Friday, October 21, 2016

Driving In Winter Wonderland

I hate to see my friends head south for the winter- that is one of the drawbacks of Winter.  Two months from today, Winter begins on the calendar. No one knows what this winter will be like- The Farmers Almanac calls for a normal winter, whatever that is? So todays video is for you who will miss out on Driving in Our Winter Wonderland- and it is also for those who forget what winter driving looks like around here. I am looking forward to snow.
Winter is Coming- Knit faster.

Sven and Olie died and went to Hell. After awhile, the Devil came by to see how his new guests were doing. To his amazement, he found Sven and Olie were still wearing their winter gear and seemed to be quite comfortable. The Devil asked why they weren't hot.
Olie replied, "We come from Minnesota where it's always cold. This is feeling pretty good to us." This upset the Devil, so he turned up the thermostat. Awhile later the Devil looked in again on Sven and Olie. To his surprise he found they were still wearing their winter gear. The Devil questioned them on it again. "You have to remember that we are from Minnesota and it's very, very cold there. This is feeling nice to us."
The Devil was even madder at this, so he turned the thermostat all the way up to maximum temperature. The Devil waited some time and then went back to Sven and Olie. This time he found they had only unzipped their coats, but still had all their winter clothes on. The Devil couldn't understand what was going on. The punishment down here was supposed to be the unbearable heat. It wasn't working on these two. He had to ask again what the deal was. Sven replied, "We are Minnesotans and we just got over a freezing winter. This is really great for Olie and Me.
A light flickered in the Devil's mind. He went to the thermostat and turned it off. He thought if the heat wasn't a punishment, maybe he'd give them some freezing temperatures. A little while later the Devil came back to check in on Sven and Olie only to find them cheering and giving each other high fives, happier than ever! The Devil questioned them on their actions and Sven said happily, "Back home they always said, the Vikings will win the Super Bowl when Hell freezes over!!!"

Bob and his wife live in Toledo, Ohio. One winter morning while listening to the radio, they hear the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through." Bob's wife goes out and moves her car.
A week later while they are eating breakfast, the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through."
Bob's wife goes out and moves her car again.
The next week they are having breakfast again, when the radio announcer says "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park..........." then the electric power goes out.
Bob's wife is very upset, and with a worried look on her face she says, "Honey, I don't know what to do." Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplow can get through?
With the love and understanding in his voice like all men who are married to Blondes exhibit, Bob says, "Why don't you just leave it in the garage this time?"

After the winter thaw, the entire neighborhood was able to start a slush fund for next year.

Do birds know where they're going when they fly south for the winter or do they just wing it every time?

After winter, the trees are relieved.

In the winter my dog wears his coat, but in the summer he wears his coat and pants.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Down In The Ditch- 23 Years!

It was on this date in 1993 that I started work for WSDOT in Wenatchee. (23 years ago) It really was a blessing; as we had just bought this house, our oldest daughter was a senior in High School, Jan had just started her job, and I was on city council- so moving would have changed our lives greatly. The previous month  I commuted to Kent; as I had to transfer to Kent, or quit my WUTC job. The following year I would learn that additional layoffs at WUTC occurred, if I had stayed with them. DOT has been good to me and I have worked with some great friends. My first winter was spent on Stevens pass working nights plowing snow. I love the variety of work we perform and our goal of keeping the roads open for you.
In 2003 I went to the Striping Crew in the summers and continue to work in maintenance for winters. I actually work for two different bosses (ok, 3 with my wife). We are winding down our striping operations this month and then back to maintenance for winter.
Thanks to Luther Beatty for hiring me- I have gone thru about a dozen different lead techs, about 7 supervisors and about 5 superintendents. In fact my winter Superintendent, worked with me on nights my first winter on Stevens pass. Yes I started in maintenance- working 4 ten hour days. Winters have always been in maintenance- although I had been assigned to Stevens, and Leavenworth, besides working in Wenatchee. In 2003 I transferred to Striping Crew (Traffic). I have seen many changes, shared many laughs, shared some sorrows-and have so many memories that I treasure. I welcome the new hires and it is tougher each time to say goodbye to those retiring or have passed on- The Lord Willing I hope I can retire in 4 more years and let someone younger take over. It really has worked out great and has gone by so fast.

