Friday, January 30, 2009

Trees, why your TV is evil, and civilian life

So one of my favorite things about Lafayette is that there are all these massive old pre-colonial oak trees around town. A guy who was showing me a rental property showed me one that was about 12 feet in diameter and was said to be over 600 years old. I'll put up a picture some time, but I can't now cuz I'm posting with my phone.
Lately I've been trying to think of things that television has in common with the devil in order to cultivate enough sour grapes to prevent buying one. Here's what I have so far:
1. They both use subliminal messages to control you.
2. They both appeal to the lowest common denominator.
3. They are both in league with the government.
4. They are both very difficult to ignore.
5. They are both always in style.
6. They both can only come into your home if you invite them.
7. They both played a major part in the advent of Rock n Roll (that's not so bad.)
8. They both try to stop you from thinking for yourself...
That's all I got. Any additions?
P.S. I love having a civilian job! It's just a much less oppressive atmosphere. It's like I have rights or something.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saving the World (100 cubic feet at a time)

Well, I started the day off by inventing cold fusion

Then I prevented an environmental Holocaust

And I am currently battling an army of giant mutant bloodsucking insects which seem to have invaded the southern United States

Ahh... It's like taking the time to write about your life actually makes it worth writing about. It all seems so much more epic when it's recorded for posterity. Okay, I didn't invent cold fusion, but I did spend my first real day at work (school's out) with two electrical engineers literally playing with the above contraption. I am not exactly sure what it is, but I know these things about it:

1. It adjusts the voltage of DC power.

2. It withstands seawater pressure at 8000 feet deep.

3. If I am ever asked to hand deliver it across national borders (not unlikely) I will probably be arrested for trying to blow up an airport.

We really did spend 8 hours just messing around with the electromagnetic fields that it emits. how's that for someone who didn't finish high school?
When I got home, I finally got down to the business of finding the local recycling center. They put me on the 6 week waiting list to get a pickup bin and informed me that until then, if I wanted to recycle, I would have to do it the old fashioned way. I have had a massive pile of cardboard, packing paper, plastic furniture wrap, and styrofoam behind my front door ever since the day I moved in. So, I opened the front door (more on that later) and began making trips out to my truck to load the stuff up for a trip to the center. About six trips later, the truck bed was heaped with reusable trash. About 100 cubic feet of it. The recycling center was in a somewhat seedy neighborhood. Let's just say this white boy got a few WTF stares as he drove by with a pickup full of garbage. After a hasty dropoff and retreat, I was back home to safety... or so I thought.

Apparently, during all the trips in and out of the house for the garbage, my home was completely infested with mosquitoes! I've seen the postcards and t-shirts declaring the Louisiana state bird to be the mosquito, and denounced them as tacky white trash humor, but these things are HUGE! When I started this post, I had slain about fifteen, some of which are depicted. Now a full score of the rancid beasts have fallen victim to my watchful eye and cat-like reflexes! Spring comes early in the South. Guess I better invest in some off and a fly swatter.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Industrial Education

Well the entire first week of my new job has consisted of training. Outsourced training. I haven't set foot in the office all week. What I have done is learn about how to survive a helicopter crash in the open ocean, a sudden cloud of poisonous Hydrogen Sulfide gas, or a chemical fire. I am trained on proper rigging of loads to be craned, and how to direct the crane operator with hand signals. I have a thorough knowledge of OSHA regulations regarding general and specifically oil and gas industry safety. I can identify and interpret a rainbow of color coded hazardous material identification labels. In short, this was one seriously boring week. This is all the same training the the guys who go and work on oil rigs get and if there's one thing I can take away from it it's that I don't want to work on no rig. Fortunately, that's not my job. All that training is just required by the big oil companies for anyone that they contract out and that's often my company. Anyway, I went through the whole program with another guy who was just hired to my company, and we hung out all week and this weekend, so it's nice to know someone here. We went and saw this 70's glam rock band called Zebra. They never really made it out of Louisiana, but they have quite a following here, and I must say I've been to worse shows. It makes me feel better about being almost 30 when I see a band of 50 year old men, rocking the house like they're still 20. I guess that at some point you stop being immature, and become youthful instead.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sellin' out II

If there were only two people in the world whose opinions I could have on the subject of selling out, It would be my cousin Bill and sister Angela. Thanks for the wisdom, y'all.

"I want to be stereotyped. I want to be classified."
-The Descendents

Movin' on down the line

So the holiday season has ended and so has my four month stint of vacation/intentional unemployment. I have accepted a job at C and C Technologies and if you haven't heard of them, then you must not be initiated into the thrilling and glamorous world of offshore surveying. After the One and Only US Navy, working for some obscure company in southern Louisiana sounded pretty boring. Then they told me that they would actually pay me what a man willing to live as a nomadic sailor is worth, so I asked them where to sign. It sounds like fun, challenging work, and I think I am going to like it here in Lafayette. Some of my more urban cousins were unable to contain their scoffs at the thought of living in such a backward corner of the Great American South (Catherine), but it is a charming little city of suburban dimensions but without an urb to sub to. Also, it's a college town, so it's crawling with nice young ladies (insert your favorite James Brown exclamation here.) Also, it looks like there's plenty of good fishing. Also, the local food is even better than you've heard about. Also, I rented a funky old house and have zero roommates. Also, the people here pride themselves on two things: good food and good music. Those happen to be my two favorite things in the world. So maybe I'll try staying in one place for more than two years this time.
Anyway, I have spent the last week just working on moving in and I have turned an ancient building not unlike a log cabin into an eclectic, hip, modern bachelor pad. Well, at least most of it. here is the living room:

And here's the kitchen and front hall/nook:

It's been a lot of work, and my bedroom still looks like Beirut circa 1985, but to quote Nicolas Cage: "Wearing this suit makes me feel like a better person." When I plop down on one of my jet black overstuffed sofas, or concoct a batch of absolutely sublime spaghetti souse in my fully equipped kitchen, I feel the satisfaction of a man who has hunted for his meat. I will never take civilian life (or middle class wages) for granted again. When I was 19, I learned that it really sucks to be poor. Now I am 27 and I have learned that it's nice to have a few extra bucks lying around.


Oh, crap! I knew there was something I was supposed to do for the last two months... Seriously, if you care what my holiday season was like, you were either there, or read the blog of someone who was there and who was more diligent in their documentation of mundane events. Even more seriously, Christmas and New Years were awesome this year. 'nuff said.