Friday, April 15, 2016


Tap tap tap…


“Hello?  This thing on?” 

I guess it’s still working. 

I doubt anyone even visits here anymore, and I don’t blame any of them.  But I still felt compelled to provide an update, since I didn’t leave in a real good state when I decided to leave. 

I’m still alive.  It was touch and go for a while, I think.  After I departed here, things got worse before they got better.  As a result of the surgery to remove the growth inside my heart, I started throwing clots, had a mini-stroke that caused me to lose my ability to make sense of what I was seeing for about four hours, got put on additional blood thinners, which had me bleeding out of…

…well, let’s just say everywhere, and leave it at that. 

As I previously mentioned, I lost my job amidst all of this, because my previous employer was a typical personality in the construction industry – not “what have you ever done for me?” but “what are you doing for me today?” type of guy. They fired me on the same day I went in for the GI bleed, in part because I had to miss an owner meeting to get that taken care of.  I guess they wanted me to go to the meeting while bleeding internally.

In fact, during my job hunt last winter, he was actively bad-mouthing me to potential employers, trying to keep them from hiring me.  See, with health issues like I have, I’m a liability to employers.  I cost a lot of money, and to smaller outfits, costs like mine can get an employer canceled from their health insurance program.  I’m not saying that’s why I got fired, but it is oddly coincidental that they lost their health care provider and had to switch right around the time I got sent down the river. 

Oh well, they did me a favor in the long run. 

Since last winter, it’s been a long road to what I think is full recovery.  I haven’t had any more episodes of fainting or arrhythmia, and my blood pressure is down to normal, although I still take meds to keep it that way, as well as blood thinners, which I’ll have to take forever as a result of the arrhythmia and the micro-stroke or whatever the hell it was.   My heart rate also went from an average of 92 beats per minute this time last year, to around 75 BPM this year.  It’s having to work so much less to pump the same amount of blood now that there isn’t a big-ass growth/tumor thing in the way. 

Since we talked last, I got that job I was hoping to get, and have been as busy as I’ve ever been, for a variety of reasons.  I’ve been working hard to keep myself moving in this organization, as much for my own mental well-being as for the company.  You see, it takes a lot out of me to admit that I got fired.  Even with extenuating circumstances, no one can argue that I was literally unable to do my job last year, and I got fired as a result.  I’ve never had anything like that happen to me. That was  a huge blow to my ego, and threatened to drop me into another bout with depression.  Which I don’t want to do again, ever. 

So I am working to fix that by exceling over here.  The company I work for is a little different, does a different kind of contracting than I’m used to, and the ways that they were running work were a little different, also.  So they’ve been tapping my knowledge on how to run work in the way they do it in my industry, and I’ve been learning from them, too.  It’s been really great.

On the down side, my office is 92 miles from my old house.  I say “old” house, because I just sold it, because after almost exactly a year of commuting, Mrs. Goober and I decided that we were going to relocate to a home closer to where I work, so I can actually spend time with my family.  The way the roads around here work, 92 miles is about 2 hours.  That’s 4 hours on the road, EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED DAY.  That, as much as anything else, is why I stopped posting here – I just didn’t have any time.

As I mentioned before, during all of the mess and rigmarole of late 2014 and early 2015, while I was sick and getting myself fired, and worried that I had cancer in my heart that was going to kill me, the Mrs. Was pregnant with mini-Goob #2.  Today is mini-Goob #2’s first birthday.  She’s adorable, and so is her sister, and I thank the good Lord that I got lucky, and that what I had was not cancer, and that I’m still alive to enjoy my girls, because they are everything to me.  I’m so glad to be able to spend more of my days with her, and less of my days driving. 

But, as in anything in life, there are tradeoffs. 

We decided to build a house, because I’m a masochist and apparently needed more stress.  The plan was that I’d get the shop built, put a bathroom and shower in the shop, put our nice 34 foot 5th wheel in the shop, and live there while the house was getting built. 

Then we had the wettest spring I can recall, and I’ve been sitting on my ass waiting for it to get dry enough to accomplish fuck-all.  We sold our house February 5th, and I just got final inspection on the new shop building yesterday.  Thank God my folks went to Arizona this year, so we had a place to live for a bit. 

We’re in our 5th wheel now, in my buddy’s driveway, until the middle of May when I’m able to finish the bathroom and get a slab in the shop, and then we’re moving onto our property.  It’s 25 acres in the timber, about 10 minutes out of town.  It’s heaven.  It’s my sanctuary.  I think it might even save my life. 

If it doesn’t fucking kill me, first… 

Should break ground on the house by the end of May. 

Posting here may resume, or it may not.  I’m not entirely sure what I’m planning to do.  I need to focus, and taking time after work every day to research a topic and write about it, while enjoyable, is perhaps something I don’t have the time to do for the time being.  Maybe once the house is built I’ll go back to it.  Or maybe sooner.  I don’t know.

But the upshot is that I’ve made it through the tough time, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time in quite some time, I feel like things are getting better, rather than worse.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Best Friend

My 4 year old daughter is doing this super cute thing right now where she asks me "Daddy? Will you be my best friend?"

