The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Friday, December 22, 2017

I pass my test, build things, get sick

Monday I took my Turf herbicide license test so I can get a commerical pesticide applicators license. I passed with an 87% which is pretty good considering I was convinced of failure. Strangely enough, it was not my lack of mathematical skills that was the problem. I did find on the math. However, there were a lot of trick questions (in my opinion) and I forgot to study one section.
I was about the have a great week at work.
The shop guy wanted me to work on the leaf pickup machine. We put a different engine on it. Replaced a 40 year old Clinton (I think) that kept breaking the starter with a Harbor Freight Predator.
Controls had to be moved and changed.
This beats the heck out of blowing leaves in the cold and rain.
Tuesday I started feeling a bit off. My wife has decided to do some painting and caulking. Monday night we used a rather stinky product which is not labeled for indoor use, then the dog barked every two hours and I could sleep.
So I didn't think much about feeling like crap Tuesday morning. But around midmorning I realized something was wrong.
I had trouble thinking, my brain started attempting to crawl out of my right eyesocket. This is even more uncomfortable when you are running a grinder and the stereo in the shop is blaring hard rock with the occasional speed metal thrown in for torture.
Fortunately my supervisor was gone and the Shop Guy sent me on a 20 mile parts run.
I started noticing that I was having trouble driving straight. Also, I was a little dizzy. I figured it was a bit of an inner ear infection and if you are going to crash you might as well make it worthwhile so I just went faster.
I got the wrong parts... Well, one of the parts was wrong. However, I was kind of wiped out and I went and watered plants in the greenhouse. It was warm and quiet there.
Then I got a text from my missing supervisor to put out rat traps for him. I think that is a mark of responsiblity. I tried to do a good job.
When 4:20 p.m. arrived I headed for the office and I was out the door before 4:30. But then I remembered I had promised my daughter to pick up some artistic stuff for her mother for Christmas. So I went downtown and bought a really cool Japanese made pen that is like a paintbrush and you can do lettering or calligraphy. Not that she does calligraphy but it had really cool Japanese writing on the pen. Then I spied a basement tea shop which I'd never seen before and the owner looked like Yoda so I bought my daughter some tea.
Then I went home and crashed on the couch.
I think I was able to expose a large number of people in several different social setting to plague and disease in the week before Christmas.
The family was taking my daughter's foreign exchange student friend to Seattle and would be gone for three days. They stocked me up with wood for the fire and gave me lots of Ritz crackers and they bailed the next day.
Interesting illness.
As I noted earlier I have once again popped a rib out of place. I usually ignore this until my wife forces me to go to the Chiropractor.
So I had a severe headache, deep coughing, I found blood in my snot but (not being delicate) the stuff that came out of my lungs, the stuff that was up in my head. I could not stay warm, (but it is cold and damp out), every muscle connected with coughing hurts. I have no appetite but am not nauseous. I'm tired but can't sleep, my right ear starts hurting from time to time.
I thought I was well this morning till I got out of bed and had to cough. It hurt so bad I just went back to bed. As of this moment I figure I am mostly well but I'm still cold and have no energy.
It was a strange illness and I don't wish it on anyone else.
I have not finished my Christmas shopping and I really don't feel like it.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Muddy Valley back in the day...

I hate tests

The GRE test is my excuse for not going to grad school. Stupid reason, I'd probably still not have a real job anyway.
I fell off the forklift yesterday trying to change the yard light. Took Teddy and I all day. Ended up installing a new fixture. I wanted to go LED but didn't have $150. Got the cheapo $75 mercury vapor one.
Tomorrow I take my commercial applicator exam. I'm going to fail it. I can't concentrate.
I think I am mental.
Daughter is sick. Skipped church and I'm hoping hot water jets on my back will make me feel better. Not sure what to do about my knee.
Am trying my favorite brand of muscle relaxant.
We shall see...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Meanwhile in California... I can see if he was going to eat it...

