Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Cup

Everyone makes mistakes, this is a fact, some make more than others, but everyone has their turn. Some mistakes are considered to be more severe than others, generally determined by how much they cost to fix or how many lives they have affected. Of course no one tries to do things wrong, that is why they are called mistakes. Some may think the education of a person leads the amount of mistakes that are made by that person. I don’t think that this is true because I have seen some pretty stupid people that are very educated. I have also seen uneducated people do really cool things. This could lead us into a discussion about what actually makes a person stupid or not but we will leave that for another time. I guess what I am getting at is that even geniuses like us tend to make a few mistakes. So some time ago we came up with a way to pay for the mistakes that are made around the shop. No it is not capital punishment, or banishment, or even demotion, not that these things were not brought up at one time or another, but what we have come up with is a lot easier than any of these. I can sense the anticipation you may be experiencing just wondering what sick, twisted, or degrading thing we have come up with, but calm down, it is not that exciting. Ok now that you have lowered your expectations I can tell you what it is. One dollar, yup that’s it, you have to pay “the cup” one dollar. What is the cup? Well it is just that, a cup, and if you screw something up you owe a buck in the cup. And then we decide as a group what the money will be spent on, the original idea was that we would wait until there is enough money to buy lunch but that never happened, we could never wait that long. It usually went toward popsicles or drinks at 7-11. After the money is put in the cup it is your responsibility to fix the mistake to the best of your ability and then your sins are forgiven.
I can’t remember why it started but it has been around since before Jeremy and Nate came to work here. It has come in and out of fashion throughout the years, sometimes we have been really strict with it and other times we have forgotten it all together and just settled with plain old ridicule. You might be sitting there reading this thinking, one dollar, how is that supposed to teach anyone anything? Well you see the cup has been here through many different employees and for some of the previous employees this was worse than physical torture. We have had some pretty cheap people come through here and for them this worked beautifully, it brought great joy watching them pry open their wallets and seeing the dust fly out as it opened, and then the pain on their face as they put their hard earned dollar into the cup. It was a lot more fun than even hitting them with sticks and with some people it would have been really fun to hit them with a stick. Currently the cup is back into action. I think there is a few dollars in it, there probably should be a lot more but like I said sometimes ridicule is just more fun. So if you make a mistake and feel the need to pay for it, feel free to put a buck in the cup. It probably won’t change the consequences of your mistake but it might just make you feel better and in our eyes your sins are forgiven. Remember though this is for honest mistakes only, murder, theft, adultery, and all those other commandments, you are going to have to take up with the man upstairs, or at least the law. Now don’t get me wrong we will take anyone’s money but we will not be held responsible for your actions, sinner.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shop Quotes

Here in the shop we have developed a unique way of communicating. It began with different people using funny movie quotes and as evolved into our own list of what we call shop quotes. Here is a list of a few, although most have invented from particular experiences, you should still get the idea.

Go to Hell Nate!
Were you home schooled?
It’s not your baby, but you can love it like it is.
Can I have the day off to visit my brother in jail?
Nate, Earmuffs!
Measure my fingers
I’m the only one that does anything around here.
Stop touching my nipples!
Medic!
Why is my tape measure in the freezer?
Put your pants back on.
Don’t Look at this Nate.
I don’t care if they hurt. Get your hands out of your pants.
Where’s Jeremy?
He's just a Boy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chad's Can






