Friday, January 22, 2010

The RT Cave...

I know it's been a while since I've posted... There's a lot going on here and I'm just trying to play catch~up. Things at work, things in my personal life... I'll let you all know later what's going on. Nothing major or earth~shattering, just the run of the mill, "what-the-fuck" moments that only I can attract. Tomorrow I actually have a lunch date with a lady... I'm not going to let anything cloud my judgment, I'll just see what happens. It's only lunch. I'm 44 and have been burnt far too many times to let a pretty face lead me to start thinking with the wrong head again...

Now on to what else has been on my mind... I've posted the above photo of the RT Homestead here in Purgatory, but I'd thought I'd let you see a little deeper into the Inner~Sanctum where I, Ranger Tom, relaxes when I'm not at work... So I've decide to share the photos with you!
My living room, where I sit on my leather easy chair to watch the news, or BS with buddies from work when they stop by after work to enjoy a few frosty~cold adult beverages after work with me...
Nothing that will make Good Housekeeping, but I'm proud of it...

It's a work in progress, I still need to get the drapes up... But it's getting so hard to find a good set of drapes that match the carpet.... Or a carpet that matches the drapes... You get the message, I think...
So here's another little peek into Ranger Tom's life... Relaxing and mundane... But never, ever boring!

The fire Marshal is coming over next week to inspect the fireplace to make sure I can use it... I like a good fire once in a while. They're very relaxing.

Photos and meaningless diatribe Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Celebrity crushes...

After years of listening to women talk about how hot this or that movie star is hot, like Johnny Depp, George Clooney and others I'm about to show my ass and tell you who I've been drooling after...

I've always been a bit weird so you might not be surprised that with the exception of Sandra Bullock, there hasn't been a celebrity in years who's sparked that little something in me. At ,I'm guessing about 4 years of age, I couldn't get enough of Trixi, shown above from the old Speed Racer cartoons...

Told you I was weird.
After my brief prepubescent infatuation with a drawing I discovered the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati... Now you're probably thinking I lusted after "Jennifer", the sexy platinum blond bombshell played by Loni Anderson.

While I think her looks are classic and sexy, and I'm still infatuated with that late 70's, early 80's hairstyle and it's one of my attractions to women today and I visit Big Daddy's blog to check out what he's posted lately, that's not who I was (and kind of still am...) infatuated with in my tweens and early teens...
It was Jan Smithers, who played "Bailey". She had that girl-next-door good looks with an undercurrent of hidden sexuality. She did it for me when I was 12 and 13, and she still does it for me now.
But now I'm in my mid-40's and I've refined my tastes a bit... My new Celebrity Crush is Bonnie Hunt... She played opposite Steve Martin in "Cheaper By The Dozen" and now has a morning talk show on CBS... Which I've become addicted to. She's everything I'd want in a woman... And a great sense of humor and looks sexy as hell in glasses!

So there.

I've bared a little of my innermost feelings and showed my ass a little.

And so now you know a little more about me... I'm not even going to get into why my ex-wife would wonder why I'd zone out to the Weather Channel for hours... Christina Abernathy, Kim Perez and Alexandra Steele are a few of the reasons!

Photos pinched from the Interweb/googlenet
Trivial insight Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hodgepodge of shit...

I've said it before, I live in southwest Florida. I'm 80 miles Northwest of Miami. It should NOT be this fucking cold for this long. Here's a photo of the rear window of the RT Mobile when I got off of my shift this morning. I'm very good friends with several life-long residents of the area, and none of them ever remember it ever being this cold for this long, ever. Yesterday when I got home my thermometer on my front porch read a steady 25F. Again, I know it's nowhere near as cold as most of the rest of the Country to date, but for here it's damn cold.
So cold in fact I had to put cardboard in front of my locomotive's radiator just to keep it up to operating temperature and to get the cab warm enough so I didn't freeze... The beast is over 50 years old and not very well insulated, so it's like sitting in a tin can in a freezer all night. I'm not going to get into a big pissing match with people, but right now I'm not buying into Al Gore's Chicken Little~like fear mongering about Global Warming.

The Earth cools, the Earth warms up from time to time. It's done it for thousands upon thousands of years. Don't get me started on Cap & Trade, but to me it's another excuse to tax us even more when we're already being bled dry. It's not working in Europe and it won't work here.

One volcano blows it's stack and we've got more "Greenhouse Gasses" or "Pollutants" thrown into the atmosphere in one day that one nation emits in a decade. Remember Mt. St Helen?

