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PG [06 Sep 2020|01:37am]
Made some changes to my journal.

I don't ever really want to go entirely friend's-only, but I've decided to take a layered approach to the problem. Some things are locked, some are not. If you'd like to see everything, feel free to leave me a comment...you're not missing out on anything worth paying attention to, but hey...who am I to say?

So it goes.
9 dead | give up

Found on the net [27 Oct 2008|05:23am]
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
-- Omar Khayyam
1 dead | give up

[21 Sep 2008|08:55pm]
What do Galveston and Tina Turner have in common?

They both done been whooped by Ike.

Ha.

Today was day 8 of no power...came on for about 30 seconds earlier, then was gone as suddenly as it had come.

I got bored as hell sitting in the apartment with no power...so I hung out at the tat shop all day and ended up starting my sleeve. Its been a long time coming, and I'm happy as hell. Lamont at Electric Chair is a badass. Give him money.



Bad cell phone picture, but considering I don't have any power I figure I can get away with a bit more.

Sadly my life is boring and absolutely nothing has happened since the last time I found myself writing here. Grading papers sucks. School is a whore. I'm broke. Bike runs at least :).

This message is brought to you by the Richmond Arms English Pub which has, since yesterday at 5:00PM, had power and internet.

God I love the bar.
4 dead | give up

Pictures Continued... [01 Aug 2008|07:36pm]
Been lazy.

Finally decided to put up more, and hopefully all, of my trip pictures. I even resized them. Awesome.


give up

Clothesline [02 Jul 2008|06:35pm]

I left Chicago at about six o'clock in the morning. Most of the night was spent at the bus station waiting for the Greyhound with Walker and collecting such gems as "I GOT THE WAR IN MY BRAIN" and "My name's Dave...I fuck around the Greyhound. It's what I do man. Want some hash? I bet you'd like Wicker Park" from the local street folks.

With traffic starting to pick up, I had started out as the horizon first began to glow it's weak blue, cruising through the chilly twilight of early morning south into the Illinois countryside. I was clenching my jaw alot to keep my teeth from chattering. I kept wondering in my head if the enamel would break, but the headache from my cramping jaw came first.

Half an hour down the road I stopped for gas. Warming up for a bit, I decided that something had to be done about the cold or I would never make it to a camping place. I cinched a zip tie tight around each wrist to keep the wind from blowing up my jacket and wrapped my towel around my throat like a scarf. Still too dark to ride with my helmet's visor down, so I'd just have to come to terms with the cold on my face.

An hour or two later, I pulled into a state park, pulled the bike into the woods, and slept behind some bushes out of view of the main road. I slept there until early afternoon...the roar of tractors in the adjacent field coaxing me out of sleep. I decided from here that I would push straight through and make the best time to Houston as possible.

It would help if the bike would start, however.

$88 for a new battery only a month ago in Nashville, TN and now it's flat again. I have no idea whats wrong with it, but sitting in the dust of some state park in Illinois, this seemed like a less than ideal time to try and figure it out. I got a jump from a rusted out El Camino, driven by a good ol' boy a few sites over. His arms were sleeved, and tattoos crept up towards his ears underneath a white, collared shirt. I traded my pocketknife for the favor so that he could peel potatoes...the handle had broken a few states back and was now held together with nothing but electrical tape. It wouldnt close anymore, so I had to wrap it in paper and keep it behind my belt, rolled up in the back of my pants. I always had a vague fear that I would lean back to hard and stab myself in the spine...I felt good about passing it on.

For days I drove this way...half in the day, half in the frozen night. Every 150 miles I would stop for gas and recline on the bike with a copy of Aesop's Fables waiting for someone else to pull in for me to jump off of. Sometimes I would wait hours...sometimes minutes.

It was in Missouri that I noticed how the interstate was bowing out to the east...making a long, gentle curve out and back again to the west. A state road, highway 67, seemed to connect the north and south points of the bow. I knew it would be slower going riding a state highway this late at night, but figured I could do with the saved mileage and pulled off.

Somewhere around Festus, I noticed a sign glowing orange in the distance, flashing out the monotony of it's single message:

"ROAD CLOSED. WATER OVER BRIDGE. DANGER. DO NOT ENTER. ROAD CLOSED."