We each have our own "chores" that we take care of at the shop. You see we are not a large company that can afford to have sexy women come in and clean the place for us. We have to take care of it ourselves. Each week, which really means about once a month, we decide who will do which chore. To decide this we use very scientific and complex algorithms. Okay, who am I kidding, we don't even know what algorithms are. We either draw straws, pick a chore out of a hat, the person with most seniority chooses first, or whatever the Ouija board tells us to do. There are four different chores that we take care of in the shop. They are cleaning the shop bathroom, cleaning the kitchen/conference room/Chad's office/break room (yes it is all the same room), cleaning the office bathroom, and cleaning the staging area. The most desirable job is cleaning the office bathroom because no one really uses it so it doesn't get very grimy. The least desirable job is cleaning the shop bathroom. That bathroom gets used quite a bit. In a usual day Blake alone will use that bathroom at least five times. Have I mentioned that Blake is gay? What is interesting about cleaning the multi-purpose room is that random things pile up there each month. You may find a hinge or two lying around, scraps of wood, woodworking magazines, and of course what every shop full of guys needs - the monthly subscription to Maxim magazine. When we clean that room, there is a corner of the room we don't clean; that would be Chad's corner of paradise. We don't want to mess up his feng shui. His corner has a certain aura about it, of course another word for it could be cluttered. To the untrained eye, it looks like a messy pile of papers and maybe a Diet Coke here and there sitting next to the half full 7-11 Big Gulp. Now I must interject here, Chad is a quirky fellow. How can you not like cooked apples and not be quirky? There is a special place in Chad's corner that becomes a work of art as the month progresses. That would be Chad's can. No, we are not talking about his derriere; I am talking about his trash can. His trash can is one of those small trash cans that most of you are sitting next to right this minute in your offices. As the month progresses the trash begins to pile up in his can. A normal person might empty the garbage once it is full; not Chad. Chad seems to derive enjoyment by seeing how tall he can get the trash without it toppling over. He has perfected it to an art form. Most people wouldn't be able to pull off the amazing balancing acts that Chad performs each month with his trash can. Sometimes we secretly add trash to his "masterpiece" to see if he notices that something is amiss. In conclusion Chad's can has become his red Swingline stapler; something he cannot live without, it has become his bosom buddy and will forever be.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Blog About? . . . . . Well Nothing I Guess

So I am sitting here trying to think of what I can write about. I never thought I would be in this position, wondering what to blog about, I didn’t even know what a blog was six months ago, let alone how to set one up, and now I am writing one. Who came up with the name blog anyway, it sounds like something dirty or illegal, when I was a kid if I told my mom I was blogging she probably would have started crying and called my bishop, thinking it was a new way to get high or something. Now you hear it everywhere, “hey check out my blog”, “have you seen my blog?” for a while I thought people were coming on to me. Now I know better, I am with the times, I am an expert blogger, and I can post a blog without any help, well almost without help. So why do we write blogs? Why do people even care about what other people are doing? For me it just gives me a reason to hate people for having fun without me. No, I really don’t hate anyone, but why doesn’t anyone think of inviting me on their vacations or asking me to come over when their baby is taking its first steps, come on I have feelings too. I am just kidding I don’t care about your baby, but I do like vacations. So seriously what possesses people to sit down and write about themselves? Is it boredom? Is it a feeling of responsibility to their “fans”? Maybe it is because of peer pressure from friends? I don’t know, but I do know that for me it isn’t any of these, I think it is more self serving than that. I am probably more entertained doing this than the people who read it. We laugh more at the shop about this stuff than anybody else ever will, I am sure of it. Of course I can’t speak for Chad, Jeremy, or Nate but I am pretty sure they have a similar motivation. Oh and of course fame and fortune is always a good motivator. So we will probably keep writing on our little blog even after our wives decide to stop reading it because hey if it makes us laugh then I guess it is worth it, even without the fame and fortune. But whatever reason you have to write in a blog or even not to write in a blog, you just keep being you, because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it people like you. Ok maybe not everyone likes you but you think what you need to so you can sleep at night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Temp

