Tool Respect

My father is a carpenter/contractor, so he has a lot of tools. He taught me respect for his tools. Sure, I lapse from time to time, and take a tool of his and don’t put it back right away. Recently, I was on a job site running some ethernet wire, and I discovered I had left my cutters at my house (I was in the middle of doing some electrical work there). Around me, I had electricians doing their thing. I could have asked to “borrow” their cutters, but I know better. I don’t like it when people use my tools, and I don’t want to use other peoples tools in return. So I MacGyvered some cutters and got the job done. On this same job site, in four seperate occasions, my “tools” were disrespected.

The first was with my aluminum ladder. It’s a great ladder. It’s only five feet tall, so it fits in my truck. It’s expandable to 20 feet. I had left the ladder the night before in another room in the construction area. When I came in that day, I found the electricians using my nice ladder to unroll their wire. They had gone and gotten my ladder, opened it up, and set it up for their use. As if it was their ladder! Funny, it was set somewhere else, and labeled with my name, and my company name. I walked up, and said “Uh. No.” The electrician quickly removed his stuff and apologized.

The second was an extension cord. I had left it there while doing work as it was coming through the ceiling from the finished side of the building. I’d try to put it back up in the ceiling when I was done. Apparently, the drywall guys though that it was a cord meant for their use and wired up lights to it. I am working there one night, and decide to take my extension cord back (I had needed on several occasions and didn’t have it). Apparently, the drywallers were in an uproar because someone had taken the extension cord. It was never theirs to begin with.

The third was with my six foot ladder. A particular friend whom I know at the job site decided to use the ladder (which I had left in a closet so that the construction workers would not use it). I am normally perfectly fine with him using it. However, when he was done, he did not return my ladder to where he found it. As the drywallers sprayed on their texture, my ladder lay on the floor. My ladder is now covered in drywall texture.

The fourth was with my same six foot ladder, and partially my fault. I had left the ladder in the construction area. Apparently, they painted. My ladder now has a fine yellow mist on it in addition to the drywall texture. However, interestingly enough, the ladder was not in the same place I left it. In fact, it appears to be in an area where it looks as though someone was using it. If I was in their position, I would have removed all items that shouldn’t be getting paint on it, knowing, as a painter, that the mist would go everywhere. This is also where I noticed that my name and company name written on the ladder appear to be a lot lighter than I last remembered it. I would be willing to bet that if I hadn’t taken my ladder tonight, it would have disappeared with the contractors, thinking it was “their” ladder.

It not so much that other people are using my tools. It’s that other people are using my tools, and have NO respect for them. I’ve spent the last decade building up my own supply of tools. Thousands of dollars of tools. My father had most of his tools stolen once while at work, and it devastated him. I’d be the same way if my tools suddenly disappeared.

Needless to say, I will no longer leave any tools behind to make things easier. I will drive out of my way to go get a ladder at my house every night for a job before leaving a single tool on the job site. I will relabel all of my tools, with a permanent marker, and etched where needed.



Yes, I am done camping. It was a blast, and I want to do it again. My backpack weighed over 50lbs. I need to trim it down next time. Next place may be the Appalachian mountains.


My house has been getting some renovations, and they are almost done. My father has graciously provided his help in building a second bedroom, installing a tub, and replacing the kitchen floor. I would like to note that while performing these renovations, an important discovery was made. I poked my head in the recently unsealed ceiling and I could see the light. A flashlight to be exact. It was a flash light that has probably been missing for almost 8 to 10 years now. Funny thing is, I was blamed for losing it… question is, what would I have been doing in the ceiling? My father was the one making the repairs to the house all those years ago…


She has moved in with me… hence the installing of new bedrooms. It’s been quite a process that I have enjoyed doing with her with all the painting and deciding of where things go.


I found out today that it seriously needs to be upgraded. I am using a very old version of WordPress, and it appears to have been hacked in some way on two of my posts. I’ve since cleared it up, but still need to upgrade. I’ve got a new server started, and will need to get that finished this week. The look of the site will probably not change however, so don’t expect much in that department.

