Thursday, May 28, 2009

From the land of fruits and nuts

I told everyone I was going to San Jose. Well, the plane took me to Santa Nella, so I'm not in San Jose. Actually, the plane took me to Fresno and we drove to Santa Nella. For once, it wasn't quite my fault. The quick glance at my itinerary said, "San Jose." :-)

The flight was actually pretty nice. I somehow go bumped up to first class, so I got free drink refils... which means I got to see the plane's "Laboratory." I Don't know why they call bathrooms, "laboratories," and I don't know why Federal law prohibits tampering with the smoke detector in the laboratory. (Ok, I guess I might :-)

Anyway, it was a really small plane and there wasn't any DirectTV. WAAAaaaAAaAAaaaahhHHhhhh! I guess first class made up for that. The lady sitting next to me took pity on me after I drooled on her while sleeping. (no tv = Ben sleeps. Ok, so Ben sleeps on plane anyway, but without TV and plenty of "soda," I had plenty of drool fuel. I don't think I actually drooled, but it would have been hideously funny as long as I didn't drool on anyone but me.) Anyway, the lady next to me gave me a copy of, Us to look at. Man. I'm glad I'm not famous. You go do anything and boom! There's an article written about it. Yikes. I learned that Destiny Cyrus (Hannah Montana) ate ice cream with some guy. I guess that was pretty much headline news. :-)

When we arrived in Fresno, I stepped off the plane onto the tarmac and Whoo... It's hot and humid down here in the "valley."

We drove to Santa Nella -- basically a city of farmers -- so I could do something "green" in my lifetime... which could end at any minute, honey. LOL -- sorry. The front-desk lady at the hotel was really funny. Anyway, we came down here to figure out why some pumps aren't working... without them, the wetlands in the wildlife refuge would be drylands -- something that would surly make the entire universe collapse into a cloud of dust. Ok, maybe not. Now my old cello teacher can be happy with me again. True, I've done a lot of work at evil dams. (BTW, each of our dams provides enough "renewable energy" that each is equivalent to between 50 - 45,000 of the largest wind generators around.) Now I've amended my ways and have worked to recreate wetlands for... birds? Dumb birds? You've got to be kidding me! Green. Whatever. I guess I didn't squash every bug I saw on the wildlife refuge. :-) I have some pictures, but I don't have a USB cable with me, so I can't post them.

The pumping plant kind of looks like a gas station out in the middle of a flat nowhere. Flat as in the visibility was 10 miles today and you could clearly see all 10 miles. The pumps are on a concrete pad with a roof over it. Bugs galore. House flys. Black Widows. They're all happy to live on the concrete pad. Oh, and there's these little black beetle things that adore hiding under any or all of our shipping cases. It scared me the first time. I moved a backpack and about 50 beetles scurried away from under it... searching for dark. Dark for dark business, I guess. I'm not sure what those little guys have against the sun, but that seems to be their only purpose in life -- to get away from light. It was fun tormenting them. Whoo, hoo, hoo! You thought you were safe, huh? Well... LET ME MOVE THAT BOX! YAHHH, HAAAAAA, HAAAA, HAAA! *Ahem*

We ate lunch at a hole-in-the-wall place. This one really was a hole-in-the-wall. Ok, only the bathroom had a hole in the wall, but the food wasn't very good. Usually, places like that are really good and fairly cheap, but this one... nah.

For dinner, we ate at Land-O-Bland. Ok, so it was actually called something like, "Anderson's Split Pea Soup," but the food was really bland. Cool building, though! It was... er... in the Tudor style? I DON'T HAVE A CLUE, but it sounded good :-) Ok, it actually looked like it was modeled after your typical Dutch hut. (house, but hut sounded cooler.) Kinda like White Fence Farm only cooler. It even had a windmill. The first bite of my chicken fried steak, though? My first impression was, "this is breaded with chicken feed." We'd driven past turkey farms on our way "home" that night, so pardon the thought. I shoulda gotten the burger... but I like eat burgers for every meal on trips because I love 'em so much... IDK! Whatever it was, the "chicken fried steak" had too much "chicken" and not enough "steak." :-)

Uh... old Cally -- the land of hot and humid. After work today, we hopped in the car and it said, "107 degrees." The humidity out here doesn't help either. Ok, so the car didn't speak. It indicated. I have very mixed emotions about California. I don't think I'd like living out here... or maybe I would. I don't know.