There is something out of the ordinary going on at the shop these days. When I say these days I mean for the past week or so, you see we have a “temp”. He is not your ordinary temp; he is not some guy we found at a temp agency, he has actually been working for “the boss” longer than anyone else here. I guess to explain our temp I must dive a little deeper into what it is we actually do here. If you haven’t figured it out yet we build furniture, cabinets, and other wooden things here at the shop, but what you probably don’t know is that the majority of the stuff we build goes into houses that “the boss” builds. So we spend a lot of time at the job site where these houses are built, we do a lot of installations, we deliver stuff, and sometimes we just go up to clean or do some other task the boss has for us like, ”move that rock 2 feet that way”. Well, at the job site is a man we lovingly refer to as “the painter”. What does “the painter” do at the job site? Yes you guessed it, he paints. Now these houses are not your average houses, they are million dollar houses, so they don’t get painted in a weekend, it is an ongoing process from the time sheetrock is up until the house is finished, so the painter is pretty much there every time we are, and because of this we have come to know him pretty well. We really enjoy the painter because he is always angry. We don’t know why he is always angry but he just is. He is always yelling, sometimes he is just singing along to his oldies country music but most of the time he is sarcastically yelling at someone, otherwise known as complaining. We’re pretty sure the years of breathing paint fumes are getting to his head but it could just be numerous prescription meds that he consumes.
So anyway he has come to work at the shop for a while finishing some carvings we have been making for the current house we are building. So now, we have a very loud and grumpy old man working with us. There is one thing that we have found about the painter that has become somewhat entertaining. He scares very easily, I mean very easily. You walk into the room where he’s working and say “Hi” and it’s like you just shocked him with a defibrillator. He yells a long incomprehensible Middle Eastern chant and grasps his heart like he’s going to die. Although we sometimes think this might kill him, we have found that it is very fun. We’re not sure how long he will be here, maybe until the job is done or maybe we will kill him first, regardless, a fun time will be had by all.

So “temp” here is your love, it’s not much but it is all we could come up with for a grumpy old painter trying to keep the hope alive. (see comments under previous
“Nicknames” blog)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Something To Get You Through The Weekend

I Don’t Care
If You Lick Windows,
Ride The Short Bus, Or
Occasionally Pee On Yourself.
You Hang In There Sunshine
You’re Friggin Special.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Draws

When I tell people we are doing draws, they always ask, what is that? It’s more of a name we made up for the day we pay bills. Yes, we pay all our bills on one day. It is usually the fifth day of the month. I dread this day more than slow drivers, long prayers, and baked apples all put together. In short, I would rather be driven cross country by an old women eating nothing but baked apples and listening to the 24 hour prayer station. Than to participate in draws. The day usually starts early when the mail is dropped off so I can get started. The mail consists of the all the mail that has been stacking up at the post office for the last month and fills several crates. I try to have the mail sorted in a couple of hours. About this time “The Boss” comes in. This is about the only time he comes to the shop. I am set up in the front office and have invoices spread all across every flat surface and on the floor. “The Boss” starts to get his computer set up and I get everything stacked by category and we begin. It’s a long and boring process, I sit across from him and I hand him an invoice, he enters the information and hands it back. I prepare an envelope and stack the paid invoices by category. It goes on like this all day and into the night. Except for this time.
It started out like the regular painful draws I have learned to hate. We had been working for about an hour when the guy next door walk in. We said hello and started some small chit chat. He didn’t say anything until he reached the desk. From out of nowhere he set a gallon paint can on the corner of the desk. We stared at it, not sure what he was doing. Both “The Boss” and I shared a confused look, and I started to ask what the can was for. Before I could finish he reached in is pocket and pulled it out and held it over the can. I instantly new what he had, but I wasn’t sure “The Boss” did. It was a piece of 1 inch PVC pipe about four inches long with a cap on each end. From the center a green braided fuse exited the pipe. The moment he flicked the lighter in his other hand my heart began to race. With a voice that was dead serious he said “I suggest you *%?kers run.” There was no mistaking he meant what he said when he lit the fuse and dropped it in the can and headed for the door. Time seamed to slow for moment as I debated in my head what had just happened. Would he have really done that? At first I thought there was no way he would do that, but then again, I could see him doing that. He is not that crazy? “The Boss” is here, he wouldn’t really do that, maybe that means he really would. I finally made up my mind, I think he really did what I think he did. I stood and headed for the doorway. I past the guy next door and when I reached the door and turned the corner there was the rest of the guys from the shop standing in the hall trying not laugh. I turned to see what “The Boss” was going to say. I saw him pick up the can and with one motion open the front door and with a underhand fast pitch fling the can out of the front door of the office. It flew over the grass and rolled under his own car. He stood there at the front window, pulling the blinds apart, waiting for what he was sure was going to be a big mess. The rest of the group in the hall couldn’t contain themselves any more. And with the resounding laughter “The Boss” and I realized they used a dummy and we had been had. At which time he picked up his chair and we went straight back to work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Idle Hands

