Saturday, June 06, 2009

James Gregory

Last Minute Entertainment...

You may be amazed to learn that Pat and I haven't been to a Theater to see a movie since we left Atlanta in 2003, and though we've spent a good deal of time in "Community Theaters" watching plays I was either acting in or designing/building the sets for we also haven't paid to see a concert since the Atlanta days either.

I think the last live national act we saw was Blue Oyster Cult at a street festival in West Virginia three or four years ago also.

Fast forward to last week when I heard on the radio that southern comedian James Gregory was at the comedy club about three miles from the house here on the banks of the Mighty Tennesse river.

I've heard him on the radio for years and saw him the first time at the Punch Line in Atlanta about 1996 and enjoyed his material, so after dinner and drinks last night I couldn't stand it any longer...we wandered by and got two of the last half dozen seats available for the 7 PM show and I laughed my ass off of near an hour.

Here's a look at his style:

Friday, June 05, 2009


Why I NEVER...

voted Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I've decided to marry my boat.

voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.

voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I ever would.

voted Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

voted Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq I trust that the bad guys will stop what they're doing because they now think we're good people.

voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius.

voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as IT sees fit.

voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite The Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my ass that it is unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."

(Thanks for the link Rodge over at

"Homogeneous Versus Heterogeneous Nucleation In Steam Systems"

I've Just Learned It's Actually Not A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Social Issue...

That's what I spent my day looking at...a Canadian Master's Degree Candidate's Thesis addressing the phenomena called a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) and the underlying physics and phenomena details.

The visiting kids and their toddler wandered off to explore on their own and Pat and I and Missy the Turbo Pup are relaxing in silence and heading out for drinks and dinner.

Anyone know about the Rayleigh method of calculating the growth and collapse of bubbles in things like your beer and champaign and club soda...or in my case a gaint steam system that can explode and peal your skin off your arms and rupture your spleen and eyeballs?

I'm figuring it all out, and details to follow once I understand things.

Have a nice weekend...If you will...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pool Full...Air Compressor Dead

Leaf Blower Operator Escapes With Scalp and Skin...

Dang it...It's supposed to rain all day today again here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

As a result our idiot with the leaf blower lawn maintenance technician showed up a day early so I had to cover the partially filled pool and move all of my deck and fence building supplies and debris around out of his way.

I instructed him to stay two feet away from the pool with the weed eater and leave the carport untouched with the leaf blower.

For his own safety and welfare he dutifully complied.

I guess a shaggy headed, ever greying, ever balding middle aged man brandishing a 2x4 still has some clout in our society today.

With company in town, a lull in injuneering consulting deadlines, and the injured air compressor my productivity has been reduced to things you can do on the sofa and Google time spent in front of the computer.

I'm so lazy I don't even feel like bitching about President Obama Rama Ding Dang who according to news reports and White House briefings has suddenly discovered his Muslim heritage now a half year after the election was over with.

As I understand it he's currently on a tour through the Middle East shaking left handed and showing the Emirs and Princes and Kings the bottoms of his tan feet (you have to know something about insults in Arab countries to get that joke.)

Me personally, I'd still like to bubble wrap and crate up Obamarama and Reid and Pelosi and McCain and the fence sitting senators from Pennsylvania and South Carolina (and toss in Madd Jack Murtha's eyebrows just for fun) and ship the entire gaggle of lieing fools down to somewhere like Haiti or Cuba and let them "hoist" their bed wetting, sniveling, booger eating tree hugging socialist agenda on someone that could actually USE it and WANTs it and might actually DESERVE it.

(Obama says we can't "hoist" our Western values on the Muslim nations...but I digress...)

Any way, then they'd possibly leave me and my wallet alone because they'd finally be living somewhere where there actually is a "healthcare crisis" and a "wage gap."

I can hope and dream...can't I?

Time for a nap I guess...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Air Compressor Still Limping

Pool Near Full

Oh...I don't know...where to start this morning?

Of course I couldn't just run over to Home Depot yesterday and buy a couple feet of hose and some hose clamps and come home 20 minutes later...things only come out that way something like 1 out of 100 trips and I'd already had my lucky single repair part purchasing trip sometime earlier in 2009.

This time the difficulty was because HD no longer has the hose selection they once carried and I needed small 1/4" diameter hose capable of handling 110 PSI of pressure.

Clear vinyl aquarium tubing wouldn't cut it, so on down the road to Lowe's we went.

