I want to try something a little different, since I can’t seem to stay motivated enough to write anything technical. I’m going to start writing an intermittently fictionalized, ultra-hyperbolized, account of the life of a reality challenged phone guy.


[The line for the cash register was growing ever longer. There was only one register open while at least five employees milled about the store doing various nonproductive tasks. Two more were outside collecting trash in a thinly veiled excuse to have a smoke. The Wal-Mart reject in front of me was trying to buy a pack of cigarettes. It’s always fucking cigarettes. Whenever you see a line at a convenience store it’s always coffin nails or lottery tickets. I don’t know what it is about those two things that cause even the most efficient lines to start moving like The Pitch Drop Experiment. There was now at least ten people lined up behind me. The lady in front of me was now getting quite exasperated with the unfortunate cashier, who had the temerity to not be familiar with every brand and style of smoke. He was in high school after all. How could he not know the arcane differences between Marlboro Ultra-light 125’s Golden Blacks, and Marlboro Ultra-Light 100’s Golden Menthol Super Mild’s? He was on his fifth or sixth trip back from the rack now. He either finally got the right ones or she gave up and took what he gave her, I didn’t really care. I was already pushing it to get to work on time. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped to get my morning 88oz diet soda. It never fails, whenever I’m trying to beat the clock I run into some one buying cigarettes or lottery.

Okay, they had finally settled on a pack, maybe we could finally get on with it. Oh shit, out comes the inch thick clear envelope stuffed with lottery slips.

I would like these numbers, plus two double whammy split box combos for the noon drawing, a number 18, two number seventeens, five number ones, and two of those twenty dollar scratch-offs over there, and I need you to check these tickets to see if there are any winners.”]

Okay that’s it. I can’t take this anymore. I brought my left leg up and to the right. Raising my steel toed, steel shanked, heavy logger boot above my head before snapping my foot down in a perfect axe kick to the lady’s head. Those years of taking Tae Kwon Do with my daughter were useful after all, who’d a thunk? I stepped over her unconscious body and made my way up to the shocked teenager standing agape at the register. “Stop staring and ring me up. I ain’t got all day mother fucker.” After they got over their discomforted silence there was a couple of cheers from behind me. It seemed to me that the register jockey was trying very hard not to laugh. At least after he got over his initial shock.

[Jesus Fucking Christ on a pogo stick! Why are these people always in front of me when I’m in a hurry? Why is there one register open at lunch time? I set my drink down on the coffee island and walked out the door. I didn’t have time for this shit. I work seconds and normally don’t come in until midafternoon. Because of stunningly inept managerial incompetence however, we lowly field techs were being forced in on overtime to cover for some of their more egregious mistakes. I mean if we could usually almost cover the work load with two crews of fifteen people each, why shouldn’t we be just fine if we combine those two crews into one. Along with three other smaller crews. While we’re at it the combined crew doesn’t need that many people. Let’s give the new crew fifteen slots total and move everyone around between the garages. What do you mean three of the old timers retired right after we did that? Everything’s way more streamlined, they should be ecstatic. Hence why I was in a gas station during the lunch rush and in a foul mood. I should still be in bed. I could already tell this was going to be a stellar day.

I finally got to work, drinkless, and started the interminable process of logging into my work computer. I swear the thing took at least ten minutes to boot up on a good day. Somehow we were supposed to log in, look over our jobs, restock, and PMCS our trucks; while getting out of the garage in fifteen minutes. I don’t know what hyper caffeinated gerbil came up with that time scale but if I ever meet him he’s getting clubbed.

Oh look. Seven jobs, each taking at least two hours, all with access 8-5, behind me. What fucking genius thought it would be a good idea to load the late tech with a metric crap ton of jobs that should have gone out first thing in the morning? Just like every other time we’ve been forced on overtime I’m going to spend the first half of my shift trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a shoddy five pound bag, and the second half driving around no accessing people. Remember the customer’s number one!

My instant messenger app dings and I’ve got four new messages. One from nine o’clock this morning wondering why I haven’t dispatched on some job or another, two from two different project managers demanding I go on their job before I do any others, and one from my buddy telling me that they sent half our crew down to the southern part of the state to help with storm damage. It looks like I won’t be getting off this turd merry go round for a while. Well I guess that explains why the rest of us poor slobs are on forced OT. Both of the aforementioned jobs are emergencies. They both loose access at five. They are both high priority optical circuits. They’re at least an hour apart in distance and it’s going to take me another forty-five minutes or so just to get to the depot and pick up the equipment to I need to install the circuits. If this ain’t a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is.]



Well I guess it’s about time to get off my ass and finish the humidor project. After completing the proof of concept (and blowing up two Ardweenys) I ordered the components I would need to make the final board.

Everything but the resonators came in promptly. I ordered them on the third of June through an Amazon re-seller called Uxcell. I got an email from them stating they were shipped out a couple of days after I ordered them. As they were coming from China there was a considerably longer shipping time than I’m used to with Amazon. The latest estimated delivery date was July 16th. When I still hadn’t received them by the 17th I sent them an email. It worked out that since I work second shift, and sent the email when I got home, that it arrived during their business hours and I got a prompt response. There was no hemming and hawing, they simply asked if I wanted a refund or a resend of the product. I requested a resend and it arrived in a couple of weeks. I assume my original package is sitting in some customs warehouse somewhere. For something that cost $2.66, with free shipping from the other side of the planet, I certainly can’t complain.


I’ve been working on a project that uses the guts from the Secret Knock Gumball Machine. My goal is to modify the project to open a humidor I planned on giving to my brother in law for Christmas. As with everything else in my life I am obviously way behind schedule. I wanted to add way too many accessories and decorations. It just got out of hand, so I scrapped all of the frou-frou.

I made a video of a proof of concept back in December but haven’t really got past that point. I went to work on it the other night but blew up my Ardweeny when I turned on my power supply and forgot it was set to thirty volts. I’ve got a new one on the way from Solarbotics and hopefully I can get in the mood to finish the project soon.

I got called out to a cell tower with multiple DS1 circuits down. I checked a couple of the pairs and they were all open at the same distance. The circuits for this tower are fed from a Fujitsu Flashwave 4100 not far from the site. I drove over to the RT and found the 200 pair riser cable that leaves the cabinet, and feeds up the pole, partially cut through. I also noticed that the whole tree line had been trimmed very recently. Coincidence?