I spent the last part of the evening with the band at the school, getting a few videos and pics.
For the first week of band camp and with so many new members, their sound is excellent. Their movement in marching looks excellent as well. I’m not as picky as the band director. 😉
I know; it’s his job to be picky. That bronze and silver state medal aren’t hanging there waiting for the gold to join them because he’s easy on them.
I want him to know that they wouldn’t be the band they are without him. He’s the reason there’s a marching band program.
I’m partial to the the mellophone and percussion sections this year. One child in each.
It has been a long week for all four of us. Eight-hour workdays all around. It’s a good thing for all of us but hard on Sam. He has never had to put in this kind of effort for something like marching band. But he’s enjoying it.
Logan is in her zone. I love seeing her this passionate over something. It’s her thing.
It has been a lazy kinda Saturday at our house. We all slept in.
I caught Wrath of Man with Jason Statham this morning while sitting with Fibble. I also had my coffee and an ice pack. Still trying to work a shoulder problem out that developed this week.
Me and the boy took off for shopping and haircuts. I can’t stand being ratty. It makes me feel better at work going in neat and tucked away.
Band camp starts this week for both the kids. This will be Sam’s first time going and Logan’s fourth. Both kids are in the high school marching band. Sam is going to be one of the youngest ever in the marching band. We’re proud of both of them.
If you haven’t caught Gunpowder Milkshake on Netflix and love a good action, shoot ‘em up,then do watch it. Excellent little flick.
The wife and I watched it this afternoon because of a recommendation from a friend. Turns out he hadn’t watched it and this is Shameless all over again. He’ll get that even if you don’t. If he ever reads this.
I had a rough start this morning just getting out of bed. My back has been bothering me, and my shoulder started giving me trouble this afternoon. I’m sitting here with coffee and my old friend the TENS unit right now.
I left the house at 7:00 and was on my way to being right on time to work when I took my second major turn, and the truck started shuddering. It didn’t want to pull, and my stomach just sank.
I left on time to be on time. And now, I was late.
We’re getting ready to go on our anniversary weekend trip soon. I do not need to put more money into Bruce right now.
Bruce is my truck. He’s green and temperamental. Marvel fans will get this.
Sometimes you need the right tools to fix a problem. But first, you need to define the problem.
My tool of choice for this situation is the OBDLink MX+. I have had it for a couple of years.
If you ever go to an auto parts store and have them figure out what’s making your check engine light come on, they are using a piece of equipment that does the same thing. This is a simplified version of that equipment that connects to my phone through Bluetooth.
I’ve deciphered more than a few problems with Bruce because of this piece of equipment. Today it was saying that the ignition coil had gone bad. But the ignition coil is only a couple of months old!
It turns out that wasn’t the problem.
It was too early in the morning for something complicated, so we always K.I.S.S.
KISS is an acronym; the letters stand for “Keep it simple, stupid.”.
And simple it was. On the ignition coil is a plug that carries the power to the ignition coil and allows God only knows what to happen in the engine. I can fix stuff on a simple level. I don’t even pretend to understand how the magic happens.
The plug has a small retention clip. This being a twenty-two-year-old truck, that clip had broken. This kept the magic from transferring to the ignition coil, which transforms the magic into something else. I know, pretty technical.
Now, I’m a terrible half mechanic. I don’t always have the right tools with me. My toolbox has work stuff in it. I don’t half mechanic for a living.
What I do, quite effectively, is troubleshoot at life. You can fix most anything just by getting your head to a place where you can think through the problem calmly.
Two fictitious characters from the 80s brought me to this, Hannibal Smith and MacGyver.
Troubleshooting is all about imagination. You have to be able to, and I actually hate this saying, think outside the box.
“Imagination is the most important thing the human mind has.” – MacGyver
I always have three things with me.
1. Duct Tape. Most of life’s problems can be solved by a liberal application of duct tape.
2. A Swiss Army Knife. (Thanks, MacGyver). Incredibly versatile tools that can be found in almost any configuration you want.
3. Zip Ties. I use these a lot at work. Fast and easy to secure a wide variety of things.
The simple fix was to use a zip tie to secure the plug to the ignition coil. Problem solved.
I had called Mags, and Dad had told her he’d come to me when she was dropping off the kids at his house for the day. I told her to have him call our guy with the flatbed before I got my head straight and figured what needed doing.
By the time he’d shown up, I was getting ready to fix it, but since he came, I let him get under the hood. And this was all about respect.
I’ve spent no small part of my life holding the flashlight, getting yelled at while he turned the wrench. But I’ve learned a lot from him. At 72, he’s still a formidable man. Arms like tree trunks and one of the best shade tree mechanics I know. He has forgotten more than I’ll ever learn about an engine.
All of this went down within forty-five minutes. And just like that, I was back on the road.
And that was this morning. It wasn’t the plan, but it was what happened.
A twenty-five-cent zip tie saved me a 150 dollar bill on a flatbed ride.
And at that point, Hannibal Smith steps in.
There’s a plan in everything, kid. And I love it when a plan comes together. – H. Smith
I got to work at 7:30 this morning. And I jumped right in.
I’m not going to let the attitude of the people around me get to me this week. I’m by myself. I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to knock it out.
Attitude is everything.
Fun things happen during the day. If you aren’t having fun at work, there’s no reason to be in that line of work.
Unless you’re a mortician, no, that wouldn’t be proper. Although I always wondered how morticians keep from smiling, what with all the money they make.
I was in the freezer retrieving a product today and someone left a pallet in front of the door. Freezer doors are thick and the backroom is loud. I resorted to throwing small containers of Häagen-Dazs out the crack in the door until someone noticed them on the floor. It worked.
It wasn’t so bad. It’s extremely hot here.
So, my sick part-timer is going to be out for a while. And as much as I hate to admit it, I can’t do four stores alone, not with the distance between them.
My boss has reached out for help from another district, seeing as much of our district is short-handed as well and he has gotten me help for a day.
I’ll take it. A little help is better than none. I’m grateful.
I’m still going to shoulder most of the work though, slacking back ain’t my style.
Back at it tomorrow morning. Three stores, one hundred and fifty miles on the road.
This isn’t an easy day and if be lying if I said I was looking forward to it.
We’re heading home today, and I’m already feeling the tension.
We have a few spots to hit on the way back.
I wrote that early this morning and plans changed.
We headed on down the parkway after hitting Soco Tower. We always stop there. It’s billed as “The Most Photographed View in The Smoky’s.” That may be an exaggeration, but the folks who own it are friendly, and they have a neat little gift shop at the bottom.
Soco Tower cost .50 per person. It’s a neat little throwback to simpler things. My parents used to take me up there, and so I take our kids. ‘Nuff said.
We finally made it onto the BRP around 11:00 AM.
We made a quick stop at Water Rock Knob for the view and tradition, then headed towards Devil’s Courthouse.
We arrived at Devil’s Courthouse and the weather was looking like rain, and we decided against it.
Other factors contributed to the decision: my back, the wife’s knees, and both kid’s ankles. We went a little too hard this weekend.
We headed on down the BRP towards Asheville and gave Sam the decision of getting off at Asheville and running home or going out to Linn Cove Viaduct to hike underneath. He chose the latter.
We were detoured due to a road closure we knew nothing about. Simple five-mile detour, but the Linn Cove Viaduct visitors center was closed.
The road home was long today, but I see the lights of Kershaw right now, and it’s good to be home.