“Idle hands are the devils workshop”, we’ve all heard it before, well around here that statement holds true very frequently. I am not saying we have a lot of time on our hands, but if we don’t have anything to fill those 15 minute brakes at ten and three then, as I am sure you may have noticed, we tend to find things to do. So one day as we were sitting enjoying our break Chad says “Hey guys, you know what we should do?” this statement has been said many times around here but it still always gets everyone’s attention, “we should do something for the guy next door”. Now I must interject to say that this particular week the guy next door was having a bad week, we will just say things were not going very well over on his side of the building. So the rest of us, being as kind and caring as anybody else, were more than willing to help in any way that we could. “What do you think we should do?” we all asked. Now remember we are guys and being guys, when we say, do something “for him” that usually means do something “to him” I mean if you can’t kick a guy when he’s down what kind of world would we be living in. So after a short minute of deliberation Chad said,”what if we tin foil his office?” Perfect, nothing that will cause bodily harm or might result in an expensive fix but something to let him know we care. We all agreed on the idea, now to put it into action, it would take the cooperation of his wife who works with him (we’ll call her the lady next door), she would just let us know when he‘s gone and then we would strike. It’s settled, now to buy the foil, so off to Smith’s we went to buy the finest Kroger brand tin foil they had to offer, or at least the cheapest. Five rolls were all that was in the budget, the purchase was made and we were ready. The day went on with no notice from next door; it was then that we decided the guy next door NEVER leaves. The end of the day came and we weren’t going to wait for him to leave, because he probably sleeps here. “Tomorrow we will make it happen” we all decided. As the next day played out the guy next door was again not having a good day. Chad would periodically peek next door and ask our accomplice, “how’s the weather over here?” “Stormy” was her only reply. Then it came, we got the call. We rushed over to begin our task; we didn’t know how much time we had, after all this guy never leaves. However it just so happened that this day was special, he had gotten so upset that he had to leave for fear of killing one of his employees; still we had to hurry. His office became a factory of tin foil wrapping, it was as if this was our destiny, we wrapped each item on his desk and in his office with such talent and speed that it would make any mother proud. It turns out however that we lack the concept of quantity for we soon ran out of foil. Even still it was beautiful, our hearts were filled with joy over the great thing we had just done “for” our dear friend. We went back to work, anxiously waiting for him to return and see what we had done for him. After a few hours of waiting, we knew that he had returned, yet we still had heard nothing. We peeked next door into his office and noticed that the foil had been removed. Could it be that he didn’t even recognize the amount of time and effort we had put in on his behalf? Or, was he really mad? Our heads hung low hoping we hadn’t lost a dear friend due to his selfishness. We all knew better than that, not this guy, he is not mad he is just waiting to get even. Our sullen faces turned to fear for worry of what was to come our way. The next days were spent on pins and needles. He came over and would laugh with us about what had been done but we knew he would not just let it go at that. So we waited but still nothing, this is the kind of thing that is worse than being pranked, waiting to be pranked, and he knew it. Then one day Chad’s mouse on his computer was all taped up and every time he would print there was a paper clip copied onto the middle of each sheet. As Chad stared confused at each sheet that came off of his printer, behind him stood the guy next door grinning from ear to ear. Finally we could all rest easy for this was the sign that it was over, for now. . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

