Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dumbasses and Dumbass Bureaucracies

811 "Call Before You Dig" Service Apparently Feckless...


Later today, if the Airlines ever get me delivered to South Alabama (my earlier flight was "delayed" thus I've had to reschedule everything for mid-morning/afternoon) I'll be digging holes in my Mother's front yard looking for a water pipe.

Of course this task would be much easier if the so-called "utility locator service" AKA "Call before you Dig" could manage to get someone out to the property with a couple of cans of colored spray paint after I called them on Wednesday.

Now it's SATURDAY and their offices are closed and all they can do is play a recording on their answering machine telling me to call the phone number listed in the phone book for each utility, even though I said we had a known water leak and wanted to have the line located and other utilities identified so we didn't do more damage trying to fix the current problem.

I say that the only thing worse than an idiot employee is an idiot government employee, and further...

the only thing worse than a stupid private company is a stupid pseudo-government entity followed by all forms of government monopoly enterprises.

Please pray that I don't explode and kill some innocent bystander in the process of exterminating the next feckless, obtuse, ingrate I encounter in the next 72 hours.

OK, maybe not, but still...


that will be all...for now...Dammit...

I Have A Bad Case Of Plumber's Crack...

I Don't Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry...


You know, Ladies and Gentlemen...

In spite of the economy and the current job/employment situation, I say that there is the distinct possibility that there are some people out there that either operate from the standpoint of "just not giving a rat's ass"...

else they're just plain TOO %$#@ STUPID to successfully handle the ins and outs of doing the job they're in on a daily basis.

As an example opposite of what I'm talking about, take ME for instance, as a person who is actually interested in doing my job and understands I have to provide a useful, marketable service for a reasonable cost, generally within the agreed upon time frame.

How do I do that?

Well...
First of all, when you call me on my business telephone or my cell phone (my business phone automatically forwards to my cell), I do something which is apparently beyond the capability of many independent businessmen and some if not all employees of the "Plumbing Companies" listed in the telephone book and on the internet with operations located in Southern Alabama.

I ANSWER MY FREAKING TELEPHONE.

Next comes the difficult part, apparently.

When someone which has taken the effort to find me and my company and made the aforementioned phone call to me and/or my office, and I've successfully answered the telephone and said "hello" and identified myself by name...through a series of questions (by me) and answers (by the caller) I can generally manage to tell them after a few minutes if I actually supply the services which they are requesting.

(If the idiot on the other end of the phone is cold calling me trying to sell me Gold Futures or stock in some obscure failing company, or telephone service or new vinyl siding for my all brick house....things go a little differently...but you get the picture.)

So any way, back to my story...so now after answering the telephone, and questioning the caller about their needs, and agreeing that I can in fact supply the service, I apparently do something which is amazing...veritably unheard of in the annals of the so called "plumbing profession."

I do something which I'm pretty sure, if I were a "professional plumber," would qualify me for admission in the "International Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Hall of Fame", if there is such a thing.

It's pretty simple actually.

You want to guess or would you rather just that I tell you?

I PRODUCE A WRITTEN  PROPOSAL DESCRIBING THE SCOPE OF MY SERVICES AND OFFERING A PRICE FOR SAME.

Isn't that Idea FREAKING A M A Z I N G?

Then of course if we come to an agreement there's all of the messy stuff like purchase orders and having to do the work and pay my material suppliers and labor on the project, and then comes the invoicing part after the work is completed and there's always that 30 day period spent standing by the mailbox waiting on the check to arrive.

But other than the above, as I see it that pretty well describes how to run a successful business if you are not a lieing cheating theaving IDIOT.

Now...(taking a big breath here boss)

For most of last week I've been making phone calls to "professional plumbers" seeking the services of same to find and repair a leak in the main service line running under one of the concrete driveways at my mother's home on the farm in  in Lower Alabama.

Fully three quartrers of the phone numbers had been disconnected and were out of service, and half of the ones still working had unintelligable answering machine greetings and when I left a voice mail with a phone number didn't return my call.