I coasted to a stop next to the roadblock and cursed under my breath. I was at least 30 miles down and I doubted there was any easy way back to the interstate from here, save turning around and going back the way I came. I would lose an hour. And my campsite was somewhere down this highway...Id lose an hour and a place to sleep. It was cold too, and there was a light drizzle. I wasnt in any mood for this.

After simple annoyance, the first thought to cross my mind was simply:  "Water over bridge? I wonder how much water..."

Weighing the options in my head for a moment, I decided there was only one acceptable course of action. I dropped the clutch and slid in between the construction barrels blocking off the road, slowly coasting up to the water's edge. The road was covered. There was no doubt about that...but it didnt seem too deep. Maybe a few inches? Things always get deeper in the middle...I know that...but here it didnt look bad at all. Victory goes to the daring, I decide, as I slide the clutch back out again and begin to split the water ahead of me.

The yellow centerline is only a few feet away...I can see it in my headlight now. It makes a pretty good gauge of the water's depth, at least much better than the black asphalt. Plus I figure itll be a good indicator if the bridge is actually washed out...if the lines stop, hopefully I can climb up on my brakes fast enough.

About 30' later, I round a bend and see the steel skeleton of the bridge rising up out of the water on either side in the feeble glow of my single headlight. The mosquitos are thick...my helmet seems like it's full of them, and occasionally I get the feeling that my nose is too. I swat at my face a few times and shake my head. There are branches and bits of trash floating across the bridge...slowly...like the great ships of some smaller civilization. The water is deeper here, but still slow. I push on, occasionally bumping over a piece of deadwood.

On the other side of the bridge, the water abruptly stops. Back on dry ground, I celebrate. The whole stretch was only a half a mile, maybe...far shorter than the 5-6 miles I had worked myself up for in my head. No trouble at all...and I saved myself an hour. I was home free now. Missouri DOT - 0, Kenneth - 1.

I gunned the engine in my excitement and elatedly roared through the first layer of the barricade blocking off the other side of the bridge. It was just traffic cones...on the other side, a layer of barrels again. I found two barrels that were a little further separated than the others and lined myself up, rolling even harder on the throttle as I went. About 4' away from the barrels, I noticed something surprising in my headlight.

A rope.

A motherfucking rope. Between the barrels.

Goddammit.

I had never ridden through a rope on a motorcycle before, and honestly found myself fairly baffled. Should I hang on tight with both hands and hope that the weight catches me across the chest and pulls me to a slow and graceful stop? Should I lean forward, put my helmet against the tank, and slap at the rope with my left hand, while I keep the right clutched in a deathgrip? What if the rope is taut? It definitely wont slap far then, and Ill hit it with only one hand on the bar...I'm pretty sure that would be bad.

The Emergency Motorcycle Riding Through a Rope Action Plan wound its way through committee as I looked on full of dumb apprehension. As the final votes were being tallied, I was saved the effort of an actual plan by the snap of rope against the front forks of the bike. Reduced to mere reaction, I clung to the bars as tight as I could and pulled myself low.

For a second, nothing happened.

For a second, just the whir of the rope sliding along in the perfect darkness.

I had expected instant calamity...barrels full of water jerking me off the bike as though I'd hit a brick wall. The rope really being made of steel...it ripping my apart as it caught in my chest...sliding up under the chin of my helmet and tearing my head free. The silence was disconcerting.

Maybe the rope was just laid on top of the barrels?

The stillness was shattered by the low, deep "THUNG" of the rope stretching taut. Apparently though it was passed through the handles of the middle barrels, it was most definitely tied off to the barrels on the end. This was a depressing, but not entirely unforeseen development.

Since I had decided to cross on the right side, there were only two barrels on my right, but at least 7 on my left. Barrels which were swiftly picked up by the end barrels and drug behind me as I continued screeching forward, my brakes pulled all the way in and tires sliding.

With a jerk, my bars pulled all the way to the left and I got my first taste of unassisted human flight.

