Tuesday, November 17, 2009



I'm talking with my manager this morning and he's telling me that when they cut jobs down to 24 people, then we can get our hours back.

???? We're now at 32 people - down over 40 - and they want it to go down 8 more? WHO are they going to get rid of and WHAT is the criteria going to be? I have no clue, but I have firmly decided that I better get my @$$ to the annual Christmas function whether I want to go or not.

I do not want to go. It's a 40 mile drive one way and then 40 miles back. Booze is usually flowing heavily and though it's usually a great time, I have no inclinations for such right now. I'm not the socialite I once was - by choice. I love talking with people, I can do parties, but I don't want to. I am not shy or intimidated or whatever - it's just where I'm at in life right now. I have always been referred to as the life of the party - the dude that can get people talking when it's all cold and silent. I have done it hundreds of times over - I hate a lifeless party and I want to see life in it.

I have not yet officially committed to going - and I will be going alone - but I feel if for nothing else that I best get there, make a good showing and have a good time. I will take a nice, fat cigar with me this time - the last Christmas parties had guys standing around smoking cigars and I had nothing. I was woefully deficient in such - I love to smoke a good cigar occasionally.

Oh, these are almost all great people, I have no problems with that. I think I'm in my version of a mid-life crisis. I don't want toys and huge houses and giant bankrolls (well Iwouldn't mind some things, I just am not in a mode 0f get them or die), I just want to hibernate in my cave. I have spent the last 32 years as a socialite - doing all kind of volunteerism and very outgoing - I'm not there right now. I believe it will come back to me, but a badly needed break - an extended one at that - is necessary right now. Burnt-out is actually a more accurate definer of my situation versus mid-life crisis, now that I think about it.

Life must take on a new direction - I have always done that. Do something until it is "conquerered" and move on. I have several ideas of such things - things I want to do and things I know I can succeed at. But - it's not time yet.

Work today. Okay, well, I go to a jobsite right next to the Superstition 60 freeway. I try to get into the site where they want product delivered - the turn from hell. I cannot possibly make a right turn into THAT situation, I would have had to take the semi into opposing lanes, cut off a lot of traffic and possibly create a "situation".

I determined the only way to get in there was to come from the other direction and make a left turn, giving me much more clearance on the turn and get into this very narrow drive that lead - from my view - nowhere. Yet, this is where the dude on the phone told me to go.

I go up the road, flip a Uey -come back and still have to tie up traffic making that turn as well. I get in there and see that it really DOES lead NOWHERE. A yard and then - a friggin' CANAL. I get out of the truck before I get myself so dug into this situation that it will take a half hour worth of backing up and pullups to get out of there, it was THAT bad - the worst place I have been in in a while, and that is saying something considering some of the stuff I have had to go into in recent times.

The man with the plan says yeah, go in there and then you can go out the back and onto a road that leads out of there. I am just not seeing it, but I haven't been in there. I'm always game for a challenge, though, so I just drive in there. It is such a small yard with vehicles everywhere, that I have to stop the truck and wait for all the equipment to move. Yes, they do see me coming and they do start hurrying to get their metal out of my way.

I'm in no hurry - and anyway - this particular contractor is HUGE business for us and right now, that means a lot. I get in there, get the pipe unloaded - and then do my usual walkaround.

I do an inspection of the truck and trailer every time I get out, I don't care if I'm only there 30 seconds, I will walk all the way around the truck to make sure the load is secure, the tires aren't flat - whatever. I've been in this business long enough to know things can happen without you knowing about it and you have to make visual inspections to identify any problems.

Well, this time, I did find something. I saw the mud flaps on my tractor on the ground. ???? I took a triple look at that until it registered that roger, Houston, we have a problem. Fortunately, I'm not in Apollo 13 headed for the moon, but still. The airbags were totally deflated and no, this tractor is not equipped with a dump valve. I'm a former truck mechanic, so I get on my back in my nice clothes, under the truck and start lookin' around.

Nothing visible. The levellor rod is intact. I tapped on the valve with a hammer to see if I could get it to release - I'm thinking right away a stuck valve. Nothing. I turn the truck off and evacuate the system - all of it - of pressurized air by opening the relief cocks on the air tanks - when that's done, turn the truck on and see if it will correct itself.

Nothing. Again and again. I finally give up on it - my ways aren't working. I contact the manufacturer to assess that my knowledge is still correct - driving a truck in that condition can damage the drive train. " We can't advise you on that". What a crock of BS. I just got off the phone with them after that. I call our fleet service contract - yes, you drive it, the drive axle is not on the plane it is intended and is at an angle going into the transmission that will TRASH the rear of that transmission, don't drive it.

Ironically, his service tech was at our main branch fixing a problem there, and yes, he would dispatch him to my location after he is done there.

So, resolving that and getting the truck out of the way and walking over to Starbuck's for a cup of joe - I wander back to the truck and look at this rear exit of theirs. Unbelievable. The chain link fenced yard ends and a canal starts with a narrow dirt "road" in between the 2 and I'm supposed to turn right out of that. Lol.

I decide to pull the truck out of that miserable thoroughfare - it is always quite amazing at what people that don't drive trucks think a truck can make it through. I already knew that to make it around that, the trailer axles would be going up over a giant heap of dirt - and I was not let down on that prospect.

Somewhere along this maneuver, the tractor woke up and decided that it needed it's airbags fully charged. Great. I have already been on the phone with half a doznen people concerning this situation because it was going to hold up a "we-need-it-right-now" delivery. Now I'm on the phone all over - it's good to go, at least for now: cancel the emergency roadside appointment; call the inside salesman; call my manager. I'm on the road and - not feeling good at all. I am losing entirely too much sleep and am at the point where I am going to be forced to start taking Ambien again - I cannot function like this.

