16 December 2008

School-related stuff.

Firstly, I've been put in charge of testing, in a roundabout way. I grade the exams, and from those exams, I take the most-missed questions and am currently forming a massive pop quiz. More like a pop exam. Now, these tests (including the pop exam) don't count for grades, they only serve to show the instructors and students what is lacking as far as given information goes. For instance, nearly half the class is confusing a string with an array. That's going on the pop exam. Unfortunately, I'll be grading them as well, so I'm sure that'll eat up an entire Saturday. Ah well.

Some other stuff too...There are other conventions coming, ReTech in February (in Vegas) and a CPV--or, concentrated PV--convention in San Diego sometime soon as well. Not sure I can swing another San Diego trip when ASES is in Buffalo this coming May. (Speaking of which, I need to get a new passport so I can go to Niagara Falls!) Just too many travel expenses. We'll see what happens; this could all hinge on whether I pass the NABCEP exam. Luckily, NABCEP is being proctored locally in March, so not only can I save big as far as travel, but I have more study time.

Completely unrelated, Logan's been around more. I've missed him. I hope he intends on coming back in a more permanent fashion sometime soon. We'll see, I guess...he's disappeared before. Maybe if I let it be known that Molly and Niven will be in charge of holiday care packages, he'll make his presence known... :)

13 December 2008

Wish I'd been that brave.

I don't have too many regrets throughout my life, because I've learned that every experience--even the less than stellar ones--can serve to mold us and make us better, stronger, more resilient. However, the few regrets I do have center mainly of events before I was adopted. (Otherwise called the Before years. Easier for me to identify that way.) I've been told I shouldn't have regrets, that I was adopted at age 14 and anything I might find I regret can't be my fault, since I was, in essence, a child. And I understand that in an intellectual sense. I also understand that I'm looking back at those events with an adult mind that's capable of forming adult solutions.

Mais parce que j'ai été élevée de cette façon, puis j'ai connu seulement ce type de vie. Mon enfance était normal, et quand j'ai suspecté qu'il ait été erroné, je me suis forcée à le feindre étais encore okay. Néanmoins, j'ai été punie pour parler trop, et j'ai gardé des secrets. Parfois cela a signifié que d'autres enfants ont été blessés. C'était nécessaire...un cercle répugnant de la vie. J'ai peur: je souhaite que je pourrais échapper à cette vérité mais après 20 ans, je ne peux pas encore me cacher. Un certain jour que la porte ouvrira, et avec tant tristesse je sais que il n'y a pas assez de punition dans le monde pour ce que j'ai fait.

11 December 2008


Since I've been absent:

~Recently I found (or rather, re-connected with) one of my first penpals I ever had, Marcia. We started writing when we were about 13, maybe 14 years old; she was from Bophuthatswana, an area now incorporated into South Africa. After only a few years we lost contact, but recently I tried looking her up on Facebook and amazingly, I found her, and she actually remembered me! We've been writing now, back and forth, for the past few weeks and it's pretty awesome how much we've changed over the years, and yet we've managed to be very alike in so many ways. She's extremely talented, and in the near future, I'll post some of her poetry. My brutal curiosity of Bantu peoples, cultures and languages is heightened.

~So, the Monday after I almost killed John with the pookie (fire putty) bucket, Clint and I worked on securing the cable out of the electrical room, down the hall, and into the elevator lobby. Drew (now my temp foreman--again) told me to be "gentle" in making holes in the wall, so I used a long-shaft screwdriver and made my hole with that, using my side-cutters to drive it into the drywall. There was a piece of 1/2" allthread sticking through at one point; as I used my side-cutters to hit the handle to drive it in, I noticed how close my wrist kept coming to that jagged end of allthread. I took off my work glove and wrapped it around my hand...the very next tap I made to teh screwdriver, two knuckles hit the allthread. It hurt but not too badly, but before I got a chance to finish the job, I saw blood spew out of my hand and down the wall, floor, ladder, all over my jeans...and let me say this was a finished project: painted, tiled, turned over to the owner. Oops. Not like I could help bleeding, but our employee manual lists gloves as a 100%-of-the-time safety item. Good thing the electrical rooms aren't high-traffic areas.

~Working between Jay & Drew lately...back and forth. No one really has enough work, so when one foreman runs out, I go to the other, and then back ad infinitum. At least I'm still employed, and I'm overjoyed at that, especially since I like both Jay and Drew as foremen. And aside from liking their personalities, neither treat me like an idiot, and both don't give me tasks that are too difficult, too dangerous, or too tedious for me. Which is always a bonus. Aside from the antennae job (supposedly) coming up, we have 5 or 6 PV jobs that should be getting underway in under a month...or so I'm told. I can hope, anyway.

10 December 2008

Somewhere between lives.

Again, as is familiar to me, I am floating somewhere between my work life and school life and home life and family life and...therefore, I need mindlessness. But stay tuned, in the next day or so, I'm posting an awesome poem. Wish I could say I wrote it, but that would be a grave fallacy.

Yeah so...I stole this meme from Gadfly.
[x] I am shorter than 5'4 (/163cm)
[x] I think I'm ugly sometimes.
[ ] I tan easily.
[x] I wish my hair was a different color. (that's why I dye it!)
[x] I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
[x] I have a tattoo.
[x] I am self-conscious about my appearance.
[ ] I have/I've had braces.
[x] I wear glasses/contacts.
[x] I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
[x] I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
[x] I have more than 2 piercings.
[x] I have piercing in places besides my ears.
[ ] I have freckles.

[x] I've sworn at my parents.
[x] I've run away from home.
[ ] I've been kicked out of the house.
[ ] My biological parents are together.
[ ] I have a sibling less than one year old.
[ ] I want to have kids someday.
[x] I've lost a child.

[x] I'm in school
[x] I have a job
[x] I've fallen asleep at work/school (that’s always charming).
[ ] I almost always do/did my homework.
[x] I've missed a week or more of school.
[ ] I failed more than 1 class last year.
[ ] I've stolen something from my job.
[x] I've been fired.

[x] I've slipped out a "lol" in a spoken conversation.
[ ] Disney movies still make me cry.
[ ] I've peed from laughing.
[x] I've snorted while laughing.
[x] I've laughed so hard I've cried.
[x] I've glued my hand to something.
[x] I've had my pants rip in public.

[x] I was born with a disease/impairment
[x] I've gotten stitches/staples.
[x] I've broken a bone.
[x] I've had my tonsils removed.
[x] I've sat in a doctor’s office/emergency room with a friend.
[ ] I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
[x] I had a serious surgery.
[x] I've had chicken pox.
[ ] I've had measles

[x] I've driven over 200 miles in one day.
[x] I've been on a plane.
[ ] I've been to Canada.
[x] I've been to Mexico.
[ ] I've been to Niagara Falls. (In May!)
[ ] I've been to Japan.
[ ] I've celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[x] I've been to Europe.
[ ] I've been to Africa (hopefully in the next year!).

[x] I've gotten lost in my city.
[x] I've seen a shooting star.
[x] I've wished on a shooting star
[ ] I've seen a meteor shower.
[ ] I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
[x] I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[x] I've kicked a guy where it hurts.
[x] I've been to a casino.
[ ] I've been skydiving.
[x] I've gone skinny dipping
[x] I've played spin the bottle.
[ ] I've drunk a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[x] I've crashed a car.
[ ] I've been skiing.
[x] I've been in a play.
[x] I've met someone in person from Myspace.
[ ] I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
[ ] I've seen the Northern lights.
[ ] I've sat on a roof top at night.
[x] I've played chicken.
[x] I've played a prank on someone
[x] I've ridden in a taxi.
[x] I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[x] I've eaten sushi.
[ ] I've been snowboarding.

[ ] I'm single.
[ ] I'm in a relationship
[ ] I'm engaged.
[x] I'm married.
[ ] I've gone on a blind date.
[ ] I've been the dumped more than the dumper.
[x] I miss someone right now.
[x] I have a fear of abandonment.
[ ] I've gotten divorced.
[x] I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] I've told someone I loved them when I didn't.
[x] I've kept something from a past relationship.
[x] I've had a crush on someone of the same sex.
[x] I've had a crush on a teacher.
[x] I've been kissed in the rain.
[x] I've hugged a stranger.
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.

[x] I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't.
[x] I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
[x] I've snuck out of my house.
[x] I have lied to my parents about where I am.
[ ] I am keeping a secret from the world.
[x] I've cheated while playing a game.
[x] I've cheated on a test.
[x] I've run a red light.
[x] I've been suspended from school.
[x] I've witnessed a crime.
[x] I've been in a fist fight.
[ ] I've been arrested.

(Not sure how honest this section will be...)
[x] I've consumed alcohol
[x] I regularly drink.
[x] I've passed out from drinking.
[x] I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
[x] I've smoked weed
[ ] I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
[ ] I've eaten shrooms.
[x] I've popped E.
[ ] I've inhaled Nitrous.
[...] I've done hard drugs.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[x] I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.
[x] I have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
[ ] I have been diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorder.
[x] I shut others out when I'm depressed.
[ ] I take anti-depressants.
[x] I am/ have been anorexic or bulimic.
[x] I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
[x] I've hurt myself on purpose.
[x[ I've woken up crying.

Death and Suicide
[ ] I'm afraid of dying.
[x] I hate funerals.
[x] I've seen someone dying.
[x] Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
[ ] Someone close to me has committed suicide.
[x] I've planned my own suicide.
[x] I've attempted suicide.
[ ] I've written a eulogy for myself.

[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.
[x] I own an iPod or MP3 player.
[ ] I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga.
[ ] I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece (I thought about checking this for comic effect).
[x] I own something from Hot Topic.
[ ] I own something from Pac Sun.
[ ] I collect comic books (I bought them when I was a kid).
[ ] I own something from The Gap.
[x] I own something I got on e-bay.
[ ] I own something from Abercrombie.

