Sunday, November 4, 2007


Rookie mistake. Apparently I posted a draft before it was done. Its done now. Previous post is fixed.

See ya soon .... or maybe later??

Running Behind

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Worst Words EVER!!

And what might those be I hear you ask?? Well in my opinion they are "Oh that will be easy!". And usually what follows is anything but easy. For those that need to be caught up, I will recap...

My friends daughter is in the high school drama group and they will be preforming an adaptation of "Treasure Island". Well the part she will play is pirate/parrot, dressed as a pirate, carrying a parrot, and the parrot has lines and actions. Well talk moved to the parrot, and tales of what the original cast did and what they were looking to do. So when a rough outline of what they were looking for had been sketched out, I said that would be easy....

And apparently those words also mean, I will build it.

Well it was easy in hind sight. I mean, the final product didn't change that much from the original design. But DAMN, figuring out HOW to keep it LIGHT enough to carry and use plus STRONG enough to survive teenagers, that is a hair pulling exercise. Anyways, here are some pictures of the early construction.

These are pics of the body. You can see some of the control mechanisims that control the beak, head turn and wings. Most of the construction was made of balsa wood, bass wood, wood dowels and pieces of my old R/C race car. There is also brake cables off an old ten speed bike, the handle of a tooth brush, 20 lbs. test spider wire fishing line, parts of the trigger mechanism from an old air soft gun and assorted springs, washers, screws and nylon cord.

Here are some pics of the head. The beak was made out of layered bass wood. It was then cut out on a ban saw and shaped by hand. The pivots and linkages for the beak control are the front spindles and tie rods off the R/C racer. The frame and levers are made of bass and pine. It was then covered by styrofoam. I am not real happy with the final shape, but I will fix that on Parrot 2.0 .... did I just say that???
Well without a doubt, the biggest pain was the wings. They started out with 4 lift arms per side and ended up with 1 per side. And since that change I have figured out the problem with 4 and it should work right on the next one.... there I go again.
Then it was time to cover it. And of course I picked the absolute messiest, hardest to work with fabric ever created by man to cover this puppet. Sewing it was a nightmare, so I ended up hot gluing it to batting. Long process, but the end result actually made nice seams.
Here are pics of the "almost" final product.

The picture of the rear controls. The thumb is used to turn the head side to side. There is a trigger in front that works the beak. The lever at the bottom is used for flapping the wings. It is out on its test run now. They are using it in rehersals and so far it hasn't had any problems. If all goes well, I will add flight feathers at the ends of the wings and tail feathers in the last week before the show. So, for all practical purposes this project is done. The stress is behind me. I can relax for awhile.
Well, that is unless you have a friend like Walrilla. Then, you will be of on your next project before you can even catch your breath. And of course it will only be about a 1000 times more intricate and complicated and time consuming. But it will also be for ME, and I have at least 7 months to make it... that might be cutting it a little close. But stay tuned for contruction updates of DRAGON. It is going to be a monster.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Going to the birds....

You know you do for your kids what your parents did for you.... well, I don't have any kids, so I sorta adopted my friends daughter. And seeing as my mom saved my butt more times than I can count, with the last minute school projects, I have spent the last week working on a 3+ foot theatrical parrot. Sort of a big puppet, being able to turn its head, open its beak and flap its wings. And making this thing light enough to be carried for 1 1/2 hours without breaking her arm. Its getting there, most of the structure is done, and hopefully the total structure will be done early next week. Then to get it covered.... ugh. Anyways, I will post up some pics soon.

See ya soon

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Mid-Life Crisis .... Part 1

Well it has been well documented for years that when a man reaches a certain age, he "rebels" against "age" and tries to recapture his youth. Typically this age is said to be around his 40's.

Recapture your 'youth'?? When did you grow up?

Speak of the Devil. And do I even want to know where you have been?

Probably not, you would just get jealous.

That will be the day. Anyways, usually around this time a man will...

Hey! Whats this? A Harley?!? Whose is this?

