The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

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.

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!

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!