Tuesday, November 8, 2011


     I got an iPhone and am now totally addicted to taking photos with the camera especially the Hipstamatic App. I guess that makes me a Hillbilly Hipster. I have a friend that doesn't like Hipsters which I don't really understand. My only problem with hipsters other than wearing skinny jeans, which are the devil, is they got it easy when it comes to outlets of information.

      Back when I was a kid (I can't believe I just typed that) you had to work like a mad bastard to find the cool stuff. I mean you had to dig because your parents usually weren't a roadmap and our library was the size of closet. All you had were your friends and maybe a few magazines that would steer you the right way and of course movies. It is actually kind of impressive how things would fall into ones lap, a friend would tell you about this guy called Kerouac, another friends dad would tell you about Bob Dylan and JD Salinger and still yet another movie would turn you on to Hunter S Thompson and Henry Miller. Henry and June...what the hell kind of movie is that, I don't know but it is rated NC-17 so hang on...
     By God if you heard about something cool you had to do real research to find it now you use Wiki and you not only know about the author/musician but what he was wearing when he wrote the book/music. Shit you don't even need cliff notes anymore with Wiki, want to know what Hamlet's deal was, give me a second... Ok, his uncle killed his dad to gain the the throne and the Queen and Hamlet knows because the ghost dad told him. Done. 

    I'm just jealous is all, the hipsters have almost instantaneous discovery when it took me months to piece meal together things about the Beats or listen to more than three Bob Dylan albums. Now you can find out about all the Beats in a few clicks and download almost all of Bob in an hour with a fast connection. 

    What I am trying to say is I feel RIPPED OFF! Damn kids.

Lunch Time Nap in ESD Smock

Beltway 8, heading to the place with my stuff

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When God crashes Windows he opens an Apple

     So I moved to Houston, I got the job to actually make the money and just when I was reaching escape velocity to move out of my cousin big house things started to fall apart for our hero.
     First his brand new Bunn coffee pot died for no apparent reason, just repeatedly flashed "CLe" as some cryptic clue about who or what had murdered it. Turns out it is a common problem with that $130 model of Bunn coffee pot, the sad thing is it wasn't the one I wanted in the first place. Another shiny appliance with a clock that would have to be reset constantly.
     Next while walking out of work that Monday I spot the front tire of my car looking a little strange. Now I am not a mechanic and know next to nothing about cars but I am fairly certain that the tread isn't actually supposed to be coming off the tire. Now if I was back home in Kentucky I would probably just take a chance and drive a few more years on this bald and rapidly disintegrating tires but after seeing how these assholes drive and a number of motorist standing on the edge of the fast moving interstate attempting to change a tire while SUVs whiz past them at 80 MPH with drivers clutching a small dog and a cellphone I thought it best to sink $280 on new, cheap tires. I could just imagine myself in the same predicament and it was scary. Plus the fact that I have a shit ton of stuff from IKEA in my trunk because I was planning to be moved out before November.
     Lastly I had two hard drives die on me within two weeks of each other. I had gotten a 1.5 TB hard drive the summer before because I was so worried that I would lose my photos if I didn't spread them around. Obviously it was a good plan as I had photos in two states when catastrophe hit my two hard drives here in Texas. I will never buy another Western Digital Hard Drive if they can't take a few hits now and again. What could I do I was poor back then and could only afford lame ass equipment.
     So my acer computer, my contact with the rest of the world croaked on me without any provocation. After working all the magic that I could think of, replacing the hard drive, reinstalling windows Vista, praying, calling in an exorcist the bastard almost got back to the point in which it would run again. Then it died once more. This is after almost three days of searching for the ever illusive drivers for programs such as the wifi and the display. Nothing is more infuriated than getting the driver for your internet but it not loading because it wasn't digitally signed. If someone can explain how do you get on the internet to get digitally signed driver when it is the driver for the fucking wifi please send me an email.
      So a week of reinstalling, buying a new hard drive, getting pen drives to boot from and searching for just the right stupid driver it still wouldn't work. I completely snapped, I don't know if it was a combination of being heavily caffeinated or extremely aggravated but I decided screw stupid Windows and Bill Gates and this lame ass excuse for an OS and I went out and bought an iMac.
     I used to own a 2nd Gen iMac back in the 90's when they came out in color schemes, I bought a blueberry from Sears for around $800. If I am not mistaken I was also sick of Windows 98 and the underpowered POS that I was using at the time. This new iMac has all the bells and whistles, a 27 inch screen that is just a little less brighter than the sun, Thunderbolt jacks, SD Card reader and a ton of other options and apps that I haven't the foggiest what they do.
    As I said more than a decade ago, Fuck PCs.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Godzilla Alarm

