Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Walmart chicken cooked to celebrate the end of the Russo Japanese war. dry like the inside of a barrel of sand. chasing a neutral safety switch. or will rebuild the current one like a carpenter restores a blown out door jamb.
tired and blind we race rats throgh the maze. the pharoah took us out to drink on the ocean and we flirted with the stars. I left a trail of bread crumbs through the universe and it is up to you to follow it.

speaking of finding something. I'll buy a beer to the first person who can locate a neutral safety switch for a 1969 econoline E 200 5.0L van. The 1970 part doesn't work supposedly. I need one from a junkyard preferably so I can get the experience of taking it off before I destroy my own transmission linkage. Or a new one.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mt. Man

I'm taking a moral inventory. What step is that in the AA book?
I am trying to get my van legal. Fuckers at the chop shop are as smooth as cream when they are trying to get me to drop the van off. Vultures seeing dollar signs where my headlights are.
So I drop it off and blast back on my Vespa Ciao on route one to work another 11 hours. Then go back and it is all ugly attitude and nasty stares from the service writers. What is the deal?

"What's up? Why no sticker," I said after seeing my van with no inspection sticker.
The dude's attitude was terrible. Treated me like dirt. All condescending tone.
"Well, there are no reverse lights and the shift interlock system doesn't work so you can start the engine in all gears."
"Why would I start the engine in anything other than park?"
"You shouldn't."
"I don't."
"Well, then..."
"It's illegal."
"Only an idiot would turn the key with the tranny in reverse."
"It's the shift interlock. That's all I can say."
"Are you sure it had one?"
"I'm not. I'm not sure at all."
Get it fixed and we'll give you a sticker."
"You're serious? Because I could start the van in reverse you want to fail it? Do I look like an asshole?"
"Bring it back when it's fixed."
"I'll never fix that. I'm sure they bypassed it for a good reason."
"And no reverse lights."
"There were reverse lights."
"Not today."
"Well, who cares?"

Everyone of the service writers were looking at me like I was dirt. I felt like driving my '69 van into their window and crushing all those fiberglass sports cars they display in place of their pricks. Some asshole with a baby blue Harley outside that couldn't get over a curb if you had an F22 afterburner thruster attached to it's ass.

So I leave with an attitude like I just threw $20 away on some bullshit inspection. And I go to the van and open the door and on the floor of the van are my Spider Man man panties* and...this is the worse, the goddamn YMCA brochure I picked up because I was pricing the gym and the thing is laying there open on the floor with two prepubescent children all grinning and innocent and wet from swimming and I look at the Born in the USA Springsteen ass and Mick Jagger's cock LP cover and the bed and the piss jug and I start to put the pieces together. I thought I hid all that stuff but now I see that it all fell out when they jacked it up. Oh, god. So, now I gotta be extra careful where I park? I'm sure they made one call to the cops. Guilty by suspicion. I feel like my unconventional lifestyle unfortunately shares horrible traits with transient sex offenders. This is not my fault but at the same time I am feeling the effects. These random events all add up to being public enemy number one.

* I purchased comic book adult underoos to prove a point that just because Walmart sells something does not mean it is a culturally relevant item. Everyone wants me to just accept that Walmart is there and blah blah blah but when I go in randomly and see adult underoos in my size then I flashed an idea that I would prove that yes, Walmart exists and I can't do shit, but adult underoos also exist and if you want to defend Walmart as being too big to fail then fuck you and this is what happens when you blindly accept the Walmart marketing plan. You buy adult underoos with Thor and Spider Man on them and become a laughing stock and police target. But they exist! Walmart knows what's best for me! I trust Walmart. Blah blah! Fuck them! This is just an example of my experiment in truth. NEVER TRUST WALMART. IT'S ALL POISON!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Living in The Walmart Parking Lot

