Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Memorial Day?"

Everyone Keeps Getting It Confused With "Veterans' Day" I Think

Well, it turns out that I ended up missing not one...but two Family events in two different states on Saturday.

I'm not going to go into the gory details other than to say I had a couple of pretty good reasons for each absence...

...and I regret to admit that the silence gained by being allowed to just sit around here at the Turbo Pup Compound on a "holiday weekend" when everyone else is running up and down the highways and interstates or sitting in airports and bus terminals was a welcome relief.

I did manage to spend about three hours stumbling around my basement shop finally getting two new 20 Amp AC circuits installed which I started last winter. So now my shop and the adjacent "Wee Turbo Pup Pub" area of the basement have some the only three wire grounded electrical service in the building (the Kitchen Range and HVAC system being the other two as far as I can determine.)

Now later this morning plans are to finish up some recessed lighting details in the "Wee Turbo Pup Pub" area, then get the Turbo Pup Pool reinstalled in the back yard and filled with water for the season.

I'm not EVEN going to begin to try to comment on the news right now although there is some stupid stuff like the coverage of Child Murder Trials down in Florida and things endlessly repeated on FoxNEWS and CNN that make my eyeballs roll uncontrollably back into my ever greying, ever balding skull.

That said, I think I'll go now and take a nap for a while.

Y'all have a LOVELY Sunday and balance of the Memorial Day Weekend if you will (and drive/fly safely while you're at it...)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Strange Visitors In The 'Hood

Odie and "Terror The Terrier" Claim Another Conquest...

I mentioned in the past week my ongoing battle with a couple of little dogs which live diagonally behind us here at the Turbo Pup Compound on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

The good news is that my next door neighbor heard about the loss of my "yard shoe" and asked the owner of the little pack of Mongrels about it and he had indeed found a giant  size 13 "Zapatos" (shoe in Spanish) and it was returned.

Then late on Wednesday the same neighbor reported that a "baby Opossum" had been chased up a tree in her back yard by Odie and Terror.

Here's what I found when I wandered over to take a look...

Not only is that not a "Baby Opossum", but that is a fine example of a giant 20 plus pound "Albino" 'possum.

I've seen another Albino a couple of blocks away in the last year which had a much whiter coat that this fellow (he was a male and should be proud of the equipment he has dangling there in the tree with him...)

but still...

He stayed up there in the top of the tree baking in the sun until sometime after dark and at sunrise yesterday morning he was gone on off doing whatever it is that Opossums do all day.

Just when I think I'm going to lose my mind something like this comes along to distract me and make me laugh.

Good thing...You know?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Day With Without Pseudo-Professional Dumbasses

Taking Feckless Insanity And Elevating It To A Virtue...

I'm sorry to report that I spent most of the day yesterday waiting on "Roofers" to appear at my front door

The first one was supposed to show up at 10 AM based on the conversation I had with him on Tuesday. 

This idiot had actually already stood on my doorstep last weekend while I explained that I most definitely wanted an estimate and I would be buying a roof as soon as I could settle with my "Insurance Company."

This conversation apparently wasn't good enough to cause this moron to get off of his ass, take out a measuring tape and a pencil, and work up a price for a roof.

For some reason, after handing me a glossy brochure and a business card and learning the details of the project, the guy's pen must have run out of ink or he didn't have a blank sheet of paper or something else happened because after telling him what I wanted

...I didn't get a quotation.

And then after calling the number on the glossy brochure/business card and making an appointment for 10 AM yesterday he still couldn't pry his stupid ass off of the bar stool or out of the bed/off the sofa long enough to follow up on the opportunity. 

I'm not really asking for much...the project is really pretty simple...but thus far over the past THREE WEEKS I've only managed to get two written quotations to replace 28 square (2800 square feet) of three tab asphalt shingles.

Here...take a peek at my specifications:
  • Tear off existing shingles and roofing felt and place in 10 cubic yard dumpster.
  • Repair any rotten plywood decking on corners.
  • Install new 30 pound roofing felt.
  • Install 20-25 year three tab shingles.
  • Clean up job site and get the &^%$ off my property after giving me an invoice and getting your check.