The stars were pretty that night, I noticed, laying on my back in the middle of the road. The sky was almost perfectly clear now, after the rain passed. And my leg hurt. I heard the engine stall off somewhere behind me...that's nice, I thought. I dont want it to keep running with the bike on it's side...

A minute or two passes and I decide that I would really like to be able to get up. Not now, of course, but sometime in the future. In fact, I would really not like to be found like this at all. I tilted my head to one side and picked out the headlight of the bike, laying on its side. The bars were choked around with rope, barrels strung along behind it, disappearing into the dark. That was kinda like bowling, I thought to myself. Granted the strike was easier to get with the barrels tied together with rope...but it also hurt alot more. It all evens out.

This was going to be hard to explain. Barrels, bike with rope wrapped around it, then strange homeless looking man laying on the pavement bleeding. Really, there was no question as to what happened out here tonight. I really needed to be able to get up.

I stretched and pulled myself to my feet. Left leg wasnt bending much, but it was definitely ok with staying straight. Hobbled to the bike, and hunched down...pressed my ass against the side of the seat and grabbed a handlebar with my right hand and slowly squatted it upright, kicking the stand down with my heel. 

I pulled my leg over and pressed in the starter...after a brief struggle, the engine caught. With a hasty look in either direction, I decided it may be time to call it quits for the night.



1 dead | give up

Back Home [30 Jun 2008|04:27pm]


Back home. This is what 900 miles spread out over 32 hours of rain looks like. Tired.

Fireworks again on the 4th, so if you happen to find yourself near Bissonnett and Beckford, stop in and give me money. It'll be awesome, I swear.
give up

2 [16 Jun 2008|10:58pm]
 I have alot of pictures. This is gonna take alot of effort.

Not sure if I'm going to finish writing all of this...sitting here in the computer room of a holiday inn in Massachusetts, but lets see how far I go.

I am going to break this up into several entries...Im kind of afraid of my internet crapping out and losing everything. Sorry for your friends pages. I think the pictures are huge too. Sorry for your internet connections.

1Collapse )
2 dead | give up

Two-wheeled holocaust [24 May 2008|08:02pm]
Ive made a few observations regarding the bike lately. At first I thought it was all just chance sorta shit, but now I'm really starting to think something's up.

The first is that I kill bugs with my helmet. Alot of bugs. My visor will actually fill up with them over the course of an hour or two. It was quicker in Mississippi, but I figured that was to be expected. If I put the visor up, then I collect most of them on my glasses instead. It's gross.

As an aside, dragonflies hurt. Seriously.

Despite the fact that my truck's windshield is far, far larger than the visor on my helmet, it never really seems to have dead bugs on it. I mean, I get a few from time to time, especially when Im in the boonies...but Ive never had trouble seeing out of it like I have with the helmet. Ive also never had to clean them off of my headlight to see...unlike on the bike. This is kind of odd to me.

This morning was surreal, hilarious, and terrible all at once...and its starting to make me think something is amiss.

I left the rig around 6:00AM and got on the road to my uncle's place. I was just a few miles down the two-lane blacktop doing about 75mph...there was a nice, shallow curve in the road. I had just straightened back up when I noticed two...humps (?) in the road ahead of me. As I got closer, I decided they were vultures, and must be clustered around something dead. Beings that I was doing 75 or so, stopping wasnt gonna happen...I let my rear brake drag to slow down a bit to give them an extra second or two to get out of Dodge...but they didnt. I realized my visor was open and had a temporary gruesome image of one of the fuckers hitting me in my open helmet and smashing in my nose/shattering my glasses. Shrugged that off and decided that I wasnt gonna swerve...when it comes to woodland critters or me going into the ditch, the endearing woodland critter is gonna die.

As I got closer, I realized they were actually not vultures but some kind of giant domesticated bird. Like a pheasant or rooster. I still havent decided which. One was white, the other black. I decide that since they are each in the center of a lane and Im close to the center stripe, Ill just shoot in between them and hope for the best. As I get closer, the black one takes off. Im giving him a mental pat on the back as I stare at the white one, who appears to be staring at me. Just staring me down...like that dude in Tiananmen Square. Daring me. I'll admit that at this point, the brainless little fucker called my bluff and I folded. With the black one gone, there was room for a milder swerve into the empty oncoming traffic lane, so I started to lean the bike over. It was then that the little bastard decided to make its move.