      I don't know what is more interesting the fact that Grandpa is watching Godzilla 2020 or whatever at 8 am on a Sunday morning and that the volume might actually be drowning out jet planes at the nearby George Bush Airport or the fact that it sounds like all the voices were dubbed by the same actor, even the women.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Fam...

or How The Hell Do I Stop This Crazy Ride

     Grandpa and Grandma slinked in like ninja a couple of weeks ago. Krista informed me that this day would be coming weeks beforehand but like any diagnosis that doesn't have a good outcome, we tried to block it out of your mind completely and hoped beyond hope for a miracle like something on Touched by an Angel. So it was rather a surprise when I came home Friday after work with a song in my heart and joy in my mind because it was finally the weekend and I was tired that I saw that red car in the driveway and my heart sank like a fucking stone.
     Grandpa is more machine now than man, oxygen tanks, motorized scooter, defibrillator and God knows what other after market replacement parts plus diabetes, bladder issues, prostate cancer, high cholesterol and a hatred for socialized medicine though he is getting all his health care via the Veterans Administration. Grandma has brain cancer, a beard, missing front teeth and also is a diabetic.
      Let me put it like this, they have a small dog and named it Benji.
      So I was surprised that Sunday talking to Grandpa about his low salt diet as I watched him mixing left over manwich, refried beans, pico and salsa together in a medium sized Tupperware bowl and shoveling it down between breaths from his oxygen line. Grandma on the other hand ate an entire pound of candy corn in 3 days. They really don't understand healthy eating I don't think.
      I know this sounds like complaining but to tell you the truth I really like these people, well Grandpa at least. He always has some stories about Vietnam or living in Arizona or a good fart story to help pass the time. I hate to see him eating this shitty food and driving himself to the grave faster, well as fast as a Rascal can go loaded down with Oxygen tanks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Re-Blue Collared....Still a Snob

For the record, I so don't give a shit about in Entertainment.
1) American Idol
2) Dancing with the Stars
3) Real Housewives of (whatever uber rich asshole city)
4) X-Factor or anything that starts with the phrase Simon Cowell
5) Just about every sit com on TV. (Let me sum up TV sit coms over the last 30 years, she is smart, he is a    moron and they have 2 kids and  live in a HUGE fuck all house.
6) Really any Reality TV show that involves singing or dancing. I saw this show back in the 80's it was called 
    Star Search.
7) Coupon people, Coupons are the Newspaper Hoarders of the 21st Century.
8) Book Jackets that don't have a synopsis.
9) Book synopsis that states the protagonists career in some incredibly specific field. She was a forensic dentist specializing in vascular gum disease. Hi, I'm a reader specializing in not giving a shit.
10) America's Got Talent

