Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Unappreciative Children

Before I left work today, my friend Edna introduced her son to me.  She said, "His name is Cody, too.  When you write your blog post tonight, mention something about unappreciative children."

I'm going to find that difficult, because I don't have any perspective on the topic.  Take, for example, last Thanksgiving, when my Cody was home from college.  I asked him what he wanted for Christmas.  His response was, "Nothing."

I said, "Oh, surely there's something you want."

He said, "Mom, I saw how much you had to pay for my college this semester.  You've done enough."
*Snifffff*

He's always been that way, even when we were going through the difficult teenage years.  He made me a Mother's Day card.  Let me rephrase that.  He hand drew me a Mother's Day card and on the inside wrote:  Even though I don't say it, I love you and appreciate everything you do for me.

*Snifffffffff*

He's a better person that I am, I tell ya.  (Not sure where he got it.  The Grace of God is the only thing I can come up with.)

So, yeah, I don't think I'm going to be able to cover that topic too well.

Let's move on to something I can cover.

Now that the Olympics are over  -- not that I got to see much of them thanks to NBC's usual sucktastic coverage-- I can get back to my needlework.  Oh, I got to see plenty of heats and prelims, but very few medal events.  I'd hoped that since they took place in the same hemisphere, NBC would do a better job of showing medal rounds, but no....

Enough about that.  Back to the needlework.  I got one more Dinosaurnament finished.


That makes two.


I made some progress on the latest hat, too.


Just another inch and I'll be ready to do the decrease rounds.  I've made this hat pattern before, and for some reason, I always mess up doing the decreases.  It's not noticeable or anything, but I know it's there.

This is the Hurricane Hat pattern, just in case you were wondering.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dear Coworker

For months now, you are the one who has been hooting and hollering about our group leader moving people around.  You are the one pitching fits, threatening to go home, and generally raising heck every time she moves someone.  You've pretty much single-handedly incited that entire line into open rebellion against her.  All because she moves people around, you know, to help when someone is out.
It's amazing how fast you've managed to change your tune now that it is you who needs help.

Well, guess what?  You're on your own, buddy.  You reap what you sow, so maybe in the future you should be a little more cooperative.

Karma, she's a vicious beast.  You might want to stop poking her.

Thank you.

That is all.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Words

I spent all day at work yesterday, mentally composing last night's blog post.  Oh, it was a beautiful post.  It was eloquent.  It was flowing.  It would have made you laugh.  It would have made you cry. It would have moved you.  I couldn't wait to get home and post it.

After a long, tiring day that seemed to last forever and had me singing songs about days that never end, they just go on and on my friend*, I rushed home and fired up the old PC.

And got the dreaded message:  We're updating your PC.  Please don't turn off your computer.  Under that in smaller letters:  This may take a while.

Sigh...

I turned on my Fire Stick and watched Piano Guys videos.  Checked the computer.  Nope, not done yet.

I watched Graham Norton clips.  Checked the computer.  Nope, not done yet.

I watched Olympics.  I knit on my latest hat.  I took a shower...Nope.  Not done yet.

Two hours later...yep, two hours later, the computer was finally done updating.  By that time, I was tired, frustrated, and ready for bed. So that's why, instead of eloquence, you got "What r werds?"

Today was a much better day.  My work day was not as long nor as frustrating as yesterday.  Then I went to the store, and look what I found!


And look what else I found!


I don't care what the calendar says, when the candy corn hits the stores, it's Fall.

On the way out, I found this 'Merica candy.  Because 'Merica, that's why.


But I didn't buy it.

Because $9 a bag, that's why.


*This is the day that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started living it, not knowing what it was
They'll continue living it forever just because
This is the day that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends.

And now you've got that song stuck in your head.

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Things I Find Amusing --Work Edition

In the back of the plant, we have a dock.  This dock is where we put our scrap metal to be recycled, and our scrap cardboard to be recycled, and our trash to be processed and recycled.  As you might guess, we call this the scrap dock.  Ever since the plant was built in 1996, there has been a bright orange garage type door on the scrap dock.  As you might guess, we call this the scrap dock door.

Over the last 20 years, as is the way of things, the scrap dock doors have worn out.  It got to the point that the powers that be have decided it's more economical to just replace the doors than to keep fixing them.  When we walked into the plant Monday morning, we saw that the bright orange doors had been replaced with dusky blue doors.  I'm starting to get used to them, but for the first few days, every time I looked up, seeing the doors that are the color of the sky at twilight, I'd think it was night outside.

That reminded me of a time when I was in the Navy.  We stood 12 hour watches -- that is, we worked 12 hour shifts for you non military types -- from 7 to 7.  The building in which I worked, because it had classified stuff and all inside of it, had no windows.  One day, as I was nearing the end of my watch, I gathered up the trash and took it to the dumpster outside. "Huh," I said, looking at the sky.  "That's weird.  It's nearly 7 o'clock.  The sun should be up by now.  I wonder what's going on."

That's when it hit me.  It was 7 PM.  Yeah...moving right along...

One day last week, I stayed late to help fix some parts.  A guy from second shift walked up to where a few of us were standing and said, "Hello, My Lady."  I'm not sure to whom he was speaking, because there were several women nearby.  I thought that was a bit unusual for someone in America, particularly in Mississippi.  But what is really weird is that the very next day, a different guy -- this one from my shift-- greeted me in exactly the same way:  "Hello, My Lady."  Two different men in Mississippi saying the same thing.  I wonder if it's a thing.  You know I don't keep up with what is or is not a thing.

