Friday, May 22, 2015

Salvage Day: The Best Day There Is

So for the last year I have been working as a maintenance man.  Actually, I am the low rung on the maintenance ladder, a Porter.  That means I usually deal with garbage, other people's garbage.

One thing I am asked to do is clean out apartments after people have left.  I have had some in horrible condition.  I've seen some in okay condition.  But never have I found one in acceptable condition.  That's due to them not needing me if it's clean.  I get called in when it looks like a hurricane hit the apartment.

So today I really got to have fun.  The apartment is on the second floor.  So I end up walking up and down steps for half the day.  Most of the garbage was already bagged.  I just had to move the garbage outside the door, down the steps, to the golf cart, and drop it off at the compactor.  Since the cart only holds so much garbage I ended up making something like eight trips. 

The one good thing about being the clean out guy is that, the spoils go to you.  If you see something you like, you can salvage it.  Since it's going in the trash anyway, they are completely okay with you taking things you might like.

So I was able to salvage a few things. 

1.  A half full (not half empty) bucket of exterior satin (somewhat blaze) orange paint.

2.   Some lavender soap for Mom.  She loves the soap.  Just can't get enough of it.  So I figured soap in a package couldn't possibly go bad, so I brought it home, and she loves it.

3.  This really fancy looking clock.  I just didn't have the heart to throw it out.  I figure there's a use for it around here somewhere.

4.  Then I noticed what might be the strangest thing that was left behind.  A pair of old fashioned tea pots. 

Of course, I knew they couldn't be real silver.  No one would be crazy enough to leave real silver teapots behind.  That's when I turned it over and noticed this:

That my friends, is tarnish.  Silver tarnish.  That comes on a silver teapot.  Well, now I am really surprised.  I do admit, that I'm sure they aren't solid silver as that kind of silverware is usually marked on the bottom.  These don't have any such markings.  But I am at least pretty sure that they are silver plated.  So that's not too bad. 

Dad was joking with me about having a yard sale, but I think Mom is in love with the tea pots.  The soap was meant for her.  And I'm sure she will find a place for the clock.

As for the paint?  Well, it can be used for a few things.  Namely for painting parts of our tree stands.  It can also be used to paint parts of Dad's trailer.  The trailer is supposed to be painted red some time, but it may look good with orange highlights.  That will help people see it on the road. 

So I had a good salvage day.  Again, one person's skipped apartment is a clean-out dude's treasure.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beyonce, I Hate To Break It To You, But....

So I was minding my own business in my living room, when a family member played a song I had never heard before.  This is not unusual since I don't listen to Top 40, there a ton of songs that are popular that I have never heard.  Anyway, my family member was going to see "Pitch Perfect 2" and wanted to know all the songs they were singing.  So she looked them up on Youtube to listen to them.

The song I had heard about, but had actually never heard was Beyoncé's "Run The World (Girls)."  This is the song:

For those who are unfamiliar with Beyoncé, here she is:

Also, this:

But I digress.  The main point of the song was that girls rule the world.

My first thought was that song was pretty disingenuous.  I mean, it seems like it's just pandering to 10 year old girls, if not an outright lie.

That got me to thinking.  If she was being more truthful, you know who she would say runs the world?  Old white men.

I mean, isn't this part of the problem in raising kids these days?  We have helicopter parents who have their little Prince and Princesses who think they are the center of the universe.  So then you have a song that reinforces that by telling a bunch of pre-teen girls they run the world.  That's just setting them up for failure when they realize they are going to get paid 77 cents on the dollar that men do.

You know who else I am told runs the world?  The Jews.

Ah yes, the Jews.  Responsible for everything going wrong for the past 6000 years.  For such a small percentage of the population they sure seem to get a lot of flak.  But they can't be worse than, the worst of the bunch.  The bunch that really controls the world.  That of course goes to The Illuminati.

Ah yes, the Illuminati.  I have written about them before.  Take a peek here:

I still haven't quite figured out what they are trying to do, but I am 77% sure that they control something in some way.  What it is, I have no idea.  But my main point is, it's better that Beyoncé let girls know that the Illuminati run the world much more than girls ever will. 

Although I will say that the Illuminati obviously don't have control over the Top 40.  Otherwise, crap like this wouldn't make it on the charts. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

New Bad Art Day: Someone Lost An Anchor

I have written a number of "bad art" posts before.  Lately, I have been working on a another coral reef type of painting.  It's kind of my thing.  I named this one, "Someone Lost An Anchor."  Namely, because it looks like someone lost an anchor. 

