Saturday, June 6, 2015

Why The Old Lady Decided She Needed To Get Her Drivers License

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Every summer Celotex would shut down for one week for maintenance and all those not working maintenance would have one week of vacation if they had any vacation time accrued. One year when I worked in the lab I was working swing shift before the shut-down. I had ridden my motorcycle to work that last day before the shut-down. As I was on my way home a couple of dogs ran across the road in front of me. I hit one of the dogs and went over the high side. (over the handlebars) I bounced and rolled for a ways on the blacktop.   After my head cleared, I took stock of my situation. My jeans were torn at the knees and I had a broken finger. I managed to get the bike back up and gathered my stuff and rode the rest of the way home. (A little over a mile.) The wind on my knees really stung, so I drove slowly. Also the handlebars were cocked. When I got home around midnight, The Old Lady looked at me and said go in the bathroom and we'll see about getting your clothes off. When she saw how torn up I was, she called my uncle and he came and drove us to the ER at the hospital. Both knees were torn up and one elbow. There was a patch the size of my hand on the small of my back where a couple layers of skin were scrapped off. As the doctor sewed me up, I asked why I could feel the stitches. He said for about 10% of people local anesthetics don't work. (Which would explain the pain I suffered several years before when the bolt to repair my broken leg was removed under a local!!)  After patching my knees and elbow, they were turning me and asking if there was any more damage. I kept saying, "I broke my fucking finger." (Middle finger, right hand.) They basically ignored that, but in the end they did put a band-aid on it as it was bleeding around the nail.

It took about 5 weeks to recuperate. During that time we needed someone to drive us when we needed to go to town until I got to where I could bend my knees and could drive again. The doctor asked me after a couple weeks if I thought I was ready to go back to work and I replied I can't go back to work until I can ride a bike. The doctor said you aren't getting back on your motorcycle are you? I said I have to ride a bicycle at work.

The Old Lady had driver ed in high school, but never got a license. Recently she mentioned one of the cars her father had she was not able to drive. That may explain why she never got her license and when she went off to college in the big city she didn't need to drive as there was public transportation.

My accident happened in August and when school started in the Fall she signed up for driver ed as part of adult ed. After the driver ed course she got her license. She wanted to learn how to drive a stick and my car was an automatic. My cousin had a junkyard and he had gotten an old Ford pickup with a standard transmission. It was a '60 Ford half ton with a 6 cylinder engine and a three speed column shift. Once she learned to drive it, she loved that truck. One year I had decided the truck had too many problems and was too rusted, so I parked it. One time when I got home after being gone working during the week, it had a new plate on it. She had gone down and got plates for it and we drove it for another year. Ocasionally she still mutters about how I sent it to the crusher.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Not All Who Wander Are Lost

When I was working in the lab we had a limited number of people. On days there was a couple of people that worked steady days, but on the shifts there was just one tester and one inspector. If someone called in sick the other two shifts had to cover for that person. One of the testers had a bad habit of calling in sick when he was on midnight shift. Fairly often he would dump a shift, not every time he was on midnights (we were on rotating shifts, so every three weeks would be midnights), but often enough to be a pain in the ass. Especially because he was on the shift ahead of me. So when he called in sick for midnights, I was on days and would have to go in at 4am. What really sucked was I would get a call at about quarter or ten to midnight telling me I had too go in at 4am!!

We tried telling the guy that if he knew he was going to dump a shift, let the other two guys know ahead of time. He never did. When The Old Lady's sister got married, I was on midnights. I knew I wouldn't make the Sunday shift if I was 100 miles away on Saturday night. The guy had been carpooling with someone. When I called in (at 11:45pm) saying I couldn't make it to work (car trouble 100 miles away), he had to go home and get his car and come back to work until 4am. When the other guy came in at 4am, he asked the other guy when he got called and the reply was that he knew about two weeks in advance!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Should I Be Worried??

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Recently I saw this on facebook and it got me to thinking.

 It seems The Old Lady has been knitting ever since she realized she couldn't figure out how to cut the brake lines on my car (see previous post). Now I know she wouldn't cut the brake lines on the car because it's her car!! She's done sweaters, scarfs, socks, dish clothes, etc.... 

Actually I don't worry about it. After being together for 40+ years, if she was going to kill me, I'd be dead.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Then There Was The Plot To Kill Me

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

In the previous post I mentioned we were house hunting. One of the reasons we were house hunting was because The Old Lady was knocked up. On "The Ranch" there were two houses. One built shortly after my grandparents bought the place almost a century ago and the other when my dad got married in the early 30s. Neither one had an ounce of insulation in them. One of my brothers took the second story off the big house. Even after lowering the roof it was damn near impossible to heat. The other one was the one we called The Little House. It was two rooms and would have been easier to heat, but consisted of only kitchen and bedroom and small rooms at that. And neither one had running water.