I found this box at work a few weeks ago.


I wonder which communist country these parts defected from.

Lookit!  The panels are pipping!


How long until the baby panels hatch?  (Country folks will get it.  A few of you well read city folks will, too.)

I guess someone got tired of those hair extensions.


And that fingernail


I love it when the drips from brazing rod makes shapes.  Once I found a blob that looked just like Mickey Mouse.


Strange place to find a coffee pot.  Hint:  This is not the break room.


And also redundant:


It's not always weird, though.  Sometimes I see the sun rise.  Not when I go in at 5, but sometimes.


And other times, I walk in to find a lovely note from my second shift counterpart.


Things like that make it all worthwhile.




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Handwriting

Much ado has been made lately over cursive writing.  Schools are saying we don't need to teach it any more, since everything is going to keyboards these days.  Old school people -- myself included -- believe it still needs to be taught.  Even Europe is butting into our argument, saying that cursive is faster than the way Americans write, with our square, blocky printing.

The irony here is that, even though I believe cursive should still be taught, I don't like to write in cursive myself.  I prefer to print.  I can write much faster, and more neatly, in print than in cursive.
In spite of my personal preference, however, I've come to the conclusion that I need to write more in cursive.  I feel that my skills have seriously deteriorated over the mmmfffmfmfmf years since I graduated high school.

When I was in the store last week, I bought a composition book in which to practice my cursive writing.


I started copying quotes I'd seen posted on Facebook into it.  Not a lot.  I don't want it to become such a burden that I give up in frustration and quit.  After a couple of days, I wanted to make sure I was still forming the letters correctly, so I went to Amazon to see what handwriting books they had there.  I came away with these two.


The Spencerian Penmanship book isn't what I thought it would be.  It's more like a teacher's guide and is meant to be used with some workbooks.  I guess I'll go back and get them later.  The other one is the kind I was looking for.  It's got the letters you trace, then space to write on your own.  I did the first page today, and as you can see, my cursive needs a lot of work.


I think I'm finding it difficult because the writing is really big.  I'm used to writing much smaller. Once I get my handwriting whipped into shape, I want to get a real, old fashioned fountain pen -- the kind you have to suck the ink up into with nibs and everything.  I've always had a thing for writing implements, ever since I was a kid.  But then, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know that.

Another thing I have a thing for is mugs.  I liked this one when Avon first came out with it, so I was thrilled to find it on clearance.


This shirt was not on clearance.  I bought it from TeeSpring.  I've never been quite satisfied with the quality of their products.  For the money they cost, I expect better quality.  But never mind that.  I really loved this design-- enough so that I was willing to take a chance on the shirt.


That's the back.  In real life, it's very hard to see the flag, so that was a bit disappointing.  Unless the light hits it just right, it looks like a shirt with just a fouled anchor on it.  The front has an anchor with no flag behind it.


I'm slowly working towards having nothing but American Flags or Navy themed shirts.

In other news, the other brazer from my line has moved to third shift, so they have someone else over there with me.  She's a good brazer, but boy howdy does she like to talk.

It was raining so hard when I got off work that water was ankle deep in the parking lot.  The good news is, I now know my work boots are waterproof.  My socks were the only dry article of clothing I had on by the time I got to my car.

The wasp stung ear is slowly getting better, but it's still swollen.  It's making it hard to sleep, and that's why your blog posts are so dull here lately.

Maybe something interesting will happen soon, so I'll have something interesting to write about.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Animals

I'm telling ya, animals have been the bane of my existence this weekend.  It all started Saturday morning on the way to work.  There was a possum at the side of the road.  I slowed down and moved over, and what did the fuzzy little critter do?  He darted out in front of me.

Yeah, I needed that heart attack to start my day, thank you very much.  Fortunately, I didn't hit him.  Just as fortunately, there were no other cars on the road at that time.  Hey, you'd be surprised at how busy the roads can be at 3:30 on a Saturday morning.

Then, on the way home, I ran into the same situation, only this time it was a squirrel with a death wish.  He kept running back and forth in front of me.  I didn't hit him either, and the normally busy highway 51 was deserted at that time.  I made it home without murdering any little furry things, thank goodness.

Friday, Cody had sent me a text.  He was coming up to spend Saturday with a friend, and was going to stop by for a visit before heading back to Clinton.  He didn't tell me he was bringing DeJuan with him.  I'd have swept the floor if I had known.  They stayed about an hour, and Cody decided to take his ball python back with him. So, now I am down to 6 snakes.

I got up this morning to see Cody had posted this picture on his Facebook page.


I had to go back and find this one, taken the day we got Monty.  They both were so little back then!


Since Cody was here Saturday evening, I waited until Sunday to mow.  I got the part behind the fence mowed, and weedeated around my fire pit.  I mowed the backyard, then decided to go inside and cool off a bit before tackling the front yard.

After a few minutes, I walked out to get the lawn mower out of the shed and a red wasp stung me right on the ear.  Naturally, I did what any red blooded American would do.  I tracked down that little Spawn of Satan and sent her back into the fiery pits of Hell from whence she came.  Then I killed four more for good measure.

I took some Benadryl, and by the time I finished mowing, I could feel it taking effect.  I turned on some Piano Guys videos, and soon I was feeling groovy...

When I woke up this morning, my ear was all red and swollen, and looked like some weird, brain eating space amoeba had attached itself to the side of my head.
 

You can kind of see how the redness is going down my neck, too.

