Sunday, August 31, 2008

I guess we'll see...

The IAM Union has recommended to it's members that they reject the contract offer. I think It's pretty stupid. The numbers look pretty good to me, and there aren't any big takeaways.

The Company really can't afford a prolonged labor problem, but I think they made a reasonable attempt to avoid a strike. Of course, the Union can vote down the contract without going on strike, a lesson in how to be ineffectual. They need a 2/3 majority to strike.

Next Wednesday they vote on the contract and strike authorization, and I won't make a call. I don't think it is a matter of numbers any more. It is a contest to see who has the biggest balls. If things go as usual, the members will get liquored up and whipped into a frenzy, and they'll vote for anything they are told to do. Mindless sheep.

On a lighter note, last night Mrs A. and I went to Jazz Alley to see Lee Ritenore & friends. It was a fun evening of food and funky jazz. I love it when a group of accomplished musicians get together and jam. They were obviously having a great time, jamming off each other's riffs. Mrs A especially enjoyed the keyboard player, Patrice Russian. She has a long, varied and successful career. She so obviously enjoyed herself and the music, it was contagious. It's been a while since we have been to Jazz Alley, but we always have a good time.

And last but not least, V. is being a typical tennage asshole. I swear, it it wasn't against the law, I would beat the crap out of him. Friday night he didn't do the dishes or take out the garbage, so Mrs A told him to do them before he left for Crosscountry practice. He told her that was bullshit. Told her she was being unreasonable. This woke me out of a sound sleep. I don't wake up all nice and smiley. So I got out of bed and yelled at him and told him to shut the hell up and do as he was told. Every time he opened him mouth I jumped right down his throat. Eventually we made peace and I gave him a ride to practice.

This morning when we got up, he had not done the dishes or taken out the garbage. When I started in on him his reply started with "I didn't think.." I stopped hin and said "Yeah, you got that right, you didn't think. Well don't bother to ask us for anything. No rides, no money, no friends over, no nothing."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Strike stuff

The Machinist will get the Company's "Best and final Offer" today. The Company has made a lot of concessions from their original offer, and I believe the offer is fair.
However, I am not a Machinist, so I have no say.
The people in my work area are irrational, as are most of the people in the Union. They have some of the highest paying jobs in the world, with a benefits package that is pretty damn good. The retirement is proposed to go up to $78 a month for every year of service, which is up $8 a month per year of service. Is it the best retirement package. No. Is it pretty good. Yes, when you add in Social Security, it's good enough to live on.
Every hour on the hour, the Union puppets bang on things and whistle. What a bunch of morons. Who do they think they are trying to impress. Not a single person who hears their juvenile demonstrations has anything to do with the contract offer or could do anything about it if they cared.
Marching at lunch time is a little more appropriate, since it gets media attention and is a pretty good gauge of how things are going. Oh well, I will defend their right to act like a bunch of 12 year old juvenile delinquents, even if I disagree with them.
I certainly don't intend to go around banging on a cow bell when our negotiations go on in December.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pokin' and Prodin'

I had my annual physical today. Mrs A. has been nagging at me lately, so I went ahead and submitted today.

Everything is OK. I needed a tetanus booster, but everything else looks good. I still need to go have them take blood, but it has to be eight hour fasting, so I won't go do that until Saturday.

Tomorrow I see the eye doctor. My perscription hasn't changed much in the last five years, but I noticed on Sunday that I was having a little trouble reading street signs, so I figure it will be about time for a new set of specs.

I told my boss that since I was getting a full dilation of my eyes, I wasn't sure if I could see coming to work afterwards.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend? What weekend?

When the alarm went of this morning, it took some convincing to make me accept it was Monday already.This weekend seemed to be over before it got good and started.

I went and got a ton of stove pellets, and they are now currently stacked and racked in the basement, the stove has been thoroughly cleaned. Said ton of pellets should last throu the rest of the year.

I got the leaky window stripped and recaulked. Just in time, too. Sunday it poured rain like a cow peeing on a flat rock. Since the window did not leak, I can put that whole thing in the done file and can forget it.. The bedroom wall got touched up.

Mrs A, kicked be out of the upstairs bathroom, and broke out the painting stuff. She became frustrated when one coat wouldn't do, so I retired to the basement, where I did a bunch of much needed cleaning and rearranging. I had a quite a few "Oh, I wondered where that had gone" moments.. It looks a lot better, but could still use more work.

With going to church, the drive back and forth to Tacoma, Sunday was donefor, except that R and "i" come back with us and are spending the night. It always makes my house seem complete to have a rugrat ecsonced.

I am really draggin today.

Time for a Sobe No Fear Super Energy drink.

Sugar free, of course.