He took off...and for one brilliant, inspiring moment his wings caught and heaved his disproportionately large rooster body majestically into the cool morning air.

Unfortunately he picked the wrong direction and flew directly into my steel toed workboot, which was resting comfortably on my right-side peg at the time.

He bounced up a few feet, hit my knee, then bounced again over my shoulder and off into space. After a momentary "oh fuck," I pulled a u-turn in the next drive way a block or two up, images of a cripped, broken-winged rooster screaming out its last moments on the pavement filling my head. I started back, realizing I hadnt been paying much attention to the scenery and wondering how I would spot where I hit the bird...cause otherwise, he might be a pain to track down.

Turns out my fears were unfounded...as I rounded a corner, I found myself in the middle of a large cone of feathers sprayed about 20 feet down the road. I u-turned again and found a strange white lump on the side of the road. Pulling up next to it, I saw that, in a past life, it was most definitely a huge fucking bird...it also wasnt moving. I nudged it with a toe a few times...still nothing. Realizing it to be a domesticated bird, I played the coward card and peeled out for the main highway.

I stopped at a gas station a few miles down the road to fill up, and then made a gruesome discovery:  my brake lever was full of feathers and my pantsleg was covered with them too...hundreds of little pieces of white fluff stuck to me with bird blood.

The sheer absurdity of the situation hit me right about then, and I had to sit down for a minute I was laughing so hard.

I really think that my bike is some sort of death magnet. Seriously.
2 dead | give up

5/8 - 5/15 [21 May 2008|08:50pm]
Yup...Im late as fuck with this. Oh well.

In addition to being late, I'm also going to commit one of the cardinal sins of posting images online: html rescaling. I don't have access to a computer right now that will read my camera's card, and I'm way too lazy to download all of my pictures and rescale them in paint on the work computer...so...sorry, folks. This shit's gonna suck.

Got the order to rig down at Graywolf on the evening of the 7th...wasn't really prepared, to be honest, and didnt feel like setting out in the dark. Decided that I'd sleep another night in the unit and take off first thing in the morning. Ended up spending the day with Chase in Shreveport...switched out phones and providers, and now I have nationwide roaming. Looks like I'll actually have a phone to use from time to time. Combined with the ghetto cigarette lighter mod I did on the bike, I should have contact with people...this is good, since I've been having some problems lately.

The bike's sick...

Not sure how, really, but something's up. I noticed on the highway when I was passing that at 85mph, it would start to surge under me...like it would try to accelerate, then the engine would starve out and it would lag back....then it would catch up and take off again, over and over again. With some experimentation, I realized that on flat ground this always happened at 85mph...with minor variations for uphill/downhill. Since it varied downhill, I knew it wasnt a governor or anything like that...even though it'd be retarded to set one for 85mph, regardless. Ran a can of seafoam through the tank to see if it'd help...it didnt. Checked my air system, and its clear. Only thing left is the fuel system, which means ripping out the carbs. Im terrified of ripping out the carbs. I may do it after this job is over when Im not pressed for time. I wouldnt do it at all, but I noticed something slightly more worrisome on my way to work the other day: bike tops out at 75mph now. Fuck.




Mileage (this leg):  Approx. 2400
Gasoline Cost:  $99





4 dead | give up

Ruston, LA [07 May 2008|09:22pm]
First hop of the hobo trip ended today.

Thought we would be working for a few more days, so I had managed to settle into a routine...boss woke me up around 3 this afternoon and told me that we had been cleared to rig down and go...so...we did. By the time it was all said and done, I was tired and it was getting dark...instead of starting off towards my next stop, I decided to stay the night at the rig and sleep in the unit. First thing in the morning, I'm setting out.

Was originally going to head north to Arkansas, then cut over to Oklahoma, and loop back down to TX/LA when my next job order came through...treated myself to a sit-down dinner tonight and managed to catch some of the news. Turns out there are going to be storms and flooding in AR for the next few days...figure I might wanna hold off on going for awhile. I think I may go east instead. The original loop plan cut the entire SE part of the country out of the trip, but maybe if I just make a quick trip over there for the hell of it, I can include it in.