I seriously thought about calling in and going back to bed, but I didn't.  I was stubborn and went to work anyway.  My ear was burning and itching and hurting all at the same time.  I was absolutely miserable, but determined to make it through the work day.  When I got home, I put some Benadryl cream on it, and it felt much better.  Tomorrow, I'm going to take the stuff with me.

Oh, one more thing before I go.  Early Sunday morning, I was taking some trash out, when I noticed my next door neighbor had gotten a new deer statue for her yard.


Then the statue turned and looked at me.  Blimey!  It was a real deer!  I was trying really stealthily to put all the trash down and get my phone out of my pocket to take a picture.  I got one, but that was too much for the deer.  She turned and ran off into the woods.

It's been a long time since I've seen one that close up.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dear Coworker

When you are new, and just learning how to do a job, it's normal to get confused from time to time. There is nothing wrong with asking a more experienced coworker to help you out.

However, when you do ask a more experienced coworker for advice, don't stand there and argue with everything she tells you to do.

Trust me, the odds are pretty good that the one who has been doing the job for 15 years knows it just a bit better than the one who has been doing it for an hour and a half.

Remember, nobody likes a know-it-all, especially not the one who could probably do the job in her sleep.

Thank you.

That is all.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday

There I was at work, just a working away, when Supervisor Ronny came by and said, "If I'd have come over here yesterday, I'd have laughed at your picture."  I was like, "YES!  Someone who gets me!"

You know, I appreciate all of you who read this blog.  I appreciate the comments, and when you Like the post on Facebook.  But let me tell you, there's just something about having a real, live person who is not family, and therefore not obligated to like your posts, come up to you face to face and say, "I really enjoy reading your posts."

Edna is just such a person.  She's really inspired me to keep writing when I felt like giving up.  Or at least taking a break.  I was thinking about this old post I'd written years ago that I figured she'd get a kick out of.  I started to just share the link with her, but then I thought that most of you weren't reading way back when, so I'm just going to repost the whole thing.

(This photo doesn't have anything to do with the topic of this post.  It's just one I had from my time in Italy.  One of these days, I'll get around to scanning some more photos.  Today is not that day.)



I've never been afraid of heights. Despite my lack of fear, my natural clumsiness and tendency to be accident prone has made me reasonably cautious. I'm not into jumping out of or off of stuff, but I do like to climb things.

When I was in the Navy, I worked on satellite communications equipment. Our job was to maintain the communications links between...well, I can't tell you that. I'd like to give you some official sounding excuse like that it was classified information, but I can't. Yeah, maybe it was classified, but the truth is, I just didn't know. I do know that during the first Gulf War, one of our links eventually ended up in Iraq. Other than that, well, I just kept the equipment running.

We had three antennas. One was a big, tall thing that looked like a radio station antenna. The other two were satellite dishes. These weren't your little Direct TV dishes that you hang on your eaves. They were huge. The taller of the two was probably as high as a 3 story building--the dish, I mean. The base added a bit more to it's height. It looked kind of like this one, but not exactly:



Every few years, the antenna maintenance crews would come around and perform--uh-- maintenance on the antennas. That's all they did. They replaced lost bolts and such. They cleaned them up, sandblasted the old paint off, and repainted them. They were civilians. They had safety harnesses. Us regular Navy were just up there...just us and the wind.

Naturally, when they were working on them, we shut down the antennas and put them into the stow position. For those of you not in the know, that is with the dish facing upright, much like a giant bowl. And just as naturally, the first thing we did was run out and climb to the very top of the feedhorn. (That's that thing sticking out of the middle of the dish.) When I came on watch, I wanted to climb the antenna. One of my shipmates--Aubrey--quickly volunteered to go with me. So we went out and climbed up the feedhorn and looked around a bit. Then we climbed down and climbed up to the edge of the dish, and looked around a bit ("Wow, look. Our lightning rods aren't grounded!")

As we turned to climb down and go back to our regular duties, we kind of had to scootch down on our backsides, as the dish was almost vertical at that point. Everything was going ok until I hit a patch that had been blasted clean of its paint. The slick metal acted just like a playground slide, and you can guess what happened then. That's right, I began to slide, and it was at that point that I looked down and realized we'd left the hatch door open and I was heading straight for it at a much higher rate of speed than I would have wished. Aubrey realized this at about the same time as I did, and he began screaming "Becky! Becky!"

Now, I'm not exactly and expert on men, but I do know that one thing men don't like to feel is helpless. Even less than feeling helpless, do they like being helpless. But that's exactly what Aubrey was. There was nothing he could do. I was on my own at that point.

I began scrambling sideways--or trying to anyway--in hopes that I would miss the open hatch. At the same time, I was making contingency plans in my mind--maybe I could catch myself with my feet on the sides of the hatch; maybe I could catch myself with my hands on the side of the hatch; maybe as I fell through, I could grab the ladder and break my fall that way. If all else fails, it was only about a 7' drop to the deck below. A jarring fall to be sure, but not exactly life threatening.

Eventually, I managed to get onto a part of the antenna that still had paint on it, slowing my runaway slide to a point I could get to a safe place and stop myself. Aubrey carefully climbed down beside me. We looked at each other and he said one of the most profound things I'd ever heard in my life:

"I guess we should have closed the hatch. "

Yeah, that probably would have been a good idea.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm a bit accident prone.  Yeah...


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Strange Things

Strange things just seem to happen to me.

Take last night, for example.  I got up in the middle of the night to answer nature.  Now, let me clarify one thing.  There is not a man in this house.  On the rare occasions that there is a man in this house -- like when my son comes to visit -- he uses the hall bathroom.  He does not use my bathroom.  Even so, he was not here last night.

