Sunday, December 14, 2014

More musings...


Is the economy getting better?

I'm as doomy as the next guy, and more than most probably.  That said, many times I have looked at U6 unemployment rate as an indicator of economic failure... so it only seems fair that I point out the trend reversal.

It 'seems' more people are employed lately.

I take this as DESPITE government policy... not because of it.

Sunday musings...

I attempted to watch a bit of 'news' coverage this morning, but my stomach turned enough it had to go.

The monochrome 'reporting' amounts to nothing less than Pravda, and the blatant race baiting divisiveness is appalling.

Hypocrisy may be the most unappealing human trait of all.

Sunday morning musings


Spent some time reading at Peter's blog this morning, which led me down THIS bunny hole...

Well worth a few minutes.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

As life lived on rails
Following fate around bends
     Unavoidable


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lit the fire this evening, so I might watch the flames.  Perhaps they will speak to me.

The warmth is welcome, even though it's not to be so chilled this night.  Perhaps the heat will penetrate to that cold empty space inside me.


Saturday, April 26, 2014


Any day that begins with bacon.... is automatically a good day by default.

In other news...  schoolishness.... teacher stuff......   I are doing my job as best I can.  It's a tough row to hoe, given the adult 'degree' program is literally given zero resources. I can't even get the school to cough up text books.  Seriously...... no text books..... in a college level program that ends up with 'Degree' written on the certificate.

Sigh....

Ah well...... being an adjunct instructor has pros and cons.  On the con side.... low pay, no bennies, and intermittent part time work.  On the pro side..... screw the paperwork, take your meetings and shove them, and when it comes to the school going downhill, I no longer have a dog in that fight.

Frankly, with my full time employment swinging wrenches and tweaking electrons (which I am quite pleased with), teaching evenings makes for three 16 hour days a week.  As much as I like teaching, that's not as enjoyable now as my younger self found it.  Add in the barren dessert which is the schools support of the program, and I have my doubts if I'll take it on again.

I feel bad for the students, in a way.... but it is an ADULT program, and they are supposedly ADULTS.   Maybe there are more lessons there for them than just the feex-de-caar stuff.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014



Planting a seed is an act of faith.  Faith in a future where growth will happen.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The answer to life, bacon, and everything......


Bacon.  An ancient method of preserving valuable meat from the centuries before refrigeration and canning were developed.

Bacon.  Parts of the venerable hog, treated with smoke, gentle heat, salt, spices, and loving time.  It becomes a flavor spectrum all to itself, with promises of intense cooking scents and deep, deep life giving energy and goodness.

To quote David Spaulding, as he paraphrases Ben Franklin.... "Bacon is proof that God wants us to be happy".    I can find no flaw in that statement.

I like to buy my bacon by the slab, ordered from a local meat market.  It's comes whole, and must be sliced down into usable pieces.  For me, that means quartering, wrapping, and freezing.  One piece at a time, a few pounds, goes to the bottom drawer of the fridge.

Sliced as thick as wished..... twice that of store bought bacon..... and treated to a grind of fresh black pepper.

I cook my bacon in the oven, on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.  375 degrees til judged done.

I try..... try..... to cook  too much.  Sometimes it works.   Why too much?  Leftovers my gentle readers... leftovers.

Cooked bacon in the fridge is akin to having a pot of culinary gold hidden away.  Sliced, slivered, diced, crumbled... it's a flavor explosion ticking away, waiting for a palate to stun.

A bit added to pasta sauce..... astounding.  Slivers cooked into a grilled cheese sandwich.... suddenly it's a masterpiece. Diced and mixed with blu-cheese dressing for a salad... exceptional.   There is no end to what can be done...... no end.


Sigh...


One of those long nights.....


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lasers! Pew! Pew!






A review of the LaserLyte V4 rail mounted laser....

Thompson Cigar.....



Hmm......

Received shipping notice from Thompson cigar on my latest order.  I noted an item backordered.... and also noted I was still charged for it.

Time to give Cigars international a try, I think.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Speaking of endangered tortoises.......




You know that incident going down in Arizona?  The one where BLM claims dominion over the souls of all mankind in the name of Terry the Tortoise?

Well, it turns out the single biggest killer of the endangered desert tortoise is...... The BLM.

Oh.... and Harry Reid's bank account.  That kills Tortoises too.


It tastes all the better for being earned....


Two Job Jack I am again.  Feexing cars by day, teaching feexing cars by night.

Hand sliced slab bacon.
Farm fresh sunny sides with cracked pepper.
12 grain local made bread, toasted, with fresh butter.

Every bite, my friends..... every single bite.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lol...


Last nights class had 'circuit protection' as one of the topics.  As I wandered the school pre-class, walking a bit to aid digestion, I stumbled on THIS:


Fortune favors the brave, and it became a wonderful 'educational aid'.    600v at 500 amps.... Phew!

On another note, I really have no idea why all those excited people were running up and down the halls.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am not who I thought I was...