Friday, August 22, 2008

So just slow down, already

I am still attemping to catch up with the honeydo list from all the stuff that didn't get done when I was working seven days a week.
This weekend I need to recaulk the window in our bedroom, get up on the roof and work on the gutters, I need to go get a ton of pellets for the pellet stove, Do s0me touch up painting in the bedroom. Prime the batroom for paint. Install a new ceiling fan in the bathroom after I paint it.
And that's just Saturday.
Sunday Mrs A is supposed to meet a couple of friends at a new church. Then my grand daughter is having a baby shower.
So when do I get a chance to work on Frankenhealey?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


After running V. to the hospital, getting an ultrasound, getting him to the doctors, fighting freeway traffic, having gotten about five hours sleep, I at at home and things are not looking too bad.

The problem turns out to be a hernia. He will still need surgery to have it corrected, but there is no big immediate crisis. He is cleared to play non contanct sports, and as long as it doesn't get worse, he will be fine. The doc said he could wait as long as five years before getting it taken care of.

Big relief for everyone.

Mrs A is on a big tear. She is in one of her "I have had it up to here" moods. So any little thing will set her off. I had the temerity to disagree with her. V. didn't do the dishes last night. His excuse is a pretty good one, if a bit weak. When he had his physical yesterday, they couldn't find any shot record for him, so they loaded him up with vaccines. He had several shots, and he HATES needles. He claims his arm is real sore, and he doesn't feel well, probably from a mild reaction to one of the shots.

Mrs A. was all fired up to go drag him out of bed and make him do them right now. I told her to give the kid a break, he'd had a couple of pretty traumatic days. She sees this as a betrayal, and got real pissy about it. I told her to just calm down. When will I ever learn not to say that. It is like throwing gas on a fire. You think that I would learn, but some times I can be pretty dense. She says that telling her to calm down is the equivalent of telling her to sit down and shut up. In a way I suppose it is. If I wasn't dead broke, I would run to the florist and buy her some flowers, but tomorrow is payday and I have about five bucks in cash.

I guess I'll be stopping on the way home tomorrow.

I caulked the seams around the window as soon as it stopped pouring, but there wasn't enough time for the caulking to cure before the next thunderstorm hit, so I will be stripping it out and doing it over again as soon as a window in the weather presents itself. It is just barely leaking now, and Saturday is supposed to be sunny, so I guess I know what number one chore will be.

I'd go score some good rum and go on a toot if it wasn't for the fact that I am broke.

I now have three estimates for putting in a new heat pump, They run from a little over siix grand to over eight.

I think I will wait until after the labor negotiations are over before I commit.

Another Craptastic Day

I am not going to work today, because I have to run V. to the hospital today.

He went in yesterday for his annual sports physical. They found a mass. So today we are going to first radiollogy to get an ultrasound, then to the urologist for an interpretation and diagnosis.

No matter whether the mass is cancerous or not, they are talking surgery. Poor kid has had a hard enough life without the threat of testicular cancer at age 16. They say he may have to sit out some of the sports season.

Did I mention that it is pouring rain?

And the window in our bedroom is leaking again, despite the fact that I caulked all around it on Sunday.

And I have two contractors coming to give estimates on the heat pump this afternoon.

After the day is over, I may be due for a visit to the Booze Emporium.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maybe, maybe not

The first contractor that came out to look at the house didn't call me yesterday like he said he would. I was pretty much ready to sign on the dotted line if the figures weren't too out of line.

But instead, since he didn't call, I am bringing in three more contractors. The first guy will have to go a hell of a long way to get my business. If you tell me you are going to call on Tuesday, you sure as hell better call on Tuesday even if it is to tell me you need another day.

So I have one more coming tonight, and two more tomorrow.

Hell. I don't NEED to do this now. I may just put it off until after the labor negotiations.

We'll just see how eager they are to get my business.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big $tep

The last several years I have been heating my house with a pellet stove. I have a very efficient stove, which burns so clean you can even burn it when there is a burn ban on. It is fairly inexpensive to run (about $80.00 a month in the winter). I have no complaints about it.

However, thinking long tern, I have to add a better heating system if I am ever going to sell my house. You would never sell a house with a pellet stove as it's primary heat source. It would be fine as a backup, but not as primary.

I also have an ancient heat pump heating system, which is pretty much shot. The heat exchanger is shot, and just to replace it would be about three grand. But that would be the equivalent of putting a new engine in a beater car.

So I have decided to put in a whole new heat pump system. I had a sales guy out on Friday to look over what I had. The elecrical panel and everything is fine, and the vents and everything else. But the interior heat exchanger and blower need to be replaced.

I had estimated the cost to be six to ten grand., and it looks to be around the bottom end of that price range.

What I really wanted was a ground loop heat exchanger, but when I looked into the cost, I stopped checking when the number got up aound $20,000.00.

The sales guy is supposed to call me back today with the figures, and I will then go into my haggling mode. Haggling is a lost art in this country. People just go pay whatever somebody says. I very seldom pay full price for things. I don't mean little stuff, I mean major purchases, like a car.

Got to go sharpen my wit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Turning Point

I took a step today that I swore I would never take.

A friend of mine at work, Linda gave me the business card of her handyman. And I intend to use it. Hell, I have always BEEN the handyman. For us, for my mom, for neighbors, for my kids.

