Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Then who shall fall on bended knee?
ALL creatures of our God and King

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That's Going To Leave A Mark

You know you work a lot of hours when your production superintendent walks by and asks, "Do you ever go home?"  Saturday, I was already staying late, finishing up a 12 hour shift, when the second shift supervisor asked me if I could stay a couple more hours.  I told her I would, as long as she got it approved by the higher ups.  She did, so I did.  So here I am, Tuesday evening and I already have 38 hours on my paycheck. 

By the way, I answered the above question with, "No, I have a little cot set up back in the warehouse.  I just take a nap every so often and keep on working."  He said, "I believe it!"

Some people like to cover their bodies in certain types of body art, like tattoos, for example.  I seem to want to go a different route. 

This, friends, is what happens when you drop a red hot piece of copper onto your arm.


Just in case you were wondering, yes we do wear protective sleeves which we call arm guards.  And yes, I was wearing my arm guards when this happened.  In fact, I had to move said arm guard in order to splash cool water on said burn.  And my first thought was, "Dang, that burned me through my arm guard!"

However it got there, it's definitely going to leave a mark.  I'll just add it to my collection.  Of burn scars, I mean. 

Let's move on to more pleasant topics, shall we?  

Do you remember me reviewing a movie I'd watched over Memorial Day weekend called Taking Chance?  That movie touched me so deeply that even though it's available through my Prime subscription, I handed over a few of my hard earned dollars to add the DVD to my collection.  

If you haven't watched this movie, I strongly encourage you to do so. 

Look!  My first little tomato is starting to ripen!  It won't be long until I put it onto a sandwich. 

Better news, I've got four more little tomatoes growing on that bad boy.  

Finally, I added a new wax stamp to my collection.

Here is what the stamp looks like. 

I've discovered that if you are very careful, you can peel the seal off the paper, remelt the wax, and reuse it.  I wouldn't do that on any real correspondence, but it's good for practicing with. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Just a quick point of opinion before we get to our hymn for today.  Personally, I think churches should get back to singing the good old hymns, and not this more modern stuff.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the modern stuff.   It's just that most of it is too complex for the average person to sing.  My church often sings things like In Christ Alone, and 10,000 Reasons.  Those are both great songs, and two of my favorites, but they are not really suited for congregational singing.

I've noticed that when those songs are sung, only about 1/3 of the congregation actually sings the whole thing.  Most people start, but quit singing long before the song is done.  However, when these great old hymns are sung, we raise the roof!  We need to get back to that.  We need to get back to singing as an act of worship -- not entertainment. 

Let the amen sound from his people again!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dear Coworker

I hear you over there complaining. 

I hear you complaining that you don't get as many overtime hours as some of us.  Instead of whining about how unfair you think it is, have you tried being...ummm...not lazy

You see, in the four hours I stayed over on your shift you went to the bathroom three times -- staying about 20 minutes each time, to the break room twice, disappeared to who knows where about five times,  and spent over an hour (cumulative) either standing there talking or playing on your phone. 

They aren't going to pay you time and a half to play on your phone or alternating between running your mouth and stuffing junk into it.  So, here's a suggestion for you.  Pry your enormous rump off that cooler that you spend half the night sitting on, get over to your work area and work.  Prove to them that their overtime pay won't be wasted on you. 

Trust me, your supervisor knows who works, and who whines.  Do a little more of the former, and a lot less of the latter and you may finally get offered some of that overtime you seem to think you are entitled to. 

Thank you.

That is all.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Random Thoughts Of A Rainy Friday

1.  Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for work, I saw a little spider busy weaving a web on my front porch.  I said to the little spider, "Spider, it's too dark to see any markings, but you have the shape and appearance of a Black Widow.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill you."  I grabbed a nearby can of wasp spray and did the dirty deed.

2. Yesterday afternoon, when I got home from work, I saw the little spider's little spider carcass still laying on my porch.  I looked, and sure enough, there was the tell tale red hourglass on the little spider's little stomach.  Good thing I assassinated the little bugger.

3.  I was going to take a picture of the little spider's little dead body, but didn't, out of consideration of my arachnophobic friends. 

4.  Some people are addicted to alcohol.  Some people are addicted to nicotine.  Some people are addicted to cocaine.  I seem to be addicted to Zinnias.

This is a Magellan Zinnia.  I'm going to put it into a pot and put it on my front porch.

5.  Speaking of pots, this is a plant James and Beverly gave to me when they moved back to Texas.  

It seems to have outgrown its pot, as it frequently falls over.  I've been looking for a larger pot, but haven't found one.  I think I'm going to swap pots with my garden mum.

6.  My garden mum is growing so much better since I moved it out into direct sunlight.  It might actually bloom this fall.

7.  Man, I need a nap.

8.  I don't have a picture of my garden mum, because it's been raining since I got off work.  I'll be glad when rainy season is almost over.  I had plans for this afternoon.  I'm just glad I went to the store yesterday, even though I forgot half of what I needed.  Yes, I have a list, but when you forget to put said items on said list, said list doesn't do you much good.

9.  Some people get songs stuck in their heads.  I get the alphabet stuck in mine.  Not just any old alphabet, either.  The Spanish alphabet.   I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.  I just roll with it.

10.  That's about it for today.

11.  Man, I need a nap.

12.  Did I already say that? 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Day Off

The plan for my day off was to get up and go to the zoo.  However, as soon as I saw the weather forecast for today, that plan was quickly scrapped.  I think I will wait and go in the fall, when it's cooled off some. 

I figured the reality would be that I sat in front of the TV all day. 

You will also be pleased to know that that did not happen, though there was plenty of TV watching done.  After sleeping in until 6:30 --now, I know some of you wouldn't consider that to be sleeping in, but when one normally gets up at 3:30, it most definitely is -- first thing I did was to get out and spread mulch in my flower bed.

I didn't do the whole bed, just this half.  

I started mulching the other half, but I'm still waiting for these little Chinese Forget-Me-Nots to do something, so I didn't do the whole thing. 

I said it would be too hot to go to the zoo, so what did I do instead?  I got out and cut firewood.  Yeah, like that's going to be so much less hot. 

It wasn't, by the way.  I was only out there about an hour, and by the time I came inside, I was soaking wet with sweat.  Every time I do something like this, I can't help but think how soft we've gotten.  Our ancestors did this all day, every day.  And they did it without chainsaws.  I have so much respect for their toughness and courage.

But then, they grew up that way.  We didn't.

I hate to go back to work tomorrow, but since I do, I guess I'd better get on to bed now.  3:30 AM comes mighty early these days.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What Was I Thinking?

Well, our little vacation at work is over.  Group Leader came back today.  I think she was trying to make up for lost time, because it seemed like she was doing her level best to cram two days worth of nagging and pestering into one.  Even Other Sub-Brazer sighed and said, "We had a nice vacation yesterday."  But all good things must come to an end.  Not sure why, but that's just the way it is. 

As happenstance would have it, way back in January, I looked at the calendar and said to myself, "Self, along about June 14, you'll be needing a day off."  And as happenstance would have it, I put in for that day, and got it.  I'll be having a day off tomorrow.

And what am I going to do on my day off?  The plan is to mulch my flower beds and work on cutting up that giant pile of firewood in my back yard.  The reality is, I'll probably sit in front of the TV all day.  I'd briefly thought about going to the zoo, but I've already ruled that out.  Too hot.  I might go to Lowe's.  Then again, I might not. 

The only thing I know for sure I'm not going to do is get up at 3:30 and go to work.

In other news, there has been knitting going on.  Not much, but there has been knitting.  You know how I've had these two sock yarn blankets I've been working on for ages and ages?  Yeah, I had to go and start a third one.

What was I thinking?

Not only did I start a third one, this time I'm making a smaller square.  My other two blankets have a 41 stitch cast on.  This time I decided to go with a 31 stitch cast on.

Again, what was I thinking? 

I don't know.  Maybe lack of sleep has my brain befuddled. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

All Done

I'm all done with my front flower bed for this year.  Well, done with planting, that is.  I still need to finish putting down mulch, then I'll be all done.

One of the first things I'd planted was some freesias.  Out of 16 bulbs, only 6 even came up.  Of those 6, all but two have died.  When I went to the store Friday evening, I decided I'd get something else to put in that spot.  There was already one zinnia and a vinca that seeded from last year.

I've had several vincas come back from last year's seed, but I've thinned them, except for a few strategically placed ones. Vincas are OK, but not one of my favorites. 

Aside from those, I had some bare spots where the freesias had died.  I filled those bare spots with these hot pink pentas.

And with that, my little flower bed is finished.  Except for the aforementioned mulch. 

It's been exactly one month since I got my new crowns, and let me tell you, it's been an adjustment.  I feel like I've had to learn to talk all over again.  I'd never really paid attention to how much of a role your teeth play in your speech, but trust me, they are more important than you think they are.

Still, I'm slowly getting used to them, and may one day see them as teeth instead of crowns.  I'm not there yet, though. 

