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January 14th, 2017

09:03 pm: A habit forming?
I seriously don't do this often, but the Laphroaig seems to have quite the kick this evening. Whee! It's kind of like drinking a campfire, as the neighbor who introduced me to it (hospitality after I helped him get a printer set-up under Ubuntu on his PC, after I did a bit of excavating work for him) described it. Yeah, I seem to have a habit of assisting neighbors for compensation in the form of socializing & adult beverages, not necessarily the best business model, so it's a good thing I still have a day job.

I'm listening to a little Johnny Horton, who I guess is one of the last famous ballad singers. I guess what motivated this was watching a Seconds to Disaster documentary on the Bismarck. Of course, one of Johnny's bigger hits was "Sink the Bismarck", but I couldn't just stop there...

Guess I may as well make a proper update.

I sold one of the MCI buses, as planned.  I made a great contact in that buyer, I haven't had a customer like him in close to two decades. I'm keeping in contact with him well after the sale, which  we made a few months ago, and we converse often and help each other out. He's primarily an enthusiast, which is  pretty much what I am when it comes to the buses as well.

I took the bus I'm more-or-less keeping (retired RTD unit 1911) on a decent road trip to North Little Rock, AR, back in October with the Dobermans. I removed nearly all of the seats so it's just a cavernous cargo hold that looks like a bus from the outside. It was somewhat a business trip for my own side business, picking up a few hundred fixed-mount fire extinguishers which I bought at GSA auction, including nearly 100 clean agent FM-200 extinguishers (FM-200 is the modern replacement for Halon, which is not ozone friendly) and a bunch of dry powder ones as well. Fixed fire extinguishers are mostly used in automated fire suppression systems in vehicles, these were military surplus used in military MRAPs and the like, a state asset agency in AR bought them thinking they were handheld extinguishers which could be placed state buildings, not realizing they were completely inappropriate for that use. This trip reminded me how much I like driving huge vehicles cross-country, it's been all I can do to stay committed to my day job and not just quit to get more into trucking...

Shortly after that, I bought a 20 year old American LaFrance pumper fire apparatus . It's another of those things that one just has to buy when one has the opportunity. My plans for that are hopefully profitable resale, but I might take parts from it (AC inverter, Kussmaul charger, and any other potentially useful systems) for use in converting 1911 into more of an RV setup. equusfur mentioned that he noticed I'd bought a fire truck, I hadn't really mentioned it, but my sister had posted photos of my nephews & niece on it from when I took them for a little ride in it on Facebook. I'd forgotten she took some photos of it and never noticed them in my feed there. Anyway, according to her, one of her sons said that it's "the coolest thing someone can own".  Heh. I cannot disagree.

 I haven't been super happy with work through the latter half of 2016, having been expected to do a lot of managerial work with neither managerial compensation or actual authority. That situation is changing, so right when I was about to kick my job search into high gear, the (real) management seems to have gotten their asses in gear. I'll give it a chance a little longer to see how the new system pans out. I also play a lot of Summoners War (a silly little mobile device online RPG) which a couple of my coworkers also play and sort of got me into. It's pretty complex and well-executed for a mobile device game, complete with a number of folks who appear to make a living creating Youtube videos relating to strategy and such.

Not much else is going on, I guess. I still don't exactly have a robust social life. Outside of work, it's still just me and the dogs, and the occasional emergency page.

April 28th, 2016

11:02 pm: Been a couple of years...
Yeah, it's been a while.

Seems I rediscovered Rednex (Swedish techno band that mostly plays in a hoedown fiddling country style) after seeing Pop in an Oak played behind a Land Cruiser F(Z)J80 rock crawling video titled "Stormin Norman" on Youtube.

This rendtion of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is probably the best thing I've seen all month. I'm pretty sure I saw it a while back, it looks rather familiar.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7EY9kB2n8wk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I've probably had way too much to drink, which is likely why I think it's the best thing...and why I'm updating after such a long hiatus. Whee!

Also, I bought a Land Cruiser FZJ80 a few weeks ago. It's only slightly damaged, is outfitted very well for crawling/off-roading, and is way more fun than my ~11 year newer 4Runner. It's almost been my primary commuting truck lately. It's a great little truck, old, ugly, beat-up, Old Man Emu lift kit, big tires, ARB bull bar bumper, recovery winch, bombproof 3rd-world-country style. With the 4'+ of snow, it really came in handy.

As if I didn't have enough vehicles, because I also purchased 3 MCI 102-DL3 intercity buses at auctions since December. No, not starting a charter company. Probably going to keep one, definitely selling the other two. Bought them in line with my philosophy, 'You buy things when they're available." Yes, there could be qualifiers such as, "Do you really need something like that?", but those are questions you don't ask if you're me and  you want things like buses.

The Dobermans are doing great. Yes, I have two of them.  EMT classes are going well, too. and I'm almost through the course. I obtained the Structureal Firefighter 1 certification last year.

One horse fewer since my last update... :( And the older one is still with me, the "baby" had bad genes, it would seem.  Her mother has outlived her and is approaching 28 years of age.

Work is going well. Really loving where I am. I could be higher paid and in management, but I'm in my happy place of being technical and "common sense" leadership, still very much hands-on and interacting with interesting & fun people on a daily basis.

I hate to say it, but I'm as intoxicated as I've been in years. I've had to retype a few things, I guess I'll see tomorrow or whenever, whether I'm able to hold grammar and spelling despite barely being able to walk without falling over. Note to self: Don't correct anything, see how you did when you sober up.

January 4th, 2014

05:59 pm: Exciting new discovery
Flashlight signal cone + headlamp = UNICORN

September 9th, 2013

06:05 pm: Headline pretty much says it all.
"CU-Boulder police arrest suspected drunken horseback rider"
...with a dog in his backpack.


August 31st, 2013

10:23 pm: I had an interesting experience the other day.

I was attending one of the more advanced EMR topic trainings, I figured I'd get at least something out of it (and I definitely did learn plenty), despite not even having much first responder training under my belt.

Something about the prospect of treating human patients makes me nervous and I just don't feel I know even the first thing about doing it.

I hadn't thought about how much of a life skill having some basic veterinary skills actually is. There were regulations I haven't learned yet, but I was probably the most knowledgeable in the room besides the seasoned paramedic-trainer who was teaching. Aside from not knowing human dosages for epinephrine 1:1,000 solution, I knew what it was, how it works, the delivery method/locations, what the indications (and some of the counterindications) generally are, and also how to administer injections. The way the other EMRs were handling the syringes & vials, it really didn't look like they'd administered injections to oranges before, much less a human or animal.

Not all of these sorts of classes are going to go like this, but it was nice not being so ignorant of pretty much everything that goes on. I'm a quick study, but there's so much to learn.

Still, aside from my para-veterinary experience, the EMR classroom study and whatever educational materials I might get my hands on, it still seems extremely strange and well out of my current comfort zone to imagine working on patients who don't have fur, even though it's basically the same stuff.

May 8th, 2013

07:21 pm: Vintage desk
I probably posted something about my old desk before, but I'm not sure when.

I finally figured out who manufactured it. It's missing both the top and the pencil drawer, and most of these desks had their manufacturer badges on the pencil drawer. It's a 40s-vintage tanker desk (aka, steel pedestal desk) that's in a style I was having a lot of difficulty pinning-down. Most tanker desks seem to have short legs, this one has boxes that run nearly the length of the pedestals. Most tankers have tops that overhang the pedestals, this one clearly had a top with rounded edges that sat inside the pedestals. Every once in a while, I've been just searching through Google Images for tanker desks to see if I can identify what it is, so maybe I can find drawer and top.

Anyway, I saw one very similar from an old uShip.com lot, and the customer actually helpfully identified it as a "Vintage Y & E Steel Tanker Desk". Bingo! It was the exact desk. A little more searching, and it turns out that the manufacturer's full name is "Yawman and Erbe Manufacturing Co.", so now I have a few nice examples and another variation of the name to work with. It seems pretty unlikely that I'll find the one piece I want most, the pencil drawer, but maybe I can at least find the badge and fabricate a new drawer/keyboard tray.

Maybe someday, my desk will look like this: http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/storage-case-pieces/desks/steel-executive-desk-yawman-erbe/id-f_743545/

Or maybe I'll just leave it mostly alone aside from a new machine-grey paint job. Whatever the case, the rounded corners are the primary distinguishing feature of Y&E desks, and they had a patent for securing the linoleum top around the edge of the rounded corners. I learned a bit more of the history of American manufacturing than I'd expected to in this search, and it's kind of sad that this company seems to have vanished during the 1950s. Guess the owners must've moved operations to Rapture or something. :P

April 10th, 2013

11:25 am: Civic duty
I had jury duty today. It turned out to be a lot of waiting and then all the potential jurors were released from service due to the defendant being too intoxicated to participate in his/her own trial.

Yeah, probably another drunk driver pulled-over by the State Patrol on the way back from gambling. That seems to be the only crimes we ever get up here. The people don't even live here, they just go to casinos on the edge of the county, get wasted, drive, endanger everyone else's lives, and then citizens in this small county get called up to hear all their excuses as they try to weasel-out of what they did. Not that I'd assume anyone was guilty in those DUI cases, I'd listen to the evidence, but they're ALL DUIs. All the jurors were joking about that, most of us get called in every year or two.

November 3rd, 2012

08:27 pm: Dominion Theology
I'm watching a rather interesting documentary entitled American Crusaders: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Post-9/11 America. It's nothing new, but they're extremely active as of late, being some of the most anti-Obama voices out there. I've been somewhat busy trying to call a few of them on their bigotry on a forum I frequent, they've been circulating an extremely anti-Muslim bit of propaganda that comes from an "extreme" South African white missionary who is obsessed with waging literal war against the "Muslim threat".

I remember a good bit of the rhetoric from the attempted indoctrination I suffered as a child, it's violent, constantly using the metaphor of war (all the Christian Soldier stuff, only with literal weapons and speak of martyrdom). It's not just that, though, there have been those incidents reported in the news in which US military personnel and George W. Bush used the US military as a crusade into Muslim nations, and in which Evangelical Christians had thoroughly infiltrated the USAF Academy and started harassing and creating an exceptionally hostile environment for all non-Christian cadets.

This mentality is one of the biggest reasons it's important to keep Republicans out of office, well, in addition to their obsession with vaginas and uteri. While I doubt anyone can be sure what Mitt Romney would actually do if elected, since he will say absolutely anything to become President, when he was pandering to the right wing, he seemed to have a very pro-Israel and anti-Iran/Pakistan/Palestinian/Muslim attitude. We are just ramping-down two extremely costly Republican wars that cost our nation much treasure and lives, we really can't afford to be impatient and militant when it comes to Iran.

August 18th, 2012

05:44 pm: Observation based on political ads
Liberal Democrats are outraged at the prospect of people who have vast personal fortunes receiving even more money and subsidies to their extravagant lifestyles at the expense of all other taxpayers without working for it.

Conservative Republicans are outraged at the prospect of people who are impoverished receiving barely enough money to survive on at the expense of all other taxpayers without them working for it.

July 14th, 2012

07:22 pm: Breed-Specific Legislation
There was a case that just concluded in the UK, in which breed-specific legislation was absolutely in the wrong.

Yes, there are more "bad dogs" in some breeds than others, which were bred and raised to be vicious and brainless. I could support making it a bit more difficult to breed or keep such dogs in areas with a high population density, for the sake more of giving law enforcement more ability to deal with the scum that raise fighting dogs, and give them one more charge to throw at them. Such legislation should also serve as a single-strike system, in which a dog that attacks another pet or a human does get isolated or euthanized because it's just not okay to harbor vicious animals.

But it's just wrong to confiscate a family's dog because it looks like it might be part Bull Terrier, then to force the issue for 2 years, and eventually euthanize it, as was the case with poor Lennox.

That's a really lousy implementation of BSL, it's needlessly cruel and destructive, and doesn't really do anything meaningful in the first place because Lennox had no complaints against him other than he looked like he might be part bull terrier.

Anyway, another online petition, for what they're worth. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/817/837/410/lennox-law/

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