I managed to find TWO companies within a three county region of southern Alabama which actually answered their telephone and were willing to come out and take a look at the problem and quote "give us a price."

The first guy showed up...on time...and then called me and said he could do the job next week and he'd get back to me with a price.

Never heard from him again...

The second guy showed up on Friday afternoon...again on time...said he could do the project on Monday but simply stated he worked for $85 per hour and get this...

he said that he "would not put anything in writing."

Further, in spite of me calling the local utility Locator Service ("Call before you Dig"), he said that they wouldn't locate water line on private property.

I thought that my head was going to explode.

What a stupid piece of shit asshole the fellow apparently is.

He wants me to hand him my Mother's checkbook and then sit up here in Knoxville while he and a bunch of day labor drunks and drug addicts screw around digging holes and waisting time runnning back and forth to Ace Hardware and Lowe's because "we don't have one of them fittings on the truck."

Bullshit.

So as a result I'm getting on a Delta Airliner at 7:35 this morning and flying to Dothan by God Alabama and if I can't solve the problem myself I'm going to load my Shotgun and stand guard over the proceedings on Monday while the aforementioned team of "plumbing professionals" does an expedited effort on the project.

You will have to excuse me now while I wipe the spit off of my monitor and go wipe the foam off of my mouth...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Marketing

It's All In  How You Say It...

Crazy On A Ship Of Fools--Part MMXI

Sailing Past Icebergs Of Insanity...


Let's see now...where do I start ranting this morning?

I could take the easy track and mention the idiot I'm watching right now on Fox News speaking on behalf of the "Whitehouse" defending the Community Organizer in Chief Professional Political Candidate President's latest speech offering to raise taxes and hand out even more government goodies to people that will vote for him.

Bottom line is that the government is populated with a group of people similar to "crackheads" or possibly dope smoking hippies which will never be able to solve the problem we have with more than half of the population being on the public dole...be it welfare or unemployment, social security, medicare, and/or Medicaid.

I'm too lazy to do the Google search this morning, but I've read more than once that the idea of "taxing the rich"...besides just being a form of "class warfare"...would not solve the current budget problems we face. Apparently if the government took every single dime of the income/net worth of something like the top 2% of American income earners--a tax rate of 100%--there wouldn't be enough money available to pay our current annual operating budget deficit and pay off the money we've already borrowed from China and the other countries and individuals holding US bonds and IOU's.

I'm not saying that we starve children and retirees mind you, but it's truly a sad state of affairs when the government continues to take money out of the first $106,800 I earn, spend it that day or minute, while at the same time promising to pay me a "retirement benefit" starting sometime between age 62-1/2 or 65.

In fact, they are actually banking on me dieing before I collect any or all of the benefits they promise me, and now they are talking about continuing to take my money every year and then limit what they will pay me if and when I retire and I actually manage to make enough extra money to live comfortably after age 65.

And you know who should be the most pissed off about this current Government ponzi scheme?

BLACK MEN!

Look at the statistics...black men that manage to stay out of jail and earn a living over a lifetime working...on average...DIE before they collect a single dollar of Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid.

And do you know who on average collects the most benefits from our government's current programs?

WHITE WOMEN!!

Because again on average white women live the longest time past the retirement age of 65 and collect either their own benefits or the "survivor spouse" benefits from their husbands that paid into the "system" but didn't live long enough to get the benefits.

(taking a big breath here boss...)

In other news...in spite of being in a mental funk and still recovering from the pain killer induced hang over from last week's hospital stay, I'm still making slow progress in the PLC system design and programming department here at the International headquarters of PET.

It's really difficult working on stuff this complex virtually alone, but I'm the one that started the company and went out and sold the product so I have no one to blame but myself.

Still...it sucks sometimes.

The "Highs" are just as high as the "Lows" are low, but in the end the work has to be done...fun or not.


 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One Hundred & Fifty Years Ago Today

Shots Fired At Ft. Sumter, South Carolina


Being a dyed in the wool Southerner and Confederate/States' Rights Activist...

All I have to say today...

...having lived my 51 years and paid taxes to the Imperial Federal Government of the By-God United States of 'Merica for 35 of those years is...

"Told you so..."

The States had it right, and the Rebels knew that the government would end up making things the steaming pile of entitlement shit that things are today.

People come to my house and steal my money...legally...in the form of taxes because of the outcome of the uncivil "Civil War."

Then other people walk into a government office today and get a check partially paid for with my money...in the form of taxes because of the outcome of the uncivil "Civil War."

YOU...

are either a MAKER or a TAKER as a result of the outcome of the uncivil "Civil War."

President Lincoln played the "Race Card" and we're still living with the social and political results of that standard today.

Dammit...

Expensive Stinky Cheeses And Other Food Stuff...

Now I Have Cornichons and Harissa Galore...Feel Free To Bow Down To Me...


As my regular readers know, I've spent a good deal of serious time learning how to cook things other than popcorn and peanut butter sandwiches for about 15 years now.

Not professional cooking mind you--I don't work in a restaurant kitchen--but still, I do some fairly SERIOUS COOKING if you compare it to many people's standards in a home kitchen.

I'm not saying that anyone and everyone couldn't do what it is that I do in front of a cutting board and on a stove top, it's just that I think that most people would rather do things like go to work or church or take a day off rather than spend time screwing around worrying about some of the stuff I worry about sometimes.

That said, every now and then I run into something COMPLETELY OFF THE WALL which totally blows my mind because I don't know what it is, how it tastes, and/or what and when and how and where in the world to find it if I want some of it when I read it on a recipe listing.

Thanks to the Internet and Google, I generally manage to get even however by pounding a few words into the keyboard and doing some reading .

I even keep a list of weird stuff like that because it bothers me when A) I have no idea what it is , and B) I have no idea where to find it if I wanted some.

Because of A) and B) above, generally I simply WANT SOME, whether I actually NEED it or not.

I have to have SOME OF THAT STUFF.

Be it Stinky Cheese?

That's pretty easy if you're willing to go to the grocer and throw money at the problem.

But a spicy hot spice paste from Morocco called Harissa?

Or tart pickles from Germany called Cornichons?

Until this past weekend my pantry was void of Harissa and Cornichons.

Then in one fell swoop on Sunday I managed to find both items--completely by accident--during a visit to our local Whole Foods Market.

Now  I've been sitting around part time trying to figure out things to do with both items since.

I already knew about making a German Beef dish called Rouladen with the Cornichons, but the idea of marinading black olives in a mixture of Harissa and olive oil was totally new.

I think Moroccan Chicken with chickpeas and Apricot Couscous will be on our dinner menu this week, and German Rouladen with Spatzel and Sour Red Cabbage will probably show up later in the week.

Call ahead, but feel free to stop by around 7 PM if you want.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Confusing Confusion

I'm Paralyzed With Indecision...


It was nearly 90 degrees F here yesterday...

In early April.

I managed to get up and stagger around in my yard for a while putting some fast acting herbicide out on the garden plots and doing a little pruning on some shrubbery out front.

Since I've been sleeping 12 to 15 hours each day--at odd times--I guess that I can just chalk last week up to pretty much being lost on the calendar.

This week has to see some substantial progress or I'm going to be in big trouble professionally.

Being out of town an entire week two weeks ago, followed by the medical disaster which took up most of last week and what was an already hectic schedule is now a disaster if I don't get some things moving.

I did manage to finish physically constructing the latest PLC control panel on Saturday and hooked electricity to it and fired it up without getting any sparks or flames yesterday.

Now I have to find my software programmer and chase him around this week in order to get some commands inside the box that tell it how to handle 120,000 gallons of waste water without making my toilet overflow or getting the ceiling wet.

Speaking of programming, I guess that it's time to go do a little work in that area so please excuse me while I try to go make some money.

Regards Y'all...