It's mine. I picked it up while you were out.

Nice. Where are the keys?

Dream on. So, usually around this time, a common action is to buy the "little red sports car". After years of family cars, he...

Hey, this is a really nice color. It even sparkles in the sun. What do they call it?

Its crimson red sunglow. Can I get back to this post?

Sure, don't let me stop you.

SO, after years of driving sensible, tame, economic, respectable cars, the typical male will feel that he is defined by what he drives. And what male wants to be thought of as tame or economic? They want to be thought of as powerful, aggressive, ...

Wow, what size motor does this thing have? And is that a 6-speed gear box?

Yes, it has a 6-speed, and it is a 96 cubic inch or roughly 1600cc engine.

Dang, that must really move when you roll on the throttle.

Yes it does, now will you quit interupting?

Please continue.

Where was I..... oh, and by acquiring performance type machine, he himself believes that he is powerful. Sometimes, the man will start working out, eating right and altering his appearance to try and match this image he has created in his mind. It is during this phase that ...


They went bad while you were gone, so I threw them out. Try a carrot, they are quite tasty.

You suck at lieing and I have a better idea of what to do with that carrot.....

Oh yea, just try it!

Hey, have you been working out?

Yes I have, can you tell?

Nope, just a guess.

Whats that supposed to mean?

Nothing. Soooo, when you get to you mid-life crisis, you think you will fall into this pattern?

NO WAY!! I am very happy with my life; where I've been, where I am and where I am going. I will not need to remake myself, I am who I want to be!!

Well that is good to hear. You know how rediculous those guys are, right?

Absolutely, that is just one more reason I won't fall into that kind of mind set.


Whats that look for?

Nothing.... nothing at all.

Hey, what do you think.... tatoo or earing??

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Now I have no more excuses.....dang it!

Well as of 3:30 pm September 25, 2007, I am officially a computer owner! Its a pretty little thing and Walrilla said it was a nice entry level machine. This is it. Anyways, I think my spending for the year is officially over. First the bike, then the laptop..... its time to enjoy both and start saving some money. And if the predictions are right, I will be spending a lot of time blogging, and that doesn't cost anything..... right? Can't wait to get back in touch with the wonderful people I met in Kerrville and hopefully meet more in the blogosphere!

So now I have to finish setting this thing up and give Walrilla back his internet connection. Pictures of the bike and pc coming soon. And if all goes well, we will be mobile blogging this weekend from the Smoke & Powder crawl in Houston. Wish us Luck.... we are going to need it!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hi!! What did I miss??

Well long time no write. And I apologize for being soooooooo tardy but the name says it all. Anyways, to catch ya'll up on whats been going on in my life lately, well all the things that are fit to print, here we go.

Firstly, I am still in search of a laptop. As for good places I have found, Gateway seems to have some good deals in their outlet area. They are refurbed, but you can get some good units but they come and go quickly so you need to keep a close eye on it. Tiger Direct is also showing some promise but they are refurbs again. But I am getting closer to finally making a purchase. The biggest hold up at the moment is .....

Secondly, I am currently in the final stages of getting me a new motorcycle. Well the link will get you close but you have to click on touring and then Electraglide Classic to see what I am getting. And like anything, you have to customize it and those extras can really cost ya! But it will be mine by Aug. 10 and after that I PROMISE I will get a PC and start reading and posting on a regular basis.

Thirdly, The fight with the city continues. So far, they have replaced the manhole beside my house and about 90 feet of sewer main. They have also done work on at least one other manhole further down the line. This has provided some relief but during heavy rains, I still get "lovely water features" in my house. I am actually thinking of using that description when I put the house up to sell. Let the realtor figure out how to "spin" it.

Next, with all the rain we have been blessed with, the boat I bought last year is still in mothballs in my garage. Its kinda strange to not be able to go to the lake because there is TOO MUCH water, but this has been a really strange year. In a 100 mile radius, there is probably only 2 boat ramps that are even partially open. Most of the lake side parks are under water and the few that are still open are only partially open. And now people are reporting gators in the area. They killed an 8 footer 3 miles from my friends house and reported seeing a 4 footer in the area lake. And this place is usually more desert than swamp.