Long day today, really. Got home and took a nap. Dogs were not happy - I could tell that my leaving them outside was not their first choice. Get over it, is all I can say about that and told them so, though I have serious doubts they actually understood me ; )

The vet's projection that their balls would grow to the size of grapefruits temporarily has yet to surface. There is some slight expansion, but they are almost flat. I really don't want to see them going through that, I believed the vet, but - I don't see it yet. I have no regrets in getting this procedure done, either. I had thoughts that - for some reason - I would regret it - but - what is there to regret? I thought about it - the family "name". No more Princes and no more Dukes. I'm good with that, there are plenty of Dane breeders out there making sure the supply line never goes empty. I am totally NOT into puppies, anyway.

As for here - I did not dig anymore holes as I had hoped I would today, instead, I just watered everything and devised a few plans.

And, I am very tired and am done with this entry.




FYI, I have at least 8 different blogs on numerous different sites. I have a couple of blogs that are for me only. No-one knows where they're at and I haven't seen them on any Google searches. I don't write on those very often - sorty of puking blogs - get it out of the system and move on.

The one I switched to recently is the same one I was using after JS crashed and really didn't know where to go on Wordpress. I consider that a sort of anonymous blog - some people know where it is, but it's all people that I know from JS or online anyway, so no big deal there.

I doubt I will ever totally abandon blogging, but there are definitely times where the "I don't feel like writing so I won't" atmosphere sets in and I'm done with it for awhile.

We are getting closer and closer to Christmas, that atmosphere has not set in, rather, somewhat of a disgust at what certain, other bloggers were doing got me to going to other places to write my entries.
As I said, just an FYI.

The newest tenant is - broke pretty much. He is a bartender - just out of the military as well - had a heckuva time finding work. When he finally did find a gig, it's pretty much minimum wage. He's a good guy and he's out putting in the applications all over the place, at least he's trying. This particular person is going to do the "work for reduced rent" scenario.

I have PLENTY of work I can keep him busy at around my house, that's a fact. There are odd jobs I don't want to do, really, which hopefully he has basic skills such as painting walls and pulling grass - junk like that. His rent will be $200 with the work, $375 without it. Judging from his sounds of desperation, I will be getting the work out of him - my ad stated a minimum of 25 hours per month. You break that down into an hourly wage, and it ain't much, but I made it clear on my ad what I was offering and ain't forcin' no-one to do it.

In fact, I made it VERY clear about how it's going to work. He's got this month paid up so he doesn't want to start until next month. All well and fine, if he's serious about it, I am going to have him keep a log of hours worked and what was done. This is the only way to keep track of it. The situation with Mary was intolerable, yes, but at the same time, she did probably 50 hours of work per month and she was still paying $400 per month for the room.

I've got myself half talked into letting her go on the lawsuit - the work she did on the front of the house remains and it was worth a lot more than the rent I took off every month. The only stickling point with her about letting her off the hook was her attempt to get police to arrest me by claiming that I had shoved her.

I don't shove ladies - or in her case a woman, ladies don't use meth in my book, women might, but not the ladies - I don't hit them, pull their hair, spit on them, whatever. That's kind of been a life-long thing for me, I doubt that will EVER change. It's pretty much a simple enough thing to walk away from a person or hang up the phone when someone is being abusive than to get angry and start thinking about a fight or violence.

The question must pose oneself when challenged to a fight is, which is harder? To walk away or stand there and fight? I'll tell you right now, it's much harder to walk away, oh yes it is. Especially if a person is taunting you, maybe throwing in the C-word: Coward, yellow-belly, lemonade-bleeding wimp - all that wonderful stuff. I have walked away from people saying that stuff to me. I have no doubt that if those people would have laid a finger on me, the outcome would have been different, but they didn't, it was all talk, and in the end, they have to live with their childishness and I am able to cope that I walked away from a cocky, mouthy, moron and not get into it.

So, anyway, we'll see how the work-for-reduced-rent scenario goes. If he finds a better paying job, I doubt he'll want anything to do with that. In fact, if he finds the money he's trying to get - by getting into a place where bartenders are walking home with anywhere between $200-$400 per night, he'll undoubtedly end up getting his own place. I actually hope I can get at least one month out of him, though, I have some things I have put off simply because I have a plate full of projects right now.

Changing the subject, today is the first official day that the dogs are banished to the great outdoors when I'm away at work. I was watching video surveillance yesterday and that sealed it. They were in my living room, rough-housing. The Dane mix was up on my couch - a thing she KNOWS I hate her doing, standing there with this defiant look on her face. The Danes walked around their living room, smelled one of my indoor plants - and yes - they lifted their legs.

THAT is IT. When I saw that, that sealed their fate. They will never be allowed in the house while I'm gone again - not unless I can figure out a way to get all the smell out of there and get them to stop the activity. For now, they are dogs, they can handle it. I put a nice strip of carpeting out on the cement for them to lay on, that's the best I'm going to do. I'm imagining the only way I will be able to get the behavior to change is to get rid of the carpeting in that living room and go ahead and install the ceramic tile I want to put in there.

Money, of course, is stopping me from doing that. We figured it out - about $800 for the materials to get it done. Totally out of the question right now. I have a savings account where I'm putting a little here and there into it - nothing grand but it's there to eventually fund a project or 2 that I want to get done around there. Frankly, the economy's going to have to come back up and my hours are going to have to be reinstated before any serious projects are going to occur. The drip system is almost totally paid for, I just have to get the work done.

Well, the work day approacheth and thankfully, there IS something to do in there that should eat up the day - or most of it anyway.

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...