Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am a Bad Mother Fucking Hockey Player... in that good way.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Doubleheader Sunday

I decided to take on two hockey games in a row yesterday. My buddy Mike was skating a tournament so I skated his C-League game which was right before my B-League game.

The C game was with my old team. I knew several of the dudes. We had a short bench with only 3 subs. I didn’t want to kill myself during this game so I’d be drained for the more difficult skate coming up.

When the game started it was so slow. After playing in four B games and skating with the Bradley players at Rat this was like everything was in slow motion. Whenever I was on the ice, I controlled the flow of the game. I was the guy who I was pissed off at just a year before when teams would have these guys that just demoralized you. I scored one goal and otherwise just passed the puck and tried to conserve energy for game 2. I still made some plays where their bench just moaned because any normal C-league player would flub it or loose the puck.

I am no longer a C-league player.

Game two was against a combination of two of the Winter A-league teams. In the summer there aren’t enough people for an A-league so they just play with all the B teams. It was an ass whipping. I went from one extreme to the other. These guys are all ex-collegiate, ex-junior, ex-playing all your life guys. Quick hands, explosive speed, perfect positioning. Full of class too. They were winning like 9-5 with 1:30 left and they pulled their goalie.

Come one.

Show some fucking class and maturity.

I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through both games. I know that bowflex guy says that you can be 40 and be in the best shape of your life and be in a band, but he was only playing beach volleyball to show off his man tits, not playing hockey against 18 year olds. (Damn you Youtube, I can’t find that commercial!!!) I can’t imagine I have all that many more years of high caliber physical play left in me. In three years I’ll be 30 and it will be all downhill from there.

When I got home I ate a bunch of guacamole and all but two pieces of a stuffed crust frozen pizza. I needed to get back all the calories I burned after 3 hours of ice time. When I went to sleep I kept waking up every couple hours. I could not get cool. My body was just metabolizing and reconstructing and getting warm. I felt pretty good this morning even with the poor sleep and aching muscles.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Last Unicorn

As frustrated as I can get with Opposite of Dog, it’s a pretty sweet job.

We are the last great American engineering and manufacturing company.

We are making assloads of money, While everyone else is loosing money.

Harley Davidson is another American manufacturing success, but they’ve survived because of a legacy and cult following, not necessarily on the merits of their product.

People buy our shit because it’s better than everyone else’s, and we stand by it. 100 Chinese can’t make a D6 in a garage that is better than the original.

I was watching CNN a few days ago and they said that “top performers” at companies were getting an average of 4.7% raises in this tight economy. I got above that with a slightly above average performance. Our top performers get more than double that raise.

I’ve questioned myself if it was the right decision to work for this company, but the way things are right now for most people, it was a pretty good call.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lawryde Improves

I attempted to Hypermile for two days to and from work to see how fuel efficient I could drive my manual transmission 2007 Elantra.

The key to hypermiling is to have a good CD you want to listen to so you’re not bored with all the extra time it’s going to take you or embarrassed by all the people who pass you. Basically you drive how old people fuck. The goal is to keep moving at all times and have the engine RPM as low as possible. This means getting into 5th gear as quickly as possible and using the cruise control whenever possible.

My round trip is about 20 miles. I travel through the city with stop and go driving onto a state highway that is 55 and then onto a country back road which is 40. The EPA lists my vehicle at 28/36.

The Elantra has a running average MPG calculator. I was able to get 37.6, 36.1, 36.7, and 36.3 as measured work to home, home to work and the same the second day. That’s pretty fucking good. I did better than the EPA estimate which is basically a rating that is given at 55 mph without getting the vehicle up to speed. Did it really make a difference? It isn’t particularly fun to drive that way, and it takes longer to get everywhere. I think I normally get around 28 on my trip to and from work. So in those two trips I burned 1.11 gallons of gas. It cost me about $4.52 based on the price of light sweet crude. If I had driven the way I normally do I would have burned 1.43 gallons of gas spent about $5.81. So if there are 260 work days in a year I’d save around $168 assuming I could drive like that in the winter. Maybe if the cost of gas doubles it would become more worth it, but until then I’ll drive how I normally do.

I’ve been playing hockey twice a week to try and improve my game and my hands. Based on my performance last night at rat hockey it seems to be working. I had a goal and two assists. The Bradley hockey players are actually passing me the puck and telling me I’m doing a good job. I understand the dynamics of the game and where I should be better now too. It was a good skate and I feel pretty good about how I’m progressing. I feel old now though that I can make the excuse that I can’t play as well some of the dudes on the ice because I’m 10 years older than they are. I think I had more points though than these two high school kids who came out to skate. They were quick and got a bunch of shots, but they just weren’t patient enough, too much semen backed-up in their brains.

And I leave you with that eloquence.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

The Thin Red Line

I usually try and play it cool at work. I’m a jackass on the internet, I’m not a very good person in general, but I need to have some level of civility at work so that I can pay my mortgage since I’m not a massive mortgage lender and the government won’t bail me out if I can’t pay. I’m just fucked.