That makes it all the more mysterious that when I get up to answer nature at 2:00 AM, I sit on the toilet and discover -- yes, the hard way-- that the seat is up.  How did the seat get up????  It was not up when I sat on it before going to bed, and I certainly didn't put it up, so how did it get that way? Weird things, I tell you.

I survived my near mishap on the toilet and go to work.  Not at 2 AM, but ...well, you get it.  I go to work. Yes, it was another one of those days.   I'm really getting tired of this, you know.  Someone is surely testing my fortitude out there.

In a vain attempt to lighten the mood, I take this cartoon in and hang it up.



Nobody gets it.   Seriously.  Nobody gets the joke.  I didn't think it was that difficult.  I'm in a relationship with my air conditioner.  I named him BRAD.  I love BRAD.  However, unlike the girl in the car insurance commercial, I have no plans on totaling BRAD.

Note to self:  In the future, take simpler, less subtle forms of humor to work.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to cast on a hat and restore order to my world.


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

It Didn't

After yesterday's post, some of you commented that you hoped the rest of the week behaved.  It didn't.  Yes, work was rough again, but I kind of expected it.

I knew what kind of day it was going to be when I got halfway to work and realized I'd forgotten to put the pet gate back across the bathroom door.  You know, the one to the bathroom with the cat pan in it.  Yeah, that one.

I take it down at night, because knowing me, I'd get up in the middle of the night to pee, forget the gate is there and fall over it, break my neck.  Then the dogs would be sitting there looking at me and saying, "Oh great.  Who is going to feed us now?"

I was half expecting --OK, OK, I was totally expecting to find kitty litter all over the bedroom floor, but my animals were good.  The cat didn't even use that pan, and the dogs didn't dig in it.  They all get extra treats tonight.

Speaking of, tonight is the night I've been waiting for all summer.  What's so special about it?  I'll tell you. Tonight is the night when the sun sets before I go to bed!   I'm no longer having to go to bed by day!  Fall is coming...

I finished my Pickle Juice hat yesterday.  Next up is this one:  Vibrant Violet.


I'm looking for a hat pattern to make this one up into, since I'm kind of tired of plain vanilla hats.  It still needs to be mindless enough that I can watch Olympics while knitting.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that I've been kind of hung up on The Piano Guys here lately.  Hey, there are a lot worse things to be hung up on.  Anyway, the more I listen to them, the more I kinda want to take piano lessons.  Not that I'd stick with it or anything, but I kind of would like to play a little bit again.

Then there is that whole not having a piano thing...

If you don't know who The Piano Guys are, here is my playlist:



They have more songs out there, and I'm slowly working on adding them to the list.


Monday, August 08, 2016

Ooo Da Lolly

Golly what a day.

I get to work and discover that second shift has left me over 100 headers.  I'm thinking I've got it made today, yeah!  Alas, sometime between when they left Saturday night and I got there this morning, someone decided to move a bunch of orders around.  Sigh...

All those headers that were sitting there ready and waiting weren't what the line needed.  I'm scrambling around trying to get the right orders ready before the line got there -- only the parts I needed weren't even ready.  It was frustrating, but I persevere, and get the work ready, just in time for the line to come in.

Turns out, I needn't have rushed.  Somehow, water had gotten into the air compressor, so there wasn't any high pressure air.  Not only that, water was in the air lines, and was spraying out of the connectors and things.  I won't go into all the gory details, but what it means is that the assembly line couldn't run.  It took nearly two hours to get that fixed.  We ran for about 45 minutes, and another machine at the end of the line broke down.  That took nearly an hour to get fixed, and then the power went out.  Not the whole plant.  Just some outlets on our line, but still the line couldn't run.

At this point, I began to wonder if I'd gotten my days mixed up and it was Thor's Day, but no.  It was Monday sure enough.  Eventually, we got the line up and running, and make it through the day, even though we didn't do but maybe 25% of what we would normally run in a work day.

How about a bit of good news?  You remember I said I needed new printer cartridges?  I found a color cartridge in the computer room, still sealed up and everything.  That means I can start taking cartoons to work again.  I know my coworkers will enjoy that.

In knitting news, I finished this hat this afternoon.


I still can't find my size 7 DPNs, so for the decreases, I switched to size 8.  You really can't tell the difference, though.  I really need to get that room organized.

Finally, I got one of my dinosaurnaments completely finished over the weekend while watching Olympics.


Only nine more to go.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Can't Help

According to this Facebook quiz I did yesterday, I'm supposed to find my soulmate and fall in love this month.  I can't help but laugh at that.  Somehow, I think if I had a soulmate out there, he'd have shown up by now.

Still, it somehow seemed too much of a coincidence when this song ended up in my random music videos that I was watching on YouTube.




I needed that after the typical Thor's Day mayhem at work.  Funny how it always seems to hit hardest on Thursdays.  Not only am I still flying solo -- the other brazer's child being back in the hospital and all -- but we had to skip a couple orders due to various reasons.  The line set those parts in the floor, then they came to me and asked where the next order is.  Um, yeah, I'm fixing to start working on it.

I was brazing as fast as I could, and the young man getting the parts was feeling them, to try to see which ones were cool.  I finally told him, "They're all hot.  You might as well just grab them."

Eventually, I did get caught up and far enough ahead that I didn't have to say late, thanks in a large part to some other components -- that I was not responsible for -- being wrong and having to be redone.  I was seriously thinking of calling in tomorrow, but Supervisor Mike stopped me as I was heading out the door.

