GRDP – Chapter 1.01

ted | Gravity's Rainbow Death Pact | Monday, May 14th, 2007

I have been slacking on Gravity’s Rainbow, utterly slacking, and I’m not fucking sorry. It had been at least a week and a half since I picked it up yesterday.

According to Firebase Igloo, we’re on about 25 pages per day rate, so I’m about halfway from where I should be.

But you know what? I don’t fuckin’ care. I read about 100+ pages at the Skylark last night, sucking down pints of PBR and munching on tater tots in the hulking shadow of the Dan Ryan, and all of what I read sucked. Miz Icyhot was right, this book goes hot and cold.

But, in lieu of reading that pile, I’ve been getting shit done.

I singlehandedly caused and cleaned up from a minor flood. Last Sunday night, we moved the refrigerator into the kitchen and hooked up the water line for the icemaker. I ran the 1/4″ OD PEX tubing up from the saddle valve in the basement and everything seemed hunky-dory. I awoke Monday morning, a mere 8.5 hours later and stumbled downstairs to find a pair of clean pants, noticing a strange THWOCK THWOCK THWOCK THWOCK sound. The box fan we left on to circulate air was making this sound, as it was in ankle-deep water. The tubing blew off the compression fitting and it puked water out all night long. Needless to say, we now own a wet-dry vac and I believe I emptied its 12 gallon tank at least 10 times that day. Always double check the ferrule on compression fittings. Always.

The kitchen works now, PRABOB, despite still having some unresolved countertop issues. The sink is hooked up, the dishwasher is unbelievably quiet and cleans MUCH better than the old busted one, the cabinets and countertops and floors and everything look fantastic. Nice.

I got a lot of wrenching done on the NB.

I apparently got two guys fired.

We lost Rusty yesterday and found him about 0130 this morning.

We saw Mexican Cheerleader at some craaaazy latino bar.

We saw 28 Weeks Later. F+ as a sequel, C as a zombie movie.

We have been enjoying this weather immensely.

I have not been reading Gravity’s Rainbow, and I don’t care. I may catch up and finish on time and I may not. Fuck it.

He asked that I call, so I called

ted | driving | Friday, May 4th, 2007

Well, he did ask that I call in the email I received.

So I called.

He was very nice and apologetic and we discussed what happened fairly emotionless and businesslike. He got the facts from me to document the incident and said the pictures spoke volumes more than just the text of my email. He also said the email originally went to the head of the company, who then forwarded it to him.

Apparently their trucks have built-in GPS units. He checked the data for that stretch of road at the time I mentioned. 73 mph in a 55.


He also started going into how the employees have been suspended and Monday he’ll most likely start termination proceedings at which point I cut him off and said that it was none of my business what he did internally. I just wanted to make the company aware of how their employees acted behind the wheel of a company truck. It honestly doesn’t matter if it was high fives and cold Budweiser all around or riding them out of town on a rail.

That being said, I may very well take a different route home for the next week or so. Some suspended/sacked psychopath with cameraphone pictures of my car and a chip on his shoulder ain’t my idea of a good ride home.

Like I said before – I don’t cause trouble, I don’t bother nobody.

And to the driver and passenger – put a quarter in your ass ’cause you played yourself.

I get people fired

ted | driving | Friday, May 4th, 2007

I’m not proud of it, but goddamn it, I’m fed up with assholes in company trucks getting all up in my tailpipe when I’m already 10 over in a $375 minimum ticket construction zone and driving like dicks.

It happened again two days ago, Wednesday, 2007-May-02. I took pictures, since I almost always have a digital camera with me.

“Yesterday as I was heading North on IL-394 at about 5:30 pm, a truck got very, very close to the rear of my car at the traffic signal at Sauk Trail Road and was doing something to make the truck creep forward and bounce. After the light turned green, the truck began weaving in and out of the left-hand lane and going at least 75 mph (in a 55 zone).

Since I drive a small fuel-efficient car, I certainly do not appreciate larger vehicles following too closely or pulling up within feet of my rear bumper at lights, so I took a few pictures of the truck, apparently number 55, IL license plate 95 006 H. The truck continued at a high rate of speed north, until it began to slow down and get behind me, now in a construction zone.

The passenger began taking pictures of my car with his cell phone and clearly gave me the finger multiple times. The driver proceeded to tailgate me again until it exited to I-294/I-80.

Just to dispel any notion that I’m some choleric octogenarian that complains about everything, I’m an engineer in my late 20s. I enjoy driving fast and having fun, but the company truck in a 45 mph construction zone and three feet off my bumper is not the place to do so.

All I can say is that I believe this reflects very poorly on Permaseal, that employees would willfully disregard the safety of other drivers by driving recklessly and then giving sophomoric hand gestures. Shouldn’t the employees driving your trucks be professionals?