And last night I had a nice little surprise. I was doing a little cleanup around the house and was in need of a broom. Well I headed to the garage to get it and the dustpan, picked up the broom and it looked like a big "dust bunny" stuck to it so I shook it. Well half of the "dust bunny" broke off and hit a nearby box with a "thud". I thought that was strange and took a closer look at the broom. What I saw was something that resembled half a cantaloupe and LOTS of things flying out of it!! Needless to say, the "fight or flight" circuit kicked in and flight won hands down. The broom went left and I went right, closing the door securely on my way into the house. Leaning against the door, trying to get my heart rate back down, I was treated to a wonderful buzzing symphony on the other side of the door. NOT my preferred listening entertainment. So a quick run to the store for a couple of bug bombs and some long range wasp/hornet spray and I was ready to do battle. It was a hard fought confrontation, but in the end I prevailed!! I still have to check the rest of the house to make sure there are no other incursions. But that is a daylight activity.

Well, that's all for now. More to follow....... soon?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Next Step

Alright, well I guess blogging can be fun. Although in my current situation it has proven to be sporadic and irratating. Not the blogging itself, the getting to a computer to use so I can blog. You must be the only IT professional in the world without a PC. Or a TV. Probably. But I am looking to fill that vacant space in my life. Found a girlfriend?? Oh you are just too funny today! I am talking about getting a computer. Then I can get more involved with blogging. Its a real pain trying to squeeze it in to working hours. Like you really work hard.... HA! Bite me! Anyways, I am thinking of going with a laptop and thats about all I have decided on. So, this is really a call for suggestions. What to look for in a PC. Or should I look at a Mac? Anyone have experience with air cards / wireless internet?? Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. And you work with computers?? Just go away for now. I know I sound like a dweeb without you adding to my stress level! And you do it so well...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Legal at Last!!

No more worrying about the cop who has been following for the past 10 miles. No more dreams of being arrested and thrown into a rat infested dungeon like prison. Where I will be fed a gruel that looks like they scraped it off the bathroom floor of a bar that was serving 25 cent shots all night! Where I will be forced to work on a chain gang..... What the hell are you talking about? About being legal. About being an upstanding citizen. About doing what is expected of me as a member of this society. About being a true RED, WHITE & BLUE AMERICAN!! Alright, well I have been with you since your last post and I still don't know what you are talking about. You want to try explaining it again? I am talking about getting my motorcycle license! I finally got it this past weekend! AND?? You have been riding for at least the past 3 YEARS without one. Never got a ticket, never been stopped. And in all honesty, you are more law abiding on a motorcycle than you are in your truck. But I was ILLEGAL!! I was breaking the law every time I rode out of the driveway. I was a criminal. You are a nutcase! You were taught to ride by your friends, you took the written test for the state, you had your permit. The only thing you lacked was the driving test or taking the class. But I didn't have my license!! FINE!! Shame on you!! Why do you always blow things so far out of proportion? Like that shit about prison. No man, that's real!! You do bad things, you go to prison. And if you ever get sent there its like Hell on Earth. And when you get out, you will make sure you never, ever do anything that might get you sent back! Have you taken your meds today? Should I call your doctor? NO, no, I'll be OK. Just give me a minute. Alright, just sit back and relax. I think I understand what is upsetting you. You have and outdated view of prison. It hasn't been like that in many, many years. Maybe even centuries. Prisons in the here and now aren't the bad places you imagine They are still bad thou, think of them as walled inner cities you can't leave. And don't think of them as a place of torture, they are places of reform. Ya see, prison is a place that will take care of you. You get 3 meals a day planned out by a nutritionist, you can go to school, up through college. You have health care and you can even hire lawyers. You can even get cable TV. You see, prisons today aren't a deterrent against bad behavior, they are places of reform. If you do something bad and get sent there, they want to make you a better person. They will train you and educate you so that when you get out, you will be a productive member of society. Of course, once your out, you will more than likely return to the environment that got you sent to prison in the first place so all that reform is just a waste of time. But if you go to prison and have no interest in being reformed, you can still get educated. The prisons are full of people who will tell you where you made your mistakes, what you should have done not to get caught or if you did get caught, how you could have beaten the charge. You may even pick up on some new ideas you never thought of before. And while you are there, you can work to reform the prison!! Like the prisoners who thought that the black and white striped prisoner uniforms were degrading, sued the prison and got new uniforms. Or the prisoner who had peanut butter for breakfast when he was on the outside, sued the prison, now he has peanut butter for breakfast. Don't you remember, back in the mid-90's, we were driving to our second job and the news was on. The reporter was talking about state prisons, and how much it cost to keep one prisoner in the system for 1 year. And with a little quick math, you were shocked to find out that it cost more to keep 1 prisoner in prison than we made working 2 jobs. Oh wow, I forgot about that. Well that is why I am here. Well the way you describe it, prison really isn't 'that' scary. Just doesn't seem right tho. Its not. Just be the good person you are and put this silly fear behind you. I will try. See you later? Of course you will.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Warm Welcomes & Performance Anxiety

