Just What I Need…

I’m sick! Rob had been sick for a few days and guess what? I have cough. Last night I had a fever. I barely made it back to the RV. I know what Chris will say, “Why did you come here if you are sick?!” I know it’s wishful thinking but maybe I’ll make miraculous recovery by the time I get off the plane.

Yesterday, my day’s labor included sleeping in my truck. This too will pass 


In 2014, I tried to help someone I had once loved and cared about. Even though I hadn’t seen her in sixteen years, I still did the best I could for her. I flew back to Atlanta to drag her out of a flea bag motel where her boyfriend had dumped her a few days before. It was Thanksgiving morning when I pulled up to room 306 and knocked on the door. I remember her opening the door and I said to myself, “Who is this? Times had been tough on you.” Her face and arms showed the signs of the abusive relationship she was in. 

Forty-five days later she was back in his arms. I did not hear from her for another year. The next time she did contact me was in mid-March last year when this time he had dumped her off on a state highway in the middle of alligator infested Florida. She promised that she would never go back to him and if she only had a place to recoup, she would make a new start for herself. She arrived here on March 20th and departed on May 12th. She left telling me that she was going back there to get her stuff. She never came back…

Another year went by without hearing from her. This time the story was different of why she had gone back to him. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I guess I’m insane. This time, I could only give her words of encouragement but that’s as far I would go. What’s that old saying? First time shame on you. The second time shame on me.” What happens when the third time rolls around? I told her, “Get out of there. Call 511 and they will pick you up and take you to a battered woman’s shelter.” I realized that this is some demented game they play when she said, “He’s not a bad guy.” This too will pass

Noise, The Homeless and Drugs…

Has Oakland California come to this? A land of homeless encampments and poverty. Most of these makeshift shelters have been built by those souls already on the fringe. Matt, prior to being incarcerated, probably lived in San Diego’s industrial area like this. These people are night crawlers. I’m not trying to call people names but when the sun went down, their community awoke. 

The woman directly across from us was obviously a meth addict. Who else would be bouncing around in the pitch darkness..? She had made a pretty good business for herself, repairing bicycles and doing tricks. Up until 3:00am she would scream out to her fellow campers, “Hey Jimmy Dog. Billy! You come over here. You want some of this?”

The three of us finished resplicing the 900 pair cable early in the morning. All the while the copper stealing perpetrators watched us work. You could tell they knew who did the deed but the street code of ethics rises above all. I’m going to say this again, Oakland is one big homeless encampment and the police just look the other way. The noise you ask? That track makes up BART’s only means of getting to and from San Francisco. All night trains in both directions would screech their existence with a mind numbing noise. That alone was terrible… This too will pass

The Firewood Temple Morning Workout…

This is the time of year when it’s already light out at 6am. I woke up and just lay there watching a couple of crows arguing. Three turkey moms led their young ones in a chorus of gobble gobble. A deer mom escorted her spotted fawns of the main road and into the woods. I dropped the window shade back down and said, “I’m tired but everyone else is up. I better get going.”

After putting on my work boots, I made my way to where I had left the saw, gas and oil. If Toonce had been around he would have meowed, “Really? Do you have to break the silence of this peaceful morning? Do something less noisy.” I softly said, “You’re right Mr. Toonce. I’ll shovel dirt off the new septic field black plastic.” 

I shoveled and pulled back the plastic little by little for about two hours. Now I’m totally spent. My first job was a fiber drop job which took about three hours. I’m sitting in this Starbucks at Broadway and 8th trying to regain my energy. There was a time when I would have dug a three foot trench and then done a day’s work… This too will pass

Thoughts on ISIS…

The recent killing of people at Ms. Grande’s concert venue tells me one thing, ISIS fighters and their spokesmen are morons. You would think, killing a dozen young people attending a concert would be a lousy public relations stunt. No one likes the brutality ISIS is known for and this certainly won’t help their image.  

The British police just arrested a 23 year old man in connection with the bombing. With that one act, that man just made his remaining days on this planet a living hell. Camera footage will be scrutinized over the coming days and God have mercy on the security guard who let that backpack get thru the checkpoint.

