Gettin’ Old, This Adventure Called 'Life' Continues, However…………..

Started by Gary O, August 17, 2011, 09:01:16 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Worked in the Merchant Marines after a brief tour in the Marine Corps.
The medical problem had to do with my eyes, but I could still qualify
for most jobs, just not prolonged reading.

Was working on a big Sea Train ship with heavy lift cranes doing
crane maintenance. I was on watch while they were moving cargo in
Manila. They were offloading tanks that had been shot up in Nam and
needed rebuilding.

I am sure you have seen wooden docks and how thick they are, well I guess the tank they were off loading was much heavier than the others. Cable snapped and the tank went thru the dock and stuck there. That cable whipped around so bad when that happened
that I didn't have to be told to go back and check again.
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824


Gettin' Old, This Adventure Called 'Life' Continues, However..............  Reminds me of back when we still had full train crews on those big trains that run for long distances across country.  We call that chain gang or pool freight.  On those trains a head brakeman which does not mean he is a chief brakeman or a brakeman that is more skilled (usually just the opposite.)  Simply mean his position was braking on the head end of a train.  A rear brakeman who was a some times flagman, some time brakeman who rode in the caboose or on the rear end and usually had the most seniority.  And the conductor who is in charge of the train.  Engineer is just in charge of the locomotives.

This takes place back when they have just gotten rid of the cabooses so now everyone was on the head end.  Usually they rode on the first two locomotives.  This crew was going through a small town here in southern Idaho.  The engineer and the head brakeman see a body laying between the rails.  The engineer places the train in emergency.  They call the train dispatcher and he in turn calls the local police.  It is at night and the brakemen grab their lanterns and head out looking for this body.  Soon the police show searching as well searching for the body.  There is no body to be found.  The engineer and head brakeman know what they seen and there has to be a body.  They are now arguing over the radio with the conductor.  The conductor now thinks the guys on the head end were seeing things!

Next thing the police get a call there is a man at the local hospital emergency room some one just dropped off with minor scrapes and abrasions.  He claims he had passed out walking  home.  The next thing he knows is a train is running over the top of him.  The train stops over the top of him and he rolls out from between the tracks.  He thinks he is pretty scrapped up and flags down a car and they take him to the hospital.  He is now at the emergency room sort of drunk mad that a train ran over him.  Sort of confused how a train could have done such a thing because he was just walking home.  His adventurous life continues.  As does everyone on that train crew.  Two still working, two retired.......   
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

glenn kangiser

That is a wake up call I would think.  Reminds me now when I used to install roll bars on Caterpillars all over California. [idea]

If the weather was good I would work late into the night and then pull out the sleeping bag and just sleep right there. I was in The City of Industry - LA one night.  Worked all day and was right beside the tracks when it came time for the sandman to drop in.

I lifted the 966 Cat loader bucket off of the ground a couple feet, rolled out my sleeping bag in it and climbed in.... went to sleep.

Middle of the night the train comes barreling up the hill about 400 miles an hour and  hits the horn .... about 50 feet from me.  Lucky the 966 has a gigantic bucket because I thought the dang thing was going to run right over me as I woke from sound sleep.  I jumped up, sat straight up, fighting to get free from the sleeping bag straight jacket and onto the ground... the lights of the train blinding me like a lighthouse light in the night....the ground was shaking as the steel monster grabbed it and shook it with all of it's might.......

.......took me a minute to figure out where I was and that it wasn't hell because I wasn't dead...... [noidea'

Ol' Woody Spencer was with me that night as I recall.... but I don't remember if he woke up or not.  He was likely in another bucket or on the ground.  He was so deaf he could't hear his own butt fart.  Still he was a good ol' fella.  He's gone now but ....who knows ... he may be watching us from one place or the other.   [waiting]

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Gary O

Bruce, Rick
Those have got to have been headlines somewhere.

"He was so deaf he could't hear his own butt fart"
Took a lung full'a coffee when I read that this morn'

Trains, Docks and Cranes...Oh My!
I was in line to do some swampin' for that gigantamous crane they had over at Hughes Tool in Houston. The line moved pretty fast, as swampers seemed to opt for the early retirement option (from earth) about once a month. Got to about 7th in line then Camille happened...kinda why I'm typin' away in the here and now.
...and thaets awl ah've got t' say about thaet.

Buddy Hans and I decided to hop a train 'cause our dads did it.
I was told some yard bosses would even tell you the schedule, and some would run you jail.
Hans was a slow talkin' Scandinavian from the Dakotas. Asked him once where Scandia was. Couple days later he parted his lips, making a slight smacking/plunger like noise, and said in his up and down syllable way "Up near Dane and Norwege der....yah".....poppin' me on the shoulder.
Man, couldn't match those pops...hands like catcher's mitts.

Trains were leavin' the yard.
The yard boss had run us off twice, takin' our water jug the second time...watchin' us leave.
We hid outside the fence until dark.
A gondola was creeping east on the outside track.
Easy pickins.
High fives.....ass slappin' glee....we're headin' somewhere.

The train slowed.

Went backwards

Forwards again.... High fives.....ass slappin'

Slowed, stopped
Went backwards

Forwards again.... High fives.....arm poppin'

Slowed, stopped
Went backwards

Forwards again.... Head nods

Slowed, stopped
Went backwards


Minutes later I peered over the edge
Our gondola was uncoupled on a spur about 5 mi from the yard.
We eventually found success, but learned a couple things.

Boxcar doors lock...from the outside

Gondolas are quite dirty (no matter how dark it is at night), thus once you get to your stop, you have become the same.

Hot shots haulin' fruit across the country don't stop much.

When exiting a box car during a slowdown thru town, first learn the roll feature wide receivers use.

No matter how callused your hands are, landing at 15-20 mph can turn your palms into protective wrist flaps if you don't know the above mentioned.

It's best to hop on a boxcar when it's at a complete stop if you have the gait of a diseased yak.

The term 'Hobo' just seems a kinda friendly portrayal of an old gent with a red bandana tied on a stick..spinnin' stories and singin' hobo songs.

They generly turn on you moments after you grab their reached out hand to board.

Give strong consideration to putting all yer clothes in a hanky on a stick, and board naked...hobos generly leave you alone then...and/or it at the very least saves a lot of scuffle and time.

When a train is goin' east and the one on the next track is goin' west, sit down young man, sit down!

All things considered, get a car, walk, hitch hike, swim, crawl. Genoa Nebraska just  sounds romantic.....they do like their oranges however.

Got a letter from Hans a year or so after.
Hey der, tink dat gondola ever left da spur?

yeah, he wrote just that way for my sake
I loved that ol' galoot

Letter head and envelope was;

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
School of Engineering
77 Massachusetts ave
Cambridge MA 02139

I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


I was on one ship going into Antwerp Belgium in the middle
of the winter. I had shipped on as an oiler and my buddy. who I had
joined the Marine Corps on the buddy system was with me shipped on as a fireman.
We had signed up with the Merchant Marines after one hitch in the Marine Corps. His old man was a Merchant Marine and he got us signed up with the SIU. Seafarers Internatioal Union.

But I digress, My buddy is on watch in the engine room and I was in my bunk. Large thump! I wake up, look out the port hole. All you can see is flames. got dressed and lifejacket and on deck before you could say lickity split. Was about to jump in the water and swim for shore. Luckily some one grabbed me. Made it quite clear that I wouldn't last but a couple of minutes in freezing water.

Turned out we had only hit the other ship in her personel fuel bunkers which carried bunker C. Really crude stuff that had to be heated to about 180 F before it would flow. Oh, her cargo bunkers
which we had missed, were carrying aviation fuel.

My buddy who had had to get a waiver to join the Corps because he was only 5' 3 1/2" had been adjusting the feed water valve which was one of those 10 inch wheels on the end of a vertical rod so he
had to reach up on tip toes to grab it. That was when we colided with the tanker. He said it flipped him back and forth but he held on for dear life.

Finally we got docked and we were able to go ashore so we went and found a quiet bar with tables and a juke box. My buddy goes over and leans on the juke box one hand on either side so he can
check out the tunes. A really cute bar maid comes over behind him
and gives him a friendly pat between his legs, only she lifts him clear off the floor a couple of inches.

He comes back to the table with this strange expression on his face and in a low voice asks me if that bar maid was really a girl. So I said to him, why don't you just ask? I ended up having to ask.
Turns out that it had been taking hormones and was just about to
have a complete sex change operation. You should have seen the look on my buddy's face.

Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824


1977 I was working as a switchman in a fairly good sized yard on a branch line.  This was back in the day when we could really go like the wind.  Most all the tracks were all in very good shape.  We would switch cars at a very fast rate, plus service industries so our plate was very full and we were very busy.  Lots of the seed houses were shipping bulk seeds at a very high priority plus all the perishable foods business we had on that branch.

In the middle of all this three or four hobos showed up there.  You never got them on a branch line, they were really out of place.  This brought me to corner a couple of them as we were hitting the lead. I told them this is a small yard and we switch very fast down here.  So stay clear or they were going to get killed.  One of them looked at me and said 'Sonny look at my gray hair I have been around this old railroad a lot longer than you.  I pretty much know what is going on so you just go boss some one that needs bossing.'  So that started some thing brewing inside of me.

They seemed to find enough to eat and seemed to me more than enough to drink.  They set up court under an old stock loading chute and went begging every day for about a week.  They would pass a bottle of cheap wine and and sit there by the stock loading chute or climb up there and watch and offer comments, get drunk and just be a pain. 

Then one day the old gray haired 'gentleman' walked up to me.  'Sonny, say there is a RBOX near the head end of that train you guys just built.' 
Ya' what about it? I asked. 
'Well me and my buddies were thinking about leaving here and going south.  That bunch of cars they going south?'
I looked at my switch list as if I was trying to figure out what car it was.  Oh Ya the RBOX with the open door!
'Ya Sonny thats the one.' 
Yes Sir it is billed for LA yard.  I looked him in the eye and our first conversation a week before was still brewing where he assured me he knew more about railroading that I.  So I assured him stay with that car it is going to LA.  Turned and walked away wishing them well.  Only problem was that car was billed for the Burlington Northern interchange in Silver Bow Montana.  Montana - California I guess I always got those two states mixed up.... I do know one is warmer than the other just cant remember which one..... OH well This Adventure Called 'Life' Continued for those guys.  Me, when the shift was over I went and bought a six'er and atlas and went to my room and brushed up on my geography.   [noidea'     
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

glenn kangiser

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

glenn kangiser

OK ....fresh stuff... I just did this one today and Sassy says I have to tell it.

We have a new foreman on the job.... came in all full of piss and vinegar and thought he was going to be MR. Tough Guy..... problem is he doesn't know I run things my way there... whenever I can.