My element is the van, on the move, I feel God speaks through me at that point and here I channel some kind of modern song Woody Guthrie might've written. You see, the world is always ending and always being reborn and my goal is to understand what I can about it. I don't want to be an expert at crimping d-sub pins but I do want to be an expert at what encompases my life. Thoreau talked about making an account of one's life. In 1846 that wasn't so hard. What industries does my life rely on? Etc. Well, in 2010 that's a damn hard thing to account for. I'm telling you that something feels wrong with how ignorant we all must be about the small details of our lives.
Ok, so I make the wires that belong in semiconductor wafer slicers. I can check that off. It's intolerable work. Only a man who is chained to child support or a disabled wife would do this job. Only a woman who is diabetic and can not walk fifty yards without hacking or quick smoking a butt would do this job. Maybe that is life with 7 billion people. Maybe we have to hustle and complaining does nothing. I feel that I can't expect someone to do this work, even if it means they have money to buy pot and get stoned and build wafer slicers. I believe this work is dehumanizing and it propagates an inhuman populace. It has to! There comes a point when living requires such complicated, foreign procedures that it's a house of cards. See? We're all relying on a thin slice of a card when there is the whole face of the card we are ignorant about. We put a key in an ignition. It starts. Is that enough?
Our day to day existence of taking the dog to the park or eating or reading suddenly relies on semiconductors and what do semi conductors rely on? Ion injectors? Argon? A gas that is heavier than oxygen so if you breath it your lungs reject oxygen. I'm troubled by these things I can't learn about in a lifetime. I can't account for my life anymore. There was a time not so long ago where a relatively educated person could account for his life. In fact, a poor person could definitely account for his life. In 1845 that person was Thoreau. Walden is his account for his life, what his life relied on at that time. Today, I can not write that book because it will take a lifetime to learn about everything my life relies on. And I don't mean reading about it in a semi conductor manual. I mean working at a semi conductor manufacturing facility. These days I'm further down the value chain so I hardly know anything about semi conductors. But I know that ion injectors and Argon come into play and those things would require more research. It feels impossible, like I'm chasing a rainbow that keeps receeding.
At first I was just singing about a lifestyle that sounds amusing to me. People living in the Walmart Parking Lot. Jesus! Is that possible? Yes, it is. I wanted to pay tribute to those gypsies and make fun of it. But as I listen to the song I realize that when I sing, "We're all living in the Walmart parking lot." I'm not just talking about the people in the vans in the parking lot of Walmart. I'm talking about society as a whole. Like, you all live in houses, but it's reaching the point where those houses are just suburbs of the Walmart parking lot. People living in their vans in the Walmart Parking lot are just closer to the source. You have to drive there; they can just walk out there doors and across the asphalt. So, is that where we are at? Don't answer that question. It's like the convict said to me at the aluminum factory: "Oggy, you only have to look with your eyes."
He was talking about quality control of industrial sized heat sinks but I like to use his words to apply to our culture because after a while your eyes adjust to insanity. You only have to look with your eyes to see what's happening. If you allow the media to distort your vision then you will see Walmart as progress. Our eyes have been poked out. This is a culture of corporate recklessness. I see children who don't stand a chance to develop their own ideas. Their minds are bought and sold from day 1. Propaganda is how to control people and right now I'm seeing a reckless race to the bottom. Media this poisonous can't be by accident. Please find some unconventional independent media to browse. Report your findings to your friends.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


A Woman approached us and looked in Dave's trailer. She was hesitant because together we made a strange hobo team. Then she braved up and said, "Do you have my recycling bin?"
"No," said Dave
"Well, you took it from my yard."
"No, I didn't," said Dave. He was rocking a little faster than he had been a moment before. Dave rocks probably because the motion eases his joint pain. We've all found ourselves rolling our shoulders to make a pain go away. Imagine if that pain never went away. You'd just keep rolling your shoulders.

"You did. I saw it in your trailer," said the woman. "It was in your trailer and it was mine. I told you that you could take the bottles and cans but leave the bin."
She walked back to her utility vehicle. She as trying to be assertive without being too rude to an obviously disadvantaged person.
"It's not a big deal but it cost me fifteen dollars to replace it," she said. "That was kind of shitty."
Then she drove away.
Dave shrugged and said to me, "I use plastic bags. I don't use the green bins.

Dave was born in Vermont. He said he'd go back there if he had the money. He has no family there anymore but the idea of home always moves us onward.
Dave has rheumatoid arthritis. He takes darvocet for the pain and during the interview he had to wash some darvocet down with coffee from a reusable mug. He moved like I've seen people move who have had their spines fused.

Crossroads is full of people like Dave. Not everyone can get a job or navigate the labyrinth of social services. And when that happens they either go to the woods or get directed to Crossroads. I know what awaits me at Crossroads which is why I won't go there. Dave shook his head when I asked him to describe it to me.
"I wouldn't send my dog there," he said.
The staff is unhelpful, demeaning, domineering.
"They treat you like dirt," said Dave. "They don't want to help."

30 people per room. You must have a welfare or social service referral. Alcohol and drug tests are daily and mandatory. Lights on at 5:30 am, you must be out by 8 am. Breakfast is coffee and doughnuts.
"You're lucky if you get a doughnut," said Dave because the food is usually gone.

Dave was ticketed a few weeks ago. I was on my way to work and I saw the police dealing with Dave and I remember thinking that the story there was more important than where I was going. But I continued and promised myself that when I saw that guy next I'd get an interview. Well, the universe provides and he rolled past my van when I was eating an apple.
"Get some good cans?"
"How about $2 for an interview? And an orange?"
"And pictures?"
Turns out the ticket was for scavenging. $124. Dave's income is $100/ week in unemployment and $64 a month in food stamps. He collects cans in New Hampshire and pays someone to take them to Amesbury, Mass where there is a deposit exchange. They make $100 a trip and the driver gets $40.
"You don't seem violent, Dave."
"I'm not. But an officer, the bald one, told me he was sick of seeing me around town. He wanted me out. Said he'd kick my ass."
"That seems uncalled for."
"Damn right."