      I have to say I look forward to getting my own place so I can enjoy the hermit lifestyle. Get a nice chair to sit and read in and by done with all this loud TV bullshit. Maybe I am just a little mad at TV because of our long bitter affair back in the 80's. When we used to spend every night together, skipping things like home work and study to enjoy each others company. Let's face it, there will never be another MASH or Newhart coming down the pike anytime soon. Somewhere though you started leaving me slowly, sure there were a few good smart shows on here and there, X-Files and the like but for everyone of those you made 10 Full House or Home Improvements. 
       Now everything is some semi-celebrity trouser stain sitting in judgement of people with a modicum of passion and some talent. You mean I perform and Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandell will give me some pointers. You mean the woman that is famous for keeping her husband alive and the guy that was on a hit show in the 1983 and now makes phone commercials will tell me about talent. Get the fuck out of here! Funny how that works out, on the talent shows the Celebrity panels are lame and on the Celebrity Shows the celebrities are so lame you wouldn't even bother asking them for an autograph if you ever got stuck next to them in coach from LA to NY. Which Baldwin brother are you, obviously not Alec because his ass wouldn't be in coach.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It Burns

    Toshiba Heavy Industrial Motors, chocked full of Aluminum Goodness.

    I've taken to calling the 100 Ton Press, the Cornballer because just like that shoddy machine from Arrested Development you should never touch it or get near it ever. I almost made it an entire Monday without burning the shit out of some body part, then the very last thing I did before leaving was cover the oven with the molten aluminum and I barely touched my arm to the machine and burned my arm.
   I guess at this point in my life I can take a few burns if I can make some money and get 40 hours a week. Who needs flesh anyway really? I mean pain free work environment is for pussies and people with real college degrees right. I have to say it still beats my last jobs at Deathcel with their ridiculous 12 hours shift with only 2, 10 minute breaks and 30 minutes lunch. Can you imagine how draining it is to come in the middle of second shift, stay and watch third shift come in and then leave just when first shift is walking in and setting up machines. It makes my body hurt just remembering those days. I remember it took me over three months before my feet and calves finally stopped constantly hurting all for $8.50 an hour.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Toshiba and the Magic of a Paycheck

I am so slow at writing blogs these days. I remember one I tried to work on one blog a week way back in the 2005ish area. I used blogging as a writing exercise, nothing more then people started commenting. Mostly good, well all good because I deleted the negative comments.

Anyway, enough excuse. Let's crank one out for old times sake.

I got a phone call for an interview about 3 weeks ago for a job as a machine operator. I had no idea what job I applied for as I have applied for so many since arriving and realizing that the one job that my cousin thought he could help my attain wasn't going to happen. I feeling in the nuts that said this isn't going to happen. I trust my nuts, not my gut because my guts have been known to be full of shit. After some cross checking in my files, I figured out the job was at Toshiba International. I got excited thinking it was going to be consumer products but turns out it is heavy industrial motors. When I say motors I mean huge motherfuckers, though I don't get to deal with any of the cool stuff I got stuck in making the rotors which goes in the guts of the motor before it gets shafted and wrapped in copper. I get to stack hundreds of 1mm thick pieces of steel lamination the inject molten aluminum into a mold which produces cooling fins and the like. Sounds a lot less interesting than it is believe me and of course that is the nature of factory work.

1. Stack Them
2. Mold Them.
3. Send Them.
4. Repeat 100 times in 8 hours.

Of course it is more complicated than that, you have to change models, molds and materials but that is basically it. Oh and lift 75 pounds of hot fucking metal and place it on a wooden pallet. Do it quickly though because that shit is hot and heavy and you got more parts to run. I'm not complaining I really need a job and I lack any real education that would get me a chair and a desk. (thanks Daymar College, you swine).

I have to say that the paycheck part is pretty damn sweet and that day shift is also nice. Plus if you need a drink of water you don't have to BEG to go, just go and drink. I feel like Red from Shawshank Redemption, I can't take a piss without asking after all those years. Bathroom Break Boss? Drink of water boss? Think my own thoughts boss? Strangle you in the parking lot after work with a shoe string because you wouldn't let us leave during the biggest ice storm in 100 years boss....

So I like my job so far, it is scary and complex because the idea of having any kind of instructions anywhere would be MADNESS. I get to work with molten metal and use a jib crane and pray nothing explodes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Business Professional

or don't wear jeans stupid.

