Shop update

So, we found a building in Oceanside. We were looking at a place in Westbury, but it was too small and the current owner wasn’t sure we could paint there. The place in Oceanside is industrial and it is zoned for body work. Major difference. Also, the place is huge compared to that place in Westbury. It has 2 offices (1 could be a small showroom), plus a loft for storing parts. We may need to get a forklift, but that’s a future problem (and not a bad problem at that). The only current problem (also not really a bad one) is this building is not for sale, we would be renting. We are currently hitting the owner over the head to try to get him to lower the rent, at least for the first year. If this works out, we could be in there and working by June 1st.

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Born under a bad sign

Well, this past week, I found out another possible donor backed out and the house where I live is being put up for sale. My luck not only runs bad, it comes in groups. I’m not going to worry about it, I’m used to it at this point.

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April update….

Not too much to update. There are lots of things pending, but nothing definite. One positive note, but on a personal level. My sister, Patricia has been doing lots of research and legwork on my kidney situation. We got a great lead at a recent event at Grand Central Station which could speed up my search for a new kidney greatly. As usual, getting someone on the phone proved difficult, but she persevered and finally got past the overloaded voicemail to actually speak to this person.

I am still in the “trying to get through” stage, but I will get back on it in the morning. I have to switch surgical hospitals, which may mean getting re-tested all over again. Most of the tests aren’t bad, but I am not looking forward to another colonoscopy. I think I’d rather have a tooth drilled without Novocain…

On the business end, everything is in limbo….

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Spring is here, wouldn’t know it yet

They say it’s supposed to warm up over the next few days. I can’t wait. I’m so done with winter weather. Give me 90 and sunny any day. Nothing new to report on the shop front, but there are some things in the works. I’ll update when I can.

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Kidney issues

I feel like all I do is complain, but then people tell me if they were going through what I am, they don’t know if they could do it. Let me tell you, it surprises you how much you can actually take until you have no choice.

For those that don’t know, my troubles started Dec 23rd, 2008. I was staying with Mom because my apartment had a mold issue. It turned out to be a good thing. On that morning, I woke up to find I couldn’t get out of bed. I had no pain, no shortness of breath, no tingling in the arms, no pain in the jaw or any of the other “normal” symptoms of a heart attack, yet that’s exactly what was happening.

If it weren’t for Mom calling an ambulance to take me to the hospital, I might not be typing this right now.

After 5 stents, and a few days recovery, I was sent home. While there, however, I was told my kidneys were failing. If they didn’t improve, I would need dialysis.

So, I found a nephrologist, otherwise known as a kidney or renal doctor. So many names for one idiot. My “numbers” were improving with every visit, my rosy cheeks returned (I had been grey, according to family and friends) and all seemed to be going well, until said idiot decided I needed a water pill. If any doctor ever prescribes you a water pill, punch them firmly in the throat, kick them in the balls or push them down the nearest flight of stairs.

I say this because within 2 weeks, my kidneys went from “marked improvement” to “no longer functioning” and, he had the balls to tell me it was the water pill he put me on that did it.

So, here it is 3 1/2 years later, I am on dialysis, which is slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) killing me. Between the unmerciful cramping and passing out on occasion, it hasn’t been fun. Of course, it beats the alternative. No dialysis, dead in a month.

Three times in my first facility, they almost killed me. Once they actually succeeded and needed to revive me. My blood pressure had dropped to 40 over 0. No, that’s not a typo, it’s ZERO. It took them 45 minutes to revive me to the point where I was conscious. They didn’t tell what happened until the next week, when I complained about being light headed ever since that day. Other patients kept asking me how I was. None of the staff asked me even once.

So, I transferred to where I am now, which is in Jamaica, Queens. They were better right off the bat. They were more concerned with the patient than their precious machines, unlike the first facility. I’ve had a few rough nights on dialysis since heading there, but all in all, it has been much better.

Then, last night happened. My blood pressure dropped to 80 over 50. I passed out cold. They weren’t pulling too much fluid, but I found out they had the blood flow set too high. A simple miscalculation while setting up the machine and I was a cramping, sweating, shaking mass of jelly. This happened after they took me off the machine, but luckily before they pulled the needles, so they could give me saline to bring me back.

As if that weren’t bad enough, when I got home I was so tired, I didn’t bother to pull the bandages off. I just fell asleep on the couch. I awoke a half hour later in a pool of blood. My puncture wounds from the night were bleeding profusely. I no longer have the “penguin” throw that was on the couch, the t-shirt or the pants I was wearing. I had to toss them. They were all stuck together. Luckily, I didn’t leak through to the couch. That’s a small miracle in itself. I have a few throws, but that one had sentimental value. I’m using another sentimental throw right now…

Being weak and dizzy to begin with, then having all this blood everywhere I looked, I nearly passed out all over again. After getting the bleeding to stop and throwing a bloody bag out the door (if I had nosy neighbors, I’m sure the police would have knocked on my door), I passed out on the couch again. I awoke this morning to more cleaning. the bathroom was bad. I just noticed my bathroom rug still has blood on it. I have another one….

So, the point of this whole story is to illustrate how much I need a kidney donor. Please, if you know someone, have them contact me. You ave no idea how much it would be appreciated. Next time, I might not wake up in time.

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Adventures in wiring……

Here’s an old story people keep asking about. It’s the story of how an electrical incident during a Christmas concert in Christ the King Regional High School in 1977 blew out half of Middle Village, Queens.

Here goes….

We had a lighting guy named Gene Hue. Gene Who? Gene Hue. He was sort of an apprentice to Tony Simulinas, our main lighting guy. He had “better ideas” about things that he knew nothing about. Our first clue to this was one night at practice for the play “Godspell” when he was rewiring the plug end of an extension cord. He asked Tony if he was doing it correctly. Tony followed the cord only to see the business end was plugged into a live outlet. There were other clues. We made up a jacket for him with a logo of a rubber chicken getting fried by lightning…..

Back to the Christmas concert…

There was a plug for all of the lighting circuits of the big stage in the CK Auditorium. The plug was 3 phase, 480 volts. It had a big plastic cover on it to insulate the wires from each other. At some point, Gene Hue decided there was no need for this plastic cover. The band went on stage, not knowing of this custom alteration. We were pretty loud. I fact, we were so loud that we caused the plug, which was no longer supported y the cover, to vibrate loose. Ironically, during the Deep Purple song “Burn”, the plug shorted out. I just happened to look over to that side of the stage, maybe for a cue to or from the band, and I see Tony Simulinas running at full speed toward the lighting box which was plugged in to that big 480 volt plug. He somehow spotted what was happening or just leaned of the custom work done by Gene. He didn’t make it.

The next few seconds seemed to take minutes to pass. The plug shorted and blew Tony all the way across the stage, right over the drums. Sparks, smoke and flames followed him. The audience thought it was part of the show and went wild. Frank Mediate, the drummer, kept playing for a few seconds, not realizing the rest of the band lost power. Luckily, we weren’t electrocuted from the power surge, but I lost my amp from it.

After we all realized that no one died and the crowd was cleared out for their own safety, we went to the main circuit breaker panel for the school. It was gone. There was a big black mark where it blew itself off the wall. Oh well, I guess the Christmas concert was over. So, we started packing up all the equipment when someone came in from outside to say half of Middle Village was without electricity. Even the traffic lights were out.

Everything was fixed by the time school started after Christmas vacation and all was almost as we left it. There was only one change. Gene Hue was banned from ever working with the band again and he was also banned from Christ the King’s theater dept or any other dept that had anything to do with electrical. Part of the ban was due to the fact that the band was initially blamed for the power outage. It was only after we proved we had nothing to do with the alterations to the electrical system that we were off the hook for the bill to fix things.

Believe it or not, that’s not the end of the Gene Hue saga. He was eventually banned from setting foot on the CK property. I don’t know the details, but I was told he once again caused a power issue and this time it caused a fire on the auditorium stage he was originally not allowed near.

So, there you go. That’s the story of how the lights went out in Middle Village in December of 1977.

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Frozen

OK, for 35+ years, I worked in all kinds of weather. In the coldest weather, I’d wear a hooded thermal sweatshirt, no gloves, no thermal underwear.. Now, I can’t take the cold in the least. Two t-shirts, sweatshirt, winter coat, gloves, snow boots, I still freeze. It takes me hours to get warm after I’ve been out in this weather even a few minutes. So, I stay inside when it’s too cold outside. If this affects my work, right now, I don’t care. I can’t be shivering all day while trying to airbrush anyway, even in a heated, warm shop. Bring on the 100 degree summer days, I’m ready. So, I sweat, who cares?

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Funny things that pop in my head

I was just answering a tech question on one of the many online bulletin boards I either administer, moderate or just visit. The question was about contracts and how they rarely benefit one of the contractees…. This made me think of a contract I signed with a now defunct car magazine a few years back. The contract I signed was to make sure I didn’t write the same tech help articles for other magazines. They wrote it in such a way as to keep me from submitting the same EXACT article to any other publication.

Well, they wrote in a loophole for me with the word EXACT.

I submitted the same article (actually, it was more than one) to several other magazines or online outlets and it/they was/were published in a few of them. I did this by changing the wording of ONE SENTENCE (in each article), so it was NOT the same EXACT article as the one submitted to them. Had they not included the word EXACT, I would not have been able to do this.

One of the articles was how to do your own paint, which is now a tech article on my website, seen here:
Do it yourself paint tips

Another one that was copied to my site is found here:
Swapping necks
This one is a little trickier now that they are cracking down on altering titled motorcycle frames. Follow at your own risk, for legal reasons.

Here’s another paint tech article, about how to care for your fresh paint:
Caring for your fresh paint

And more… Here’s one about how to paint over chrome without having the part de-chromed:
Painting over chrome

And the last one, for now…
Here’s an article on how to remove rust from the inside of your motorcycle gas tank:
Removing rust from your tank
Plan B will also work on car/truck/boat gas tanks made of steel. For Plan A, these tanks are too heavy.

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Happy New Year

Here’s to a brand new year and hoping 2013 left any of its bad karma behind. I’m not a believer in karma, or other “fate” related excuses for things, but 2013 really blew chunks. I won’t rehash it, most of you know what I’ve been through. Let’s try to have a positive outlook for this year, even with the snow and the frigid cold that rang in the new year……

I have a new home and am looking for a new home for my airbrush work and customizing. I have some options, so anything is possible. I am also setting up my recording system. High hopes for a music career in this free download age, but again, anything is possible.

Let’s put our positive energy together and see if all the voodoo believers are right. If you think it, you can do it….. I’ll try anything at this point.

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