Then yesterday afternoon while Pat and the Turbo Pup and I were wandering around picking up some stuff at the CVS Pharmacy, another rocket scientist claiming to be in the roofing business decided to stop by un-announced and leave his business card and a note saying "no one was at home."
This poor simpleton had discussed my project with me on the telephone on Tuesday, and I told him to call before he stopped by if he could,  but if he wanted to look at the job and we weren't home he had my permission to climb on the roof and simply leave his quotation on the table on my front porch. 
Again I went over the specifications with him on the phone prior to his arrival...remember these details?  
  • Tear off existing shingles and roofing felt and place in 10 cubic yard dumpster.
  • Repair any rotten plywood decking on corners.
  • Install new 30 pound roofing felt.
  • Install 20-25 year three tab shingles.
  • Clean up job site and get the &^%$ off my property after giving me an invoice and getting your check.

 I swear to God I'm incredulous at the feckless ineptitude of the people out there claiming to be in the construction business...specifically most recently...ROOFERS.
Further, I think that the fact that I actually know what I want done and I have a pretty good idea how to do it and how much it should cost is hurting my effort to get rational quotes.
Apparently if I was just some ignorant dumbass everyone would give me a price, but since I'm an intelligent arrogant ASSHOLE with an attitude no one wants to venture on to my property with a nail gun and a butt crack.
If you know anyone that can actually show up and put a roof on a building for a reasonable price on a pre-determined schedule...feel free to give me a call.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stupid News For The Un-Informed

Twisters (Tornadoes) Don't "Target" Population Centers

I've spent at least half of the past couple of days yelling at the idiots on the Television who are apparently reading from the same script written by Owl Gore and the Global Warming Zombies freaking out about what should be considered to be NORMAL spring weather in the Midwest.

While it is a horrible fact that the statistical odds are that over a million year period that every single square inch of our planet will probably see a natural disaster...earthquake or flash flood or wildfire or hurricane...

...It is also a well known fact that the United States experiences Tornadoes at a rate MORE THAN FOUR TIMES that of Europe or any other country/land mass in the world.

Almost EVERY YEAR...

Not just, as the idiots on the TV news would have you believe...

...not just THIS YEAR.

It's like this, Ladies and Gentlemen...

I grew up in lower Alabama living with both Hurricanes and Tornadoes, and FEMA was a figment of Jimmuh "Smile When You Say That" Carter's imagination and Owl Gore's Greenie Weenie Zombies were still sucking their thumbs and toes in their playpens.

I've been through three Hurricanes and a half dozen tropical storms, and I've been at ground ZERO in two Tornadoes where the sky turned green and the rain came in horizontal.

And I don't look forward to it but if I live another 25 years I'll probably see at least another couple of Hurricanes and tornadoes in the process.


All of this current media hysteria just makes my eyes roll back into my skull and drool to slide out of the corner of my mouth.

Face the facts...with live on a planet spinning around the sun through the solar system at breakneck speed under the forces of gravity and operating under the vaguely understood principals of a science we call physics.

And our little slice of "atmosphere" within the bottom twenty miles of the surface of the planet contains the oxygen we need to live and breath...but it also contains water vapor and energy in the form of temperature gradients--thereby producing a dynamic "heat engine" effect where the hot areas and the cold areas try to get together and average everything out in the end.

Thus when you get a bunch of cold dry air running up against a bunch of warm moist air...KABOOM...

A local TORNADO!

And on a regional basis IN THE SUMMER...HURRICANE  everybody jump in your car and evacuate!!!

It's just that simple, and religion and political and education and socio-economic/race/gender issues be will grab your trailer or your car or your house or as a minimum YOUR ASS and grind you up and tie you in a knot if you happen to be unlucky enough to be in the storm's path.

Weather doesn't care what political party association the President or the Congress has at any given moment.

Weather also doesn't give a crap if you regularly attend church or you donate to the March of Dimes and the United Way and build houses with Habitat for Humanity.


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

I Have A Crappy Attitude

Excuse Me While I Shut The %$#@ Up...

I'm having one of "Those" days...