Speaking of which, there was another relevent piece of news...all of our operations in Arkansas, Wyoming, and Montana were shut down. My request to the company to be moved further out was denied...they told me that Ruston was likely as far out as they had jobs...it was the end of the line. Looks like my plan to hop job to job isnt going to work as I had hoped...but I'm still making good money by riding the bike. Good mileage ftw.

So far my ghetto packing strategy is holding up decently. On the ride here, I suffered only one minor casualty...that bag in the last picture that appears to be hanging way too low...well...it was. Every bump I hit knocked the corner of it against my back tire and slowly ate through the bag. There were shreds of fabric across the hole, so the stuff inside didnt fall out...but it tore the bag up pretty well. Patched it with duct tape and all is well.

Decided that before I leave this site, I am going to downsize my gear by one bag. Whatever it takes, I'm going to lose one backpack...its a pain to carry so much, even though all of it is useful. Spent some time going over it all, and I think I'm pretty close. Tomorrow Ill drop the damaged bag off at the post office and send it home iwth whatever junk I manage to cram into it.

Got bored at walmart earlier...ended up in the tech section. Saw a tom tom on clearance for $130, so I snatched it up...then realized that it only has 2 hours of battery life on a charge and can only be charged with a USB cable or car cigarette lighter. My bike has neither. I kicked myself in the ass for a good half an hour over that one...then got a fairly stupid idea. Found a "cigarette lighter extension cord" in automotive that was 10' long and noticed an interesting coincidence...it took 12V and my bike's alternator cranks out 12V. Too good to be true? Got back and hooked up the boss's meter to the bike and found my mistake:  both are 12V but the socket has a max current of 5A, while the bike puts out 8A. Jumped back on and went to Radioshack....45 minutes later I cobbled together a random assortment of resistors and a 5A automotive fuse for good measure and now the bike has a lighter socket. I think the GPS might make life a bit easier down the road...once I find a mount to attach it to my handlebars.

So...for the running summary to date:

Hop 1 (4/23/08 - 5/07/08)
Houston, TX --> Ruston, LA
Beginning Odometer:  4081
Ending Odometer:  4433
Total Mileage:  352

Gas Expense:  $19
Gas Reimbursed by Company:  $158.40

Worksite:
Gray Wolf Rig #14
N 32.63937
W 92.54681

Pictures to follow later...no way to pull them off of my camera.
give up

Final List / Loading [22 Apr 2008|01:54am]
Got my call today...next job will be right outside of Shreveport, LA. Excellent.

Went to walmart and loaded up on stuff to take. Even managed to get it all on the bike...though it looks real, real terrible :)

 
12 dead | give up

Travel Journal [21 Apr 2008|03:40am]
This probably doesnt really mean shit to anyone who can read this journal, but I created a separate LJ for my trip: bumlife.

I figured that there were people that I would like to share my progress with that I may not want in my personal journal, so this seemed like the way to go...now I have something I can pass out to random people.

To add to the annoyance, I will be mirroring each post I make that is trip related in both journals, so theres really no need to actually add it or anything, unless you just want to see double posts on your friends page :)


[Unknown LJ tag]
give up

Ha. [20 Apr 2008|11:38pm]
So something funny happened to me today. I kind of expected it, really, but it was still a surprise in its own way.

I actually got kicked out of the oilfield for being too drunk. The oilfield. How drunk do you have to be to be too drunk for the oilfield? Im still figuring it out.

Oh well...I'm now banned from working with Sanchez Oil and Gas Corp., but the office is apparently gonna send me out to another job in a day or so. About to quit anyway. :)

Pictures:

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2 dead | give up

More trip stuff / supply list [19 Apr 2008|12:13am]
Went on my customary drive around the ranch after I got off tour this morning...had another thought.

My company, TMC, doesnt log too many wells outside of Texas/Louisiana...but it does a few. Mostly in states that touch Texas, since we use our in-house trucking company to run our trailers/gear out there. I know for certain that we have an operation up near Little Rock, AK...or at least we did a few months ago. What if instead of quitting, I convinced the office to give me jobs along my trip route?

