Friday, December 6, 2019


I would like to be positive. Really, I would like to be.  But it is proving to be  difficult, as all of the news I get from my doctors is negative and my body just keeps falling apart. That wonderful life I enjoyed while working in construction keeps coming back to bite me. I know I've said it before, but I worked in the drywall & steel stud trade. I worked almost exclusively in commercial work, such as hospitals, office buildings and high rise buildings. Of course, I smoked. I had been since I was 17. I joined the Navy when I was 19, and smoking with a cup of coffee in hand is an old Navy tradition. Well, the coffee is for sure. I quit smoking about 40 years ago, but some damage was already done. The commercial work did even more damage to my lungs. Now I have COPD and I'm enrolled in a Pulmonary Rehab program at the local hospital. 3 times a week I can be found doing exercises with a small group of others with COPD or worse lung problems. We also do balance exercises, such as standing for 30 seconds with your feet heel to toe. I have to be next to something solid that I can hold onto while we do this. I try not to hold on, but after 10, 15 seconds I have to grab it. And I can only think of what I used to do, up high on a building, walking across narrow beams or standing on the edge of the building while holding a panel as the crane operator slowly swung it towards you while the wind tried to take it away.  I would have died if I had the sense of balance I have now. Now, in the exercise room, with both feet solidly on the carpet, I am probably the only one there that sees the ground, 100' below him.
On a different subject; I am spending most days collecting and filing old photo files of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. That includes the Los Angeles Aqueduct project, all the way up to the Mono Basin and Mono Lake. I probably have over 6,000 images filed away and I continue to find more of them. I know that sounds like OCS, but, it's actually autism. I found a website, Water and Power Associates, and they have thousands of images. And they have little nuggets of history along with the photos. But, there is a problem with all of this. My expensive (at the time) MacBook Pro is failing; and I have most of my photos on it. First, the Photos program stopped working altogether. Oh no! I researched on-line for a cure, for days without success. Then, I tried a simple hint and rebooted into Safe mode, opened Photos, closed it and then rebooted. Photos came back! Great news but a week later I lost all of my keyboard shortcuts, such as Cmd-C for Copy and Cmd -V for paste.

Plus all of the rest. I tried rebooting again. It worked...for about 2 weeks.Reboot again and this time it was cured for about a week. Now, it only works for a day or two. The Photos program is shaky but it is working 90% of the time. In the meantime, I am trying to move all of the rest of my photo files (36,000) to a stand alone hard drive with 4 TB of space. I would move them onto a new MacBook Pro, but the price is prohibitive. The same computer is now $500 more than what I paid, 5 years ago.

Here on the right is a 1910 photo of the steam pump belonging to Los Angeles Fire Dept. Engine Company #9 as it is pulled out of the fire house by 3 sturdy fire horses. I love these old photos, and I am sad that I never took very many photos of where I was working during my 48 year career. I have a blog "Working" and I have hopes that my children & grandchildren will read it someday. While I was working, I never seemed to have time to talk to my children about all of the things I did. They knew what I did, in a vague sort of way. my middle daughter worked for me as a secretary during the big Sierra Pacific Power Co, job. But most of the time she was stuck in our jobsite trailer, filing correspondence. My son worked for a fastener sales company, where for a year or so he sold screws, shots and pins for powder actuated fasteners, plus an assortment of safety equipment. Again, his exposure to my kind of work was limited. My blog isn't complete, but it is a good description of what I did for a living. I know I would have loved to know what my mom and dad did, before and after I was born in 1940. And my grandparents; I only know the titles for the work they did. One grandfather was a 'Timber Cruiser' in Minnesota and later, a farmer in Oregon. My other grandfather worked for a finance company, GM Acceptance Corp. I have the gold watch he received. But I would rather have his story...

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