The Useful Duck!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The lazy farmer at Thanksgiving

Thanks to collie guy I have a collection of lazy farmer cartoons. AND I've had chocolate cake with bacon in it...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Flower Power, If you really have faith... A collected of disjointed thoughts

I watched this "Flower Power" clip in somewhat horrified bemusement right after the Islamic warriors attacked the Death Metal concert.
I will not even comment on the irony of Death Metal fans getting a taste of what they sing about...
Instead I want to asked you to notice how multi-cultural French person subtly changed his son's argument from a question about living with violence into a focus on the beauty of flowers and memorial candles after you are dead.
The child seemed to have made a mental jump (as well as almost every other person I know) to the idea that flowers and candles are a projection against Islam Ak-47's.

A couple thoughts,
1. If you really have faith that flowers will project you, will they?
2. Changing the argument: We play with semantics. We argue and we compete with word definitions. The Jihadists just go ahead and shoot you.
What the father said was important. His son asked for a course of action. His father deflected the question. But he turned it into a way that accepted the beauty of defeat, the romance of failure. Flowers and candles are the memorial. Is this a more important statement? Has the West already accepted defeat. Do we believe deep down inside that this is what we deserve because of our "debauched" lifestyle?
3. This interchange shows an interesting mindset. You cannot say "God" will protect us. Meaning the traditional God of Christianity that also represents the (for want of a better term) spirit of Western Civilization. Saying God will protect us and meaning we will use whatever means we can to fight this attack by Barbarians (I think I'm using the term correctly).
(For one thing, the term "God" has been hijacked by public relations groups and is now used to refer to Allah.)
4. Which brings us to the Disney question. If you really, really, believe in Flowers will they project you? 
I mean, you really have to have faith....
5. Of course I want to make it clear that we should import as many Islamic refugees as possible. There is no way that they are potential terrorists in any possible way. Well, maybe one in one hundred but what are a couple dead people in relation to the total population? We need to feel good now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today's find

Today I found three empty cans of chew setting in the middle of an empty parking lot.

Monday, November 23, 2015

It is cold outside

This morning it was 25 degrees F. I blew leaves in parking lots. It made my fingers hurt.
College kids do not pickup trash outside their cars. They often drop receipts. Little white scraps of paper.
I also found two dimes. That was good, if I find a few more I can buy gum!
I looked at my watch wrong this morning and was early to work. I thought I'd hit Carl's Jr and get a sausage biscuit with egg sandwich.
There were only three cars in the driveup. 15 minutes later I was almost late for work. It could be the start of a saying, i like my women like my Carl's jr sandwiches, Slow and nasty....
I can still taste that fake cheese.
Oh wait, that was sinus drainage. We are also do sitting. Two cats and three dogs in the house and a dead Studebaker in the driveway. We have truly arrived...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A sunny saturday

My father-in-law is dying.
It's ok, he is 92 years old.
In the last week he has declined considerably.
It goes in cycles, bad to better to worse to not as good.
Today he can talk but can't walk and no longer can make it to the bathroom.
We spent the morning changing his bedroom around for easier access.
We parked him in his wheelchair in th living room in front of the TV.
While we were moving the bed he decided to get into the recliner.
He ended up flat on the floor.
Nothing broke.
If I ran an insurance company or a gubment program which encourages home Healthcare I would provide training (and probably require training) for family members, (and give incentives) on basic things.
Like how to lift people, change a diaper in bed, change sheets with person in bed, what to do when he dies, just basic stuff.
Some help is given but I'd like to be a bit more confident.
For example lifting someone off the floor is hard and is almost impossibly unless you know the procedure.
Also, there is always a police investigation when someone dies. Might as well just call 911 and tell them it is not a big hurry. Then get your list of medicine and a statement figured out. Or at least that seems like a decent plan.
Hospice is coming tomorrow, guess I'll have some questions.
In other news, I'm attempting to make feed, everything is a mess, nothing will start, and the tarps leaked. I should have been working after work.
It's all kind of depressing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I am blowing leaves in this... funny!

