E-MAIL: trajectory1780@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Strange to Help

So today I spent all afternoon explaining the fixturing and some of the finer points regards our products to 2 engineers from the new location of our business. I'll be doing the same thing for the rest of the week. This amounts to helping others to do my job. It's a strange feeling to help others to succeed at doing what we did well, and rewarded by losing our jobs.

When I lost my last job I took a 30% pay cut to take a position at this company. In 1 year I worked that back up to only 18% less, and holding due to the economy. The Boss seems to think I can maintain my current pay this time. I really don't think I can with the current job market. I'm once again faced with starting over with a different company, and at a lower pay, assuming I can find something.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Weekend

The weekend was a blast despite arthritis slowing me down. One of the guys mentioned that just 2 years ago I was always out front leading the charge into the paintball battle, and now I hang back a little. That's what happens when one leg just doesn't work like it used to, and has pain, though not much, with every step.

There were 12 of us camping there and playing paintball for 2 days in Hell Michigan. The field is actually at Pinckney Michigan.

We didn't climb into the sack until sometime early Saturday morning after enjoying beer and whiskey. Somebody brought a new bottle of bourbon, of which I had my share, to the point of swaying in the breeze when I stood up. Slept like a baby on the air mattress after that. Yeah, old guys like air mattresses in the tent.

In general our group kicked some ass on the playing field. Between my son, one of his friends, and myself we went through 10,000 paintballs in 2 days. Shooting full automatic paintball guns, several of our opponents were literally painted.

All that fun is unfortunately paid for by joint and muscle pain.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sane & Rational

A couple of years ago my eldest son got married, which meant that I needed to rent a tuxedo for the occasion. In my opinion the neck tie was invented by an evil woman that wanted all men to be strangled.

Several of us met and went to a local small men's store that specializes in suits and formal rentals. As is my custom, I was armed. I had forgotten that I would be measured until the guy actually started measuring me. It was one of those 'oh crap' moments. Since the door was lacking a 'no guns' sign, I informed him that I was armed and needed to get the weapon out of his way for the measurement. Instead of going bat-shit, he calmly suggested I just lay it on a nearby chair until he was finished. Apparently their clients include a lot of local police, and the owner is one of us gun nuts.

When I decided to purchase a new suit for my interview tomorrow, I went back to that same men's store. Once again I was measured, once again I was armed, and once again it wasn't a big deal. I find it refreshing to do business with sane and rational people. They'll continue to be my choice for dressier clothes in the future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Identical ??

My son showed me a short magazine article that claims H110 and W296 are exactly the same powder. My latest reloading book shows different Max charges for the 2 powders. Anybody tried substituting one for the other?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Public Option

If the "public option", AKA "government run healthcare" should come to pass, I might just take advantage and become another leach on society. We have enough invested that I can get by for a long time without working if I could get major medical coverage for the Boss. I could quit trying to be a productive member of society by working full time, get a low paying hobby job a couple days a week and just loaf around. Naw. That's just not me.

Job Search

In my neck of the woods there seems to be little need for a mechanical engineer. This isn't very surprising since manufacturing as been hitting the skids around here for quite a while. Now if I was an EE or IT guy I could find a job tomorrow.

I applied on-line for a couple of positions the other day, and got a surprising reply from the HR person. Usually if there's nothing doing I hear nothing, but not this one time. I got a reply saying that I looked to be a perfect match for the position that was just filled. Timing is everything. I was also given a link to a site to help my job search. That was nice.

About 2 days after hearing that our facility will close at the end of the year I applied for an open position that I didn't think quite fit my experience level. What the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The very next day I was contacted to set up a phone interview. Two days after the phone interview I was invited for a first round of face to face interviews, that will happen this week. Maybe I fit their needs better than I initially thought.

The ideal situation would be to have a job lined up now that will start in February. That way I could finish some projects and get a bonus for staying where I am until the shut down and get a month off work to boot. Not very likely. If they want me, the pay is fair, and I feel comfortable with the place, then I'll start whenever they want.

A Walk

This morning the Boss and I attended our second walk to promote and raise money for research to find a cure for ALS. My son's mother in law has had ALS for about 2-1/2 years and won't last much longer. It's a bad thing that she contracted the dreadful disease, but it's a good thing that it'll probably be over soon.

My mother and the Boss's mother both passed from Alzheimers. As bad as it is for the mind to go, followed by the body from Alzheimers, I think ALS might actually be worse. With ALS the mind is the last thing to go, leaving the afflicted trapped in a dying body.

As of the walk they collected $74,000 with more promised.

Naturally I carried the .45 on my hip the entire time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Saturday the 14 year old adopted grandson came over and helped me with some yard work. He spent the night and then we went to the range Sunday, followed by more work. I paid him a little for the effort.

He shot a few mild rounds from the little .44 special and a box of .357 Mag through my 6" Ruger. He fell in love with the .357 Mag.

At the 200 yard range he fired his 8mm Mauser for the very first time, ringing the 12" plate with regularity. When his shoulder got sore (20 rounds), we then switched to the SKS and AR, both with red dot sites. I shot standing (SKS) and he fired from the bench (AR). We had a lot of fun making that steel plate sing.

Not only was it a good time, it helps relieve stress. See the post below.

Been Busy

Been a bit busy since returning from vacation (Alaska) so there hasn't been much time to complain about the government or consider much in the way of gunnie talk.

