Part 2    2008-02-24 04:47:27 ET
Break is just about over. Since the current project is working on the local hospital. Smokers are qurantined on a little patch of turf directly across the street. Right now the tempreature is at minus 31, with the sun peaking thru the haze and blackened treeline.

The same cars and trucks, I saw yesterday and the day before zoom by.A gust blows some loose snow. I turn my back. So I can enjoy my last few puffs of sanity before walking across the street, up 97 steps, and back to the fourth level of hell(4th floor).Where the tempreature can range from 70-120 degrees. And here I am bundled up with thermals,a hoodie,fleece lined jeans, gloves,beanie and a parka wondering if all this shite is worth it?

When I origionally applied for this job. I thought I would be learning new things, which is always a challenge. 12 years of residential plumbing experience. But I get stuck on the commercial/mechanical end of this cluster fuck! Which I know nothing of!!!

Trudging up a makeshift scaffolding, I'm nearly at the fourth level. The sounds of popping from welders heating metal, and the familiar smell of torched leather gloves is all I can make out.

Peeling off layers of gear. I suck up a deep breath, knowing it's approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes till lunch. Two more hours of stupidity, then a half hour break for sanity.

Around the corner is standing our leadman. He's a real piece of work. Staring at his watch, then up at me. Though he'll leave 20 minutes early for lunch, so he can beat the ruch at Burger King. Asshole is all I can think of when his name comes to mind.

Our leadmans name is Don. He's a weasely lanky turd from the lower end of the gene pool. He's the companies main boy. Nice to most everyone else, then when his back is turned, a real asshole. I mean both cheeks!He's been with the company for 32 years, and smells of brown nosing deluxe! One summer he had 9 people quit on him, due to his overall demeanour, and even strangled an employee in a fit of rage. And still retained his job. He barks random orders such as,"Drill a hole!" Then you ask him,"What sized hole? And where?".And he snaps your head off for no reason. Not my fault he's mumbles like he's choking on a manload! So people purposely fuck up his orders, so Don will end up doing his own jobs.

In comes Jerry into the mix. An older fellow, retired. An ex trucker. Somewhat knowledgeable, when he chooses to be. But loves giving people dis-information, and watching them get the wrath of Don. I would classify him a junior asshole! This cock monger, has to be the shit talker of our company. Been backstabed by him a few times, since starting work here. He doesn't know, that I know he does! So I play along with him.

It's now 10:11 am. And Don tells me I have to crawl into the drop ceiling that has already been installed. We have to install some piping that was overlooked. Imagine that! I roll my eyes to myself.Pop a piece of cinnamon Stride gum into my mouth, get my tools. And climb up another ladder into a four foot high crawl space.

This space is over an operating theatre, so there are wires galore, gas lines, water sprinkler lines,waste lines, and ducting galore. And the area I need to be nearby is on the other side of the room. I always get the shite jobs! Maybe it's because I'm the smallest guy on the crew. At 5' 10" and 160 lbs, I can fit in most places others can't!

Up thru the opening Jerry barks, that I forgot two 90 degree copper bends. Asshole! I get the bends,turn around and map out the direction in my head, that I will follow, so I don't end up in a heaped lump 14 feet below this 4 foot high crawl space.

The safe ceiling studs are 24 inches apart, with random hanger rods for ducting supports. Twisting like a human origami project, I weave thru the pipes. To my target. A nice little darkened corner obstructed by huge AC ducting. I look around, nestle myself in a comfy cache, and wait.
Looking back to my chosen route to where I am, I see the ceiling opening across the way. I sigh. A few brief moments of peace. No assholes in sight. Reaching into my carpenter pants pockets, I bring out a pencil.

Listening for any noises. I scrawl on the cement pier above me."Don fucks sheep!". It's 10:38 am............

 Part 1    2008-02-22 20:05:26 ET
Standing holding a rickity tweleve foot ladder. Looking at my cell phone. Noting that there is another 45 minutes to break. Thinking how smoking a cigarette in minus nine degree weather, will give me the equivelent buzz of two beers.