I can think of lots of things to do when it is raining. I wouldn't have to set in the shop and drink coffee all day. We could do something like, have a training day, service are leaf blowers, sweep the shop, go to Atlanta keeping store and look at plants, I don't know...
But blowing leaves when it is pouring down rain and blowing 30 miles an hour seems just a bit counterproductive.
And text to speech on a galaxy is needlessly hard to use...
It all pays the same.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I find my phone switch to be less than exciting and I talk too much at work

I have been attempting to use my Samsung Galaxy 5s or s5, whatever...
It is mildly annoying.
I was quite excited to get it. I bought it used on the auction website for less than what it would have cost me to replace my iPhone 5s or s5 or whatever though the useless Verizon insurance.
Now that is an utter scam. You can pay for your phone twice.
To digress just a little.
If you break your iPhone and you have insurance it will cost you $175 to replace it. It makes sense to have insurance for possibly the first six months. If you are prone to breaking phones (like I am) then perhaps a year. After a year you have paid for half the cost of the phone anyway so it doesn't really matter.
I suppose if you were a disciplined sort you could put a dollar a day in a jar and be self insured...
To get back on subject.
The Galaxy should be a much better phone. I was quite excited when I realized I had won the auction. then I was mortified when I saw I accidentally sniped the auction in which the seller had only two previous ratings. This brings up a problem with the iPhone I was using (iPhone 5 without the "s"), the screen fonts are too small for me to read...
The Galaxy has three of the four important features that I thought would make the perfect "smart" phone. It is water resistant, has a removable memory card and battery, and has a good camera. (Actually that makes four features.)
The first problem I noticed was it is kind of flimsy feeling and a little hard to hold. But, then again, I never even attempted to use the iPhone without a case.
The second problem is the OS. I wasn't all that happy with the iPhone OS but it was pretty well thought out. Text messages and phone messages are really easy to see. Phone voicemail is very handy. You can view individual messages and you can listen to them in any order. I can't figure out how to do this with the Galaxy.
The Galaxy OS seems kind of thrown together. Lots of features and buttons and stuff and I can't remember it all.
And it has stupid sounds. I hate keyboard sounds and I hate going through nested settings folders to find the proper way to turn annoying features off. Throwing the phone against the wall will stop the annoying keyboard sounds but then they are always back again when you get the new phone.
This was one of the annoying iPhone issues. Preference settings in strange places.
I have been going back and forth between the two phones. I just switch the SIM card from one phone to the other.
I really expected to love the Galaxy but I find I am not really bonding with it. It is just as annoying as the iPhone, only in a slightly different way.
Actually, what annoys me the most about the Galaxy is that it reminds me of how pathetic Apple is. If Apple would just build the best product they could build, instead of holding back features for incremental upgrades, they could put out the perfect phone. But they won't.
Speaking of sandbagging...
I got a performance review.
My supervisor says that even if it is him and I that are having an interesting conversation about groundskeeping, I need to stop that conversation when the morning meeting or break is over.
I found that to be quite entertaining.
He said he could not really criticize me as I am getting a lot of work done but...
I figured that there would have to be something for me to work on. I actually anticipated more than one item and did kind of expect that I would have some criticism for talking too much. Especially as I was able to drag my morning ride around all the way to morning break and my afternoon review to almost an hour.
Blowing leaves is kind of boring... (not that I want any added responsibilities)
I know I have a pretty good job, as far as jobs go, but is proving to be a bit of an adjustment.
If someone would just give me 1.2 million dollars...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mowin' in the rain