He came from Vermont and worked at Exeter High School in the maintenance department. The first heart attack left him weak but he found ways to be useful at the school. The second heart attack earned him a pink slip. Dave's unable to work but social security denied his benefits.
"That don't make sense," he said.
"No, it doesn't."

Dave might go to Arizona because he has family there. It might be better for his joints also. But he said travel assistance would only get him to Manchester.
So he plans to keep finding cans and plastic bottles and selling them. He doesn't mind living in the woods since Crossroads is so unpleasant. You treat a man like a child and eventually he forgets what it's like to be a man.

He didn't ask me for any money. He even complimented my vespa ciao and gave me advice about the rooming house on Islington and how RV campers are staying at the walmart parking lot. This is useful advice to me since I'm tramping it now. He didn't smell like booze or swear.
"The economy is bad and getting worse," he said.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


"Brilliant minds. Bold science. A powerhouse portfolio of tools: ion implantation, rapid thermal processing, curing, cleaning. Axcelis Technologies. We make semiconductor manufacturing more productive every day."

Most of my projects are ordered by Axcelis so one way to look at my job is that I'm manufacturing cutting edge components. The world is powered by semiconductors and that's where these cables are going. Why don't I feel proud? It's because the dirty secret behind this technology is that it's impossible to do cleanly. They're implanting ions! Does that sound safe? Or to put it another way, we're sacrificing today's environment on the premise that one day machines will run so efficiently that people won't do manual labor. What planet are these brilliant minds living on? You think we're gonna lay around like the Jetsons and watch reality tv? No. We'll be the future Pakistani trash pickers who dig through land fills for precious metals we moronically used to power toy Star Trek replica phasers!
Oh, wait, it won't be us. It'll be someone else. So that makes it alright. That's how a brilliant mind works.

Do questionable labor saving gadgets justify widespread pollution?No chance does this recklessness pay off in some high tech utopia. That's as insane as believing my living in the van will inspire people to live more simply. I don't believe my van life will change anything but then I won't give up either. Join the resistance! Defend Humanity!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mad World

Best quote from tonight's Tears For Fears concert:

"This is awesome. They sound just like Tears for Fears."

I also won this shirt by hitting a miracle 30 ft basketball shot at the family fun center. Only some tattoo punks were watching so I can't confirm it. But Believe me, I wouldn't buy this shirt.
Except for striking out with a few teenage girls it was a fun evening in Hampton! I even found time to build a harness for an ion injector and change the exhaust on my van. You might call this a well rounded day in the life of a gypsy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

'69 Van is showing wear

Drained differential fluid with a siphon after seeing how dirty it was all over my brake shoes. While it was slowly dripping I thought I'd investigate the rust colored tailpipe. That was the last time that tail pipe will be on the van. It crumbled into my hands. Ok. Now I gotta go all the back until it stops crumbling. That turned to be almost to the muffler. And the only remaining part was pointing the exhaust exactly at the fuel tank. Only BP execs would think that was a good idea so I rerouted it with aluminum cans and the remains of a hard drive I've got stashed in my van since finding it on the beach clean up crew in Baja.

The wheel bearing, for those who care, is lubricated by the differential fluid through vent holes. I suspect the fluid was so dirty that it stopped lubricating anything. I'm still mystified by when I went to check the fluid level, expecting it to be low, it was overfilled. How do you overfill the differential with a fill hole on the side. There's only one level it can ever reach but it was way over that level even after it leaked out the wheel. I'm running through scenarios in my head as to how the fluid would be higher than the fill hole. Did they tip the van on one side and then fill it through the axle shaft? That would do it? Or was it jacked way up on one side when they filled it through the fill hole? That would allow you to add extra. I'm confused. Any Click & Clack wannabes out there? How could there be a cup or two extra fluid in a side fill hole differential. The point of the side hole is that you can't overfill it. You fill until it reached the bottom of the hole and that's it. You can't add anymore because it will just pour out. But someone managed to do just that.

OR something has blocked one side of the axle and pushed all the fluid into the bell housing. But there is an oil seal that prevents anything from getting in there and what I pulled out was all attached to the axleshaft.

Any ideas?

Now the fluid is clean and filled to the fill hole. 2 quarts of clean 90W gear oil.

The genius tire guys at the second place torqued the bolts to 150 pounds.
"Yep, you got a big van there."
"I'll never get them off."
"You can if you stand on the tire iron."
"Are you blind? I weigh 150 with my belt buckle on. No chance is my weight going to move those nuts."
"It'll be fine."

I should've told them to give me a break and loosen them because today I wanted to inspect the other side bearing and of course could not budge the lug nuts without breaking my spine. I had a torque wrench up to 140 and it didn't move. No breaker bars in the shop unfortunately. Thanks, Tires For Less!

I have to say that I had the music on and was under the van and doing all kinds of maintenance. One thing that working with my hands all day does is give me lightning fast operation manuevers like taking two bolts off at once or visualizing actuator rods for the rear door latch that has given me problems from day one and in 5 minutes fixing it like a pro. I will be the last remaining 1969 Econoline expert in the world.