Adjusting my less than chic white hard hat,that we mandatorily have to wear. That I decided to adorn with a grimacing half bio-mechanical skull, via a sharpie pen that I drew whilest freezing my nuggets off in a less then desireable port-a-potty drips sweat down my brow.

Looking to the right. I see an electrician. A portly fellow. Clad in a weathered flannel, skin tight Dickies,steel toed boots that have seen their share of pig shit, and an over brimming tool belt with all sorts of screwdrivers, meters and gadgets. He looks lost.

To the right of me. Is a wall. A textured wall, that resembles unfinished fiberglass. With a small opening with three vales that are closed. One reads oxygen. The other two are nitrogen, and some fancy medical gas. Thoughts of pulling the levers have crossed my mind.

But I have this unsavory job, of bracing a ladder. The smells of paint thinners and floor adhesives fill the air. So much in fact, that my gum almost tastes of it. But not moving and holding this ladder is my current menial task.

Did I mention what's at the top of this ladder? A co-worker. A veteran plumber. A person who has the character of Rainman and Gilbert Grape combined. Even Scooby Doo would have a hard time conversing with this freak! A 350lb bundle of gross stupidity. Not that I'm pointing out that he's rotund and ginormous. Nobody's perfect. Not even I. Just his lack of safety and personality and overall attitude sucks. A dummy with a chip on his shoulder! Did I mention hygene? Imagine never taking a shower, or at least skipping a few weeks here and there. You know the type. We all do. Comes into your place of business,and asks for service of some sort. And you can smell the stale sweat, as they lurch over the counter. It rolls off them, like a fragrent fart. Your almost scared shitless to even lean on the counter after they do. You expect a hazmat team to rush in and sanitize everything they touch, or even where they walked. That's this fellow. And he's on a ladder right above me!

Squirming around, a copper fitting plumets to the floor. I look down. Then up. Unwantingly. I see even tighter Dickies above. A friend walks by and says his ass is bigger then Charlie Browns Great Pumpkin. I smile, trying not to laugh. Still looking on. Holding that ladder. I zone.

Thoughts of tipping the ladder pass thru the noggin.Just to see if the chaos therory really works. Then I ponder, how would the cement floor feel. Sad. When you wonder about the feelings of an inantimate object such as a floor.

I look back at my cell. Only eight minutes have passed...

     2008-02-17 06:53:24 ET
Sitting here thinking. Just pondering. Wondering how my friend is doing that moved on Friday. After a failed relationship. And severely fucking up at work, which led to him being fired. He decided to move on Thursday.Instead of sucking it up, and waiting until Spring, when the weather is better. He chose Friday.

I sugested taking the 40 or even the 29. He chose to go to Omaha, then cut up across the Dakotas, skim the top of Wyoming, across Montana, Idaho and then to Washington. Right now were under a blizzard alert until Tuesday evening! If were getting hit this hard. What are the northern states getting? *Shakes head. You can't give advice to the stubborn. Then he says he'll be alright, cause he has 4 x 4. Imagine driving an f-250(92). That gets 8 miles to the gallon fully tuned up? Oh yeah! What tune up!

I wish him luck. I really do. I hope he finds what he's looking for. Because you make life what it is. You make the most of what you have in your surroundings, you deal, then adjust. Unfortunately he hasn't learned these life lessons as of yet!

     2008-02-04 16:03:45 ET
I've been having a co-worker trying to dupe me into joining the Iowa national guard. Not that the thought hasn't crossed my mind for the extra duckets per month. First off. I don't take orders well. In fact I have a tendancy to do the opposite. Just to piss you off more!!! To gloat at all your feeble attempts, to try and break me.

Anyhow. 4 more days till the big "35". Fuck. Seems like yesterday I was serving all you guys alcohol at the Metro. And not remembering how I got home in one piece, while avoiding the possibility of getting a DUI. Surprised I made it this far. I always think back and wonder.....Just wonder.........

 Videos...................    2008-01-23 01:50:07 ET
Been collecting 80's music videos for my personal collection. And have fouind out that good copies are far and few. Most sites direct you to join. Anyone know of any good sites, that don't charge besides Limewire and other like it? Will exchange videos if that's cool?

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