Monday, August 24, 2015

Ta Ta For Now

Well, home tomorrow. That went by pretty fast.

 Enjoying my last few hours of sobriety and respectability.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

should I be surprised?

Man, what the fuck happened to Yahoo?

       I used to keep Yahoo as my home page, as my primary email address has always been there. I've had the same email address since 1996. I used to be able to get a quick read of some headlines and a sampling of what's happening in the news before I signed in each day.

 Now when Yahoo comes up I cringe. It's all clickbait and celebrity bullshit. Look, Kim Karhoozits has a nice set of bombs and her ass it pretty good too, but she's fucking retarded, but every other Yahoo headline is about her fucking family. This is driven by the same women's demographic that results in the find magazine selection available at the conveyor belt at your local grocery store.

 2 soldiers wrestled an armed terrorist and disarmed him on a train in Belgium. I had to search for that story, because the headline was all about how some other black girl who sings, or dances, or whatever, I don't even really know who she is, but with a nice ass was having her wax likeness at a museum molested.
    When the apocalypse comes, I'm going to burn readers of People magazine for fuel, and eat readers of Cosmo, and what will come out 12 hours later are readers of Yahoo.

Friday, August 21, 2015

bragging via osmosis

Helion Energy is starting another round of funding on their next nuclear fusion reactor.


         It's a far cry from the last generation of fusion experiments, and Helion's approach is the closest yet to break-even territory- they're anticipating the next generation reactor (they rebuild every 2 years) will be the model for unitized commercial reactors. 

 This is exciting stuff, and dovetails nicely with my own philosophical approach when it comes to cheap clean energy- it will come when it is economically feasible, but it's inevitable. This is a good thing.

      My dad always got into funky shit at work. When he swallowed the anchor and gave up going to sea, he was at the time in the middle of a teardown with the submarine "Alvin," which would later on go on to find the TITANIC. This was a few years after he was on the crash design crew that reconfigured the Alvin to hunt down a missing nuclear bomb, something that certainly made the news, but before my time.

 Alvin is owned by the Navy, but operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, which is itself part of MIT. When my dad's health was first starting to decline, when I was a toddler, he transferred to Boston, to work in MIT's magnet lab on ALCATOR , an early  nuclear fusion reactor.

 Seriously, click on the link. Thing looks like a sci-fi put up job, but it's real. If only the bleeding hearts knew that not only is MIT in the heart of Communist Cambridge, MA, the campus is powered by a fission reactor, and has a fusion reactor sitting there just down the road from Harvard, where they damn near canonize Saint Che Guevara.

At any rate, my father's patient description of what he was doing at work always fascinated me. The only time I think I ever saw my father disappointed in me was when I turned down the navy's offer for a shot at their their nuclear power school in Charleston. I had it in my head at the time to be more Jacques Cousteau, less Robert Oppenheimer.  In intervening years, I had room for regrets there.

 At any rate, I'm really looking forward to watching what Helion does.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Channel fever strikes!

5 days to go, suddenly I don't wanna be here anymore.

So here's this, anyhow:

Monday, August 17, 2015

worth it

I made my best burritos with homemade tortillas again. They go down grateful, but hot as hell. We gonna be walking like cowboys here on the Big Metal Monastery tomorrow.

    Last time, I made 'em so hot that my second man farted in his sleep and set off the carbon monoxide detector. I added a little more sour cream this time to quench the flames a bit.

 Here's some nice Brazilian girls for you to look at while I'm loading oil tonight. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

June 1998

For 8 years, I jumped around New England during the summer for work. Four of those years I was up in the Bay of Fundy, in Maine, up on the Canadian maritime border. I was working at my university's biologic field station, a remote research facility dedicated mostly to marine biology. Loved that job. I lived in a cabin with no running water. But we had a fridge for beer, so it was fantastic.
      I also worked on a cranberry bog, a cranberry farm on the edge of  Cape Cod. Also on Cape Cod, I worked at the Marine Biological Laboratory, pretty much the Graceland of marine biology.