The whole process is like Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. I'm like Pirsig and take it too far into the whole "What caused this in the metaphysical sense?" zone that leads into a wonderland of philosophical adventures. My element is on my knees with a wrench in my hand fishing in a dark cavity of the van door for a hidden thread. Everywhere else I am a slave in an assembly line. The van is my universe and I am learning it back and forth. If that van gets to Labrador from Cabo San Lucas I'm telling you it will be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Maybe one of the greatest Gyspy journeys I've ever heard of. The Hippie equivalent of going to the moon. The van was in pieces in La Paz. I've already passed the one year mark that I've been trying to get there. But the only test is if it makes it one day. Snow season begins next week in Labrador so I'm out of time. I need a new tailpipe section and maybe new front brake shoes. And some kind of awning for the windows that leak badly.

On the job front I blazed through multiple semiconductor wafer cutting equipment cables like I was born to do it. Nothing fazes me now. The highest compliment they give assemblers is calling them "A Machine". Think about that.

I just wish semiconductor wafers were not an environmental abomination. I can hear the wolf howl in pain every time I crimp a male mate 'n lock pin on the end of ribbon cable. All of this labor will be cursed by some future generation. I guarantee it. These are smart people I work for but they aren't smart enough to see the big picture. That's what being an expert in electronics engineering does; it puts blinders on your personal philosophy. It takes a big man to critically examine what you are doing and take some moral inventory. There's not much of that going on at work. It's a rat race with no concern for consequences. I won't last much longer there. A friend told me I don't belong in population centers. I guess I'm still thinking of Portsmouth as a small town but it really is jam packed with traffic and people and $900 one bedroom apartments. It's too high class for my whiffle ball soul.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chicken Farmer...

Kicked the tires of a neglected CM 400E today. You'll be happy to know I came to my senses and didn't buy it though I spun through Claremont like I'd owned it for years. I'm hesitant to buy a bike with no plates and the guy claims he had never put gasoline in it since he bought it. So...you want $900 because you found it in a field and brought it to your driveway?

Claremont and Bradford are two of the few places not ravaged by crystal meth. Every other town on the planet is full of junkies.This is the last week of regular posts because I'll be on the road next week. Maybe working and maybe not. Either way, the only stories I'll have to tell are getting tickets or getting fired or leaving this gasoline obsessed country for somewhere simple. Only an outsider would recognize how diseased this country is. It's like a doctor saying, "You gotta quit smoking or you will die of lung cancer." and the smoker says, "It's so hard. And my mother smoked for 40 years and died when she was 80." WE CAN'T DRIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE. IT HAS TO STOP!"
But addiction is what America is about except gasoline addiction has no rehab clinic. And it fucks the entire planet. But don't take my word for it. Listen to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. They'll tell you the truth!!

Two cylinders. That's what I want. Until then I'll be using my single cylinder 1974 Vespa Ciao as my main mode of transportation. Of course I will.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wasted on the way....

The good news is that my van went to Eliot under the worst conditions, the wheel seizing and squealing and differential fluid pouring into the road and here it is waiting for the bridge to go up again. I fixed it on my own terms and never doubted it for a second. The bad news is that someone got axed at my job and that means we're all on the chopping block.
Tired of all this running around. Everyone agrees the world is fucked up but when I say I want to spend my last $800 on a 30 year old motorcycle they look at me like I'm insane. If I'm insane then what do you call it when 5% of the population of the planet produces 25% of the pollution? What category of insane is that? What do you call a media that is obsessed with trivial celebrity cellulite stories while the polar ice caps are melting? IS that more insane than my sleeping in my van? Or less? Think about it.

I almost got punched in the face tonight because Wakefield gave up a walk off homerun in the 11th inning and I was so pissed I started to clap, like "Way to go, you asshole!" But everyone thought I was a hater because I was wearing my Dodgers cap. That made me laugh. ME? A HATER OF THE RED SOX? I decided (I was drunk and didn't decide anything) to play along and I literally got up and yelled, "Why? What's the problem? They suck. The Red Sox are LOSERS! THEY LOSE IN THE 11th INNING!" and I'll tell you that when you say that in a Red Sox bar the evil I got hit with was as bad as it gets. But you know what? I'm not afraid. Fuck anyone who assumes they know me. Fuck them even if they did punch me in the face. I had drunk a bowl of loudmouth soup and it tasted good. So I ran my mouth. All you fanatics are assholes. Get a life! The world is literally ending for many species and humanity is next in line. Excuse me for buying a motorcycle.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tired of being punching bag...

No bright and cheery post today, folks. No. My optimistic days are over. My smile is upside down and my gout is acting up in my big toe that now looks like it got run over by a herd of elephants. If you want laughs then go read the Onion. I'm pissed and I'm swinging. You've been warned.

