I Rock, Plain and Simple…

Posted: January 25, 2008 in The Roper Files


 Haven’t posted much this week; been working my ass off. Squeezed ’em for six hours overtime today. But it’s over. At my menial job I operate a machine called a water jet. It’s about the size of two hot tubs and probably costs twice as much as my house. Cuts metal up to an inch thick with a high-pressure combination of sand and water down to however many thousanths of an inch as required by the blueprint. A fascinating high-tech machine…when it works.

When it decides it doesn’t want to work however it’s as stubborn as a mule.

Wednesday afternoon was one of those days; I couldn’t get through a single sheet of material without the machine either spraying me with toxic water or it wouldn’t cut the material at all. My supervisor is supposed to be an expert on these things; we spent 4 1/2 hours that afternoon taking the machine apart, replacing parts and re-assembling the machine while staring at the owners manual which is written in engineering argle-bargle in your choice of English, French and Japanese. At the end of the day and still being un-successful, I told my supervisor fuck it. Let’s shut this SOB off, sleep on it and screw with it in the morning.

Thursday morning we went through the whole routine again. For five hours we replaced almost every part on it; same results. Call the tech support at the company we bought it from, who don’t bother to return our calls or e-mails. OK fine; fuck you. Don’t call us back; who needs you anyway.

That miracle of inbreeding known as our shop supervisor comes over and helpfully stands there with his hands shoved deep in his pockets and watches our futile efforts to repair the machine. “Everyone else I talk to that has one of these machines doesn’t have this much trouble with theirs”  he offers as advice and walks off. Maybe you should hire THEM to run it I think to myself…

While trying one last time to get it to cut something I notice the rubber tube that feeds it sand collapsing while I run it. It’s not supposed to do that. Locate a spare roll of tubing and a razor blade. Cut it to the right length, replace it and voila! It works again. What’ya know. I feel like Carl in SLINGBLADE: ” Ain’t got no gas in it!”  Sometimes it IS the simplest things. Problem…solution. It’s a beautiful thing.

That out of the way, I collect six hours overtime today running the machine without incident.

When I woke up this morning, the temperature was hovering right above freezing and I could hear rain hitting the awnings outside my windows. O crappy day! Didn’t want to go, but I’m glad I did. My supervisor and about half the crew didn’t make it in. Paying attention, boss? Look who’s dependable…

Pulled through Robinsons Barbeque on East Berry Street on the way home and got a styro box full of ribs. Wish you could see these beauties; look fast though. They won’t be around for long.


No shortage of barbeque places in this town but Robinsons is the best for ribs. He advertises his barbeque as Kansas City style. Lots of sauce (which he makes himself) and he also chops up briskets and mixes it with his beans. This is worth the trip there alone.

So I’m off to chow down on these babies and this will be followed by an extended nap…later!


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