Sorry, I haven't decided to begin blogging again. I just opened the site up for a friend who wanted in for a bit. Life is interesting right now, but trending better each day. I'm am decidedly unencumbered with significant others at the moment. If plans hold, that will remain so for the foreseeable future..... and beyond. Friends and lovers I have aplenty. Romantic entanglements... no more please.
Restructuring my life just now. Much work now. No talk now. You have good day now. Here's a picture. Yay.
Moments ago I found Amazon has large capacity Thumb drives on sale for cheap cheap prices. My first instinct was "YES! I can carry so much curriculum stuff with me!" The thought that reined me in seconds later.... I have only two weeks left instructing this class, and do not intend to do another anytime soon. I am so ready to not be tired all the time...........
Three 16 hour days a week, two 8 hour days, plus weekend prep time, adds up to one tired ass fat old man.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
IRIS earthquake monitor can be a fascinating site. The new(ish) 3D mapping is interesting as well. Sobering it is, to think we live on what are basically slow moving islands floating on molten rock, all grinding together and ready to pitch a serious fit every once in a while.
I made coleslaw just now, in a bid to taste some green on this supremely grey and dismal day. It's funny, how one sense of something added to the mix of all the other senses can change the blend, like mixing pigments in paint. A taste of fresh coleslaw on a sandwich goes towards counteracting the cold rain pelting the windows. It's much the same when we walk a trail, parking lot, or alley. Our senses team up to feed us information, and our brain sorts the incoming data into an image of our surroundings. At times, it all adds up to what we expect to see, and we roll with that.
At other times, it's something like duck duck duck duck goose duck duck duck..... HEY, Wait a minute! Our brain scans back to what set off the alert, and we refocus. I'm thinking about camouflage, and how it works. I'm also thinking about a grilled provolone and sharp cheese sandwich with prosciutto, and coleslaw on the side.
As it turns out, the perfect amount of bacon is always 'Just a little too much'. Breakfast sammich, composed of sliced slab bacon roasted in the oven til crispy/chewy perfection, a fried egg gently introduced to some creole seasoning, and chopped raw cabbage. All on toasted whole grains bread spread with butter AND mayo. No.... NOTHING in this sammich is 'healthy' ('cept maybe the handful of raw cabbage). It's NOT health food. It's soul food.... sustenance to feed the soul and lend wings to a heart heavy with daily existence. Also..... LOOK at the BACON!
I began blogging (mumble mumble) years ago. For me, it was something new, and an exceptional way to expose some creativity and personality to a mostly uncaring world. Over the years, along the way, over the hill and through the woods.... life has been interesting. Blogging opened up a world of people I'd never otherwise have known. This is a good thing.... I think. Maybe five years ago, I also got into/onto Facebook. Wham bam zoom.... another world of people. Some good, some bad, some gone, some still here. Life's A'changing again. Now, 2014, month 3ish, and blogging seems to be on a downward slope. Blogging has become so 2010. So too, Facebook is now showing symptoms of shark jumpage. As the FB elves twist and turn the model in an effort to balance user anger against income potential, the FB world appears to be reaching the first stage of internet decrepitude. What's next? Twitter tweeter tweet? 140 character snippets of mindful shorthand? Thoughts condensed out of existence? I think I've reached the cranky old man stage of internet life. I'm perfectly content to rock in my blog chair and go eat my earlyFB special with the other folks who still value thoughts requiring more than a handful of lonely characters. What's next? I have no idea. Not one worth sharing, in any case. All things spin down..... all things fall..... all things change. Change is life. Change is also the way of death.