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Showing posts from December, 2008

Discovering Baytown or How I learned to Love This City

My Dad is the consummate machinist, a Tool and Die Maker and for many years this profession caused him to uproot his family and move…and move we did. For us five kids, this usually equated to an adventure and we would hurriedly inform our friends that we were moving; sometimes with a one-day notice and then we were gone.

Just for your pleasure, I'll define what this skill entails. Tool and die makers make jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, machine tools, cutting tools (such as milling cutters and form tools), gauges, and other tools used in the manufacturing world. My Dad would routinely tender his résumé and off we would go.

These days Dad spends most of his "off" time working in wood in his home shop and at 80 years, he is still active with his machines. I say off time, because anytime we have a family function, he always remarks that he's "off" that day.

Anyway, all this traveling made us nomads of sorts, moving from California, Michigan, Utah, Georgia, Missouri …

Baytown's Best Kept Secret?

I've been itching to get out of my work/eat/sleep routine and git walkin' and what better time than the present? Over the years I've learned waiting for the perfect time to do something is nothing short of a case of excused procrastination and that perfect time will arrive when I am too busy to take advantage of it. I must make time work for me, not against me.

This past Thursday was wet and foggy – typical Baytown, Texas winter weather and if I was going to git walkin, I had to do it and do it now, so trusty camera in hand, I did.

Grabbing up my usual accouterments, I drug my hocks out the door (I always get sluggish when the sun is hidden from view) and plopped heavily down into the cockpit of my hoopty for a trip to Baytown's best kept secret – the Baytown Nature Center, or BNC for short.

The Baytown Nature Center is hidden away off of Bayway Drive and has taken the place of the Brownwood Subdivision, which was fatally flooded in 1983 by Hurricane Alicia. Driving fr…

Detroit Unions, CEO’s and Illinois Politics

Right off the bat, I want to go on record and admit I am not an accountant and I most certainly am not a lawyer, so I have no experience, training, management school book-learning or desire to run our government or be the CEO of a large company. To put it bluntly, I don’t know squat about highfalutin management of other peoples lives and I am amazed at how other people feel self-righteous enough to do just that and do it wrong. However, I do have common sense enough to know a stinker when I see one.

Greedy Union leaders, CEO’s and politicians not only do it wrong, but flaunt what they do and then expect the tax-paying and hard-working public to accept their actions and post bail when they get their tail in the wringer. Now if anyone is unsure what getting your appendage in a wringer is, or means, I’ll break it down for you with something from my own past.

When I was in about the fifth grade I made the decision to run a wet towel through my mother’s wringer washing machine. A wringe…

There's That Old Man Smell Again!

Sitting comfortably at my desk at work, contemplating my day's activities and minding my own business, I reach into a side drawer and pull out my trusty plastic container of Williams Lectric Shave, Electric Razor Pre-Shave with soothing Green Tea Complex…liquidy stuff.

With semi-sleepy eyes on my computer screen and still minding my own business, I might add, I casually unscrew the black plastic lid and dribble a small puddle of the pleasant smelling pre-shave into the palm of my left hand and then liberally rub it onto my chin and ample jowls and that my friends is when the action starts here in the prairie-dog cubicle office.

"There's that old man smell again!" chirps the witty youngish female Engineer/Intern from the obviously shallow depths of her inexperience in these matters. I blame her response on the fact that I have a small fan on the floor, which blows the pungent (and yes – youthful) aromatic green tea-smelling facial panacea over to her desk behind me. Thi…