[ ] I can sing well.
[ ] I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant.
[ ] I open up to others easily.
[x] I watch the news.
[x] I don't kill bugs.
[x] I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for the sake of being able to rhyme.
[x] I curse regularly.
[ ] I sing in the shower.
[ ] I am a morning person.
[ ] I paid for my cell phone ring tone.
[x] I'm a snob about grammar.
[ ] I am a sports fanatic.
[x] I twirl my hair.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[ ] I love being neat.
[ ] I love Spam
[ ] I've copied more than 30 CD's in a day
[ ] I bake well.
[ ] My favorite color is either white, yellow, pink, red or blue
[ ] I've worn pajamas to school.
[ ] I like Martha Stewart.
[x] I know how to shoot a gun (I'll get better in time)
[ ] I am in love with love
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[x] I laugh at my own jokes.
[x] I eat fast food weekly.
[x] I believe in ghosts.
[ ] I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
[x] I've not turned anything in and still got an A in a certain class.
[x] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[x] I am really ticklish. (Tickling is a form of abuse.)
[x] I love white chocolate.
[x] I bite my nails.
[ ] I play video games.
[ ] I'm good at remembering names.
[ ] I'm good at remembering dates.
[ ] I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

08 December 2008

Can't sleep.

Thinking, and my mind won't calm down.

My brother Remo's bullshit threshold has been broken; my parents seem to happen upon misfortune one after the next; my sister Amme is struggling with juggling her family and her job in America's present economy. My own worries seem so ridiculous, in light of all that. I remember what it is to feel hopeless and desperate, and am ecstatic that I'm not there now.

This time last year, I was overwhelmed with how I felt my life and worldview were changing. Much of it, if not all of it, seems natural and is second-nature to me now. More changes may be coming, as life has a funny way of making certain that happens, but...

I'm not certain that the changes in store for me are necessarily ones I'm comfortable with. However, I'm more aware of myself, and my capacity for inner strength plus my developing ability to create inner peace through meditation means that I am now better able to handle upcoming change. At least, better able than this time last year. I'm growing and progressing, and that's good. I suppose I just wish I could take a tiny glimpse into the future, to prepare myself. And I further suppose that a good many other people wish the same thing, so at least I know we're in the same boat.

07 December 2008

Almost a tragedy.

First, here's my story on how I freaked out about the possibility of almost killing John on Friday. Not on purpose just...anyway. Read on.

Somehow, a speaker cable from the retail level got lost or removed, and we were only just notified when the techs were in the IDF room, putting all the low voltage shit in order. All the speaker cables from upper floors had to be routed down to the back-of-house level, which is the level below retail. Anyway, the retail level is finished and already turned over so we couldn't really go crazy and rip walls open and such; the best way we could think of to get it all done was to run it down an air shaft. A great idea, except that in order to keep it up to Code (strapping, fire caulking, etc) was for someone to get down into the shaft as well. A good 50 feet or so.

The shaft itself is full of rigid and thinwall conduit, feeders encased in flex, tons of deep and double strut to keep it strapped down. Not much room for anyone to crawl down, especially with an awkward safety harness. I was going to get in the Hole except that the strut crossbars were 6 feet apart and I couldn't comfortably or safely climb down, as short as I am...that left it to my toolie, John.

John slipped on his safety harness and shimmied down. Once he reached the proper level, I lowered the tool bucket to him with kite string. It was full of straps, his screwdriver, the fire putty knife, a pair of Kleins, the like. I lost control of the bucket for a few feet and panicked as it plummeted and I'll be honest, I freaked out. John said he was still okay, but there's no room for him to hide himself away in that shaft; if anything fell, it'd get him on the head. I was extra careful the rest of the way. Then I lowered the speaker cable to him so he could route that, and then I waited. There wasn't much I could do except wait until he was done securing everything, but once done, he asked for the fire putty.

Since the air shaft was fire-rated, it had to be fire caulked on the inside and outside. (I'm a diva with fire caulking, LOL.) Anyway, the bucket the putty was in weighed something like 40 pounds which really isn't bad at all but after losing control of the tool bucket, I was terrified. I lowered extremely slowly and wrapped the kite string around a post for extra security. About halfway down, I worried that perhaps I should be using 1/4" rope instead of kite string, but it was too late for that. After John positioned it, again all I could do was wait.

Finally he was ready for me to take the fire putty back up and so I did...or rather, I tried. Lowering a load is a hell of alot easier than raising it, at least for me. When I tried lifting it, I kept feeling the kite string slip through my gloved fingers. I briefly thought of taking my gloves off to better the grip but I knew that if I were to lose the load, that kite string would cut right through my hand. I hesitated and thought about my options. Leaving the putty in the air shaft was not an option, having John carry it back up while climbing the shaft was completely unfair, and dropping the bucket while attempting to raise it was unthinkable. After a few moments, I began wrapping the string around my hand as I raised it.

It was fine at first. Pull, wrap. Pull, wrap. It went slowly, but it was secure. The problem was this: that was a good 50 feet of kite string. As I wrapped it around my hand--then wrist, then arm--the weight on the end of the very thin string tightened it so much that I lost all feeling from my elbow, down. All feeling, that is, except an increasing raw pain everywhere the string was wrapped. Every time I wrapped it around my arm, it went against basic self-preservation instinct. I repeatedly called down to John, begging him to somehow shield himself from possible falling objects. About 10 feet below the concrete I was standing on, the bucket caught on some strut. I yanked it, and nothing happened. I started to panic. The pain in my arm was screaming at that point, my strength was running out, and I was afraid of both dropping the bucket onto John (effectively killing him) and the string being severed by a sharp edge of the strut, which would also cause the bucket to fall onto John. In my panic I yelled to him that it was stuck and I think he sensed that I was freaking out, cos he called out very calmly that it was all good, that I'm in control, that he knew I'd get it up with no problem. It was seriously frightening.

So I stopped, forcefully calmed myself, and wrapped the string a few more times around my arm as I ventured closer to the edge of the hole. Then, partially leaning into the darkness, I used my body to swing the string away from the strut as I quickly lifted it, which freed the bucket. I then lifted and wrapped as quickly as I could, and once I got it safely to my level, I kicked it as far away from the shaft as I was able so that I could focus on unwrapping. It took several minutes but in that time, John was able to collect everything else into the tool bucket...meanwhile, I found that the tightly coiled string had bruised and cut into my arm. Rope burns, while wicked-cool, aren't adorable.

The rest of the adventure was uneventful: John strapped the cable as he climbed back up, and I raised the tool bucket (which was remarkably light in comparison) for him as he ascended. All was good, we finished in the middle of lunch, and that was about it. We spent the rest of the day positioning everything to be ready for the next phase tomorrow. I kept quiet about my raw and swollen forearm; after all, I know that the alternative--losing the putty bucket--would be way fucking worse. I swear, I hope I never have that kind of desperate fear of maiming a coworker again. (Though this incident did teach me quite a few lessons...)

05 December 2008

Yet another scattered post.

This week has been such a whirlwind of...everything...I don't even know how to begin.

I'm getting involved with teaching PV classes at our union JATC, so that we can get more of our electricians state certified. Maybe even nationally (NABCEP) certified, which would be awesome. It takes up alot of time, actually; it's two weeknights and a full Saturday for a month. They divide it up into 2 classes but still. I want to do it because, aside from the pay, I think it'll help me retain more. Y'know, I'll be going over the same shit over and over and it'll become second nature. And also, it'll get my contractor's name out to potential consumers. I mean, our photovoltaics department just started up an we simply aren't yet known for being involved in renewables. That'll change. :)

And now, a funny story. How many of you have seen "Pulp Fiction"? If you haven't, might as well skip this entire paragraph. Anyway, there was an issue with a side job another crew was doing. Something about it not being done it time, plus a failed inspection, plus a serious problem that needed troubleshooting. The foreman involved called one of the project managers for help, who promptly replied, "Hold tight, I'm sending Snow". Now, I heard this story from a tech who was there at the time; when he heard Snow was on is way, he referenced the afore-said movie by saying, "Oh fuck, you didn't say they were sending the Wolf!" And of course, that's not verbatim, but the point was made and everyone thought it was hilarious. I hadn't seen that movie in probably a decade, so I wasn't clear on what he meant, so I found the DVD and watched that scene and oh my God...it fits. If you know the scene, then you know Snow when he's in balls-to-the-wall mode: calm, firm, direct. He'll speak quickly and succinctly, expect no less than perfection, and may God help you if you're caught fucking off. I caught it immediately and I actually laughed out loud.

And now I realise what time it is, and I have preparation to get on before class tomorrow morning. Maybe someone will bring donuts. Maybe after class I'll have time to post about going in the Hole, and how I almost killed my toolie this afternoon. Yeah, work has been interesting this week.

03 December 2008

OMG!! Ryan has a new baby girl!

My non-straight edge drinking/ study buddy from my apprenticeship years (LOL, only a few months behind me at this point) became a father for the first time a few days ago. I saw pics on his MySpace. They were beautiful.

There are a few people I really miss from school: Ryan of course, Cliff, Sanj, Mario, Lee, Alva, Pam, Wizzard...I mean there are alot, honestly. I still keep in contact with a handful via MySpace, texting, the occasional email or phone call. I don't work with anyone I turned out with, and most guys I spent those 5 years with are married and their wives, at times, are less-than-understanding. It's too bad.

So Ryan's baby made it safe and sound into the world, and I'm overjoyed for him. I can't wait to see him, his wife, and the new little one. I'll bring the beer.

30 November 2008

Not entirely sure.

I haven't felt much like writing. Plenty has been going on lately, and really with the right motivation, I could detail them here. for some reason, however, I feel silent.

I spent the past week housesitting (and pet-sitting!), which is always a delight. I only worked three days that week, due to the holiday and the fact that there was absolutely nothing to do. We have another micro-remodel starting tomorrow but...still, very little work right now. I spent Thanksgiving with my family and, later in the evening, the in-laws, and it went about as flawlessly as any family get-together can be. My brother-in-law's birthday party was held at our house last night...for the most part, it went well, too. I even managed to work out the changes for sabbat decoration. But those are just events. Not to say that it didn't mean anything; I had a good time, but it's not much to write about, I guess.

My pensive nature has gotten me in trouble again. Just as in my previous post, about hiding aspects of oneself, I sat alone and found myself thinking a little too much. This time, about change. A family tradition my mom started years ago was the Thankful Tree, something we do every Thanksgiving. It's just some bare branches, and she cuts out different coloured leaves, one for each person. On one side, you write your name and the year; on the other side, you write what you're thankful for that year, and each year, all the leaves from all the previous years are hung on this Thankful Tree. It's cool, cos we have tons of leaves now, some filled out by those now deceased, and some by the kids...for instance, one of my nephews filled out one last year that said he was thankful for Batman. It was adorable.

The Thankful Tree

But anyway, this year I wrote that I was thankful for change. I realised that over the years, change has profoundly affected me, both positively and negatively. And what I mean by that is, no matter what happened to me in my life, the change that ensued redirected my life in a way that was necessary. There's been alot of trauma and alot of joy for me, as with anyone else, and it's just that I finally get it now. I understand that it's a natural part of existence...I just wish I'd known it sooner. It's a good thing I don't mind learning something new every day. :)

23 November 2008

Really knowing someone.

Alone now, and thinking: how well can I know someone? And how well would I want to know them?

I try to be very careful with what I reveal to others. I can be pretty candid on this blog, but in many cases, names, locations, even dates are changed. I don't want to be easily tracked. Things I don't want to be connected to at all simply aren't listed here, or anywhere else in writing. I've been known to lie on occasion to cover an undesirable truth.

I know I'm not the only one. Mark Twain said, "Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody", and I fully believe that. We all have secret lives, secret pasts, secrets loves and desires, secret hatreds, secret vices, secret talents. No one knows me fully, not one. I prefer it that way. And some have told me that to keep myself so compartmentalised robs me of my vitality but I find I encounter far less drama that way. I don't really believe in unconditional love under most circumstances; humans are simply not perfect and judge on bias, fear or envy.

It took a long time for me to understand how to gauge what parts of me were safe to show to others, and even longer for me to know which parts were safe for which types of people. And I know it makes sense to most everyone: we all have our home selves, our work and school selves, things of that nature. And of course we might censor ourselves around kids, or our parents or supervisors. We learn those things, mostly, as we grow up and realise the consequences for letting out the wrong part at the wrong time.

Nonetheless, sometimes I get to thinking about my own dark side, and what secrets I hold. I don't feel alone in sharing it with no one, because I know everyone is hiding aspects of themselves from me as well. But when I do think on what I hide--consciously and subconsciously--I can't help but to think about others, as well. I don't usually ask probing questions because I feel if I respect the privacy of others, they'll respect mine...however, I'm still curious. It's natural to be.

And then I think that perhaps it's best I don't know. Secrets are private for a reason. I only have to think about something deep inside me that might accidentally tumble out, and I can envision the responses, the aftermath...not good. So I can understand, of course. Everyone's in that exact same position. It's strange to me in a way, that we all have these aspects about us that are so guarded, and part of me thinks that if we all came out with it and lived honestly we'd be in a better place. But then rationality kicks in and honestly, we're all judgmental at some level, no one is 100% tolerant (or even close to it) so it'd never work.

We're all resigned to our hidden selves. I guess it doesn't matter really, because I'm not the only one hiding things. But the entire situation gets me in a pensive mood at times.

20 November 2008

I stole this from Flynn.

The last two days at work have been comically fucked up, and due to where I work and blah blah blah I'm not sure how great an idea it would be to blog about it; also, I hesitate talking about Olivia's viewing or memorial service so instead I decided to steal from Deviant Empire:


"I’m doing some early morning almost graveyard work in a pedestrian walkway on the nefarious Las Vegas Strip, and I’ve noticed two things between Monday and Today: people walking the strip between the hours of 2am and 6am are usually staggeringly drunk tourists and any sort of barricade, traffic cone, directional sign, or even someone standing in your way giving directions will be ignored, pushed aside, and generally walked over so that whatever death by cartoonish disfigurement that lies just beyond the imaginary line can be blissfully pursued. The absolute best (or worst) example of this was the lady that pushed her baby in a stroller over an orange traffic cone. Extra bonus information: there are more solo prostitutes walking north on the east side of the strip on between the hours of 2 to 4am Wednesday than there are on Monday."

Genius. I love the shit that comes out of his mind.

18 November 2008

Winding journey: Part Two.

After struggling and being in a near-constant state of denial, I let my guard down a few years ago. The death of my son, Gabriel, shifted my entire world and I re-evaluated everything. Months after his death I investigated both Christianity and Paganism with renewed vigor; my time was spent reading countless books, websites online, and pamphlets. The Las Vegas Universalist Unitarian church was my gateway; I tried to accept UU ideals within Christianity and after a few months of that I gave up trying to lie to myself and came back to Paganism.

Fast-forward almost 2 years later and I'm involved with an incredible spiritual philosophy class, a church, and a philanthropic group, all grounded heavily in Paganism. I love it. I feel at home, and warm, and everything is right. I'm not really "out" about it in my public life; yes, here I just wrote but I haven't mentioned details and I'm somewhat anonymous in the Blogosphere. A few know at work, and a few friends. My husband pretty much figured it out over the summer and my mom found out by accident about a month ago. I wonder how their knowledge will affect family-heavy holidays coming up...I don't want drama and I'm happy to avoid the subject if they are kind enough to not bring it up.

The thing I don't understand is why there's so much animosity between peoples of different religions. The reactions of my mother and Tannah were somewhat expected: they were sad because according to their faith, I'm basically going to Hell. I can understand that reaction, actually. What I can't understand is anger, hatred, disappointment...why? I respect other faiths. I am absolutely intolerant of faith-bashing, and I strive to find beauty in any faith. Except...I make an exception for abusive, cultish groups. Mixing abuse and a false sense of Divinity is unfathomable. It disgusts me.

But anyway...it would be nice if I really could be open about my beliefs. Truly open. Yes, I think my family would still love me. Would there be some hidden fear or anger, however? As for in-laws, would I still be accepted? As for friends, crew mates, other random people: would I be treated differently? When, on the rare occasion, I wear my pentagram choker, I sometimes sense stolen glances and outright stares. I wonder sometimes if I should ask, but I'm not sure I want to know. It just floors me that some people, based on belief, can feel justified in intolerance, hostility, and outrage simply because another person believes differently. But that leads into another post on the savage inequality in America so...maybe later.

17 November 2008

Much sadness.

I found out this morning that one of my crewmates, Tim (from when I was working for Papa G), lost his youngest daughter this weekend. I might post something more in a few hours but right now I'm somewhere between numb and weepy and that's a horrible combination for writing a blog post.

Her name was Olivia. She had just turned 15 years old. When Tim talked about his daughters at work, there was usually a smile on his face: either he bragged about their accomplishments or teased a little, like when he told me once that I text-messaged almost as much as they did. When I heard that one of his daughters had died, I immediately looked for a reliable answer. Rumours are extraordinarily common on construction sites, but unfortunately this wasn't one of them. The news story was splashed across the front page of the "Nevada" section in our local paper.

Apparently she'd been a passenger in a truck that participated in a street race; the driver lost control, swerved, overcorrected, and flipped the truck, ejecting Olivia. She died at the scene.

Although I lost my son 3 years ago, it was different. I'd had a few days to prepare for his death before it happened...as much as one can prepare for a child's death. His death also wasn't so violent. And oddly, although I know in a sense what it's like, I can't say I know how Tim's feeling. I'm just really hurting for him and his family right now; I've worked with his brothers and they are all really excellent people. The entire thing is senseless and depressive and it's hard to accept.

16 November 2008

Winding journey: Part One.

I won't get into the early history because if I did, it wouldn't be in English; I rarely write about my pre-adoption upbringing in English. And honestly, I might get into the early influences at a later date but I don't have the time to dwell on it right now. It's rather complicated.

Anyway, for the majority of my life I've been introduced to various religions, some for a longer period of time than others. All my experiences helped form me and form my ideas on Divinity, and I assure you, not all experiences were good. Nor were they all typical of what that particular faith had to offer. Some of these faiths showed themselves to me in their best light and some were revealed in a darkness that I now know to be caused by misunderstanding and confusion.

Two major paths I've walked off and on throughout the years are Christianity and Paganism, and with both I studied ideologies behind several denominations, for lack of a better word. In each path, there were good lessons and bad lessons, and with each path I gained knowledge and understanding, regardless. Until I was well into my 20s, my immediate family was passively Christian: we didn't attend church, and Christmas was strictly commercial in nature. We didn't pray before meals, or before bed, and I'm not even certain any of us owned a Bible. We lived, in a basic sense, by the Golden Rule, and that was the extent of it. After the intense religious experiences I had as a child, I searched tirelessly for a peaceful and healing faith to latch myself firmly onto. I found Christianity first, when I was 15 or so: I got obsessed, my family became a little concerned--which was a good thing--and the fire died down after perhaps a year and a half. I discovered Paganism, and told no one; but because of serious unresolved issues in childhood, I abandoned it abruptly after about a year. I cycled back and forth, and then felt only a tenacious connection to Divinity for years. I channeled it into Christianity, because my husband is Baptist and around that time my parents became practising Lutherans. I tried to feel the connection they felt, and prayed to understand. I was told I lacked faith, and that only by believing fully without exception and without questioning would I understand. I distanced myself from anything potentially "demonic", such as the Harry Potter series and Discovery Channel programs on Stonehenge.