But this post is about the plot to kill me not housing. They say some women get crazy when they are pregnant and I can testify that it is true!! Something to do with hormones, I guess. During the later stages of the pregnancy The Old Lady was plotting ways to kill me. Have no idea why she wanted to kill me and probably she doesn't either. One of the ways she was thinking of killing me was by cutting the brake lines on my car. She was really pissed that her big stomach prevented her from getting under the car to cut the brake lines.

They say "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing", but in this case it was good. If she had known more about brake systems, she could have opened the hood and reached over the fender to cut the brake lines at the master cylinder.

Now if everyone followed this advice, they would all sleep alone!!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Thought On This Blog

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

It is taking about the same amount of time to chronicle my life on this blog as it did to live it. I've been doing this blog for almost 7 years and that's about the time period I've covered so far. There even a bunch of gaps in the posts just like in my work history, or as I like to call them, "Quality Time!!"

Here's another one that is applicable to my life.

Monday, December 22, 2014

After The "Envelopement"

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

After we got back from "enveloping" I called someone to find out what was happening with the strike. Found out the bastards settled the strike while I was gone and I had to go back to work. At the time I was working as Package and Wrap, which meant I was wrapping the ceiling panels. (Wrapping Xmas presents reminded me of when I worked as Package and Wrap. The Old Lady [she became The Old Lady because at the time there was the saying "Dirty Old Men need love too" and she kept saying "Dirty Old Ladies need love too"!! I became The S.O. {the B is silent} because she didn't feel like calling me her husband] has me wrap most of the presents because of my having done wrapping as a professional.) When I was doing the wrapping, I lost my fingerprints because my fingers were worn smooth by the kraft paper we used.

Anywho, sometime later after we went back to work they posted a job for tester in the lab. I put in for it and had to take a test for the job. It came down to two of us for the job. There was one opening and one position would be on a trial basis. They were putting in a relief schedule as that was one of the things negotiated in the new contract. I was told because I had less seniority than the other guy that if they decided the relief schedule wasn't working I'd have to go back to my old job. Well, six months later the other guy had gone from tester to inspector and I was working steady days as a relief tester.

Because I was now "married" we looked around for housing as my place on "The Ranch" wasn't a comfortable place to live in the winter. Looked at a couple houses which I couldn't get financing for and some single wide trailers. Finally bought a new 12x60  trailer (The Old Lady called it "The Shoebox" from the time we got it until I pulled it out and dismantled it) by refinancing my car for the down payment. (The local bank wanted me to mortgage the property in addition to the trailer. Finally got a loan from D&N with just the trailer as collateral.) It was late in the fall when the trailer was finally delivered up to "The Ranch". Got the power and water and septic hooked up. Because it was late in the fall, I bought a bunch of straw bales to put around the bottom of trailer to block it off as I didn't have time to build skirting. Turned out that was probably the warmest winter the whole time we lived in the trailer.

Had trouble getting a large propane tank as there seemed to be a shortage of them at the time. Finally got one and was able to heat the place. I don't think 100# cylinders would have been very good for heating the place. They wouldn't have lasted long.

This is where we lived for the next 6 years.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

And Then We Enveloped

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

In the fall we decided to get an apartment, by we I mean me, the former girl next door who came camping, and my cousin who didn't want to live with his parents after coming home from the military. We found a three bedroom apartment that was in town and pretty much conveniently located for all concerned. There were four of us living in the apartment, the aforementioned and the former girl next door's 3-year old daughter from a previous experiment.

Then in the middle of the winter the contract ended at the company where I worked and we went on strike. I guess the company figured we wouldn't want to be out in the cold for very long and they would get the best of the deal. Well, we weren't actually out in the cold. For picketing there was at least one RV trailer and there were several shacks built that had woodstoves, tables and chairs and even bunks. Some guys would sign up for night time picketing and just sleep in the picket shack. Some of the material to build the shacks came from the plant that we were striking. There was a pile of asphalt impregnated sheathing brought out to us from the plant, it was dunnage, pieces that had corners broken off or other damage and was usually used to protect the product in shipping.

Anywho, we ,the former girl next door and I, decided to live together. Because of the times and various other reasons we decided we couldn't just come out and say we were going to shack up. So we decided to pretend to get married. As I wasn't working at the time, we went down to Madison, WI for a few days and when we came back announced that we had eloped. Her 3 year old daughter told people that we had "enveloped"!!

And that's how the former girl next door became The Old Lady. Mostly because at the time a popular saying was "Dirty Old Men Need Love Too" and she would say "Dirty Old Ladies Need Love Too". So I started calling her The Old Lady and she calls me The S O. I guess the B is silent!!

Now that I'm older and have learned more about family history and history of my little hometown, I find it a little ironic that we were so paranoid about what people would think. Seems shacking up wasn't anything new and it seems with a lot of couples of the older generations the first kid could come at any time, but the rest usually took 9 months. (When The Kid was born at the end of the year I could see people counting on their fingers, but it had been a little over 10 months since we "enveloped".)