Pure Gonzo Engineering

Friday, August 22, 2008

Don’t Let Apathy Police the Populace

Played some rat hockey last night since the season is over and I need to keep playing so I don’t get soft before Winter league.

Local politics in Illinois are like this. You have Chicago, and the rest of the state. The rest of the state hates Chicago. Anything that goes wrong, or is wrong is Chicago’s fault. Governor Blagojevich is evil, and he just panders to Chicago. If it rains out, it’s those bastards in Chicago trying to ruin all the hard working people in the rest of the state’s day.

I’ll use the same line that rednecks use. If you don’t like it, then get the fuck out! This is how a Democracy works. Majority rules. Chicago has a bunch of fucking people that generate a bunch of tax money, and they have big complex problems that need to be dealt with. Quit your bitching, that’s Democracy.

Anyway, I’m changing before rat and these dudes are talking about hunting and licenses and whatever. One of them says something like maybe a crazy hunter will go up and pop Blagojevich. Then this other bag of hammers says, yeah, and maybe they’ll get Obama too. Then genius three chimes in that Oh, man if Obama wins I’m going to live in Canada. It would be sweet, hockey and free health care.

Ignorance is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

This box of rocks thinks free health care is a good thing, but doesn’t want Obama to be president. People are so stupid.

If I had big brass balls like Steve and I would have told these wastes of space what was up.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rise, Together We Rise, Together We Rise

Yesterday a buddy of mine from work and I went to Chicago to see the Flobots at the House of Blues.

The show was at 6:00. We both took half days and headed up at 1:00.

First we had to drop off like 5 gallons of frozen breast milk to a woman from Detroit.

Seriously, you can’t make shit like that up.

Somehow this woman got in contact with my wife and a bunch of women from Peoria donated the milk for this woman and her baby. The plan was to do it at a Burger King in McKinley Park, but when we got there around 4:00 she was heading East on 90/94 which was out of the city during afternoon rush hour. We told her to head towards downtown since she was never going to make it to us in time.

We managed to get her the milk and found a place to park near the HOB. We grabbed some bar food and this nice little hole in the wall bar.

We got in and found a place to stand about 15 min before the first opening band came on. The HOB is a cool venue. It was pretty small, I think I read it held 1000 people. We ended up like 15 feet from the stage.

Redneck Poets (or something like that) were OK. They were 3 MC’s and a DJ. Nothing incredible, but cool. They did some spoken word poetry a’La Def Comedy Jam.

People Under the Stairs came on next. They were fucking awesome. Two MC’s from LA. They were full of energy and got everyone worked up. I’m going to have to check out more of their stuff. It was pretty awesome.

The Flobots came on a little after 8:00. They also put on an incredible show. This is the smallest venue I’ve ever been to for a concert, and it was cool being that close to the band. The played pretty much everything off their current album and threw in a few I didn’t know which I assume are from Platypus. They saved Handlebars and Rise to the end of the show. After the little instrumental solo in Handlebars and the lyrics kick back in everyone was going nuts. For an encore their Viola player took the mic and covered Heartbreaker. She rocked it out. The show got over at about 9:30. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

I got home at around 12:45 AM. It was a good time. I’d never been to a hip-hop show. It was cool.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Lawryde Gets Ejected

For the first time in four years of playing, I got ejected from a hockey game. Of all the shit I’ve ever done in games before, this was the most benign thing to get ejected for. I didn’t have bloody knuckles afterwards. I didn’t learn something about myself by being in a fight.

Here’s how it went down. We were playing a team of young kids (16-20 year olds) who had a cheering section of their moms and dads. These were your spoiled hockey kids who think the world owes them something. They’re way too cool for chin straps. They’re also fast as hell.

We weren’t playing well. I wasn’t playing well. Their speed exploited all the faults I have coming up from C-league and only playing 8 B-league games. It was my poor defense that lead to 3 breakaway goals.

Near the end of the second period, my D partner JJ, who played Canadian Juniors when he was 15 and is fucking phenomenal, road this jackass kid with a nice knit jersey with a big captain C on the shoulder into the boards and knocked the puck away from him. It was a clean play. Kid got all pissed off that someone schooled him. He threw his hands up and knocked his own helmet off. (That’s what chin straps are for kids!)

Kid wants to fight JJ. Dumb move against JJ who would have destroyed this kid in a fight. Kid takes two gloved swings at JJ and hits his cage once. Why would you try and swing at a guy with a cage on? At this point I’m pissed at this kid because in our league, to fight is to throw a punch. I take it upon myself to pin this kid up against the board with my right fist against his shoulder. My mistake was that my stick was in that hand as well. It probably looked bad from the back, where the fat stupid ref was. I told him the kid to stay the fuck off JJ and held him there until someone pulled me off him.

Stupid fat ref tells both the kid and JJ to go to the box. Kids dad is shouting about how I should be ejected for pinning his son to the boards, essentially breaking up the fight. Goalie Mike tells the kids dad to shut the fuck up, he’s not on the ice.

Stupid fat ref tells me I’m gone for being the third man. What the fuck? I break a potential blood bath on this kid if JJ is unleashed, and I get ejected? Bullshit. Kid should have been ejected and suspended for throwing two punches. I hate this ref from past experience, but I just leave the ice because it’s not worth it.

Kid’s dad is still talking shit as I walk to the locker room. I tell him to shut the fuck up. He says some bullshit about how my friend would have needed the help. I told him I saved his kid from drinking from a straw for a while and to go fuck himself. He had some bad tattoos and was like 40 or so. As I got closer to him he realized I’m about 6’6” on skates and he started to shut up.

