Monday, December 29, 2008

Smelly Sneezes

I remember from many years ago, a near elderly co-worker with several missing teeth named Ben Greene. Whenever he sneezed, it was extremely smelly, and I had to evacuated when I saw him about to sneeze.

Now, sometimes (not always by far) when I sneeze, it has that exact same horrible smell as Ben's!!! The funny thing is, sometimes when I sneeze, there is no smell at all. What is going on, when there is that rank odor?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jordan Almonds

I vividly remember Jordan Almonds from circa mid 1960's.

The old apartment building in the Chicago area we lived in (which my family owned) used coal to heat the boiler, which provided hot water to apt. faucets and the cast iron radiators for room heating.

I remember the sooty old coal bin area in part of the garage, whereby you shovel it into your coal bucket, and then dump it into the hopper which crushed the coal, before feeding it into the fire. We also burned much of building's trash there too. You also had to regularly with a grabber type tool pull out the "clinkers", put them in a metal trash can, and then bring them to the alley in the back when they cooled enough for garbage pickup.

Anywho, I remember jordan almonds on my grandparents coffee table in a round plastic container that were given as a gift at Xmas time from the company that delivered coal to the building.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Honoring The Gods Of Rock

Scottish Lawmaker Salutes AC/DC Just think: There was a time the lads in heavy-metal band AC/DC were accused of being Satan's spawn by parents across the English-speaking world. Christine Grahame, a member of the Scottish Parliament, has filed a parliamentary motion titled AC/DC, We Salute You, which calls for official acknowledgment of the group's achievements. Though they founded AC/DC in Australia, Angus and Malcolm Young were born in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and former singer Bon Scott was born in Kirriemuir.) I think they have long deserved official recognition from their homeland for their major musical contribution, Grahame said.

Friday, December 12, 2008


After all these years, I still can't decide if I like or dislike pretzels. Sure, I sometimes eat them, but the are pretty boring and bland, and after a eating few, I must stop, because the desire to continue has ceased.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Shaky Start At Lockheed Martin

Way back in 1978, right after graduation with a B.E.T. (now called B.S.E.T.) in Electronics degree from the University of Central Florida, I had an interview with then Martin Marietta. Well, I got hired on the spot as an Associate Engineer by Human Resources, without any interviews whatsover with any departments or supervisors. All I can figure, is that it was back in the day of "cost plus" contracts, and the more warm bodies they could add, the more money the company made.

So on day one I was sent to report to the Environmental Lab. The lab's supervisor greeted me not very friendly with something like "Personnel sent you over, I had to take you". Then he assigned me the task of designing and building from scratch a microprocessor (the 8080 was the chip back then) based thermal chamber controller, rather than buying the dang thing commercially.

Well, from college, I remember such and such circuits to the microprocessor, and other circuits from the same, but knew little to nothing about processors themselves. I struggled and pulled my hair out for a month or so to do the task, but finally gave up and told the dude I'm not getting anywhere on the chamber controller. So then he threw me into the Instrumentation group, where I basically worked as a tech, setting up & tearing down test instrumentation, test data collection and reduction. Unfortunately, my supervisor was a short, shrimp former Air Force Captain who ordered people around and had S.P.S. (short person syndrome, and treated people badly, and I therefore got along badly with the doofus.

Well, I floundered in the Instrumentation group until the end of 1982, when Bendix Corp. tried to take over Martin Marietta in a hostile attempt. Martin then bought up a bunch of their own stock to fight the attempt, causing the company became cash strapped, so layoffs ensued and the shrimp had a chance to get rid of me.

As soon as I got my 2-week layoff notice, I applied for positions within and outside the company. Towards the end of my 2 weeks, it looked certain I had a group to go to; the Manufacturing Test Equipment Engineering group. But the snafu was, the Environmental Lab was playing dirty pool refusing to let me transfer to the new group, so I had to officially leave the company before I could be hired in the new group.

So I was gone one full week (Thanksgiving week) and came back. I got 2 weeks severance pay, and 2 weeks vacation pay, so I was 3 weeks ahead when I came back! Plus, I was hired back at the same base pay, but as a tech, so I got time and a half or double time for overtime, rather than losing the 1st 5 hours of overtime, so I was in hog's heaven!

About 9 months later, I heard from GTE in Huntsville, AL from a resume I sent outwhen I got my layoff notice. So I interviewed with them on a Saturday, and got hired on the spot to be once again an engineer, and with a nice pay increase.

To get my wife to move north (she was a Florida girl all of her life), I had to promise we'd move back to the Orlando area someday. Plus we had a contract to buy our current lot, so we closed on the property, left, and put our home building plans on hold. The GTE job was the best I ever had; they gave me a month to qualification test groups of telephones, and I could easily do it in 2 weeks. It was cradle-to-grave; I wrote the the test requirements, performed all the electrical mechanical, environmental, and life testing, and wrote the test report and recommendations. I was highly appreciated at GTE for all my efforts.

Well, about 18 months later I got the opportunity to come back to Orlando and Lockheed Martin, but this time as a SENIOR ENGINEER with a 45% pay increase from when I left! So I took the offer, to work for L-M for the 3rd time. I went bact to do the same EXACT thing I did when I left, and it seemed the things I worked on when I left came to a screeching halt when I left, and I picked them right back up again, 18 months later.

I made it nearly 5 years with L-M, when I got laid off in January 1990. So I then worked on and off engineering contract jobs, direct engineering (actually drafting) jobs and non-engineering jobs, until I came back to Lockheed Martin for the FOURTH time in 12/97, which lasted over 7 years until the end of the Titan contract.

Who knows? Perhaps someday I may hit myself in the head with the ole hammer and work for L-M yet a 5th time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Space Shuttle Landed Right Next To Me!

It was early 1994, and I was on my way to a job interview at Chrysler Corp. in Huntsville, AL. Right after the plane landed, and was taxiing on the runway, the pilot announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look out the plane's right window, you will see the Space Shuttle landing momentarily". Everybody thought the pilot was just joking, but on the very next runway, the Shuttle indeed landed, piggybacked atop the 747. Apparently, the duo was on its way back to KSC, and stopped in Huntsville for an airshow ( and to get fuel undoubtedly). I had wondered why so many people were gathered on the ground, looking to the sky when we were landing. It was quite a spectacle!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Prank I Pulled On My Kid

A number of years ago, one of my kids was watching TV, and said "Daddy, can you get me a drink?" So I proceeded to the kitchen, put water in a clear glass, added lots of salt, a few drops of red food coloring and some ice and stirred it all up. It looked just like Kool Aid! So I handed it to him, and he took a sip. You should have seen the sourpuss look on his face! Naturally, he learned his lesson, and always got his own drink after that.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

OJ Simpson

Anyone feel sorry for that lowly hunk of turd? I don't. Not even after seeing him weeping in court.

Clothespin Travesty

I remember not long ago, that clothespins were 2 cents each (in a pack of 100), and were MADE IN VERMONT. Now, they are 5 cents each, and made in CHINA. This is a real travesty, in my humble opinion. Any contrary views?

Anyone Else Out There Savor Pea Juice?

Out of all the canned vegetables out there, it seems the only one worth saving & drinking the liquid from the can is peas. I love drinking the pea juice when all the peas are gone at dinner. How 'bout you?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Is The Best Trucking Company For Owner-Operators?

For someone living in Florida, that is.