Thursday, 2 August 2012

Work, Animals, and a Boat!

Hello, all!  I know, I know, it's been a long time again.  I would tell you that nothing much has happened since my last posting, but then I'd be lying, and I'd have to flog myself.  I am not much a fan of such activities, so I won't lie.  The nut of it is that I still don't have a good writing space, and I still live with my P's, so I haven't been in much of a mood to blog.  It's not writers block, it's lifers block (yes, I still make up words.)  As of a couple of weeks ago, I finally got something I felt was worth blogging about, and I will now get to it.

First, a study of man.  So I am not a trained anthropologist, sue me.  I am a bit of an observer though.  One thing I have observed for well over a decade now, is that people seem to have this nagging urge to inform me that I have a deeper than average voice.  Most commonly it's along the lines of 'you should be on the radio!', or 'you should learn how to sing' (which I already do, but they need not know that), or simply 'dude, you have a really deep voice!'.  As though I've never heard any of that before, ever.  That changed during a temp job I worked for a couple of weeks, at a factory.  During the two weeks I worked ten hour shifts, doing a job that a chimpanzee could do.  Oddly, nobody offered me any bananas, or bamboo, or a rope swing, or any bugs.  I found that to be a bit rude.  What I found slightly more strange was that nobody mentioned my voice.  Not even once.  I heard it a couple of times on the weekends, but never at work.  This was a very odd thing to me.  So after the first few days, I started trying to figure out why this might be.  I came to a plausible theory.  It is possible that people working in a factory  have lost their own dreams.  Not their weekend warrior dreams, but more the loftier ones like 'I've got to get myself a better job for myself' dream.  In losing such dreams, perhaps they stop seeing the potential of others around them.  I watched everybody rushing around, and there seemed no spark of life in their eyes.  The only people who had that flash were the people who worked first shift, in the offices, where there was ample air conditioning, and no scent of sweaty workers, hot paper, and potent glues to suck the life out of them.  The office personnel also had no worries about one thing the factory workers had looming over their heads.  Mind you, that I was employed there for two weeks by a staffing agency, and though I was offered full time employment I turned it down.  And I'll tell you why.  At the end of week one, I was standing by the time clock, waiting for a minute to clock out.  I took notice of the glass encased bulletin board, and the contents within.  One document caught my eye, and I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I wasn't seeing things.  In short, it was a memorandum to all floor employees, that informed them that if they were ever offered a promotion to a different area, and turned it down, they would have their shift changed, and be fully demoted to the bottom of the production line, losing any seniority in the process.  That did not sit well with me, and I'm guessing it doesn't sit well with you either.  Feel free to re-read that bit, and notice the word "offered".  Well if it's a choice, why would you be punished by making a choice?  I've been offered promotions before, and turned them down for any myriad of reasons, yet I have never be demoted for turning one down.  Have you?

So, on to slightly less craptacular topics.  I dusted off my digital camera, and took some pictures in the last few months.  I figure I will share a couple of those, in case anybody is still checking this blog, and misses the pictures.  A couple of months ago, we had some lovely flooding from a torrent of rain, mixed with inadequate culverts, and soils that are mainly heavily iron laced clay and rocks about two inches below the top soil.  I found a local duck (who seems to have lost his woman sometime over the winter) who seemed pretty stoked to have a new body of water to wade in.


About two days later, I was out in the driveway after the waters had receded a bit.  I spotted something near the end of the driveway that looked like a piece of washed up debris.  I walked over the pick it up, and was shocked to find out that it was a living thing, not a piece of trash.  So I went inside to grab my camera, and this is what I found:

I have no idea what happened to this little guy.  I got him to the culvert, so that he wouldn't get run over by any car coming into the driveway.  However, we have an couple of owls in the neighbourhood, as well as some hawks, and ravens.  So he may have become a snack.  I looked around for mother turtle, but could not locate one.  Speaking of owls, I built my mom an owl house last summer, and over the winter, we finally got a resident.  Want proof?  Well here you go:

I would have liked to get pictures with its eyes open, but this owl didn't seem to like the mid afternoon sun in Northeast Wisconsin.

Back in January, I did something I'd never been able to do before!  I became the pinball champion score holder on a Family Guy Pinball machine, at my old place of employment, Glass Nickel Pizza Co..  Not once, but twice!

Since then, I have lost my champion status, and now reside as first and second place holder.  This is because, Jon, the owner, and my former boss, beat my score by a measly 2 million points.  Now, of course, in the kind of manner that seems to follow me in life, the machine is not in fully operational order, and it's damn near impossible to get a score above one million.  Oh well.

In much more recent events, I helped out with something really fracking cool, if I do say so myself!  I helped to build a boat!  But not just any old boat, a beer can regatta!  Okay, so ours was made out of pop cans, as at Glass Nickel Pizza Oshkosh, we have no beer in cans, tap or bottle only.  It was made by volunteers, a couple of us, and we were supplied food and beer for our services.  Food and beer as payment?  Hell yeah.  The only thing to top that would be room to go with the boarding, but I'll take food and beer any time.  After several hours sitting in a garage, taping cans together with a deluge of tape, and the first time we put it in the water to make sure it floated (the neighbour let us use his pool, how cool is that?), and then taping of countless more cans, we ended up with a finished product.  There was an opening night party, with music and other festivities.  The next day was the big race.  It was on the Oshkosh River, and not only is there a north flowing current, yes, north flowing, but the river is used by many other full sized fibreglass boats and yachts.  The between the current, and the wakes from rude boaters, the race was quite successful.

The race, called the Ya Gotta Regatta, was set up as a bracket style race.  It took several hours to complete.  Our team was made up of a group of totally inexperienced rowers.  They did manage to kick some royal ass in their first two races, but then, being unpracticed, and inexperienced rowers, they hit the wall.  However, our team did end up taking 4th out of 12, which is pretty darn awesome!  The let down came at the trophy ceremony, in which ten trophies were awarded, and we didn't get one.  This wouldn't have been all bad except for one little thing.  One team had built a boat that failed them in race one, and they nearly sank, and didn't even finish the race.  Somehow, they ended up with the best sportsmanship award!  How does that work???  What can we do though?  In the mantra of a true Cubs fan, I can only say that there is always next year!  And yes, designs for next years boat have already commenced.  It has also been rumored that this was the first event of its kind in America.  This event was started in Australia.  I know there are several amature boat builder races across this land, but as far as a 12 boat fleet made out of beer cans, I don't recall ever hearing of such a thing before.

That's what I have to share for now.  I hope you enjoyed my first blog in many many months, and a several full moons.  As always, I hope you are all doing well.  Don't forget to have some good times with your friends, some good laughs, some good eats, and if you partake, some good drinks!  Until I find my way back here again, peace out y'all!