His jerk PM on the job... likely I just complained about him.... told him to start documenting problems with our job.....though the problems are mostly from their company and architectural problems... such as things that were right on their architectural plan but not on structural so the erection crew had to spend a couple weeks modifying stuff to fit equipment on top of the Safeway.  He sent e-mail out to me, the company I sub for and his bosses to comply with the PM's request and to make himself look good to upper management in my opinion.

I sent several psycho type emails out to him, one telling him not to be sending out B...S... emails to make himself look good at my expense....then I went to work Monday wearing my camo shirt.....  :o

In all fairness to him, he has not learned not to screw with me yet... but he will.  heh

Sassy is my Safety Director on these projects. An RN with a BSN and mean as they come when I want her to be.

As I mentioned before, the crappers get full and even though they were serviced yesterday morning, they were out of two rolls of paper after lunch today in five out of eight and the others had little left.  The lunch wagon... (garbage truck) lots of people the runs......[hungry]

I called the Safety Director of their company.. told him I couldn't find management on the job,  and that the crappers were out of paper, some guys came out to wash their hands because they had to use their fingers and that some had left used paper on top of the roll holder so they could use it again later.  I also told him I called my safety director and she wanted to call environmental health.

We talked back and forth about how he had been trying to keep up since my last three or four complaints.. He takes his job seriously.  I told him I asked Sassy to hold off on the call because I wanted to give him a chance to handle it.  You need to know that when this guy shows up on the job, everyone is in fear because he will shut the job down if safety is not complied with.  :)

OK.... so he shows up and heads roll... OK ... so some are chewed out.   Turns out the best guy there ... a friend, Dave... a decent guy and Super over the Safeway, is in charge and he got chewed out.

The safety director made a spreadsheet chart to have management check all of the crappers twice a day and sign for it that it was done.  You can bet this will come up at the corporate meeting.

Dave came roaring out into the yard and asked me if I called the Safety  Director because he was Senior Management there and he got chewed out.  [noidea'

I have a habit of not lying to them so I said, "Yeah, I did, and it was all because New John sent out that BS email to me last Friday."  He told me he now
has to sign for checking the crappers twice a day and he would appreciate if I contacted him next time.... I of course apologized profusely and kidded him into a better mood telling him he needed to keep John under control.  Dave wandered off back into management land and I went back to finishing up things around the yard.

About that time the police arrived asking that road signs around the street repairs be re-arranged as people are rather like cattle and get confused if they don't know exactly where to go or what to do in a new situation.  I told him that the pavers were not there but were friends and I would help take care of the problem.  I went out with the officer and fixed the signs to leave no confusion for my paving friends and walking back, I stopped by Dave's Motor Home.

He stays on site during the week.  I told him about fixing the signs and he said, "Thanks, that will make up for you getting me in trouble over the crappers."

I said, "Well, Dave, I have been meaning to talk to you about that."

He asked what about....

"Well, you mentioned that you are senior management here didn't you?"

He replied in the affirmative....

"That means you can make people do things, right?"

Yes, he replied.

"Well, I bet a case of cold beer would mysteriously appear on your doorstep if New John got to be in charge of checking the crappers twice a day." [waiting]

He said "I drink either Coors Lite or Bud Lite....doesn't matter," laughing along with me.  

I said, "Now you won't get into trouble if I walk by John tomorrow and ask, 'How's crapper Duty, John?', will you."....

"Nah... no problem."..... heh

I rushed off to the BevMo, a man of my word, then when I brought them back, we both sat and told stories for about an hour similar to this one..... A great end to the days work.  :)

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.


Seems this day and age those health and sanitary related issues seem to weight a lot any more.  A lot of us worked in places where you were just expected to step around corner and 'do your thing'...   

I remember when migrant workers were required to have sanitary toilets and wash facilities in the fields.  Oh my gosh we are all going to go broke if we are required to treat field labors like humans.  Funny those same land owners are still there today......
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

glenn kangiser

Yeah... it is pretty funny, Rick.  I know the system and we all pretend that it is a gigantic issue so that a few more will have jobs and attorneys may not get to make a buck if we can out pretend them...

I make it a hobby to work the angles when I get bored.... and I am bored - this job is too mean and has gone on way too long.

Farmers down here ... always makes me think of the one who bragged about poisoning his workers garden so they wouldn't have anything. 

The way a lot of people treat migrant workers makes me want to give them a tip just to show them we are not all jerks.  I have been helped by them in Mexico when I was the migrant.  $3 for a tire repair.  What could be nicer than that.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Gary O

See, readin' these kinda stories....short, humorous, straight from acquaintances, different, thus refreshing, are the way to either start or end the day....smiling.

Note to self; better add Bruce and Rick to the don't sip coffee while reading list.

"and gives him a friendly pat between his legs, only she lifts him clear off the floor a couple of inches..."

"Montana - California I guess I always got those two states mixed up...."

Thanks, gents, for startin' this ol' coot's day right
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


There is a little port in Scotland called Grangemouth, which is
somewhere between Edinburgh and Glasgow. You took a cab to the
train station and then the train to either city.
The port was in behind locks, so you could only enter and exit
based on the tide level.

This is when I first started out in the Merchant Marines, and I had shipped out as a wiper, which as I am sure you can imagine, is not
the nicest job on the ship. Although it did pay more than minimum

These were SeaLand container ships and only spent about 48 hours in port at the most. I had made friends with the Radio Operator
and we decided to go in and visit Edinburgh.

After a nice time ashore it was time to head back to the ship before
it left. It had to leave during a specific widow due to the tide and locks etc.