     I got a call last week asking if I wanted to come in for an interview with a company called Tex Energy -CC Concepts. My major problem is I have applied for so many jobs over the last few weeks that I don't know what  or who is calling most of the time. That and lets face it, cell phones don't exactly have the best sound especially the cheap pieces of shit that I can afford. The girl on the other side said dress Business Professional which sent a little red flag up in my brain saying "A/C desk job" and "probably not qualified but fake it baby, fake it". To say I was excited is an understatement. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could have a sit down job again. Visions of salary floating through my head when there was a knock at the front door.
     I moved the 200lbs Mastiff out of the way thinking that maybe it was Fed Ex or UPS delivering more supplies for Crystals business to find a kid dressed in khakis and a polo shirt with a clip board under his arm and a shit eating grin on his face. Tex-Energy writ large over the right breast of his shirt. My heart sank with each passing word of his spiel on how I could save money if I just switched power companies. I soon realized what that phone call for a job interview was all about, walking the streets and bugging people at home in the Houston Heat.  A feeling of dread and disappointment as I watched my deck, chair, PC, stolen free office supplies and the walls of my cubicle covered with pictures of my lovely girlfriend and maybe a stock image of a dog were ripped from my grasp as this poor schlub went on about how great my savings were going to be if I switched to Tex-Energy.

     After I shooed him away with a story about how I was just staying here and had no say whatsoever on the electric bill let along any authority to switch I had to regroup and figure out what I was going to do. Should I go to the interview which was obviously going to be a waste of time other than some much needed practice or should I just stay at home and apply for 10 more jobs.

    I decided I could always use more practice interviews so I venture out in the 100 degree heat and see if I was right and this was going to be a shit job walking around neighborhoods getting bit by dogs and feral children. On my arrival I was sent to a room with 10 other well dressed candidates all who sat quietly and stared ahead at the dry erase board or played with their cellphones. One kid finally spoke up and asked if anyone applied for a job with these people or did they just get their resume off Monster.com. Not one person had any idea what they were applying for or even why they got called in for an interview.
     I told them the story about the man at the door and a few of them chuckled and some got pissed. A well dressed girl in the front row even threatened to walk out of the interview if it was going to be "door to door shit". It was actually the best part of my day to set that in motion, doing what a friend from the old days used to call "stirring the shit". I knew the smell of a shit job from experience but these kids had no idea what trap they were walking in to until the wise bald old man in the room gave them the information. I hated to dash their dreams of cubicles and office chairs but it was only fair to warn them what was going to happen before the interview. Which I knew they would make sound like a peanut butter cocaine orgasm honey sandwich but you had to look close to notice the bread was made of shit.
      They started breaking us up into groups to interview us, I was called in with a kid that looked like he was 18 that I could probably have bench pressed. We were definitely a mismatched pair a balding male, mid-thirties,goatee, green eyes, glasses versus dark hair, braces, trying to grow a mustache and his girlfriend was waiting for him in the lobby. It was a strange mix to put it gently  The smarmy kid in a suit who interviewed us explained what we would be doing which is we'd get a list of people and harass them at home to switch power companies. He made is sound like everyday would be Ice Cream Sandwiches from start to finish and that if we did well in this interview we'd get a call later that day with a time in which to start orientation.
      I imagine everyone that showed up and didn't start defecating on the office floor got the "Call" for orientation. I got my call at least 3 hours afterwards and lied about being there the next day. The entire process happened so quickly but I am sure that is part of the trick to get as many people in as quickly as you can without them asking too many question and rush them through the hiring process. Mention that you are looking for managers as well but everyone has to start at the bottom and let those greed hooks work into the monetary part of the brain. I could be a manager, all I have to do is walk the streets of Texas with a list of victims in August when it is 104 outside and not die from heat exhaustion for a commission that couldn't be explained to me during the interview.
     I miss my cubicle already and I only had it in my imagination.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

They Do Things Different in Texas

     I came down to Texas because Houston has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at the moment and I actually know someone that lives here that has an extra space for me and my weary head. Actually the later had more to do with it than the former though I have been interested in Houston for quite some time as a place to check out and visit if my cousin lived in San Francisco or New York City I would have moved years ago. Most of my relatives live in places that are just another version of Beaver Dam, KY. Roswell , NM, Jerkwater, IL, Hartford, KY and one in Houston, TX.