Bye Y'all...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This Is A Test Of The Emergency Broadcast System

This Is Only A Test...

I'm afraid that I have to admit that my neural synapses are almost completely overloaded these days.

It just might take a month or so to get over living through the past two weeks of my life.

After spending a semi-unplanned ten days out of town in another state--mental and physical--followed by having a house full of pseudo relatives ( i.e. Pat's family ) in town for half a week, I think that I've realized what a quiet existence I generally enjoy as a middle aged childless curmudgeon.

Let's face facts...Ladies and Gentlemen...

Having Kids wandering around the property warps reality in ways beyond my ability to comprehend, and spending time with more than one other adult human inside my official "building of residence" taxes my patience and tilts my world off of it's axis in an alarming fashion possibly requiring counseling and medical attention...

Right now I feel like I'm sort of some kind of mutant cross between Dustin Hoffman's character  "Rainman"

with a nice mix of  Christopher Lloyd's character "Reverend Jim"...

and possibly Andy Kaufman's "Lakta" from the TV show "Taxi" thrown in for good measure.

I'd say I'm a little more Reverend Jim/Latka right now in as much as I'm harmless to anyone other than myself...

But still...

I have to attempt to get a grip on the details of several different projects while at the same time trying to head out of town toward either a funeral in Ohio or the originally planned Memorial Day Festivities in Lower Alabama this weekend.

Nothing seems to be easy these days...justifying the cost and time to head north versus the cost and time to head south.

Maybe I should just stay home for the next couple of weeks and save money rather than risk insulting anyone in the process.

I'm entertaining suggestions if anyone has any insight into a solution to my delimma...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Idiots In The Roofing Business

How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count The Ways...

It's pretty much common knowledge that I've been in the "Industrial Injuneering and Construction Business" on and off for a good part of the past 30 years.

I've also on a much more limited basis been in the residential renovation and construction business for about that same amount of time.

All of the above said, it blows my mind this afternoon that with the current employment situation and economic conditions there is such a large proportion of idiots--many if not most of which probably didn't even manage to graduate from HIGH SCHOOL--which can't manage to answer their own telephone number published on business cards on in the Yellow Pages or on Internet Web Pages...

and in some cases to respond back to me with an intelligent quotation after taking the time to drive up to my house and knock on my front door asking to fix my roof.

Seriously, Ladies and Gentlemen, in the THREE AND ONE HALF WEEKS since my roof and yard was pounded with a golf ball sized hail storm, I've only managed to get two written proposals in hand while at the same time talking in person with six or eight different inarticulate, dis-organized morons representing themselves on the telephone and/or on my front stoop as "professional roofers" or representatives of companies involved in the aforementioned "roofing business."

The "feeding frenzy" surrounding this latest natural disaster is a textbook study in human nature.

These idiots want me to sign a contract...


...with basically no written proposal in hand...

...and because they can see by the look on my face and the light burning in my eyes that I am not an IDIOT and that I will proceed to "tear them a new asshole" at least proverbially if not literally they don't want to deal with me when they can simply wander on down the street and take advantage of some of our old widow ladies or some absentee owner with a bottomless checkbook.

I offer a sincere "Sorry" to all of you asshats posing as "roofing contractors", but not now or tomorrow or next week or next month will I deal with such a stupid group of (un)professional idiot opportunists.

I believe that I'll just wait for the dust to settle and take my chances on getting someone that actually knows what they are doing rather dealing with those of you out there just responding to the smell of blood CASH in the water.

You know?

Getting Old Sucks

But I Guess It's Better Than The Alternative...

Pat and the Turbo Pup and the Niece/Nephew/Child returned late yesterday from an over night trip to visit her Daughter's family in south Atlanta.


I volunteered to stay home and anchor things here at the Turbo Pup Compound solo for a change.

I spent the weekend walking around without shoes and a shirt...sometimes clad only in underwear...basically doing nothing all day if you don't count sitting on the deck in the sun working crossword puzzles and the few hours spent staking up tomato plants.

Oh...and I did manage to get all of my tools put away and the shop cleaned up and re-organized in anticipation of doing some clean-up work on three PLC programs I have running in the field right now.