I find it a challenge to work for a bureaucracy after being self employed for years.
Part of the problem is that when I don't really know what I'm doing I defer to people I think do know and in a bureaucracy people just tell you random stuff that is just what they are thinking at the moment or at worst, try to manipulate you.
In a modern work environment there is no danger of ever getting punched. This is because The only thing that will certainly get you fired is showing righteous anger.
So people do these chicken-poop little things akin to peeing in your booze when your not looking. Not that there is anything wrong with peeing someone's booze as long as you don't get caught.
Not that this has any relevance in my job....
Yesterday was my mowing day. However it rained a lot.
I asked how one evaluated this situation and just what the previous groundskeeper did in the winter when it was pouring down rain.
I got two different opinions plus a lot of random off subject comments about how things used to be done, but like an i-dot I showed confusion.
This is bad...Followed by worse failures in judgement as you shall see.
I had a sound plan.
I would blow leaves until morning break. Then run the push mower until midmorning. Then drive around in my cart a lot, or blow more leaves. Then, after lunch break I would get out the riding/bagging mower and do the small lots when no one was looking.
But no...
I got into a discussion with another groundskeeper who wants to work together. Her idea was to have two of us spread lime and fertilizer. We could use the tractor and spinner spreader and one person would load and one drive. This sounded good.
Then the supervisor showed up.
He thought this was a good idea.
This is a mistake. Talking innovation with the supervisor.
Talking to him got him thinking. He had a plan for me to use the push mower. Apparently I am supposed to use the push mower on the little strips between the street and the lawns because someone once hit a pop up sprinkler head.
I don't because it takes forever to run the big push mower from place to place.
There are no good ramps for the trailer.
Plus, I don't hit sprinkler heads or plastic utility boxes because I've done this kind of thing my whole life.
Today I'm going to learn how to run a push mower.... Oh joy...
Thing is, it all pays the same...
Not enough, in this case.
Here is a view from my "cab."
Can you see where I dropped my coffee cup and the guidance system over-corrected?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I get a different phone

My mid-life crisis is apparently in full swing, in a moderate fashion...
So far I have, changed churches (but not really cause I don't go three quarters of the time), bought a new motorcycle, (not really cause it is a 1982 model), changed jobs, (not really cause I'm still attempting to farm) and now I've abandoned my iPhone for a Samsung Galaxy.
The switch to the Galaxy has not enamored me with the Android system as much has it has furthered my resentment towards Apple, much like my experience with switching churches, but not like my experience with owning both a Triumph and a Honda. Sort of like my job frustration.
The Galaxy is just the perfect size but it kind of feels cheap compared to the compact and solid iPhone.
The iPhone had several features I liked. The bar at the bottom of the screen you could swipe up to get the flashlight was the most important. I also liked how easy it was to see if you had voice mail or texts.
However, the new iPhone OS kind of screwed things up... of course...
The main issue with switching phones is that I just don't really care all that much. It used to be that getting new technology was a treat. I spent hours figuring out how to use my new PowerBook 100 or even my new iPhone. Now it is just kind of annoying.
I am looking forward to better apps. More work seems to have been put into the apps that I use frequently. TractorHouse works better, the horrible Blogger app is less horrible, Craigslist is a little better, and I can play around with GPS apps.
I can't get my voicemail to work properly so hopefully people will just text me.
I can switch back pretty much instantly. It is just a matter of switching sim cards. (I bought an adapter)
I'm going to order a huge memory card so I can take lots of photos. Galaxy has a much better camera than the iPhone. Plus, I can now listen to hours of books on tape and music of questionable origin. AND....
The Galaxy is not tied to iTunes. No stupid Apple backups that don't work, no stupid Apple vision of a connected computer universe with doesn't work, no OUT OF MEMORY messages!!!
And now it is 7:20 and I forgot to make a lunch...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I have yet to get fired