    So I get down here and my other cousin who works for a road construction company tells me about all the great money he is making traveling around the country, the ease of the work and how they are always needing people. I have to go through a staffing agency to get an interview which is no big deal as I was assuming I was going to have to be saddled with that anyway. Temp to Hire has been the rage since I started working in the early 90's plus it allows an employer to string people along for a long time and then lay them off just when they get their hopes up.
    I went to the staffing office and showed various ID's to prove I was who I was and legal to work in this country. All these details were taken down by a 12 year old girl with braces that was sitting behind the counter. Seems the bosses daughter was temping in the office until school started. You can tell the staff was walking on eggshells around here as not to piss of the head honcho. The office manager sat me down in front of a computer terminal and instructed me that if I failed this test that I couldn't work for them and I had as long as I needed. My nerves on fire, I started the terminal and quickly relaxed. I had taken this same test a number of years ago when I applied for another job, it was the old How Drunk, High and Criminal are you when you come to work test. Someone had to sit down and figure out how to ask in 20 different ways what drugs you take to try and slip you up. I guess it is also an IQ test because you'd have to be pretty dumb to answer honestly to what street drugs you abuse regularly or have you ever stolen anything from work. Two things you should never pay for in this life, love and office supplies but you can't tell that to the computer. You have to be aghast at the very idea of taking a pen from work or at least pretend. ACTING!
    After filling out my application with just the right amount of bullshit I went back to the conference area to be interviewed and to take a few physical tests such as how many times I could bend over and pick up 35 in 30 seconds, how many times I could do hand squeezes and climb a ladder. All the while the Office Manager was trying to teach another woman the ins and outs of interviewing plus the 12 yo was in there as well basically repeating everything he said to the woman. Fun never stops then came the best part of trying to get a job in the last 30 years, the dreaded Piss Test.

    I hate taking a Drug Test and not for the normal everyday reasons that most people hate it. I don't do drugs at all other than the occasional beer or Tylenol. Just the whole idea of pissing in a thimble is such a joke when I know for a fact my bladder holds at least a gallon of coffee and water in it. I have to somehow manage to fill said thimble "half way" with the control of a robot without spilling a drop on my, the floor, my clothes and so on I can only imagine that it is that much worse for women.
    To make this even more surreal I got to bring my sample back to the conference room, open the top and watch in horror as the 12 year old girl with braces tested my pee for the evil scourge of Illegal DRUGS. I don't really think I have words to describe the feeling of having a freckle faced kid with braces dipping test strips into your hot urine that was minutes early in your penis. I felt like a pedophile without having to hand out candy.

I passed naturally but I felt dirty about it.

    A week later I got the interview with the company that I wanted though the person I was to see changed twice and I was told to arrive 15 minutes early for a 10 o'clock appointment. At the time I didn't think anything about it but later I just assumed it was a way of saying be early and just encase you aren't smart enough to arrive early to an interview here is a hint. I got there early and sat and sat until another guy came in to interview for the same job or jobs as I don't know how many positions were available. He was there for a10:30 interview with the same guy.
    Finally the HR comes to us in the lounge and says why don't you both come on back here together so I can get you both at the same time. I have to say I have interviewed for a lot of jobs in my life, I think the best one was for a job I didn't even get. The owner and I just sat at a table and talked for about 30 minutes, unfortunately they hired someone with ten years experience. I have been through this process a lot but I have never had to interview with someone else in the room that was wanting the same job. Really he didn't ask us a lot of questions, mostly he asked us to say something about ourselves and what we did for a living and the rest of the time he just told us what the company did. That went on for about 30 minutes and then it was over more or less. He did ask the other guy to leave the room to ask me how much I made at my last job I think I should have lied and said a higher wage than I did. I didn't come all the way down here to get saddled with a low wage just because I come from Mayberry. Of course, now I know.
     My only advice so far about life in Texas is expect to slam a cup of piss in front of little girls and to get interviewed in tandem.



