The Useful Duck!

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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!


  1. You need to post more often, Budd, It's rough having a "lazy farmer habit" with no way to get a fix!

    1. 1. I'm worried I'll get fired
      2. I never seem to have time by myself to write
      3. It always seems like I'm complaining

  2. I'm still trying to reach average most days.

    1. This blog ain't called the Lazy Farmer blog for nothin..

  3. Flying Pig Fiddle & Banjo will probably be on that Willamina Wobbler, don't think I can run fast enough to catch a Burlington Northern boxcar with a banjar round my neck and fiddle in hand...Will practice up "Wish I Had My Time Again" for the services.

  4. just hang on, one day retirement will come. good thing you have a hobby to keep you warm.
    dad and all the others at his work died of lung cancer from the filth in the air.
    at least you have plenty of fresh air there. that is one blessing.


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