8:15

I look through very blurry eyes trying to decipher the numbers that are displayed next to my bed. I look twice, then again. My mind is tripping over numbers trying to remember how many minutes are in an hour. Instantly I jump out of bed, still trying to do the math in regards to my commute time. I stumble out the door with my shirt untucked and shoes untied. Skip scrapping the frost off the windows, and I’m off with a deadline to beat. We don’t have an oversized employee manual that spells out all the rules and regulations. We don’t have a set schedule for breaks or lunch, or even who’s really in charge. We try to keep things simple in the shop, in that, we keep rules to a minimum. No one has been written up for exceeding the allotted bathroom time, or dress code violation. Even if we did, it’s not like we keep things on file. We all work at what we are we are supposed to, and most of the time we don’t pay attention to what time it is. Except first thing in the morning, we do have one rule that has become set in stone. It’s called the 8:15 rule, and it has been rigorously enforced for years. We start our day at 8:00 in the morning, and everyone is expected to be there on time. But for one reason or another, like today, you might be getting to work a little bit late. Maybe you slept in, or traffic was bad, or your significant other was feeling frisky that morning. That is where this rule comes into play. If you think that you are not going to make it to the shop by 8:15 then you will be required to bring a dozen donuts for the rest to enjoy. Some have tried to use excuses, and one even tried to pass a sleeve of mini donuts, but the rule is simple. If the time clock reads 8:15, or later, you are late, and will be bringing donuts. It has become something that others in the shop look forward to. Even though with my best effort and skillful driving, I sit at a light waiting for the person in front of me to find the courage to turn left when I notice the clock. Several text messages begin to arrive. Reminding me, each in their own very individual style, that I will need to provide a treat of some kind for the others. We have had days where we were blessed with several dozen donuts. We have began to accepted substitutions since donuts shops are getting hard to find. Breakfast burritos from Betos, bagles, or what I will bring today, breakfast from McDonalds. Some complain about the cost, but if you can’t do the time, then get there on time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baked Beans

We all have things in life we don’t like, for instance getting hit in the head with a stick, or being tossed down a steep hill, or going to the in-laws. I am sure most people don’t like these things because all of them can be painful. But today I am not talking about those kinds of things I am talking about food. For instance Chad, Chad has a disgust that boils deep within his soul for cooked fruit, more specifically baked apples. Just the smell of baked apples might send him searching for any receptacle capable of holding the amount of vomit that is ready to erupt from his mouth. (This may sound over the top but he really hates baked apples). For me it is Baked Beans, I don’t despise them, I don’t even mind that they show up at every bar-b-q that I have ever been to. I just don’t particularly care for them. What I do care about is that everyone thinks that I need to LOVE them. For example, this is my typical baked beans encounter. “Hey have you tried the baked beans?” “No thanks I don’t like baked beans.” “Oh but you haven’t tried my grandma’s baked beans, they are the best.” “No thanks I’m fine.” “Come on just try them they are the best, you’ll love them.” It is at this point, the fire within me begins to rage. First of all how can everyone’s grandma make the best baked beans? Second why do you have to prove it to me? Is it really not good enough that I don’t particularly care for baked beans? . . . .”Oh my grandmas are the best”. . . REALLY? DO THEY TASTE ANYTHING LIKE BAKED BEANS? OR DO THEY TASTE LIKE ICE CREAM AND CANDY? WHAT? NO, THEY DON’T TASTE LIKE ICE CREAM AND CANDY? WELL THEN I DON’T LIKE THEM, NOW GET OFF OF MY @#$” This of course is what is caged inside my head just begging to be let out, but what inevitably comes out is, “Oh I am sure they are, I will have to try them later but I am pretty full right now thanks.” So please for the good of all mankind, or at least for my sanity (which is questionable anyway), when I am around, just enjoy your grandma’s baked beans without me and don’t flatter yourself by thinking that even though I don’t like baked beans I just might like hers because, “they are the best”. If your grandma’s baked beans don’t taste like normal baked beans then it’s probably not baked beans, it’s probably Chili, which I like.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nicknames

I used to respond to Nathan, that's the name my Mom and Dad gave me, it's the name I write on paper where it says “name”, sometimes I would even write Nate. Then I got the job with these guys, and my world came crashing in. Blake, the part time guy, could not remember my name. So he just made up names as he went along. Then one day Blake introduced me as nick to the boss, which really made me mad. So because it made me mad, now they give me a new nickname every time one comes to their mind. So far I have like 18 nick names.