Another thing, if this had happened here in these United States of America, Marshall Law would be imposed.  I’m sure The Orange One will make a stern comment about radical Islam and of how we need to keep our borders secure. I do know another thing, the killing of those teenagers was totally senseless and nothing will have been solved by that act… ISIS isn’t known for bake sales nor fundraisers to support their cause, they’re known for death. If fear is all they wanted to instill, then they did their job… This too will pass

The Firewood Temple

When I first showed up at The Firewood Temple, there were no roads. I really can’t imagine the early settlers who carved out roads without heavy machinery. There were no chainsaws nor dozers. At some point this gravel road will be paved. This morning I cut up a fallen tree and debrushed the limbs and branches… This too will pass

If I Was A Fly On The Wall…

Who thought up the above saying? First of all, no one wants to be a fly and I know of no fly that understands conversations. If you thought you weren’t popular or liked in high school, imagine being a fly. No one likes flies, even horses and cows don’t like flies. 

The other day, I opened the wrong waste valve on the RV. When I realized what I had done, I quickly shut it off. I ran to where the waste hose emptied out and found hundreds flies hovering around the discharge area. Where had they come from in such a short time? Quickly, I shoveled leafs over the area, and the flies seemed to leave. Some might have been buried in the avalanche of leafs but for the most part they took off. I know what a thing to write about! 

It’s a multimillion dollar business to get rid of these pests. The last time I went to Home Depot I walked down the pest aisle and noticed at least twenty products to combat, trap or kill them. When it’s all said and done, three animals have few if any supporters: the flea, the mosquito and the common fly. No, I don’t ever want to be a fly, not now not ever… This too will pass

Soon To Be On The Road Again….

I’m officially taking an OPSL (Oakland Paid Sick Leave) day off on Friday. The flight doesn’t leave till 9pm but I’ll need to rest before I start my journey back to New Jersey. I get into JFK at 6am hopefully. I jump on the airport’s sky tram that let’s me off at Jamaica Bay. Three hundred steps later, I take an LIRR train from Babylon, Long Island heading west or south. That’ll take me under the East River into Penn Station in New York City. If I’m lucky, I catch a westbound New Jersey Transit Train that somehow gets me to Clifton. Oh, then I call Enterprise Car Rental and they come and pick me up or so the plan goes.

All of the above transfers and trains save 500 dollars in car rental fees and taxes. If I got the car at JFK, I would be looking at an stiff airport recovery fee and a frequent traveler tax. How they know I’m a frequent traveler is beyond me. The car should come to 400 a week rather than 890 a week… This time I’m not renting a Nissan Armada like I did the last time. Talk about it being a low mileage vehicle, I idled while waiting for Chris to come out of a store and I saw the gas needle plunge to the left.

On the way back, I might just take Uber. At least, Chris is taking vacation time off while I’m there. He and I have some projects that need to get done. A gate separating the front yard from the back will prevent jack rabbit Hunter from running into the street and the basement has a few ground leaks that need to be stopped. Good old hydro-cement will solve that problem in an instant. It will be fun, I can’t wait! This too will pass

I Am A Lineman For Something Something…

I know I’ve posted this one before but they say Glen Campbell is near the end of this life. Imagine him no longer being able to play his beloved guitar because his brain can no longer handle it. Anyway, The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company is rushing to place fiber throughout The Bay Area and the rest of California. Soon fiber will take the place of all the copper in the air and ground. Squirrels will no longer have our wire to chew on and who thought a single¬†fiber strand could take the place of a 900 pair copper cable.

Tomorrow I go back to installing FTTP (fiber to the premise) and removing the old wires that served for decades. Verizon is way ahead of us. The last time I was in New Jersey, I noticed their are only fiber drops feeding houses and apartment building. The old copper cables have been cut out along with all the old terminals. I suppose that’s our fate here on the west coast. The other day I was helping a guy place a new fiber drop across a busy street and embossed on the old wire was it’s manufactured date, three years before I was born and yet it was still functioning.¬†The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company will always need linemen, just less of them and there will never be any overload. This too will pass