Well I wasn’t expecting that… Neither was I. It was a very pleasant surprise. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and welcomed me to the ‘sphere. You’re not going to do this every time are you? It would get REALLY annoying REALLY fast! NO, but I felt that I should do it this time. So what about posting the pics?? Is that something you can get “behind”? Ha ha. Well I will see what can be worked out.

OK, so what are you going to type about now? You need to post something that will let people know what kind of messed up, uh… unique person they are reading about. Well I was thinking about talking about the fight I have been having with the City. Finally getting some action on that issue. You’re kidding, right? What? It is something that is going on in my life, its been a long fight and a resolution is in sight. What is wrong with that? You are going to tell, people that you just met or are trying to meet, that for the past four years, every time it rains hard, raw sewage backs up into your house? People are known to eat and drink at their computers. What are you trying to do? Make them ‘spew’ all over their keyboards? Nice first impression. But it’s being fixed! They are coming out to replace the sewer lines and the problem will be fixed! I can finally finish fixing up the house and sell it! This is good news! People like stories with a “happy ending”, and this story has one. Tell you what. Why don’t you sleep on it and make your decision in the morning. You know, good night sleep, well rested mind. It might not look as good in the light of day. You think so? Trust me. Alright, but I need to start posting soon are people may write me off. Do you have any ideas for a post? I have a couple I have been toying with. Still kind of rough, but I think it’s something we can work through. Well tell me tomorrow. Its been a long day and I am tired.
Good night…
Sweet Dreams…

Monday, May 7, 2007

Dislike computers? Hate writing? Why not start a BLOG!!!

Welcome one and all, to the next step in the ever-ongoing process of self-mutilation! Don’t you think that is a bit much? Fine.

Welcome to the latest endeavor in personal growth! Jesus, just get on with it…

So how does it come to pass that someone who dislikes computers and hates writing would even consider starting a blog? Well that’s easy, you have a “friend” talk you into starting one. You know whom you are and I will leave it at that. It was Walrilla!! Anyways, I was taken to a blog meet, met some interesting people and had a great time. During the meet, I was encouraged to start blogging and I guess that was the push I needed to start. Kind of like how you were talked into running a triathlon at the end of May. Has that sunk in yet? You really need to knuckle down on your training or you will never even get out of the water!! Well aren’t you just a little ray of sunshine? Just call me Mr. Obvious. Just let me finish this up and we will talk. Good idea. You know your therapist said writing down what was going on in your head would be good for you. Bite me! Truth hurts?

Anyways, that’s all for now.

Thanks for stopping in.

Hope to see you again.
As always,

Running Behind