So let's start with the nickname junior, I am not sure, but I think it's because all the old guys think I look about twelve years old. Then junior turned in to june bug. Then there is calamari, that one is a twist on my last name, calamari soon turned to squid, then to squirt, and eventually to shrimp. Then there is Nasty Nate, just use your imagination to find out how I got that one. The list goes on and on, here are just a few. Nick, Nicky, Junior, Smalls, squirt, 4/8ths, iced milk, fancy pants, tiny tim, slick, and pizza prince. I can't remember how I got the rest of the nicknames on the list but hey give me a break I'm just a kid.
Oh and PS Blake is gay

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Coolest Bar-B-Q Known To Man

One afternoon a couple weeks ago, the guy next door came over and said “Come see me on the 3 o’clock break, I have an idea.” When three o’clock rolled around, we all sauntered next door to his shop to see what shenanigans he had in store for us. He walked us out behind the building and gathered us around an old air compressor that was bolted to the concrete. We all looked to him expectantly, knowing this was going to be good, as all his ideas ended up that way. He looked us each in the eye and then looked down to the compressor. He took a deep breath and said “How ‘bout we cut this compressor in half and turn it into a barbecue?” Immediately we could taste the juicy steaks that would inevitably be cooked on the coolest barbecue known to man.
The guy next door asked us how we could get that old compressor inside. Jeremy pipes up with one of his always brilliant ideas: “We could wrap a chain around it and rip it out with one of the trucks!” The guy next door smiled at that idea and congratulated Jeremy on the plan. Chad, being the logical one, had to state the fact that the compressor was bolted into the concrete. Jeremy noted that it wouldn’t be a problem because the bolts were “old and rusted.” The guy next door runs to his truck, pulls out a chain, and wraps it around the compressor. He climbs back into his truck and puts it into gear as we all stand back and excitedly wait for our moment of triumph. We all gaze in amazement as we see the compressor and a giant piece of concrete rotate out of the ground, with the bolts holding strong. The guy next door hears us yelling to stop. As he stops we see the compressor and the concrete slab gently fall back into their original spot. We find ourselves back at square one.
Chad, again being the logical one, went into the shop and came back with a chisel and hammer. He began beating futilely onto the bolts causing only minimal damage. The guy next door speaks up and says “Why don’t I just go get a socket set?” The socket set was the means to an end for the strongest bolts ever to be fabricated. Finally as the compressor was freed from its eternal resting place in the concrete, the guy next door wraps the chain around it. We all stand in proud amazement as we watch the compressor slip and slide behind the truck around the corner of the building. Once we get the compressor into the shop; using a forklift and the manly muscles that seem to be in abundant supply here in the shop, the day comes to an end.
The next day it was time to begin fabrication. Chad and the guy next door decided that the best way to cut the bugger in half was by using a skill saw with a chop saw blade. After twenty minutes of cutting, during our ten o’clock break, we had success at last. We then found some old hinges and welded them into place. The next logical step was to fabricate the handle out of some old tubing we had laying around. Once the handle was welded into place; we carried our new masterpiece outside and lit a gigantic fire in it. We stood back and watched as the flames and the toxic black smoke succeeded in burning off all the old greasy residue inside and the paint on the outside. The guy next door kept voicing his concern about the size of the fire and worrying that the fire department would be called. Once the fire died down, we sanded down any rough edges or any paint that wasn’t burned off by the fire. We sprayed the barbecue with black barbecue paint and built a grate to place inside while Chad and the guy next door went on a hunt for a base. They came back, glowing with pride as they unveiled the small trailer they bought for the barbecue so that “we can tow it wherever our hearts desire.” That Friday, we had a celebration, the culmination of which was eating the juiciest and tastiest Rib Eye’s we had ever eaten. We now know what pride and a sense of accomplishment tastes like, and let me tell you, it tastes DELICIOUS!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who’s Preston?