And here it is:

Like almost all of my paintings this one has a lot of layering.  I would paint for about 15-20 minutes, and then let it dry.  I would come back the next day and do the same.  So it took me about a week to complete it. 

Like a lot of my paintings, there are some things I like about it, and some things I don't.  But each painting is a learning process.  One thing I do like is just how "thick" the painting looks in real life.  I really do like to build up a lot of paint on the canvas.  The one thing I don't like about it is my choice of colors.  I'm not sure some of these blend well with others.

So eventually I will post another bad art day painting.  And it will most certainly be of, yet again, another coral reef.  Stay tuned and keep reading.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


So something lousy happened the other day.  I was trying to do routine maintenance on my Dad's Ford F-150.  In other words, this monstrosity:


I did the usual thing I had done before, put the truck up on my ramps, and that's when I had a serious problem.  In other words, it crushed my ramps.


As you can see, it just started to bend.  My Dad yelled at me when he saw the ramps starting to bend, and I got off them fast.  But the damage was done.  They are all but scrap metal now. 

I thought about when I bought those ramps.  I bought them used at a pawn shop for $15.  I had been having trouble changing the oil in my Saturn at that time.  Since it was only four inches off the ground I couldn't get under it to change the oil.  So the ramps helped a great deal.  I used them for my next car, a Ford Focus, as well as my Mother's cars, a Ford Windstar and an Escape.  I'd even used them for my Dad's truck for the two times that I ended up changing his oil.

But this third time, the ramps couldn't take it.  They just started to bend.  And it's not like I did anything different.  I had the ramps lined up perfectly, and crept up them as always.  But they just ended up buckling for some reason.

So I ended up searching Craigslist, and found the same kind for sale.  They weren't in as good condition, but they were $25, and I wasn't going to beat that.  So here they are:

As you can see, they are a bit rusted.  I will most likely sand off the rust and re-paint them.  That way, hopefully they will last longer.  Hopefully, they can withstand my little Ford Focus.  I'm definitely going to have someone watch me when I put my car up on these new ramps.  I'll also make sure to put a safety jack under there too.  But one things for sure.  I'm not going to be putting the truck up on these ramps any time at all.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Getcha Pull!!!! New Guitar Day: Dean Razorback

I used to work for Dean Guitars.  I really dug Deans due to Dimebag Darrell playing a Dean ML.  That got my love affair started with Deans.  The funny thing was that, when I worked for them, I actually never bought a Dean guitar there despite me being able to get them for cost.  There was one Dean Hardtail in blue that I really liked, and should have bought, but never did.

I always thought about getting one of the Dean Razorbacks.  There's kind of a sad story behind them.  Dimebag Darrell himself cut out a piece of cardboard and drew on paper the next generation design he had for the ML.  That was the Razorback.  However, he was murdered before he could see his design finished. 

The thing about the Razorback is that, you either love them or hate them.  They are really wicked and pointy, so they are pretty much exclusively metal guitars.  They come standard with the Seymour Duncan Dimebucker, and that's a pretty metal pickup.

It just so happened that I was scanning the Craigslist musical instrument section when I noticed an add posting a Razorback Explosion for $200 including case.  Now they do make a bolt on Razorback that's more or less a starter guitar, and that's what I thought they meant.  However, the pictures did not lie.  It was a Razorback Explosion, a $900 guitar new.

So I make my way to Largo to the Pawn shop that was selling it.  And then I was really surprised.  They not only had two Explosions, they also had a Razorback Stealth.  He said he would also do $200 for the Stealth.  Now a few things surprised me.  When I worked at Dean, the Razorbacks were made in China.  Now they are made in Indonesia.  However, this one was one of the first runs, and was made in the UnSung factory in South Korea.  That's probably the best factory they have over there.  It's been open for over thirty years, and a lot of the workers have been building guitars for over 25 years. 

Also, I noticed that this Razorback Stealth still had the plastic on the back cavity covers.  This one was set up nicely and never played.  The pawn shop manager had bought all three of them for $250 a piece, but they had been in the store for over a year.  So he marked them down to $200 a piece just to get them out of there.

And here's the kicker, this one came with a true Dean hard case.  It wasn't the semi-hard case that a lot of them came with when I was with Dean.  This one was a true high end case.  And another strange thing....  Most of the time when I get a new guitar I have to fret dress it.  This ones' frets were in perfect shape, and there wasn't a dead spot on the fretboard.  That's very odd.  I never see that happen even on the best of guitars.  It's also very important for a Floyd Rose equipped guitar to have perfect frets.  So I was really happy that no matter how much I yanked on that Floyd, the guitar stayed in tune and didn't have any dead spots.