Well we caught the train with plenty of time to spare. Now you have to remember that Scotland is a foreign country with a foreign
language, at least where us yanks were concerned.

The train finally came to a stop and everyone got off....everything
was real quiet, and I started to get nervous, so I woke up my friend
and we found a conductor. We were in Glasgow.....they had announced Grangemouth a while back...Luckily the train would be heading back to Edinburgh in a few minutes and we managed to convey
to the conductor that we would deeply appreciate it if he would
make sure we got off there.

We made it off the train and into a cab racing to meet the tide.
We get to the dock and it is my turn to pay the cab. My friend heads for the ship. I then finish paying for the cab and turn to head for the ship. There to my horror I see the radio officer walking up the gangway, and the gangway being raised at the same time.
I made a mad dash and grabbed the last step of the ladder and hung
on as it was raised the next 20 feet or so up.

This is when I was informed that the ship can sail without a wiper,
but it couldn't sail without the radio officer. No one said one word to me, but they chewed my friend out royally since they almost missed the tide.

Another one of those moments where you didn't have to go back out and check again.
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

Gary O

I don't think I'd have made the ramp.
Yeah, travel abroad has always been a mystery for me.
I no longer feel so alone.
However, I don't have to leave the contiguous 48 to lose my way

Travelin' Stories
(wiper wasn't needed on this trip either)

Took a jet to Mexico w/my boss
2 hr layover in Phoenix
After jawin' with a local we were able to crash the little private club they have there at the airport.
Internal pride building pressure in my occipital lobe....(boss has got to be impressed).
Chikin fingers and vodka seemed like a good combo.
Check is grabbed by my new acquaintance....(what a guy....I am).
Seems the liquor turned the victuals halfway thru the master chute.
No prob, there's time.
"Meetcha at the gate Bill"...pointing.
I got nothing
Enzymes are on strike
Things seem to be heading the wrong direction
20 min later, left leg in a coma, brain hemorrhaging, I glance at my watch
No need or time for paperwork.
I push back in my prolapsed rectum, tuck-snap-turn-flush...why?....habit...turn-BAP.....
Stall door 'tween the eyes...dizzy blood, but two-three heads
S turn
Dragging one leg, other leg trotting in a Z pattern, I make my way to the gate.
Lovely lady waves me thru after ticket glance

(Ah...25F...where's Bill....)
My name is announced over the intercom, and two (maybe three) stewards are coming my way.
"Where's my partner, Bill?"
"Sir, see that jet taking off? It's going to Mexico.
This one's going to Chicago."
Five hrs later I'm comin' off the plane in El Paso.
Wonder where Bill is....
Boss says I looked like 'a deer in the headlights'
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


I had to make that ramp. Merchant Marines enter countries with this plastic id card, not a passport. Once the ship leaves without you, you
are an illegal alien and they lock you up. At this point, the shipping
company has totally forgotten who you are.

I have a certain fondness for Guinness so when I went ashore in Hong Kong I stocked up. Came back to the dock with three cases on my shoulder and proceeded up the gang way. Of course I had sampled a few on the way back to lighten the load. No, I don't know how many a few is. I am now staggering up the gangway, but in spite of all the commotion on deck no one is offering to give me a hand. Turns out they were all making book on whether I would make it without dropping the load. Well, I made it ok, but that was one load I didn't share.
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

glenn kangiser

Update.... John checks the paper..... :)

Oh I just love it when a plan comes together.... [waiting]

Today -- when he was not too busy I called him over to my truck...

"Hey, John.....Keiley told me I could call you when I had a problem.... the two crappers there are out of paper....."

He started to get a bit of a grin and then stopped himself.... "Oh, that's a quick fix" he said.

We talked a bit about the building work progress and I said, "Maybe tonight you could write an email giving me some Brownie Points."

"Hey, I was told to send that email".......

"Yeah, I know".... :)

He said "Bye, Glenn" and smiled and waived when he left tonight.   heh
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Gary O

Ah, foreign beer......had a continuous bottle of Sam Miguel in my hand most waking hours.

Food, another story.
One of the first business meals I sat down at, was in Dongguan.
Taiwanese gents invited me to Taiwanese food.
Big bowls, 'family style' I guess.
I've never got the hang of eating with sticks, and marveled at their deftness with rice, green stuff, and bits of meat.
After a one stick struggle, I started to eat with my fingers...casual like....just nibbling really. Got a shot in the ribs from my broker "NO HANDS!" (whisper/yell).
It was though I'd whipped out an appendage from a lower region and commensed pokin' it around in the pot. But, hey! They were dippin' their sticks in the pot after mouthing twigs full of goodies!....never saw 'em eat soup....wonder........
So I'm stabbing bits of tiny fish with my one stick when a sweet ol' gal brings me a big spoon.

Man, Glenn...appreciate the ringside play by play, as close to live as it gets.
Ain't it fun to mess with heads sometimes?
.....just the ones that take their vocation a couple clicks past too serious.

Had a QA 'lady' (female dog) jump my posterior when, right before a gov source inspector was due that day, she found a piece of test equipment without cal certs.
She was about 7-8 ft tall, and tended to hover over people like a praying mantis.
So, crap, I scurried around getting the proper dox in the nic-o-time (while she was writin' my arse up anyway).
Inspector arrives....turns out he's and ol' hippie, and we share lazy-hazy days of yore.
All the while occasionally glancing over my shoulder....then this over fed long hed leaping gnome gave his blessing with his invisible wand, and a tip of the hand...signed dox, and was off. I think she hated me even more after that.