I obviously couldnt do it more than once or twice, since I'd get too far away quickly, but it would let me keep earning money while I travelled and I would get to explore another area for the two or so weeks I was on location. Plus I could bill the company for all of my mileage, which would get me a few hundred miles down the road for free. Not the biggest deal, but every little bit helps...

Maybe just do one hitch in AR, then move NE up to DC and NY for the first leg. I think we have a well in Wyoming/Montana...not sure who's logging it. Maybe theyll send me there.

Been thinking alot about what gear to take with me...found a premade list on some guy's website. Its not right, but its a place to start. I can obviously buy more shit on the road, but I want to be as prepared as I can. Here's his list, with any notes I think are relevent. Feel free to comment with advice/additions/deletions/etc.

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5 dead | give up

[18 Apr 2008|03:55am]
With all that in mind, I think my journal is going to become a trip diary for a little while.

Starting now.

I figure if I write out all of my thoughts and preparations here where everyone can read, maybe Ill run into some helpful advice that may save my ass a little further down the line. I still appreciate all of the destinations everyone gave me on my other post...theyre marked on a map at home, and I will try to integrate them into whatever route I end up riding.

So in figuring out when to quit my job, I guess I ought to start out with finances.

I decided to get a rough estimate of the distance from to Alaska by using mapquest. I dont intend for it to be truly accurate because I have no idea what route I'm going to take, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. Nor do I know when I will stop...I prefer that as well. With all that in mind, mapquest yields a distance from Houston, TX to Anchorage, AK of 4500 mi.

My bike gets its best fuel mileage around 60mph, so it looks like slow and steady is going to win the race. This works out to 75 hours road time.

I get around 50mpg if I dont do anything retarded. This equates to 90 gallons of gas. At $4/gallon (Erring on the side of caution. I dont like to be surprised), this will cost me $360 each way, for a total of $720 in fuel. This is also only straight there and back, which I'm really not intending to stick with.

I'm probably going to take 2 months off of work. Not sure, really. I lived for a long time on about $5/day for food. I can do better, but its easier if I do worse. I'm gonna give myself 15, just for the sheer hell of it. For 60 days, that will cost me $900. For 30, $450. I figure this will also include stuff like laundry and random shit along the way, since I know I wont eat $15/day.

Ideally, I'm going to camp the whole way and maybe take a hotel room once a week or so. Depends on how many campgrounds have showers...and how often I even pay to use a campground rather than just pulling off someplace. I'm not going to factor in this cost because it seems too variable. Call it $200?

I'm also going to neet stuff before I go. I havent finalized the list yet, however. I do know that I'm going to want a windshield for the bike though...my neck hurts like hell after 8-9 hours of fighting the wind and highway speed. That'll probably be $150 or so by itself. I was going to get forward controls to move the shifter/rear brake forward, since I'm tall and their current location cramps my legs after a few hours...but I think I'm going to wait on that...I cant find a kit for that for less than $130, and they only give a 4" shift.

Luckily I pretty much live on the road as it is, so aside from specialized stuff (bike tire patch kits and the like) I may not have to buy too much.

So, my bullshit fuzzy math yields the following numbers:
One month on the road = About $1150
Two months on the road = About $1600

Keeping in mind what I want saved for when I go back to school, I think I'll arbitrarily state that I can't quit my job until I have $5k in savings again.

Deal.
give up

Too strange to live, too dumb to die... [18 Apr 2008|03:42am]
Despite being a filthy hippy, this guy just might be my new hero:

http://mopedtrip.com/

I find myself in an interesting predicament...interesting mostly because this one's entirely new to me.

I have a job where I make more money than I've ever made in my entire life. I also have no real expenses. Combining these two factors, I've been able to pay off all of my debts (aside from the school loans. Fuck the school loans.)...past experience has made me hoard like a bastard and I'm incredibly reluctant to do anything that would jeopardize saving more money. I've never been able to save before, and having been through several incredibly shitty scrapes, I like to work with a safety net.