First of all, the pro garage shop "Performance (i.e $80/hr) Auto" over behind Jittos took my frozen bearing off my axle and installed the new one. Glad they could fit my humble van in between their vintage restore projects. There were no vinyl banners there and even though I would've felt better if I'd seen a Playboy calender on the wall the man I gave the axle to had forgotten more about auto mechanics than I'll ever know. His shit could change a tire better than the assholes at NTB. Unfortunately, he didn't know that his shop only took cash so when I rushed over there exactly as they closed I was totally out of luck. Translation: lots of driving with absolutely no results. Yes, the axle is finished and yes it's safe in their garage because they didn't trust me to pay them tomorrow after I planned to spend all day today working on the van. Incremental steps toward completion to make me bite my nails and think the pain in my leg is a blood clot. It's easy to say bring the whole project to a shop but as I've said, this is a 5 hour job that will cost $400-600 plus parts at a shop. I'm trying to do it for just parts but they've got my axle in hock now for $100 all because I didn't know to stop at the bank on the way there. These are the details that get left out of most home mechanic anecdotes. Passed a guy in a motorized wheelchair who collects aluminum cans. I wanted to stop and interview him and plan to do it when I get a chance. He hauls a trailer...and there was so much traffic at the corner of south and route 1 that he had to wait. In fact, traffic on 236 in Eliot is horrible and traffic everywhere is very very bad. We're really fucking shit up, people. Anyone but a corporate slave/media drone could see that this is a completely insane way of life.

Anyway, all this driving around, seething because this simple fucking task now requires three trips to Jittos whose steak bomb is gross and whose pizza sucks and just teases me, and all this driving next to Walmart and Big Lots and one after another disgusting store made me realize something I must now bring to your attention...

Something horrible happened between 1975 and 1985 in Portsmouth. What happened was a centralized, bike friendly town got sold to the tycoons in Newington and is now a sprawling asphalt ridden jungle with million dollar downtown sidewalks that lead nowhere except to a soulless vacuum of expensive coffee and designer jeans. I'll tell you how that happened: every adult who lived in Portsmouth in that critical decade of 1975-1985 completely whored themselves out to Chinese made super crap that could only be marketable in truck-friendly big box malls outside of town. How they look themselves in the mirror now is a mystery. Maybe the wrinkles and dementia and senility make their sleep more restful, but that will not prevent my accusing them of a horrible crime. They sold out the soul of this town to where it resembles some kind of miniature Van Nuys to me and nothing is cheaper outside of town now except bulk buckets of cheese filled pretzels and Chinese made computers. That's what The Little Store got destroyed by. I admired one or two adults back then but I see it was only because I was childish. There were no real men and women who tried to protect the soul of this town. None. We needed a Braveheart and we got Longshanks. The King of England. They laid down and hoped their cowardice would be lost to the sands of time. Mostly, it has been. My generation is so soaked with alcohol and divorce regrets that the blame game never gets to the vicious and unforgivable crime that was committed and that I see now as cataclysmic and irreversible. This is not a town I can live in. It is the New England equivalent to Taiwan. We manufacture junk, sustain ourselves off Taco Bell, drive twenty miles to buy cheap electronics and pat ourselves on our backs because we think we're pretty smart. Well, that's a total load of shit. No, most people don't remember 1983 Richards Ave but I can say that the rusted ghetto doors of the JFK racquetball courts didn't cost the city a penny while the ten million dollar brick sidewalks that will buckle with the ice and crumble when roots push them up are a pure money pit...and who the fuck is walking downtown except the piss drunk college students (1 liquor license per 4 people) and the goofy merchants of expensive clothes and trinkets. Fuck all of you. Go home to your Rye mansion and get off my street!

So, you know who you are, thanks for laying down like a paid-off undercard fighter when push came to shove. Thank you for allowing my home town to become a faceless sprawl of Chinese junk. I thought about buying a mobile home here but I might as well throw a dart at a map and pick anywhere on earth because that's what Portsmouth is. Gentrified and fucked up, soulless and empty like a pauper's wallet.

This all leads me to my renewed faith in my decision to DO WHATEVER I WANT. I have heard the advice of others and I have seen where their wisdom led this town and I can confidently say that no one has any idea what they are talking about. You sell out my town for cheap bags of pretzels? Good. Go eat them. Go fill your vapid veins with brewed poison. But take your advice and bury it under the State Street Saloon because this town is a fucked up mess now, the frogs are boiling in the water and you are telling me I've got to change my ways? Seriously? An iceberg the size of Manhattan is floating south from the North Pole and I don't know what I'm doing by living in a van down by the river? Really? You've either got a lot of nerve or you're as stupid as the cell tower disguised as a pine tree. If I told you I was going to get naked and sprint backwards down Congress street singing the Star Spangled Banner that would not be as insane as if you told me in 1978 that I'd have to DRIVE TO A FUCKING CORPORATE TIRE SHOP IN NEWINGTON TO HAVE MY VAN DESTROYED FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $300 in 2010. I would've told you to have your head examined! And if you told me I'd stop at two hundred lights on the way down route 1 to Heritage Ave I would've asked you why you hated me so much. Why did you hate the town the way it was? What was wrong with having a hardware store downtown? Why do I need a car to buy a book? There were lots of questions you didn't ask in 1978. I guess everyone was too busy at the divorce lawyer to give a fuck what was happening to their culture. Well, just remember this rant when you've got some stale advice for me.

