The gantry crane operator. From his position, he sees far and wide, as he carefully moves the big pieces where they need to go. And yet, at the end of the day, he’s just a regular guy sitting in a box all by himself. His work is driven by information fed to him via reports and phone calls. There’s only so much he can do. Pick this up and move it from here to there. Unload this pile. Build that one.
Can you believe it’s already November? October was ridiculous. It started with layoffs at the day job. Good news! We lost the worthless individual who slept on the job and constantly made more work for the rest of the team. Bad news! They let the boss go, too. In typical, short term thinking, corporate fashion, these two were not replaced. Instead, their responsibilities – covering Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night shifts, and basically managing the entire facility – simply got loaded onto the rest of us.
All told, I got 4 days off in October. 5 if you count the day I had fever and stayed home. That was actually my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I guess it’s a good thing I was sick that day, or I’d have missed the afternoon’s birthday activities – lunch with the family and opening presents. Probably should have stayed home another day or two to fully recover, but that would mean shafting the rest of my team at work.
Speaking of Penny (my 2 year-old), a couple weeks back, she spooked the dog and got nipped in the face. Not bitten, and not really nipped, but the dog jumped, snapped, and little P caught a tooth on the forehead, resulting in a nice bump.
That was it. The dog had to go. Fortunately, old az2gnt buddy Jon volunteered to try her out as a companion to his year-old dog. I loaded up all the kibbles and bits and made the 90 minute drive to the far side of the valley to give away my dog.
Which I almost immediately regretted. As I made the long drive home that afternoon, I thought about the written warning I got from the Apache Junction Police Department for parking on the wrong side of the road with expired tags.
I considered just taking the truck back in for another emissions test as-is. Fuel economy and power after the engine swap suggest I might have failed simply because the cat wasn’t fully up to operating temperature. Dunno. Haven’t really had any time to do much more than think about it, really.
On the plus side, less than a week later, it turned out my dog and Jon’s dog were just too much to handle together, so I hit the road back to AJ after dinner. Another 3 hours on the road, this time bringing my derpy canine back home where she belongs. She isn’t the smartest dog in the pack, but she’s mine.
So the schedule’s been changed around at work, I’ve been sick, my daily driver is technically illegal to drive right now (never mind that it needs a brake job and heater core replacement, among other things), the kid’s had a birthday, and I’ve both given away and reclaimed my dog. What else could we do to make life easier on ourselves? Oh yeah. We decided to buy a house.
That’s right. On top of all that, I’m scrambling around trying to find all the documentation required to buy a house. It’s our first time, too, so it’s as overwhelming as it is exciting. Why do I feel so utterly shattered? Oh yeah. Heavy lifting.
There’s still a lot going on in the background, here at GBXM. I’m working on interviews with Leanne up in Canada who does competitive tractor pulling with 2,000hp “diggers,” and Zac in South Carolina, a professional car audio and electronics installer (bordering on craftsman). I’ve got 3,500 words written on what to do, step-by-step, when the insurance company wants to total your vehicle for less than it’s actually worth, that’s part of my upcoming multi-part program on how to come out on top after an accident. Just need to figure out how to package it. Beyond that, Tom Mackie, an old Facebook contact, is working on an interview with a guy I can only describe as a being a major part of the SoCal hot rod scene in the last 40 years.
It’s getting to be that time of year when things happen very quickly. I’m not entirely sure what the next month holds for all of us, but I am sure I’ll continue sitting here in my little box, using whatever bits and pieces of information comes my way to assemble the big picture for gearheads like us.
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Until next time, keep going fast with class and press on regardless.