I was going to write about what a hectic day we had at work.  Then I realized, it was actually pretty easy for me.  Group Leader wasn't there, so not only did I not have anyone nagging and pestering me to death all day, but Other Sub-Brazer was able to stay on her stand.  In addition to having help, a Vitally Important Machine kept breaking down, so the line wasn't really able to run that fast.  We only ran just over half of what we normally do, so I was able to really take it easy.  For a change. 

I'm telling you, it was so nice to be able to do my job -- and only my job. 

If only it would be that way every day...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Hymn

There Is A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Well, Fancy That!

A few years ago, my company hired a new supervisor, named Kim.  The male Kim, not the female Kim.

Almost immediately, I felt a connection with him.  Not in a creepy, inappropriate type of way, but as a friend and coworker.  Usually, with new people, it takes me several months to feel comfortable around them, but this guy and I hit it off almost immediately.

After his training, he was sent to second shift, and I didn't see him for a long time.  Someone had even told me he'd quit, which bummed me out, because he's really cool.  He didn't quit, but I didn't find that out until I started staying late to pay for all my dental help out on second shift, that is.

About a month ago, he came in one morning and told me, "I'm on day shift now."   Awesome!  Every day, he'd come by my stand to speak, even though he didn't work in my area.  It's almost as if he felt as drawn to me as I was to him.  Again, not in a creepy, inappropriate way.  But there was definitely a connection there.

Skip ahead to today.  There I was at work, just a working away, wearing my Navy Veteran tag that I got from Shields Of Strength, as I often do on Red Shirt Fridays. 

He saw it, and gestured towards it with a questioning look on his face.  I handed it to him, he looked at it, and said, "You were in the Navy?"  Yep, from 89 - 94. He asked me where I'd been stationed, what my rate was, why I got out, etc.  All the standard questions.

Then he said, "I knew there was a reason I liked you."  That's when he told me he was in the Navy, too.  He retired as an E-7, which is a Chief, for all you non- Navy types.  We chatted a little more, and Supervisor Ronny walked by, looked at the two of us, and said, "Are you two talking about military stuff?"

That's exactly what we're talking about.

We talked a few more minutes, and just before he walked on, he said, "I always knew there was something about you, and now I know."

We veterans know each other.  As Supervisor Kim said, "It's like we can sniff each other out."

His parting words to me were, "Have a great day, Shipmate!"

Unless you've been there, you have no idea how incredibly excited this makes me.  Oh, I knew there were other veterans out there in the plant.  But, up until now, I was the only Navy veteran -- that I knew of.

Not any more.

I've finally found my people!  

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Here We Go Again

I know I talk about work a lot on this blog, because it takes up so much of my life.  For those of you who don't already know, let me show you what I do.  This picture is not one of our coils.  It's just a random picture I got off the internet.  However, what we make is similar to this.  Not exactly like it, but the same general idea.

I am a sub - brazer.  I make the copper tube assembly that is attached to the front of the unit.  

That big tube with all the little tubes sticking out of it, I put those together, then pass them on to someone else who attaches them to the unit.  What I make is called a header or manifold assembly.  The thing it is attached to is called a coil.  The coil consists of two slabs.  Those are the things on the side with all the little skinny bits of metal, called fins -- the thing that looks like the radiator in your car.  Slabs are made on a machine we call the Fin Press.  I don't have anything to do with those.  I'm just mentioning it in passing, for no reason whatsoever... just so you know what it is.  There are other parts to the coil, but they aren't important right now.

I get to work bright and early this morning.  I walk across the still dark parking lot, fill my cooler with ice, and clock in.  I head to my work area, and before I even get my bag off my shoulder, one of the people working third shift turns around and barks, "Becky!  These headers are wrong!!!"

Hey, I just got here.  Don't be blaming me for it.

Nevertheless, they're all looking at me, like it is somehow my fault.  The third shift sub-brazer has by that time, wandered off, like she usually does as soon as I get there.  I later told the third shift group leader, "I don't mind coming in to help, but I'm not coming in to do her job for her.  If she's going to stop working as soon as I get here, I'm going to stop coming in early. "

I don't think he will get the chance, though.  Two third shift people were over there trying to fix those wrong headers, when one of them got fed up.  She called the sub-brazer and told her to come fix them, since she's the one that messed them up.  The brazer walked over to her stand, grabbed her bag, and walked out the door.  I told third shift group leader, "I don't think she's coming back.  She left all her tools behind.  I think she quit."

I gave him my phone number and told him if she doesn't show up tonight, and you need me to come in at three, clear it with your supervisor and call me at home.  I cautioned him to call me from the company phone, or I won't answer.