You have to earn a good reputation, you have to earn the right to be listened to, you have to earn respect and from what I've seen of this town you've earned my disgust and resentment. Portsmouth is fucked. I'd like to think that the good guys lost to the bad guys but what really happened was there were no good guys. There were just selfish losers and if living in my van at the Park 'N Ride or by the millpond is my way to save money so I can leave this gentrified copper mill then that's what I'm going to do. I will wallpaper my ceiling with parking tickets and dig a latrine at the Central Little League field. Fuck everyone if they think cleaning the mill pond is cleaning up this town. Your preacher is Steve Jobs and your daughters are Britney Spears. Call them up on their birthday because that's the family you bought with your pickled pride.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 2: Bearing project

In addition to my grinding cable harness job (The skills I'm learning there will be valuable when it comes time to fight the machines) I've now got a second job trying to remove a pulverized wheel bearing from an axle shaft. Like a guy at work said, "I can do anything." as long as I have the tools. In this case I've got no tools, no vise, no propane torch, no oven, no slide hammer, no work bench. Removing this bearing and installing the new one is a project for a garage...a real garage where there are no fancy fucking marketing posters and company logos and corporate slogans.
The only challenge is if I can do it myself without destroying the axle shaft. I don't want to know the answer to that question. Every part will take days to arrive so it's another slow grind as each bolt takes one day to deal with. I'm like a cranked up pit crew freak when I've got all the tools and I'm like Dr. Frankenstein when I don't. Today I stacked up a pile of circular weights from a bench press set and used them to lift the shaft off the ground enough to slip another set of weights between the bearing flange and the bearing race and then I pounded on the top of the axle with a slide hammer I borrowed. It was a mess but it's exactly what you do without a bearing vise...and it still didn't work. Oh, I want a motorcycle! So simple.
I don't know if the oil seal ruptured but I'm guessing the gear fluid leak was caused by the bearing falling apart and the axle wiggling.
It's so boring. My life is so mechanically devoted right now I shit spools of copper and piss brake fluid.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I take the blame

Idiot. I promised I would buy 4 new tires if the van made it to New Hampshire. But money is tight and I thought only two for now would be enough until a few more paychecks. What a mistake. Not only was I instantly reminded of how foolish that was by having one of the old tires blow out ten hours after I didn't replace it...but...this is the killer...one of the front tires was a 225 75 R15, a spare I bought in Mexico. And I had them swap the front tires to the rear where there was a 235 75 R15 on the other side.
How bad can that be? What damage can that cause to a rear drive vehicle? I'll get pics eventually but it's almost catastrophic. Mismatched sizes on the front wheels made no difference but the axle shaft is linked in the back and the difference in sizes caused one tire to turn faster than the other and absolutely ground the wheel bearing into tiny shards of metal, destroyed the oil seal, and almost seized up. Only three balls were left in the bearing race.

I take the responsibility for trusting NTB in Newington to do this simple task. If I told those guys to replace one tire with a plastic one off a Big Wheel from Toys R Us they would've done it. The only people dumber than me were the guys doing the work. Absolute retards. Sure, we'll put that tire there without checking the size. And so what if it has steel radial sticking out of the rubber. We're only a tire garage!
I'll be sending them a letter with pictures to see if I can get some damages repaid because this could destroy all chances of my driving the van again. Assholes!
The axle shaft bearing disintegrated, the differential seal evaporated and the fluid dripping out wasn't brake fluid (the brake cylinders are fine) it was differential fluid pouring into the brake hub and causing the pads to fail. If the axle fucked up the differential gearing then that's it. that's the end of the van. I'm not replacing the rear end for $2000 so I can have a 1969 van. All because I didn't want to buy four new tires...and now I definitely have to buy two new tires to replace the odd sized one and the one that blew out. FUCK! IN addition to the hell of this repair.
I'm super bummed out.
I pulled the axle shaft out and am in the process of beating the bearing off the shaft so I can see if it can be replaced. Bearing work is among the most difficult because hydraulic presses were used to put them on. I'm really tested by this project. Metal shards were everywhere and I sliced my fingers multiple times in the dark sauna-like garage. The van is abandoned in a parking lot in Elliot and I drove my moped over the memorial bridge to contemplate jumping off. Oooooh!

All at the exact time I can not afford to lose my van! I would be buying a sweet 1981 Honda Cm 400 right now except I'm digging grease from my finger nails and watching my blood money be poured into the wallets of a corporate retard factory disguised as a tire company. And I have no place to stay and no money and no van and no motorcycle. I'm just a man on a moped rolling through town with my plaid Bell Bottom pants. My freak flag is flying at half mast!

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to get arrested...