Gone Camping

While at church the other day, I was invited to go camping with a few of the guys there (including the pastor apparently) to Suwannee River State Park. I said I’d probably be able to go, I just needed to find out what I had for supplies. Well, when I got home, I found I had a tent, but no sleeping bags. While at Sam’s Club, I noticed this great sleeping bag, called a "Mummy Bag". It wraps around your body, and is excellent for cold temperatures. So I emailed Clark, the guy who invited me, and asked him just what kind of camping this was. He called it "primitive". While on this two day hike that we will be embarking on, I will be carrying all of the following and then some:

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Water and food
  • Tools (knife, flashlight, etc.)
  • First-aid
  • Matches and other fire material
  • Toilet paper and possibly shovel
  • Cooking/eating accessories
  • Change of clothing

Of course, as I thought of all this, my current backpacks would no way near support all this. So now I am looking at backpacks. I stopped in at the Army Navy Vet place today, and fell in love with the Condor 3-Day Assault Pack. It has lots of room and straps, and even a place to put the water bladder that I currently have from another backpack. The only other thing I should need is some better boots, which I’ll find a place that has a 2-for-1 deal going and get some regular everyday shoes and some boots.

I’m really excited about going. I should be lots of fun and a great experience and plenty of excercise. The last time I remember camping, I was in Boy Scouts with my mom. I don’t remember all of the experience except a sleeping bag similar to the one I got, and a big field where the Boy Scouts were having activities. Oh, and trying to find a good place to set up the tent.

If you’ve got any tips or pointers, I’d be glad to hear them.

And then I heard the crash

I may have already titled another post with the same title as above. If I did, I apologize. So today for a quick lunch (as I was running a little late), I stopped at McDonald’s to grab a few cheap burgers. Two double cheeseburgers and a water. Soon after that, last night started catching up to me. I was up until about 3 in the morning. I was working along side Bobby at a customers rebuilding a server.

I had to use my MacGyver skills for the server. Soon after I got there, Bobby wanted to blow the dust out of the computer. So we take it downstairs to my truck, blow the dust bunnies out (they were horrible… they tried to eat us, they were huge). We get it back upstairs and realize that in the process of all of this, the clip that holds down the heatsink to the CPU has broken. It was a faulty piece of plastic with a minor crack in it, and the last bit of moving it around finally did it in. My first idea involved a zip tie and a pen cap. It did not hold it down enough. The pen cap was meant to make the clip stay down more. The computer did not accept it and would not boot.

On to plan B, involving a screw driver, a pair of scissors, and a foot to a computer case. The first part of this plan involved cutting the pencil to length. The scissors held it in place on the clip while I placed the case on. It still wasn’t enough pressure.

Plan C was Bobby’s idea. It included ethyl-cyanoacrylate… or otherwise known as “super glue”. It was the obvious solution: fix the small broken plastic piece. He held them on for about 5 minutes. He gave it a test run with a little tension on the newly bonded plastic. It appeared to be fine. So we get it into the computer. It appeared to be working… until we realized that it was crooked. We fixed the crooked, and off came the piece of plastic.

Plan D was surprising low-tech, but it worked. There was some packing foam on a server. I ripped off several pieces, grabbed my knife (thank you Trisha), and cut one in half. I placed both pieces on top of the heatsink, put on the cover, and turned it on. There was a moment of silence, and then… a boot screen! Hallelujah!!

I left there around 1:30am. I was in the middle of installing some new software on my laptop, and I wanted to get it done before morning, so at home, I installed the new software while doing a little bit of remote working playing with our new remote management software that we give to our managed services customers. I think I went to bed around 3:00am.

I woke up the next morning rather late. On a side note, I was surprised in the morning. While searching for clothing, I wanted a light shirt, but could not find one. So I grabbed a darker brown shirt and an overshirt. It felt rather heavy. I get it on the bed to open it, and inside is the a light shirt. It was a combo I wear all the time. Danielle had hung my clothes and put them together. She’s so sweet. I had to send her a text telling her how great she is. Anyway, back on track. This is where lunchtime today comes in. Soon after lunch, I started to not feel so well. I thought at first it was the crappy McDonald’s food, until I started to feel drained. I then realized that it was my late night. The rest of the afternoon I was whiny and dragging through the day.

I finally get to Danielle’s house at 5:00 or so. We lay down while she consoles me. She gives me a Vicondin (I thought I was getting Tylenol), and I go to sleep (with my phone) while she picks up the children and makes dinner. She wakes me up to let me know dinner is ready. She made soup and grilled cheese. Yum. She even added extra chicken in the soup :)

The night goes on a bit, and I go outside to move my truck (I had to park far away because all the parking was full) and to get my fish tape to attempt to unclog her bathtub (don’t ask, it didn’t work). As I am getting stuff out of my truck, I hear a screech and a loud crash. I run around the corner, and I see a guy wobbling getting up from his mangled bike and car crooked in the street. I run into the apartment, grab my phone, and run over to check on them. As I am going over there, people from all over are pulling in to check on things. I asked someone who actually saw it if everything was ok, and she said that the guy said he was fine, and that it’s been called in already. I couldn’t be of much use anymore, so I left, and I heard sirens in the distance. As I am walking away, you can see people talking, and all I could think of was “and that’s when I heard the crash”. When I get back inside, Danielle no longer believes that I am not feeling well if I am running across a parking lot in my socks. She didn’t see me wobbling back as I drained all my energy with the running. Now I sit here with Vicodin in my system (which I have never had) feeling a little woozy, but still with a headache. I will now hit Publish, and move on to my hobby… watching Danielle be the beautiful person she is.

In the name of God

This was an old post that I never finished. I think it was from back in early August 2008. I never finished it, and don’t intend to, but do not want to remove my thoughts from the time.

Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

So Danielle got a call from Patrick, her ex-husband, last night. He’s moving to Missouri. Apparently, he is moving with some family he just met. He may be back in a few weeks, or he’ll ship straight to the army. Danielle is understandably upset. She will now have the children full time. She had been with them only from Saturday night to Tuesday morning, and Patrick the opposite. He is doing this all in the “name of God”. He says that God has spoken to him and told him that this is his path.

Just Say No

So I had a pretty bad week. The “new” Kia that I bought had some major issues. At first, the fuel pump stopped working, but that was just some corroded wiring. Then the timing belt broke. Then the power steering started leaking. The last one took several days to fix. I had to tear out the rack and pinion from another Kia. I kept rounding bolts and it was not making me happy. I did however get it for free with a trade for some memory that I have laying around anyway. So I get it to Larry’s (my mechanic who happens to be a customer) and the mechanic has left for the day. So I try it myself. First I attempt to patch the power steering line. While doing this, the power goes out. It starts to make me wonder. Either God is telling me something, or he is testing my patience. I finally get a hose over the line, and it still leaks through the hose. It was worth a shot. I look at what it would take to change out the whole thing, and decide it’s out of my control. I leave the part there for the next day when the mechanic comes back. I venture out again the next day after work, and surpise, it’s working! Wooot! Of course, I do think he bumped the starter because it clicks now, but I am not worrying about it right now. What I am more worried about is the wheel bearing and Danielle driving to Ybor everyday and the wheel flying off. Anyway, this whole experience has taught me more patience and that persistence pays off. Danielle did not want to believe me about the persistence.

As mine and Danielle’s lives get more intertwined, she will need a much more reliable car. We’ve been looking into what it would cost to get another car. Fortunately, her aunts ex-husband (whom are still very good friends) is a used car salesman at a small lot near Mt Dora whom only deals with two to three year old cars in excellent condition. He’s offering $1,000 off book value. However, one car (a Saturn Vue that looks EXACTLY like my mother’s) is valued at $12,000, and he is offering $10,000. It’s only two years old, so it’s been a thought. It’s funny because in the last few days, I’ve thought a lot about sales people and how to interact with them. I seem to have this ability to just say “No.” A lot of people don’t have this. I was in Walmart yesterday looking to buy Hancock. I found the movie, and the tag on the shelf said $19.95. So I go to the self-checkout and all of a sudden the movie is $24.95. So I hand it to the guy standing there and say “I don’t want it.” and walk away. Most people would have given in and just paid the extra $5. The same goes for buying cars. I remember reading or someone telling me about the power to just say “No.”


So in church this Sunday, Tim Sizemore, decided to change his approach a little and ask us all some questions. He gave everyone a sheet with questions, and invited everyone to answer them during his time to speak. Below are those questions and my answers.

1. Why have you chosen the Lakeland Fellowship as your place to worship and experience fellowship?

When I was about 14 years old till I was about 16, me and my family went to Scott Lake Baptist Church. Before that, I knew nothing of religion other than who God was. I quickly became interested in the things that were talked about in Sunday School and morning worship (well, as interested as a 14 year old could be). While going there, I was saved and baptized. I had started my spiritual search. Unfortunately, due to the pastor leaving the church, my family left with him as they started Trinity Baptist Church. We however started going less and less, until no more. For years, I didn’t go to church unless I was visiting with a friend. Then I became friends with Bryant for a second time. I knew him in high school, and met up with him later when he came back in town from college. He invited me to come by to his church after some of our religious discussions. So I came one Sunday morning. I was very surprised to find how welcoming everyone was. What quickly grew on me about the Lakeland Fellowship was, as Danielle describes it in one word, “humble”. I like the fact that everyone is not above themselves to meet in a gym. I like the small atmosphere and getting to know people personally (not that I know everyone’s names). Every weekend, I look forward to Sunday mornings. I know that I may not seem all that involved at the moment, but I work at a slow pace. It may take me months to come to a decision. I want to learn more, and I feel that at the Lakeland Fellowship, that I will be able to do that and do it in an environment that I enjoy.

2. Do you believe the Lakeland Fellowship has something unique to offer people in the Lakeland community and surrounding areas? Can you give examples?

Apart from being Cooperative Baptist which I had never heard of until I started going to the Lakeland Fellowship, I think it is the people that make it unique. I’ve said for a while that I didn’t want to become a member of a church because it feels like the people change, but after going for over a year now, I’ve not seen the type of change I experienced at Scott Lake.

3. When you speak to your family and friends about your church what do you say?

Unfortunately, my friends consist of about 3 people locally, whom are either not religious or already attend somewhere. The topic of religion rarely comes up with people I know, and I do not feel that I am educated enough to start a big discussion. My family (which is really my immediate family, as I do not talk to my extended) has fallen out of the religion circle so to speak and I rarely talk to them as they have moved out of state and I am all that is left. I know my father is still interested, but does his own spiritual search on his own time and me and him have had religious discussions. I now discuss things with Danielle quite a bit.

4. What can we do to increase our visibility in our community and connect with people who might find our church to be a meaningful community of faith?

Unfortunately, I do not have much experience in this area. I’ve had a successful business for almost six years now, but I’ve never done any “advertising” to speak of. All of my business comes from word of mouth. I do believe this to be the best form. Maybe bumper stickers?

Earlier this week, me and Danielle met with our pastor, Tim Sizemore and officially joined the Lakeland Fellowship. I’ve been going for a year and a half now, and Danielle six months. This morning we did the whole stand up in front and shake everyone’s hand (which turned into mostly hugs instead).

