Archive for the ‘state’ Category

I’m back in Houston for awhile. Don’t get the wrong impression by the title above. I don’t mind flat terrain. Hell, I grew up on Padre Island and Houston is close enough to the Gulf that it’s also flat as a board. I’m just glad to finally be home.

I love the hills and mountains of California. This was my forth time out there and I have to say that I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

I was out there to help the L.A. guys install a ridiculous number of water treatment devices. 35 in all. It was work hell. I pretty much just worked, ate and slept the whole two weeks I was out there.

However, we did get Sunday off. I thought that was odd because of the cost of having me out there. By then I was so tired and pissed off at everyone out there that I didn’t care. I was staying in Simi Valley so that Sunday I actually took a cab to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Here are some photos of that.

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Go ahead and laugh at the picture of the missile. I did.
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My work out there was in some really bad neighborhoods. One was near the intersection of Crenshaw and Slausen. Anyone who listens to rap knows what that means. Another job was in Ingelwood. I think we all know what that means. Below are some photos of my last day out there.

The ghetto bird starts circling above us.

Despite having to work in this environment the two weeks I was there, I did get to drive through my favorite part of L.A. on the way to the airport. I got to revisit Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice. As much as I love it out there I still have to say God bless the state of Texas. I am so happy to be back.

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Pit stop

Posted: October 17, 2009 in state, travel, work

My weekend began when I got home late yesterday evening. It will end when I finish this post.

I was working in San Antonio and the little town of Wimberley on Thursday. I checked in to my usual motel in San Marcos around 7:00 pm, went out for dinner and then returned to my room to watch Discovery Channel. That’s a bit of a treat because we don’t have cable at home. In fact, we don’t even have regular TV at home because of the digital switch. It’s ok though, we really don’t give a shit. Neither one of us watches TV anyway. But one of these days I will get someone over here to hook us up. This is where I stay one night a month.

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Ugly. Depressing. I know. But, hey . . . It’s got cable!

I spent one lazy day at home and now I have to get back in the truck and drive up to Dallas tomorrow morning on a Sunday (my day off). I’m on salary. I’m not getting paid for this bullshit drive up to Dallas tomorrow. The reason I have to do this is because the suddenly overzealous boss, who works at home by the way, decided that we needed to be on site at zero-dark-fucking-thirty on Monday morning for me to install our equipment which will take me a full one hour and maybe ten minutes. I am so pissed off about this. It makes no sense. If I were in charge I’d leave at 7:00 or 8:00 on Monday morning, arrive in Dallas around 12:00 or 1:00, install the damned thing and get a room somewhere.

As ridiculous as this is and as much as it pisses me off there is one bright side. I’m taking next Friday off to make up for this injustice. I’ll have a three day weekend. Also, I never had a chance to unpack so I guess all I need to do is throw in a few pair of socks and some underwear. Hey, I’m already packed! See you when I get back.

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Die!

I think I hate a biting mosquito more than I do an ugly three inch cockroach. You can trap and catch a filthy cockroach. You can even keep it prisoner and torture it. But mosquitos are stealthy and they are swarmers. They don’t run from you. They seek you.

My seasonal clock is ticking and it’s telling me to get back out to the beach. I spend many nights out on the beach this time of year and mosquitos are the only thing that will actually make me throw all my shit back in the bed of my truck and leave. Not even the lack of food, water or beer is as serious as a swarm of half-starved mosquitos. Usually, if you get into some wind they don’t bother you. That’s why I’ve slept many nights at the edge of the water and awakened with my fold-out chair half sunken in the sand with the surf moving in and out of my shorts.

The only thing more miserable than being eaten alive by a massive swarm of mosquitos is to be covered head and hair to toe in that nasty, toxic smelling repellant. I usually face the wind, shut my eyes as tight as I can, aim the can at my face and push the button. I cover my entire body until I’m either soaked or the can peters out. Being covered in poison is uncomfortable and not at all conducive to enjoying a night half naked on the beach.