I've been at my job for a month. It keeps me pretty busy. Working 8 to 5 pretty much kills your 12 hour day in the winter. If I were a better manager I could do it. However, I don't have the mental discipline to work for two hours before going to work for someone else. Coming home and going to work is not as difficult, but I have learned if I ever sit down for dinner then I get nothing else done.
I had a nice conversation with the older Hispanic worker. He says the key is to never go in the house. You come home and go straight to work, otherwise you want to talk to your wife, have dinner, sit in the chair.
He is a pretty interesting fellow. He is older than I. He is selling Amway. He has a huge garden at home. He likes to talk about growing peppers and tomatoes and Garbanzo beans. (Chick Peas). I like to watch his expression when he gets told to do something he is already doing or given extra work. His english is really hard to understand. I like him.
The job itself is somewhat of a mental adjustment. I don't always get it. For example, I don't get the point of mowing every week even if it is raining. We are just making lines.
Last week I was bored and I made a serpentine pattern on the lawn. I mostly did it to annoy the fellow who used to have my job and moved up to painting. He was in a heated building wearing short pants and I was freezing.
I picked an area that you could only see if you were at the right angle. Friday my boss asked to see me. He acted like I was in trouble, but I think it was a joke. He had taken a photo of my pattern with his cell phone. I actually do not know if I was in trouble or not.
It is a matter of pride to be able to make perfectly straight lines with your mower. I was cautioned many times not to drive in circles. In fact, I think the biggest concern when hiring me was not my utter lack of groundskeeping experience but rather a fear that farmers drive in circles.
But of course, row crop farmers drive back and forth. So do grass seed farmers in our area.

In other news...
I have not been posting as my phone died. I have not photos to go with my posts. And, I've been trying to get stuff done.

In other, other news...
Things that irritate me that could be a whole post by itself:
1. The hypocrisy over paying homage to Native Americans as mascots for sport teams.
It is my opinion that the goal is to remove any pride from the heritage of the Native Americans. The successful political effort to eliminate our national empathy and respect for the brave Indian Warrior who resisted the US Gubment against all odds will forever cast the Native American as a victim.
Essentially all it has done is change the stereotype of "Blanket Ass" to "Casino Indian" as an object of derision by the locals.
People don't name sports teams after cowards, dishonest groups, drunks, or people who are in anyway pathetic. To claim that having a sports team named after you is a negative racial stereotype that subjects you to racial harassment shows one of two things. Either you have no concept of what sports competition means to people in the USA, or you are an idiot.
Victimhood is not a virtue, it is just pathetic...

2. Ben Carson... I suspect Ben is in for a rude awakening. Conservatives were so desperate for someone to stand up and say, "pull your pants up and go to work," that when Carson gave the speech he suddenly became a hero.  When you are a basically honest person you forget that you have to be able to completely back up everything you say. You know your would never purposely lie. But... you cannot just go completely off of old memories. You have to fact check the memory.
For example, my friend tells a story about cruising in High School with me. This fellow was getting ready cross the street. He looked nervous. When he started across the street I floored the car it was driving. This startled the fellow. It was funny or crazy depending on how you tell the story.
I remember it as funny, because I was driving a Ford Pinto and the fellow was in no danger and he laughed when he saw the car. My friend remembers it as me driving a 1965 Pontiac GTO. That makes me slightly homicidal.
The goal is to smear Ben Carson. The progressives hate him because he tells them to go to work. The established politicians hate him because he is not one of them. The left in general hates him because he is a Christian and hating Christians is the key any questions of policy by our modern intelligentsia.
So... The Clever folks are purposely misunderstanding commonly known but not specifically defined concepts and using smear journalism techniques to make him sound dishonest. This works like a charm as we are conditioned to believe that everyone has a secret sin. Which is not necessarly true. This is a popular lie along the lines of "the Bible is purposely written so there can be different interpretations."
But, I digress...
No Carson did not apply to West Point. He never said he did. He was encouraged to accept the offer of an appointment if the appointment would be offered but the appointment was not offered because he said he was not interested. Appointment and Scholarship are used interchangeably in common usage in regarding West Point. It took about five minutes for me to figure this out.
However, I think he should have fact checked his book a little closer. But then again, did he plan on running for President when he wrote it.
If I ever ran for president they would have a field day with me. I'm a little loony myself...
Have a nice day...
I'm not going back and proofreading this...
Thanks for the condolences regarding the passing of my father. I think he is a lot better off this month than he was at this point last month.

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