'Nother notable occasion, was when I took it upon myself to scrap some wire I'd picked up at an auction....stuff not usable left over from a lot....takin' up space.
She sprung out from nowhere (or a branch, after eating her ol' man's head for a snack), and started lecturing me on procedure...much like a rabid ump at a ball my face....wonder what mouth wash she used, 'cause her breath was pretty good.....but even so, my head kept involuntarily poppin' further back as she sputtered.
Then she started thumpin' my chest, sayin' how I and another (poor headless soul) thought we ran the place and could do whatever we pleased.
I could feel my brain begin to explode, but held my cool until her hand got tired.
However, when she turned and started to prance off on her hind legs, I took the spool and slam dunked it on the warehouse floor......'Now it's scrap!!"
What is it about wimin, that one minute they can be all forceful like, and the next minute become a quivering sobbing mass of (in her case) bones and lipstick?
She hid in her locked office all day it was like nothin' happened.
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson

Gary O

Down Home

Kids today seem to be having their imagination taken away from them, and given somebody else's.
Got a 7 yr old grandson that had a PS3 plugged to his wrist.
The lad was developing bad sleep habits.
His eyes had a continuous peevish look.
I get up at 3:30am weekdays, and a couple times when they stayed over, I'd see a flickering grey/bright light coming from underneath the door to the spare bedroom.
Cracked the door.
There he'd be, thumbs flittering at mach II.....glazed eyes locked on the screen.
I surgically removed the controller from his hands, unplugging the umbilical cord to the box.
He threw a little fit and fell over in a twitching heap.
PS3 has mysteriously disappeared, replaced by my football, basketball, his now repaired bike, bugs in jars, and a myriad of wood scrap projects from my shop....and the summer pool.
If continued, I'm sure I would have looked in on him one morning and he'd be in the monitor, shooting bad guys and eventually getting zapped himself....

Back in the 50's we relied heavily on our imaginations.
The converted broom factory we lived in yielded a pile of broom sticks.
These overgrown dowels easily became horses, swords, weapons of Little John of Sherwood Forest, and the prize creation of a carbine....wire two together and nail on a slab of wood and you could start pickin' off bad guys....sure wish we'd had access to duct tape back then....
There were a dozen or so kids in our country neighborhood, and we all played together, 'cept that time my big sister and Dennis Blickenson  locked me in the garden shed most of one afternoon....still wonder what they were doin'......
However,  generally we played with whatever was available......old tires, once flipped over a half dozen times to slosh out all the water, would roll all over tarnation and could be propelled by a piece of broom stick.
'Course there were mud pies 'n cakes created by our culinary experts Bessie and my sister.
Had a bite of their shiny pie once....pretty much the same experience I had when gramma gave me a spoon of unsweetened chocolate....
One time at hilltop, we were all gathered at the flat part of the country lane (paved no less) where most the population lined their  A few visitors joined us, kids everwhere, pushin' tires, ridin' bikes, havin' pine cone wars, chasin' dogs, dogs chasin' bikes, when the action lulled.
We seemed to naturly migrate together, cause Daryl was exercisin' his jaw with a piece of bubble gum, and unfolding the comic. We all peered over his shoulder and listened to him haltingly read the mini episode of Bazooka Joe.
You know those childhood moments that you still vividly recall?
Well, as I peered over the shoulder of one of the visiting girls I noticed something a bit horrific. She was missing most of her ear! I looked around, and noticed another visiting kid missing one of his ears.
Then I just stopped thinking about missing ears, 'cause one of the visiting kids had dug a chunk of melted road tar out of the pavement and had started chewing everyone was gathered around him, then we all dug out our own chunks....nobody mentioned how awful it tasted, and we chawed on our chunks most of the afternoon.....seems road tar retains it's flavor long after Bazooka gets that gawdawful saliva saturated insipid wad taste.
Thinkin' about it all a few years later, I remember getting a glimpse of Bessie Dodge's ear (or where her ear shoulda been) one time  when her hair was accidently pulled back, and she too was missing most of it.
Kinda thru me off, 'cause, even though she was my sister's best friend, I had a crush on her, even before I knew what crushes were. But the thing that came to mind was the visiting kids. I put two and two together and came to the thought that they were all visiting the Dodges, 'cause Bessie had a bit of a handicap and they did too.....7 yr olds really start coming into realization of things if PS3s aren't around....
Right about now if you are thinking, 'I just read this and seem to be missing the point', well then its just not for you, is it.
For everyone else, parents/grandparents, unite!
The road's gettin' hot!
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


There is nothing really strange about those kids missing part of their
ears. You know how some lizards have this thing where if you grab
their tail, they just let it fall off and then run away. These kids just picked up some of that DNA, so that when their parents grabbed their ear, they could get away.

So if you have kids or grand kids, be very careful where you grab them.........
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

Gary O

Beautiful...I would've never gone that direction.
Truly beautiful
Yer mind is flowin' and Rick is waxing creative...of all times to do chores......
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson

Gary O

Rick, you might find this of interest.
My great uncle Cal was the engineer of a train back in the early 1900s.
In 1999 got a letter of a distant relative doing a genealogy thing for our family.
Mentioned the train wreck of 1913 in Thorp, Kittitas  county, WA.
Head on 'tween freight and passenger.
Do you (or does anyone) know a best way to search this out?
Google/wiki isn't pickin' up on my exact words....or any of my words.....did find some interesting data on the Thorp family, and the Kittitas tribe however.
S'pose you don't search out train wrecks as a hobby....bein' an engineer and all.
It'd be like me looking for job related deaths for purchasing agents....
Man does pretty much nothing....dies.
More at eleven...well why not now........nobody discovers him for several months....birthday party members in shock (not really) nothing more at eleven...except the amassed cache of framed photos with captions found in his archives.......