Well, tonight, I'm in Fresno. We ate at Applebees and they gave us free dessert because our food took so long to get. I'm lounging in my PJs on my bed, typing away on my laptop, just like they show in the pictures. (For once, I'm using a laptop like you're supposed to! I just hope nothing crawls out of it...) COOL! There's a lot of thunder outside right now! Now I'll probably sleep like a log! (If I snore, than I'll sleep like a log that's being cut up with a chain saw.)

Well, there's probably other things to say, but I have a 7:55am flight tomorrow, so I should probably go to bed.

Oh, this hotel is kinda cool. It's only a Holiday Inn, but there's this big indoor "courtyard" in the middle with a cool pool. It rhymes, you see? There's this tall... palm-tree-with-a-big-bowl-on-top that water comes out of and drops about 15' into the pool. I guess it's an "airport" hotel. I knew I'd want my swimming suit! You never know when you'll have to rescue a fair maiden from the clutches of death! (Kidding, as always.)

Er.. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


ER. Um. I could barley keep from laughing today when one of the plant electricians came to warn me about using the bathroom. He was trying not to be crude, but I don't know if there's any way to communicate the following warning without being crude:

The toilets flush into a pneumatic eductor which then pumps the sewage to the septic tank. Well... Sometimes the vent valve doesn't close, so the stuff will go down... and immediately come back up with... er... great force... No a pleasant experience, according to the electrician. In other words, make sure you're not on the toilet when you flush it, and if you hear any air noises, RUN. I had wondered why the bathroom was so clean.

Men, I like traveling with Ben. He actually likes to do things instead of jamming as much work into 24hrs as possible and then talking about it over dinner. (I would have said, "Man, I like...", but every once in a while, more than one person reads my blog :-)

Yesterday, we got done early, so Ben was like, "We should do something." I was like, "Sweet." He was like, "What should we do?" I was like, "Uh... Don't matter to me. We could go see a movie or something." He was like, "Awesome."

We then drove around Montrose looking for theaters with something worth seeing. I like Montrose. It contains two theaters -- total, you could go see one of six movies -- the worst being rated "PG-13." So, we went to this weird place that must have been built back when it was a real theater -- not a movie theater. It was kind of creepy, full of stained glass, old light fixtures, thick red curtains, etc.

I think that theater could hold more than the total population of Montrose, so there wasn't a run of seats. We decided to see "Star Trek" and sat and waited for it to begin. It was kinda cool -- no previews. Just ads for local businesses. I was surprised to see an ad for the tiny pizza place we ate dinner at. One really tacky ad said, "You always said you wouldn't be caught dead in that dress. Tell them before it's too late. Delta Cemetery."

When the movie was ready to begin, the operator came down to the front and welcomed us, told us to turn off our cell phones, and said, "Buckle your seat belts! It gets pretty exciting! Now, before I go up and start the movie, let me warn you that the previews have some scratches in them -- they were used. The actual movie is just fine." It's nice to be in a small town once in a while, and I really enjoyed most of it. (Typical Hollywood -- always something that keeps you from being able to recommend it to friends.)

I actually really like Montrose. Such a nice break from Las Vegas. It's big enough that it has a Home Depot, etc. but small enough that everyone knows each other. Seems like such an innocent town. I wouldn't mind living there, but I don't want to be a plant engineer, so I guess I need to change careers. :-)

LOL! The first night we got there, we ate at Applebees. As we were escorted to our table, we passed two youngins who were obviously on a date. (Us oldfolkys can tell.) I didn't think a thing about it until them youngins came and talked to their parents who were sitting right next to us. Funny! Youngins dating one one side of the restaurant, parents chatting on the other. I thought to myself, "Now that's the way to do it!" It was kinda cool to see mature kids. Nice break from Elitches! :-)

Anyway, I'm in Grand Junction now. Ben and I walked around town looking for a place to eat. After finding that the map of downtown assumes you know which names mean "food" and which mean "shopping," we eventually went to check out an Italian place. True, we didn't spend anything close to per-Diem today, but our FR clothing didn't quite match the formal wear of the clients. So, we ended up at some restaurant/brewery and I had a good pile of Chicken Fried Snake. Quite good. About $20/plate. Ben paid about $24 because he had to try one of the house brews. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm SO sick of beer. Beer, beer, beer -- seems to be one of the only words in the English language.

