Saturday, June 26, 2010

Workin' On The RailRoad Doin' Nuthin' All Day

Professional Incompetence...

It's a dang good thing today's Saturday instead of a weekday, because I'm planning on doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING pretty much all day today.

OK...maybe I will do SOMETHING, but it will be fun or otherwise a task I choose and WANT to do.

Things like smoking cigars, sitting by the pool, reading the newspaper and cursing, stuff like that comes to mind.

And tickeling my little Turbo Pup's belly...I'll probably do some of that.

Otherwise, I'm pretty much going to be useless and proud of it.

Time to get busy I guess...Regards Y'all...

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Executive" Decisions

I'm The Emperor Of The Universe...

Just in case you haven't noticed from my earlier posting...I HAVE A CRAP ATTITUDE.

It's summer and everyone's apparently distracted and/or on vacation, so I've made an executive decision.

It's noon on Friday, I can't find anyone in their office to talk to, so I'm putting on some shorts, pouring myself a drink, grabbing a cigar and the crossword in the Newspaper, and taking the rest of the day off sitting on my deck.

Phone calls may be answered and e-mails might receive a terse response.

Best let me alone while I re-adjust and marinade my synapses in liquid hydrocarbons.

I'm Apparently Nice And Stupid

The Options Are Against The Law In Modern Times...

Dammit...I'm pretty much stuck giving 110%, yet catching crap from idiots around me with IQ's 20 or 30 points below mine living in nicer houses and explaining to me why my expectations are unrealistic.

Almost everybody else I'm dealing with right now is too busy lamenting the "economy" and "unemployment" and other senseless BS they see on TV, while at the same time taking vacation and working 9 to 5, spending money they don't have, waiting for the government bail-out and in the process delaying my production and progress.

I have to go now...the voices say I need to stay home and clean my Guns today...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Busy = Boring Blogger

You Don't Want To Know What I'm Thinking....

I guess the summer doldrums have officially arrived here at the Turbo Pup Compound.

It's not like I don't have plenty of stuff to do, including some renovation work left over from last fall when the weather got too cool and sweaty to finish things like staining and polyurethaning a couple of new exterior wood doors.

And the never ending front porch renovation/concrete refinish project.

And two weed eaters and the lawn mower and the chicken repair projects.

And on and on and on and I'm just too dang tired to say anything new you haven't already heard about the stupidity going on in Washington DC on our behalf.

I don't even give a crap about World Cup Soccer.

Just call me a Neanderthal I guess.

Whatever...regards y'all...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things I Used To Do

And Don't Like Doing Any More...

Well, I'm pleased to report that I survived a day in Atlanta little less for the wear.

I was at my customer's office before 10 AM and was finished by 11:30 with an entire afternoon to kill.

I guess it's that I'm so old and set in my ways, combined with the fact that I lived in the city of Atlanta and its northern Cobb County suburbs from 1977 until 2003, that makes a visit something a good deal short of a trip to Disney World.

I got to do things like go through security at Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport before the return flight.

And I got panhandled on the MARTA train while watching a group of people which... while not panhandling...could be best described as a "Freak Show.".

And I took a Taxi...actually two taxis.

And find out that the "free WI-FI" at both Hard Rock Cafe and the downtown Hooters doesn't work (I went to Hooters because the girls at Hard Rock said they had free Internet.)

And that the Internet connection at the down town Starbucks works.

And that there's no Internet on Concourse C at Hartsfield during a three hour wait.

Other than that, it was pretty much just another trip supporting a long business day, and I'm glad to be back home to the Turbo Pup Compound on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Out (From In Front) Of The Frying Pan

Into The Fire...

I was about to start moping around here this week because I was working myself out of paying endeavors and was stuck only with proposal work and puttering around cleaning up the basement and working on a couple of old Weed Eaters and a Lawn Mower I've been threatening to rebuild.

Then before 9 AM this morning I had an E-mail with a Purchase Order attached and a phone call with notice to proceed with the design and construction of a "New and Improved" PLC based control panel for a new plastics bottle customer down in Atlanta.