"I'm still fighting to get you some help over there.  It's not fair for them to wear one person down all the time like that."

It's been three weeks already, so yeah, I'm not holding my breath on that.

After all that, I get home to find a nice little pile of cat puke on the floor.  I changed clothes, and sat down to cool off a minute.  Maybe 15 minutes later, I got up to take care of said cat puke, and to my surprise, a kindly canine had already cleaned it up for me.  Neither one will confess to doing it.

I guess it's one of those Pay It Forward things.


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Cartoons

Back a couple of years ago, I started taking cartoons to work and posting them at my work station.  Lots of people commented on how much they enjoyed them, and how much they needed that little pick-me-up.   After a while, I kind of quit doing it, for a few reasons -- one being that printer cartridges aren't cheap.

Here lately, though, I've been wanting to start that back up.  I mentioned it to some coworkers, and they were supportive -- enthusiastic, even.  The problem is, where I work now, there really isn't a good place to hang them up.  I brought one a week or so ago and posted it on the line's information board that nobody looks at, and, well, nobody saw it because nobody looks at that board.

Today, I decided to try a different place and see if anyone would see it there.  This is the cartoon I took in:


That is exactly how I feel.  It's August already?  The kids start school tomorrow, the sweet gum trees are starting to turn, training camp is well underway, and football season is just around the corner.  Now, I'm just waiting for some of that cooler weather.

Anyway, a few people saw it where I put it, so I think I might have just found a new posting spot.  I'm sure once the word gets out, more people will look, too.  The downside is, I have to spring for new printer cartridges.

Speaking of work, I found out today that they put my coworker's child back into the hospital. Like I said the other day, don't stop praying for the little feller just yet.

Dinosaurnament update:


All the stitching is done.  I'm ready to start the details.

I guess I'm going to have to spring for a new card reader, too, or you'll never get good pictures on the blog again.

It's always something...

Monday, August 01, 2016

Not Yet

I got to work Saturday, expecting to see my coworker back.  Alas, Friday night, the little boy started running fever again.  I was hoping it was something relatively minor, but she still wasn't back today. I don't know what is going on with the child now.  Basically, don't stop praying for the little guy just yet.

More bad news. Well, bad for me.  They're going to start up a third shift on my line soon.  That means, no more overtime for me.  I'm bummed.  I need that money, too.  Sigh, I guess I'll have to start eating up all that pasta I bought.

When I got home from work Saturday, I looked at my front yard and thought, "You know, I really ought to mow."  Now, I hadn't mowed last week when my air was broken.  I didn't want to get out and get all hot with no way to cool off.  I didn't figure it would hurt to skip a week.


Yeah.  That's how high my grass grew in just two weeks.


I thought about just leaving it, and claiming I was trying to let it go to seed, but nah, I mowed anyway.   I was going to do the part behind the fence, too, but alas, I ran out of gas.  I went to put some more in the mower, and my little gas can was empty.  Heck, that's a good enough excuse for me.

Speaking of gas, I stopped by the gas station on the way home to air up my tires.  I put my 6 quarters in the machine, and looked at the sidewall of the nearest tire to see what the PSI was supposed to be. I aired them all up to the recommended PSI of 35, but they still looked low.  I thought maybe they were supposed to look like that, so I drove on home.  When I was emptying out my pockets, I found I still had my valve stem caps in them.  I went back out to put them back on my tires.  That's when I saw it.  I'd looked at the wrong number.  They are supposed to be aired to 51 PSI.  (That seems high, but it's what the tire says.)  I guess tomorrow, I'll feed more quarters into the machine and get them aired up -- this time to the correct PSI.

I'm seriously considering buying one of those compact air compressors to keep at home.  Eventually, it'll pay for itself, especially as the price of using the gas station air keeps going up.  Anyone else remember when air was free?

A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on Facebook for a place that sells horseshoe nail cross necklaces with military and police type charms on them.  I thought it was really cool, but a little high in price.  I wrestled with myself over buying one for a while, but eventually decided that since a portion of the proceeds is donated to various charities supporting military and law enforcement, I'd bite the bullet and get one.   However, when I started to check out, turns out the guy wanted $15 more for shipping charges.  Fifteen dollars!!  For shipping!!!

Dude!  I got a lawnmower shipped to my house for free!  I wasn't going to pay $15 to ship a little bitty necklace.  Naturally, I did what any independent minded, red-blooded American would do.  I googled a source, ordered the components, and made one myself.


Since the charms came in a package of 12, I bought some earring thingys at Wal-mart and made a matching set of earrings.


Total cost for both: less than what dude wanted for shipping alone.  I think I'll use the money I saved to buy my boys some coffee.

Finally, the little dinosaurnaments are almost done.


I've got two more I've got to do the black stitching, then it'll be down to the backstitching and details.  Maybe -- just maybe -- they'll be done by Christmas after all.    




Friday, July 29, 2016

Great News!

My coworker's child got out of the hospital yesterday!  She says she's coming back to work tomorrow.

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself!






Thursday, July 28, 2016

Catching Up

It's no secret I've been a bit tuckered lately.  Take last night, for example.  I got out of the bath, and gathered up my dirty clothes to put them into the laundry hamper....aaaand tossed them into the kitchen sink.

Even in my advanced state of poopedness, there has been knitting.


The pickle juice hat is almost to the point I can start the decreases.  I just need to find my measuring tape.  I took it to the bedroom to measure my window for my A/C unit, and I can't remember where I put it.  I've knit enough hats that I can guess pretty closely how long it is, and I know this one is about 4  1/2 to 5 inches.   I usually knit 6 1/2 inches before starting my decreases, so we're not there yet.