I think it's because that almost immediately after abandoning Paganism, I still felt the draw. I still knew on some level that it had chosen me, as odd as it may sound to some. I fought it nonetheless, drawing on fearful childhood experiences and the idea that the draw I felt was not natural, but rather the work of the Devil. I prayed--though I didn't meditate, of course, as that was demonic--and fasted and read Christian literature. I went from pastor to minister to elder to priest for advice; I even went so far as to consider exorcism.

The point is coming, promise...Part Two is coming soon. Really soon.

15 November 2008

Blood back on track y una boda muy divertida.

In adjusting my Coumadin intake, I feel tons better. Headache is gone, and even though I'm still pretty exhausted, I still managed to get the supplies for my fool-proof nutrition yummies and attend the wedding reception of one of Tannah's colleagues. They're Mexican, and very few of those in attendance spoke any English but it was fun nonetheless. As soon as we arrived we were offered drinks. They offered Bailey's to me--and no one else, so I was like "What, is that the güera drink or what?"--but really, I love Bailey's so I took it. There were Baja-style tacos for one (roach-coach style if you're in construction) and I'll be honest: I had the carne asada and carnitas tacos and they were excellent...then after that and some frijoles charros I tried my first cabeza taco. It wasn't something I think I'll try again; it tastes fine, but the texture was questionable. I have no doubt it was prepared properly because everything was spot on, just I think I'm not into cabeza, that's all.

In between me dancing like a fool to Banda Zeta and Banda Maguey (I loved them in high school!), the groom offered me a shot of a traditional tequila. He offered to make it girly for me and I declined, said I wanted it straight. He handed me a shot glass that, honestly, was twice as tall as I'm used to, but I didn't wuss out: I sucked a lime slice to ease the burn to come and chugged it. It was amazing: I didn't need the lime. It was incredibly smooth, no burn, and the warmth didn't hit me til several minutes later. However, it should be noted that when the warmth did hit me, it knocked me silly and all I wanted to do was find a coffee cake and devour it.

So in my drunken stupor I did manage to find a coffee cake on the way home, plus Terra Chips, plus all my fool-proof nutrition yummies. Part of my blood issues the past week have been due to improper diet, so I talked to a nutritionist. I said flat out I don't like eating during the workday because I get drowsy. I mean, I might have a Fruit Leather at break and a Tiger Milk protein bar at lunch but anything more and I'm worthless. So the nutritionist suggested a specific trail mix of sorts: plain granola, pumpkin seeds with shell, raw assorted nuts, small dark chocolate pieces, raisins and bite-size pieces of jerky (any sort). It was specific as to this type, because pre-made trail mixes often had too much sugar or vitamin K, for example. It's high protein so I don't become lethargic, I can eat a small handful every hour to stay satisfied, and its healthy too. I'm gonna try it out on Monday and see if it works. :)

14 November 2008


Just for a moment, roll this around in your brain: Homosexuals can't be married, therefore are denied what I see as basic rights compared to heterosexuals. That's as far as I understand it in the majority of the United States. Therefore, should gays pay the same taxes?

No really...think on it a bit. And don't just think on how they're being denied marriage, but also the ability to adopt children, for instance.

Melissa Etheridge has written an amazing piece that hit me, even though I'm not gay and admittedly I don't even understand how it must feel to be treated thusly, as a second-class citizen. The article is poignant and shows both a feeling of betrayal with frustration, but doesn't come out all pissy and "poor-me-I'm-the-victim" because I really hate that shit sometimes. Everyone should read this. I really have nothing further to add here; it's obvious as far as I'm concerned.

13 November 2008

Blood-sickliness. :(

My weekly blood test, INR, was at only 1.1 and that explains alot. For the past few days I'm had such immense headaches that handfuls of 8-hour Tylenol wouldn't touch it. I've been unable to focus. And fatigue has been overwhelmingly fatigued. My INR is supposed to be 2.5 and 3.5; mine is exceptionally low. My hematologist was worried; asked that I counter it by taking a massive amount of Coumadin. Normally that works pretty well.

But now my eye is crazy-bloodshot...in fact, it looks like it exploded inside a little. My joints are sore, which one would think might be normal for a construction worker but this is different. Plus chest pain. I know I'm supposed to call the doctor with any "unusual symptoms" but I'm going to see how I feel in the morning.

Ah well. It's been a long time since my blood's been off-kilter. I'll deal with it.

10 November 2008

Kickass PV photos...finally!

The Venetian on the left and Palazzo on the right, reflected in the solar modules.

First photovoltaic array on the Las Vegas Strip, taken at sunrise. :D

About as sexy as I can get!
I learned pretty quickly exactly how to balance on the rails. Falling through would have been bad...both for my health, and for my employment.

09 November 2008

Ridiculous NABCEP issues.

Okay. I took my state photovoltaics license exam and passed it in August. Now, I'm wanting to take my national, the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) exam, to basically make myself more valuable and so that I could potentially install systems in areas close to Nevada, like St. George Utah or Kingman Arizona, for instance. I took it in Vegas in 2006 and failed by 1 question, which broke my heart, but I know far more now than I did then, so I feel ready. The only problem is, the local facility at which I took my NABCEP approved course and the exam hasn't offered an exam since, and isn't planning to anytime soon. So I looked at other options.

There are over a dozen facilities in surrounding states that I've emailed to try and find a solution. I only wrote to the ones in Arizona, California, and Utah, because I can book a cheap flight to get down there, take the exam, and get back all in one weekend. I won't miss work that way, and I can get the exam taken care of relatively soon.

This is the issue. Most of these places offer the exam at colleges and universities and so the exam itself is scheduled at the end of each semester: December and May. May is too far off, because I want to go to Solar 2009 in Buffalo to get my continuing education credits for my state license and (hopefully) the NABCEP certification, as well. Just take care of both at the same time. I looked for a facility near Buffalo to potentially take an exam, but the closest facility is over 100 miles away, in Syracuse. That won't work.

Of the ones that bothered answering me near Nevada, several offer the exams mid-week, which won't work for me because I really don't want to miss work. Some refuse to let me just sit in on the exam, I have to pay hundreds of dollars for the class, as well; even though I already had my prerequisite classes required by NABCEP to take the exam. I found only two facilities that were willing to work with me, both in California. One has a set date for the exam in mid-December, and I was going to book my flight and hotel this weekend, until I found out I was likely going to be on the River Mountain job in December and can't risk being gone on a Saturday. (That totally sucked, by the way.) The second facility is charging $15 more to take the exam--I don't know why--but they say they have a proctor available at just about any time I want to take it. I wrote back and asked if that included Saturdays, and have yet to receive a response. Think I'll call them this-coming week. I'm hoping. I've been screwing around with this for nearly 2 months now.

And to the administrator who keeps emailing me, and bad-mouthing my contractor in an off-hand way for not paying for the exam and travel expenses: fuck you, I wouldn't let them pay $1,200 for your class anyway. And no, your class doesn't look that great, yours isn't the only one that's squished into a single week, and it isn't the most comprehensive, so get over yourself.

08 November 2008

Tortoise Class was....informative.

I'm up late...again.

This morning--or, rather, yesterday morning since it's been Saturday for almost 2 hours now--Snow and I went to River Mountain to get badged for the photovoltaic project we're doing out there. The directions for this place is basically "keep driving until you hit the mountain, then turn". It's out there. The thing is, the facility itself is outside Henderson city limits, and technically on federal land. I remember the issues I encountered trying to get badged for airport work in 2005, so I knew it would be a hassle, but Tortoise Class was a first for me.

Desert tortoises are federally protected, and the class went over all the rules for encountering them and working around them, plus all the state protected plant and animal life in and around the facility. Most of the class focused on the tortoises. We were told that if we encounter a desert tortoise in Henderson city limits on the way in, we could legally pick the tortoise up out of the road and put it into a box so it would be safe, then call a handler (someone supertrained to deal with them) to come and get it. If we encounter a desert tortoise on federal land, however (which includes the facility), then we can't touch it or move it or even move too quickly in case it freaks out. If it gets scared, it might pee itself and dehydrate and die. That's a felony. :(

So there are rules: if your vehicle or movable equipment is inactive for 10 minutes or more, you have to check under it to make sure a tortoise hasn't crawled underneath it for shade. If one has, you have to call one of the biologists handlers to get it out. You can only use paved roads, which are raised above the natural ground so that totoises won't wander onto them...but if one has, then you have to call the handler. Etc etc etc. Very in-depth, very serious. Basically, the only time I can even touch a desert tortoise is if it's in imminent danger: for instance, they can't swim, so if I saw one fall into a deep puddle, I could rescue it and immediately call a handler. And hope it didn't breathe in water or piss itself or puke in it's shell or...

Then we learned about all the state protected life. This includes bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, foxes, gila monsters, ringtail cats, coyotes, falcons, chuckwallas, burrowing owls, badgers, and ground squirrels. Cacti, joshua trees and yucca are also state protected. Now, with the animal life, it's pretty simple: don't provoke them, don't feed them. If they aren't fed, they won't normally come around. We learned what tortoise burrows and owl burrows look like, and how to avoid them; also that once a burrow is abandoned, animals of all types like to move in, so if you lose a tool down there don't reach in to grab it. We also learned that when there's a trench or hole dug into the earth, they need to be covered overnight because a rodent might fall in, and then a snake will smell it and fall in, and on and on so that in the morning it'll be full of wriggling creatures. Not good. Trashcans for food waste must have raven-proof lids. And any kind of equipment, even earth-movers, can't have a piece of dirt on them larger than a pencil eraser, because it might hold tiny seeds of foreign weeds or invasive plants that can harm or kill the natural plantlife. Even the undercarriage must be checked. And, if any kind of the protected plantlife is in the way of construction, it must be carefully wrapped up, dug up to not harm or disturb roots, set aside, kept safe, and replanted at the end of construction.