Further, they wanted me in their factory ASAP to talk about the project.

I scrambled around finishing four more Pneumatic Valve rebuilds and making plane reservations, and now as of early evening I've gone from virtually nothing to do over the next few weeks except work on my sun tan to boarding a Delta jet bound for Hartsfield at 7:20 AM tomorrow morning.

It will be a whirlwind day trip returning early tomorrow night, but I caution any of my Atlanta area friends and blog readers that if they feel a disturbance in "The Force" in the next 24 hours it will be my presence in the "Atlanta Metropolitan Area" for only the second time in 2010.

The locals should be sure and watch "Action News" at Eleven PM to ensure I made it out of town without incident.

Time to work on some paper work and get some normal sleep on a normal schedule I guess.

Regards y'all....

I'm A Cooking Fool

Looking For New Stuff To Burn In Butter And Salt...

Since Pat's gone back to work full time--telecommuting--I've pretty much taken over a bunch of stuff solo around here she did historically even though I was sitting around doing not much of anything all day.

While I still need to start paying more attention to the hardwood floors and some other cleaning chores, I've pretty much got the laundry down to a scheduled art and I've ramped up the cooking to about five days a week in an effort to bring some sanity to our budget issues--financial and caloric (affecting the waist line.)

For instance, last week I did German Roulauden (Beef) one night, Mexican another, and a couple of pretty decent meals I've since forgotten the exact menu of. Then Saturday I did ribs on the grill with home made Kansas City Style BBQ sauce and Sunday turned out yet another of my soon to be world famous Greek Pizzas.

I'm sort of in a rut in not having the energy to develop any new ideas because I've run out of ideas, so I'm going back through my 4" thick cooking notebook trying to remember stuff I've done once or twice four or five years ago and re-cook the classics.

Over a period of about a year back about 2005 I "cooked my way" around the Mediterranean, beginning in Spain, skipping France and moving on to Italy, through Germany, Greece and Turkey...jumped down to India working on some curried stuff, then back up across Northern Africa ending up in Morocco.

Some of the spices involved in getting authentic flavors in those Cusines are hard to find without ordering off the Internet and things can get a little costly in the process.

I have so many spices I loose them in the different cabinets and sometimes spend part of two days taking everything out, swearing a given spice isn't there, and then having to come back around looking again.

Any way, today is another "valve build day" but tonight I'm returning to my Germany tab in my notebook and cooking up some Wurst, portions of Chicken Schnitzel, and Sauerkraut for dinner.

Stop by about 6:30 if you're in the area and I'll set a couple of extra plates.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers' Day

Call YOUR Father If He's Still Alive.

I wish I could...

More Government "Green Energy" Crap

If You Want Something Screwed Up...Hire The Government To Do It...

We've lived up here in Eastern Tennessee at the Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River for twenty six months now.

Overall the experience has been quite good, and if I had arrived here when I was 25 or 30 years old I would definitely consider spending most of a lifetime living here in West Knoxtown.

As it is, it's just a matter of time and circumstance and more importantly...FUNDING...which will allow us to escape either back to our Little Island on the Georgia coast or now possibly back to the family farm in Lower Alabama.

That said, one interesting thing I've noticed after spending most of my life buying electricity from some unit of the Southern Company (specifically Alabama Power and Georgia Power), is how ridiculously expensive electricity is when you buy it from the country's only Federal Owned Utility...the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA.)

Without doing the research, I'd guess that our electric rates are nearly 25% higher here on a KW and KWh basis than they were with the Southern Company, and every time we turn around there's some controversy--whether TVA is spilling power plant ash into a local river or cancelling a green energy program without notice and apparently good reason ---more on that in a minute

Now I'm not going to go into all of the details here because you can Google yourself to death looking at the TVA's history, but what basically started out as a "Jobs Program" here in rural Appalachia in the early 1930's under the guise of harnessing the power of the Tennessee and associated river systems has today morphed into a giant pseudo-megga Corporation which produces most of it's power using Coal, with a little Nuclear Energy tossed in for good measure.