Aaaand my day just went downhill from there.  Group Leader was in an especially naggy mood today.  She was really driving me up the wall, so much so that I told her she needed professional help, because she had an unhealthy obsession with calling my name.  She said, "I have to, or you'll think there is something wrong with me."  I replied, "I already think there is something wrong with you!"

The highlight of the day was about 1:00 PM, when she walked over and asked me -- ME--,"Were you two slabs short on that last order?" 

Now, if you'll remember from my casual observance above, I have nothing whatsoever to do with the slabs.  Why was she asking me?  I just stood there, dumbfounded, with my mouth hanging open, until the words burst forth unbidden,

Do I look like a Fin Press to you?  

Sigh, is it any wonder my nerves are shot? 

I thought briefly about requesting to go to third shift if that brazer really did quit, but it wouldn't do any good.  It's been this way on every line I've worked on.  I'm sure it'll be the same on third shift, too.  I always seem to end up being a sort of default group leader, even though I don't want to be.  People always tend to look to me for answers.  They look to me for leadership.  It got so bad on line 2 that I hung a sign on my stand that said, "I am not your group leader.  Ask Fernando!" 

All those Facebook quizzes that say I'm a natural leader, I'd always scoffed at the idea.  I'm beginning to think there might be something to that after all. 

Monday, June 05, 2017

Small Enough To Spank

I am an introvert, and like most introverts, I have some pretty serious telephone issues.  It takes a lot for me to answer the phone, and even more for me to call someone. 

Like most small children, Cody took the opportunity of mommy being on the phone to pester her to death.  Given my difficulties with phones in general, I quickly put a stop to this by telling him, "If you interrupt me while I'm on the phone, there had better be blood coming out of you somewhere, because if there isn't, there will be." 

Cody is grown now.  You know, things just aren't the same as they were back when I was his age.  Like last year.  He'd just graduated from college, and had found a job pretty quickly.  He and his college roommate soon found a place to rent.  The problem was, he'd never carried any debt (other than his student loans, which he hadn't begun to repay at that time), so he didn't have a credit score.  He'd never financed anything, nor did he have any credit cards.  Even when he bought his car, he saved up and paid cash for it.  No debt means no credit score.

Anyway, since Cody didn't have a credit score, I had to cosign on his lease for him.  Because I do have a credit score.  Because I have a lot of debt.  Which is why I'm working so much overtime. 

But I digress...

Late last night, he sent me a text

which I didn't answer, because I wasn't.  So he called me.  At 9:30 PM.  Yes, that is Post Meridian.  Um, you do know I get up at 3:30 ANTE Meridian, don't you, son of mine?

He and Dejuan have found a new place to rent, and wanted to know if I'd cosign on the lease again.  Sure, I would.  He needed all my information -- monthly income, place of employment, etc. etc.  I gave him all that, wished him luck, and went back to sleep.

He called back at 10:30.  Ten thirty!  This is one of those times I wish he were still small enough to spank. 

What had happened was that he had timed out on the application, and had to fill it all out again, so he needed my information again.  I gave it again, wished him luck, reminded him what time I get up in the morning, and concluded our conversation with the immortal words:

If you call me this late again, there had better be blood coming out of you somewhere.

Cody replied with his classic Cody wit, "That can be arranged." 

All that to say, I've been running on very little sleep today, so you don't get a post. 

Oh, just one more thing.  When I got off work, there was another text from Cody.  He didn't get to turn in his lease application because the server went down or something.  He needed all my information again, and he was going to go fill out the stuff in person. 

Let's hope it gets done this time.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

A hymn set to the music of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement, which is quite possibly the single most perfect piece of music ever written.  This has always been one of my favorites.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

One More Thing

I told you Thursday that the last thing I'd ordered had arrived, but I forgot one more thing.  I forgot I had also ordered replacement grates for my grill.

See, a year or so ago, I'd traded Cody's old bed, which he'd long outgrown but for some reason was still hanging around, for a tabletop charcoal grill.  It's a nice grill, but the previous owners hadn't taken very good care of the grills.  They were badly rusted.  I've tried several times to scrub the rust off of them, but in the end, I took the better part of valor, and just bought new ones.   

I looked on one website, and they wanted $24 apiece for them.  I searched around to see if I could find them cheaper than that, but couldn't even find the size I needed at all.   Then I got the bright idea to look on the Char-griller website itself.  They had them for $8 each!  Even with shipping, I got two for less than that other website wanted for one. 

They arrived yesterday, but um, let's just say that when I got to work yesterday morning, the first thing Third Shift Group Leader said to me was, "Boy, am I glad to see you!"  That right there ought to tell you how my day went.  That, combined with not having slept well the night before, meant you didn't get a post at all.