Friday, August 12, 2011

So That Is What Heat Exhaustion Feels Like...

....or How To Move Grandma and Finally Learn To Love The Bomb.

      I helped Crystals Grandmother move all of her and her husbands stuff out of their one bedroom apartment down the street into a Air Conditioned Storage building. This was my first foray into heavy labor and heat in quite some time and I totally screwed the pooch. It was hard work, Crystal came over to help after we got the U-Haul and she is a one woman wrecking crew. It was keeping up with Brandon all over again and it damn near destroyed me.

Summer in Texas

     I've never had such a case of heat exhaustion for a long time probably because I am not a big believer in going out when the sun is high in the sky. I don't mind the sun I just never had any intention of becoming a sun baked mongoloid. Anyway, it wasn't so bad after I got to Crystals, soaked in the tub for an hour and then today drank a liter of Gatorade, then bad effects started to fade.

    Later the next day my right side and back started hurting, this pain increased until the only comfortable place was down or sitting with many pillows. This was right is called back pain or in layman's terms OUCH, motherfucker. It was like having a tooth ache in my back and tooth aches are something I know a lot about after having one for over three years.
   I think I know what did it as well. It must have been when Grandmother's prized press board desk decided to snap in half under its own weight and break free of the dolly strap that was holding it at a roughly 45 degree angle. When I tried to stop the desk that can probably now be purchased at any Goodwill store for $5 is when I think my back decided to quit its day job.
   So for the last 10 days I have been driving around Houston trying not to cry from the pain of sitting in that damn car seat or when I went to an interview I prayed to Jesus or whoever that I could make it through without showing my discomfort. We will see, the worst was Wednesday night when even lying flat on my back wasn't helping no matter how many ibuprofen or heat pads I used.
   I think that was the hump though because since that night things have gotten less painful for me. All I can really say is my moving days are over for awhile.

Friday, July 29, 2011

So Now We Are in Houston....

...and by we I mean me and my camera. So far it was just as hot as I expected and I don't really think things are much different here than back in Kentucky other than the traffic is bananas and the roads must have been designed by someone jacked up on Amphetamine. I always have a problem with the interstate system because I never know what lane to be in ever and it usually takes me a week to calm down and just accept the fact that city drivers have to climb up your ass if you go near the speed limit. Facts of life kids. Still all in all Texas are still way better drivers than Tennesseans.
     Also true is that everything is big in Texas. I went to Wal-Mart and back home you might only see 1 or 2 overweight people causing the little carts to strain and pull them around the stores. Here I saw 4 tubs nearly killing the poor little machines. And then there is this example of a Texan Chihuahua. (Figure 1)
Figure 1

     It was a brutal drive down to Houston, after you have flown great distances you never want to drive ever again. Driving is for suckers or people who want to move a bunch of their shit to a new location. I love having the ability to drive but I've seen Kansas 6 times and that is 5 times too many and besides Interstates seem to look the same no matter what part of the country you are in give or take. It took me the same amount of driving time to get from KY to TX as it takes for me to fly from Nashville to Sao Paulo, Brazil that is with the retarded TSA crap.
     So right now I am pretty excited about being in a new locale. That translates into freaking out for the next few days which is fairly normal for me before I can come to grips with being in a strange place. If I had been Dorothy I would have spent the first three days in Oz in the fetal position trying to make sense of everything. I'm a little anxious because I haven't figured out how to get food yet but I'm staying at it.