While they have more hydro plants than coal/nukes, the reality is that coal and uranium/plutonium make many more light bulbs glow here than water does falling through a turbine.

So any way, the latest rage up here on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River has been a government financed "Green Energy" program called "Generation Partners."

The idea was that you could put in solar panels on your house or on top of an industrial or commercial building or even out in a piece of bare ground you owned and get financing based on the future income generated by making "clean energy."

The reality was that TVA was subsidizing owner's return on investment by paying a 12-cent-per-kilowatt-hour premium for any energy you generated and put back into their grid above the amount of electricity you actually used.

Without the artificial, taxpayer funded premium, none of the stuff worked or payed back...the power produced by solar here in Tennessee cost more to produce than the electricity you could buy from a Reactor or "pollution belching" coal fired plant.

Any way, an extensive cottage industry of companies has sprung up over the past couple of years here supporting the program and earning a living for hundreds if not thousands of people dedicated to supplying components and even pre-designed systems of stuff which when put together would let a homeowner make electricity on their roof or in their back yard, and allowing XYZ company to cover their flat roof with panels and get the Federal/State tax credits and earn a little money or at least reduce their normal TVA inflated electric bills.

Pretty cool, even if you're not an Owl Gore loving, tye died, patchuli stinking, sniveling, bed wetting, tree hugging eco greenie weenie...


All of that said , now guess what TVA did last week?

TVA put the program on HOLD.

Why, you might ask?

Because nobody was building solar panels and taking advantage of the "government tax incentives"? quote the Knoxville News Sentinel:

TVA was halting the program because of excessive demand.


Ken Elder, owner of solar startup Soltility in Friendsville, said he learned of the freeze through an e-mail from another solar firm late Wednesday and received an e-mail notification Thursday from Nashville Electric Service. TVA did not issue formal information regarding the program until Friday.

"The folks that are working with me are just devastated because we are just really gearing up with potential customers," said Elder, who has been working as a consultant in the industry and is beginning to develop small commercial and residential projects on his own.

"TVA could do a lot of damage just studying this for six or eight weeks. Almost as bad as that, they could come back and say, 'We're going to re-implement the program, but it's not going to be at 12 cents per (kilowatt) hour, it's going to be 4 cents,' " Elder added.

Click on this link and go read the whole story if you're interested, but the bottom line here according to my considered Redneck opinion is this.

This is a perfect example of the mindless, useless, bureaucratic double talk by the Imperial By-God Federal Government of the United States of 'merica in general, and the Obamarama Administration in particular.

The government knows that Solar and Bio-mass and Wind and any of the other so-called "Green Energy" technologies out there won't work without subsidies, yet when they encourage people to go out and invest in their precious eco-friendly technologies--whether it's as an owner trying to get a loan to finance a project or it's a business owner starting a business to supply solar panels and windmills and pipes and technology to implement the systems--you can bet that you are at risk, EVERY SINGLE DAY, of having the rug jerked out from under your feet.

This current "suspension" of the Generation Partners program is indefinite but is supposed to only last for the next six or eight weeks, but in the mean time what are the businesses selling equipment, and owners of projects which were in the application/approval process going to do?

How many new start-up businesses can survive TWO MONTHS without selling anything?

How many customers are going to say "FORGET IT" and walk away from the inane process of permitting and loan/grant applications with the Government through the TVA just saying:

"Oops...we changed our mind...Excuse us."

There is no EXCUSE for crap like this, ladies and gentlemen.

And you probably won't be hearing about this latest example of government ineptitude on the national news, but I suspect that stuff like this is going on behind the scenes all over the country while at the same time President Obama and Pelosi and Reid are running around touting our need to ween ourselves off of the Arab oil tit.

Crap like this makes my head spin at near orbital rotational velocity, and if yours doesn't it should be and you better start paying a little more attention before going to the voting booth this fall and in 2012.

That will be all...for now...