It's crazy, but I like it. It takes extra time, but I feel it's better to let nature remain as pure and undisturbed as possible. Some guys were complaining, but I'm happy the rules are as they were explained. I think it'll be a good job. Besides, along with my badge, I got my Official Desert Tortoise Protector sticker that went straight onto the bucket I keep my handtools in, right next to the one that says "Get me a beer, bitch". Yeah.

07 November 2008

Trouble with lighting.

Okay...so in one of the many high-end retail spaces in the resort/casino my employer is contracted with, there were some lighting issues. The electrical contractor who was originally involved with this retail space either wasn't returning calls or was just not a desirable choice for this problem...so anyway, I don't know how it came about but Snow grabbed me first thing in the morning to help him troubleshoot it. (We're talking about yesterday morning...I just got around to writing it today. I'll get to the fun of Tortoise Class tomorrow.)

The problem was this: in the Personal Shopping department of this retail space, there were wall sconces and alcove lighting that were, for reasons unknown, coming on and off seemingly at will. The lights were supposed be be controlled by computer but it wasn't working, and there were no signs of a switch or other outside means of control. The lights worked, originally, but recently began turning off in the middle of the day, and no one knew why. It didn't alter the shopping experience, as all the main lights were still operational, but nonetheless, if you pay for lights, you expect them to work.

Snow directed most of the troubleshooting; I don't have alot of experience with it and so it was ideal for me to be in on it. When we arrived, the troubled lights were on, and he told the department flat out that with the lights working, it's more difficult to troubleshoot but we went on with it anyway. Firstly, we checked voltage and amperage. As an LED low-voltage system, the voltage was a little higher than we liked, so we found the transformers in the accessways and adjusted the voltage. In reading it again, it seemed more appropriate. The burnt out lamps were removed, and the prongs on one broke so I had to work on getting that out...I used the leads to my voltage tester as a pair of chopsticks and that worked pretty well. :)

Two hours later, Snow found me and said the lights had just turned off. He wasn't exactly expecting that, but it wasn't a surprise. If everything seems as it should be, then troubleshooting doesn't always find the problem. So we returned, and again we checked voltage and amperage. Absolutely nothing. The j-boxes providing power to the transformers were also dead. We got a copy of the panel schedule with all the circuits for the Personal Shopping area and tried figuring it out from there. We checked the circuit breaker as was listed on the panel schedule, and the relays as well. Nothing seemed to affect it. It didn't make any sense at first, until we opened one of the j-boxes that feeds the transformer to check wiring, and found a panel designation and circuit breaker number...one that didn't match the panel schedule given to us, based on the as-builts.

After some searching, we found a small panel in a corner of a room--not an electrical room--partially obscured by clothing racks where the clothing alterations were done. It matched the panel designation of what we found written in the j-box, and the circuit breaker we were looking for was connected to a timeclock. Let me reiterate this, that the alcove lighting and wall sconces were supposed to be computer controlled, and not at all connected to any sort of time clock. There was a moment of excitement: the timeclock was several hours off schedule, indicating a recent power outage, and Snow set the timeclock to the proper time as I ran back into the problem area to check. The lights were on, indicating that the timeclock was what those lights were connected to. I reported the good news, and Snow went to find the director of operations for the retail space, so he could report that we found the issue and how the lights were to be controlled.

The director was not happy. Not remotely. In order to change it to computer control, it would take a lot of work, and so until work order is received we can't do anything. But in the meantime, Snow explained how to work the timeclock, and pressed the importance of resetting it after any power outage. We left looking absolutely golden, and it was awesome, and I was so happy to have seen the steps taken for troubleshooting it. I love when things work out.

06 November 2008

Concierge Night at the EHM.

After I got home from work, showered, and typed up the basic unedited version of the "Big Blue" blog entry, I got dressed in a cute little black cocktail dress for Concierge Night. I volunteer, on occasion, at the Erotic Heritage Museum and tonight they invited concierges from all over (casinos, resorts, and such) to browse and learn so that they may be informed for tourists. There was a beautiful spread for nibbling, all homemade by Jenn, Kimber and Vicki: mini pizzas, deviled eggs, mozzarella-and-rice balls, tiny meatballs, crab puffs and veggie puffs, cheese balls with crackers...and dessert. Dessert was the best, visually: a variety of cupcakes rum balls (uncooked, so very much alcoholic), anise cookies shaped like penises and Italian wedding cookies with tiny nipples, to resemble breasts. Genius!

The concierges meandered through the artifacts, paintings, video screens and photography before finding the games area. They were like carnival games, but slightly modified to reflect the EHM. There was Pin the Penis on the Tranny--not a real tranny, but a cardboard cutout, and we all know what traditional game that came from; then the beanbag toss, but the beanbags were little penises and they had to be tossed in a hole cut out of the crotch of a cardboard representation of a pornstar; the the Dildo Ring Toss, in which one had to throw glow bracelets and try to catch them around various types of dildos, from short squaty ones to huge, veiny mechanical ones. Oddly, very few of the men wanted to play the games. :)

It was awesome, and I know the museum isn't for everyone but I had fun, and I'm going to try to get Tannah to come down there with me, so he can check it out rather than just hear stories from me. I'm still working on it. :) Now I just have to get ready for Lost Souls Night...

05 November 2008

Fun with Big Blue.

So I got into work and we learned that the 16th level of the parking garage where our photovoltaic project took place was reopened. That's great news; it means that the turnover went smoothly and we're good to clear everything out. All our material and the micro-scissorlifts were already taken down and signed off, but we kept Big Blue up there in case we had any last minute changes or problems.

Big Blue is a massive outdoor scissorlift. I'm not sure how high it's capable of going but I think its well over 80 feet, because I'm not a friend of heights and we had to go that high to check out the lamp of one of the light poles. Not cool. But anyway, aside from that, Big Blue has these giant off-roading tires, the platform is immense...I'd say four grown adults could easily lay down on the platform and even roll around a little. And somehow, Big Blue had to make it from the 16th floor of this parking garage down to the first, then down the street to be parked in a safe area for it to be picked up.

It's not a one man job. Three of us in neon safety vests went up there to take care of it: Jeremy controlled the lift from the ground and Sherri and I walked with it, watching for obstructions and traffic. It was a good system. We had to fold Big Blue's rails down because as huge as it was, it couldn't fit under the beams otherwise, and then it did only barely. The thing is, this lift runs on fuel rather than a battery, so it was loud, and we managed to use hand signals, lip-reading, and occasional screaming to communicate; also, it moves very slowly. It's not so much that we walked it down rather than strolled.

We we started moving Big Blue down from 16, it was fine. No traffic. In fact, no real traffic until the 14th or 12th floor. (No 13th, of course.) But as we moved down, not only did traffic become heavier but we were caught about halfway down in shift change, where everyone was apparently late and frantic. The lift was as far over as possible without hitting vehicles and we waved other vehicles past when we could, but we needed the entire space available for turns, and no one wanted to yield to hand signals. They wanted to speed past at 50 mph and thn slam on the brakes when they realised they couldn't fit around us. Yelling, rolling eyes, throwing up hands, honking...in case anyone was wondering, not one of those things work to make a scissorlift go any faster.

So we managed to get all the way down with no incident: we didn't bump any cars, didn't smash into any walls, didn't run over anyone. I nearly got squished twice by cab drivers using cell phones as I stepped into the street to look for traffic as we walked the lift down (against traffic, in the turn lane) to it's designated parking space, for pick up, but it was a great way to spend the first 2 hours of the day. Yes, 2 hours. Did I mention that Big Blue moved slowly?

Final note: I don't care how late you are, trying to run over construction workers won't get you to work any faster. Skip the Starbucks drive-thru and get to work on time to begin with.

04 November 2008

Cause for celebration!

For my 400th post, I am so elated to write that Barack Hussein Obama is our nation's first African American president, and one who I believe can help raise America up from the mud that the last eight years have wrought us. If I didn't have to work tomorrow, I'd be partying. :D What an incredible, historic moment! I might even cry a little.

What I'll say on McCain's behalf is that as he's conceeding, even as I type this, his speech is beautiful and humble; I've gained respect for him.

31 October 2008

On Hallowe'en, and...

You'd think I might have more time to blog when work is so excruciatingly slow that I actually become exhausted from the lack of things to do. A bit crazy, that. I'm overjoyed that I'm still getting a paycheck, at least...that's better than what a lot of people have going on. I'm pretty damn lucky as far as that goes.

So, tonight's Hallowe'en. I use that name when specifically referring to the disgusting greedy holiday that America--and the world--has fallen in love with. I never got into trick-or-treating as a kid...I think I did it twice, once when I was 10 and another time when I was 12 or so. While I can definitely see the potential cute-factor of infants in a costume (I think of Ayla's son, being a squash this year), I don't understand parents dragging them all over for hours, house to house, to get enough candy to strike a diabetic coma into a 300-lb man when everyone knows the kid isn't even old enough to eat it. By the time the kids are old enough to eat candy, and therefore trick-or-treat, they really prolly shouldn't have it...or at least, they shouldn't have as much as they're given. (An entire pillowcase full? Really?) Then they hit about 12 and seriously, at that point it's just about sugar binges and dressing up. I reiterate: I don't think the dressing up is all that bad. I just don't like the greed I see, so I've avoided the entire holiday for most of my life. Commercialisation kills it.

Now, in the religious sense of the time of year, I see purpose: Samhain, Allerseelen, Día de los Muertos, Obon...those names connote a sacred time of year to honour departed loved ones, and I truly enjoy that aspect of it. I think if I had kids, I might somehow incorporate the costumes, perhaps; I'd probably even bake some kind of Pan de Muerto (Dead Bread) or other treat with at least some nutritional value. But taking a day, or a few days, to reflect on the cycle of life and death is very important. Many of us live just from moment to moment without any thought toward what life really means or what it's supposed to be. I like the idea of slowing down, meditating, and lighting a candle for those I've lost. I like the idea of remembering my loved ones who have passed on with flowers, even foods or other tangible offerings. It keeps death close, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. We face it daily. It also gives me a time to set aside to dedicate my thoughts to those who passed on before me.

