Saturday, July 02, 2011

Working Holiday Weekend

Me And My Zanny Life...

Well, the good news is, after a hectic couple of weeks spent out of town on jobsites almost non-stop, that my brain has stopped rattling around in my skull and things have settled back down a good deal here at the Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

The Turbo Pup isn't mad at me anymore for leaving town without her, and for some unknown reason I also actually managed to stay focused and work a "normal daytime" schedule on both Thursday and Friday--sort of.

I guess it was because I had to interact with a bunch of people that have real jobs and only show up at their offices between 8 AM and 5 PM.

Then I was sitting around in my office Friday morning contemplating things which needed doing here around the Turbo Pup's house, and since I am basically on vacation 365 days each year unless I accidentally trip over something in the professional "paid work" category of endeavors--I felt it only fair that while the rest of the country with "real jobs" took a long 4th of July holiday weekend vacation that I should be required to WORK this least until Independence Day.
Thus in support of the festering Carport storage closet design project I've been fooling around with for the past year, and with the idea of putting the final touches on the "Wee Pub" in our basement, we ran over to Home Depot for an hour of picking various sizes and shapes of lumber out of bins and off of racks...

...and then we borrowed one of HD's "$19.99 for 75 Minutes" Rental Flat Bed Trucks and dragged a load of lumber back home by mid afternoon.

So now this morning I'm doing the final AutoCAD drawing tweeks and getting ready to start making sawdust ...

...hopefully by 7 AM...

That is, IF I can keep from getting distracted or hurt myself working in my basement shop on a new PLC system simulator panel I've designed. 

I have to use my saber saw to cut a precision square hole in a thermoplastic box, then drill a few dozen holes in the box for lights and switches, and then use a hot soldering iron to hook a bunch of wiring together.

Any one or all of those processes could, with my luck, cause a visit to the emergency room.

Then again, hopefully NOT.

That said, I hope everyone has a LOVELY Fourth of July Independence Day weekend, and besides just standing around drinking beer and burning stuff on the grill or baking your flesh at the beach I hope you take the time to pause and consider what this celebration really means...

...and what you can do personally to help restore some of the "Independence" and self sufficiency which the Government has slowly robbed from our population over the past 200 plus years.

In the very near future none of us are going to be either "Independent" or "Free" if we keep going down the path we are on. 

In my considered Redneck opinion, the government and the hoards of "moocher class" so-called citizens are going to end up legally owning at least half the lives of the "producer class" of patriots, and when that percentage finally exceeds 51% there will officially be a legislatively mandated system of "reverse slavery" in our country in which I will refuse to participate.

I'm going to "live free or die" as the New Hampshire State Motto says...

How about YOU?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trains, Planes, And Automobiles

Did I Forget To Mention Buses?

Using all of the above pieces of machinery (not all at once of course), I managed to arrive home a little before 11 PM last night.

Needless to say that a day which started before 5 AM and included about 9 hours of travel causes me to be a little less than enthusiastic about writing this morning.

So with that truth in mind, I ask your forgiveness if I go do something else right now Ladies and Gentlemen.

Talk to Y'all later I'm sure...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Employment Opportunities In The "Hospitality" Business

Professional Assholes Need Not Apply?

So I was going to be nice and polite and civil this week and avoid bitching about this so-called "Bed and Breakfast" here in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

Then just now, after having to extend my trip yet again for an extra night, I went downstairs...wandered across the courtyard in my flip flops and a tee shirt and a golf cap looking for some juice and a bagel, and I proceeded to run into "HER" working in the dining area.

You know...HER?

The angry, chubby, peroxide blond goddess who took a personal interest in making my last visit here at the B&B a PURE HELL?

A couple of months ago this silly wench apparently got an attitude with me because I was...

1.--Staying in a Bed and Breakfast Inn.

2.--I wanted to actually USE THE ROOM I was renting on a 24 hour basis including nightly and didn't want housekeeping and maintenance people banging on the door and traipsing around accessing electrical panels and mop buckets.

3.--Then, in spite of knowing the "published hours" for the "Breakfast" included in the nightly price, when I didn't want the aforementioned "Breakfast," SHE got all pissed off when I didn't show up and didn't call and say I wasn't showing up.

Well E X C U S E MeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEE.

So any way, as I said earlier I was going to shut up about this B&B Inn, but the angry Blond chick just pissed me off again when I went down to their lobby for some juice and a couple of pastries.

This building--whose name begins with the letter "V" and ends with the letters "andiver Inn"--is now officially on my list of squirrely places where the owners' promote spending the night and eating breakfast but don't have a clue how to pull the process off with anything close to grace and professionalism.

Here's the thing with me this morning.

The last time I stayed here they were in the process of renovating the property, and a bunch of unshaven electricians and carpet installers kept trying to catch me out of my room so they could rummage around moving stuff and gluing things down.

Since I had gotten food poisoning at the Baltimore airport I wanted to lay around and sleep and poop for a day and one half and that just didn't fit their schedule.

Needless to say that I was pissed off, but I got over it and decided to give the place a second chance on this visit.


