Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hump Day

Here it is Wednesday already, and I haven't accomplished much of anything this week. I am puting new veneer on my kitchen cabinets. I have all of the cabinet doors done, still need to do the drawers. It is kinda a big pain in the ass, but I am far enough along that I can see the end in sight.

I want to get the kitchen done before I go back on first shift, which is tentatively scheduled for April 18th, but we are going to Oregon to the beach for a week the 8th thru the 15th, so I have like a week to get done. I don't think I am going to make it unless I go all out this weekend.

I made a major tactical error with the cabinets.

I have this big old barn of a house (2850 sq. ft.) on three floors (Or two floors and a daylight basement if you prefer). The original structure was built in the late 30's, and a top floor was put on it in the 70s. The guy that did the rebuild didn't have the best materials or skills. It's not like it is in danger of falling down or anything, just that whenever I go to fix one thing, I find three of four other things that need to be fixed along with whatever I set out to do.

An example is the downstairs bathroom. My daughter Rose was taking a shower, when a portion of the shower surround fell in on her. It had pulled loosed from the wall, but when I looked at it, I couldn't just put it back on, because the wall behind it was rotting away. It had not been sealed properly around the edges, and water was working its way in behind the surround. At any rate, I had to section the wall up three feet all the way around, and put in a new shower surround. While I was at it, I put in a new mirror, vanity, replumbed the sink, rewired most of the bathroom, and put in new lighting fixtures. Three monthe an a couple of thousand dollars later, we got the full use of the bathroom back.

Then there was the upstairs bath. But that is a different story.

I was redoing the spare bedroom upstairs, when my lovely wife Carol and I got into a discussion about the kitchen. The kitchen cabinets were covered with this really cheap dark walnut vinyl. We hated the cabinets because they were so dark they just sucked the life out of the room.

I told her I would "reskin" the cabinets when I was done with the spare bedroom. She went "HUH?" so I said "You know, reveneer the cabinets." "HUH?" So I took her out and shower her a spot between two cabinets that had a 1" filler strip between the cabinets. She looked at it, grabbed the bottom, and tore it off of the cabinet. Next thing I knew she was out there with a putty knife and a hammer, and we had no veneer on the cabinets.

I called around and got some 10 mil white oak veneer, and a gallon of contact cement and started pulling the cabinet doors off one at a time, taking them down in the basement, reveneering them, bringing back up and remounting. The bad part is that the fumes from the contact cement are wickedly nasty. I was getting higher than a kite even with the basement doors wide open. I finally had to buy a high quality respirator. The high wasn't so bad, but the headaches afterwards were killer. Besides I probably don't have any brain cells to spare.

Some day I am going to learn when to keep my mouth shut.

Or maybe not.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Friday Night

So, it's Friday night. Like any normal red-blooded American male I should be out getting blitzed and getting laid, but here I am sitting at the Barge alongside the 737 line in Renton, bored out of my skull. Once every two weeks, we have a "Down" day, when there is no airplane in our position, and today happens to be that day. This is the day when they clean up and do maintainence and that kind of stuff, but since I am a "problem solver", it doesn't give me much to do.
I would sure rather be home with my sweetie sippin' a TNT and cuddling on the couch than sitting here trying to stay awake. So here is a Friday nught Poem about falling in love:

Cartographers of old the world described
As being flat, and so defined
the Earth had edges
And if you sailed beyond the maps
Beyond the ken of man
you might come to the end of the Earth

Columbus sphericality supposedly proved
Or Magellan if you prefer, but not until
from space did astronauts with photographs
The azure globe did prove (Unless you
a modern Ludite profess)

I have always held the rational view
that Science conclusively proves as fact
the Earth is round.
Until, that is,
One Friday night
I slipped my tether
and fell off the edge of the Earth.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Second Shift

So, I'm stuck here on second shift for another couple of weeks. The hours are 4:30 until 1:00 AM. Being a former country boy, it goes against my other 56 years of experience. When you have gotten up early (5:30) for over 50 years, your body resists this radical of a change. Right now I should be unwinding from a day's work and relaxing after dinner. Instead, I have just barely gotten in to the work shift. My body is SO CONFUSED!

The people that adjust to this shift love it. I was talking to Ralph earlier, and he said he always prefers second. He said that the idea of starting off his day with a loud annoying ringing in his ears was not the way he preferred to start his day. I am no great friend of the alarm clock, and he certainly has a point. I mean it is nice to just wake up when you wake up, with no fretting about the alarm.

The major problem with being on second shift is I hardly ever get to be with my wife. Carol works days, so she gets up at 5:30. I don't get home until around 1:30, so by the time I unwind and get to bed it is usually around 3:00. I leave for work at 4:00, she gets off at 4:45. The only time we see each other is Saturday and Sunday, and even then out schedules dont mesh.

I guess if you have been married for like 20 years, it would be OK, in fact might even be a good thing, but the fact is that Carol and I are coming up on our second aniversary, so we are still newlyweds. We have gone through a hell of a lot in those two years, but we are still getting used to each other, and I would really like to be there to support her when things go wrong.

Shipside support is like I heard flying an SR-71 described "Extended periods of boredom interrupted by short periods of complete panic." Either I am looking for something to do, or I am running around like my hair was on fire.

Well, break time is over, so I had better stop blogging and start slogging.

Here I am at the top of the Pyramid at Tula, Mexico Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Al's Rant

If you are at all into the Aerospace industry, you may have noticed recently that Harry Stonecipher resigned as CEO of the Boeing Company. What may be percieved as a setback by Wallstreet was actually cheered on the factory floor! Never have I seen a CEO that was so universally disliked by the people that worked for him.
The supposed reason for his resignation was that he was having a consentual affair with another executive at work. Give me a break! A little history lesson here. Boeing bought out McDonald Douglas a few years back. When they did, some hand picked executives came with Harry to the Boeing Company.
Since they joined the Boeing Company, there have been multiple major ethics violations, causing the resignation of Phil Condit, the jailing of others, sensure by Congress and other Government Organizations. Almost universally, the individuals that were involved were the very same individuals that arrived at Boeing on Harry Stoneciphers coat tails.
Harry has been running with the dogs, and we are supposed to believe he is resigning because of some catting around?
Harry isn't a feline, he is the head dog.