Tonight and this weekend I'll keep, firstly, the little children in my thoughts: my own son Gabriel, plus Raven and Elektra-Marie, daughters of friends of mine. Then I'll remember adults who made impacts in my life: Uncle Bill, from Wales; Pat, who took her own life on Independence Day weekend; my husband's grandmother from Ohio. And of course, my ancestors who came and went before I knew them, or who were lost in years past. My intent is to meditate on the delicate and fragile thread of life, that can be severed at any time, which reminds me to live my life as fully and with as much purpose as I'm able; I must remember that this is my life and while my action and inaction both affect others, at the end of the day it's still mine to live.

(And by the way, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, you can think honouring the dead for Hallowe'en is stupid cos it's all about the costume parties and haunted houses and sugar highs better than any street drug can give you, that's fine by me. You can also think I need a history lesson in what the "real Hallowe'en" is all about, that's great too. But no bitching about it, please.)

28 October 2008

It's done.

Finally! Some time for a real update.

Yesterday and today were a whirlwind of near-OHMYGOD moments. Our cable didn't come in until after our shift was supposed to end yesterday, even though it was ordered on the 20th, promised to be overnighted on the 22nd to be delivered on the 23rd...instead, it was sent by 2nd Day on the afternoon of the 23rd, so yeah. Extra late. We had to go into overdrive yesterday late afternoon in getting those homeruns pulled, and Snow and I put in a 12-hour shift before deciding to pick it back up today. Today he pulled the rest while I went behind him and did crimping and last-minute make up, and at about 07h30 he casually said, "Hurry every chance you get, they're firing up the inverter at 09h00." So of course I panicked and tried to finish crimping with my trembling fingers. Snow had to tell me to be calm at least twice. And it's not that I was afraid of him yelling at me or anything, but the guy turning on the inverter was coming in from California and I didn't want to be the sole reason for the hold up.

So it was awesome that he showed up late. :)

I got done in time, however, and I told Snow that even though he was prolly trying to test how well I can handle stress, it was totally not-awesome to throw that on me. He effectively told me to man up and deal with it. Which, logically, makes sense and I'm learning to be calmer every day but still. I look back to even a few months ago and I'm far better at dealing with things that used to make me freak out but that doesn't mean I need help in finding extra stuff to freak out over. Luckily I recovered fully and we spent the rest of our day checking all the strings in each combiner box for correct polarity and voltage before adding zip-ties to keep the make up neat. That kept us busy til lunch.

Soon after the final combiner box was checked, I did some minor housekeeping on site and got all our tools and material ready to be transported out by the end of today. Snow, meanwhile, met with all the big-name people to get the inverter started up. (It was a group of the casino's in-house electricians and some people who came in from California under our general contractor. I'm glad he handles all that stuff, he knows all the right things to say and do.) So anyway, they all did their thing to get the inverter going and then Snow accompanied the big-name guys while the amperage was checked on each string compared to the irradiance and module temperature.

There were 3 issues, all of which basically were discovered right at the end of the day:

First, one module had no voltage whatsoever. At first it was seriously disheartening, because we had no extra modules. But some investigation showed that the negative cable had simply lost connection the the j-box on the back of the module. We cleared the fault by tucking the cable back in, all snug and tight, and it was fine after that. Second, the inverter voltage was wildly fluctuating. Granted, I wasn't right there when it was tested, so I don't know to what extent, but the changes were "not good". The voltage issue was handled by calling the manufacturer of the inverter who walked Snow through in changing some of the factory settings. Lastly, we had no amperage whatsoever in 12 strings: an entire combiner box. That took some troubleshooting. I went with Snow from area to area, cradling the ammeter, voltage meter, Dr. Pepper (very important) and our troubleshooting sheets. Once we checked all the connections and crimps to everything coming into the 5th combiner box, we traced the problem back to the DC disconnect, and there it was: the fuse was bad.

THANKS FOR THE FUSE, BILLY! (Hahahahahahahaha...no really, we're gonna chuck that fuse at you tomorrow morning so you better duck.)

Fuse was replaced, though not without injury: someone got bit with 300+ vDC. After "oh shit" was uttered, and the new fuse was properly in place, we went back to check our sad little amp-free combiner box...and lo and behold! We had amperage. :D At that moment, all was just awesome, everything was as it was supposed to be, everyone was happy. I didn't get to watch a meter go backwards like I did at the install at Snow's house, but for a project of this magnitude, I was overjoyed that it all worked, and our issues were minimal.

And so that's it. Done. The network isn't in yet for the Fat Spaniel station, so maybe I'll get to be in on that, but as far as the photovoltaic array, we've finished it. It was an awesome job. I loved it; it was fun and exciting and I must say, I love PV more now than I did before. So glad I'm in on this. Which means, of course, that I need more...I'm a solar whore after all...so I think I'm going to make plans to take my NABCEP exam by the end of the year. Maybe early next year, but still, in the next few months. I just have to figure out where and when.

Yay for PV!! :D

26 October 2008

Need to sit for a moment and BREATHE.

Yeah, it's been about a week. I'm not usually this bad about updating. I'd blame it on all the shit I have going on but I think I still managed to get in 2 posts a week during the final month of my apprenticeship and there was way more going on at that time. I don't know what the issue is, really.

Sadly, the awesome photovoltaic project on the Strip is nearing completion. We're likely to hand it over Tuesday, as our final inspection is tomorrow. There are only a few minor things left to do; I have to pull 7 homeruns to the combiner box, connect them, then do the polarity and voltage checks for each string...then I guess it's just all on the inverter. I'm so sad that's it's already over. I had so much fun.

I'm not sure where I'm going or what I'm doing after this job. Construction is incredibly slow right now; I might go back to the condo tower under Papa G but I really have no say in it. Who knows, I might stay under Snow also. I won't find out til it happens. I just hope the other solar projects are green-lighted and we can get our panels to start on those. I'm truly a solar whore now, can't get enough. :)

I think I've mentioned it in the past, but I attend a weekly class (and discussion group) on spiritual philosophy that I'm incredibly happy with. I like everyone there, I'm learning so much, and it gives me a feeling of happiness and of purpose. The only thing is, there's alot of volunteer work associated with this group, which I'm totally cool with, but I'm so wrapped up in everything else I'm not managing to make the other meetings. Aside from working overtime on occasion, doctor appointments, study groups, juggling my weekly obligations (grocery shopping, bank runs, pharmacy visits), union business...I'm finding it increasingly difficult to even maintain a schedule. Even during the end of my apprenticeship, my entire life still revolved around school and work, little (if nothing) else...and everyone I associated with was in the exact same situation. Now, as my life has branched out to include other varied obligations, it's still difficult to find time for anything. Tonight, in fact, was a volunteer meeting and by the time I got all my pre-Monday stuff taken care of, it was too late. There was a board meeting on Thursday that I missed...plus a Renewable Energy Task Force meeting I would have liked to attend. And you know, maybe I'd even like to see my parents and siblings, and their kids, once in awhile. Hell, the in-laws, too.

How did life get so complex?

20 October 2008

My day just started out great for a fucking Monday...

So first, I woke up about 10 minutes late, which isn't too bad, but then I fell asleep again and wound up waking up fully almost half an hour late. I got ready for work in record time, dashed to the Jeep and sped toward the jobsite. No one's ever on Flamingo Road before 06h00 so I was admittedly speeding...then I saw the sirens. I was hoping beyond hope that it was coincidence and he was going to drive past me to save someone from a break-in or something but he just kept following me as I slowed down and finally stopped. His scary cop spotlight reflected in my side mirror and came close to searing my retinas off, so I aimed my eyes downward as he approached.

My mom used to work for the Nevada Highway Patrol for years before my youngest sister was born, so I knew that rummaging in the glove compartment was a pretty stupid thing to do. I slowly turned off the radio, killed the headlights and engine, put my keys in the passenger seat and rolled down the window. I don't want to give any possible misconception that I was going to do anything bizarre. When he asked me for my license, registration and proof of insurance, it was then that I went rummaging through the glove compartment. He told me he'd clocked me going 65 in a 45...I guess it's possible but I didn't look at my speedometer. After that, he immediately asked me (to my total shock), "So where's the weed?"

It took me a moment to even respond. I told him I didn't have any. He went on and on about my eyes being red, my erratic driving, how the Jeep smelled like it and I was so confused my response was, "I'll do hair blood or urine right now. I'm not on anything. And you can feel free to search my vehicle." Of course after I said that, my mind flashed briefly to a horrorworld, written into existence by Dean Koontz or Stephen King, when the officer might plant the weed in my Jeep or compromise my drug test. It was a somewhat illogical thought, but anyway, I regretted saying it. However, that response seemed to calm him right down until he realised that my insurance card expired nearly 2 months ago, and I didn't have a newer one in the vehicle. I know I'm insured but it really doesn't matter if you can't prove it then and there. Finally, he asked if I'd ever been arrested or in any trouble with the law, and I answered no, so he excused himself to his cruiser so he could (I guess) look up my history on his squad car computer and write up my ticket.

I was pissed and scared, both: 20 miles over the speed limit is a big deal, and I couldn't remember how much over a driver could be before they got arrested and their vehicle impounded. I was pissed because here i am, speeding like an idiot to make it to work on time and I'm pulled over, so I'll be way later than I would have been otherwise. I honestly contemplated calling in this morning and just avoiding the day altogether but that means missed pay and it being a Monday, it just looks bad without a doctor's note or something. So I waited.

The officer returned with my ticket. He'd reduced it to 56 in a 45, which was nice of him...prolly had something to do with the fact that my record is pretty damn spotless and I didn't throw a fit. He also cited me for failure to provide proof of insurance and gave me a court date in January. The whole thing totally sucked.