After work, I had to go to the store, mainly because I didn't want to go today.  Of course, I can't go into Wal-mart without going to the garden center.  Remember how I was debating on whether to try to plant more wildflower seeds in that one patch in my garden?  As soon as I saw these Sizzle Zinnias, that debate was settled. 

They had several six packs of them, but of all of them, this was the only one with an orange flower.  All the rest were just pink.

I also picked up one more plan Zinnia, because I liked the hot pink flower.

After work today, I got out there and pulled up the rest of that grass and planted them.  In the next day or two, I'll put the mulch down around them, and my front flower beds will be done for this year.

Speaking of work, during the week, the supervisors are expected to dress a bit nicer than us peons.  Not suits or anything, but khaki pants and polo shirts, or similar attire.  I guess it's what you'd call business casual.  However, on weekends, things are a little more relaxed. 

This morning, Supervisor Calvin wore jeans and a Captain America t-shirt.  A couple of hours into my work day, I needed him for something.  I don't know which numbers to dial on the phones to page someone over the PA system, so I asked my coworker, "Can you do me a favor and page Captain America to the front of line three?"

She said, "I'll page him, but I'm not saying Captain America over the thing." 

"Well, that takes all the fun out of it," I replied.

When Supervisor Calvin came over and we'd discussed my little problem, I told him, "I asked her to page Captain America, but she wouldn't do it." 

He said, "That's just wrong of her." 

He walked down to where she was, and asked her why she wouldn't page Captain America.  She said, "I was afraid you'd be mad.  I'll go do it now."  At this point, Supervisor threw up his hands in mock frustration and said, "But I'm already here now!"

It seems like I only write about work when I'm aggravated or frustrated, so I posted that story to let you know we do have our lighter moments out there, too.   I'm going to try to share more of those, instead of just griping all the time.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

That's The Last

The last of what I ordered in my weekend spending spree arrived a bit earlier than I expected. It's a Quikrete Walkmaker mold. 

Now, if it ever stops raining, I can start rebuilding my patio.  I'm so excited! 

Today was rough all around.  It started when I didn't sleep well last night.  It took me forever to fall asleep, then I kept waking up.  Shortly after midnight, I woke up to use the bathroom.  The first thing that popped into my head was, "Well, it's June now.  I am officially menopausal." 

Don't ask.  I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.

Follow that with a difficult day at work.  Tubing had gotten behind, and I kept running out of work.   It wasn't just me, either.  All the lines were dealing with parts shortages.  Days like that are exhausting.  I was going to leave at the end of my shift, but the second shift supervisor told me she'd lost a sub- brazer and really needed me to stay.  She said that she and the other supervisor knew they could always depend on me.  I started to tell her that I wouldn't be so dependable if I weren't so broke, but I didn't. 

I went and asked the other second shift sub- brazer, and she said the other girl just walked out and didn't come back.  So, I stayed over a couple of hours to help.  I ended up line brazing, though, instead of sub-brazing.  Y'all would have been proud of me.  One of the second shift workers -- who's seen me over there line brazing dozens of times -- asked me if I knew how to braze.  I kept my mouth shut.  I smiled and said yes, instead of saying, "I hope so, since I've been doing it for 17 years." 

Second shift had the same problem we did.  They'd braze up an order, then go down waiting for the next order to be ready.  It was that way until I left.  I was glad when I walked out of the plant and found it was raining.  An excuse not to work in the yard, since I was too tired to want to anyway.

Now, a quick paragraph for Edna.  If you aren't Edna, you can still read it, but it might not make much sense to you.  Yes, there is a history behind this. 

You know, Bren wasn't there today, so Olivia was pulling parts.  Well, there was this 12 piece order that wasn't ready when I got there this morning.  It still needed two more legs.  I pulled everything that came before that 12 piece over to the line.  When we finished brazing it all, I went back and checked, and the 12 piece still wasn't ready.  The stuff that came after it was, so I got that.  Finally, the line was about to start running the 12, so I went back and checked one more time.  It still wasn't ready.  I said, "I'm going to print out a pick ticket just to see what else this order needs."  I'm thinking maybe here is something I can substitute and the line won't go down.  Lo and behold, all it needed was two semi legs.  SEMI legs!  She couldn't even pull two semi legs out of the rack. 

I pulled the last two legs and kitted the order out myself.  As I walked past Olivia, I mused somewhat loudly, "It's a shame sub brazers have to pull their own parts.  It's almost like we don't have a parts stager at all."

You're welcome. 



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