I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson

Gary O

Something's Fishy Here

I just happened onto a few fish stories I put together years ago, and intend to do something with them one day.

They are recollections of a good friend and our experiences.
Shouldn't be a terrible read at a quiet time....

I had a fishing buddy.

Rob could pull a fish out of a mud puddle if it had a rock in it. He had an uncanny touch of what was happening at the end of his line, and stream savvy beyond my scope.
We fished most of the north coastal streams of Oregon together, going after sea run cuts, steelies, and salmon.
We'd spend the eve tying hooks, sorting lures and gear, and get our wives to pack us a lunch.
Off we'd go, swapping lies on the way, stopping at Staleys on hwy 26 to load up on bait, refill our mugs with hot coffee, grab some jerky, and head to whatever stream looked good that day.
One fine morn we decided on Beaver creek. The stream was pristine. A freshet, days before, made it a great prospect.
As our custom, we walked the creek, picking a starting point in the town of Beaver. Wading about a half mile downstream, we came upon the mamma johamma of fishing holes. The eddy, the depth, the tail out was the stuff of fishermen's dreams.
Rob decided to work it from the top, tossing his line close in, each cast drifting a bit further than the previous. Watching him was a study in precision. His worn vest bearing testimony to experience, held just a few choice lures, as he seldom snagged.
I chose to directly work the hole in the hopes of getting a much needed head start in putting keepers on my stringer. We each pulled in a couple fat cuts, and the day was looking productive when I spotted a rather large German shepherd loping down the hill towards me. Following him was a middle aged guy with no legs 'running' down the hill on his knuckles and leather torso pad. Rather unnerving, and distracting to my little adventure.
Stopping at the bank, Shorty, resting on his knuckles, watched for a while, then started throwing rocks in the hole.
Then Rin Tin Tin chased the rocks.
'How ya doin'?"
More rocks.
"Nice day isn't it."
More rocks.
"Let's see, this is public land, but your personal fishing hole, right?"
"Oh, you can fish here, I don't own it."
More rocks.
Cujo is now in a frenzy. Teeth bared, making those precious GGGRRRR noises that endears parents of small children.
"So, mind throwing rocks over there?" pointing to my buddy.
"No, I like it here, where I catch fish."
I reeled in, and commenced upstream towards Rob.
It turns into a game for Shorty's dog, as he plunges toward me, intent on maybe getting his master a couple new legs, mine.
Ever try to run or hurry when waist deep in a stream?
Shorty grunted something (apparently in canineese) and satan dog immediately retreated.
In town I found out no leg dog man was a local hero, had a big write up about him in the Reader's Digest.....and he was the mayor.
Rob and I talk about that place from time to time, and refer to it as the hole that got away.

Early one fall, Rob and I discovered the guard rail hole on the Salmon river, between Otis and the hatchery upstream.
There was a gauntlet of anglers, elbow to elbow.
We watched.
You could see these brutes coming upstream, the wake from their dorsals making a vee in the water.
Sometimes 3, 4 abreast.
About every 10-15 minutes someone hooked a fish.
Lines were retrieved.
Anglers waited.
Only one in six were successful in landing one.
There was a constant jabber from most until a fish was hooked.
Then everyone busied themselves, checking baits, hooks, lines.
It takes about 20 minutes to tire these hawgs out, and you need all the hole and more to give yourself a chance.
Some have the guts to let their line slack, culminating in pulling at the corner of the fish's mouth from downstream, prompting the fish to fight it by swimming upstream. It gives the angler more of a fighting chance, if the hook set is sure.
After an hour of watching, which isn't a bad tactic, no matter the pressure, a couple younger guys reeled in, packed up, and left. Rob and I looked at each other. We were both game. The young fella's had been in a less than desirable spot, on the upstream end of the hole. The older, retired gents had their spots way before dawn. Even if they hadn't, the spots would've been protected by their compadres.
We both hooked and lost fish.
Fall Chinook usually run 30 to 60 lbs. They'll straighten out the stoutest of stream rods, and it's a thrill to feel so much muscle at the end of your line. You can burn a hole in your thumb trying to keep your line from stripping to the backing.
The oldsters became more and more disgusted every time we hooked up, knowing it was in vain.
"Just give it a hard jerk, and enjoy your fish lips for dinner."
"Why don't you break the GD thing off, it's been twenty minutes?"
Rob broke off.
I immediately hooked another. An ol' geezer started barking at me, tossing his rod to the bank. Only I had a plan. Rob and I talked about the chances of wading the shallowest part of the hole and gaining a fighting position. The specter was the good chance of falling in, and my last conscience thought before drowning would be seeing and hearing old men scoffing as I drifted through the hole.
Turns out, the route I picked was apparently not the shallowest.
On tiptoes, leaning upstream, treading in places, keeping the line taut (not that there was an option) I got to the other, navigable, side.
This fish was a brute.
Rod straight.
Tugs coming hard.
Line heading downstream.
I'm scrambling now.
Falling over rocks.
Now sitting in two feet of water, my sandwich making its way out of my vest, floated merrily, merrily down the stream.... An old guy with dinner plates for hands, lifted me up by my armpits.

