It’s 7:00am on a Sunday in the middle of Ohio. Snow is carried by cruel gusts through the gaping industrial garage doors of our building, collecting briefly on the steel toe of my boot before vanishing – taking with it one more calorie of heat from my body.
I’ve got 750 gallons of water/glycol, a sticky gluey solution, to pump from heavy 55 gallon drums into an empty labyrinth of pipes and hoses: the circulatory system of our machine. Our transfer pump is tired. I have to prime the pump and all the connecting hoses just to coax the suffering motor into pushing liquid. I pour cup after cup of glycol into the fluid reservoir from a weary paper gas-station coffee cup. It’s impossible not to spill. Ice cold Glycol runs down my arms, soaking into my sleeves. It has a sweet cotton candy smell to it, but will oxidize into oxalic acid if ingested.
I pause and think back to elementary school. Back then, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I had great dreams of digging and discovery. The Apatosaurus was my favorite; these days I think if asked I’d pledge allegiance to the Stegosaurus. It’s silhouette is simple, iconic, and immediately recognizable.
In fact, I’m wearing a Stegosaurus t-shirt under my lined Carhartt jacket and Under Armor hoodie.
The glycol hasn’t yet soaked through to my t-shirt.
Surrounded by industrial equipment, I can’t help but wonder what machine would dominate a battle royale:
They have one other massive machine here called a straddler. It looks like a war machine from the hit 90′s computer game Descent. It’s 20′ tall and can carry 60,000lbs of steel.
I’m thinking the fork truck’s maneuverability plus it’s bull spears would make it a pretty effective war machine. Even excavator payloaders, though fast, probably could only execute one or two awkward swipes before the fork truck could get up close.
The dump truck’s only effective strategy would be to plow its opponents. Assuming the bed was full, it would make for a nearly unstoppable force. But I don’t think it would charge a fork truck with raised forks – too risky.
These are the guiltless musings of a travel weary project manager.
I am back in Ohio at my usual Holiday Inn. I was cheered this morning by the buffet breakfast lady who recognized me and welcomed me back – not from my most recent trip – but from my stint here about 4 years ago! I must have made an impression with the buffet people. It was nice to be recognized. It’s like having a little bit of home out here in Ohio.
In other news, there is a blizzard approaching and the building where we are working has no heat and is missing some walls.
About two years ago I dove into Netflix. I have since changed completely from a physical activity fiend to a couch friend eager for more effortless stimulation.
Jen and I are always looking for some new shows to watch, so I figured I’d come here to see if others had recommendations. Here are a few of the television shows we have enjoyed so far:
House of Cards
Many have pushed the satirical comedies like Parks and Recreation and Arrested Development, but I just can’t sink my teeth into these. Perhaps my intellect is not sufficient for its subtle comedic allusions.
Any other recommendations out there?
I have been in Ohio this week aiding with an installation of some equipment. The hardest part of the job has been the cold. The building is barely a building. Sheet metal walls with large gaping bays for product movement do little to protect from the elements. Earlier in the week we were looking at single digit temperatures. Not fun.
I’m staying at a holiday inn where there happens to be a major marble conevention going on. Marbles. Like the small colorful glass balls.
This is an atypical convention because the collectors are all spread out across the hotel in various rooms. Each room door is open and signs are put out in the hall advertising Bill’s Marbles! Cape Cod Marbles! Vintage Marbles! and people are encouraged to go between the various rooms to buy, sell, or trade.
Thousands upon thousands of marbles. Most of which are carefully organized, labeled, and tagged.
I talked to a few of the vendors and learned a lot about the different processes for making marbles. Firstly, many of these marbles are old – form the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. The marbles came from any of 20-something american producers, or producers overseas.
I learned about the cheap, plentiful Japanese cat-eye marbles – and the more ornate glass marbles that encase porcelain figurines. Some marbles are made in batch processes while others are individually made.
I realized that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to take pictures of marbles. If any of you photo people have recommendations I’m open to hear them!
The marbles I saw ranged in price from a few bucks a pop to $2,400. Just as in any world of collectibles, the rare, flawless, unique marbles fetch the highest prices. The vendors are armed with magnifying glasses and small flashlights to justify their prices and share the beauty of their treasures. For the most part visitors are encouraged to pick up and examine any piece of glass – I chose instead to keep my hands in my pockets. I didn’t want to be part of anyone losing their marbles.
The security guard searches my arms and then checks my shirt collar.
Guard: You’re missing one of your collar stays.
Mike D: Uh… okay. Thanks?
Guard: No problem. I don’t think anyone else will notice.
Mike D: No, probably not.
It has been a long time since I created any MSPaint art. As I look at my proudest drawings, I long for the less busy lifestyle that provided an opportunity to liesure my time away playing with pixels and 256 colors.
Heck, I think I’d go so far as to say that I’ve let go of art in general right now. I have about a dozen or so art efforts that are growing roots into their dusty shelves.
I thought it might be fun to revisit some of my favorite MSPaint endeavors. I’d love to come up with some clever way to silk screen, stain, or maybe even paint (for reals paint) some of these images onto apparel, wood, or classy canvases.
If you have ideas on how I could do this, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
Click ‘more’ for a look at some of my best MSPaint pieces