Remember when it was not "eco-friendly" to use paper bags at the grocery store? Paper bags kill trees they all told us. So now all we have is plastic bags to lug or food to our cars. Now the fuckers are telling us that those very same plastic bags are harming the environment.

Now what am I supposed to carry my Dolphin~Friendly tuna to my eco-friendly socialist-made Traban with? A bag made from hemp fiber?

Al, go fuck yourself.
Now on to my office again... Here's where RT sits for 8 hours a shift... Nice and clean, is it not? Not. I walk into a pigsty every fucking night.

Just a view of the controls I use...
Yeah, a fucking pigsty. It's company policy that every crew when done with their shift to remove all garbage from the locomotive. Above it's what me and my crew walk into every night. We decided a few months ago just to leave it there. I refuse to clean up some other crew's shit.

Myself, my conductor and switchman bring one of the ecologically unsound and dangerous bags with us every night and remove our garbage at the end of our shift. I refuse to clean up other people's shit.

Now onto another thing that's been pissing me off, and it came to a head the night before last. A very good friend of mine, the Rambling Hillbilly, moved down here at the beginning of the crop and came to work with me as my switchman. I know he wants to become a police officer at some point, but to finish his degree he needed a better paying job than what he was getting paid in West Virgina, and I went out on a limb to get him the job here.

He started off OK but thing began to go bad because he wasn't paying attention to detail and that almost cost him his job about a month or two back.

I love him like a little brother, and I really felt bad later about having to do it, but I lit into his ass and gave him both barrels. It wasn't pretty, but it was the truth.

Inattention to detail will get you killed. Here on the railroad (the guy I replaced when I started here four years ago was killed when he was coupled together between two rail cars) and as a police officer.

This is the easiest job I've ever had. I make obscenely good money doing it. And I got here to paying attention to detail, something that was thumped into me head a long, long time ago in Army Basic Training.

I notice everything.

It's kept me alive for 44 years.

Read what The Rambling Hillbilly's had to say.

I really hope he does a good job, because the people who he thought were out to get him were the people most often trying to protect him and saw his potential.

You can do the job, Bill.

Stay fucking focused and keep doing what you did all night last night and me and Jay will turn you into a railroader!

Photos and rambling diatribe Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Global Warming my ass!

OK, this in not the rant I've been planning on and promised a few days ago, but I have a splitting headache, My train crew was annoying the shit out of me all night and now this is happening...

I grew up in Pennsylvania. I remember as a child Trick or Treating on Halloween with a snowsuit on under my costume... I remember quite vividly not seeing the ground for all the snow for months... School snow days? A rarity. No school bus? Walk your happy, frozen ass to school. in the snow. I've hunted Whitetail deer in up-state PA in the heart of the Appalachian Coal Belt in -30 F weather... Worked outside as a cop and walked a beat in weather so damn cold it would freeze even the heartiest Cannuck's balls off... Lived in a part of Arizona of all places that measured snow it Feet...

So one would think that living in southwest Florida, winter should be pretty mild to me.

For the last four years I've lived here and the weather has been quite mild until now...
For over a week now it's been fucking cold. I'm sorry. It's fucking cold here.

frost on my car every morning when I leave work. I look at the thermometer on my porch and every morning it's been hovering at the freezing point. I'm 80 miles from Miami! I had just commented to a friend that I'd finally gotten my utility bill down to under $200 because this time of year I don't run my central air, so now I've actually had my heater on in my house for two fucking weeks! I've never had it on before in the last four years!

Around 4:30 AM today at work it started to drizzle rain... A miserable steady drizzle that made my knees scream in agony. The heater in the locomotive's cab is about as effective as using a candle to heat a banquet hall. One more degree lower and I swear it would have turned to snow.

That would have been a hoot!

Anyway, it's still raining, damp, cold and miserable out... The fireplace in my living room is real, but I need to get it inspected by the Fire Marshal before I dare use it, my house is pre-WWII era... And tonight, tomorrow and Monday it's getting even colder, down into the 20's overnight...
I know in the greater scheme of things a lot of people live in a lot colder climates than I presently do and are experiencing far colder temperatures and snowy and icy conditions so I should feel I'm a lot better off than most, and I do... I really do, and I'll survive, but...

But not this fucking cold this far fucking south!

The last time it's been this cold this far south for this long was in 1927... 83 fucking years ago!

Al Gore can kiss my Irish Ass and take his Global Warming bullshit and shove it up his pontificating, smug, superior ass while he blows a polar bear.