My little dinosaurnaments are close to being done.


I've just been too tired to work much on them.  The knitting is so much more mindless, and easier to do in my sleep deprived brain state.







Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dear Coworker

I hear you had a little trouble yesterday when I wasn't here, with both the quality and quantity of parts that were left to you.

Do you remember back a few weeks ago when I was the one complaining about how I couldn't get any help over here?  Do you remember what it was you said to me?

Now, what was it?  You said something...Oh, yes, I remember.

You said, "NOBODY CARES!"

Yeah, that's right.  That's what it was.  And now you expect sympathy from me?  How's that working out for you?  Not well?  That's right, because you ain't getting any.

Funny thing about that karma, I hear she can be a right vicious beast.

Thank you.

That is all.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jury Duty And Air Conditioning

Sometimes weird things happen to me.   Like today, for example, when I woke up in a blind panic because I don't know how much I weigh.  Seriously?  With all that is going on in the world, that's what my subconscious chooses to focus on?  And it wasn't even that I weigh too much or too little.  It's that I don't know whether I weigh too much or too little.

After quelling that moment of panic, as I was getting ready to go to jury duty, I encountered another moment of unease.  In the letter they sent with our summons it said to wear clothes that show respect to the court.  I put on my cleanest pair of work jeans and a polo shirt they'd given us at the plant a couple of years ago, and hoped it was good enough.  I needn't have worried.  Lots of people were wearing jeans. Some people even showed up in shorts and flip flops.

I think most of my nervousness stemmed from the fact that I wasn't sure what to expect, since I haven't had to do jury duty in Mississippi before.  I got summoned last year, but got excused because the court house was a 90 mile drive each way, and at the time, I didn't have a vehicle I could trust.   When I lived in Texas, I actually got selected to a jury, but that case ended up being postponed, since one of the key witnesses mysteriously disappeared.

Back to today.  I got there and the first thing they did was call roll. There were several people I knew there, including a couple more who also work at the plant.  Then the county clerk said, "Is there anyone whose name I did not call?"  A whole line of people went up there.  After a minute, the clerk had to tell most of them to go sit back down, saying that the only thing she could excuse them for was being over 65.  The rest would have to wait for the judge.

After a few minutes, the judge came in.  First thing he did was call for a prayer.  Yeah, we prayed in court.  Then the judge told us a little bit about himself.  He's a Vietnam veteran, and a lifetime member of the NRA, and a lifetime member of the VFW, so no, taking Atlas Shrugged would not have gotten me out of that jury duty.

The next 90 minutes or so were taken up with people asking the judge to be excused.  Most of them were requesting a 6 month deferral.  I'm wondering why.  I mean, they know they're going to have to come back in January.  Why not do it now and get it over with?  But whatever...I was listening to people gripe about having to be there, and I was just like hey, I got to sleep in until 6:30, and I'm sitting in the air conditioning instead of working in the heat.  One guy kept saying they wouldn't be here if they hadn't done it, right?  Yeah, but guilty or not, they still have a Constitutional right to a trial by a jury of their peers.  So, just shut up, dude.  BTW, he did get excused, and I was glad.  I was tired of listening to him whine.

This was the first week of the circuit court term, and today they would be selecting a grand jury to do indictments.  I think that was just a totally random thing, since they didn't ask us any questions or anything.  I didn't get selected for the grand jury, but I'm still on the jury panel.  I'll have to call back every night this week to see if I have to report the next morning.  If I don't, I go on to work that day.

Next week, they'll bring in another group of people and start the whole process over again.

The good news is, according to the company handbook, if they release me after 11:00 AM, I don't have to go to work.  I got released after 11:00 AM, so I have the rest of the day off.

More good news, the A/C man got here about 1:30, and fixed my air conditioner.  He said it was something called the run capacitor that had gone bad.  He was able to replace it in just a few minutes, and didn't charge me an arm and a leg.  I told him I thought that was a very fair price, and he said, he's the one who's got to sleep with himself at night, and just couldn't do it if he was ripping people off during the day.  If any locals need a recommendation for an A/C man, just let me know.  I've got a good one.

It's still warm in the house, but at least the temp is heading in the right direction.

Finally, a bit of bad news.  It appears my card reader has bitten the dust.  I'm not happy about that, because I've only had it a couple of years.  The point is, the blog will probably have fewer photos until I can get a new one.  In the meantime, to take our minds off the heat, here is some snow.


I took this in February, 2011 in my (then) back yard.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Adventures In Being HOT

Yesterday, my coworker told me she enjoyed my throwback post so much that I needed to do another one.  (She also told me to tell you she really needs to get a life.  But that's not for me to say.)  So here ya go:


That's me at 2 months.  It doesn't get much more thrown back than that, unless my brother can dig up a picture of my mother pregnant with me. Yes, my dad always took the baby belly pictures in profile, and yes, my mom always hated them, but they're out there somewhere.  If they didn't get ruined in the hurricane, that is.  So many of my dad's old pictures did.  I lost a lot of my childhood in that storm.

Moving right along, when I got home from work, I walked into my house and it seemed warmer than usual.  I initially thought it was just because it is July, you know.  I went on to the store and did my little bit of shopping.

Oh, and I found a bunch of Pokespots down town by the square.  And at least one gym.  But I digress...

First thing I did when I got to the store was to go into the garden center and find that machete.


