Father’s Day Buffet

Last Sunday was Father’s Day.  I wasn’t sure how to celebrate it so I went to a Mexican Buffet.  He would have liked that.

It was apparently the right thing to do because at 11:00 am the place was packed.  People were even in the waiting area.  Fortunately, it is often easy to get a table for a party of one so I didn’t have to wait.

I got seated right away and made my way through the masses at the buffet tables.  The food was decent but not special.  I sat there alone and invisible as I ate at a table with room for four.  It felt weird of course but what can you do?   I looked around at all the (primarily) Mexican families all out celebrating their Fathers.  Nice for them.

I ate my fill and left.  Oh well.  It was better than having a turkey sandwich at home on a special day.  Happy Father’s Day Dad.  Wherever you are.

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Quick Book Review – The Phoenix Project

51zJtQeycpL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_This book was recommended to me by a co-worker so I thought I would give it a try.

The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford is a well written book about an auto parts company IT department suffering through internal strife.  They are bombarded by users requests, the Audit department, System Security and upper management demands while being expected to deploy a massively underfunded and over rushed highly public project.

Any IT department worker will be able to relate to this story.  I found it dangerously realistic and it stressed me out so much that I had to stop reading at Chapter 15.

Not only was it hyper-realistic, the names of some of the characters were spot-on with people in my IT department.

Brent – The guy who knows it all.
Laura from HR.
Steve who owns the company.
Chris at the help desk.

I swear it must have been written by someone who knows us.   These names made it feel way too close to reality and I just had to stop.  I’ll read more later.  I want to know how it ends but I can’t take anymore stress.  If I was there, I would definitely quite post haste.

I have a feeling that the book is a learning tool that will give you information on how to deal with such a situation and IT operations in general and I want to learn.  Our IT department is not far from experiencing the same thing in our future.

Maybe it’s the same everywhere.  I’m glad my IT career is almost over.  IT is not as much fun as it used to be back in the early days.  Now there is too much security and regulation.  Now it just sucks.  I’m glad I was a part of the good times.  Sucks to be new at it.

Anyway,  Great book!  I hope to finish it after I retire.  Get it on Amazon.

Land Clearing – On the Other Side

Today I was scheduled to meet with the man who is going to use the big equipment to clear out the brush on my new property.   He cancelled because it was supposed to be rainy.

Rather than cancel my scheduled day off, I decided to keep it.  It has been a long time since I’ve had a vacation day.

Since it was cloudy and sprinkley, I decided it was a perfect day to be outside since the relentless sun was taking a break.   I loaded up my car and headed out there.

My fist stop was at the County offices where I asked again to make sure that I correctly understood that there were no building codes or permits required to build a house except for a driveway permit and a septic tank permit.  I already had the driveway permit so they gave me the paperwork for the septic.  This is good!

I headed out to the property where I was able to park on the driveway entrance since it now exists.  First time parking off the street!

I first trimmed a few bushes right at the fence entrance area to make it more open.  Nice!

My mission today was to use my brush cutter blade on the weed-eater to smooth down all the tiny tree trunks to avoid tire damage and allow me to use a mower to keep the weeds at bay.

I doused myself liberally with bug spray to ward off the little Red-bug beasts.  These no-see-um’s will get your ankles and waist area and itch for two weeks or more.  They are much like mosquito bites.  Perhaps worse.  Want to avoid that.

Fortunately, the hot summer sun had baked the weeds to death so they hadn’t grown much since my last visit.  I walked around and had at all the stumps that I could find until the ground was smooth and tire-safe.   I used my regular weed-eater with a heavy duty tip to cut down the rest of the weeds in the area.

Snake!!!  I cut off his head with the machine.  First snake!  Scary!  Need to be careful!   Sorry Snakey but, No Snakes!   I’ll have to put up a sign.

After a few hours of work I was satisfied with the smoothness of the shave so I brought my car all the way in.  YAY!  Not having driven on this dirt before I was worried about sinking in and getting stuck but it wasn’t a problem even with the moisture.  It wasn’t muddy per se.  The dirt is a bit sandy so I don’t think “Mud” will ever be an issue.  Once it packs down it will be even more drive-able.

I’m satisfied for now.  We are rescheduled for next week for the guy to come clear the rest.

 

I’m too far ahead of my time

Nicola Tesla and I have something in common.  We are both way ahead of our time.

I’ve noticed that sharing awesomeness with others is extremely difficult.  There have been so many times I’ve come up with amazing and innovative ideas and thoughts that could change life for the better for those around me but my discoveries fall on deaf ears.