Last week I was informed that my place of employment is closing the doors. We're a small company that builds rotary encoders used for position and speed sensing. We're owned by a much larger company in Germany. The big corporate daddy has decided to combine us with a larger operation in Minnesota. I'm assuming this decision has nothing to do with performance, since we're the only one of many small companies that didn't lose money last year, on line to make a profit this year and have customer commitments to double our production output starting in January. So for doing a good job, they're closing the doors, eliminating 38 positions.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I started as the only mechanical engineer and was promoted to engineering supervisor 1 year later. I've been supervising 3 electrical engineers and 1 programmer. I really like working there, only 4 miles from home, and had hoped it would last another ten years. So now I'm looking for employment in an area with about 13% unemployment, and businesses falling like flies.

Last night I found a posted job opening that's located slightly more than an hours drive from home that I might fit. I did the on-line application thing, and to my surprise got a phone message today about scheduling a phone interview. Huh! That was quick.

At my age and experience level jobs are had to find. Seems that most aren't interested in a generalist mechanical engineer with 30+ years of varied experience.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Big Cheese

is on the Tele once again tonight. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing this guy talk. If we have global warming, he's surely one of the contributors.

I can't decide if he's a southern evangelist, snake oil peddler, or a used car salesman.

The Radio

via e-mail comes this funny.

My New Truck

I bought a new Chevy Silverado and returned to the dealer yesterdaybecause I couldn't get the radio to work. The salesman explained that theradio was voice activated. 'Nelson,' the salesman said to the radio.The radio replied, 'Ricky or Willie?''Willie!' he continued and 'On The Road Again' came from the speakers.Then he said, 'Ray Charles!', and in an instant ' Georgia On My Mind'replaced Willie Nelson.I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say,'Beethoven,' I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said,'Beatles,' I'd get one of their awesome songs.

Yesterday, some guy ran a red light and nearly creamed my newtruck, but I swerved in time to avoid him.I yelled, 'Ass Hole!'Immediately the radio responded with, "Ladies and gentlemen, thePresident of the United States ."Yeah!! I sure love my Chevy truck....

New Owner To-Be

One of my coworkers, a youngish engineer that reports to me, has been considering buying a handgun and getting training for our concealed carry license. Last night, at his request, I went along with him to visit 3 local gun shops.

He handled many handguns for fit and feel, and listened to the various opinions. We all have our opinions, likes and dislikes, and they're all different. Other than the occasional suggestion "why don't you handle one of those" I was able to keep my comments to myself. I kept my lips sealed until after he'd been exposed to the other guys. I did my best to mention the pros and cons to the various weapons and chamberings without interjecting my personal biases. Believe me, that was a challenge.

He hasn't made his choice, as yet. I advised him to narrow it down to a couple, then see if he can rent one to try at the range. One of the 3 shops has a range and they rent guns, and then there's another one about 30 minutes away that does also. We haven't been to that one yet.

He's not new to firearms and handled them obeying the rules in the shop, but he's never owned a gun of his own.

Helping people with their self-defense choice, and introducing new shooters is a blast. I love doing it, especially if the newbie is a youngster. Sure wish there was another 7 year old to teach.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hell Again

I got my papers in the mail this week for my trip to hell. That's my annual trip to Hell Michigan in 3 weeks for 2 days of playing paintball. Last year I had a swollen foot with gout that cramped my style a little bit. This year the gout is under control but my hip gives me constant pain because of arthritis. I'm going anyway.

Communist Steps Down

Obama's recently appointed, self described communist resigned this weekend. I don't know if this was due to any pressure from other than The People, but I'm sure glad to see at least one of America's traitors hit the bricks. Now if we can find a way to get rid of the rest of his partners in crime.

It's becoming evident that the Boss is right. Obama is a traitor. He hates the American way of life, and he's doing his best, with help, to destroy this country.

So Long .44 Mag

Spent the afternoon with an old friend that lives about 60 miles away. That isn't all that far, but far enough that we only get together about 3 times a year. He's the one that gave me the .44 Mag, Ruger Super Blackhawk with the barrel split from frame to muzzle. It cost me $35 to ship it to Ruger. It was returned completely rebuilt at no charge.

I don't really have much use for a .44 Mag because I hunt with either a .357 Mag or .454 Casull. Besides that it didn't fit my hand very well. I sold it back to him today for what I had in it, $35.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The Boss panning for gold, and she found a little bit too.

Typical views in Denali.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We're Back Home Again

And not too broke for the effort.

It took us 17 hours and 3 different planes to get to Fairbanks where we panned for gold and took a trip on a river riding a paddle wheeler. I didn't realize that area is a sub-arctic desert with only 12" of precipitation a year. I also didn't know they have such huge temperature extremes. In the past 12 months the high has been 92F and the low -60F.

A 4 hour train ride brought us to Denali where we took a jet boat ride on another river and a bus tour part way into the park. We were lucky enough to see the mountain Denali (McKinley) from the tundra valley.

An 8 hour train ride brought us to Anchorage, then a bus ride to Seward where we took a 6 hour boat tour to view birds, seals, sea otter, a close encounter with a glacier, and orcha wales.

Then a 7 day cruise to Glacier Park, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. That whole area is a rain forest. We scheduled a float plane up a river to see bears, but it was cancelled because of poor weather, but we did get pulled around through the woods by a dog sled team.

The cruise ended at Vancouver and a ride on 2 different planes to get home.

It was a good time and a good way to get the flavor of Alaska, but if I/we go again, we'll skip the cruise and spend more time in 1 or 2 places. My preference would be a cabin that's accessible only by float plane, and I'll be carrying a rifle.