We worked at Crystal dam today -- just upstream of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It's a cool canyon, so visit it if you're ever in the area. The access road for Crystal Dam was not unlike other access roads in that it was steap and windy, but this was far more extreme than anything I've ever seen before. The road started at the canyon rim and ended at the bottom -- a drop of about 2,000ft. Some of the hairpin curves were so steep and narrow that they've installed mirrors so you can see if anyone is coming. I'm glad I wasn't there to back the trucks down when they built the dam -- at least, I assume that's what they used.

We finished early, so Ben and I walked around Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Since the road to Crystal starts in the park, we got in for free :-) It was quite fun.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I got a funny email: (Continuation of communication from eHarmony.)

Anyway, I guess I'm in Montrose right now, not Grand Junction. I told everyone I was going to Grand Junction. I never care where I'll end up, so I don't usually pay attention. Power plants are power plants, no matter where they are.

I'm going to California next week. I don't have the papers with me, so I don't know where.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Punk Rodents


I really need to get a DVR and small camera:


Beck read that fighter pilots tighten their abbs and leg mussels when they do sudden maneuvers to keep from loosing blood to their head. It helps on the back seat of this coaster, too!

Trunk Monkey

I'm sure you've all seen these before, but I enjoyed them:

Hey! I know that guy!

(Peter, that is.)


Day never look like that!


Someone signed me up for eHarmony:...and no one seems to know a thing about it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've pretty much been out of things to do these last few days at work which means I get to do things that need to be done but no one has the time to do:(Us Bens were out of work. BenWah cleaned up a laptop to kill time and BenT organized a cabinet. :-)

Jewish Hardhat

(I'm saying, "Oy Vey!")

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


My calendar is getting more and more full:

3 Bens

We're hiring yet another Ben... worst of all, we're all sitting in a row... The main isle is now called, "Ben Row," and there've been a bunch of incredibly lame "Ben" jokes going around. Almost as lame as the "Hi, Ben. How you Ben?" jokes.

$14,000 Lense

(No, it's not a Joke.)

Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn has pretty much become my choice hotel for the range of hotels the government will pay for. Not only do they have descent breakfasts, nice rooms, and... free coffee..., they have signs in their elevators!
Speaking of coffee, I don't like the stuff anymore at all, but I did find that if you put three packs of sugar and a pack of "creamer" into an 8oz glass, it tastes almost as good as it smells!


I seem to get email "specials" from pizza places every other day somewhere between 3 and 4pm. Perfect time to introduce the idea into your head as you're getting more and more hungry and start thinking about dinner, don't you agree?

IT BUSTED! er... Broke.

Last week? Eh, I don't know when it was. Anyway, Beck, Abb, and I were at Elitches (surprise, surprise) and we were standing in the line for the Half-Pipe. It "broke" right before we got on and a guy in the line said, "HEY, LET'S PLAY THE SIMS!" So, he and another guy proceeded to play "Rock-Paper-Scissors" in Sims style.

For Mother's Day, Mom went with Beck and me to Elitches! How cool is that? We were lucky enough to get one of the 0.00001% of moms who actually enjoy spending their Mother's Day at Elitches! Sweet, eh?

The park was pretty empty. So... In the few hours Beck and I were there, we rode more rides than we had all season and managed to make ourselves sick. I guess there's a reason for lines, but whatever. It was way fun. Nice weather, no lines, and a mom to ride with. What more could you ask for?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last of the May Day Video

I know, I bet you all thought this day would never come. But finally! Here are the last three clips!