At pawtuckaway state park, cutting hemp twine with a jagged knife (I was practicing making necklaces), ragged and sweating in my camper van after changing tires in the dirt. three children walk up thinking it's an ice cream truck . I'm surprised and brandish the knife accidentally. They see the knife, they see the rope. Maybe my balls are dangling from my threadbare shorts. Did I just say "Get in the van, kiddies, or I'll kill all of you."?? They aren't sure but it's better to be safe than sorry and their parents always told them to rat out anyone suspicious. Imaginations go wild and Oggy is surrounded by NH State Troopers. And really, would you believe this guy or three white rich brats out to swim in a pond?
That's how fast you can go to jail in this awful country.

He was small...

That's what they say about the dead man. His clothes are small and slim. Probably was a fag. I say the Levi's bell bottoms are as good as I can ask. They really are as loud as I want and as retro and the bell bottoms are outrageous. If I drop an extra five pounds they'll fit perfect. Thank you Mr. Rolston for the delivery. When I get my ass kicked at the State St. Saloon I will think of you...

Time Warp:

Don't they make you want to disco?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two steps forward...

Bought two new tires on Friday. I watched the guy try to jack up the van and only half of it moved. It left me with an uneasy feeling. Then he left a tire on that clearly had a huge chunk of steel radial poking through the rubber. You get what you pay for at NTB tire in Newington. $300 I think I bought more problems than I fixed because...

I drove them out to Putuckaway st. park for a test and immediately had one of the remaining Mexican graveyard tires explode on route 156. I'm up to the challenge and swapped it out with one of the tires I had left over. That was just the beginning of the problems as I could hear some serious grinding and the brakes felt a little dodgy and before a hike into Stratham I decided to inspect the rear tires and...yes, that's all the brake fluid pouring onto the road.

What are the odds of taking my van for a thirty mile drive and having a tire blow out and the wheel cylinder fail after taking it to mexico and back with no problem? One visit to a corporate tire garage and the problems just fall from the sky.

So, the call now goes out to all available mechanics. I need jack stands and industrial nut sockets to remove the axle lock nut to get at the wheel cylinders.

I suspected that investing $300 would instantly make me regret it but I thought I'd get at least 24 hours before the first meltdown. No. I got about 15 hours and 15 miles. Rotating those abused tires caused one of them to fly apart and aligning the van's steering may have hurt too. I expect the mere presence of a $9/hr tire monkey with a wrench in his hand was enough to cause the wheel cylinder to rupture. This guy couldn't keep his pants up let alone change two tires without causing more problems.
I got flipped off a couple times because I was driving the speed limit to get home (I had to use the emergency brake to stop at lights) and the police tailed me and called in my info just to keep the neighborhood safe. All this is making it real easy to hit the highway as soon as the mothership is ready for liftoff. Interestingly, none of this was as stressful as building that cable harness with sweat pouring from my eyeballs. (That cable harness passed all QC inspections so you can all sleep easy) It's not stressful to be running against the wind since I know where that wind is blowing...

What I need:

Jack Stands
Wheel Cylinder Rebuild kits
lock nut socket
breaker bar
bleeder tube
brake pads
brake fluid
expert brake team

free beer will be provided.
work begins every day at 3pm
This means you Jon Rolston.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mother Euthanised...

After viewing an episode of Kate Plus Eight, a local mother of two had to be euthanized to protect nearby civilians. Her children have been taken into protective custody because, says fish and game warden, Michael Foley, "They may have learned bad habits from their mother."

The Kate Plus Eight reality program on The Learning Channel follows a mega rich woman and her eight children through their days. The mother is often signing books or dancing or crying in a limousine and her children are seen as seldom as their father, a man who has separated from the mother and is suing for custody while chasing teen ass and getting tattoos. The tawdry, petty details of these ten people can only be described as "Terribly, terribly wrong. A bad influence on anyone, ugly, unusual, horrific."

So, when a local mother of two admitted to having watched an episode of the reality program state game officials were forced to euthanize her.

"It's a last resort, but we've seen this before. As soon as a mother gets a taste of the putrid soft scripted poison that is [Kate Plus Eight] then that's the end of her. She'll always be back and back until she's completely devoured by vicarious desire for false fame and hollow accolades. We had to do it."

The governor is defending the move saying, "Kate Plus Eight is unfortunately a despicable program that rots the brain of anyone who watches it. Therefore, regretfully, the woman who saw an episode had to put down. We'll try to boost our public service messages about the dangers of this program in the future. It is basically family pornography that totally and permanently distorts a person's view of reality. To view a single episode, indeed a single moment, renders an average person completely crazy. It is irredeemable. Irresponsible. I would say more about it but I'm already gagging on my own vomit by the hint of a suggestion that I know what the program is about. I pray The Learning Channel cancels this program. Please god! Please cancel it!"

The mother's two children were sequestered in cardboard boxes devoid of stimuli in hopes of turning them back from the edge of insanity.