One of my work duties is to take vehicles purchased at auction, and prepare them for sale on our used car lots.  This means going over the vehicles to a depth most people would not understand.   EVERYTHING is checked, and just about everything is repaired or serviced, no matter how major or minor.  Needs an engine?  Do it.  Needs a seat recovered?  Do it.  Needs a $4 part to fix the gas fill hatch?  Do it. Tires less than great?  Replace them. Radio reception poor?  Replace it.

Frankly, there is not a car on our lot that I would hesitate to own.

Maybe that's why this family has been in business there for 25 years.

Anyway.... the other day I have a late model Toyota I am going over.  On my list-to-feex, a brake warning light, an antilock warning light, and a check engine warning light.  About 20 minutes into exploring the issues, I decide the antilock/antiskid module is faulted.  As is my custom, I do a visual inspection before proceeding.

On looking at the module, I find this:

 
On the right side, we can see the harness latch is lifted, disengaging the wiring harness from the module.  I clicked it back in place.  All issues resolved.  Go team me!

Happy dance for a moment.... until I inform the business owner of the easy fix.  He tells me things like that happen all the time on auction cars.  Used car dealer/buyers often disconnect things while inspecting the vehicle, in an effort to create warning lights that drive bidding lower.

I was.... stunned.  

A)  Who the fuck THINKS like that?

B)  More importantly.... given my extreme low opinion of humans in general.... why wasn't that the FIRST thing I looked for??

I'm concerned that I may have a deep seated faith in humanity that I never suspected existed. Not sure how to deal with that thought.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tricksy electrical testing....


So.... here be a task sheet I shall assign my fresh victims..... um...... students.  It's just LOADED with tricksy lessons for the young minds to wrap themselves around.

Which ones can you spot?  


 







There are several periods during each year when I can heat the house from an open hearth fire.

Wasteful in wood, but enriching of the soul.

Fire good.


Lazy Sunday morning food porn..


If one has leftover bacon, one can construct a breakfast sammich fit for the Gods themselves, or at least their better thought of clerks.

Getting past the unlikely concept of 'leftover bacon', lets look at the sammich build plan.

On toasted and buttered multigrain bread with significant crunch, is layered the aforementioned crispy bacon, a pair of eggs fried in butter and ground over with fresh pepper, a slice of provolone cheese, and some greenish things found in a sack on the third shelf of the fridge, where such things abide.

If assembled correctly, with the fried egg resting on the provolone cheese, the residual heat will melt the cheese over the bacon, which is a wonderful bonus indeed.

There we have it....... and dare I say....... perhaps have it again soon?


Photo a day, 8


Saturday, April 5, 2014

How to start the morning......



My life is now constructed to offer weekends off.  That means sleeping in til the princely hour of 6:30 am, dawdling over coffee, and slicing up some stupendously good slab bacon to slow roast in the oven.

In other words; In shorter form,  'AHHhhhhhhh.............'

Said coffee was tippled in the hot tub this morning, watching the sunrise march across the trees surrounding the castle.  A relaxing place to consider upcoming challenges, and their defeat.

Case in point, the advanced electrical diagnosis course I begin teaching in a few days.  It hasn't begun yet, but I am already being CC'ed into the e-mail stream of the institution.  Perhaps as a warning..... who can say?

The recent self-withdrawal of a student generated a meeting of ties, wherein this list of issues was carefully constructed at great mental expense.  In other words, they managed to crayon down his reasons for abandoning their expensive program....

•  None of the vehicles run.
•  The quality of the vehicles deteriorated throughout the course of the school year.
•  Nothing was spent to keep vehicles functional.
•  Did not having access to tools and equipment.  Items were locked up with limited access.
•  The evening instructors had to bring in their own tools due to lack and unavailability of tools.
•  The lab was not clean and orderly.
•  The lab was always full not allowing the evening students the space to bring in projects.
•  The lifts were never available.
•  Supplies, when available, were very limited.

My own thoughts as I read this generated my own internal list in response.
  • How many vehicles has the administration bought in recent years for the students to learn on?   (Zero)
  • How much has been spent to keep what vehicles there are, functional?  (Zero)
  • How much has been spent on equipment specifically for the college level program to use?  (Zero).
It all adds up to a challenge for me, which I accept without whimper.  It's the same challenge  most tech instructors face at one time or another.   Build a stellar instructional atmosphere with little or no help from administration, and often times their direct opposition.

My mind set is familiar, long practiced, and time honored with success:

SCREW them.  Get the hell out of my way.  MY students are going to LEARN.

Besides.... I only have eight weeks or so to make this magic happen.  Not enough time to fix the glaring issues with the school, nor do I wish to bother trying.  But..... maybe enough time to do something really good for the students.

 








Car chase!


Peter makes note of a superb car chase scene from 'The Seven Ups'.

Sure, it's good.  The one from Bullitt is good too.  Still, my all time favorite car chase...... Ronin!



Photo a day, 7