Saturday, March 13, 2010


I made my way to work a few minutes early last night. I wanted to see if my BR350's tiller problems were finally resolved.

I parked and walked up to the shop, noticing the frozen meltwater everywhere. (Uh-oh I thought, Spring Conditions were here!)

Entering the Crew Room, I was greeted by a bunch of formerly happy, way pissed-off groomers.

WTF? I thought...Hero Snow and everybody's up in arms...what gives?

I grabbed the Work Orders and looked at the Remarks at the bottom of the page. There was a sentence that said there was a new sheriff in town and his new rules said: 30 Minute Lunch Breaks and Two 10 Minute Breaks were MANDATORY...and please record you lunch breaks here:...

Oh man, tempers guys were ready to Storm The Castle with Pitchforks and Torches! Damnit! This is costing me $250 a paycheck howled my All-Star Winch Pilot. "I work six days a week, and this is how they treat me?!"

Everyone had their opinion...their personal gripes, and their push-back solution...I'm old, OK?...57 years in the tank...I know enough to wait and see...

As I suspected, this new edict didn't come from Our Brass, but from our brass reacting to the latest edict from Sacramento...

Look, our consensual governments are overstepping their bounds from Sacramento to Washington DC. Our Public Servants are harassing us now in their misguided attempts to provide us with their mythical Utopia. This plan comes from Sacramento's desire to protect our "Migrant Workers" from the Evil Agribusiness Capitalist Robber Barons... so,it would seem Illegal Immigrants now have more rights than American Citizens, at least in the eyes of our Pols.

Given that our Public Servants are out of control today, and not listening to their constituents...I thought a refresher on the Declaration of Independence is in order.

Wikipedia notes on the Declaration of Independence...ours was the first, and has inspired more to date...there's 71 Declarations of Independence around the world now...

I'm pretty sure our government schools don't teach the Declaration today, so here's the relevant text:

"When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."

Today's Abuses and Usurpations come from our own "Public Servants" not a far off Imperial Ruler by Birth!
Our ruling elites are Over the Rainbow now...good intentions have become the latest incarnation of Tyranny... and if we are to stay free, we must remove these despots from our midst, and shrink our bureaucracies to benevolent levels.

I've been hearing "Keep the government out of the bedroom" from libertines for decades...apparently, the government is welcome in our dining rooms and kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and everywhere else from our highways to byways, schools, businesses and hospitals.

Our Grooming Fleet now wears the "Mark of the Beast" as I refer to it. These are red numbered stickers that show that our cats' diesel engines comply with the California Air Resources Board's latest edicts to ensure that California's diesel engines don't offend the en vogue Environmental Fashions of the day. Many millions of dollars have been spent by business to earn the right to wear the red stickers...alas, many more millions-worth of business has fled California for less imperious climes.

You know I've always been a "Glass Half Full" Guy. This latest intrusion into my business is uncomfortable to be sure, but I see it as another arrow in my quiver with which to convince my Mountain's Brass to stop buying Grooming Equipment and Lease it instead.

There's no upside to owning an expensive diesel machine with a capricious government agency looking for even more to regulate or outlaw!

Look again at the Declaration:
"That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed"

Have you given your Consent lately? I didn't think so...

Friday, March 12, 2010

In the Long Run

I've been thinking about last night.

At shift change I asked "How's my little cow? Is she ready to jump over the moon?" "She's good to go" was the short answer...then came the rest of the story. The tiller is rattling something fierce! They put some new parts in, they're waiting for more parts to it a work in progress.

I fired up my trusty steed, and got organized while she warmed up...after some radio chatter, I released the E-Brake and coaxed the sticks forward, and launched the tiller. Holy Jesus! It was shaking like a paint mixer at the Paint Store! I did some nanosecond figuring in my head and lifted the tiller...I parked her, plugged her in and grabbed a Bison.

This season has been all about the tiller on my favorite BR350. We had about a month of electronic gremlins that kept our attention while the tiller's cutter bars got more and more out of true. When they get untrue, they start to shake, and slowly they get worse and worse. Left to their own devices, eventually they'll shake the tiller clean apart. This is where my cat is today. The electrical gremlins were traced to an ECU that was starting to fail. That problem is history.

The Bombardier Flex Tiller is the state of the art. It's a perfectly balanced piece made from aluminum and steel. As long as you treat it right, it will make acres of the most beautiful corduroy without complaint. Let the thing start vibrating too much, and it will self destruct in no time. All that shaking fatigues the aluminum bits until cracks form and failure is at hand.

Alas, lots of stuff is broken back there now. The Head Mechanic said they'd have her all fixed in time for Swing Shift Thursday. I have my fingers crossed.