But still, shit tends to happen because I work around dudes who are willing to cross that professional line to get their point across. You may remember this incident from two years ago.

I’ve been at the sandbox for one year now. I’ve tried to keep people happy. There are a lot of different groups of people that all interact together in a precarious truce that could be broken at any moment.

I broke that truce last Friday. I went into the field, with a non-Union operator and took data right before a thunderstorm without telling the operations supervisor. Woops. As the storm was rolling in, I called the operations supervisor and asked him if I could stay out, since I was in a covered building.

He asked me what I was doing out there. I told him I was taking data with this demonstration operator.

Boom. He flipped his shit. What I didn’t know was the politics behind the sandbox operators not liking the demonstration operators. I got an earful of how what I was doing was wrong, and how I needed to get the shit back to base and set up a meeting between him and my direct supervisor. I was a bit pissed off. I don’t need to be berated on the phone. We’re all fucking professionals working for a Fortune 50 company. Lets act like it.

I set up the meeting and left at 2 in the afternoon. I had come in at 5:45 AM so I was done. It really kind of messed up my weekend thinking about how I was going to handle this, and what was going to be done as a result of it.

As I talked with some people this morning I felt a bit better. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal to most people.

We had our meeting at ten. The weekend allowed the supervisor to calm down a bit. I stated my position, he stated his, and we came to an agreement on the demonstration operator evaluating my dozer.

He was getting pressure from the Union, that’s why he was pissed. I was making an awkward situation for him. So now, to give Unions a bad name, I can run with the demonstration operator while a Union operator stands and watches. Nice.

Whatever though, I’ll play ball. I just want to develop a good dozer implement system.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Starting at Left Defense, Lawryde

Yeah, I’m awesome. I’ve gone from a marginally talented C-league player to starting left defenseman for a 2-0 A/B-league team. OK, so maybe it’s just because no one else on the team wants to play defense and we were kind of short since it was a holiday weekend. The two sweetest words in the English language: De Fault.

Because, I’m awesome.

I am gaining some confidence, albeit misplaced and not always warranted. My game is improving. I think I was +2 or +3 for the game. We won 8-5. I really like my new stick and wood blade. It’s got some meat to it with the wood blade, but still has some nice whip with the composite shaft. I’ve got a nice long reach for the poke check.

We went to the Peoria fireworks on Friday. We’d never gone before since Carter was too little. We met some friends on the East Peoria side of the river. The display was pretty good. Carter liked it. I had some earplugs for him so the noise didn’t freak him out. He generally doesn’t like loud things. One of the plugs fell out during the grand finale and he started to cry. I got the plug back in quick and he instantly stopped. He was clapping and pointed throughout. Oz was not happy. He had been asleep for like an hour prior to them starting and then he cried for most of the rest. At the end one of our friends managed to loose one of their children in the crowd rushing out. Everyone kind of fanned out to look for the lost kid. Apparently someone found him and dropped him off at the lost children center. When the mother came back with the kid and the husband saw them and then hugged and he grabbed the kid’s head and kissed it, it was fucking poetic. I wish I had my camera ready. That was pure emotion and relief and love.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

I Love Spending $1230

We got our new furnace installed yesterday. It took the dudes about 4 hours and it cost $1230. Not bad considering the next lowest quote was over two grand. This was just a company of two guys, lower overhead since they do all the work quoting, buying, accounting, installing, etc. They did a nice job. The installation is clean and professional.

The unit is so much smaller than our old one. It’s also a quiet. When the old one would turn on there was this huge noise and the lights upstairs would dim since they were on the same circuit. Then it was noisy while it was running. This one you can’t really even tell unless it’s dead quite in the house. We should see a pretty nice reduction in our gas and electric bill. We’re going from 50% efficient to 80% efficient, no pilot light, and no huge electric motor to spin up. Maybe it will be enough to combat the rising energy prices and we’ll just be a wash.

I need to buy some foil tape and go around and get our ductwork sealed up better. I was feeling around and pretty leaky.

I played some rat hockey last night. I wanted some time to get used to a new stick and blade I got. It’s a Warrior Dolomite shaft and a wood Fury blade with a Sakic curve. It’s pretty close to the Drury curve I like on my Mission stick. I cut a new end plug for it to the “correct length” (stick goes up to your chin when you have your skates on). This was a bit longer than what my Mission stick is so it felt kind of awkward. By the end of rat I felt more comfortable with the stick. I really like the wood blade with the composite shaft. I can take a pass better and it’s a bit beefier than the Mission blade.

We have another game on Sunday. I’m guessing attendance will be a bit on the slim side with the holiday weekend. I need to try and be a bit more confident on the ice. I kind of have that new to hockey mentality in this upper league that as soon as I get the puck I need to get rid of it. I just need to have some balls and skate with it a bit and look for the right play.

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