What irritated me the most though is that after all that bullshit, I made it to work--doing the speed limit--only 4 minutes after the start of my shift. I would have totally made it, damn it.

19 October 2008

Cole Puffinburger found safe!!

All throughout the days he was missing, I couldn't help but to wonder how a parent could even function after a child is kidnapped. And things spiraled in such a bizarre fashion, so quickly: no Amber Alert initially, because there was no description of a vehicle or of the suspects. Then, the police arrested Cole's grandfather as a "person of interest" in the case...allegedly, he stole millions from the Mexican mob. I've heard that it was through methamphetamine sales, money laundering, and both, so I'm not certain, really. Then the Amber Alert was called off, just as police said they were looking for two more people of interest...and suddenly, little Cole was found wandering near Oakey and 17th, a rather unfriendly area of Vegas, just off-Strip. Apparently unharmed, apparently alert. I'm overjoyed that he's home, and safe, though there's no way to know yet the emotional and mental traumas he carries.

But, back to the thoughts that kept coming to me: Cole was abducted at 07h15 Wednesday morning. It was hours before an Amber Alert was activated...how his parents must have felt, just helpless. And how could they sleep that night, unaware of their son's whereabouts, if he was in pain, or terrified, or even alive? Then, even if they called in to work for those first few days, a parent must return at some point; how can they even keep their minds on the tasks at hand? I'll be honest, I know that you press forward simply because there's no choice. Staying home and fretting doesn't help, and being at work at least provides a paycheck. I was off work after Gabriel's death for a week, but that was more for physical reasons and blood monitoring than anything else. I started my first day of 3rd year a few days after he died, and my husband Tannah returned to work that same Monday. And I don't know, maybe a child's death is different than a child's abduction, because at least in death, it's final and there's nothing at all that can be done. You just make funeral arrangements and put the toys and clothes away, and that's it. With an abducted child, a parent must hold on to that chance, and...that's got to be unspeakably difficult.


I'm glad Cole's home.

17 October 2008

Work update.

All 682 modules are in, all jumpers are connected, it's going so well. I'm in the process of getting the home runs where they need to go (about halfway done) and then I'll get to make up the combiner boxes, which are already mounted. Then, the inverter, which is exciting to me. Every day I'm learning so much, my confidence is growing by leaps and bounds...I can honestly say that at this point, I could do this forever. (Watch me eat my words in the beginning of January or mid-July!)

I'm more or less comfortable in commercial installation, as far as I can be so far. I mean, of course every job is different but I see the steps that must be taken and it makes sense. Especially since the structure, being a massive carport, is open. What I think will intimidate me is a residential install. I've made mistakes in commercial construction, like using a holesaw through the wrong wall or crushing a framing stud so badly that it needs to be replaced. Not massive mistakes as far as commercial construction goes...but how do I tell a homeowner I've made such a mistake? That would kill me. Something I really need to think on, and a fear I need to get over if I intend to be involved in future photovoltaic projects.

One thing though...where to after this is turned over to the owner? It's only two weeks away, max, and no one has said anything to me yet. I'm not worried but I'm definitely curious. Some overtime would be nice, but as shaky as employment with construction is, I'll be happy just to remain working.

15 October 2008

A shitty day all together.

So Tannah and I got in a major fight over a silly "misunderstanding", which was ridiculous. The only thing more ridiculous is that this fight was conducted over e-mail. Granted, I started it...accidentally. I wrote an email as a note to myself, meaning for it to remind me something to tell Tannah later. Instead I sent it to him by mistake, which snowballed into just...hellishness. I won't get into it but it took a few hours to diffuse, and in the meantime some really shitty things were said. Didn't make for a good day.

On top of that, I stressed over whether or not I should attend my Wednesday night class, or the Solar NV meeting. I haven't been able to participate in Solar NV for months, literally, except for Crinis and the Solar Home Tour, so I knew I should go. But then canceling class, and I'd missed a few of those as well...so between the fight and freaking out over how to spend my Wednesday night, I made myself so ill I was unable to attend either. It seriously pissed me off. Like, seriously.

And, to really make life sweet tonight, I'm hearing about a little boy kidnapped at gunpoint only a mile from my in-laws house, about 20 minutes from where I live. There's currently an Amber Alert activated for Cole Puffinburger, please check it out when you can.

14 October 2008

(Not so) drunken fun!

Last night, Tannah and I spent the evening with Katelynn, who was in town from Alaska. We went to high school with her, but she's been living in Alaska for the past decade. (Now you see how old I am, haha.) But anyway, even though we only see each other every few years, we try to keep up via MySpace and Facebook. It works.

So anyway, we three went to Hofbräuhaus for dinner. I love going there whenever I can; I love the food, the beer (try the Dunkel!), the live music of mostly folk music and drinking songs. Snow went to the one in Munich and it's spot on with the one in Vegas. I guess, however, that it could be due to the fact that, BVT HBavaria L.P., the owners of Hofbräuhaus München, also own the one here. (Don't be fooled by other so-called HB biergartens elsewhere in America, they aren't owned or even endorsed by HB in Germany.) Either way, we had a great time.

Then, after we were sufficiently giddy and feeling infused with Bavarian culture, we drove to a small coffee shop around the corner from our house. It was open mic night and none of us are really into that kind of thing so we got our drinks and pastries, then sat outside. Weather was only about 80F, not at all bad. It was really laid back, we were comfortable with each other even after so long. No awkwardness. Very cool. :)

We finally went back to our house and spent the next hour bullshitting before we drove her to her brother's house, where she was staying while in Vegas. Katelynn is hoping to transfer to Oregon perhaps in the next three years, but I'd like to see her in Anchorage before then. She's got tons of photos that are just amazing. And after 10 years, it's time we see her for a change. Maybe next year...

12 October 2008

Erotic Heritage Museum!

So, on Friday night, my mom and I went to the Erotic Heritage Museum. It was a field trip with Mensa, and I was my mom's guest, which was funny since I was more interested in going than she was. In fact, I kinda guilted her into it. :)

I liked it alot. There were photographs, paintings, and sculptures by incredible artists; I liked the works of Todji Kurtzman, François Dubeau, and Bobby Logic. There was also a BDSM section with courtesy of The House of Gord which was fascinating. There were even film clips showing the machines in use, and I must admit that it was a little awkward with my mom there, but it was still cool. There was a hall of dildos (I had no idea there were so many sizes, shapes and materials used), fertility dolls, plaster molds of various body parts, and even Larry Flynt's gold wheelchair.

Upstairs was a bit different. The library was really interesting, with "nude landscape" books, how-to books, gay and tranny literature, BDSM comics...there was even a book on naughty limericks. I was a little shocked to see a recreated glory-hole (I told my mom not to look, LOL), and a recreated porn film set, plus a porn arcade and theatre. Perhaps 2 dozen porn star bios were against a wall next to a semi-closed room featuring short pornographic clips of films that "revolutionised" the sexual revolution in America; one that I found just...bizarre and amazing both was "The Operation"...it was filmed completely in infrared light. Crazy.

All in all, from the initial tour to the end, where I found some awesome coasters at the gift shop, I really enjoyed it. I'm told the displays will be rotated so that more of the donated artifacts from the Exodus Trust can be shown, and so I might actually make my way back in a few months. I have a two-for-one coupon, after all. :)

[Note: For Vegas locals--or anyone visiting Vegas--interested in upcoming events at the Erotic Heritage Museum, friend them on MySpace!]

09 October 2008

Quick update.

Quick, because I'm exhausted. I absolutely love working with solar power. I'm learning a ton every day, and it's getting easier to figure out the bigger picture. I know I've got a long way to go as far as really "getting it" but it's coming to me, at least. I've set up racking, installed modules, screwed the caps onto the rails, learned to walk on the array, and now I'm just getting to interconnection. In a few days, hopefully, I'll get to make up a combiner box.

Excited, happy...extremely sunburnt, I actually blistered! Someone at Wednesday night class suggested that I give my sunburned parts a sponge bath with condensed milk and I was so desperate I actually tried it. Lo and behold, it works. I've lost 2 full shades of red and no longer look radioactive, and it's starting to turn into a tan. (In October! Haha.)

The only thing is, being constantly in the elements wipes me out. Today, aside from the blazing sun, there was this incredible wind that kept knocking ladders over and scooting them into trucks and such. Tools, material, everything got caught up in the wind. On top of the array, screwing on caps, a particularly intense gust hit me and at 15 stories up, I really felt it. And really, I hate the wind anyway. It just annoys the fuck out of me.

Still love photovoltaics, though. :)

06 October 2008

My Monday was...


I took some melatonin early last night and managed to get in a little over 8 hours of sleep, which was good. Brought all my remedies to work, in case, and felt pretty good about today.

First thing in, I got a quick rundown of the job, our tasks, what we need to get accomplished daily, where the material and tools were...things of that nature. Then we got going. It was nice, because we didn't need hardhats (awesome!) and we only really had to work with a few tools. Literally. All I used all day was a wrench, an impact driver with tips, a cordless drill with a 3/8" bit on it, and a pencil. Not bad.

We prefabbed some racking first, and once we got a pretty good amount up, we started sliding the modules in and then secured those. Part of me feels that we're really kicking ass in this, because OMG I've never worked so hard and fast in my life I don't think, and that was just trying to keep up with Snow. (He's my toolie in this right now, and because he's also a general foreman, he's pretty strict on company rules and such, like the no-phone-at-break thing.) But anyway, he's lightning quick, and it takes everything I've got to match him but I'm up for the challenge. It's good to work at this pace, the day's over super quick and I think we got a hell of alot done.