"The two children were unfortunately in the same room at the time the woman watched the program. And they can understand English so it's likely they caught some of the incredibly selfish and pitiful comments from the principal characters. The kids might recover to a pre-Kate Plus Eight emotional level but more than likely they will have to be put in a zoo since all instincts will have been obliterated." Added the official, "Thanks to that damn shitty program."

In other news a man was found with forks in his eyes after he watched a Full House marathon. Neighbors are calling it a mercy killing.

scorpion king

I talk about the future but the future never arrives. It's always today and the people of today don't know what happened yesterday and don't care about tomorrow. Kids born today will have to read in history books about a time when edible seafood was caught in the Gulf of Mexico. And they will not mourn our carelessness any more than we miss a spilled beer from 1993. The damage has been done. Does anyone miss the Buffalo? Or the gray wolf? No, because we never had them to begin with. Not us. Maybe some guy 200 years ago would care if he lived for 200 years. But stuff changes so little in 100 years that every generation finds a way to fit in, finds a way to accept the latest extinct species. Even old curmudgeons like me eventually fit in to their cabin in the woods. Coercive media has terrorized this country into submission like Nazi propaganda tactics obliterating any common sense. Walmart is the new Catholic Church. Amen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clock ticking

Most of the times I can say, "At least I've got my health." After all, I made it a priority after 5 years of limping on crutches in the 90s. That and old Grandpa Stevens said you don't have anything if you don't have your health. So, I made it a priority to do things that were generally healthy such as bicycling and living simply with no chemical soaps or packaged food. I didn't say the things were safe, but they were healthy in that Native American way. This worked for the most part except when I threw my back out in the merchant marines so badly that I pissed myself and still feel the bulge of muscles and also when I tore my groin in Wyoming and separated my shoulders...
But really, that shit could happen to anyone. I didn't do it on purpose, but in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle I crossed the line a few times...but at least I ended up in Alaska, living cheap, reading, crippled, but otherwise heart healthy. My soul was uninjured, is my point.

Alas, sometimes a perfect shit storm arrives and I am not only sick but I am also soullessly vacuuming my morals into outer space. That was the last week of July for me as I did nothing less than fuck dirty old men in port-o-potties for cash (moral equivalent of copper mining)...maybe it was this terrible turn in fortunes and maybe it was the 2X4 scorpion bowl anesthesia administered by Dr. Hawkins. I don't know, but either way I was both soullessly grieving AND ALSO violently ill. That means puking in the parking lot of the very job where I am on short notice due to my behavior (pointing to a diagram and both me and my boss noticing simultaneously that my finger is quivering like a Geiger counter) pale skin, hacking cough, teary eyes. So I must hide my vomit behind car and in bushes and quickly slip into the bathroom to vomit and emerge with a fake smile.
"It's almost Monday." is the fake office humor comments that I grin at.
"Yep. Almost Monday."
I burp vomit flavored gas from my bloated belly and return to my work bench with pages of wire run sheets and connector details. Where did that 22 AWG female D sub pin belong? It's almost Monday...Almost...

This is when I'm defenseless as being broke led me to the devil's workshop, forging impenetrable copper arrays for demons in dark places. And also being physically bereft leaves me weaving through dead bunny corpses and seeing how close to that on coming car I can get, sweat pouring from my gray hair, three day old beard filled with dandruff and pollen like a hoary tree designated for the mill.

But I shut off all communication and meditated on this situation for one day, sweating through withdrawals like Miles Davis kicking heroin. My soul has gone into hibernation.

The ignorant will say I should find another line of work. My answer is that this line of work is sucking the life blood from all that is sacred. Knowing it, and understanding it may be the only way to stop it. See, it will kill us all whether I work there or not. But I can't turn my head away and pretend being a watch repairman is going to stop this assault on the earth's heavy metals. Neither can you.

Yes, dwelling in the belly of the beast is a dangerous pastime. It has costs but the payoff will hopefully be a better understanding of the world we live in, the insane industry that man abides by. Thoreau was a simple man and that left his world view simple, limited, undeveloped. He spoke without a businessman's experiences. He trusted his instincts. But that's not how the world works. Most people obey the media and the media has replaced instincts with filth. I remember 1987 bonfire beer parties and feeling that we acted like this not from choice but because we saw it in Animal House. The drunk guys were the heroes...thus...let's drink. Our cultural habits were adopted from screenwriter fathers. I don't believe this is an accident. It's too diabolical...too perfectly designed to keep the common man obsessed with beer and sports while the Pharaohs plunder the earth.

How will it end?

First, I will take my head out of the toilet.
Second, I resolve to complete my treatise on the poisonous cultural forces at work.

I can not do this alone. The war has begun and I'm telling you the enemy is working day and night to destroy us. He lurks among you. He must be challenged or we are all facing a never ending work day that divides and conquers us, leaving our souls to be ravaged by demons.

OK, that sounded a little insane, but seriously, what is it going to take? Just tell me. Let's make a plan.
I bring this up because I'm on the brink of great changes. Labrador, the fourth corner, beckons. Kelly Anne requested something optimistic but this is all I could come up with. It's sort of optimistic.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.