Saturday, August 29, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Working Class Hero Part IV- My last blue collar jobs!

For my final installment of "Working Class Hero" I'll condense my final blue collar jobs into one post. Interspersed with the Ice Plant, since it was a seasonal job, I worked for a Navajo sculptor named Alvin for a couple of months. He would create native dancers and other emblems of the Navajo Nation out of rock and take them to Phoenix to sell at an art gallery in Scottsdale. He was a phenomenal artist and my job was to cut the base of the rock per his design and set the stage for his work. Especially on deadlines, we would work up to 16 hour days. I would start the day making a fire in the shop, he would then draw lines on the rock showing me where to cut with the saw. Alvin also had a small sweatlodge on his property and one day he decided we needed to enter the sweatlodge and pray to be cleansed. My day started with chopping wood to build a large fire that was used to heat up the volcanic rock used to heat and steam the tent. After working on that and various other projects during the day, we placed the rocks in the tent, poured water over them to create steam and entered the lodge to pray. He prayed in Navajo and I sat there with my hands stingin' from the steam seaping into my blistered hands! It was a neat experience I will never forget!

Following my two years in Ohio proselytizing, I returned to Farmtown and landed a job at a furniture store called Haelig-Meyers. I worked in the warehouse with about 6 other Navajo dudes...I was the only white dude. It was a blast! This was the most physically taxing job I've ever had. Re-arranging the warehouse, unloaded shipments, deliveries, etc. My '76 F-150 had no power steering, so driving home at night with sore forearms was painful! We goofed around a lot as well though...there was always music in the warehouse, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy, Metallica and the guys loved my Ozzy impersonation! One day during down time, we decided to knock each other out by choking each other. I was instructed to hold my breath, stare at the light and a guy would choke me. It took him a while to knock me out because I would keep laughing...but eventually he got me! It was then my turn to knock out a co-worker named Avery. We both stood as I wrapped my hands around his neck and squeezed with all my might...he immediately passed out and went limp, I caught him before he hit the ground, but it freaked me out! I suddenly had visions of "manslaughter conviction" dancing in my head! One of the traditions on the it a "team building activity" was to jump a guy on his last day of work, if he was resigning! I had been there two months and was resigning to move to Utah. On my last day, I went on a delivery into Colorado and we locked the key in the truck and it took all night to get the truck unlocked. Apparently, my co-workers waited quite a while for me to return so they could give me the customary send off, but we didn't make it back until about midnight that night...too bad!

My last blue collar job was my first job in Utah. I was hired to work for Bear Creek Country Kitchens, a dehydrated soup/food manufacturer in Heber City. My initial position was on the "clean up crew"...errr janitor. After three months, I was taught how to drive a forklift and was promoted to the shipping/receiving docks. I interacted extensively with truck drivers...classy people! I worked there with a good buddy from Ohio who went by the name "Skirt"...we had another co-worker named Braden who was a total hippie, complete with the thick beard (we called him Moses...he called me idea why) We would all play basketball after work and I soon gained my typical B-ball reputation! The owners son, the General Manager, would also play. One day, I was approached by the company owner, an old cantankerous man who, as he approached me, said "I heard you're a mean son-of-a-bitch on the basketball court!" which I replied, "you heard right!" I think my response threw him off and he immediately turned around grumbling something as he walked off. We worked long hours, weekends...I once worked a 20 hour day! We went to Jazz games, threw hay at the owners ranch, I was once referred to by my boss as a "22 year old snot nose with an attitude!"...which in retrospect was completely accurate! I never said anything that warranted termination, I would only push the envelope just enough to make my point and piss off my supervisor, who was a 29 year old snot nose with an attitude!

In conclusion, I think the reason I look back at these jobs with fondness is twofold: 1) Physically demanding and rewarding. 2) I could do and say things I can't anymore, due to having much more responsibility now. I guess the trade off is now I have company directors and managers coming to me for advice, whereas back then I was just a goon. Memories....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: An Epidemic Sweeping the Nation!

Yes, you heard me! I have no choice but to report on a dangerous new disease that has reached epidemic levels! Chances are, you know someone who has fact, chances are, you have it! It hasn't reached Amy and I yet and it is my humble cry to the Almighty that it never does! Nothing in our current healthcare system could cure it and the currently proposed Obamacare in it's present form has no language regarding a cure or a solution to this mutation of the human condition...