And there it is.  When I picked it up and balanced it, though, it just seemed big.  I thought if I'm going to carry something that big, I'd rather just carry a full sized ax.  I walked down the aisle and picked an ax up.  I hefted it and balanced it, and it just felt so much better in my hands than the machete did.  I told you my ancestors were vikings.  Did you think I was joking?

When I got home, the house was really hot, like up into the 80s.  I went outside and checked the unit.  The pipe thing that goes from the unit up into the house was really cold.  I thought it might be frozen up, so I just turned the compressor off.  I didn't want to ruin it.  I left the fan running, to keep some air moving in the house.

I got on FB and put out a request in the local group for someone who would come out on a weekend and look at it.  I got several recommendations, but only one of them even answered my message.  He's a deputy sheriff, and said he wouldn't be able to come look at it until Monday morning.  I told him I have jury duty and wouldn't be there that morning.  He said he has to go out of town tomorrow afternoon.  That put us in a bit of a bind, so he said that he'd try to come out this evening and just look at it to see if it was something he could fix without having to get inside the house.  Nice guy.

I was going to tough it out, but about 3:00, it was up to 87 in the house, and I was so miserably hot that I went into town and bought a window unit.  I'd been debating on getting one for the bedroom anyway, and this seemed as good an excuse as any.  So, I got it installed and we're basically living in the bedroom until the central unit can be fixed.


That black stuff is supposed to be packing material, but I put it on the bottom there, to insulate around the a/c.

On the way out, I saw these.


They tell me one thing:  Fall is on the way!  Fall means cooler weather, pumpkins, colors, and football!  It's my favorite time of the year.

Around 5:30, the a/c man showed up.  He apologized for being late.  He said he'd just gone on duty when he got called to a domestic.  He turned the unit on, and said he heard the compressor kick in, so he thinks I might just be low on Freon.  That would have made that pipe thingy freeze up, too.  He's going to run by and charge it up in the morning before he leaves town.

I'm hoping that fixes it, so I no longer have to be held hostage in my bedroom.  I'm glad now I bought that second TV. This whole incident has got me to thinking.  How in the world did our ancestors survive?

They were surely made out of tougher stuff than we are.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Yesterday when work was so rough, one of my coworkers suggested I pretend to fall out. "Here, I'll catch you," she said, putting her arms out.  Right away, I knew what today's post would be about.


Satellite Communications "C" School
U.S. Army Signal Center Fort Gordon, Georgia, just outside Augusta

I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  It was August 2, 1990.  I'd gone down to the office area of the barracks to meet up with the people with whom I rode to school. When I got there, everyone was clustered around the TV, concentrating intently on what was playing on the screen.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"Iraq invaded Kuwait last night," was the response.  Immediately, I knew what that meant.

I can honestly say that during my entire time in the Navy, that was the closest I came to really being afraid.  Even though they didn't put women in combat situations back in those days, still, I was in the military and we were going to war.

Over the next few weeks, the once busy post became virtually a ghost town.  It was almost eerie how quickly the place emptied of equipment and personnel -- and how fast the woodland green camouflage changed into the chocolate chips.   Almost weekly, we were attending a parade as another unit was sent to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield.

It was at one of these parades that the events of today's post occurred.

Now, first thing you must know, what we called a parade isn't what most civilians think of when they hear the word parade.  There was no marching down the street with bands and floats and stuff.  We formed up and marched out onto the parade grounds --a big field with bleachers on one side-- then listened to speeches, had a prayer, and the band played a song or two.  Then the deploying unit would march off, and we'd all watch them go.

OK, I'm having a hard time translating into civilian speak, but just humor me and pretend you know what I'm talking about.

Usually, the unit being deployed would be front and center, then ranged out behind them were the Air Force Detachment, the Navy Detachment, and a few more Army units and stuff.  At this particular parade, in the very last row of the Navy formation were myself, RM1 Danny Waller, and two RM3 women whose names escape me.  The one woman immediately to the right of Danny was just griping and fussing.

"Why do we have to come to these?  I've got better things to do."

Danny tried to tell her we were here to support the Army guys, give them a good send off, all the usual stuff, but she wasn't buying it.

"Yeah, but these are Army guys.  Why do Navy people have to be here?  We shouldn't have to come.  It should just be the Army."  Gripe, gripe, fuss fuss

About that time, the woman on the other side of the one complaining said, "I don't feel so good," and *thunk* did a face plant right there in the dirt.  Here came the medics.  They loaded her up onto a stretcher and took to get medical care.  We watched them carry her off, and the one who'd been complaining so much turned to us and said, "Say, that's a good idea."

A couple of minutes later, she says, "I'm not feeling too good" and she turns and walks off the field, wobbling and staggering like she'd suddenly gone weak in the knees.  Here came the medics to help her of the parade grounds.  Oh, yeah, she was totally faking it, but it did get her out of that parade.

We watched them leave, then Danny turned to me and says, "You want to go next?"

"Nah, I'm good,"  I said.


(This photo is not really related to the topic of this post, but it's one of the few I have from my time in Georgia.  Some of us had gone to Zoo Atlanta.  The friend who took this picture wanted me to be sitting on the gorilla, but he was made of bronze and was HOT.  If you look carefully, you can see I'm trying to only touch him where the shadows are.)


A few more parades, a few more weeks and my time at Ft. Gordon was done.  They even pushed our class through, so the Army guys could go to Saudi.  I was to end up in Naples, Italy.  The day I got there, they had assigned me a sponsor.  She came and picked me up at the airport, got me checked into the barracks, then invited me to spend that first night with her and her husband.