 In June 1998 I started working 100+ hour weeks, something I continued to do for a long time, and still periodically end up doing.

 At that time I was in south Florida, only about 80 miles from where I am today, in fact. I was living in a trailer, building up a tilapia farm on the edge of the Everglades. Fish farming has been an interest of mine for a long time, and this was my first job in the industry. It was pretty rough. You know the Everglades is pretty inhospitable in June. I hated the job. My nearest neighbor was 8 miles away, I had no car, and an alligator ate my dog.
        No shit, I had a guard dog, a Rottweiler, to patrol the place at night, and one night he got bit by a water moccasin, which slowed him down, and I got him comfortable in his dog bed under the trailer that night (he was too flea ridden to bring inside), set up his fan (he had a box fan under there to keep him cool) and went to bed. Next morning there were drag marks and blood down at the water's edge, and no dog. 2 days later I was back in Boston.
        I got my job back at the lab as a technician doing neurological research on chemical detection, found an apartment near the lab, and also got my job back on the cranberry farm.
  At that point, Monday to Friday, I worked 4am to 7am at the lab, drove my piece of shit truck to the farm, about 45 minutes away, worked 8am-4pm on the farm, then went back to the lab and worked from 5:30pm to 10pm. On Saturday, I would get up at 5am, drive the hour or so to my old hometown, and go lobstering, which usually ran from 6am to 4pm. THEN I'd stay at my mom's, and go out with friends on Saturday night, but I'd run out of energy before they did, so my parents kept my bedroom intact, and I'd sleep there a good 12 hours before returning to my home on Cape Cod on Sunday afternoon.

    Driving while tired is so damn dangerous. Falling asleep at the wheel was a daily hazard. One time I got pulled over near the cranberry bog. The cop did NOT like my look, that's for sure. At that time I had hair down almost to my waist, and since I was busting ass, if it wasn't in a ponytail, it usually looked like I combed my hair with a firecracker. When the cop asked what I was doing speeding on the back roads, I said I was on my way to so-and-so's cranberry bog. Cop asked if I worked there, I said yup, so he asked me about the parking sticker for the lab. Dude did NOT believe me when I said I was a marine biologist. After he searched my truck for weed , he gave me a sobriety test. While I was walking heel-to-toe I started talking to him about how I was modeling how lobsters integrate sensory data between chemical and current flow detection, and how we were using my data to build an autonomous mine-sniffing robot that could home in on the chemical smell of explosives underwater and remotely detonate sea mines. I convinced the guy anyhow, even if I was yawning the whole time.   After that I used to wave to him and beep my horn when I passed him, and he'd wave back. I saw him at Dunkin Donuts a few times, and he pointed me out and said I was a marine biologist to whoever would listen. Made me awful proud. He was the first person who called me by my title.

    Every young man should have that kind of schedule and broad-base of experience, in my opinion. I really liked what I was doing, and, if I was always pressed for time, I was doing almost all stuff I really liked doing, and while the money sucked mostly, who gets to do everything they like to do all the time and get paid for it? Being basically happy made a demanding schedule tolerable.

 When I finally went to grad school, my schedule slowed down to just school and fishing on weekends. I'd drive the 2 hours back to my mom's house and fish on Saturday, go back to Rhode Island where I had my house, and that was it. I hated it from day one, and really fell in love with fishing when I realized that I was living my life for the anticipation of going fishing on Saturday.

 No shit, the day I moved out of my house in RI, I had a job as a sternman on a lobster boat in my old hometown 2 hours later.  I was happier as a pig in shit to be back working on the water, and at only 70 hours a week, I felt like I had all kinds of free time.

 At any rate, I blame that time in my life for my bad attitude about entitlements. An able-bodied person who works less than 70-75 hours a week is pretty fucking lucky, to me. A person who complains about money and *only* works 40 hours a week prolly ought to keep their bum ass complaints to themselves.