So what is this disease you ask? It has been labelled "Schizo-iPhonia" by the American Psychiatric and Geriatric Association or APGA. Schizo-iPhonia is an incurrable addiction/fascination/obsession with the iPhone. According to the APGA, this condition has reached epic proportions. The condition has reached every conceivable demographic in this nation and is spreading like the Swine Flu in Mexico...but is more dangerous to humankind. Symptoms include but are not limited to...buying a new iPhone, compulsively downloading new "apps" for the iPhone and blankly staring at the iPhone during what would normally be productive activity...for example during a game of domino's with your family in which you should be paying attention to strategy and otherwise socially interacting with your family!

See those two people with their iPhones talking to each other? Schizo-iPhoniacs can commonly be seen discussing their iPhones with all its features and their latest downloaded applications with other Schizo-iPoniacs. The APGA advises that you do not approach this conversation or attempt to engage the Schizo-iPhoniacs as the experience will leave you bewildered and bored to tears. Some Schizo-iPhoniacs have been compelled through similar experiences to go out to their nearest Apple store and purchase their new obsession immediately!

In conclusion, this new electronic contraption of the most sinister intent has entranced millions of people. Once upon a time, Americans were simply "Cell Phone Degenerates"...we now have to contend with Schizo-iPhonia in all it's dark, touch screen glory. As for me, I will stick with checking work emails on my Dingleberry Curve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: The Football Madness! It's like a brain hemorrhage that won't stop bleeding!

Like Pavlov's dogs I am salivating at the upcoming football season that looms like being at the bottom of a water slide as Big Dave is merrily lumbering down! It is certainly the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue my blog titled, "Stevo's Football Madness". I just don't have the time this year. I feel like I've barely got time for this blog. I've got work, kids, working out, watching football, fantasy football (the Avis boys invited me back), college pick 'em, rituals of the occult, reading Mein Kampf and of course, lest we forget, Guitar Hero: Metallica...I'm just a lot busier this year than I was last year! Now of course, if anyone wants to take over the blog, I'm open to it. And of course, I'm more than happy to beat on Cory and "Enlarged Prostate" know who you college pick 'em again this year. Here is a list of my favorite things during football seasson:
- watching football on Saturday
- watching football on Sunday
- watching commentary on football
- working on the lineups of my fantasy football team
- wondering if I have Asperger Syndrome as it relates to my obsession with football
- eating wings and watching football
- watching football in my man cave
- driving Amy nuts with non-stop football
- playing football, especially Turkey Bowl tackle football in Farmtown! Set it up Big Dave!
- I guess playing "flag" football with people here in suburbia

Now I will make my pre-season predictions. Let's start with college, my favored game, conference champions are as follows:

ACC- Virginia Tech
Big East- tough one, but I'm going with West Virginia
Big Ten(eleven actually)- Penn St. possibly another shared title with the Buckeyes
Big 12- Kansas in the north, Texas in the south-this was a tough one, flip a coin between the Horns and the Sooners-right now the best single division in the land.
Mountain West- sorry Mormons, I'm going with TCU this year, but BYU was a close second.
SEC- my favorite conference! Gators in the east (duh!) and LSU in the west...this is gonna be a fun division to watch this year! Another coin flip between them and Bama.
PAC 10- USC until they decide otherwise. But they'll lose another game they're not supposed to...happens every year.
WAC- Boise St. until they decide otherwise...they need to move to the Mountain West...wouldn't that be fun?

Florida v. Texas in the BCS Championship with the Gators winning again! Sheeeesh, this is way too easy...Urban Meyer needs to retire!

Now for the NFL:
This is an impossible league to predict in the pre-season because of parity and injuries.

Your Super Bowl contenders in the NFC
New York Football Giants
Arizona...bit of a long shot

Your Super Bowl contenders in the AFC
New England...guess who's back?
San Diego...won't be 8-8 this year, but they still have Norv Turner as their coach

My pre-season Super Bowl prediction (subject to change around week 9) is:
Philly v. New England, with the Pats winning it all...but again check back in midseason!

So there you have it. Merry football season and happy buffalo wings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quickie With Stevo: Batman and Joker Public Service Announcements

Big Dave was in town a couple of weeks ago and introduced me to these viral videos called "Batman and Joker Public Service Announcements". Click on the link below to check out all the PSA's. Topics include sexual harassement, bike safety, heavy lifting, UV protection and how to throw a spiral. It's funny...