The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Thursday, November 23, 2017


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.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My lucky day

I found 25 cents and half a twizzler blowing the stands after the big football game.
Talk about the benefits of being a groundskeeper!
Of course this was offset by my very astute supervisor saying we can't wear our boots home because the college bought them.
And now I know why people steal pens from work...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I play with tubes, listen to odd music, talk about work...

I know a number of successful people. I have often wondered what makes one successful. To a large extent it is how you interpret your life.
I really envy people who can focus. That self discipline to go past being average seems to always be out of my grasp.
I try to substitute obsessiveness...

My family is visiting family elsewhere and I've been left to my own devices. I have been tying up odds and ends. Yesterday I changed the alternator in my old GMC pickup, checked to oil in one car but got distracted and forgot to check the other vehicles.
I capped the evening when I thought I left my phone on the air cleaner of the pickup and drove away on a test drive. I actually dropped it under my work bench. But I got to walk about in the dark with a flash light and worry about it.

I have been working on the record player which belonged to MuddyValley's father. I replaced the broken tonearm with a lessor quality but equally old substitute and I did a lousy job of soldering.
When my wife's father came to live with us we moved into the large bedroom that housed our collections and my battered old Lazy Boy recliner. It also housed my record and stereo collection.
My wife has been using my over-built stereo stand as a night stand.

I thought I would take it apart and perhaps sell off a few rather valuable pieces. However, I got distracted and started playing with the old Scott 299 tube amp.
I'm setting in the living room listening to rather scratchy record albums via a HiFi older than myself. I cranked it to distortion levels and then backed it off a notch. I'm substituting volume for clarity.
It sounds really good with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (Midnight Special) which is acoustic guitar and harmonica but falls off with heavy bass or rock guitar music. But I am sort of tone deaf.

Tomorrow will be another day at work and I'm not really enjoying my job. My boss is a bit of a micro-manager which is really annoying but at the same time he gives me an excuse to be a slacker and avoid the above-mentioned effort to find true success in my job.

We have a new worker. He is young, something like mid twenties. He has groundskeeping experience, heavy equipment experience, has been to school for mechanic training, and he is working in grounds for slightly above minimum wage. He says it is for the insurance, retirement, and tuition, but I suspect we will find out why he doesn't have a real job in the near future.
My supervisor likes to tell this story about his days in cleaning crew when the radio station people would smoke lots of weed late at night in the studio. The security guy tended to avoid confrontation and when entering the building would complain about there being a skunk outside the building.

Last week I was eating my lunch by myself as I prefer to do. (The secret to happiness in any relationship is controlled access.) I have a half hour lunch break and every one else has an hour lunch break. The young fellow comes in and sits down by my as I am about to get up and punch back in. He seems rather chatty and tucks into his ham sandwich with enthusiasm. He usually shows up when I'm leaving and wants to use my cell phone to call his girl friend at lunch. He said no he was just being friendly. kI was halfway through the door when it hit me. He'd been out hot-boxing his truck a half hour before coming into the office. He reeked of "Essence of Willie Nelson."
I had to consult with Jesus, (the older hispanic fellow who was helping me clean street drains- meaning we work like dogs for an hour then drive around and tell each other slightly off color jokes and make rude jokes about goats in Spanglish) and see if I had a work study student and so I didn't get back to the office right away.
I have to make sure I am not near the office at the top of the hour as my supervisor figures I'm wasting time and not getting back to work. This is kind of funny as if I actually want to waste time there are infinite ways to do so which escape detection.
But that day I came back in for my hat and I was leaving just as the supervisor came back from lunch. This was bad as I was just putting on my dry hat and so it looked like I was just going to work.
As he unlocked his office door he commented on the strange smell. I started to say "skunks!" but cause myself and instead made a comment about drains and beat it out the door.
At the 3:00 break I was standing outside waiting for Jesus to return from his break and the supervisor walked out of the office. Just as Jesus returned and opened the door to my cart I was summoned to the office. The supervisor asked me to be "more mindful of my time," and return to work sooner after my lunch and other breaks. I would have liked to see own on face as I'm sure I had an interesting expression. However, I smiled and said I would be more careful. There were things I would have like to have said. But, I didn't want to keep Jesus waiting.
Which is funny in itself, he is the king of stretching breaks and Snapchatting on the Job but he always manages look busy and I'm the one that gets in trouble.
Insurance, Tuition and Retirement...
I just had to laugh later when I thought about the new guy sitting at the office table giggling as the supervisor wondered about the smell. I'm kind of glad the super was distracted by his perception of my tardiness and totally missed the fact that the other guy was baked.

"And I'm waiting on a message from a girl by the name of Veronica.."
(reference to above record album)
According to my daughter this song has been redone and is popular again. Who wuddathunk, a Wreckless Eric song???

 A beautiful Song. Listening to the full album right now. MuddyValley can play it with his trombone at my funeral after fall asleep mowing and get run over by the infamous Willamina Wobbler (freight train) that rumbles through campus. Perhaps Flying Fiddle and Banjo could accompany. That would be a cacophony!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

What I'm doing today...

I repeat this mantra every day. "Free tuition, good health insurance, retirement..."
There really is no point in mowing the soccer field which was watered so late it won't dry out till spring as they can't play on it anyway.
I go a work order to dry it out. Really...

Three days ago I was doing this

I never thought I would see farming as a vacation...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Should this ever happen to you

Do NOT rip off the remaining nail with your teeth.
Suffering will follow...
For at least a week...

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