I just don’t understand.  How can you not appreciate something so special?  It boggles my mind.  Don’t you get it?  Why are you so closed minded?  Is there anybody inside that thick empty head of yours?  I’m offering you gold here!  Platinum!  Unobtanium!  Wake up!!

It’s come to the point where, like Tesla, it’s time to just give up and wait for death.  One day in the future, after I’m gone, the world will catch up and I will be a posthumous God.  I think I’ll go sit in the park now and feed the pigeons.

 

Quick Book Review – The Phoenix Project

thphnxprjctI originally was looking for a book by the same name something to do with an office or IT environment.   A co-worker suggested it but this one looked more interesting.  I’ll read the other one later.

The Phoenix Project by M.R. Pritchard starts with a power outage in Phoenix AZ.  Our heroine, Andie, walks out of the city to her nearby small town to get back to her home and family where she finds that it has been taken over by a ruthless man running a project to start a new society.

The premise is extremely interesting but the application left me disappointed.  It always annoys me when someone has a great idea for a book then doesn’t come through with the goods.  It’s kind of like opening your first present on Christmas and finding a shirt.

You’ll have to suspend some belief when reading this story.  It’s not Bad per se.  It’s just lacking from my point of view.  Maybe you will like it.  It was probably intended for female readers.  I stayed with it all the way through but I was glad when I reached the anticlimactic sudden ending.

I totally love the idea of taking a town and starting a utopian society.  I would be all for that.  Doing it by jumping into an existing society, drugging everyone and expecting them to change their whole life is unrealistic.

To do it properly, find or build a town and invite people who are interested in forming a utopia to move in.  I’ll bet you anything you would have a waiting list.  I would be first in line.

Give me a house, pair me with a wife, assign me a job according to my abilities and we’re talking total happiness.   Who wouldn’t like this?

It also annoys me that ALL Utopian books always end up with contention making everyone want to escape.  Let’s see a book where everyone is happy.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Somebody start writing and let me know when it is ready.

 

Dreamblog – Friends not friends

I was with two of my childhood friends, Vincent and Gregory.  We walked into a house.  I was surprised to see Marilyn from Northern Exposure there.  I was excited to see her and introduced them to her and then they raped and beat her. (Sorry Marilyn.)  I was powerless to do anything.

Now that’s an interesting dream.  What does it mean that my friends would do such a horrible thing?  Could it be that my subconscience has finally let them go and deemed them to be evil?   I’ve long suspected them of being evil since I have been unable to renew our friendship for over 30  years.  Is it strange that I still care about them enough that they continually turn up in my dreams?

I’ve sent them my dreams by email in the past but they don’t respond.  I don’t think I’ll send this one.

RV Starter not working – FIXED!

On months where I don’t use my RV I try to go to the storage lot and start it up to let it run for a few minutes.  It’s good to keep the parts moving and the juices flowing.  During the summer months it’s far too hot to be out in the world so it may sit for 5-7 months at a time.  You scoff but when it is 102 degrees outside, it’s best to stay home.

A few weeks ago I tried to start it up and all I got was a click.  Great!  The battery is both new and connected to a solar charging system but it is my first suspect.  I took it out and brought it home to charge it.  As soon as I connected it to the charger, the blinking light indicated that the battery was fully charged.  Great!  It must be the starter.

I searched starters for a 1982 Ford E350 engine and they are fairly cheap.  $45-100.  Wow!  Gotta love old American stuff.  I still wasn’t 100% sure though.  More testing would be required.

A few weeks passed until I had some time to go back.  I took the battery and some tools out to the storage yard and reconnected the battery.  Same result.  Just clicks.  It sure SOUNDS like low voltage but the battery is fine.  It could be the starter.  I went underneath the RV and rapped on the starter with a wrench.  Sometimes that loosens it up if it is stuck.   Still the same result. My instincts tell me it is still an electrical problem due to the weak clicking sounds.

 I noticed a little corrosion between the wire and the battery terminal clamp.  It didn’t look bad but it could be an issue.  Removed the wire from the clamp and brushed away the corrosion before replacing the wire.  I was glad I had all the tools I need.  I keep a good set of tools in the RV’s toolbox for emergency repairs.  I highly recommend you do the same.

I went back into the cab and turned the key fully expecting the same result.

The starter powerfully sprang to life and the engine started right up.

Yeee HAW!  Damn I’m good!

I wouldn’t have minded replacing the starter because it was cheap and easy to access but not having to do it is even better.

I think I’ll get myself some conductive grease to protect the connection.