I showered and walked past him again as I left. I gave him a wink and a kiss as I passed, tattoos blaring: Please say something so I can explode on you. He said have a good evening with a shit eating grin. I growled the same back to him.

I went out for some drinks with some of my teammates, and we just laughed about it. It was just a bizarre situation. I guess it’s Karma for all the times I probably should have been ejected playing in C-League.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Only Women and Young Boys Don't Have Facial Hair

I just got done watching Speedo, Wheaties, and every other American companies golden boy get his eighth gold metal. Did you know he got 1 Million dollars from Speedo for matching Spitz?

My question though is this: Could Phelps have done it with a sexy 70's stash like Spitz had?

Hell, Spitz didn't even wear goggles or a swim cap. Spitz didn't have 1 million bucks on the line. I'm sure he knew he'd make some endorsement deals with all his golds, but most likely not a big carrot like that in front of him.

Spitz was faster than his competition, enough so that he could have a big 70's mustache and still beat them. Had Phelps had that extra drag he would have lost the 100 Fly he won by .01 seconds.

I'm just not a big fan of media darlings in sports. Phelps is a great athlete, but quit telling me so, and no, I don't want to buy a red, white and blue Speedo with Phelps written across the ass.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Expiration Date 08-08

It seems as though everything I own is hitting its expiration date, my dog, my DVD/VCR combo, my stereo, my water heater, and my outdoor water spigot.

Friday I got the part to fix my water heater. Apparently Whirlpool flamelock water heaters are pieces of crap with a faulty design in the thermocouple. It went bad a couple years ago and we had it replaced, but it started acting up again. I called this warranty number and they sent me a free replacement for the front burner assembly. I still had to pay for shipping and if I was the kind of intelligent person who has no real world skills I would have had to pay for someone to swap it out for me. Luckily I rule first period gym class, and have the ability to do dangerous natural gas burner swaps. It wasn’t too bad of a job. I unhooked the old one from the main gas valve and cleaned out the inside of the combustion chamber, swapped the main burner onto the new assembly and then hooked everything back up. I relit it and the pilot tube was leaking a bit so I tightened that up, same was true about the main burner line, but I didn’t have it seating in the valve quite right. After I got the leaks taken care of it seemed to be functioning correctly. It took about an hour, and we still have hot water so I guess that fixes the problem.

Total cost: $11 +1 hour of $100/hr billable engineering time. I guess I won’t charge myself though.

On Sunday my decade old stereo broke, and I have no idea how to fix that so it’s just another piece of electronics I need to buy. The list is now, TV/DVD player combo, DVD player, Stereo. I’m considering going on a mad spending spree and throwing all of them onto my 0% interest credit card and paying them off next April when I get my bonus.

Then, when I was playing outside with the boys, I noticed that my outdoor water spigot was dripping even though it was “turned off”. Fucking needle valves suck my balls. Spend the money and put ball valves in, they don’t have packing nuts that fail. Luckily amateur plumbing runs in my veins. The only problem is that the inside shutoff for the outside spigot also doesn’t work, it’s also a needle valve. So we go further back and we get to the main shutoff, also a needle valve, also kind of scares me every time I have to shut it off. Really all three have bad packing nuts and I wasn’t up for shutting off the water at the street and replacing all of them. I would need some sort of moral support to do that kind of major surgery.

Since I get paid to come up with clever solutions to complex problems, the solution presented itself to me after I decided not fuck with the main shutoff. I ran to Lowes with Mr. Oz while Carter took a nap. I grabbed one of those dual spout brass valves with the ball valve shutoffs and a bag of hose seals. I made the female cashier’s uterus ache as we left because my wife and I have the talent of making cute babies. I crossed my fingers and screwed the new valve over the old shitty valve. It didn’t leak. I don’t know if it will last when everything freezes, it wasn’t a freeze proof spigot to begin with, which was most likely the problem. The freezing and thawing destroyed the packing nut.

Total Cost: $9

So I spent like $20, and because I didn’t have to call a plumber I saved like $400. Maybe I can consider that and buy all the electronics shit that has crapped out on me.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Just like Old Yeller and Of Mice and Men

We had to put Skitch down today. Over the past couple days he stopped eating, became lethargic, and lost that spunk and life in his eyes.

He then suffered the indignity of not being able to make it outside before he had to crap.

They always say that you know when it’s time to put your dog down, but you don’t really understand that statement until the moment arrives.

When we took him to the vet, he explained that he was in congestive heart failure. (He’d been diagnosed with heart problems a few years earlier and had outlived the vet’s estimates of how much longer he had.) Fluid was building in his lungs and stomach, and he was using all his energy just to breathe. That’s why he wasn’t eating, and that’s why he was so lethargic.

We knew he was beyond repair so the vet got him set up with an IV and let us say goodbye to him.

We wanted to be there when he was given the overdose of meds. I didn’t realize how hard that would be. I held him and pet him as the vet put the needle in. It was surreal as the tears welled up in my eyes. For a second I wanted to tell him to stop, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

I’ve seen dead family members, witnessed a tissue harvest at a hospital, killed wild animals and bugs, but nothing was quite like holding onto Skitch as he died. Feeling his heart stop and his lungs stop as his body slumped down like he was taking a nap was tragic.

The vet gave us some time, and I just broke down over his little body.

He was a good dog. He lived a long life, 15 or 16 years by the estimates of how old he was when we adopted him.

I’m going to miss him.

No more coughing buddy, No more pain.

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