My Dad sent me an interesting email today. It was, of course, an email that had been forwarded probably 500,000 times among he and his generation who love posting in size 36 font and changing colors every sentence. But it wasn’t another list of grievances about how this generation are all a bunch of marshmallows nor was it another fake numerical list supposedly written by Bill Cosby or George Carlin (in super-large font and in several colors).

No, this might just be helpful. It said that plain old Lysterine repels mosquitos. The mouthwash. The woman who initially sent the email cited several instances that proved it. She said that they put it in a bottle and sprayed it over lawn furniture, picnic tables, door jambs and each other. She swears by it. I’ll try it. Anything is better than Deet.

Better luck this time?

Posted: March 19, 2009 in state, travel, work
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I’m off to San Antonio again. Hopefully I’ll have better luck than last time.

Declined?

Posted: February 24, 2009 in state, travel, work
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It is 12:36 AM as I write this and technically it’s Tuesday. But in my mind it’s still today, meaning Monday. To me, the day of the week doesn’t change until I wake up the next morning. Midnight means absolutely nothing to me except the cut-off hour for buying beer.

Today I headed to San Antonio from Houston for my monthly San Antonio run for work. It’s a three hour drive there and a three hour drive back doing the posted speed limit of 70 MPH. After rolling into town I have seven accounts that need tending to. After that I drive to the tiny, ultra-charming town of Wimberley through San Marcos for just one account. After that I drive back to San Marcos and stay the night.

By this time it’s around 7:00 PM and I’m pretty strung out from all the driving and rushing to get all the accounts taken care of in one day so I can just get up the next morning and drive home. I walked into the lobby of my regular motel and asked if they had anything available that night. They always do but I’m just polite that way. They did of course but when I asked if I could get a smoking room she said there were none available. A construction crew that was staying there had taken all of them. In a way that’s sort of funny to me. It fits such a stereotype and it looks like I fall right in with them. This is a place with a lobby with an elevator which takes you up to your floor. It’s all inside. You can’t walk out of your door and be outside. Then I noticed a sign on the desk that said anyone smoking in a non room would have $300.00 charged to their credit card. Geez! That’s excessive for just running their own ozonator in the room the next day. I wouldn’t do that to their room (although I did do it in the bathroom at Harpo studios). So, I just told the girl I’d look down the street and that I would be back next month.

There are about six of these same type motels right in a row down the I-37 feeder road so I just went to the next one. Yes, they had vacancies. As the guy was running my company issued credit card he said it came back as “declined”. I said “Nah, that can’t be. It’s a company card.” He tried it again and looked up sheepishly and said the same message came up. He then said that their lines have been acting up and told me he would reset the machine. After he did that, same thing. I gave him another card that I don’t think I had ever even activated because my boss said to only use it if I really, really needed to and I can’t even remember what year that was. Before I handed it over I noticed it was due to expire in five months. Of course, that one didn’t work either.

Even though I pretty much knew I was screwed, I went next door to the next place for one last long-shot. Declined again. No surprise at this point. All three of them were very apologetic. Each time I pointed out that it wasn’t in any way their fault. I kept all the bad words to myself until I got out of the lobby and walked back to my truck. It lasted all the way across town to a convenience store where I noticed that my drivers license was back at the last motel. She forgot to give it back to me and I didn’t realize that I had walked away without it. Fortunately, I hadn’t gotten too far away. I went back to get it then headed back for Houston. Again.

This has never happened before. It makes me think that things may not be well at the office in Simi Valley. It sort of worries me.

Update: I really wasn’t expecting any comments on this. Thanks for your questions and kind words. I never heard back from my boss but on a whim I tried getting gas one morning on the card and believe it or not it was accepted. I then tried it again to send some postage and it went through. After that I used it for an oil change for the truck and another tank of gas. Apparently, the amex issues are settled. I had to figure that out on my own. No one told me shit.