Over the years we have developed a few traditions. One of which is that we all go out to lunch at least once a week. Typically we go on Friday, but due to the recent economic downturn we have been forced to reschedule this for Thursday. Not just a regular lunch, a more formal sit down menu in hand, lunch. Typically the discussion about where we are going to go for lunch starts around 10 AM, and doesn’t end until we actually start eating. Around 12:30 we head for the door. As we get to the parking lot we always stand by someone else’s car in a general hint that they are going to drive. On this out to lunch day we were all were standing by Blake’s car. Although he protested, we were not deterred, and he was forced to be our driver. Being our chauffeur is always a bad idea, as mentioned earlier we usually function on a 5th grade level. Radio presets are changed; personal items are rummaged through, commented on, then hidden or thrown out the window. On this day we had a wonderful and filling lunch at the local all you can eat china buffet. On the way back we were all doing our thing when I looked up and noticed the yellow light that we are approaching had been yellow for some time, then red. Still Blake had not slowed. I said “Blake red light!”. Someone else yelled “Cop!” as they noticed a cop sitting in the intersection waiting for us pass so they could turn left. Blake slammed on the brakes. Unfortunately his car pulled sharply to the left during hard braking, which made us swerve into the cop car that was now making close eye contact. Blake quickly realized he would not be able to stop before the intersection, and swerved back to miss the cop. We hadn’t even past the cop car before he turned on his lights and siren. Blake had obviously made an impression on the officer by his drunk like driving. “&%@$!” Blake said, as he quickly pulled over. We tried to act like adults, but when Blake handed the officer his license, and the officer said “Hello Preston” we couldn’t keep it together any longer. We all started laughing; the cop leaned down to get a better look at us. When he went back to his car, Blake yelled “What is wrong with you guys?!”. Preston, who’s Preston? “That’s me!” Blake yelled back. We had stopped laughing when the cop came back, until someone in the back of the car yelled “Officer, that’s a beautiful smile, do you whiten?” Then, not even Blake could hold it in. Needless to say Preston signed for his ticket.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Little Notes


So I can’t remember how long it has actually been going on now but for some time little notes have been appearing everywhere around the shop. What do these notes say? Well it is actually quite vulgar and I don’t think it is very funny but everyone else around here thinks it’s freakin hilarious. “Blake Is Gay”, no I am not coming out of the closet, that’s what the notes say, “Blake Is Gay”. They show up everywhere, in the dust that has gathered on furniture, on the back of the break room door, I just found one written on a piece of tape and stuck to the inside of the fridge door, they are everywhere. It all started when we used to write that the other person was gay on whatever project that person was working on, you know if they were sanding a door we would write it on the door in pencil and they would just sand it off. Sounds kind of juvenile? We tend to operate on about a fifth grade level around here. So it kept going back and forth for a while, then I got bored with it and stopped doing it, but some people around this place can’t get over it and just keep on writing it everywhere. I used to erase it whenever I saw it, but of course that just made things worse. Then it started showing up in more places than I could keep track of, it was written on boards being sent up to the job site, on paperwork that goes next door, they even made a coaster and engraved it onto the coaster. I think it has just become an inside joke kind of thing now because I stopped caring about a month ago and it is still going on. Well at least I think it’s a joke, because I don’t think I am gay. I’m not attracted to men. Maybe they want me to be gay? Maybe it is because they are gay and want me to join the team? Whatever reason, the notes still show up everywhere and I don’t think they are going to stop anytime soon. So I will take this time and say that I am sorry to all the dudes out there who are gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but this hunka hunka of burnin love is taken, by a woman. I know, I can hear the teardrops hitting the keyboards now but I am sorry I don’t ever intend on changing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why do they make it so hard?

All I want it to do is print, it's called a printer. It makes allot of noise but still won't print. I take that back, it will print a calibration page like clockwork, but I need it to print a job layout so we can work in the shop. I stare at the display, "warming up" it has said that for weeks now. "Do you think the $&@#%* thing is warmed up yet" I think to myself. We have been down this road before with another printer. We used a hammer to deal with the problem, I guess it would be more like a very large mallet that was created for just such a task. It dealt with the problem very effectively and with a great deal of personal satisfaction.

