Sunday, October 23, 2011


A gauge of sanity is often measured by your grasp of reality. These days I wonder if the commonly accepted version of reality is so sacrosanct. I've often wondered just what party politically I belong to just because of that. I think abortion is wrong in principal (let's not split hairs here dear readers); but, when necessary it can be a life saver and should be allowed. I think you should enjoy the fruits of your labor without being burdened by draconian taxation. However; I don't think that the people who make the business tick should make 50-100 times less than their CEO. I think our founders had some brilliant ideas. I also think that very few of them ever envisioned this country spreading past the Mississippi. (My hero, Thomas Jefferson being one of the few.) How else can you explain a House of Representatives filled based on population. You don't really think 400 plus people can agree on anything do you? And don't even get me started on the electoral college. Those same wise founders also protected their ideas by requiring that a super majority approve any constitutional changes. Amongst other things that's laughable about all these presidential candidates is that they really believe they're going to be able to fulfill the promises they make. Our Congress can't even agree to disagree and you really think he's going to get his agenda accomplished? How realistic is that; or that the electorate believes it? Where's the realists when we need them? Small wonder we're disenchanted out here. I hate intrusion on our business or personal lives. However, I don't think any business should be able to say they either lost or made money depending on whether you account for something or don't. Talk about blurred reality-read Southwest Airlines last quarterly report. Coincidentally, some government spokesman said we'll never be able to account for over 60 million dollars lost to bribes and who knows what in Afghanistan. This when our nation is in the throes of a recession (depression in my book). Another government spokesperson had the audacity to suggest that Pakistan might not be our ally after all. Forget reality; what the hell has he been smoking? Finally, I KNOW there are a lot of people struggling in our great country. When a President is ignorant enough to suggest that the American people are resilient and can adapt to higher gas prices, I respectfully suggest he hasn't spent $70.00 filling an SUV (over $50 for my Hyundai). Food prices are soaring, medical care and medicine are out of reach for a lot of us and wages (much less the lack of jobs) are stagnant or trending downward. Very few of us are making over $100 a day and we can look for the government to take a bite out of that. Finally, am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy of supporting a disorganized rabble to oust a dictator they're tired of? Then televising his beating and subsequent demise? And we really think they can run a country? Is that what a civilized country does? That's my reality. Nuff said!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musings (again!?!)

My faithful readers know that I tend to ramble when I title my blog "Musings". Here goes. First, let me say that I don't think anyone should die doing his job. Many advances have been made in oversight with regulatory agencies and rules. Still, it happens, as witnessed with the tragic death of Dan Wheldon yesterday in an Indy car race in Las Vegas. The story behind the tragedy is odd to say the least. Dan was at the forefront of Indy car safety. He was instrumental in the development and testing of the new car that, ironically, will have a bumper  of sorts on the back. This to prevent the exact thing that happened yesterday; the front of an Indy car climbing up the back of another and being propelled upwards-with even more speed generated when the front and rear tires make contact. Also, the talent search that fills the seats of these cars keeps driving the age of the drivers ever downward. You start as a toddler to really succeed in professional racing these days. The days of a thirty plus year old driver getting a job due to experience are long gone. So the tragedies take some of our best and brightest, leaving families and colleagues to grieve and wonder what could have been. We can add to this mans legacy by rethinking what we do, both on and off work. Perhaps drive a little slower and more defensively, use the safety gear we are provided at work, and rethink tasks that might be mundane or a little risky to perform. Something as innocent as waiting to climb a ladder till a colleague can spot for you. That kind of thing. Unlike Dan, we usually can control the environment around us and be around for our loved ones to hold and cherish. R.I.P. Dan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall in the Air?

The calendar says Fall is here, but it's still 90 degrees or so in the afternoon. Since it was in the 100's with a heat index somewhere you wouldn't believe, I guess it has cooled. We came to Texas for the job, but getting away from winter was the big reason. A couple of below zero days and few above freezing will do that to you. And we were told winters in the Midwest were mild ( -: Now we shut the air conditioning down at night and enjoy about 4 hours of "window weather" every morning. I hear it's almost too cool for that already up north. My mother has lived in South Florida for a long time and relishes the too few days they have to enjoy "window weather". I find it odd that the things that can bring us the most joy are often blissfully ignored. I can't prove "Global Warming", but I do know there has been a climate shift of some sorts. Point being, is that we endured a summer in Missouri that felt like the Gobi or Saharan desert. Then about a month's worth of 100 degree days here. So I am enjoying the "window weather"; especially in the gloaming as I commune with nature. Could that have been a chill I felt this morning?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Food

I was winding down my usual shift (days) when I saw a bright yellow truck, towing a trailer, coming down the road. Then I noticed the tell tale exhaust fan chimneys on the trailer and thought to myself "That's a catering trailer". We had just been catered about a week ago, so I didn't think it was coming for our job site. But it turned in and it had a load of rib dinners for the workers and us!! Wow, fed again, courtesy of "big oil"! Our suffering and stress from last winter has made us doubly appreciative of the blessings we now have. No matter how small they may be.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Smoking on Company Time

Since we're parked right by the gate and sit here waiting for some action, I thought smoking some meat would help pass the time. Missy volunteered to go spend some of our first full check on groceries and some meat for the smoker. She brought home a small brisket, a rack of ribs and some chicken breasts. We marinated everything all night long and fired up the smoker and our grill around four in the morning.
I like to sear the brisket and ribs on the small grill first. I then like to wrap the brisket and ribs in foil and put them on the smoker. The chicken gets the grill treatment last. After carefully nurturing the smoker temperature for about 4 hours (275-300 degrees), I checked on everything and added wet hickory chunks to the fire. I then added the resting chicken and smoked eveything for 2-3 more hours. We added a side dish of taters and beans-man oh man was it good. We've made some good friends sharing our cooking!