They had exactly what I wanted--all $0.60 worth--and after rummaging around to find the hose clamps (two isles over) I was on my way with Pat and the Turbo Pup in tow.

Makes sense to me to sell tubing on one isle in plumbing and clamps in the garden or lumber department, doesn't it? Using the same logic I think WalMart should start selling boxer shorts in the shoe department and socks in automotive.

So any way, then the guy at the register fumbled around getting the price on the hose and in the process FAILED TO PUT IT IN THE BAG with the weed killer and other odds and ends we purchased and we didn't notice until we were back home and I started working.

So then we had to go BACK to Lowe's to retrieve my 60 cent hose.

Long story even hour and a half later my thirty minute shopping trip was complete and within another twenty minutes I had cut out the bad section of aluminum tubing and spliced in the new flexible section of tubing.

Both of the new clamped connections held for...OH...about 45 seconds before the one that is hardest to reach decided to blow apart.

Possessing the vast experience gained by opening the compressor housing earlier, the follow up repairs were completed again in less than five minutes with an extra bit of torque applied to all four hose clamps in the jury rigged temporary air passage.

I reassembled the housing and this time managed to blow up the entire top ring of the little cheep above ground pool before again having my air plumbing system suffer a rupture after about a minute and one half of operation.

The poor thing (the compressor) spent the night on the carport in it's feverish condition because I didn't have the patience to open it all back up again and by then it was near 90 degrees in the back yard and my face and head was melting in the sun.

I took the rest of the afternoon off and cooked a couple of my soon to be internationally famous pizzas for our guests and after the toddler and the Turbo Pup called a truce and sat down at the same coffee table everyone chowed down.

A few beers and a cigar later and I was done for the evening.

Today the Turbo Pup and I have the house to ourselves as Pat escorts the guests to that tourist hell known as Gatlinburg to do the Ripley's Aquarium and eat queer things like funnel cakes and buy trinkets you never knew you couldn't do without.

I'm going back to bed as soon as they leave...see y'all later...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Veni, Vidi, Vici Vamoose

Back From The Middle Of Nowhere

Ah yes...quaint yet rural Tennessee.

Ya gotta love it if you're from there or if you're retired and want to live on three acres in the mountains for the price of a half acre lot here in Knoxtown on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

Problem is that living in Wartburg and similar places (like where Mom lives in LA) causes you to have to drive 20 miles to find a Kroger or a Walmart, and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that unless the place is surrounded by water like our little Island on the Georgia Coast was.

On the construction front, my pancake air compressor crapped out on Sunday afternoon and I didn't diagnose the problem--a broken metal outlet tube--untill late yesterday.

I though I was going to be nailgunless until the parts arrived from Sears next Monday, but I've figured out how to do a short term fix with some more rubber tubing and a couple of hose clamps so it's off to Home Depot for parts and a million pounds of bagged play sand to put under and around the Turbo Pup's little 10'x30" above ground pool.

We had one of those last year with no structure and the inflatable ring around the top to keep the water in and I bought a new one on the internet for cheap to use this year with the old filter pump which we saved.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Meetings In The Morning

Construction In The Afternoon...

Anybody know where "Wartburg" is in Tennessee?

I'm going there this morning and I'll let you know once I find out.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Construction Completion?

Today's The Day...

Well, I'm happy to report that we've managed to make it though 24 continuous hours without a rain storm for the first time in nearly a week here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

I got four footings dug, concrete poured and elevations set yesterday along with a little more fencing installed, and today it looks like I can finish the oversize stairway and complete the fencing expansion...leaving only the most difficult part of the project on my Punch list.

That line item--taking out a window and cutting a large enough opening for a new exterior french door-- will have to wait until next weekend because we have family guests arriving on Monday for a week stay and I don't want to be doing sheetrock work and more importantly, making sheetrock dust with a toddler crawling around the place.

As usual I've managed to take a three or four day project and turn in into a multi-week epic saga/adventure but then again I'm working for FREE and it's my house and I don't see getting all lathered up in a hurry.

Rushing takes all the fun out of something I really do enjoy having the tools and skills to to on my own. I figure that I might as well do this kind of stuff while I still can because there's been periods of time in the past when I couldn't stand up long enough or have the strength and stamina to accomplish much of anything, and who knows what the future holds with my crappy legs and hypercoagulative blood.

That said, time to pour a giant insulated mug of Gatoraid and go make sawdust before it gets too hot outside...