So now after a quiet weekend spent "home alone", this morning finds me trying to make plans to attend yet another elderly relatives burial services...this time in southern Ohio.

It's one of those impossible trips where "you can't get there from here" unless you drive cross country and I can't spend three days out of the week in the process because I'm already so far behind in my work from being out of town most of the past two weeks.

Ideally it would be a "fly up in the morning" kind of trip where I meet my Cousins and ride with them to the Rogers family cemetery up on top of a hill out in the middle of nowhere in southern Ohio...then have them drop me back off at the Columbus Ohio airport so I can fly back home later that day.

I guess it's time now to head to the basement and start wrestling with electronic crap again.

Wish me luck, if you will Y'all...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Dog Ate My Homework Stole My Shoe

One Annoying Little Bastard He Is...

We live in a pretty cool old neighborhood.

Basically it's the same sort of neighborhood I grew up in since it was built about the same time in the early 1960's.  The only real difference is that it is in eastern Tennessee instead of Lower Alabama.

Today most of the houses are occupied by older widow ladies whose husbands have already gone on to Glory, with the balance of the houses filled with second and at most third owners.

The sad thing is that what was once a giant vacant property between our street and the Pike has been filled in over the past twenty years with  professional offices and townhouses, and there's a string of duplexes and quads which anchor the streets at each end of our street and they've apparently seen their better days because they're becoming more and more a bit of an eyesore because the freaking Mexicans have moved in.

Don't get me wrong here Ladies and Gentlemen...

In spite of my past ranting, the Libertarian in me says that a property owner has the right to rent his property to anyone he wishes to that pays the price he asks...I just wish the said property owner would also police his property and make his tenants not treat the exterior and lawns like a junkyard.

Closer to home, we have a delightful Mexican family next door who are the HOME OWNERS.

What an amazing difference ownership makes when it comes to the appearance and standard of care regardless of the native nationality of the owners.

Then two houses down in the other direction there is something going on in the form of a rental/lease deal and if you count the number of cars in the yard there are eight adults living in a three bedroom 1-1/2 bath house.

Apparently one of the "Hispanic" men there fancies himself an auto mechanic so you can almost guarantee that the hood is up (or off of) at least one of the cars night and day most of the time.

And one or more of the women is either running a daycare center for the other area immigrants (legal and illegal) else there is a giant band of midget Mexicans living in the crawlspace (because there's not room for them in the main house.)

Behind that house on the next street over is also a band of Mexicans or Central Americans and word has it that they own that property, and other than having a half dozen vehicles parked in the driveway and on the street out front they are pretty good neighbors, EXCEPT...

they have these two little shit yapper dogs--a little Chihuahua named "Odie" and this other wire haired terror terrier mutt of as yet unknown name.  Let's just call him "Terror the Terrier" and leave it at that I guess.

So any way, they can't weigh thirty pounds in total, but these little bastards are the scourge of the neighborhood.

If a leaf falls off of a tree at night...

...they bark endlessly.

If you walk outside in the evening to get something out of your car or smoke a cigar...

...they bark endlessly.

And the most annoying thing is that the owners let the little pack of mongrels out of their pen occasionally to run around and rape and pillage and reek havoc in and on the adjoining properties.

Odie comes over and lifts his leg and pees on everything in sight when he can.

And Pat caught "Terror the Terrier" trying to drag one of my "yard shoes" off the carport a couple of weeks ago.

She yelled at him and he dropped it.

Then after being out of town for ten days and leaving my yard shoes sitting alone outside unguarded,  yesterday when I went out to stake and tie up my tomato plants...GUESS WHAT?

Yep...I only had one old dirty tennis shoe sitting there by the porch swing.

So now I'm forced to wear my "back up" yard shoes...the really stinky nasty ones I usually reserve for doing stuff in the mud and things like running the weed eater.

Dang it, I don't care if a bus load of Mexicans move into the neighborhood because the flood gates have already opened, but I just wish that they could miraculously overcome their "cultural issues" because in the problem is not racial...but more of a clash of a cultural nature which is very difficult to overcome I'm afraid.  

Is it just ME?