Something was not right. I never had fought a fish of this heft before, so I wasn't sure.
The fish was tiring.
I was tiring.
'Defibrillator paddles would be good about now', I thought.
The fish was spent, fighting now in spasmodic, vain attempts at freedom.
I nursed it up to the bank.
Steam coming from its heaving gills.
Steam coming from my heaving gills.
I did it!
I landed a fifty pound hawg!!
It was beautiful
In my triumphant elation I hadn't noticed that the hook was lodged in the gill.
Foul hooked!?
The beast had sucked the hook through it's mouth and out the gill, hooking on the intake!!
Thus the odd feeling that something was wrong...too much resistance, more like a halibut.
An old gent handed me his pliers.
Hathaway, the ODF&W warden, Don Knots of Otis, was on the other bank, arms folded, waiting for me to make a wrong move.
I carefully unset the hook, turned my trophy toward freedom, gently rocked him back and forth, and he was gone............
On the way home, Rob jabbered away at how he would have kept's a good thing we weren't hunting..............hunting 'accidents' are easier explained.......

After several trips to the coastal system Salmon River, Rob and I pretty much new all the good holes. The best bein' right below the weir, of which was right below the hatchery.
Plenty of anglers ran lines thru there, the well beaten paths from the make shift parking area bore witness.
It was very accommodating. A wooded gentle sloped path traveled right to the beach. On the right about 30 yards upstream, the deadline stretched across the water. Within 20-30 yards up from that was the weir. Easy pickin's if one could legally fish there, as the returning salmon piled up, resting before negotiating the little overflowing dam.
But just below that was this beach, and there was plenty of opportunity to hook into these weary returning nomads, as they rested in any slow water available.
The river created this stretch of unhurried water from the restraints of a cut bank on the other side, curving into a rapid at the tail out.
Oak, bull alders and willows graced the opposing bank, lending their shade to the spent fish.
It was the first week of summer, arriving in the early dawn hour, we were the first there. So, as we were taught from conscientious anglers before us, Rob and I policed the area of cans, their plastic six pack holders, fishing line, fast food wrappers, Styrofoam, and the plastic bags that the slack jawed troglodytes brought them in, loading up our 'pack it in, pack it out' sack.
We studied the water. Late springers were everywhere. Their torpedo shapes moving up and coasting back, holding.
However, they were not taking.
Everything in every color we presented was ignored.
An hour had passed. Anglers were starting to line the gravel beach.
We were ready to head downstream, but I had my eye on a hawg that moved little, and hung directly under a dead fall oak, of which the river had undermined its roots the winter before. The old oak had made a natural platform about six to eight feet long, ending about two feet above where the old bruiser hung.

Spring Chinook range 15 to about 40 lbs, 30 lbs being the common nice sized fish in comparison to their larger fall cousins.
This one looked to be at least 30 pounds.
I forded the river thru the rapids, and grabbing the limbs, made my way down the log.
He was still holding.
I looped a fresh bait of eggs on my hook, and back reeled my presentation down and about three feet in front of his nose.
As the bait drifted toward him, he moved to the side to let it pass.
This happened several times.
I got on my knees and studied my elusive friend.
He had the look and size of a five salter, and had been thru a battle or two. Having only one eye, and what looked like a seal bite near his adipose, I dubbed him 'Lucky'.
He was a bit dark, not the black, or the 'so rotten they're white' look about him, but I bet he wasn't going back out.
I steered my bait to about a foot in front of his eyeless side.
No movement.
I brought my line back upstream and artificially drifted the now washed out roe to the front of his nose, but on the eyeless side again.
The spent eggs were an undulating cushion of veined textured goo, and I let it envelope his face.
No movement
No movement
I had driven him a few clicks past irritation, and he was done with it all.
He turned his head and snapped at the bait in one split second move!
Watching this front row action was the thrill of my fishing lifetime!
He thrashed the water, anglers on the beach side started reeling in.
The fight was on!
He ran, making a huge wake, and then down.
It was all I could do to hang onto my rod.
The fight was over as soon as it started.
I had forgotten to back off on the drag!
My usual custom of tightening the drag, getting a good hook set, and then backing the drag off was totally forgotten!
Apparently I'd let my mind focus so hard on getting Lucky to bite, as they are tunnel focused on one thing, going upstream......getting home, no time to dine at this juncture, that I'd disregarded what I'd learned about salmon, and that's basically you only get one chance, especially with late spring Chinook.
Lesser fish will let you recover a mental lapse. Once a salmon is hooked in a stream, its fight to the end, and they know all the tricks.
We traveled home without fish that day, but armed with the new knowledge that sometimes, when they are not biting, it not only takes great patience, the ability to adapt at presentation, and the right gear, but you must have the mental aptitude to remember the basics at the most critical time, in order to get 'Lucky'.
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


My server and phone has been down for several days now.  I am getting ready to head up to the ranch for a few days.  When I get back I should have some time to go over your stuff.  If I loose it PM me. 

Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Gary O

No worries Rick.... You've got stuff to do, it's been awhile since the train'll wait
Uncle Cal ain't too concerned
Meantime, I'll just post stuff for folk to (hopefully) enjoy...'tween news and dinner....

You know, there are oftentimes in one's life that the urge to reach out and touch someone does not go away. Results or compensation are not necessary, just a 'hey, there's a bit of a problem' note. It seems to help sometimes.
I've found the initial task is to ferret out actual people with which to correspond when a large conglomerate is involved.
I hate recvg form letters, especially if they arrive one millisecond after hitting the 'send' button.
I also learned Ebay 'arbitration' is akin to getting the Easter Bunny to act as the mutual intercessor.
So, just firing off a tongue in cheek 'your product produces a vacuum' notification is my present mode.
Over a year ago, I sent this to a well known maker of cereal.
Yes, it's verbatim, with the exception of removal of people's names.

