mardi, juin 30, 2009

Remembering Gerry

Today is the 48th birthday of my brother Gerry. Gerry died almost six years ago, after succumbing to a three year battle with colon and liver  cancer.
My sister and two brothers were all born close together.  Gerry was the closest of my siblings to me in age. He was born less than 15 months after me and we grew up close. Of course, being boys close in age, he and I had our share of fist fights. I was the older and faster, but he was stockier and had more natural strength. We both had a fair amount of boxing experience by the time of our last fight.  I was seventeen and he was sixteen at the time. I started the fight, for reasons that I have long since forgotten, but I do remember being the guilty party.
This was the first and only fight between us where blood was spilt. We had several friends with us, and neither one of us wanted to look soft in front of our friends, so the fight went on longer than it would have other wise. I remember, I punched him in the face, cut his cheek and saw blood on his face. When I saw the blood, I immediately wanted to quit, but he would have none of that and we started again. After a few more punches he caught me with right to the face and I too began to bleed. He dropped his fists wanting to stop, but this time I insisted on continuing.
The fight did not last much longer; right about that time our dad drove into the drive way. We both stopped then. Dad was angry. He saw two of his sons fighting one another, both cut and bleeding. I will not go into detail about what happened, but our friends quickly left our yard, Dad sent Gerry and me inside then he came in. My dad but an end to that fight, as he had so  many others, but Gerry and I never fought again. Not too much after that I went in the Navy. When I returned four years later, Gerry was married and had a baby girl.
Gerry was always a good friend, I still miss him a great deal, but I know that we will meet again. He is with our Lord. He made his salvation sure while struggling with his cancer.
Coram Deo,

dimanche, juin 28, 2009

This past week I took the boys and Morgan to the Sulphur water park one afternoon. We had a good time.
My shift started nights on Wednesday evening. I worked the first one but was taken off the schedule the next two nights so that I could attend the refineries Joint Health and Safety Committee (whose membership is half management and half union). Saturday evening I returned to my shift.
It rained at the house Sunday for the first in over a month. We need it for the yard and to break the heat for a little while.
I'm hoping for a good week ahead.

lundi, juin 22, 2009

Friday, was the day for our monthly Rescue Team training. I've been on the team for about 15 years. I enjoy doing this sort of thing. As a young man I was a Navy helicopter aircrewman and rescue rescue swimmer. Then I jumped out of helicopters in a wetsuit with fins and goggles to rescue downed pilots ( trained but never had to do an actual pilot rescue), now train rescue injured industrial works. by I repelling on ropes and enter vessels with an fresh air equipment.

Saturday, Mark came over and Lisa, Mark and I worked on our new deck in the backyard. It's nice. Now I can drink coffee, beer, etc... on the front porch or the back deck. Life is good.

After we finished the deck I grilled some dogs, burgers and steaks for supper.

Sunday, was Father's Day. I got up and fixed pain perdu (i.e. French toast) for breakfast. We worshipped at Bethel. Pastor Mark Duncan and his family were in from Texarkana. He preached a good sermon. After church we had potato soup for lunch, relaxed for a while and then the boys, Lisa and I went for a bike ride.


vendredi, juin 19, 2009

I worked off graveyard shift yesterday morning. My friend Gary and I carpooled the last week. After work, we had a drink, Jameson Irish Whiskey. Whiskey a 5:45 AM is OK if you have worked 1 nights in a row and day is now night and night is now day.

After a small whiskey, I came home visited with Lisa and stayed up until about eight, I then slept to 1:30. After I woke, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat on the back deck vegetating for a while. After my coffee the boys and I went swiming at the community pool.

While we were swimming, Lisa came home and made supper (porkchops, mash potatoes and brown gravy). After supper, Lisa and went for a nice walk.

I managed to fall asleep at 9PM. I woke at 1:30 AM and can't sleep. I'm working days today, I'm going to lay down and read, and hopefully fall back to sleep for a little while.

What can I say, shift work messes up normal sleep patterns.


mardi, juin 16, 2009

Shift work

I work sift work. I work from 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM and from 5:30 PM to 5:30 AM. This kind of shift work tends to mess with a persons normal internal clock. I know that very well. My sleep patterns are not normal even when I’m on my days off.

I find it more difficult to switch from nights to days. Staying up all night must shift our normal evening fatigue pattern back, so even when I’m off from work I tend to stay up later. This is true even when I get up at a normal hour. It usually takes several days like this to get back to being able to sleep at a normal hour.

Of course, just as you get back to normal, you have to throw everything out of whack again, because it is time to go back on the night shift.

That all being true, I actually like shift work because you are often of on weekdays when most people are working. This can be very helpful. You can hunt and fish while most people are at work. You can get things done during the week that other folks would have to take time off from work to do, etc…

Shift work has a good set of negatives as well, but if I start writing about those items (at 3:50 AM) it might get me down so I will not mention those things now.

Oh, I saw that there is a beautiful half moon out tonight on my 3:00 AM stroll this morning.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, juin 14, 2009

Back to Normal

I went back on shift last week, working graveyards. I worked 85 hours last week, all nights. Nights are good because the bosses, mechanical and engineers are (for the most part) not at the refinery. Because of this, things are quieter on nights and weekends also. If all is running ok you can have a little down time.

I did manage to finish reading Michael Behe's book The Edge of Evolution. I found it interesting and useful. I also completed the first volume of Phantastes  by George McDonald. The book is mentioned by C.S. Lewis’ main character in his book The Great Divorce.


mardi, juin 09, 2009

This morning, as I stepped out of the air conditioning, I was hit by the humid out of doors and my glasses fogged up immediately. South Louisiana's summer has arrived and will hang around for many months to come.

I'm back working at the refinery this week and I'm scheduled to work 84 hours (i.e. seven twelve hour days in a row). Yuck. Oh well, we will make the best of it.


jeudi, juin 04, 2009

I'm on the porch, I just finished supper, there is a cool breeze, it's overcast with gray clouds and I can hear birds and watch bumble bees, which are attracted by the Texas Lilacs at the porch's edge. I have my book with me and I will pick it up when I set the computer down. 

I spent my day, like most days for the past few weeks, in a meeting with union and company officials as the negotiate local issues. It was a good day. We made good progress and I hope we do the same tomorrow.

 I have uploaded some more pictures taken
 around the house in the last couple of weeks. 


lundi, juin 01, 2009

Below are some pictures taken in the last week.