On the other hand, I know I'm going to quit soon. I definitely want to go back to school, and since I've been accepted/confirmed my attendance I will definitely be going. The question then becomes when should I quit.

I originally figured Id quit in the beginning of July. I think UH wants me to go to some training stuff and whatnot starting at the beginning of August and running to the start of school...figured this would give me a month or so to do retarded shit before buckling down and being responsible.

So I guess here's where the problem comes up...I'm getting that twitch again. I've been having it for a little while now, but now its getting damn near unbearable. I find myself fighting constantly to avoid telling the office that I'm finished after this job...and honestly, I really am thinking that it's about time to give my notice. Maybe one more job after this one?

I think its time to disappear for awhile. Just pick a direction and get moving...

I'm guessing that I'm gonna have to sit down and have a negotiations session with myself.

Fuck it. I'm going to Alaska.
1 dead | give up

Brenham [09 Apr 2008|07:03pm]


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3 dead | give up

Doppleganger [01 Apr 2008|01:31am]
Oh my fuck.

So I'm sittin around at work, bored as shit, and I start messing around on facebook. While Im skimming over the feeds, I see that Jake changed his profile...so...bored as fuck, decide I'm gonna read it. After that...skim over his wall, and happen across this post that Laura left:

KENNY'S EVIL TWIN!
http://www.makeoutclub.com/xixbenjaminxix

I figure its a joke...that Im gonna open it and its gonna be a giant picture of a dick or something. Then I click it and see my face and think goddammit...she made a profile with my picture and she probably said I was gay or some shit. So while I'm reading the profile, something hits me: my ears arent pierced. HOLY SON OF A WHORE, HE'S NOT ME.

But he IS me. But...he's not.

It's honestly kind of unsettling.
16 dead | give up

Slippery Slope... [30 Mar 2008|09:14pm]
With the well almost finished, I'm left with quite a bit of time to kill...so I've been spending quite a bit of time on the net lately. I stumbled across a discussion on facebook debating gun control in the US, and ended up hunting down alot of links and such that I had read in the past...I wasnt going to repost them here, cause god knows everyone hates my pro-gun rambling...but I found something today that made me laugh til I thought I would die...so, while I'm not gonna make this huge and insane, there are a few links I definitely have to pass on...


After the Dunblane Massacre in 1997, legislation was introduced in the UK to ban the private ownership of handguns in order to deter gun related crime. It turns out that in the two years following the ban, gun related crimes actually rose...and continue to rise currently. Source.

The continued existence and use of handguns in the UK is attributed primarily to smuggling, and a rather obvious thing has become clear...criminals, who are by definition characterized by lawlessness, don't mind breaking the law. This behavior is also mirrored here in the US, as was pointed out in a recent study completed by the FBI's institute for behavioral science. This study, entitled "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers," finds that a criminals choice in weapons used in homicides and attempted homicides against peace officers is driven almost purely be simple availability. Very few criminals admit to having a clear preference or selection in weapons, but usually just carry what they can either find for cheap or steal. The study focused on 40 specfic incidents, and found that all but one weapon was obtained illegally, either through theft or via a street transaction. No weapons were obtained through the now-infamous "gun show loophole," and only one weapon was picked due to the criminals particular preference for it.

Since criminals are not being deterred by existing laws, but are simply breaking them, clearly more laws targetting law-abiding citizens are called for.

The FBI's crime report page has a different set of statistics for the means by which criminals obtain their weapons, which is to be expected considering the previous study encompasses only 40 incidents and all of which were directed solely at law enforcement officers. According to a 1997 prison survey, 80% of inmates incarcerated for a gun-related offense admitted to obtaining the weapon through illegal means (theft, smuggling, street transaction). 18% obtained their weapon through a retail store (wal-mart gun counter) or pawn shop, and 2% obtained it through a gun show/store or flea market. This still appears pretty cut and dried, in my opinion.

As a sort of aside, looking at the type of weapons involved in assaults against police officers, here, it can be seen that the most prevalent weapon used is a simple handgun. "Assault weapons" and the like are barely represented, despite the assertions of the gun control lobby that "assault weapons" and other semi-automatic rifles are turning our streets into a warzone.