From: Gary O'
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:56 AM
To: ''
Subject: Fiber One Chewy Bars, My Experience
Dear Mr S-

Forgive me for not using the recommended General Mills Email site, designated for consumers such as myself.
I just want to share my experience with you (an individual) in regard to your Fiber One Chewy Bars.

Saw the ad.
Bought a box.
Ate one.
Chewy, delicious, and only four fat grams!
Ate another. Good bar, really good.
Got busy, missed lunch.
Ate another Chewy Bar. Why not? I need fiber, and only four fat grams. What a wonderful thing!
Attended a rather lengthy executive meeting.
Damn near blew out my lower intestines.
Amazing how much retentive capability the human sphincter has when called upon.
However, up until said meeting, I had not known that one's bowels could actually make audible internal noises when an inordinate amount of gastric pressure is pent up. Unfortunately our species does not come with an internal sphincter, so it's quite involuntary, becoming an uncontrolled entity from within.
Even though I highly doubt my colon has lips, it seems actual words were formed from time to time.....a low pitched satanic 'MAHHHMAHHH' and a high pitched 'PEEROOWIT' being the most common, and of course the usual 'POOT' and......'QUACK QUACK'.
Since no priests were in attendance, exorcism was not an immediate option.
Making hand puppet silhouettes of ducks on the power point screen did not become the diversion I'd intended.
Moments after the meeting, I experienced what could be some sort of flatulent nitro-methane expulsion record in the category of duration and decibels...a jet engine comes to mind.
One for entry in the Guinness Book. 
The crowded hallway became quite accommodating for acoustic enhancement.
Pointing to the chap walking ahead of me (once his head turned forward again) seemed morally unsound but necessary.

Here's a novel idea;
Put the 'potential gastrointestinal discomfort' warning somewhere on the side or top of the box, not on the bottom.

Have a nice day.

Gary O'

From: []
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 5:48 AM
To: Gary O'
Subject: Your Response From "General Mills" - 2010/03/25-1312 ZGEW
Dear Valued Consumer:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.  We are concerned to hear of the experience that you reported having with Fiber One oats and chocolate granola bars.

We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced and appreciate this opportunity to reply to your concerns.   
Food quality is a primary concern at our company. Considerable care is taken in the preparation and packaging of all our products.  Our Quality and Regulatory Organization has been notified of the incident you reported.
Although we strive to manufacture high quality products and practice stringent quality control procedures, a consumer may infrequently purchase a package which does not meet quality or performance expectations.   
Because food quality is a primary concern at our company, we are very interested in collecting some additional information about the product.  Will you please call us, because we would like an opportunity to talk with you, or to collect some information from the package if it is still available.
You can reach us  toll free at 1-800-775-4777, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Central Time. One of our Consumer Service Representatives will assist you.

We value you as a customer, and we hope you will continue to use and enjoy our products
We look forward to hearing from you.


Consumer Services

>Original Message From:

From: Gary O'
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 6:30 AM
Subject: RE: Your Response From "General Mills" - 2010/03/25-1312 ZGEW

Hi G W-

Thanks for the personal form letter reply.
I'm fairly confident that this box of bars is exemplary and not the odd one, as I've garnered like related experiences from my peers.

Again, here's a novel idea;
Put the 'potential gastrointestinal discomfort' warning somewhere on the side or top of the box, not on the bottom.
If not, maybe you could just change the name to Flatulence One......................
And yes, the package is still available, as I intend to hand the bars out as gifts for my single friends......right before their dates.........
S/be a blast.

Have a nice day.


'Valued Customer'
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson


 rofl  yep those Fiber One bars taste good but are bad news, I won't eat them anymore...   ::)

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free

Gary O

OK, lets see, where was I ...oh, yeah, gettin' old.........

Notes on the far side of my species

They say you become invisible once you turn 55, as far as being the Adonis you once were, and the fairer sex not receiving the same amount of pheromones you had back in the days of your (or back in yore day, whatever).
OK, aside from  running thru the grocery aisles with the gait of a diseased yak, leaping and flapping yer arms, or letting gastric build up go unrestricted, 'they' may have a point.
There was this one time.
I was sittin' in my Jeep in the parking lot, waiting for the missus to do her weekly inventory of every single thing the mall possibly had. I call it her hard target know.....the target is hard to pinpoint, so why not reinvent the reason you went shopping in the first place, and find that precious thing the hobby room of gizmos was missing.
So, there I am, preparing a bank deposit......and my tax return.........and touch ups to my will (yes, I'm quite organized, keeping my dashboard filing system well seated with a fine mix of coffee splatter/dust/sneeze mist/deceased moth-wasp combination).
I sort (roil) my files, prompting me to add to the sneeze mix.
Then head to the bank.
The comely young teller greats me with a big smile....I mean really big smile. All thru the transaction, she is beaming....thus, I too begin to beam, reeling off all the snappy patter my mind could muster....what with my bulbous ego pressing against my shriveled pituitary gland.
I do my cavalier stroll out the door, doing my best to find the correct side that opens on the first try.
(So, I still have it...what a stud muffin)
I take a peek at my countenance in the Jeep side mirror.
It seems my little sneeze produced something on my mustache akin to what an unattended low end caulking gun does when the pressure is not relieved.

Invisible?! HAH!
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson