So... Once Upon a Time...

bykfixer

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A sobering day at work.

This one is a once upon a time from a fellow I met today. A young fellow walked up to me and introduces himself to me. His role is to check materials like dirt, gravel and concrete for correct methods of installation and the quality of said items. I was filling in the for the head inspector who usually does what I was doing today so when he knew my name I was pleasantly surprised. I looked at his name tag and saw vowels and consenants in places I'm not used to seeing and when he spoke his name a broken accent was noticed. My first question was "so how long have you been doing this?" expecting this youngster to say the usual one to two years. He said "almost one year" in a very broken accent. What happened next was a great surprise that made my year.

"So what did you do before that?" I asked. Expecting to hear what high school he had just graduated from I heard "worked for your army corps of engineers designing structures for ten years"…… I was not expecting that. "You what?" lol. He began to tell the story of how he had been designing concrete beams for bridges and other concrete structures being built and installed in his home country of Afghanistan working for US contractors. That he had skee-daddled to America with his wife and kids due to impending death at some point. He and some of his coworkers had been marked for death by the group known as the Taliban so when he had the chance to leave he did.

He had seen his "willage" he called it destroyed when Russia invaded in the 80's and was part of a 2 million people migration to Pakistan and lived there for two years in a giant camp. He spoke of returning home and seeing the devastation left behind by that event and how the senior leaders of his family had stayed behind to fight. He told how all kinds of weaponry had been left behind and how ordinary people had turned into warriors lusting for power in his home place, which is the capital of Afghanistan. How that Bin Laden character was hated by his people at least as much as by Americans but through political donations was able to move freely throughout the country until America invaded.

He spoke of how his president was well liked and one day was invited to attend a conference in Pakistan. There the leaders of the Taliban off'd him he said. He mentioned what it was like to wonder if today was the day "they" found him, which meant the day he was killed……for 8 years, because he worked for America. Every commute to and every one home could have been his last he said. He said arriving at work each day was a cause for celebration and same with arriving home. Every day. Can you imagine? I can't. It was sobering to see how thrilled he is to be away from that life. He smiled as he recounted a typical day in the life of an Afghanny engineer. His English was phenomenol too. At one point I remarked how his vocabulary is broader than many people who have lived here their entire life. He said thinking back now it seems pretty scarey but back then "you hear about explosion from the wife, you ask how many killed, she says only ten, you think eh, no big deal" as he chuckled.

I asked if he felt like he could ever go home and said he hopes to. He mentioned how once the US started destroying Taliban strong holds in Pakistan (in 2017) they were no longer able to fight the US and Afghan forces then escape back to friendly territory and how it now looks like there may be peace so hopefully he can go back and help rebuild again. He said the Afghan forces seem to be strong enough to hold on to the peace now. When I asked if he likes America he said "of course, but you guys tax everything. Too many taxes"……

We shook hands and parted ways and I felt like a different person after being honored to be in that young mans presence.
 
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bykfixer

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Holy heart attack!! Growing up means growing old.

This one begins on a typical afternoon in late June 1989. My mom was feeling listless for a few years and doctors were baffled. Now she was a pretty healthy and happy person in general and did not let fatigue change her much. At that point she had a few body parts missing like gallbladder and reproductive organs much like many women in their late 50's in the 1980's. She was blessed with coal black hair that would gray for a while, then recolorize for a while. Her mom and her mom had that trait. So does my sister now 61. At that point my mom was in a gray phase and had recently reached her 60th year. The women in our family typically made it to their 90's. The men, their 60's. Same on my dad's side. They were farmers and factory workers who chain smoked while the women were tobacco free home makers. My mom had a career but we still figured she'd live a long life.
She liked to buy things with her income like antiques. So my dad figuring he'd not make it past 65 squirreled away much of his paycheck to ensure my mom was able to still buy stuff after he was gone. Then a doctor discovered she had a blocked artery in her heart. At that point a miracle procedure called angioplasty was fixing up folks like my mom all across America. They called it a "routine procedure" and even spoke of doing it outpatient someday. I was 25 at the time and raising a son, attending night school college with baby #2 in the oven. Life was going well and now it seemed my mom was going to get back to her old self soon.

On June 29th she went in for her routine surgery. All seemed normal and I called her hospital room to check on her after supper. A nurse answered and said she would call me back. Figuring she was in the lady's room or something I just waited for her to call back. She was scheduled to come home the next day and had asked that we not make the trip to where she was because it was a ways from home. After a few minutes the phone rang and it was my dad. He said something has gone wrong and requested I come there and bring my brothers. My twin had the best car back then and said he'd drive. Back then a new set of tires costed more than my jalopys but they got me to and from work most of the time. Man it was a long long 10 minutes or so before he arrived. My other brother lived down the street from me so we picked him up too. Back then we were all married to our first wives and everything was peachy in paradise other than the normal young family struggles. On the way to the hospital it was near silence. The hour long drive seemed like it took 12 minutes as my twin brother broke every traffic law in his brand new Chevy Cavelier. We arrived at the hospital and find my dad in a waiting room. Now my dad was Steve MacQueen cool most of the time so finding him in that waiting room visibly rattled was startling. He appologized for not calling my brothers saying he could not remember their phone numbers. At that point nobody knew what was happening with my mom, just that she was complaining of being dizzy and wheeled off to surgery.

At around midnight my sister had arrived from a 3 hour journey. She had moved to the coast and taken a job as a school teachers assistant. By the time she arrived we were informed my mom was in a coma and not expected to live. A normal Thursday had now become a life changing Friday. My mom was the glue that kept us all sane so to hear she may not make it was a tremendous shock to all of us. When I was a kid she used to take me to church with her at times. She never made us go to church regularly but sometimes (as she would say) she just needed her batteries charged and a Sunday evening service would put that smile back on her face. So I knew that if she was not going to come home again it meant she was going to a place where her batteries would never need charging again. (Man tears building as I typed that). So I found a comfy place on the corner of a vinyl, 1970's burnt sienna colored sofa in the waiting room and closed my eyes. There was a peaceful feeling amongst the chaotic emotions everyone in the room was experiencing. My sibblings were talking smack about me. Knowing I was the only one sensing that peace I just kept my eyes closed and let them vent. We stayed until about noon the next day and went back to our homes. My sister stayed at the hospital with my grandmother who arrived the next morning.

We did not go back that evening as I recall since the doctors said she could not receive visitors. Early Saturday morning I was at my dads house helping him get ready to go back to wait in that waiting room. My uncle called and said there was good news. That she had begun to awaken from the coma according to the nursing staff. My pop and I both smiled in relief. My pop was a wreck but he was visibly pretty happy as he hung up the phone. As he told me what my uncle had just said the phone rang again. This time it was the doctor. My dad answered and in seconds I could see the smile disappear along with the color in his face as he listened to who ever was on the phone. Tears rose in his eyes as he set the table phone back onto the receiver. (Tears running down my face now, eyes burning thinking back. Holy cow.) He says "she's not coming home" and puts his arms around me and begins to bawl. Now my pop was tough. So within a few seconds he realized he was losing it and pulls away in order to gather up his emotions and put them in check. I was probably more stunned that my dad had hugged me like that than the bad news he shared was causing. Yet honored to have been there at that moment. It was a very special event. Very. He gathered up his things to leave and I drove him to the hospital in my mom's car.

When we got there the doctor explained that her brain stem was not showing any activity but a machine was keeping her alive. That if she ever woke up she'd be what he called "a vegetable". He asked if my pop wanted to keep her plugged in. Again my pop could not remember phone numbers so I called my brothers. My sister was still there. It was Saturday July 1st. My mom had put in retirement papers at her job effective July 1. She had plans to take a long vacation with my dad who had scheduled a 2 month abscence from his job. He had built her a front porch on the house to enjoy sunsets in a rocking chair and installed central air in the house. They had bought a new refrigerator replacing one from the 1960's and put in wall to wall carpet. He had sold all of his camping gear, his boat and fishing tackle to pay for a cross country adventure where they were going to stay in motels instead of in a camper. They had bought a king sized bed so both could sleep in the same bed without keeping each other up with snoring, and life for them was about to be everything they had busted their butts and saved for. Yet it was not to be it seemed.

Once all four of his kids were at the hospital he asked us if he should keep mom plugged in. At first we were reluctant to say yes figuring that was his decision. He made it clear he wanted us to decide. At 7:00 pm we voted to unplug her. At 7:15 she was gone. We all had the chance to be in the room when they turned the machine off. I chose not to. Only my sister and uncle did. I had that same sense of peace that was breifly changed from the phone call my uncle had made that morning. I did go in the room alone before the machine was turned off and appologized to my mom for all the grief I had caused her in the past. There was plenty of it too, but my brain sensed that she was already gone and all I was standing next to was a body. In my mind her soul had left that Thursday night or early Friday morning. My siblings were pretty pissed off at me again because I was not visibly sad. "How can you be happy right now?" (leaving out the colorful adjectives here.) My grandmother was also not visibly sad but they figured it was just her being her usual goofy self. My mom played her house numbers daily in a draw three lottery for over a year without it being the daily number. On July 1 1989 that was the number that popped up.

My mom was a prominent official in our town. Well respected in the community. So my city government shut down the day of her funeral. So many people were going to attend the service that there'd be nobody there to 'man the fort' as it were. It was 3 miles from the funeral home to the burial site. Someone said the funeral procession stretched from point a to point b. I do remember looking up at the crowd and thinking "my gosh it looks like a Rolling Stones concert is being held at this cemetery". My pop had held a service the night before and there were 16 books with the names of visitors. My mom probably had no idea the impact she had in our community. She was very humble and was kind to everybody. She was one of those rare people that come along and leave a positive foot print everywhere she walked. Yet she never got jaded at all. For years after she was gone folks would say how "this place just isn't the same without your mom" as I had become a somewhat prominent official in the community too. I left there in 1998. Just last year when I was paying my car tax a lady behind the counter asked if I was her son. Again I heard "she is still missed around here".

I hung out with my pop for several weeks after work. My oldest brother took over that role for a few years. Then my twin did for a few years. My sister visited often. Yet after a while divorce set in and the siblings began to grow apart. No strife or anger. Just differing paths in life. Yet we always gathered at my dads at thanksgiving and Christmas. On fathers day and his birthday we'd always hang out too. My dad was never the same. He never dated another woman. He said "I wouldn't take a million dollars for your mom but I wouldn't pay a nickel for another wife". My pop could tell a story in 25 words. He had been in a civil war reenactment club in his younger days. He said the closest he had ever come to divorce was when he used the rent money to buy a Rebel musket for a skit shortly after marrying my mom. So a few years after she had passed he reunited with his buddies from back then. And he got a dog. He named his rust colored Dobie "Kate" but would not tell us where the name came from. One day in his twighlight years he told me Kate was a redheaded gal he fell in love with before marrying my mom. His reenactment buddies knew who Kate was and at times would ask me "you know where that name came from, right?" "Uh, no" I'd say. They'd just chuckle and say "your dad should be the one to tell you".

Right now I'm looking at a photo of my smiling mom from high school in about 1948 and my 4 year old dad with a frump on his face standing next to his brother sitting in a wagon. He said frump was because "they" wouldn't let him sit in the wagon. He is wearing his "Dizzy Dean" baseball cap he said he was very proud to have. Next to them is my uncle's baby picture who died at 11 after thwacking his skull on pavement while riding a wheelie on a bicycle. My parents once told me I was named after him and it was fitting because I was also a daredevil who crashed a lot.

In my dads twighlight years I became his care taker since I was single and had no life to speak of outside of work. It was an honor as much as a chore. When he became the older man he was also a lot more relaxed. So I got to see a side of him only my mom or his friends who had since passed on got to see. I got to hear great history of his life and really got to understand what a gentleman he was. I got to hear where the name Kate came from too. When I got remarried years after a divorce my wife quit her job and became his caretaker. To my dad she was a cross between my mom and that redheaded gal Kate. Someone who was there when the chips were down. My wife was his new buddy and he called her "DeeDee" sometimes. That was my mom's nickname. Her and I learned a lot about health issues as we learned how to help him. Often times we could see problems developing before they grew too bad. Reading, talking to his doctors and just getting lucky sometimes we worked as a team with my oldest son who had gone to live at my dads.

So this was all prompted after visiting my twin in the ICU yesterday after he had a massive heart attack the previous evening. He is going to live a long fruitful life if he listens to his doctor. I saw numbers on the machines he was hooked to that I learned during the times helping my dad are actually pretty scarey. His wife said he has no clue how bad it is but doesn't want to scare him. I knew from helping my dad that is actually a good idea. If my brother does not take his doctors advice we'll probably be at his funeral before fall this year. Yet he is the one of the four that always led a healthy life style. My oldest brother had a stroke in November last year and is now blind in one eye. Now he is like Keith Richards in that he shoulda been gone 25 years ago. My sister was told she had been diagnosed with terminal liver disease from being over weight for decades. Ugh. Now my twin is showing signs of being visited by the Grim Reaper. My sister said her deal is in remission so that's great news. My oldest brother is returning to as normal as a person who had a massive stroke could ever hope for too. It turned out that during the "routine surgery" a piece of plaque in my moms artery broke free and blocked blood flow to her brain stem. They know better these days and took precautions when performing 2 on my twin brother Thursday night. He was telling me how his doctor had explained how things have progressed since the late 1980's apparently while my brother was having it done since they don't even knock you out anymore. Yet the words "outpatient procedure" are no longer mentioned.

My dad enventually succumbed to heart failure some ten years after being told he had 90 days or less. He was real sick one day and I took him to see his heart doctor. The man asked if he had stopped smoking and my dad said he hadn't. The man looked at me and said "get him the hell outta here and don't bring him back". So I wheeled him out in his wheelchair. He gets home and calls my sister and tells her "doc Says I'm all healed and don't need to come back". lol. A few days later my sister was all hollering at me to tell him the truth. That he is going to die soon. "No freaking way" I said. If he thinks he's dieing he'll make it happen I figured. That's why I agree with my brothers wife about not telling him how close he came and how close he could still be if he doesn't do right. Stress is his achiles heal.
So was my mothers. Taking things too personal will kill [email protected]$$ quicker than smoking, drinking and burning the candle at both ends. Yet it's all too easy to do. Especially these days with instant communications, deadlines and commitments getting harder to fulfill or just not taking the time to pause and reflect sometimes.

It's crazy to think how quickly the decades have gone past. My pop will be gone 9 years in a few days. Yet it still seems like only a couple of years ago we were celebrating my mom achieving a goal of fitting 1000 lights on her 6' tall Christmas tree. So the philosphy of walking slow and drinking plenty of water as radio host Jack Gravely used to say seems even more like a good idea on a chilly Saturday morning in February 2020 than usual to this story teller.
Life is short. Each day is a gift. Try not to go to bed angry. Live each day as if it was your first (not last). Be kind to your neighbors. Be glad with each day for it may be your last.
Cliche's that we hear a lot but really don't consider often enough. We should.
RIP Woods Walker.
 
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bykfixer

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Today was 9 years ago since my pop was called home to go fishing with my mom at the big lake in the sky. I remember thinking after a few days there he'd probably go target shooting at the big range in the sky because mom had out fished him yet again. See back in the 1970's my pop was set up to join the BASS Pro circuit yet his state of the art (back then) graphite rods and exo-lures the size of a small chicken could not catch as many fish as my mom with her Zebco 202 and a beetle spin.

When my mom died he stayed to himself for a couple of years and developed some health issues. Then one day he said "I'm done grieving" and that was that. He started living again and began life from a point he left off the day he married my mom including catching up with buddies from that point in time. Like a lot of people, his two favorite buddies were still living just like they did way back when. Hunting, fishing, relaxing and setting around telling stories of days gone by. My dad went to work one day and at quitting time punched his time card and announed that day had been his last. He had put it off for two years after filing paper work, but the lady in HR told somebody who told somebdy. And my pop wanted to just leave with no hooplah. So he waited then did it his way.

The health thing was no biggy to him as he was a simple man who did not understand all latin words like diabetes, ketone levels and neuropothry. He figured stewing over that stuff causes stress and stress will kill ya. He said "stress killed your mom at 60, and I plan to celebrate my 88th birthday." Doctors gave him a 50/50 chance to make it two more years. So he decided he was going to live life while he still could. He bought a second hand pickup truck and with his buddies built a 100 yard shooting range next to the "hunt shack" he and his buddies hung out in each day. That lasted a few years until one of the two fellows died in his living room one day. It turns out his 4th battle with cancer was the final battle. Again my dad went into mourning for a while.

By then he was ready for a heart bypass surgery. That was when my pop became an old man. Now he had lived 10 years longer than predicted after celebrating #72. But his buddy was gone, his heart was broken in one sense but fixed in another sense. Yet the spring in his step never returned. I was furloughed for a bit and spent a month at my dads lending a hand while he healed. My older brother had had a hernia fixed and was laying around a lot. Now my pop had just had his ribs separated but on day 3 at home said "call your brother and tell him quit being a <insert bad word here>" so I did. Basically my brother was drinking a lot back then and was using the surgery as an excuse to stay intoxicated and my pop knew that. When asked how painful a heart surgery is he replied "didn't hurt one bit. Uh, that was not the case but I never reminded him how miserable he was at first. I was glad he forgot.

So a time later my dad had a surgery to invert a vein in his leg that was clogged with plaque. That one really took a lot of wind out of his sales. I was living 350 miles away but a few months later moved in with him. He had a cleaning lady who cooked his meals, which is probably why he did not starve. See, my twin helped out while I was living away, but my dad would not accept his help. My twin visited before and after work every day only to see my pop refuse to eat or bath. He was commiting suicide one cigarette at a time as he passed the time by chain smoking and eating Snickers bars even though he was diabetic. The cleaning lady forced him to eat right and bath regularly. She gave him no choice. Do right or face the wrath of a snarling Jamaican lady. She also forbid him from smoking around her. One day I moved back to my dads house and turned 40 in my old bedroom. Ugh! It was tough at first due to being a grown man back living in his dads attic. I felt like a failure for a while. But one day the A/C broke and when I fixed it with a 49 cent part I began to feel like fate had done me a favor.

My pop had somebody to talk to and I could keep up his required maintenance after living in apartments a while where there aint much to do regarding manly do it yourself stuff. It was cool after a while. Then my 19 year old son moved in too. He was floundering around before that and soon had a full time job along with attending college full time. Now like my dad, my son does not talk much. Ask what time it is and you get the time. Me? Ask me what time it is and I'll explain how to build a clock. So one day my pop said "he don't talk much" about my son. I said "you don't either". He said "what do you mean by that?" I told him the story of one afternoon they were watching a baseball game. They both sat silently during the nantional anthem. After that my son said "this may be a pitchers dual". My pop said "low scoring probably". Silence until the third inning. My pop said "pitchers dual". My son said "kinda boring". Silence until the 7th inning stretch when my son said "that's a nice ball park". My dad said "I've never been to a pro game". At the end of the game at about 9:00 pm my dad said "see ya in the morning". I was sitting in the next room reading a magazine.

But when my pop had issues like bumping into furniture from being wobbly or needed help putting on shoes, one of us was there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until I worked on a project that was 18 hour days 6 days a week. There were gaps that the cleaning lady could help with. I began dating Mrs Fixer and stayed at her place during the week. Her place was 5 minutes from my 18 hour a day project. My dads house was an hour away. We got married after about a year of that and moved a block away from my dad. She became the cleaning lady. So between her, my son and I my dad had round the clock coverage. But becoming more frail with time he spent a lot of time in hospitals or rehab building up strength to return home after a bout of pnuemonia, or a taking a spill.

So when he developed a head cold that turned into pnuemonia we figured "eh, it's just episode #22, he'll be home soon". But one Saturday he asked my brothers and sister to visit him in the rehab facility he was in. They did. I visited after they had left. He asked for a peach milk shake. "huh?" "he hates peaches", but we found him one at a nearby Hardees. Then he wanted a chocolate shake. "Now that's more like it" I thought. He drank his shake and fell asleep. It was bedtime anyway so Mrs Fixer and I left for the evening. He had asked me if I was happy. "Of course" I said "how about you?" He replied he had seen all of his children on the same day so yeah he was happy.

Next morning my wife went to see him and make sure he ate his breakfast. I was planning on going after lunch. She came home and we went to the store to pick up supper for that evening. While at the store she got a call saying my dad was being rushed to an ER and it aint good. She dropped me off at home to grab my truck while she went to pick up her son at a friends and would come to the ER. When I arrived at the ER they told me my pop was pretty much dead even though his body didn't know it. "No way" I thought. While he was laying on a bed in the ER motionless, still breathing they told me it was just a matter of time. He stopped breathing. I touched his leg and said "uh, dad if you want to celebrste #88 you need to wake up". He started breathing again. By then my brothers had arrived. We left the room and talked nearby. I figured he wanted to go in peace and a room full of wailing people would not set well with him. So I'd step back in and talk a bit more about how everybody was there. I did not have the courage to be there at the end with my mom and dammit I wasn't going to make that mistake again.

Mrs Fixer was a wreck. She had never lost a parent and had begun to think of my dad as her dad. She had really bonded with him in a short time and was devistated he was gone too soon. I reminded her doctors have given him 2 years about 20 years ago and gave him 30 days or less twice……3 years ago. She decided it was best that he had gone home to be with my mom. He had called her my moms name a few times so she figured he would be happier with the real DeeDee (my moms nickname). After a few hours we all left and went home. I was alone in my truck driving down a country road. I cracked the driver side window and just meditated on the way home. I felt the world was short a good man now but was honored to have known him in his twighlight years when he was a much more patient person so his absolute wisdom was much easier to comprehend.

A few days later there was a funeral. Unlike my moms, his was only a handful of people. He had outlived nearly everybody he once knew and being a person who chose to live in solitude mostly the only people there were his favorite people. I really enjoyed the preachers closing words. "So as we close we do not say goodbye, but instead knowing we'll be together again we say see you later.
RIP pop.
 
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bykfixer

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Rodney:
So a couple of decades ago I was a person who wore many hats at work. I was a bonifide government official in a small town who had many roles since a typical small town has a small staff. Part of that role was to watch over contruction of new subdivisions. At that point in time the economy in America was in full throttle mode. So the housing industry was booming. Local land developers would hire somebody to build infrastructures to supply utilities to the houses being built that sold nearly as fast as they could build them. It was crazy times and I stayed pretty busy. But this one contractor was noticeably better at putting in water and sewer systems than anybody else around. They were a small-ish company owned by a man who had worked for a failing company in the 1970's and bought it when the economy crashed in the late 70's. He kept many of the employees. Some were his kin, others were neighbors of his kin. In the early 1980's the economy turned around and those guys were suddenly in demand. The new owner had a rock solid reputation and developers wanted his company to install pipes for them. Partly because they were good at it, but also fast. Those guys could get done in a day what it took others a week to do. Their boss treated them well and payed them well. So there was a loyalty not like with other companies. Partly because many were family or friends, but partly to a bonus system by the owner. There were little competions. Not who could do it faster, but who did it with the least errors.

Before a new system gets activated it gets tested. Take a water main for example. You pressurize the line well beyond its normal requirements in order to look for leaks. Leaks mean you have to dig up joints or bends to find where you did it wrong. Well that company worked hard and played harder. They were a bunch of country boys who often celebrated life. At that time paintball war was a big thing in the country. The company owner held big parties for his employees on a vast spread of land and paintball was one of their favorite recreations. But if you were a pipe layer for example and had a leak last week, the "tag your it" approach to paintball meant going home from a paintball war pretty sore with welps. A backhoe operator who nicked a pipe, or a foreman who lost a quantity contest paid a price too. But they had fun. Yet nobody wanted the stigma of being it because they were all so loyal to each other and the owner.

My job was not only to make sure they built the pipe systems correctly, but make sure when they filled the trenches with dirt they took the time to properly compress the dirt so no settled ditches occured in the roadway these pipes were under. They had equipment that got it done fast, but also done well. When I took over the job there were lots of subdivisions with settled trenches all over the place. I had come from maintenance and had personally shoveled asphalt over top of these settled ditches. My goal was to make sure others did not have to. At one point this one subdivision required pipes to be buried really deep. Well, really deep compared to what I was used to then. One day a foreman I was talking to said next week they were going to start putting in a sewer line. I asked if he was going to be the one doing it. He chuckled and said "oh no, Rodneys doing that one". I had never met this Rodney character. But that crew spoke of Rodney like he was Steve McQueen, Julius Ceaser and Al Capone all rolled into one.

When installing a sewer line the waste runs down hill. So when building a sewer they start at the lowest point and work uphill. The bottom of the sewer ended at a giant manhole that has pumps that push the waste to another giant manhole a few miles away, then eventually to a really big manhole where the waste is treated and sterilzed. So that Monday I see the biggest digging machines I ever saw driving to that project. Many giant Tonka toys are carried to a site on a trailer and dropped off. But these Tonka toys arrived in pieces. The normal sized equipment is used to assemble these monsters like you see on tv. The digging bucket for example was nearly big enough to put a house in. It took a couple of days to assemble the diggers and loaders. Then one day this Rodney character shows up. Now I'm thinking this fellow with a larger than life reputation would be some 6'4" dude with arms as big as my head. But I saw was this thin quiet fellow who stood about 5 and a half feet tall and had a pirate style ear ring. By the end of the day his crew had dug a 50 foot deep hole, set a gigantic concrete manhole in it, refilled the hole and spread out all of the extra dirt into a small dirt bike style set of jumps his crew was going to play on that weekend. "Holy crap, this guy is both Kool and the Gang" I thought. Every project I was at that Rodney ran things was another amazing site to behold. Watching his crew build stuff was a thrill to see. Done fast and done right. On a side note, every subdivision that company installed water and sewer at in my city to this day has zero settled trenches.

Life took me from that job to other greener pastures. So I lost track of the folks that worked for that company. Even though I was the enforcer to those people they still treated me like family. My job was small potatoes compared to what it led to later. Once there was a time when a million dollar waterline was a huge deal. Later I oversaw things in the hundreds of millions. Even billions. Bridges, canals, interstate highways etc. Yet every where I went I had not seen the caliber of ability that one company posessed in spades. Then one day I was tasked to fill in for a man who was having a bionic knee installed. That company was installing the pipes for that one. The boss told me to watch over the pipes being installed. I was met with hugs and hand shakes by everybody in that company. It was like returning from a trip to Mars and seeing the same people, the same smiles, the same dedication to quality and quantity. They all had gray hair with wrinkles and moved slower. One guy had gotten really fat. Really really fat. But it was great catching up, and a few I was able to tell how being around them decades before had changed me for the better.

One day my boss said "those guys are amazing, in my 40 years of doing this I have never seen such a good group of guys". For me it was like my own little secret gold mine. When those guys bragged to my bosses of my abilities it was a huge boost in not only my morale but in my career later on. I had always wanted to be like that Rodney character, and suddenly people on my side of the fence saw me in a new light. To them I was Rodney.

Of course I asked "where's old Rodney working these days?". The reply was "he quit" so I just figured he was moved onto bigger and better. Yet it turns out he is a guy in a red robe at a Lowes store in plumbing. Just some schmuck who tells you what aisle the light bulbs are on. Rodney had a brand new baby girl when I met him. She was the twinkle in his eye. Everything he strived for, the big house, the farm he later bought, the horses, the money he stashed for her college was why he got out of bed everyday and worked sunup to sundown, always at full throttle. But one day his teenage daughter bedded down with a thug nasty dude. She apparently refused to see he was a dangerous person until the day he beat her to death. It seems that for two years he struggled with watching his daughter be hospitalized by that guy, or showed up for Sunday dinner with another black eye. Meanwhile she had a daughter of her own by this hoodlum. Rodney had a grand daughter. Now he used to be the sort of guy who would take care of things the country way. This thug would just disappear one day and turtles in a nearby swamp would be well fed for a time. (wink wink) But his daughter would disown her dad if any harm came to the guy. It seems that ole Rodney was distracted a lot at work or just missed time while he drank into a two week stuper.

The day came to identify the body of his daughter. The grand daughter came to live with Rodney. Then a custody suit took place so Rodney was in court trying to keep his grand daughter from being raised by the monster who had skated on the murder charge on a technicality. One day he checked out I was told. He disappeared for a few months and when he resurfaced it was to call his boss to say he was quitting his job. When the foreman told me that Story I was in shock. The next day my dad took a turn for the worse and passed a few days later, so life was all about that for a period. But one day I made my way into that Lowes on a day Rodney was working. Here comes walking my way this thin quiet guy with the same cheshire grin and a cocky swagger in his steps. Everybody that worked for that company back then walked like Vinnie Vegas in Pulp Fiction. But Rodney had it toned down to where it just looked Steve McQueen cool. We talked for a bit, not mentioning the tragedy, but about life as it is now. He said it came a day when he decided to liquidate everything, move to a tiny house and work at a place like Lowes where there is no pressure to do anything more than tie on his red robe and assist customers. He eventually got custody of his grand daughter too. His wife, once an executive at a law firm now drives a school bus.

He has now gone from full time to part time status at Lowes since he owes nobody anything other than taxes and utilities. To me this guy has lived a life many strived for. Then tradgedy caused him to live a second life others have strived for. There was a life nobody would wish on their worst enemy in between. I had my share of tragedy at points, but nothing like that. One day I woke up to a new way of looking at things much like that guy I wanted to be like someday. While in Lowes last night I realized I am a lot like Rodney in some respects. He was once pretty famous in the road construction world. I was a who's who of municipal employment. We both lived a dreadful life for a time at about the same time then later found inner peace without all that fame. He is just some guy with a red robe and a pirate ear ring who shows an elderly couple where the picture frame nails are in a shopping mall sized box store and I'm just a gray haired baseball hat wearing kid showing young people how to write reports each day. When we parted company last evening he patted me on the shoulder and swaggered off to plumbing fixtures to help a customer. He has no idea how much that pat on the shoulder meant nor how much putting life into perspective it entailed this morning.
I am truely honored to know that guy.

Mrs Fixer said "how come he always smiles like that?" I replied "that's just Rodney being Rodney.
 
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bykfixer

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At my dads funeral gathering the night before some folks from that construction company mentioned in the previous post were there representing the owner who paid them to attend since he could not. That was pretty cool I thought. One guy who had replaced Rodney was asked to go to represent the owner while the rest were there as an honor to my family. At that point not many of the numerous people I had once dealt with at work knew I was even back around. One day I was their inspector, next day I was gone. One day I was just done and left. At times I had seen Rodney at various places. We would shoot the breeze like typical men in our field. So in so has a John Deere this or that, such n such finally bagged that 22 point buck fondly named Bullwinkle. Stuff like that. He knew why I had left my job at the government, but he was still in his role as miracle maker for his boss.

So the day I ran across folks still working for that company he used to they knew I had landed on my feet after a hard time, but did not know where I was. The last time I had seen Rodney I was living in another state but was at a home depot buying something for my dad. I was in town for that day. There are times even now when I see somebody in a store and they say "how long have you been back?" I reply "15 years" to hear "hell nobody knew where you were". I reply is "don't tell anybody you saw me please". Fame aint all it's cracked up to be in my view. But every so often life puts you in the same spot as people who really made a difference long ago. Sometimes you didn't even realize how much that persons influence had placed a curve in the path called destiny.

Other times you stumble across people who quickly remind you why you did not like them a long time ago, and still don't. That's the ones I tell "don't tell nobody you saw me". I'd really like to play a game of darts with ole Rodney some day, yet it will probably never happen. Neither of us even own a set of darts these days. While chatting with him in Lowes I was holding some air filters for my climate control system and remarked "when I first met you these things came in a box of. 24 for $5". Him being the genious that he is took note I was holding the budget version and says "yeah and those cheap ones are $5 apiece now". I said "yeah but small flashlights can do a thousand lumens these days" and he replied "and cars that go 150 mph can get up to 32 mpg". He was wearing a 25 year old pair of boat shoes and I was wearing a 20 year old zippered hoody.

I also bought a pair of insulated gloves that are thin enough to button my shirt while wearing them. We both agreed it is a great time to be alive because we have been living long enough to appreciate many of the modern advancements while still being young enough to adapt to the rapidly changing world. We both understand how simple pleasures in life are easy to come by if you just slow down enough to see them. How what was once seen as ordinary can seem outdated or even strange. The technological advances unnoticed by many are modern miracles to others.

The thing I remember is a day working next to a lake and a guy in a sail boat asked if he could drive the backhoe a guy digging next to a lake with was running. The backhoe operator replied yes as long as he could drive that sailboat. Both Rodney and I have driven the backhoe of life where you build things at a frantic pace but now enjoy driving the sail boat of life at a much slower pace. And everything is cool as long as we remember to take our little pills each day that without we would end up dead a lot younger. Pills needed after living life at a frantic pace once upon a time that inflicted wear and tear on our mortal shells. But thanks to technological advances we can enjoy the ride a little longer
 

orbital

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Late last Spring on a mild rainy day,,

while walking through my place, out of nowhere it seemed as if the world was coming to end.
It's interesting how in 1/10 of a second you can think multiple things.

There was a crack/boom & I thought 'was that thunder, really not stormy out'
Then it looked as if every tree in my yard was falling; so much so, it gave the effect the my place going up, not trees coming down.:eek:oo:
: is there a tornado
: did a plane just crash into my trees above
: falling space junk
: who knows

Never experienced anything like that before.
So I look out side and a giant tree limb came down, you have to understand how big some of my trees are.
When outside to assess my property: hit my roof some, smashed a lannon stone planter area, and demolished an Adirondack rocker I have.
(If I was sitting in that chair at the time, I would not be typing right now)

This limb was soo big, it could have been a full grown tree itself,
in the process it took down two other limbs of other trees in the process.

Good thing I have a chain saw
It took me a few days but I got it sorted, cut up, stacked ect.. For the Adirondack rocker, I just pitched it by the rest of the wood pile.

Fast forward to now::
Wanting to replace my demolished Adirondack, I looked into what's available & came across of polywood alternatives.
Found a brand that uses recycled plastics & stainless hardware = got a really good deal & ordered it up.

It's incredible what can be done with recycled plastics by adding some fiber binders & some magic stuff to make freakin' military grade composites.

To tie in my "Stuff that just works" thread and mentioning recycling:
I now have an Adirondack rocker that you can't tell is poly from just a few feet away
and.... it'll likely outlast me
 

bykfixer

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Was it lightning Orb?

One year a coworker says "man I got kidney stones". My dad used to get them and it would drop him to his back. So I felt bad for the guy. Then one evening I went to pee and nothing happened. I felt a little funky on my side but no biggy. So I took a motrin then laid down for a nap. An hour later I wake up and go to pee again and "plink", then things returned to normal. "pffft, this is nothing" I thought. "that guy must be a wuss". Well later that evening I discovered why folks say they'd never wish a kidney stone on an enemy. Oh my. I passed, or rather say gave birth to 11 spikes that night. HO LEE COW. They would start at my back left and slowly slice their way onto their destination and after an hour of agony "plink". Then another, and another. I called into work the next day, went to a dox in a box and went back home and slept from about noon until the next morning.

I do not know what prompted that story on this night. But if you work in a job where you have to hold your pee, or just choose to in order to get more work done……Don't.
 

orbital

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Was it lightning Orb? ..

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At the time, my Oaks were unusually heavy w/ acorns,
that combined with the light rain on the leaves was enough to weight down//bring down that giant limb.

==== Funny enough, I was burning some of that wood/branches just today, to clean up the area where I put everything,
it was a very nice day here.
 

Poppy

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Was it lightning Orb?

One year a coworker says "man I got kidney stones". My dad used to get them and it would drop him to his back. So I felt bad for the guy. Then one evening I went to pee and nothing happened. I felt a little funky on my side but no biggy. So I took a motrin then laid down for a nap. An hour later I wake up and go to pee again and "plink", then things returned to normal. "pffft, this is nothing" I thought. "that guy must be a wuss". Well later that evening I discovered why folks say they'd never wish a kidney stone on an enemy. Oh my. I passed, or rather say gave birth to 11 spikes that night. HO LEE COW. They would start at my back left and slowly slice their way onto their destination and after an hour of agony "plink". Then another, and another. I called into work the next day, went to a dox in a box and went back home and slept from about noon until the next morning.

I do not know what prompted that story on this night. But if you work in a job where you have to hold your pee, or just choose to in order to get more work done……Don't.
Hey brother, I am sorry that I laughed at your story. But I did. :(

Some of us would be luckier if they had a shorter route to the end of the tunnel if you know what I mean.

I am glad for you that this is a story from the past!
Stay hydrated, and pee often :)
Poppy
 

bykfixer

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Oh, I did not learn my lesson on that one Poppy. Holding back too long is a bad idea when your body produces excess uric acid. I did not know that back then. Round 2 was only one stone. But it felt like a spiked frisbee on the way out. I also did not know how nerve endings work either. When you pass a stone it irrates certain nerve endings at the exit point before you hear "plink" so it leaves you feeling like you have to constantly pee.

So episode #2 I passed one and kept thinking I had to pee. After 24 hours I thought man I must be ready to expolode by now because I had not gone like it felt like should have happened. I go to the ER thinking they could help. I get back in the back and the Australian nurse with an evil senses of humor says "trust me you do not have to pee". Lady I know I do. She says I'll prove it. I asked how. She says "irrigation" and shows me this 5' hose the size of a garden hose. I'm like "gulp, hows that work". She says "we use this to remove the urine from your bladder". My brain ponders "hose is 5 feet long, intenstines are 500 feet long……so I ask "does that go where I think it goes" and she gets this evil grin and says "yup". I say "is it gonna hurt?" she says "hurts like hell it does". She says "are you absolutely sure you think you have to pee?"

I'm thinking "I'm going to die today, and all because I drank a grape soda knowing the last time I drank grape soda I passed 11 stones". "Yeah I'm certain". She says "want a novacaine shot first?" Gulp "um err uh……sure why not". It was asking if I want a needle in my eyeball…… Get the shot, wait a bit, she shoves the tube in like SWAT busting down a door with a battering ram motion, tube is in, she pulls on a plunger, out comes a quart of yellow liquid and she says "hmm, I guess you did have to pee". It seems a small cut caused a scab to form and blocked the exit. Holy smokes.

They gave me some pills to halt the irratation feeling. It produced this really orange color to urine. At work it had snowed. I'd pee over snow since I work out side. My spot was on a bank away from people. Each time I went I'd melt some snow, eventually melting letters spelling out my name. Snow melts in time and on the dirt was my name in orange letters. lol.

It was probably 15 years before I drank another grape soda. That was after drinking a quart of spring water before I opened the bottle. Won't taking no chances. Excess uric acid runs in the family. Luckily for me it's kidney stones that are kept away by staying properly hydrated. My older brother is plagued with gout and it's the reason for my sisters arthritis. Neither of which have discovered proper hydration really works. My twin is not plagued with it since he drinks fluids religiously to ward off dehydration induced muscle cramps.

Anyway I hope that Aussie nurse is doing ok in this pandemic wherever she is. She said as I left "I have had 3 kids and kidney stones and I'd rather give birth than have another kidney stone, hang in there kiddo".
 
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orbital

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We talk alot about hobbies in this forum,, knives/radios'/photography/ you name it

For me, flashlights I place in tools & gear category, so it gives me room for a true hobby, Off Road RC cars = advancements in brushless motors & particularly LiPo batteries have transformed the rc industry.
Yes it's a bit dorky, but it allows me to make & modify stuff w/ no rules. All you need to do is monitor temperatures in how wild you want stuff to go.

So last Sunday I went over to a friends house where he has a track, we run 6~8 times a year. From our conversation, I thought we were going to work on the track, so I didn't being any RC stuff.
After getting there I see he went a bit nutso using a tractor driven pulverizer in his yard,,, kinda over did it.

He came out and we walked around surveying on what we needed to do to remake his track ( btw it's rather good w/ huge berms/ jumps ect.)
Giving my input we started getting an idea where it was going...

Just then I hear "dude, check this out", (I thought he found some rc part that flew off) and he reaches down in the fresh 'pulverized' dirt & picks up an incredible arrowhead.
Now I have one myself, but this was a very good one,,, the craftsmanship on it was truly amazing.
Obviously it was very old and dirty, but the symmetry was very good, but the most interesting part was its edges had a medium fine serration that must have taken some high level of skill to make.
..still sharp on its edges.

I told him about the type of rock that was needed and how long it takes that types of rock (including an outcrop) to form.
Just a truly fantastic find!!!

Indians have played a big part in the history of the region, going waaaay back, Wisconsin particularly has many cities of Indian names.
Was this arrowhead from hunting?,, was it from a battle?,,, we will never know.

It just was the damnedest chance he looked down at just the right spot, and something caught his eye.

I told him he should give it to his newborn daughter later in her life....... really/truly neat!
 
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bykfixer

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Nice story O.

I used to walk around looking until my eyes got blurry. One thing I discovered is if you looking during or just after a rain event they stand out like Christmas ornaments on a tree. When dry a slight dirt haze camoflauges them similar to surrounding dirt.

I had the chance to learn from historians that the more craftsmanship they had, the older they likely were. It seems once the really early period was over, call it the cave man days there was a craftsmanship that took place for a while. Then like any society once they figured out how to do it faster and faster the fine details went away. Look at houses to see what I mean. Old houses were works of art. Newer match stick homes all look the same.

It also seems that tribes had their own style. Christmas tree, wolf, owl style as they were known. Lay it down on a table point facing up and you'll see what I mean. The more notches carved into the piece is an indicator of age. Newer ones have less notches.

Some were used as a drill bit in order to drill holes through leather. Some were used in a lacrosse style where a strip of leather was gathered like a lasso with the "point" as the arrowhead was called was spun around in a twirling notion like a lasso, then one half of the leather released to send the point towards the animal at a high rate of speed. That was way more effective than the hollywood famous bow and arrow. Some were fashioned onto darts as a bird killer, some on sprears for plunging into water to harpoon a fish.

In my area they were mostly farmers. Meat was a rare treat.

I used to walk around quiet areas day dreaming of a tribe elder showing a young stud how to smack two rocks together in order to fashion a tool for hunting. Then the day came when the youngster was off somewhere smaking rocks together in a whittling fashion and making his own tool, then returning to the camp and showing his bloody tool to the elder.

It's fitting that during this pandemic the population of the US is all stressed about a virus. Way back when viruses killed way more indigenous people than guns. Whole tribes wiped out by what they called "running face". Cholera, flu, the head cold. It was written by the few who wrote down stories, the ones taught to read and write that it was not unusual for a hunter to return to camp and find 30,000 dead people who died of running face in a short period.

Keep searching Orbital. Who knows that you'll find.
 

RedLED

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Orbital,

Our home in the desert is built on a sand dune, and it is very easy to find arrowheads here. It is very interesting. A lady we know found the pieces to a really big pot a few years back, and was only missing one or two pieces out of the dozens it took to restore it.

We have not looked for any in a while but there are lots of artifacts right here on our property.

Best,

RL
 
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bykfixer

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Photo bug bit again:

When I was a lad my father was an ace photographer. He had one of those fancy cameras with lenses you swap out for others. He worked as a machinist in a factory that made alluminum stuff like sprinkler pipe, bleachers and alluminum foil. He found a source for Pentax gear for about half the price a typical American paid and preferred Japanese glass over German. Now the camera he used was totally manual so when it was time for family photos that was a drag while he dialed in the perfect settings. "Cheeeeeeeee-eeeeeee-eeeeee please take the picture already eeeeeeeeeeze" was the norm. We learned not to blink because that meant another photo required. But his photos were studio quality regardless of location. He took great photos. I did not know until after he had passed how many masterpieces he had taken as he was a quiet person who kept things to himself. He was big into black and white photos and had some that were outstanding macros, nature settings and celestrial in subject. All we ever got to see during his slide shows were family and vacation stuff. He never showed off his photo journalism, civil war reenactment pictures or anything to do with his hobby as a photographer. I discovered a treasure trove of slides after he passed away.

Now as a young adult I was the family photographer of my kids etc, but my gear was that automatic point and shoot stuff so that was easy. I never knew about blurry backgrounds or depth of field or close ups. Then one day I found myself divorced, furloughed from work and bored out of my mind. I went outside my 800sf apartment one day and started taking photos of stuff. That led to more photos later on as I discovered a new way to pass the time. At first I developed my own some but decided it was worth the little cost to have them developed at a store. It was about $2 a roll. At one point I was shotting 2 or 3 rolls a day. Buy a 3 pack of Fuji 200 speed and drop them off the next day. Heck, I even had a few worth upsizing to 8x10.

At one point I showed my dad a few and after looking at them he went back to his den, then brings back a Canon AE-1 and a small book on photography by Kodak. It was a how to book that was like my dad. Very few words but very profound statements. The book was about 8" tall and 3" wide with about 25 pages. The pure basics. Now the battery was bad in the AE-1 and at that time were $13 apiece in a camera store. The famous CR123. The AE-1 was 100% manual but did have a built in light meter. Being used to everything automatic my first few rolls of film shot through that were complete duds. But as I understood what that little book was saying more and more I began to gain a decent understanding of obtaining decent photos. I stuck with 200 speed film as 400 or more were just too sensitive for my skills at the time and 100 pictures were often blurry. I soon discovered a mono pod was my friend.

Now enter the age of online photo sharing and soon film was becoming obsolete to me. I was a member of a nationwide skateboard team called Old Man Army where people over 30 shared their local riding spots. My first digital camera was a pair of binoculars with a 0.9mp camera. Folks in Pheonix, Portland, LA, and Boise were like "dude you need a better camera". I still preferred film and just stopped posting crappy photos at my favorite sites. My dad gave me his old Pentax gear and I was set. "Screw digital"'I thought. But then one day at work a coworker handed me a Hewlett Packard camera and says "know how to use this?" I said I could turn it on. He stated since I knew more than he did it was mine to keep as he had found it on the side of the road. I went to a local electronics store and bought a charger for the battery and discovered "holy crap, this is 7 MP!!" It took really nice photos.

A couple weeks of snapping photo after photo with this new digital marvel that you could instantly see results of instead of waiting for developing I was hooked. I took photos of everything. Afterall you can just delete them. And instead of being strapped to 24 photos a roll, I could take 100 before the memory card got full (if the battery lasted that long). I had spare batteries and spare memory cards. I think a 256 mb was huge at the time and getting 50 photos per charge was awesome. One day I was talking to this gal about the beautiful sunset earlier that evening. She showed me some photos she had taken of it. I showed her some I had taken. Off in the distance of my photos was a person. Turns out it was her taking photos of the same sunset as me. I married her about 18 months later. It was Mrs Fixer.

Her and I both evolved our photography skills as she learned what the buttons do and I learned how to frame a subject. Her photos were beautiful. She was just pushing buttons she said. I was dialing in settings. Between the two of us we took thousands upon thousands of neat photos. Some were even good enough for a ribbon or two. But life got in the way and we began using celphones for cameras. By then we both had nice SLR cameras and lots of nice lenses. She did pictures for people like team photos or weddings. I did the editing. We even did a couple of short films just for laughs. I was more into celphone cam flaws and enjoyed getting familiar with how my celcam would screw up a scene and learned how to make use of the flaws. My big cameras got used less and less. At high school football games and other sporting events many thought we were pros because we carried nice gear. I always carried mine bolted to a monopod, which really got the local soccer-mom Ansel Adams wanna be with their low end SLR cameras all whipped into a frenzy. We just took photos and if parents wanted a copy we just charged for the ink and paper. Other parents were charging like they were working for Sports Illustrated and our photos were actually better for $5 apiece.

At my work word got out that I was a photographer. The company started using my work photos for promos. They even paid me for them. But with the money came demands. Demands my artistic approach did not care for. So as time passed I got away from taking photos at work unless it was purely for my pleasure. Birds, dragonflies, and various nature stuff. My photojournalism skills had become pretty good but I was losing interest photography all together. The passion just wasn't there and it showed in my work as photo after photo were just more of the same old crap. I turned to fixing up cars, then flashlights and used my celphone to take photos.

Much of my pro-type gear is stashed away these days. But the other day I purchased a fancy point n shoot number with lots of controls possible. I plan on using it mainly for work but with its small size figure when the mood strikes it will also be used for artistry at times since there are occasions I wish I had my big gear up and running. I keep an SLR rig in my work truck but usually by the time I set it up the scene has passed. I'm hoping the nice point n shoot will allow some spur of the moment treasures to be captured on a sensor with much better quality than an iPhone cam, which aren't bad for tablet screen sized photos. With a much larger sensor the individual "photosites" should have much greater detail. The celphone is pretty dawg gone convenient. The SLR provides fantastic detail. I'm hoping my new high end point and shoot is somewhere in between. The goal is to take photos my dad would have liked. Thanks to that little book he gave me I have the ability to do that.

An example was one day on an assignment I kept hearing the distinct sounds of a belted Kingfisher bird nearby. Being notoriously shy they are hard to photograph up close. It was a time during its migration so I knew it was only in town for a short time. I had been trying to get a decent photo of one for 20 years. All I kept getting was the butt of one while it flew away. After a couple of days I knew the birds habit and found a blind. I waited for it to announce its presence like they do with a distinctive machine gun sounding chirp. Armed with my SLR and long lens I popped a couple of pretty good photos of it from about 50 yards away. I hope to get one even closer with my point n shoot someday since it takes only a couple of seconds from bag to photo where my SLR takes over a minute unless the long lens is already attached. About 3 minutes from bag to photo if not.
 
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Poppy

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bykfixer,
Thank you, that was a nice walk along memory lane. :)

My dad took thousands of family photos, and of events that we participated in, not too many of birds or wildlife.

His was a 50's era Argus, rangefinder 35MM camera, usually loaded with B&W film.

He had a separate hand held light meter, but I don't think he used that often.
Each roll of film, came with a little bit of instruction, with a pictorial of which f stop settings to use with different lighting conditions; such as bright sun, cloudy, overcast, dense shade. Of course the f settings would vary depending upon the film speed. IIRC he had the pictorial scotch taped to the back of the camera of the film he most frequently used, for reference.

To change the roll of film, one had to first rewind the exposed film, back into its container, before opening the back of the camera, or the film would be ruined.
I remember him changing rolls of film, under a blanket, jacket, or something to keep the film, out of direct sunlight, if not in darkness, at least in dense shade.

ACtC-3eA4BhPJnwHVhk01YKgKI8J2FsRLbPLAfXLn5Bh61JeCrnK_q1ScmmAEDtzKQI7xSxIgPMTurUp3Zz209fpwmdsGAEj1bCDGzo7slR5d5mVckoFh-Tx7gjrid72KmHuNcYxExM_7Q3ynuYeHrMZhZl4=w1010-h757-no



ACtC-3fbN39xzFHm7q04jQg8d3ECClhrqnwmPgpm9gJ7OBsiZTecIe3XI2TniYEjraxVlsd64r-zwt17L1dbSmHxZSlgIkUeJlgVxNhVQM05nNGIIn9OLZWpUeMO8pyGqQNYeAcr65gpbF10Eyb_V7PLHTIe=w1010-h757-no


ACtC-3dYMavzbrIQtmt91k1sPJN_Imp0euQA_5aVWKBcUxiAS_dD74k5EmPTPbPYHi2vbNsFfNUjjGJJsRqwAd139SBqNsN2ch4zpUXA-pq43kiA36LOSghqZPutyAAkOGN8WUbonf7_oOIPoRlkyacaEl3S=w1010-h757-no
 

bykfixer

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Awesome old camera!!

My pop would always cover his camera before removing the film too. He also insisted on black film containers too. My Rebel G had that awesome auto wind feature. Yeah baby I was some kinda cool with that. My dad said "wastes battery, you don't need that". But dad it's cool.

Of course later I realized pop was right……I wonder how many more photos I could have taken on a battery not run down with auto wind feature.
 

orbital

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WI
+

Just a couple days ago, was on a motorbike ride a county over.
Very beautiful area of lakes & rolling hills forests.

While going though this tiny town, I passed an old fashioned general store.
Now I'v passed it before, but just the other day noticed something I hadn't before..

an old rusting sign on the outside that said Kodak film sold here

It made me think of times past & my Dad
 

Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
+

Just a couple days ago, was on a motorbike ride a county over.
Very beautiful area of lakes & rolling hills forests.

While going though this tiny town, I passed an old fashioned general store.
Now I'v passed it before, but just the other day noticed something I hadn't before..

an old rusting sign on the outside that said Kodak film sold here

It made me think of times past & my Dad
Beautiful!
I'm all smiles. :)
 

Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
For a while, 110 format cameras were in style, and for a number of years, I kept one in my glove box of my car.

I think this is the model.

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It was a neat little number with an electric eye, that could adjust the shutter speed, down to about 10 seconds, or up to 1/300 of a second.

One day, a friend and I drove out of town to an "Oktoberfest". As a part of the publicity they had the "Atlanta Falcon Cheerleaders" I jumped out of the car, and gave my camera to my friend. "Here... take my picture!"

In my early 20's surrounded by the most beautiful women in the world. Man.. life is good!

Damn... can't find that picture. :(
 
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