The idea of paying someone else to do things I can do myself just kinda goes against the grain. It's just that I don't have the enegy to do everything any more. What energy I do have I would prefer to expend on Frankenhealey.

One more step on the downward spiral to Geezerdom.

Hey! You kids there! get offa my lawn!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Last night when we were just lazing around after dinner, Mrs A. says "You ought to make reservations for Lake Quinault this October".

This is the kind of task you don't have to encourage me to get on, so first this morning I went on line and booked the first weekend in October at the Lodge. It is one of our absolutely favorite places. Pristine mountains, streams and lake. Peace and quiet.

The reason I picked the first weekend in October is that it is prime time for picking wild mushrooms. Nothing like a nice plate full of Chantrelle mushrooms sauteed in butter with a little salt.

I also know a couple of places to get Cauliflower Mushroom, which is one of my favorites.

And no I don't know where you can get some psylocybin mushrooms. I probably wouldn't tell you if I did.

Try the nearest cow pasture.......

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sleepless in Skyway

I didn't go to work yesterday. Mainly because I was up all night on Sunday. My sinuses are objecting to something. Don't really know what, but it is packing up my sinuses to the point I couldn't sleep on Sunday night. So I just called it a sick day and slept most of the day on Monday.

Better today, but still not 100%. Give me caffiene! Must...have...Caffiene....

My sis and her kids came over for dinner on Saturday. We made applesauce, I sacfificed meat on the BBQ. We made spud salad. We satueed mushrooms.

Sarcasm and humor abounded. We watched a couple of movies.

R and "i" were there.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


My little sistyugler is visiting from Many-sorta. She does this annually. Mainly to keep us all in line, I think.

In a fit of familiality, I have invited her and the kids over for dinner on Saturday. Of course I want to spend some time with them, and who would pass up an opportunity to torture ones nieces and nephews. I will have to spend some time hatching a scheme to spring on them.

HMMMM.....I just made some home-made horseradish sauce. I had some with my roast beef tonight. It was a tad bit stronger than I had anticipated. Sorta "don't breathe out of your nose" hot. That has possibilities.

Start them off with some fresh home made applesauce. They can help me make it. Then when I have lulled them into a false sense of security, I grill a couple of great steaks, then suck them in with a sly "Have you ever had home made Horseradish on your steak?"


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Some Times You Gotta Wonder Why

My mom has a time/share condo on the Oregon Coast. She doesn't go there any more, but has a lot of fond memories of going there with my dad.

So we sibs get the use of it as long as we pay the maintenance fee and usage. We get three weeks a year, and Mrs A. and I usually take one of the weeks. It is one of the highlights of the year for us. Unfortunately, we can't go this year. We are being fiscally responsible this year (pretetnding to be growed-up) because of the possibility of a strike by SPEEA this year. Being growed-up isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Where's all this going you ask?

We like to drive around on the Oregon Coast when we are down there. One of the string of little towns strung along the coast is Gearhart.

Yesterday a private plane crashed into a rented house in Gearhart. The two people in the plane were killed.

So were three kids aged 12, 10 and 8. Their family had rented the house for a vacation.

Some times you just gotta ask yourself WHY????

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Frankenhealey Redux

Automotive projects seem to take on a life of their own, or they die. I regularly visit Craigslist and e-bay motors. You see a steady stream of "Project" vehicles, ranging from a rusting hulk sitting in a field, to almost complete hotrods that people have lost interest in.

This is one of the reasons I am determined to get Frankenhealey on the road this summer. It is real hard to summon up the interest in working on a car when it is nasty outside, unless you have a heated garage, which I don't. What I have is a big deck eight feet in the air, which provides a leaky roof. Nothing like a big drop of cold water down the back of your neck to discourage any enthusiasm.

Today I odered the rebuild kits for the front brake calipers. The first thing of importance is to get the car running, which I have accomplished. After that the second important thing is to get it to stop.

On one hand, I don't want to rush things, because that is when you make mistakes. On the other hand, I have a sense of urgency. The air is beginning to have that "end of summer" smell to it.

Oh well, the parts won't be in for a while. Guess I can get to work on tearing the old water pump off of the engine, since I have a spare sitting right there ready to go.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kites'n Stuff

Mrs A and I needed to get outa town for a couple of days, so Friday we packed up the Airstream and headed West until we ran out of land.

We ended up at Pacific Beach State Park. Had a couple of nice walks on the beach. There was a weird little man with his kites. He is evidently a known person in the world of kite flying. He certainly had some interresting kites. The big round one is about 18 feet in
diameter, and spins as it flies.

Flying penguins, bears, ships, all kinds of neat stuff.

The weather wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. It was overcast, but didn't rain. Good weather for walks on the beach, conversation and peacce and quiet.

We came home in time for the hydroplane races, the Blue Angels

and all the Seafaire hoopla. And as a special note to the PQ the boat and crew from "The Deadliest Catch" were on hand, giving out interviews and autographs.

This is what weekends are all about.