A quick note about the pictures attached:
truckback.jpg was taken just as I was passed the first time. You can clearly read the truck number and license plate.
rearwindow.jpg is the view while being tailgated in the construction zone.
rearwindowclose.jpg is a crop of the original picture, showing the cab occupants and the passenger taking pictures of me with his cell phone.
truckdriverside.jpg is a picture as the truck exited to I-294/80.
truckdrivercrop.jpg is a crop of the original picture, showing the passenger giving me the finger and continuing to take pictures of me with his cell phone.

The driver was quite good at blocking his face in all pictures.

Ironically, I have a leaky basement that recently got worse. My wife and I are weighing our options as to whom we should call to have it inspected and get repair estimates. I think it’s safe to say that Permaseal isn’t on the list anymore. If your employees can’t even show common courtesy, much less obey the rules of the road, how could I expect them to perform any sort of repair?


And the evidence, in order:

I got an email back today from Permaseal.

“Dear Mr. F,

Thank you for bringing this unfortunate incident to our attention and I apologize for what happened. The employees involved used poor judgment and do not have a place in our organization. I immediately suspended the staff involved and will start termination proceedings. I can assure you that we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and take this matter very seriously. Perma-Seal has been in business for over 29 years and we have a solid reputation, unfortunately we have incidences such as this that cause us great dismay. We would like to assure you that proactive steps are being taken to communicate this through our business and avoid future incidences or errors.

I would like to discuss this further with you over the phone if possible. Please call me at your convenience.

Best Regards,

Production Director”

So. Am I an asshole? A vigilante? A crotchety octogenarian trapped in this late-20s body?
I don’t know.

All I know is I’m sick and fucking tired of people being assholes on the road. I used to drive a LOT faster than I do now and move in and out of lanes a lot. On my normal drive home, I pretty much set cruise at 65 mph and chug along in the rightmost lane. I merge over when traffic enters or exits, but I don’t cause trouble – I don’t bother nobody. Last tank I got was 47 mpg and I broke 50 mpg last month. I’m a lot calmer, too, even if it takes me a whole 3 minutes longer to get home or to work.

But yes, I am going to call T- and see what he has to say and explain how I feel about things.

Yes, it’s fun to drive fast, I even had my Golf well into triple digits the other day. Yes, I understand that people get in a hurry. I even find myself unconsciously driving fast at times, like when I got nailed by an Evergreen Park cop doing 45 in a 35. If you’re careful, you can get away with it most of the time. But come on, doing it in the company truck that has a unique number on the side and your company’s name? That’s just reckless and outright dumb. Dumb as hell.

I’m sorry y’all might lose your jobs because of this.

I’m not sorry people might actually drive a little more civilly now.

what the fuck, livejournal?

ted | junk | Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

So most of y’all get this via the livejournal feed, syndicated by miz R. Love who recently got married and is FURIOUSLY trying to defect to Canadia. However, I just noticed that LJ doesn’t syndicate the “extended entry” that MT has, so just as an FYI, you might be missing the good shit, like the pictures of me being dirty and mechanic-like in the last post.

So, y’know, LJ-users, Fuck Your Ignorance.

GRDP – Chapter 1

ted | Gravity's Rainbow Death Pact | Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Is this incipient Stockholm Syndrome?

I curled up with two cats and started reading and found myself some 40 pages ahead of where I started before I tucked in my spot in the front cover fold for the night and I completely enjoyed what I read. It was fairly easy to follow, interesting, engaging and all around good writing.

The detail and focus on materials was interesting from an engineer’s perspective, yet totally unnecessary. Still made for – dare I say it – fun reading yesterday.

Fond du Lac dorkfest

ted | driving | Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Last Saturday, I drove all the way up to Fond du Lac Wisconsin (aka Fondle my sack) to work on the 2000 NBTDI with a lot of people I knew and a lot of other people I didn’t.

I had a great time, got to see many of the local TDI folks and a whole lot from the upper midwest and even a couple vendors (rocketchip & tdiparts) that drove all the way from the right coast. Good folks.

I did all this, mostly by myself

  • Brake fluid flush (all four brake calipers plus clutch)
  • Rotated tires
  • Transmission fluid change (half Redline MTL, half MT90)
  • Diesel Purge injector nozzle cleaning
  • Oil change w/Mann filter & Rotella T synthetic 5W-40 (blue bottle)
  • Replaced cracked sideskirt on passenger side (timing belt lower cover)
  • Checked oily boost tubing leading to intercooler, unable to find any leak so cleaned entire area

It amazes me how relatively easy everything was once the car was up on jackstands and the wheels removed. The $40 Harbor Freight electric impact wrench worked like a charm, too.

GRDP – Chapter 0

ted | Gravity's Rainbow Death Pact | Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

So just like everybody else with more balls than brains, I’m in on the Gravity’s Rainbow Death Pact, a sort of fuck-you-Thomas-Pynchon murder suicide mutually assured destruction meets the Boy Scouts of America.

And just like every other right-thinking member of this group, I started early.

This book sucks.

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck