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Otto the environmental otter reminisces,

baz goat
An instance of interacting with the future, God, the Collective Unconscious, Whoever Runs This Place, is there Anybody there?-

“Eight years of night school in Waste Prospecting, and I was not sure if I was even going to find steady work. Go back to fishing clam in Puget Sound... I JOKINGly used to say, 'if there are no jobs, I'll buy a bulldozer and prospect for environmental polluters on my own as a private company- Enviro Otter, or maybe Animale Anciano, Inc...

Well, I had met a friend in school who had also worked (she currently was) in the oil business, and she recommended I apply with those local Departamento of Engineering people if I got the opportunity. When I got near graduating, and was getting VERY broke, I decided to take my one shot at on-campus interviewing, and the Engineering group was interviewing that semester.

So I got on the candidate list, and got mailer upon mailer, "Dear Mr/s. Otter, please send us a resume and transcript if you wish to apply for ----- position", you name it- street lighting, sewerage pumping, street pavement fixing, it was in there. Sent off many a res, and transcript. And never heard a peep in response.

The mailers stopped. Six months later, one lone last mailer trickled into my mail box, [Terry Pratchett imp voice, zipsquealed:] "dear-sir-or-ma'am, if-you--wish-to-apply-for -unspecified- position, please-blah-blah-blah, SQeerk." So I polished up my res in the middle of the night after class, went down to the all-night PO, said a very non-denominational prayer over it, and dropped it in the Priority Mail bin for delivery by the deadline of next noon.

And I got a job from that interview. I was assigned to this oddball unit, and a couple of months later, i was sitting in a small FYI-type get-together with the State Highway Patrol Env. Crimes unit, and the Ca office of the FBI Environmental Crimes unit, they were, just, "if you ever need assistance, give us a call, OK?" and my head began to spin-- Wait a minute, how did i get here?? Is there a higher power, a Collective Unconscience, god or whatever you want to call her??

Soo now, ten years ago, I could not spell Industrial Waste Prospector, and now I ARE one! Must be Somebody there, or it was a hell of a coincidence!”

Was bandaging D's big toe last night

baz goat
she had kicked something: just a chipped nail and red at the base of the nail. Aloe vera, and myrrh-goldenseal to bring down the inflamation some and take the sting out.

This morning she was walking around, better.

We went to a birthday party yesterday, for Timmie, an acquaintance of Diane.

The kids, most of whom don't get the chance to run wild with friends much, were chasing through the house like a pack of wild people on the hunt.

Well, maybe not SO bad...

baz goat
I am not expecting a Pulitzer in the mail for last night's post.

But the first part IS true to the dream I had. And Geena is definitely channeling someone I used to know. And still dream about onct in a while. Hhhhn...

Speaking of mail, usually Priority Mail is the BEST for small packages from whoknowswhere, right to my PO Box in SP, 2-3 days delivery, they hold it for my warm little hands, no leaving it on the step (this is the big city). No sweat!

However, Higher Power, WhoEverRunsThisPlace, or Hallooween gremlins, are giving me the trick this week rather than the treat. My package left Crystal Falls MI Tuesday afternoon (that's in the center of the US for you guys over there), visited three POs in Michigan, Lancaster PA, spent a day traveling to, and overnight, in Philadephia (you know what WC Fields said about that)- at least it did make it to the Atlantic Ocean- and finally in the wee hours arrived in LA (I had hopes of picking it up this afternoon- this is [nominally 2-day] PRIORITY mail, after all), then went to the sorting Station in Seal Beach for delivery this noon. Only trouble is Seal Beach doesn't deliv to Saint Pedro.

It's pretty hilarious! By Monday or Tues it may be at my PO box in SP, fortunately a block from work. As Lovejoy used to say, we are laughing so hard we are rolling about! I can appreciate a good joke as well as the next person.

Harumpph! oh, oh, oh, i'm laughing again, it's TOO funny!

I would like to see Crystal Falls, Michigan, someday though. Prolly May-Sept tho, I note that Wikipedia says the average daily low temp there is 27F, or about -3C; I misread yesterday, thought it said 10F! The land of 10,000 lakes! Even tho that is Minnesota, I believe, they are next door. Bring your mosquito repellent, I hear, though!

"Oh by the way,"

baz goat
She threw over her shoulder, "if we don't catch them pretty quick- they're master genetic manipulators, and the biota around here might start to get pretty strange."

"How soon is this?" I asked. "Well, more than five minutes, but possibly less than a week." "Oh goody," I said, "and all on my shift."
baz goat
I met Geena down in the hollow by the maintenance building. We said howya, and I started to ask why she had called. She was redheaded, with a sharp face, a nose like a Swedish hatchet, eyes not too far apart that would show quick flashes of emotion or sharp intelligence, and a throaty voice that could go grrr if she thought her security crew was slacking off.

We walked by a large equipment barn. There was a rumble and the ground shook. With a flash and a blast, the door of the barn, just passed, blew off. We both dived into the doorway of a small auxiliary exit to the mine.

We were jammed up like two barnacles between the plates of a ship, and I looked at her face just inches away. I had always admired her but she had always been all business and no mistake. A spark brought our mouths together and warmth started to spread. "No, NO, NO, THIS IS NOT THE TIME, and BESIDES IT'S NOT PROFESSIONAL!" she pushed us apart.

"And over there!" she gasped, grabbing my arm and pointing at the barn pouring smoke. Suddenly the smoke sucked back into the building and shut off like a tap, then slowly started to trickle out the ruined door again. A dozen green lizard men on two legs and balancing tails ran out brandishing bullpup carbines, firing short bursts at random directions. One launched a rifle grenade at the fence. They all ran into the woods, less only one struck by return fire from security, disappearing almost at once. I heard a GRRR! from the diminutive figure at my side.

It was my turn to gasp. "Is that smoke toxic, I'm seeing things!" "No, they're Mokies," she informed me. "Mythical animals that live underground?" I asked. "No, Zenos from Brunton IV" I gave her a look. "Those must be some of the rebels fighting the Mokoloni government. They've occupied much of Brunton IV and sometimes raid our repair station on Brun V's moon, Luna Bru Five- L5."

I gave her more of a pained look. "The mine here is an annex gated to the repair station, we mine here and refine at L5 Station, then machine here, do the repairs at L5," she explained.

"And all this is permitted by?" I asked. "The Consortium Treaty on Eminent Domain. Your government is supposed to be cc'd on the operation." "They haven't updated me!" I burst out, "and now we have xenobiotic rebels loose in the Smokey Mountains??"

She looked chagrined. "Well our MOU with the Mokoloni government allows us to fight the rebels if attacked, or if they perform armed trespass." "Do you call this armed trespass?" I asked. "I reckon."

"Security should have controlled the airlock by now, or we're in worse trouble." She looked thoughtful, "We'd better go check the status of the gate."

Geena had her sidearm out. I picked up the carbine from the exxed greenie. It had a charging handle, box magazine, and a trigger. I figured I could use it if it came to that. I untied a bandolier of magazines from the green crumpled body and tied it 'round my waist. They bled red just like us. "OK, I haven't taken a chance on a plot all day." "You trail me to the right," she ordered, "this is still our operation."

"Yes, ma'am," I wilcoed, the memory of her lips still warming my blood...

Secondayr Containment (sp)

baz goat
Lord knows I am a crispy chicken this morning.

Was cleaning the garage til the wee hours, not something I usually do on weeknights.

A jug of antifreeze overflowed (how did that happen?) and ran under a file cab, full of about 500 lbs of old tools, and some boxes and then into the neighbor's garage. Oh my!

Markus notified me that the m/c may be leaking [I didn't say, "but you are the one who owns a Triumph"], and his prize skateboards were in danger [did I say we are in California? He's 40-something.] So I spent all evening moving boxes, thankfully they were all on duck boards, the Ug! file cabinet, another flate of boxes, and hosing and squegeeing the whole mess out. Not to mention tipping the file cab up and propping it on a board so I could dry the bottom...

Argle bargle! Who needs to go to the gym, I have the gar to make me pains.

But arh haf reached the ague- ah, age- where ALL exercize is GOOD exercize, so am thankful that i'm still able to hurt and none of last nights aches are permanent, so far.

And all the liquids in the gar are now in secondary containment--the factory container is set in a bucket so it can blarg to its hearts' content, and barring double disasters- knock on head (wood)- no more liquids on the floor, or alarming the neighbor!

the Project

baz goat
Diane asked me to spell Halloween for her art project.

It was only after she finished that i discovered that I had misinformed her.

On fessing up, she informed me that she thought Halloween didn't have two o's.

Well, the Second Graders are editing my work now.

Luckily it was a home project, not for school.

Rant Warning: Well, he convinced me...

baz goat
if I ever had any lingering doubt that a certain movie auteur is a sexist creep, all previous misconduct and partial forgivenesses aside, that lingering doubt is now gone into a black hole, never to be seen again.

Now, understand that I am a guy and have had to ask forgiveness myself on many an occasion. However, I had a Mom, grew up with two sisters, and have two daughters at home right now, and I will say that some things just no pasaran!

Pat likes to pick up movies at the lib, and, like us all, occasionally picks a bomb, but the last weekend's pick really got me going; the blurb gave no real clue of the depths it went to.

Match Point, was said by the writer and director, whose name I will not dignify, that it might be his one non-grade B movie, and he missed the categorization. It is misogynistic claptrap- no, make that crap- disguised as a thriller, or "potboiler". Scarl Johannsen (sp?) plays a wiley sorta-femme fatale- but mostly put-upon female- that one reviewer described as 'the mistress from hell' as if she were a perk of the job, like a classic old Jaguar that tended to lose its wheels on the highway or dump all its oil in front of the pub. And the bloke was an up-and-coming lucky young man who gets caught in a jam between S.J. as the wild erotic gf and a virtuous wife and growing family.

So what- he was helpless and none of this was his fault??? Woodsey attempts to hide his misogynism in bogus philosophy and bad literary allusions- can you say Crime and No Punishment? Because the character was Lucky? Pardon my a--, Mr. Woodsey!

So the bloke commits a double murder -with a bloody shotgun- to get himself out of his self-created dilemma, and Director Allenwrench thinks this is an A movie? And the poorly-done ca-mooish philosophy (mostly callow and moo-ish) exonerates the violence shown? F- me running, as they say down in the bayous, this movie should have never seen the light of day.

As for the women in my family? They have my complete support for their exercize of the old country philosophy:
"Anyone found in my chicken-yard may be found there the next morning."

Pahhr-don the rant, i seems to have feelings over the matter...

A President Lincoln story...

baz goat
You all know how Lincoln brought all his major rivals into the cabinet so he could obtain their concurrence on administration policies- he used to canvas the table and get each cabinet member to commit to decisions in a lawyerly fashion- and to keep an eye on them.

He also brought in a few secretaries that brought support of crucial border states- Missouri, Kentucky, etc.

Several were slowly won over by Lincoln- Seward, who thought HE was going to be President, and a few others- and several were a constant trial, with one or two notoriously corrupt.

Well, as to animal varmints- raccoons or skunks- there is a connection here- One of the corrupt cabinet members finally surpassed all previous boundaries in corruption, and the President had to require one to resign. A friend asked him the President he didn't throw out the whole bunch and start over again, and Lincoln produced the following story as well as I can reproduce it.

"We-ell, as for canning the whole bunch, it reminds me of a problem that one of my neighbors, Farmer Jones, in Illinois had with skunks raiding his chickenhouse, killing the chickens and destroying the eggs. Farmer Jones was getting pretty irate with losing his chickens, and the frequent uproar in the middle of the night, so he loads his double-barrel scatter gun and laid in wait for a commotion in the chickenhouse.

Sure enough, that night there was a tremendous squawking and uproar in the henhouse, and Farmer Jones comes out of the house with an Indian war whoop and banging on an old pot to scare the skunks out of the henhouse, and a whole family of skunks came charging out of the chickenhouse.

Farmer Jones laid the bead of his shotgun on the biggest of the bunch and pulled the trigger, and the rest of the skunks fled into the night. The next day his neighbor Farmer Simms asked him why he didn't let loose the other barrel and clean out the whole family.

Farmer Jones replied, "PEE-YOO! There was such a stink from the one, if you want the rest of them, you can get 'em!"

And Lincoln concluded to his friend, "this is how I feel about this whole bag of jobbing politicians- if you want to clean out the rest of them, you're welcome to them."

Night Safety Inspection

baz goat
We were inspecting the emergency exits for our building, and the attached routes to the mustering points outside the building, which were prepared in case of emergency evacuation.

We spiraled down a narrow staircase with unpainted concrete stairs and echoing steel-framed stair treads. Three, four, five, six levels down. We were at a mining facility, after all.

Soon we reckoned we were below ground level. We stepped into a well-lit corridor with raised stairs at the side of the hallway and a single door exiting at the top of the stairs. I had never taken this way before. We entered a room of grumbling machinery bolted to the concrete floor, skirted the machines and out through a door at the other side of the room.

Now we were in a low narrow underground passage with dark concrete walls, hissing and dripping pipes bolted to the walls and ceiling. We ducked to miss pipes and brackets above our heads. Wisps of steam floated across the passage. A steel door barred the end of the passage, but was unlocked.

The door glistened with oil and sweat, and yielded to our importunities, swinging open with hardly a squeak. A narrow stair led up to a tiny landing with another steel door and a breath of evening air entering around the edges of the door.

A small steel plate was latched at our side of the door and we looked out to the gathering dark. Was this our facility, how far had we gone?

We opened the exit. Stepped outside onto another miniscule landing coated with a veneer of sandy dirt and littered with seed pods of nearby trees. A path led up the draw, with a barely readable sign at the side:


This was some help, but not much. We weren’t geared up for IDLH, and the sign gave no clue of what the hazard was- quicksand, gas, Mokies? The draw looked like the Potters Field in “Wonderful Life”.

We turned back to the still-unbolted door to go back down the stairs. Hopefully whatever looking glass we had stepped through worked in reverse, going back the other way…

Safety inspection from the pillow flier.
Big improvement.