Now, my next fun thing may be to put a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the neck.  I have one in the neck position of one of my Dean ML's, and I love it there.  I think it would match up nicely with the Dimebucker in the Stealth. 

And now for the pictures.

100,000 Miles

So, my car flipped 100,000 miles today.  That's not bad considering I drive a 2001 Ford Focus SE.  My Grandmother bought it back in 2001 after my Grandfather had died.  He drove a big Ford Econoline Van, and she wanted something smaller.  When she passed away in 2005 I inherited the Ford Focus. 

The funny thing is despite this model's reviews, this has been an awesome car for me.  Very little has gone wrong with it in the almost 10 years I've owned it.  I think that's namely because I have been very strict about routine maintenance, and not dogging the engine. 

I think back to my 1992 Saturn that I had before the Focus.  When it was about 13 years old it was starting to give me all sorts of trouble.  I can't say it was any worse than any other vehicle in it's class, but it certainly wasn't any better. 

This little Focus has really surprised me.  To this day it still gets 25 MPG in the city, and 33 MPG on the highway.  I was actually thinking of getting a new vehicle sometime this year, but due to the way life has turned out I may be keeping this Focus another five years.  But if it still works like it has the last few years that won't be a problem.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hey Porter! AKA, Adrian, Elite Work Guy!

Right now, I am working as a porter for a staffing company.  I get sent around to different properties, and do whatever needs to be done.  It's not a mentally hard job, but I do end up walking a lot of miles during the day.

Today was a strange day at work.  I was sent to a property I had never been to.  When I got there in the morning I noticed another staffer had showed up.  This has happened before when I did a clean out of an apartment.  Back then, it took a couple of us to clean it out.

Well, things got off to a crazy start.  The apartment manager sent this other staffer home.  She said that she looked for him all day yesterday, and couldn't find him.  She also couldn't see any work that he had done.  She basically accused him of hiding out, and skipping work.  She said she called the office and told them she didn't want him back.  She didn't know why they didn't tell him yesterday not to show up today. 

He didn't take that too well.  He left the office, came back with his paperwork, and she signed it.  He left, and then came back again.  I was worried that he might do something violent.  He yelled at her, "You know what?  I "like" your management style!"  He did say that very sarcastically.  He then left.

So I didn't know what to expect.  I thought I might diffuse any situation like that by giving her my cell phone number.  Therefore if she wanted to know where I was at any time, I was only a phone call away.

I started on trash cans and garbage.  I ended up meeting up with the maintenance supervisor.  I helped him with some garbage and cleaning out an apartment that was being refurbished.  I also took a leaf blower around the property to clean up all the leaves that were everywhere.  The supervisor, Eric, told me he liked my work ethic. 

After lunch I started the tedious task of taking apart the lights around the complex, and cleaning them out.  I had to do all three floors, so I was dragging this fifty pound ladder all over the place.  That's when something strange happened.  Every time Eric saw me he was surprised at my pace.  He was shocked that I had made it as far as I did.  By the end of the day I had cleaned every single light cover in the complex.  I managed to do that in four hours. 

Let me tell you my shoulder was hurting from dragging that ladder all over the place.  I made sure I took some Aleeve when I got home.  I was glad to put that ladder up at the end of the day. 

So when it came time for me to sign out, Eric and Elsa, the property manager were ecstatic.  Eric said in all the years he had been doing that, I was the best worker he ever had.  Honestly, I was just aiming for "pretty good" or a "B+."  I wasn't expecting that.  Elsa even gave me a high five despite me being pretty dirty.  She was so happy with me, that she asked to come work at the complex on Saturday, in addition to the Friday I was also scheduled to work.  They already had a few things lined up on both days to knock out.

I've always known my family had a good work ethic.  What I didn't know was just how bad some other people were.  Eric was telling me how some guys were so slow.  He didn't want to ride anyone hard, but most of the guys who came through there were just damn lazy.  He was so happy with me, he was trying to see about finding some full time work for me within the company.  I should mention that the company that owned the property I worked at that day also owned a number of other properties. 

So I will head back there for the next two days.  It will be good to get a bit of work in, and some money in my bank account.  When I look back at today, the funny thing I will remember is that, I don't think I worked that hard.  I mean, I've had other days where I worked much harder than that.  I guess I'm just an elite work guy.