Three problems: One, the closest bathroom is down the elevator 14 floors, across a bridge, down some stairs, around the corner, and behind the fence. Not cool. Two, the parking garage quite literally takes 10 minutes to navigate. It's a really shitty design, in my opinion. But hey...it could always be worse. Three, I really miss my crew. Don't get me wrong, I love solar and I actually do like working with Snow, but I had a lot of fun with my old crew. And everyone under Papa G, actually. I don't know if it was more laid back or what, but I like them all and now...I dunno. I'm getting kinda girly about it, I guess.

Sunburnt (even with SPF 75), exhausted, mind swimming with all I learned today. And I still have my cold, so I'm going to sleep early tonight again so I can do all I need to do tomorrow. My hope is that today was great for the sake of it being great, and not just because I was excited for it.

05 October 2008


Officially transferred to the PV job as of Monday. Got all my tools gathered up Friday and then tomorrow we'll just see how it goes. I'm hoping it'll be seriously awesome, even if it is alot of work. I'm really really gonna miss my crew though. I mean really, like alot.

Solar Home tour was great. It flowed more smoothly this time, and we had fun even though it was windy. Nevada Senator Dina Titus showed up and talked to us all...I swear, I like her more and more each time I meet her. She's so personable. We also talked about the Bailout and what that means for renewable energy...30% write-off and no cap. That's good for us solar geeks.

Also learned quite a bit on selfishness. I feel like a little kid who's parents finally sat him down and told him that there's a reason why Santa has Daddy's handwriting. The revelation of it blew me away. It's a good thing though; I even got a Druid-style hug out of it.

I'm ill, I got this nasty cold on the eve of my first day working solar and it really is not cool at all, so I'm rambling and making very little sense because my damn blood disorder and medications for it don't allow me to have real cold medicines, so I'm gulping the homeopathic and natural shit, just hoping I'll be good tomorrow. I should sleep but I'm afraid I'll wake up like at midnight, fully awake. Sucky. :(

01 October 2008

PV-themed...of course.

Firstly, I went to the DMV first thing Saturday morning to pick up my über-luscious straight cherry photovoltaic-themed license plates! As for what it means, I'm going to keep quiet, cos I want to see if anyone understands it. :) The great thing is, I can't believe no one stole the idea, since it's so amazingly perfect. (It's just too bad they wouldn't let me have one that said "solar whore"...and yes, I know that's more than the alloted number allowed on a license plate but I could have made it work, if it weren't for the whole "you might offend someone's delicate sensibilites" part.)

...fuckin sexy yo!!

In other news, tonight I went to the Springs Preserve to get all info needed so I can volunteer for the National Solar Home Tour this Saturday. ASES holds the Tour annually on the first Saturday in October, but the Southern Nevada chapter, Solar NV, held an extra one earlier this year. That was my first experience, and I really enjoyed it. This one will likely be a slightly smaller turn-out since we already did a massive one a few months ago, but still, the Vegas tour will feature 7 stops for the day, plus the guide will give info on public places of business that can be seen during their normal operating business hours. And, the fact that a good 120K others will be participating in this nationwide is pretty kickass, as well. All in all, the entire thing is very cool.

If you live in Southern Nevada, definitely check us out. Tickets are pre-sale only, and can be bought via Solar NV online. If you're elsewhere in America, take a moment to search if any Solar Home Tours are happening in your neck of the woods. Give it a try, it's pretty impressive.

30 September 2008

Still up in the air.

Went up to see Snow today. The solar array we're going to put up on the main shop has gone through a minor design change, but it'll still work. The slope to the racking isn't the best for our latitude, honestly, but the power generated is still well within what's expected, and it also allows for additional air flow underneath the panels.

As for the solar array on the Strip, we're still waiting for Unirac to deliver the racking feet. It's frustrating! Even with all these delays, our timeline remains the same, so that Snow and I will have to get 45+ panels up per day. It can be done but...it won't be easy. He told me he's going to really ride me and I'll have to work under pressure, which is fine, I'm just still a little nervous about the possibility that I won't work out for him, and it'll make him look bad. But, he told me not to worry about it, and I'm making it a point not to. Worrying doesn't help anything, it's just wasted energy. I'll just have to get out there and try my best to work hard at making it happen, and hope for the best.

At very least, I can look up the cut-sheets online and I have a set of prints to study, so I'll be that much further ahead. Now if only I could download the inverter's installation manual...

28 September 2008

Saturday's misadventures.

As mentioned in my last post, Saturday was overflowing with stuff.

After going first thing in the morning to the DMV (post forthcoming), I took my Jeep in to get serviced. It was no less than irritating. I originally scheduled my 3-month maintenance along with wanting someone to check out a few things. I can't get my tires to inflate to 33 psi even though they're supposed to be at 44 psi, so I wanted them checked, balanced, all that good stuff. Also, I bought my Jeep used (it's a 2007) and it came with an alarm but I didn't want to pay for it, so they disconnected it. A few weeks ago, at a gas station, it went off and I had no way to stop it or start my Jeep back up until I disconnected the leads to the battery to "reset" the system, so I wanted that checked out too. Lastly, the "passenger airbag" light seems to come on and off at will, whether or not something is in the seat. It did it alot a few months ago, and hasn't in several weeks but still. Would be nice to make sure it's not malfunctioning. So anyway, I told them all that and when I got down there, all of a sudden there was only time for the oil change. Oh, and Saturdays are off limits for the other problems because they have to call in specialists. Oh, and even though I was told that my service appointments were free for the duration of my warranty, it was actually $22. WTF. All that and when they gave me the keys, I found that not only had they neglected to check tire pressure, they didn't even fill the tires up. I'm never going back to the dealer for that again. Jiffy Lube or Firestone is cheaper, quicker, and with better service.

Then, for a few hours, I helped out with the Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day at the local UU congregation. The admission price was a non-perishable food donation, which was nice. There were tons of booths: massage, herbs and stones, music, readings, information booths on classes and meetings...a pretty good selection. There were live bands, too, and lectures in the main hall. Even Mary Kay, which is awesome, because I'm 30 now and the fragile, floppy skin is only a matter of time. (Yes, I signed up for a free consultation.) It was a relaxed and fun atmosphere and even though I didn't get time to eat anything, I found the time to buy a few things: a cookbook, blue tiger's eye, a magnet...trinkets, really.

Immediately thereafter I met with Tannah to head over to Hot Rod Grille for Tenno's 30th. We got there about 20 minutes early and were informed that it had already been reserved for some kind of drunken pajama party with a door charge and 2-drink minimum. Called Tenno; he got to work on other plans. In the meantime, as we tentatively decided to move the party to Buffalo Wild Wings, some of his guests decided to go ahead and pay the door charge. Some other guests showed up to BWW but left after they realised the UNLV/UNR rivalry game was on all screens, and not one of them were football fans. Still some called Tenno and suggested a PT's Gold (local pub) where they'd decided to set up camp. At teh end of the night, Tenno said it had wound up being really kickass, but Tannah and I had decided to leave from BWW at about 22h00 and skip it. Sad, but at least we still have Tenno's delicious alcoholic birthday gift waiting for him.

Okay. That was my Saturday in a nutshell.

27 September 2008

Alot to catch up on.

I'm exhausted, as I've been out all day, but here are some upcoming posts soon to be published (when I'm finally done editing them):

~My thoughts on the ridiculousness of "I shouldn't have to";(posted 24 September)
~How a workday can get so fucked-up bizarre that I could barely control my laughing fits; (posted 26 Sept)
~The arrival of my amazingly sexy straight CHERRY luscious PV-themed license plates;
~The oddity of a third birthday in as many years to be completely destroyed due to lack of planning.

There you have it. Now I've given myself a deadline, so I have to get on editing so I can post. I can't be lazy here, right? Right.

26 September 2008

Couldn't help but to laugh.

Today was absolutely ridiculous. I can't go into detail because of privacy issues, but for anyone who reads this with any regularity at all, I'm pretty outspoken about prints being all fucked up. It's more than a pet-peeve for me. Sometimes I'm told I big-deal discrepancies but this was beyond that.

For over a year, we've been using the same style of prints. They were updated, of course (we're on ASI 47 for now) but the prints themselves were always in the same format. I knew where to look for lighting, for power, for data and surveillance, for mounting heights...no issues there. Then for some reason, suddenly, we got a new set of "combined" prints. Supposedly these were superiour: in any given area of any given floor, turning to to appropriate page would give all that information at one time. Sounds great in theory, I guess. However, when there's a wall unit with two duplex receptacles, a box for phone and data, a few switches and a card reader all squished into a small area, it's a little difficult to read exactly where they're supposed to be mounted. Even if the power, data and phones are mounted at 18" and the switches and card reader are supposed to be at 48", it makes you sit and think when the wall unit only allows a foot of space to fit it all in. I had to ask for clarification from the foreman, who had to ask for clarification from the general foreman, who had to ask...yeah well anyway, it went up the ranks and in the meantime, I had plenty of time to try and read these new prints. I noticed some issues, so I took the old ones out to compare.

Somehow, the new prints added tons of changes compared to the old prints, but with no addendum bubbles to signify the changes. At the same time, things on the old prints weren't included in the new prints. I know that when something's deleted it won't show after the initial change, but according to the dates, they were released at the same time, same ASI number. If I went strictly by the new prints, I'd have to remove half of what was installed and then install about as much as I'd just removed. This, after we passed inspection yesterday.

So I brought it up to my foreman once he came back from trying to find out exactly how to read these supposedly-easier-but-totally-fucked prints. He looked at them after I insisted I really wasn't misreading them. He laughed, I laughed, everyone who came by and realised how ridiculous it all was also laughed. We wasted so much time trying to figure out which to use, it was crazy. Turns out, the new prints are flawed and we need to go back to the old ones. More laughter.

On a side note, it irritates the fuck out of me when a journeyman will scan prints to get a basic idea about what to do, but miss the important things, like "branch circuits to be run in #10 AWG" and in their haste they run everything in #12, so that when I try to be nice and let them know that it needs to be one size larger they flip out at me and try to blame it on everyone but their own inattention. Man up, guys, and accept responsibility.