Second man comes forward to claim he was the heroic bunny rescuer via

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I spend actual money in a record store and feel foolish

Yesterday the President of my humble college issued an edict declaring no work after lunch and we all were sent home with pay.
I had a few things to do like put my meager pay check in the bank and pick up a pizza for supper.
My plan was to play pinball most of the afternoon and then pick up the pizza and go home. However, now that I am fifty-&*(^%ing-old, playing pinball all afternoon does not calm the nerves like it once did. Plus, I have a CDL and I don't feel like drinking Pepsi by the pint glass and I can't even sniff mouthwash without being subject to a driving under the influence.
I suppose I could have talked a workstudy student into accompanying me but that just seems weird. I saw a former helper/workstudy kid walking home and invited him home for Thanksgiving but he declined. He said he was going to have a pathetic Thanksgiving with his three remaining Frat brothers at the weed friendly fraternity on campus. It also might also be because I noted he was certainly looking good when I invited him into my car. He was wearing a bandanna and silkish rainbow hued harem pants and playing with funny juggling balls with string things on them that he spins around his head.
He made a comment about ass, grass, or gas, and I responded with, "Hey, nobody rides for free..." He seemed cool with that.
Well, he did look sorta cute...
But, I digress...
I gave him my lunch and threw in three beers which I had found in a flowerbed earlier in the week. He was looking a little skinny. He was very happy about the Thanksgiving bounty. He said he was going to use my carrots in his stew and totally gulped down his half of my sandwich. The beer was an added bonus. He expected one can but I gave him the three left in the pack.
I can't tell that story in Church but he seemed genuinely touched by my good will and this ain't exactly Church...
I cashed my check and headed back into town to straighten out my insurance defugalties. I texted my insurance agent who said her helper was in the office. She wasn't. So I ordered the pizza.
Which reminds me of a little story.
I was trying to enrich the word power of a workstudy student. He wanted to know the difference between a defugalty and conundrum. I suggested that a metaphorical example might be if he could picture sitting on a mower and really had to go poop but the restroom was far away. So you were sitting there wondering if you should just poop yourself or hold it in till you go blind. That is a conundrum and both of those two solutions would result in a defugalty. A couple days later he thanked me putting my explanation into "real world" terms that he could understand.
But, once again, I digress...
To kill some time I went to the local record shop. The owner makes me a bit nervous as he always looks at me intently and never seems to recognize me although I've patronized his shop off and on for at least a decade. Of course I seldom buy anything although I once found a pristine copy of the Blue Ridge Rangers for which I had been searching many years.
I was looking for the Kinks album that has their greatest hits excluding "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" or that stupid one about their cousin. The Kinks really have some horrible songs and like only five awesome songs. Sort of like the idea of if you shoot the shotgun often enough you are going to eventually hit a duck school of song writing...
And then I saw a tab for Mudcrutch!
There in front of my confused little eyes was a genuine Mudcrutch album. I put down the demo copy of "The Fabulous Thunderbirds" first album and looked with wonder on Tom Petty's first band. This would have been recorded during or after his groundskeeping gig at Florida Sate. I just assumed it was a remaster of old tapes on to Vinyl and it would be amazing. I looked closely at the cover. I read that it had been recorded in one take in 70'. I rushed to the counter. The kid behind the counter said, "whoa, Mudcrutch, their first album..." I started talking.
Fortunately and attractive girl walked in and the owner and his accolade abandoned me.
I picked up my pizza and rushed home.
My wife and daughter were home.
I restrained myself for at least an hour and then when I was requested to come help make pies for Thanksgiving I suggested we listen to my new album.
I dropped the needle on the first track and it was Tom Petty singing a Folk Song, followed by a country-western song, and suddenly I realized that this was recorded not in 1970 but rather in 07' meaning 2007.
This ain't swamp rock from 1970, this is middle aged dudes singing country music. This is not bad as it is what country music should be, but I just was not prepared. Plus, I could have bought the CD from Amazon for half the price. Heck I could have bought the CD and the record and got the songs as a Free MP3 download from Amazon and had it delivered by tomorrow if I was actually looking for a Mudcrutch reunion album.
Oh well, it is worth something to hear Tom Petty singing "Six days on the Road." He leaves the "little white pills" line in.


I miss the old days.
I was talking about with one of the hispanic workers. Somewhat of a language barrier but he was also talking about the big family dinners of his youth and how people just are not the same as they used to be. Kind of interesting. Curmudgeonism can bridge borders of language and culture. I have discoverd some sort of inter-cultural enlightenment...
My family used to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner with all the extended family members. It was kind of a pain when I was a kid but now I kind of miss it. There was usually really good food.
We are going to my Wife's family today. Which is great.
I invited one of my workstudy students when I found out he was one of the few people left in his Frat house.
He declined as he was determined to have Thanksgiving with the few that remained. Sort of a holiday tradition I understand. I gave him my lunch which had a lot of carrots. He was pretty happy as they were making stew. I also gave him several beers that I had found. This made him Very happy. It sounded as if his Thanksgiving dinner would be greatly improved by three beers, a bag of carrots and a bag of peanuts. Perhaps i should take him a pie this afternoon.
I kind of feel bad about eating the candy bars I found under the stadium bleachers. Should have also passed those on.

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