I’m home and back at my desk

Posted: February 15, 2009 in state, travel, work

I’ve been away for awhile because the last few months have sort of sucked all the energy out of me. Not only that but it seems that I’m always out of town. Not for pleasure but for work. Getting out of town isn’t a bad thing but enough of it can turn a natural hermit like myself into a computer hermit as well. I’ve been tired. I ran out of steam. I had nothing to say. I’m here now though. It’s like a wave. There are troughs and crests. I’m on a crest right now so stay with me before I drop in on this wave and eat the sandbar again.

Remember Lawrence Welk? I only watch TV when I cook and while I’m eating dinner. As I was walking through the “living room” of our apartment I turned on the TV for some background sound because Gabby isn’t here and it was just too quiet. The TV happened to be set on PBS and there they were: Lawrence Welk and his uber geek band. I actually sat on the arm of the couch and watched about 15 minutes of it in a completely slack jawed state. First, I cant’ believe PBS is still running this. Second, I can believe it because I know octogenarians are funding it. Thirdly, I saw some amazing musicianship and realized that if I still smoked the weed (notice the article laurie k?) that I would have probably watched that stupid show until the very end. TMI. I know.

This is rare: I had a very productive Saturday. I got myself out of bed at 9:00 and got to the tax office by 10:00. I got my taxes all “did” then paid my light bill and my phone/ISP bill. I’m all caught up except for Gabby’s contacts. I was supposed to call the eye place two weeks ago. Sorry. I’ve been very busy. Call UPS, CPS . . . Whatever it takes.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Name the movie which inspired the very, very last fractured sentence above.

I was on South Padre Island all last week. Sounds great doesn’t it? It’s a great place to be but I was just there to work. All I did was work in a pump room and eat seafood after work. I was on the most beautiful beach on the Texas gulf coast, practically Mexico, and all I did was work, stuff myself with seafood after work and go to my room and crawl into bed. What I really wanted to do was shed all my clothes and run into the surf with my rod and reel. It was too cold though. I would have frozen my ass off. The wind was blowing about 25-30 MPH the whole time I was there. It was enough to almost blow the door of your car off it’s hinges. At times it seemed the wind was blowing from the ground up. I don’t have long hair but what that damned wind did to me made me look just like Ted Kaczynski. Sans beard of course.

This is the island that I stayed on last week. It’s a barrier island. Rather than a dot out in the ocean, it’s a strip of island that follows much of the Texas coastal bend. On one side is the Gulf of Mexico and on the other side is the lagoon. Laguna Madre. We usually just referred to that as the bay. I grew up at the north end of this island.

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This is the part of Texas that I am most familiar with.

I was tired as shit and sore as hell the evening after I installed our equipment on this new condo. After dinner I was sitting on the couch in my room and thinking ” what the hell am I doing in my room like this? I’m on South Padre Island”. So . . . I got up, took the elevator down, walked out of the building and headed toward the water. I walked down a sidewalk until it was blocked by a sand dune. I made my way over the dune and finally found myself on solid sand. I walked all the way to the water. As I was standing there facing the surf, the wind and the moon and having a deep, mystical experience, I had a very serious revelation. I realized that this beach is just like the one at home. I walked back to my room and went to sleep.

I was at South Padre last week gathering some information on a condo I will be installing on in a few days. I’m just waiting on a delivery of a piece of equipment. As soon as it arrives I’m going straight back down there. It’s a seven hour drive.

While I was there last week I saw another condo which at one time was under construction. It’s not anymore at least for the time being. I’m not sure if it is because of the physical impossibility of continuing or because it may be up to it’s neck in some serious, serious litigation. I’m guessing both.

What happened is that the residential tower of the condo started separating from the parking structure to which it was attached. This is a very tall building. Even just a few inches of separation at the very bottom is very visible at the very top. It’s quite a sight. I noticed it as I was driving over the causeway on my way there. Before I leave this time I’m going to drive to the end of the island to get a closer look at it and maybe a picture.