Like I said, it's super cute, but it hits on something that is a pet peeve of mine, which is:

You are not your child's friend. You are their parent. Stop trying to be their friend!

So I generally answer as such:

"I'm already your Daddy, sweetheart,  and that's so much better than even a best friend."

I know, I could just say yes, but I'm of the opinion that these things matter.

They matter enough that I hate it when someone refers to their significant other as "their best friend."

Mrs. Goober is not my friend. She's my wife. Making her my "friend" would not only be a significant downgrade in out relationship,  it would assume things between us that do not exist.

I have friends. I drink with them, hunt and fish with them, am crude around them, tell dirty jokes and lies...

Things you don't do with a wife that you respect.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tam Makes Me Laugh

Regularly.  Perhaps as often as weekly.

But today, I laughed. And it was not a snicker.  Perhaps, by the nomenclature of the day, it was an LOL. I may have even guffawed.

Because seriously?

Bandicoot Cucumbersnatch?

That sounds like a Rule 34 production/fusion of an old Sega Genesis game and Veggie Tales that I DO NOT WANT TO PLAY.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Job Prospects

Expect to have an offer from the company referenced in this post in the next week or so.

It's a big company, so things move slowly, but from what the guy told me, I'm in.

Now I've just got to wrap my mind around the fact that my new office is 83 miles from my home, door to door.

Operators Operating in Operational Operations.




I'm going to cut somebody.

Never mind that you're pointing your "EDC" right at your own heart, Mr. "Operator".  That's obviously some advantageous super-secret gunkata sooper ninja operator style hold, right?

I'm sick of idiots doing idiotic things.  I guess it's just part of the human condition, but please, to all you sane people out there that carry a gat around on a regular basis?

For the love of god, unless you're about to use it, STOP TOUCHING IT!.  Just leave it alone.  No one thinks you're a badass "operator" because you saved up $250 to buy an "EDC" and can carry it to McDonalds.  And I don't care if you do, as long as you put it in a safe holster, in a safe carry method, and LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Do, Though...

Bad timing, indeed.  Ever tried to look for a job in the construction industry in January?  

Hopefully things open up this Spring a bit, because right now, there isn't much out there.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Post-Cable Experience

My wife and I were paying $145 per month for our basic cable TV package.  For that amount we got 160 channels, which I found on average that at any given time I was LUCKY if I could find 3 channels out of that 160 that were actually playing something that I wanted to watch.

Generally speaking, of those 3 channels, one of them was almost inevitably a broadcast channel that I could get for free.

After doing it for 9 years, Mrs. Goober and I had our yearly budget meeting, where we go over our expenditures and try to discover if there's anything we could do better, more cheaply, or just stop paying for, altogether.

Cable TV was one of those things.

This isn't for everybody.  I'm not suggesting or advocating it for most folks, but for me, this worked great.

Here's what we did:

  1. Installed a whole-house VHF antenna.  It cost $60.  I hooked it into the RG6 (cable) lines that are already running throughout the house, anyway, so one antenna will work on as many TVs as I want to install.  
  2. I purchased two Chromecasts.  The one-time purchase price for these was half of our cable bill.
  3. I signed up for Netflix and Hulu Plus.  Total cost: $15 a month.
This allows us to "cast" from our smartphones, tablets, and laptops.  You can cast YouTube, Netflix, Hulu - pretty much any net-based video streaming service.  I casted a video from Borepatch's site a couple days back, for the family to enjoy.  Your smartphone essentially becomes your remote control and TV guide.  You scroll Hulu, Netflix, and whatever else for whatever you want to watch, then cast it.  

We already had, and would have continued to have, high speed internet, so I don't consider that part of the cost of this setup.  

The pluses:

  1. You watch what you want, when you want.  The show starts when you want it to start, and stops or pauses when you want it to stop or pause.  No more channel surfing and waiting for the show you want to watch come on.
  2. I still get all local news and all major networks via digital TV broadcast, which is actually HD where I live and as good a quality as cable ever provided.  
  3. Massive selection of shows to watch, and you can "binge" watch a show, instead of waiting for next week's episode.  
The minuses:

  1. Netflix and Hulu do not have every show between them.  For instance, I like several Discovery Channel shows, such as Mountain Man, Axe Men, and Deadliest Catch, which are not on either service.  I can still watch them, but I have to buy the seasons (generally about $20 to $25 a season) from Google Play, then cast them via Chromecast.  This isn't really too big a minus, since I'd have to buy a LOT of shows to even touch the $140 a month were used to pay for TV.  
  2. Uses a huge amount off data (about 1 GB per hour) so if you don't have an unlimited data setup, or "high enough" speed internet, you're going to hate it.  Skips in the show, waiting for it to load, and extra data charges.  Ours is unlimited, and fast as hell.  
All in all, this works very well for my family.  No more staying up past ten to watch the "good" shows - you can put them on when you want.  

Also, we save over a hundred dollars a month, even on the bad months when I spend a lot of money buying shows.  

And we got to tell the cable company to GTFO.  Which was awesome.  Because fuck them.