A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The International Terminal

So I've got a three hour layover (longer if the weather continues as it
has) at Atlanta. I'm flying out of the D-terminal. Since the weather is
plugging things up and it is the day before a holiday, D is stuffed to the
gills with people and kids. Even the bars are packed with noisy families.

I needed a drink and a bit of quiet so I wandered out to the E-terminal.
Mainly international flights. It is much less hectic and the bars were
walk-up no wait seating.

It's probably the Guinness, but I'm a bit choked up seeing the number of
children in digital camo calmly heading overseas.

We need to stop this ignorant foreign policy and bring these kids home.

Nukes are appropriate. Children are not.

Monday, April 18, 2011

For Ma.

They're fake, but fairly fuzzy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday morning, Coming Down

I'm pretty sure Johnny Cash didn't write that song after putting two coats of Kilz on a remodeled bathroom, but I think I know what he felt like when he did.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Alternate Federal Budget Plan

Stolen from Radio Derb:

You want a budget proposal? We've got one. Here are some real spending cuts for you. Herewith the radio Derb 2012 budget proposal.

1.Raise Social Security eligibility age to 75 immediately.

2.Stop government funding for any medical procedure not available in 1975. (These first two proposals are collectively known as the 75-75 entitlement reform.) Look, things were OK in 1975. Most people lived as long as they wanted to.

3.Ban all Medicaid to non-citizens, including all members of all households headed by non-citizens.

4.Abolish the IRS. Replace with flat national sales tax.

5.Immediately repatriate all military personnel based overseas other than embassy guards and those supporting naval ports of call in friendly nations.

6.Secure the nation's borders and expel all illegal residents.

7.Cut legal immigration from the current nearly two million to the 23,500 recommended on the Comprehensive Immigration Reduction website,

8.Shut down the following federal departments: Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Veterans' Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security. Where necessary, transfer essential functions to other departments, e.g. veterans' affairs to Defense. Heck, shut down the Department of Agriculture, too. If it can be proved to perform any useful functions, which I doubt, transfer them to the Department of Commerce. Agriculture's a form of commerce, isn't it?

9.End all foreign aid. Reduce all embassy establishments by eighty percent, and close all consulates. If Johnny Turk wants a U.S. visa, let him go to his capital city for it.

10.Abrogate all treaties with Indian tribes and sell their reservation lands back to them at one dollar per square mile. Sorry about Wounded Knee and so on, but it's time you were just citizens like the rest of us. If U.S. citizenship isn't good enough for you, go find some other country to live in.

11.Shut down the Justice Department office of Civil Rights. They are nothing but sowers of discord. Everybody in the U.S.A. has full civil rights. We have a black president, for crying out loud.

All right, I'm getting into some non-budget-critical stuff there, but you get the idea. We have way, way too much government, and most of it does nothing but cause trouble. If Belgium can cope without government, so can we. Or do you want to tell me we're less capable than Belgians? Of course you don't.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Melancholy Memories of a Simpler Time

Way back, when I knew nothing, I fell upon the chance to do something which, to me, seemed extraordinary at the time. To most normal people, it would have seemed simply boring.

I was in my third year working full time for Kimberly-Clark and was stationed in the Engineering Center at Neenah, Wisconsin.

I was doing a considerable amount of work at the Ogden, Utah plant improving one of their fiber & Super Absorbent reclaim systems.

I was in the middle of a two week stint in Ogden a week or so before Thanksgiving 1996 when I decided on a whim, since I had the weekend free, to drive to Las Vegas and see what was up.

I left the plant immediately after work about 4pm and headed south on I15. About six and a half hours later, I arrived in Sin City. The lights breaking as I crested the final hill out of the gorge from Arizona.

I didn't have a hotel, so I parked at Circus-Circus and started walking. I saw quite a bit of the town that evening on foot and had my $2.99 steak and eggs special while I was about.

I did have a hotel booked for Saturday night, but I couldn't check in until the afternoon, so I needed to find something to do to keep me awake.

I checked around on a few maps and found that I was within spitting distance of Hoover Dam, so I headed southwest. I arrived about 0830 and parked at the over look near the visitor's center. They had tours scheduled about every thirty minutes and I decided I would see what there was to see.

I got in the line to purchase my tickets and when I reached the window, I noticed that there was the standard tour which stayed outside, and there was, for about $10 extra, the "Hard Hat" tour which actually took you down into the bowels of the dam to the generator station and even let you walk out on the platform that is only a few stories off the Colorado.

I opted for the Hard Hat tour.




It was incredible. We were lead into the deep recesses of the dam including the tunnels into the vertical rock faces where the dam meets the gorge. Surprisingly there were quite a few small seeps visible and, if I recall correctly, they were all cataloged and documented.

The doors in the dam were made of silver to resist corrosion and a single replacement had to be procured at one point for, I think, somewhere north of $20k.

The generator room was amazing as these monster vertical turbines were seemingly idling along at about 180 RPM. (20:1 gear up = 3600 RPM generator = 60hz).

We were told that if the water were stopped the turbine and generator would coast for over twenty minutes before it would finally stop. (Although the guide did say that a bearing failed in one of them once and it stopped in less than 8 minutes. No one was happy that day I assumed.)

We then were able to walk outside at the base of the dam and see the sheer majesty of it ascending to the heavens. That is the view I remember most vividly.

We finally finished up the tour after about two hours and I headed back to Vegas to crash for the afternoon at my hotel before hitting the town again.

Why do I bring this up? Well, in the last ten years there have taken place some events that had caused the tour I took into the dam to be eliminated in its entirety. In addition, there is a bridge being built just to the south of the dam that will soon allow the dam to be forever closed to public vehicular traffic. (And the bridge is an abject atrocity. It has completely destroyed the grandeur of the area surrounding the dam.)

That is an artistic rendering, but I have recently visited the site and it's pretty darned close.

(Also, looking at the lower portion of the dam on the right side in the picture, we were standing on the lowest ledge that sticks out over the water.)

Now, what could have happened that would cause the government to eliminate a great tour of a major historical landmark and destroy a majestic view in order to eliminate access to a bridge?

September 11, 2001 ring a bell? We have utterly capitulated to the moslem hoard. We have allowed them to set the agenda for everything we do even if it means losing basic freedoms. Immigration control is out of the question because that would be racist and offensive. Intelligent profiling, unless it is used against actual American citizens is similarly unacceptable.

Our children will eventually get used to their hijabs and burkas. And I've resigned myself to remembering the "good old days" that actually were.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Race Results are in

The link on the Corporate Cup site is broken, but i figured out where they posted the files.

Here are the links:

All results.

Open Class finishing order.

I ended up the 91st male in the open class and 126th out of 433 with a "chip time" of 27:57.1.

I'll take it.