To Be Discontinued

So I currently have over 76,000 miles on my truck. I am still running on 3 of the original tires (one of them exploded on freeway at about 40,000 miles). I have never balanced or rotated them. However, my tires need replacing now as they don’t have much tread left. So I’ve been doing a lot of research on what tires to get. However, I have found that the size, 265/75/15, and type (All Terrain) on my Colorado Z71 truck is fairly hard to find. I have checked around, called around, and no one has them “in stock”. It would take anywhere from a day to a week to get them. And the decent brands want way to much, and the crappy brands, well, they are crappy. I was about to get some Cooper tires, until I started to read reviews. I finally narrowed it down to a Firestone Destination LE, but it would take a week and a day, and they want way to much for the actual installation. I think my final answer will be the Dunlop Rover AT from Sam’s Club. I’d love to get them from Sam’s Club (but their selection is limited) because of their tire service being only $10 per tire, as compared to $15+ anywhere else, and still doesn’t include everything Sam’s Club does (like lifetime rotation and balancing). I had called the Chevy dealership to find out about getting the same tires that I had, and apparently, the General tires that I have are being discontinued. I’m still not sure what to do though, as the reviews haven’t been great any any single tire… but then there is always something bad to say.

Break my Brake

So about two weeks ago, I changed the brakes on the Cavalier that Danielle has been driving for a while. They’ve been sticking a lot when she stops. I had already changed out the front brakes a while back, so this time I changed out the back brakes. I get everything put back together, and back out of the yard all the way to the road. I could feel that they were working better. When I get to the road, I hit the gas in reverse getting ready to stop and go to tighten up the rear brakes. *crunch* The car doesn’t move now. You hit the gas, nothing, change gears, nothing. I put it in neutral and roll (which is still does) all the way back to the car pit. Something is broken in the tranny. So there it sits for the moment.

My father came down this last week. He didn’t stay long, but we hung out a little bit. We went shooting one day with his SKS and my Glock and .38. I am really liking the SKS. I want to build a few stands for different things to shoot. One will hold targets (which I intend to make myself after a little bit of trying). One will hold “cans”. And the other will have nails sticking up to hold watermelon or other rotting fruit. Bobby tells me that shooting rotting watermelon causes it to explode. That will prove to be fun. We also went to Wing House, where I had Danielle’s permission to “enjoy the boobies”. He finally left without taking a whole lot (well, except for a few fun things such as the propane tank).

Yesterday, I started a little more cleaning up. I started another fire, and started throwing things out. I also changed the brakes on my truck. I was a little apprehensive because of my last experience changing breaks, but I had no problems. The front brakes were a breeze. I loosened up the calipers, put the new ones on, and I was good to go. I drove down the Discount and picked up some rear brakes (I already had the front brakes purchased months ago). I checked the rear ones (which were making noise). WOW. They neeeeeded to be changed. One had no pad left, and where there was pad, it could break off easily. The rear brakes were a little more troublesome. The parking brake cable connects directly to the shoe, and the there is a bar that holds the shoes in that you need to pull out, then get it back into a little hole while pulling out and trying to push over while making sure you don’t get your fingers crushed.

Hand Hurting

So earlier this week I got a new toy. I bought myself on early Christmas present, a Lenovo X200 Tablet PC. If you don’t know what a tablet PC is, it’s one of those laptops that you fold down and write on it with a special pen (I am doing it right now in fact). It’s been a bit of a rocky road to get it usable however. It came with Windows Vista. Yeah. I still don’t like it. I will not recommend it to people yet. For the first two days it locked up several times a day and required constant rebooting. However, I found a nifty update program from Lenovo, and updated Office 2007 land it’s been running smoothly ever since. On Friday evening I met up with a guy on Craigslist and picked up a Sprint 595U card. It’s USB. Obviously, I wouldn’t want a device sticking out of my computer so a little fine and some electrical tape and I got it to work inside.

Yesterday I went to the gun show and picked up a few things. I got a “bore-snake” for my father’s SKS that I hope to acquire. I also picked up a lower for an AR-15, because come 2009, I may not be able to get that sort of stuff. I plan on building my own customized AR-15.

Well, all this “writing” is making my hand hurt, so I’m done now.