I still might have to post a few pictures of all our motion detectors, the robot, and the robot controller, so don't think this is quite the end of the death of May Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Now's your chance! March 10th of this year, Ronnie Milsap released his "Then Sings My Soul" CD! I know you've all been waiting for this great Country singer's newest Gospel album, so you'd better hop on ordering it before they're all gone!

Ok, ok... So I heard a funny song on my last field trip and looked it up and found it was this guy named "Ronnie Milsap." SO! Here you go for a totally random post!


Google finally fixed a bug I liked. In your chats list in Gmail, you used to be able to see the pictures of people who were either off-line or had blocked you. Now? NOTHING! (Like it matters :-)


Man, I'm out of projects. Seriously! True, I'm working on meeting notes (Lollipop keeps yelling at me), but there's only so long you can do that before you're fried chicken... er... that's what I'm eating for lunch today. (Yeah, Jason, you heard me!)

Maybe I need to take a second job. I can't believe I'm out of projects. I feel like this predicament happened once before when I was in school, but... I never ran out of things to do. I guess I need to clean my room at some point and sell some junk and throw away some junk.

Well... Maybe I'll go to Wal-Mart to buy deodorant.

LOL! Ok, it's not that bad :-)

(Border crossing)

Another Robot Run

Do you hate me yet?

Yeah, there's a lot of these. It's like beating a dead horse. May Day is DEAD!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Behold! Snakes,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


We are experiencing laziness, so check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Day, Lugubrious Adventures

Monday, May 4, 2009

I would have your computer! Pray, lend it to me for a spell!

MDLA! MDLA! Maryland & Los Angeles? :-)

There once were two people: Person A and Person B. Well, Person B is rather miffed at Person A because he has his nose in the feedbag. Doesn't quite bring 'round, I tell yA! Gute Nacht!

Ok, for those of you who get obsessed with trying to figure out what it's supposed to mean, the above paragraph means absolutely nothing. I started trying to copy an anecdote related by a fictitious character, Sir Roderic Glossip, in one of P.G. Woodehouses' books, but I failed to remember more than the "Person A" and "Person B" bit. Therefore, I shall abandon my attempts and post yet another May Day video! Three cheers for May Day! Meh! Meh! Blat! Meh! Meh! Blat! Meh! Meh! Blat!

Do my ludicrous ramblings contain meaning? Nay! (Whinny!) I'm just rather intoxicated by good food. My sister made an absolutely stupendous dinner, and it has greatly improved my mood... I have a feeling the people who have to put up with me on a daily basis, namely my family, question whether that was such a good thing or not. :-) On to May Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"For a year and a day..."

Here's the robot footage for the Morgan's house: Too bad the sound wasn't working for this one.

And, yes, the video didn't cut out so much in real life. I think the camcorder drops frames if the link qualtity gets too bad.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More Video

It's been a year, 4 months good, 8 bad... but I wouldn't trade it for the WwwwWWWwwwworld 'cuz those 4 months make up for any bbbBBBBbbBAD!

I think the Country has gotten to me.

Sorry about the lack of sound and bad video quality... The sound... well, I forgot to plug it in for the first two houses. The wavy video, I believe, came from the fact I was using an inverter to power the receiver.

Friday, May 1, 2009

2 Videos

More coming, but I'm too tired/lazy/wah to do anything about it right now.

Weavers -- It was cool because it was the first time I was able to actually use a robot to deliver cookies.
Morgans -- I wish the sound was working at that point, but it wasn't.
Oggs -- I don't think they were home.
Swigerts -- We delivered cookies for Ann and Charlie.
Langemanns -- I need a longer-range video link.
Johnsons -- Didn't go so well. Their house is always hard.
Hamvas -- We didn't ring the doorbell and I feel really bad. It was the first house we weren't caught at. (Well, the Oggs didn't catch us, but the neighbour was watching with keen interest.)

Happy MEH Day!

First Catch of the Day

May Day is Still Here Again!

What do you call a sleeping cow?

A bulldozer.

Kortes Location

May Day is Still Here

How does a guy vulture ask a girl vulture on a date?

By saying, "I have a bone to pick with you."

May Day is Here

And I bet no one but me has checked blogs today!