talk about him for a minute and then he finishes checking out.

What struck me about that conversation was that I barely see this dude 2 times a week in passing, maybe more, maybe less.

The one thing about me though that stands out in his mind is that this dude is always wearing long sleeves, even if it’s 90° and sweltering in the shop.

He must not be alone. I’ve found that your blue collar worker will ask you why the fuck you’re wearing long sleeves when it’s 90° outside, the engineer will not. I’ll typically be straight with the blue-collar worker and tell him I’m heavily inked and I don’t want to stifle my career, to the engineer I will not (unless I know they’re cool.)

Because I face this discrimination and prejudice. In that way I have a kindred bond between the angry feminists I was arguing with in the past. We are both being discriminated against because of something about us. I understand what it’s like to be stared at. I understand what it’s like to have your opinions questioned for no other reason than what you look like. My glass ceiling is covered in ink.

I have no control over my urge to become more and more heavily tattooed. I’m taping into something that’s been done for over 5000 years by humans. It’s been passed down from the iceman on.

I really, really, really want to get neck and hand tattoos. At that point the discrimination would be over the top and I’d most likely be out of a job. I still have a lot of torso and all my lower body left though.

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The World is Horrible

I was watching BBC news America while Oz slept on my chest after dinner last night.

Due to high food and fuel prices 6 million children in Ethiopia are, or are on the way to being, severely malnourished. They had the shots of the kids with the flies on their eyes and mouth, too weak to swat them away.

Same situation in this province in northern India. Families are spending 100% of their income on food and it's still not enough.

Thank you dude with a Flex Fuel truck, you Ethanol consumption is driving up the cost of corn around the world. Thank you commodities trader with your speculation of oil prices driving them through the roof due to your "bad" feelings. I hope your getting some quality steak dinners as a result of your buying and selling.

Sick of these yet? I like them. Maybe after I do enough of them I could show them in an art gallery. Anything is art, right?


Monday, June 09, 2008

I WISH there was a rink in the basement

Carter wakes up this morning at like 2 AM and is upset, calling my name. I come in and lay down with him. Initially I only want to get him tucked in and go back to my own bed. He says he’s scared of the window. I tell him that’s OK and I’ll lay with him for a while. I cover him up and he’s shaking a bit. I ask him if he’s cold. He says yeah. Then he asks me “Make ice in house for hockey?” I laugh and tell him no dude, we’re not making ice in the house for hockey. It was pretty cold in his room. The temp dropped overnight and the A/C was still blasting pretty hard after it being 97 during the day. I let him cuddle up to me and we fell asleep.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

Had a little time while Mr. Oswald was asleep and made this little guy. Photoshop is fun. My eyebrows look gigantic even when they're stylized! Thanks Dad!


Friday, June 06, 2008

I can ride my bike with no handle bars


Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Love Soviet Propaganda Stylized Crap

How do you like my new banner? I find it to be tits.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Counter Argument

My brilliant, amazing, lovely, generous, gracious wife wanted to say something.

There have now been several posts and discussions here that fall into the realm of feminism, child rearing and biological versus societal influences and I've been wanting to weigh in since Lawryde's high school friends started bashing him and the viewpoint he represented (which was researched with me, who holds a BA in child development and has many years of experience with children, but that's neither here nor there).

I've recently started viewing feminism in two lights. The first is the traditional, stereotypical idea of the word. The woman out to prove her merits in a man's world. A woman who will not be bound by the gender constraints of a static society, who isn't tied down by children, who does not fall into the mold of the merry, happy, housewife who spends her days cooking and cleaning to please her man. The second view is sort of the antithesis of the first view. It's that of the earth mother goddess. The woman who is in tune with what the natural world intends for her to do. She bears children and nurtures them through close bonds, time together, breastfeeding and all that jazz.

What I've been seeing reflected in the comments and posts by this group of women really saddens me. It seems like they're turning their backs on the power that being a woman and partaking in those traditional actions gives them. Becoming pregnant and sustaining a life in your own body is some serious power. Hunkering down and connecting with those primal instincts during birth, spending that time communing with yourself and birthing a child without medication the way nature intended is an eye opening, confidence building, view altering experience. I have never felt as powerful and amazing as I did after giving birth to Carter and Oz. I had done something that no man could ever do, something that connected me with women for all of history, all over the world. And spending those two years nursing Carter and sustaining his life, on the outside this time, exclusively for the first six months and then primarily for the next year, how could anything be more important and powerful than that?

It seems like there are a lot of angry feminists out there who are looking down on these activities. Who are failing to see the merit in them and to realize the power they have in this world because of their ability to do these things. There seems to be a need to prove that women aren't driven to care for their children, that they were out doing the same things men were through all of history and that's really selling women short. I truly don't believe that they were out hunting in the same way men were. They were at home, caring for children, birthing them, feeding them, caring for the house and to deny that denies part of our power as women. Do I think that women never went out and fought for food? No, I'm sure that they did. I'm sure communal breastfeeding happened so that women could go out and hunt and gather. But do I think women went out on week and month long hunting trips to get big game? No. There are so many reasons why they would have had a need to stay close to home. By insisting that they did the same things men did just demeans the things women have traditionally done.

Now I don't think that every woman should quit her job, kick off her shoes and get pregnant. But I do think that woman should stop trying to deny the biological tendencies towards caring for offspring that we have. As women we've been given the most important task of perpetuating our species. We should be honoring it, not pushing it to the side.

I would love more than anything to have my two views of feminism come together.
I would love for anyone who considers themselves a feminist to see the merit in both sides and in all the ways women can empower themselves. Until then though, I'll just be sad for all those women who are missing out on the greatest things they could ever know.

Comments are open and free, or did that just blow your fucking mind?

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

This is like listening to a discussion on Foxnews except with an Angry Feminist viewpoint.

Text of the Discussion
(I stayed out of it.)

All the ass slapping and atta-boys, or in this case nipple tweaking and atta-girls?

One thing that he mentions in his book that I totally don't buy is how our first ancestral "double income household" was a man hunting and a woman gardening. There are a number of problems with this theory based on other reading that I've done, some of which came up in our discussion with My Biggest Fan on Erica's blog. Also, my sister, who is a nutritionist and has studied such things, says that those ancestors likely did communal raising of children, such as multiple women breastfeeding one child, etc., rather than a standard nuclear family structure that this guy is a proponent of.

I enjoy the logic of instead of only a woman who has a child having enormous engorged milk filled breasts, not cradled in a bra for support, now the entire community of early human woman have them, and then are out killing prey. Maybe the nursing was done communally, but those women weren't out hunting.

But, I am willing to give the book a go, because it's such an interesting theory, and of course, one that jives with my own convictions against the patriarchy.

I also enjoy and prefer only getting information that conforms to my viewpoints.

Square pegs end up fitting in round holes when you're just skimming the top of something and not thinking of the logistics of it.

It's good they don't want kids of their own because by the time they finally do decide and they're 40 they'll end up with genetic defect if they even make it to term. Again logistics of the situation, your bodies weren't meant to have kids that late in life. It's a fundamental part of the human condition, just like the hormones that make little kids gravitate to the toys they want, just like I can't fly by flapping my fucking arms up and down.

I totally want this book. It just makes sense that women want fewer children than men. It takes such a toll on our bodies and so much work to raise them. I hate that men use our bodies to prove their virility. I hate that so often, our bodies are not our own.

The unwillingness to believe that there are women out there that are strong, powerful, and independent who give birth and raise children on their own terms and conditions blows my fucking mind. The generalizations they make are just as bad as “all women should stay home and raise children” and “all men want to fuck everything that moves to make more little versions of them”.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

When you kill a king, you don't stab him in the dark. You kill him where the entire court can watch him die.

That quote was in my mind while I was dreaming last night. When I woke up I was thinking about how Obama could finish off Clinton.

It would be cool if he had enough SD’s on Tuesday night to get over the 2118 and the whole thing would be done. I guess he would need 5 extra so Clinton doesn’t complain about Michigan. I was watching some of that Michigan and Florida rules committee debate on Saturday because you can’t do a whole lot keeping a baby comfortable. When the whole thing was decided there were these women who supported Clinton who were all pissed off and said they were going to vote for McCain.

Seriously? You’re a woman who wanted to see a woman become the president for the first time, but you’re going to vote for a man who wants to put Supreme Court justices on the bench who would overturn RVW. Yeah, that will show the “man” how sexist he was in treating Hillary and you’ll help get the right to choose what you do with your body taken away. Great statement to the world. Two enthusiastic thumbs up. Brilliant idea.

Fucking idiots.

We’re heading back to the city I love on the 13th . Our friends from college are getting married at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. I met Ehron while working part time as a Janitor at Meriter Hospital. We cleaned up the hospital together, and wasted time talking about music, video games, and philosophy. He didn’t go to school at the time. He was just working getting by, an interesting dude. He lived in the same building as my wife and I with his now fiancé.

I cleaned up his blood after he tried to kill himself. It wasn’t a halfhearted attempt either. He cut the long way. I visited him in the hospital, and let him know he had friends who cared about him. Like I’ve said before, when shit like that happens the world becomes crystal clear to you. I’m glad he’s alive. I’m glad he’s getting married.

I miss hanging out with Ehron.

As a semi-adult and full-blown adult, my friends have almost never been engineers or professionals. Professionals are dicks, as we’ve all seen, including myself.

Another chunk of wisdom my dad gave me, I think back in junior high, was that you shouldn’t treat people who do a job that may seem like bullshit any different than if they were doing your job. I believe it was in reference to the janitors at the junior high where he worked and I attended.

I’ve lived by that bit of wisdom. I probably have more respect for janitors, grocery store workers , butchers, and machinists than I do for doctors, lawyers, and engineers. I’ve done all of those “shit”, hard working, and lower education requirement jobs. They’ve been with some of the finest people I’ve ever met. Less bullshit, less tiptoeing around “sensitive” issues, less hubris and pretentious ass-hat-ery.

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