My friend was fired from his job at the road department for stealing. I have to say I saw it coming. The last time I was at his house all the signs were there.

My father's father wanted to know if he could stay with the company in spite of the many changes. They ended up grandfathering him in
Two mentally-challenged fellows are digging a ditch, when one of them asks the other, "Why are we both down in this ditch digging in the hot sun, doing all the work, while our foreman sits in the shade, smoking a cigar, reading a newspaper, and he getspaid more than we do?" His partner says, "I donno. Why don't you go ask him?" So he climbs out of the ditch, and goes over to where the foreman is. "We were wondering why are we both down in this ditch digging in the hot sun, doing all the work, while you sit in the shade, smoking a cigar, reading a newspaper, and get paid more than we do?" The foreman says, "Well, it's because of education." "Ed-you-kay-shun? What the heck is that?" The foreman smiles broadly, "I was hoping you'd ask that." He puts his hand up on a big tree and says, "Now, you take your shovel, and hit my hand just as HARD as you can." Wow, the old boy's been waiting for a chance like this, so he really cranks up his backswing and let's it fly. But *just* before it hits his hand, the foreman jerks it away. The shovel meets the tree, "BLANG," and the fellow kinda "vibrates" back down into the ditch. His buddy says, "What'd he say?" "Well, he said that the reason why we both down in this ditch digging in the hot sun, doing all the work, while he sits in the shade, smoking a cigar, reading a newspaper, and get paid more than we do is because of ed-you-kay-shun." "Ed-you-kay-shun? What the heck is that?" (smiling broadly) "I was hoping you'd ask that." (puts his hand up in front of his face) "Now, you take your shovel and hit my hand just as HARD as you can..."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

We Salute You, Real Men of Genius

Monday we welcome Jeremy Worley to our striping crew as the new driver to replace Beau who is our new lead tech.  We also say goodbye to Johnathan who is moving on to Radio dispatch on Monday, and to Jeanine Ring, our former boss, who is retiring on Wednesday.  Sid Simon retired this summer. Johnny Allen and Brad came back this summer to help out. We even moved to a new office last month that has the best top floor view. I don't have a video for this year, or even a group photo, so here is 2013 video to show you what we do. 2013 was our last year with Pat Medrano as lead driver, he became a lead tech on Stevens. We welcomed Steve Lupton as support Truck driver in 2013, and is still with us. It was a good year with no accidents and lots of good memories. So here is a salute to the NCR Striping Crew- Real Men of Genius- We Salute You.
This is Brad who  worked with Us this summer and works radio dispatch in winter.
Alana Johnson has been on striping crew longer than any present crew member
I enjoyed working with Jeremy Worley in Leavenworth and on Stevens Pass
Here is a selfie, by Hendricks Road, where we striped this spring below Othello.
This was our entire crew the first year I worked with striping crew- back in 2003. One has passed on, two were promoted, and 3 of us are still with crew 16 years later. Our boss back then retires this Wednesday.
This may be last group photo we have taken- this is from 2014 and has Sid Simon our former Lead Tech in it.

My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory, but I got canned. Couldn't concentrate.
Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.
After that, I tried being a Tailor, but wasn't suited for it -- mainly because it was a sew-sew job.
Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that was too exhausting.
Then, tried being a Chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but just didn't have the thyme.
Next, I attempted being a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it.... couldn't cut the mustard.
My best job was a Musician, but eventually found I wasn't noteworthy.
I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but didn't have any patience.
Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory. Tried hard but just didn't fit in.
I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered I couldn't live on my net income.
Managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance Company, but the work was just too draining.
So then I got a job in a Workout Center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job..
After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a Historian - until I realized there was no future in it.
My last job was working in Starbucks, but had to quit because it was the same old grind.
FINALLY I tried RETIREMENT and found it PERFECT for me.