Bitching Rant Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photos pinched from the Interweb/Googlenet

Friday, January 08, 2010

Funny Foto Friday is BACK!

And I do see it!

I decided to bring Funny Foto Friday back after a long hiatus... First, I thought it was funny, and second I needed to laugh this morning due to the ongoing shit at work...

I'm working now at the easiest job I've ever had, making an obscene amount of money... And I also work with the biggest group of crybabies and backstabbers I've ever had the displeasure of knowing.

Rant will be tomorrow...

Right now I want a drink or several...

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photo pinched off the Interweb/Googlenet

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I'm so damn pissed off right now...

I have a really good rant brewing, but since it's Wednesday and my cleaning lady is coming over this morning I'll leave it for tomorrow... I have to get out of the house for a while and let her do her thing and I have to go blow off some steam...

I'll vent about it here tomorrow...

But I'll tell you I haven't been this pissed of in a long, long time.

I'm about to become unhinged type of angry...

No, I'm not in any trouble or anything... Just some bullshit at work I'll explain more about tomorrow... The more I think about it right now the more my blood begins to boil... You think you're helping someone but all you get is grief.

More tomorrow.

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, January 04, 2010

RT Cooks!

A lot of people think that when a guy is divorced and lives alone, he won't cook. Well, a lot of guys don't, but I'm an exception to that rule.

I cook for myself every day, I enjoy it and happen to fancy myself a pretty good cook. Back in the deepest, darkest bowels of my archives there's several other of my tasty recipes, but here's my own recipe for Rainbow Trout.

First you'll need one or two dead fish, preferably trout you've caught yourself, but since I work seven days a week and haven't been fishing since mid-August, I reeled these farm-raised babies in the the fish department of my local grocers. Besides, I didn't have to clean them!
You can leave the heads and tails on but I cut them off... I really don't like it when my supper is looking back at me. After you've lopped the heads off rinse them under cold tap water and pat them dry with a paper towel. I prefer to leave the skin on but you don't have to. If you do leave it on, descale it... Nothing is worse that getting fish scales in your throat.
Put your skillet on medium heat on the range and melt some butter while you're making the breading. You can use margarine or a cooking spray like PAM, but since I'm Old School, I cook Old School and it just tastes better. Yeah, I could eat a little healthier, and I may die some day of a massive heart attack brought on by high cholesterol, but at least you'll all know I died while enjoying myself and didn't pussy around with the fat free shit.
Make a simple breading of cornmeal, black pepper and salt. Every one's taste is different, so use what you'd like.
Coat both sides of your dead fish carcasses with the mixture of cornmeal, salt and pepper and place in your skillet in the sizzling butter.
Cook on each side for about five minutes, or until there a dark golden brown... Like this photo above.
Take them off the skillet and place them on a plate, then enjoy!

Hope you enjoy!

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Who'd a thunk it?

Today is the five-year anniversary of my first post on this blog.
I hadn't started out to gain readers or become famous, it was just a vent to blow off steam during a rather dark patch in my life. The year before I'd split with my ex-wife, I was living alone in a strange State with no friends... Christmas and my Birthday had just past and I was feeling pretty shitty...
I've written about just about everything, from politics, religion, little absurdities I'd see and ironies I'd point out... My ever~present desire and drive to get on as a conductor then become an engineer for a railroad... My failures, my successes... When I laughed, when I cried...
I was bitter, angry and really didn't care who I pissed off, hence my motto; "Pissing off the entire world, one person at a time."
So I've gained some readers, and I've lost some over the years. Guys who've stuck around to see what happens next, Like Honkeie, Terry, CMK, Mushy and Leazwell... You guys have been with me almost from the beginning and you're almost like family... Thanks for letting me share my words with you!
I've recently acquired more readers, Like Just Telling it, Ubermouth, Tee, Liane, Spiky & Kimberly... Welcome aboard! Hope you guys stick around... You never know what's going to come off my keyboard!
The readers I've lost, well... Some I miss, some I don't. There was the nutty Alien Abduction Guy, who kept on sending me scans of "Authentic Alien Drawings", ie; drawings of alleged "Aliens"... A Busy Body Ex-Mother-In-Law who instead of looking at her own fucked up family and thought it would be absolutely hysterically funny to hound my friends and family spreading lies and half-truths on how I was a sex pervert and a lousy husband... A few ex-girlfriends and people who never got it, thought I was serious when I was joking and the other way around. I got tired of explaining it...
It's not funny if I've got to explain it!
But throughout, I've learned a lot. I've learned how to let go... How to be a better person... How to become the man I am today.
A man, who after 44 years now, has finally learned to like himself and loves what he's doing.
Maybe I'll never finish the novel I'm writing.
Maybe I'll never be a famous author.
But at least I finally got to where I wanted to be.
On the road not taken...
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
to where it bend in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black,
Oh, I had kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
Took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference
~Robert Frost
I'm glad I took that road.
and I'm happy you guys are along for the ride!
Video pinched from YouTube
Poem by Robert Frost
Meloncholly rambling Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Almost Cut My Hair...

For years I've worn my hair cut really short. Military-Short. What in the Army was called a "High & Tight". This year I decided to see how long I could let it get before it starts driving me nuts. The last time I had my hair this long was when my age still ended in "teen"... June 30, 2009 was the last time I had the clippers to my head and that's when I decided to let it go for a while.

I'm now getting my balls broken by a few guys at work... One actually asked when I was getting a Mullet.

Ranger Tom has never worn a mullet, nor will he ever, OK?

My boss even told me the other day to go out and get a haircut. In a humorous way, he does have a sense of humor, one of the reasons I really like him.

Anyway, again last night I was asked about my hair and I finally said I'd let it go until the second to last day before the end of the sugarcane harvest and the mill went down for the summer and shave it bald.

I don't think I'll do that, but I think I'll let it go a little more... Letting my Freak Flag fly...
Tell you what though, after looking at these pictures of me taken last Wednesday at the Tiki Bar, I've still got to loose some weight because I've got more chins that a Chinese phone book!

Almost cut my hair
Happened just the other day
It's gettin' kinda' long
I could've said it was in my way
But I didn't and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly

~David Crosby

Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, January 01, 2010

Full Moon New Year's Eve...

I learned a long time ago about the full moon. My years in law enforcement taught me that crazies come out of the woodwork and craziness happens during them. My partner and I came up with a theory about them:
The moon can move whole oceans with the tides. The highest tides are during the full moon.Oceans are water. People's brains are about 80% water. What's the moon doing to those people's brains?
Anyway, last night being the full moon and New Years Eve, I was really happy about going to work instead of out and about. Nutcases and alcohol definitely do not make a good mix. I call New Year's Eve "Amateur Night" because only amateur drinkers come out, and myself being a professional drunk, stay clear of amateurs.
So it being a full moon and New Year's, I headed out to work last night confident in my belief I'd have a good night...Wrong.I rolled into the rail yard at 11:30 and was greeted by the evening shift engineer, the guy I'm to relieve already leaving the parking lot... All he told me was the radio was out and the Yardmaster will be bringing me a hand held radio for the shift.
OK. The radio in that particular locomotive has been unreliable for quite a while so I assumed it finally took a shit... Well, it did, but I wasn't going to be getting a radio because no one told the yardmaster to begin with... Now some of you might not know that the radio is my number one tool on my job. It keeps me in touch with my conductor and switchman while moving the rail cars in the yard.
While we're building trains to put up into storage tracks, I may me 70 or 80 cars away from the crew... That's 2,500 to 3,500 feet away. I don't move my engine or train an inch until I get good signals from my crew. No radio, no movement of my train.
So I call the Yardmaster and inform him of the dilemma and the only thing he says is go to the locomotive shop and get another locomotive to use.
That's a big fucking help... I have to get ready to make a move that minute or we'll get blocked out, and since it'll take upwards of 20 minutes to fire up another engine and get it ready, that definitely wasn't an option.
Needless to say I got another radio real quick (after I raised hell) and we were able to start work. Hopefully they'll have it fixed by tonight when I get in.
Then, all throughout the night shit just wouldn't go right... I won't get really involved about it right now because I'd be writing a novel by the time I got finished, but it just seemed like nothing was going right and by 8AM I couldn't wait to punch out and get the hell out of there.
I can just imagine what it would have been like if I'd have taken the night off and headed to the Tiki Bar... I couldn't wait to get home today and get a few stiff drinks in me...
Shit happens during a full moon. It's just like saying "Slow" or Quiet" to a cop, paramedic or ER Nurse.Something bad will happen.
I just hope it's not a portent to what 2010 is going to be like.
And when I got home, I get a email from an old girlfriend of mine... She wished me a Happy New Year and said she was still thinking of me a lot lately, wishing we could get back together... She sent me a picture of her she had taken while thinking of me...

Hope all of you have a Great New Year! (and hopefully your night wasn't as lousy as mine!)
Copyright 2010 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photos pinched from the googlenet/interweb