They took my reservation, in a 35 room Inn which was not fully occupied at the time I decided to stay, then they put me in a room with the exit door to the outside opening into a courtyard...AND GET THIS...

after arriving at the Inn at 2:30 PM Sunday, at 2:55 PM when I walked outside to get a bucket of ice there was a Jewish Rabbi and about FIFTY people standing and sitting around my doorstep in the courtyard getting ready for a wedding or something.

I bolted over to the main house and got my ice and asked about the time on the event, and it was...



Holly Crap...


Holly SHIT...

So I literally ran back to my room and bolted through the door as the wedding party and guests looked at me during their final preparations, and when I had locked the door and closed the blinds I wondered to myself...


There are Answers which have no Questions out there in the world, but somehow I keep tripping over Questions and Situations which have no Answers.

Is it just me?

Why They Won't Let Me Have A Pool With A Diving Board

My Insurance Agent Called...And Said NO!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wrestling With My Alter(ed) Ego

It's A "Love/Hate" Relationship...

As I understand things today, very few people actually "own their own business" i.e. work for themselves.

When you add everything up at the end of any given day, there are probably more people out there in the "unemployed" category than there are people in our population gainfully employed with a business enterprise in which they are the primary shareholder/owner.

The "Devil," as always, being in "the details" of business ownership--or "self-(un)employed" as I tend to call it these days--is the reality of having to actually produce the end product that you have sold and expect to be paid for at the end of the process.

I also agree whole heartetly with the old adage saying that "It's Lonely at the Top," because being in business for yourself...BY YOURSELF...means that when the "Company Owner" tells the "Corporate President" that the "Chief Programmer" and the "Senior Field Installation Technician" needs to get off of his ass and finish up the two festering current projects... the case of a little company located in eastern Tennessee called Plastics Engineering Technologies, Inc. things can get a more than a little exciting implementing the "Company Owner's" mandate.


So any way, today was what I would call "semi-successful" in as much as I got a version of my new program into the PLC and tested all of the basic input/output functions, but then the machine I am monitoring coughed up it's own PLC controller display and the plant maintenance guys had to manually run the machine for me on a hit or miss basis and that totally sucked.

When they initially demanded that I come up here this week to clean up some details, my only requirement was that they make the bottle production line available for an 8 to 12 hour period so I could tune the system performance.

As it stood after lunch yesterday...I MIGHT have had 30 minutes of total run time to measure and analyze.  Then I had to leave and come back to my B&B room to access the Internet and call my contract programmer.

What a total pain in the ass...

So now this morning I have to go back into the plant and screw around and attempt to get the final 2% of the bugs worked out of the system while at the same time the plant technicians are going to want to be replacing their broken crap they had delivered overnight by FedEX...and if I'm not finished by about 1:30 PM I'll miss my Amtrak connection to the airport and have to pay the stupid change fees and extra airfare.

That prospect could cost me five hundred bucks if I have to also stay another night here.

Dang it...

Then I also have to negotiate the details of who pays the extra cost and in the end it will probably be me because they have me over a barrel if I want to get any future new business...with no solid guarantee of same.

And when the stupid government comes to my house and asks for 35% of my hard earned money, and when people sit around blithering about not having a job and/or demanding that the government bring their accountants and guns and arrest powers to my house and take even more money from me next year and the year afterwards through the elimination of "tax cuts for the rich"... really makes me think about whether running a business is really worth all of the hassle...

You know?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Increasing My Massive Carbon Footprint

Converting Oxygen To Carbon Dioxide Every Way Possible...

Well, I'm pleased to report that I managed to make it to Havre de Grace by around Noon yesterday. It wasn't exactly EASY.

Two train...and one old van Taxi supplied my method of conveyance.

Then I had some killer Crab Soup and a couple of drinks, and collapsed after a 16 hour day about 3 pm (yes...I was up since 11 PM Saturday night.

I managed to wander back down to the water front about 8:30 PM in time for some dinner, and now I've go to get things together and get over to the plant by the appointed 9 AM time.

Just like my last visit to this Bed and Breakfast, some interesting things happened here which I may write about later, but right now I have to get breakfast and head off into the real world for a few hours.

Y'all have a LOVELY day now...if you will...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back In Knoxtown...But Headin' North

Pray For My Sanity...

I'm pleased to report that we had an uneventful trip back across the Smoky Mountians mid day Saturday.  I barely had time to catch my breath before having to unpack and then start re-loading my suitcases in anticipation of another business trip.

I absolutely hate having to fly into or drive through the corridor from Richmond, Virginia, up through Washington DC extending on through Baltimore and on up to Philadelphia and NY City.

This trip is a combination of flying and Amtrak.

I'm sorry if I offend anyone for saying it that way, but being from the rural south and having spent most of my life trying to get away from giant populations of people living like ants literally "on top" of each other in favor of smaller urban areas or better yet low population coastal areas....

hopefully you understand my problem this morning.

I'm taking a break from packing my computer bag and suitcase for a few minutes, but later this morning I'll head out on an airliner through Charlotte to the little Chesapeake Bay community of Havre de Grace.

Harve de Grace in and of itself is quite pleasant, but it's the territory and experiences and trials and tribulations existing in between here at the Turbo Pup Compound and there which presents the problem.

So any way, I have to go now and finish up my packing and possibly take a quick nap in anticipation of my 5:30 AM flight.

If you don't hear from me by Tuesday night...somebody send up a flare...