I fumble around with the back of the printer in an attempt to unplug the power cord. As I got the cord plugged back in, windows signals the connection has been made by making a sound that I’m sure was created to sound like rainbows and ponies. Recent experiences have made that sound bring forth feelings that come from a far different place than ponies and rainbows. The printer once again makes an orchestration of noises, but still, nothing. Then it appears on the monochrome LCD display. As I read it, I can feel the rage build up from deep inside me. My eyes look at it like I am looking at Satan himself. “Bad Printhead”. It is all very clear what must be done.

I pick up the phone and press the intercom button, “meeting in my office” I announce with a calm voice. As the crew files into my office, (which is also the break room, the kitchen, and conference room) you can hear Jeremy’s sports radio radiate from his headphones even before he gets to the door. “We need to have a device ready by 3 o’clock break to deal with this printer”. They could probably sense what had been going on with the printer. I had not been subtle in my attempt to motivate the printer to perform its job by threatening its very existence. “sounds good” Jeremy says as he turns around and heads for the door. The others follow without a word.

A few minutes after three we agree it is time. Blake carries the device, which has been placed in a metal Dewalt drill box. I pick up the printer and with slight pause and a sharp jerk the cords are severed and fall to the floor. As the four of us file through the door and down the side of the building, we are noticed by the guy next door, who is operating a shaper, A smile appears across his face. Without a word being said he offers his lighter. The printer is placed in an area that is best described as a junk yard. The device is placed inside snugly next to the carriage. The fuse is about four inches long and gives ample time for cover to be found, but when it is lit, time seems to be in short supply. Once cover has been reached, time stands still. A constant wisp of smoke confirms the countdown is still underway. The shock wave travels straight through you, then a few stray projectiles tear through the air. A sharp ringing is then left in the ears. We search for remains, but not much is left. A few bits and pieces stir up dust and they land here and there. I turned to see the reaction of the onlookers who came to watch, only to find that they had quickly retreated out of sight. As we headed back to work the feeling of accomplishment raged within us and even effected the style of our walk.


video
DNTTAH (Do Not Try This At Home)

What is Twisted Grain?

Twisted Grain is a blog about four twisted guys (and the guy next door) who work together at a wood shop. Twisted guys, twisted stories, and a wood shop, you know a shop with wood in it, wood that has grain, get it “Twisted Grain”? Well we thought it might be entertaining to write about all the stuff that goes on at our shop. Not like the work part, that’s pretty boring, but the “extra-curricular activities”, you know the fun part of work. So if you get bored, or get finished goofing off on Facebook or writing your own blog, come take a look, you might be entertained, or we might just make you feel a little more normal because you are not the only one who should probably not be let out in public.

Here is a little bit about us… First there is Chad, the guy who’s in charge. Chad is in his 30’s with some kids and a wife, he likes his pocket knife, he drives a truck and has a tool box in the back of it, the tool box is locked so don’t try to steal stuff out of it. Chad is the only one here who has ever posted a blog, I think his wife made him write something on her blog, but we forgave him for that. Then there is Blake, he is the part timer, when he is not here he is off saving lives. Blake is in his 20’s and also has some kids and a wife, he is very hairy, well at least from the waist down, the name Chewbacca has come up before. Blake drives a Honda Civic and never cleans it. He also likes candy. Next is Jeremy, Jeremy is almost 30 he has a wife and a kid, he drives a blue truck with an adjustable hitch. Jeremy likes good food but never has money. Jeremy used to work at a big building with a lot of big machines; Jeremy is also the tallest of the four of us. Last but not least is the new kid, Nate. Nate just graduated high school; he does not have a wife or a kid. He is quiet and innocent, until you get to know him. Nate has a truck and a car but only gets to drive his car, because his dad stole his truck. Nate buys stuff all the time he makes the rest of us jealous. Nate wears a hat a lot; sometimes he wears it crooked like a gangsta.

To our families, neighbors, and friends we are usually considered normal. What they don’t know will keep them happy. In the shop our individual ingredients combine to create a mixer that, if left unbridled, will eventually destroy all mankind.

So tell all your friends about that new blog you just found. Then you will be the first one who knew about it and you will be the coolest of all your friends. One day you can say I read Twisted Grain before Twisted Grain was cool.