"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Friday, June 01, 2007


I had an interesting day yesterday. For those of you who see me as a bright and shining star who spends all day thinking of clever anecdotes and comments to leave on other blogs, I actually work for a living. Currently, I am preparing to construct 2 simple cycle LM6000 turbine generators to create electricity for peak usage here in the Golden State. I build Powerplants for a living.

Part of my responsibility is to secure building permits for the county which has proven to be a mini version of the federal government red tape conspiracy. Yesterday, I spent all day about 10 miles north of the Mexican border working diligently to persuade county officials that we are indeed a good company with their best interests at heart.

My co-pilot for the day is a new hire- a Lance Corporal Reserve in the United States Marine Corps. I know, how lucky can I be, right? Anyhow, this young fellow returned from Iraq in December, and was a civil affairs liaison with the Marines near the border of Syria. Good man. However, he is currently operating at 100% aggressiveness (all marine). That tends to intimidate civilians (specifically the female gender) with whom we are trying to win confidence Never-the-less, we pressed one, and I believe were successful to the point of securing an advocate within the county system who felt sorry for our plight, (we have been chasing permits for ny-on 7 months now). We’ll see.

Back to the story. During the winter months, Naval Air Station El Centro is home of the Blue Angels, and is an active facility providing various types of training for Navy and Marines, so being in the neighborhood, we decided to head out there for a little nostalgia and some chow. My young marine was concerned about the quality of chow at a Navy Galley, but I assured him “Navy Chow, Best Chow, Air Force Chow, Best Chow Halls”. We were not disappointed. For $3.65 I had chicken and cheese enchiladas, beans and rice, 2 cookies and a diet coke. He just ate a big pile of something, though he concurred with the quality. We also made a stop at the NEX where I found and purchased my Navy Rank (AD3) and a tee-shirt that reads on the front: GOT FREEDOM? And on the back: COURTESY OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY. Guess what I’m wearing today.

Anyway, our adventure then took us to a peculiar place called LoveMountain and SlabCity where squatters show up and make a home on a deserted WWII Military post. While driving slowly through the campers and trailers, I told my marine “this place is a little creepy”, to which he responded “I think we need to lock the doors” and then executed said maneuver.

Traveling into town to provide the fire chief with our planned access route, we noticed a fire just outside of town. Driving by, I noted that it was quite strange that a fire occur in what looked like an abandoned wrecking yard, and asked the deputy at the fire house what the story was. His comment… “Meth-Lab.” Nice. Did I mention my shirt?

The day ended with another150 mile drive back to civilization and a Gatorade. Did I mention my shirt?

Go Navy!