The next morning, January 17, my sponsor knocked on the guest room door.

"I think you ought to get up," she said.

"Why?  What happened?" I responded

"We bombed Iraq last night."

Now, I was tired, cold, jet lagging, and you know me anyway.  Naturally, first thing that popped out of my mouth was,

"Well, what do you expect me to do about it?"


And that, friends is how my adventures in Europe began.




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Crazy Day

It all started last night, after I'd made that comment about cranky poop-eating dogs.  Almost as soon as I'd hit the publish button on my post, I heard a very strange noise.  Following the sound to investigate, I discovered Rylea had dragged the litter pan out of the bathroom and had dumped it out into the bedroom.  On the carpet.

Immediately, I decided that investing in another pet gate was a must.  As a manner of punishing said cranky poop-eating dog, I made her stay in the bedroom while I vacuumed up said scattered kitty litter.   She tried to tell me that was cruel and unusual punishment, but I wasn't buying it.

That brings us to today.  After another one of those every-man-in-the-world-is-glad-he-wasn't-in-the- bed-with-me nights of tossing and turning, I got to get up and go to work.  Yay!

I got there and took one look at my line's schedule and nearly started crying.  I'm still over there by myself, which is hard enough.  It's even harder when your schedule is full of small orders -- 4 piece orders, 8 piece orders, all day long.  Usually when it looks like that, I spend more time setting up than actually brazing.  That makes it very hard to stay ahead of the line, even when you have two brazers.  Doing it by yourself is nigh on impossible.

As if that weren't enough, several of the orders were units for mobile homes.  That means I had to do the florators, too.  Now, I know most of you won't know what a florator or a liquid line is, but you don't need to.  Just roll with it.  All you need to know is that it is an extra step I have to do besides brazing the header (manifold) assembly.  Sigh...

One of the orders on which I had to do the florators, I couldn't find the liquid line.  I looked all over and finally had to go to the tubing department and ask them to redo the order.  About an hour later, one of the people on my line brought me a handful of florators and said, "What do you want me to do with these?"

"Where did you find those?" I asked.  She said they were in a bin on the line.  Alas, they were not the florators I needed.  The ones I needed had been brazed onto the wrong order by a previous shift.  As I was walking down the aisle to the computer to print out a blueprint, I flung my hands out and shouted, "Stop the presses!"

I'm not sure why.  I just seemed the thing to do at the time.

And the day just went down hill from there.  I won't go into all the gory details, but it was rough.  Let me just say that when the second shift group leader came in and asked to explain what the problem was down at the end of the line, I had to ask him "Could you be more specific?"  Seriously, machines were breaking down, parts were getting lost, people were being cranky.  It was so bad, I started counting down the days until I get to do jury duty, because I'm looking forward to the break.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  One of the tubing machines was leaking oil.  The maintenance man took the cap off, but didn't lock out the machine.  When the day shift operator got there, she didn't know the cap was off -- or that anything was wrong, really -- so she turned on the machine and oil sprayed everywhere.  It was actually kind of cool.  But not her fault.  It should have been locked out.  But I digress.

I ended up staying until 4:00, and by that point, I was seriously wondering how necessary that dog gate was.  In the end, I decided that running to the store was preferable to another night of vacuuming cat crap out of my bedroom floor.  While I was there, I ran into the garden center, because I just can't seem to stay away.  A man in there whom I didn't know from Adam called me over to show me a really cool machete.  It had a smooth blade on one side and teeth on the other.  "You could kill a lot of zombies with that thing!" I exclaimed.  He laughed and said, "Yes, ma'am, you could."  I didn't tell him that axes are my preferred zombie killing weapon.

It's the whole Viking thing, you know.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Out Of Gas

I am completely out of gas.  I just don't have it in me tonight.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.  The other sub brazer won't be back for a while.  I don't know how long.  I'm not going to be telling someone else's business here, but let's just say her child has something a little more serious than a cold.

Those of you of the praying mind, lift the little boy up, would you?

In the meantime, I'll be weighing anchor and piloting the ship by myself.  That means going in early, staying late, and dealing with cranky poop-eating dogs while I'm home.


Rylea says, "I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm an absolute angel.  And about that poop-eating thing...I'm pleading the Fifth."

Sure you are...

Monday, July 18, 2016

It Sure Is Monday



And it's been a rough one.  The other sub brazer hasn't been there because her child has been sick. That means that for the last three days, I've had to braze by myself.  For some reason, they can't ever seem to find a back up brazer for my line.  So, I'm over there doing two people's work.

My regular group leader is on vacation, so today the back up group leader said, "I don't see how you braze by yourself.  Don't you ever get tired?"  Uh, yeah.  Of course I get tired.  That's why I'm hollering at everyone by the end of the day.

It's also why no Pokemon have been found lately.  I'm almost out of Pokeballs, and I'm too tired to drive down to the Pokespots.

But digress...this has been going on since Friday morning -- when the other brazer got the phone call and had to leave.  Needless to say, I've been tuckered.  Yesterday, I didn't do anything but sit.  I worked on my Dinosaurnaments a little bit, but my head was pounding too much for that much concentration.


So, naturally, I cast on another hat.


This is Knit Picks Brights and the color is Pickle Juice.  It's just a plain stockinette stitch hat pattern with an 80 stitch cast on and 1 1/2 " of  K2P2 ribbing.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to tell you that.  I guess I'm desperately trying to make this blog post more interesting, but frankly, it ain't happening.

That being said, I'm going to sign off now.  I'm sure you have better things to do.







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