Here's the deal...short term fixes keep the fleet on the snow, but the damage continues to mount. These cutter bars are like tumors...they just keep damaging the tillers...keep adding to the list of broken parts...and keep sapping the fleet's productivity. Worse, they make more work for the Vehicle Mechanics. Nobody on my Mountain suffers from lack of work...there's more than enough already.

I guess it's hard to see the Long View when you're just trying to get enough cats ready to roll by Swing Shift.

Last night we had Hero Snow, and we made tons of sweet corduroy. It was supposed to be warm today, but looking at the temps assures me it wasn't exactly Spring-Like. Should be good grooming again tonight. Cold temps and the next winter storm are on tap for Friday.

Good gravy! Winter-style grooming is good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

I needed that! I'm pale, I'm rested, and I'm ready! Hell yeah!

I'm ready for some serious Mountain Grinding after a restorative three day weekend at the Ancestral Digs!

Waddya know? I won $10 in the Super Lotto, even!

I'm all fired up about my Corned Beef festive holiday morsel should come outta the brine and into the stockpot just in time for St Patrick's Day! Tuesday's Luncheon at my Mom's Church featured Corned Beef with all the fixin's...I can't wait to taste mine!

I pulled into the DaveCave's driveway still wearing shorts...there was some champagne powder on the driveway...maybe an inch, but the sun was blazing, and spring was in full force. I pulled on some nylon sweats to make the many trips up and down the stairs...until all the goodies were schlepped to their homes.

I knocked out a solid 4 1/2 hours of sacktime, so I shouldn't suffer tonight, either.

A quick look at the Reno AFD shows cold, cold, cold tonight, with warming days through the week, when more high winds herald the next wave of winter weather. Folks we're looking for March to "go out like a lion" here...too much room in California's reservoirs for comfort.

I noticed an interesting story over at Anthony Watts. site. February 2010 was the first February since records have been kept, without a single Tornado. The recipe for tornadoes is cold Artic airmass meets warm gulf air over North America's Midwest and guess is: MIA in 2010 is the Warm Gulf Airmass...

I also noticed that the first decade of the 21st Century was the snowiest on record too. Not in California, from where I sit...more to come as the numbers shake out...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Springing Up

I enjoyed my preview of Springtime at the Ancestral Digs!

When I left Truckee Monday morning, it was just starting to the time I made it down to Auburn, my world had turned longer white, but showing the first blush of life.

Later, white knuckles were the order of the day as I skirted the Delta while the winds associated with the system's a wonder that everyone kept their vehicles in their own lanes. Fortunately, a potential ""D-Day on The Freeway was averted!

Once I crossed the Sacramento River at Benecia, the Contra Costa Hills were alive in vibrant green, and fruit trees everywhere were all in bloom. Beautiful! I breathed it all in, and felt a restorative wave course through my winter-weary body...I felt my disposition turn sunny in the span of a few hundred yards.

Mom made dinner while I napped, and I managed to stay up late enough to avoid Sleep Schedule Havoc later this week. I lounged around until 0900, before I hit the Garage to do some carpenter chores.

As I opened the garage door, and warmed up the Toyota, I heard the serpentine belt making noise...still. (I thought I fixed that last time I was in town!) Parking the car on the street, I realized that the noise wasn't the belt, but trees and hedges full of songbirds celebrating a warm morning! I instantly felt stupid...but sunny at the same time!

I knocked out my project, woke Mom up and jumped in the shower. Then it was off to the Church Luncheon. Of course St Patrick's Day was this month's theme. That meant one thing: Corned Beef and Cabbage, with carrots and home made Soda Bread on the side. Jacky, the dynamo who puts on the monthly luncheons did her usual bang-up job, and was suitably impressed when I told her of my Corned Beef Project in the brine back at the DaveCave. Bless her! Desert was a Mint Ice Cream Cake with a delicious Graham Cracker Crust...mmm, mmm, mmm!

Back at the digs, I made a couple of lists, and headed out to re-provision the Digs and the DaveCave. COSTCO, Health Food Store, Trader Joe's, Asian Market...Safeway can wait! Restocked with plenty of baking goodies, and ingredients for another Corned Beef (should the current experiment yield decent results), I hit the rack for a nap before making dinner.

After dinner, I touched bases with Sister Sweetly, and SturgUrge, who regaled me with his story of Pheasant Hunting in that "Delta Breeze" that bleached my knuckles on my drive down...yikes!

There's a few flurries in tonight's forecast, but the weatherman says no problem traveling up the hill in the afternoon Wednesday. These days off really have realigned my psyche, I even remember that I'm a Solar Powered Achiever now. Spring is less than two weeks away on the calendar, but we "Spring Forward" Sunday with Daylight Savings Time...

Spring I come!