So, before I get too much more long-winded, here's the final point of this post. 11 years after the banning of handguns in the UK, I found this.

That's right. Guns are banned, yet crime remains. So now...ban samurai swords. Swords. I really cant think of anything better to say about this than what has already been said.

Now...if it stopped there, it would be simply idiotic and hilarious...but no...it doesnt. Look here.

So in a country where guns are outlawed and theres a camera on every corner...personal freedom and privacy are gone, but crime remains. Giving up your rights and freedoms for a promise of protection can be a slippery slope, it seems.
3 dead | give up

Unconsolidated sands blow. [28 Mar 2008|08:58pm]
Dear Mr. Tomplait,

Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to the Graduate Program in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Houston for the Fall 2008 semester. This offer comes with full financial assistance in the form of a teaching assistantship (TA).

Attached to this e-mail are the offer letter and the teaching assistant agreement form. Please sign the teaching assistant form and return it to us indicating that you are accepting our offer.
You will also be contacted in the near future by xxxx who is in charge of recruitment for our graduate program.
Please feel free to e-mail me (x) or xxxx if you have any questions.
Congratulations again, and I look forward to meeting you in August.
Sincerely,
xxxx

---

Goddamn that's a relief. After they lost my transcripts again, I was kind of afraid I had come in too late in the application cycle. So I guess that effectively maps out the next few years for me. Kind of a relief to know that I dont have to stay out in the oilfield...but its kind of sad too. This job makes me angry sometimes...but I know I'm going to miss it. Theres something about waking up some morning to a phone call...then picking up and moving without a second thought. Starting over in a new town, surrounded by new people. No one knows who you are...no one really cares. It's oddly comfortable. No bills...no commute...no drama.

I've come to learn quite a bit about myself in the last year or two, and this job has only been a part of it. One of the more confusing, yet important bits that I've been thinking about is moving. I cant stay in one place very long...it took me awhile to realize it, but its the truth. I love every place I go for awhile...some longer than others...but it always ends the same way. Every day I get a little more irritated at the most pointless things...I feel confined...routine. Everything usually goes to complete shit, which I figure is probably due to me being constantly pissed at everthing and everyone...then I pick up and move. I always feel better, but at first I thought it was the thought of a fresh start after all the bullshit's over...now I realize that wasnt it at all. Its just the act of moving. I think that I generally just cant sit still...I dont know how I used to do it, but now I genuinely cant...which is the main appeal of this job, I think. This leads into the confusing part. More than anything, in the last few years I've been yearning for some kind of stability. I've been wanting to save up and buy a house...to have a place that I know is there even if I'm not. Just to know that it's there, with all of my stuff, and that if for some reason I wanted to...I could go there. At first I thought this meant that I really just wanted to settle down and stop moving around/doing stupid shit...then I realized that wasnt the truth at all. I want to move more than ever.

The other day I was talking to my boss while he was eating dinner and we were joking about Deadliest Catch and trying to figure out what the most dangerous jobs in the world would be, cause we work in the oilfield after all and we should definitely be mentioned somewhere. I looked it up...#1 is loggers (the lumber kind), #2 is pilots (this includes cropdusters, so it makes more sense when you dont think of it only as airline pilots), and #3 is crabbers. I was curious how much a crabber got paid...I mean, its ungodly dangerous, you're at sea for months at a time, you work 16 hours a day...it oughta be pretty good. Especially if people can do it for a season and then just sit around in town for a few months til the next boats go out. Turns out as a salmon harvester, you can make around $5k in a 3 month contract. Crab boats wont take you if you're green...but if you worked your way up, it could go up to $10-$15k/contract. Really not that much money. The real jist of this, I guess, is that I spent alot of time reading about industry in the frontier areas of Alaska...and now I kind of want to go. I have no real interest in fishing or processing, but they're drilling out there...maybe I could do that. Theyre also making another natural gas pipeline, and apparently recruiting like mad for people to do manual labor on the pipe. I guess maybe it wont happen now...but for a moment I had that urge to just pick up and move. Drive until I hit snow and start stomping the docks. Find a ship and just...disappear.

Maybe someday.
2 dead | give up

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