Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HVAC Classes

When I first started college earlier this year it was all new. I was Homeschooled all my life and never had I been a in a class room situation. As a result I scored 89 and 87 on my first two test in HVAC. (one for Basic Electric and one for Refrigeration Principals.) But after that I took off. I have found it much easier now that I have started interacting with my fellow students in lab. At first I just did what I was required to do and left it at that. I soon learned that I am the most experienced tech in both classes, with my 2 1/2 years in the field. There is one guy who has been working longer but with a bigger company, thus he has been over looked as far as training goes. Everything seems easier when you teach others. I was very happy when my instructor appointed me to help him tech the rest of the class in lab. I think it has given me the confidence I needed to focus more on what I am learning, and then teaching in labs. A lot of people seem to think that everything I am helping them with comes from my field work. But I have found that though the work in the field has help me grasp things better, most of what I use to help my classmates I learn from the teacher first. It is odd, like when I was trying to figure out a problem that was not clear to me, and had me scratching my head, a student came up to me and asked the same question that I was having the problem with. When he asked it I came up with the answer right then and there, seemingly without thinking about it. When I had just spent two minutes stumped on the same problems.
Earlier this afternoon I went over to the AC building after finishing my math class and signed up for an EPA exam. While there I got to see the afternoon class (I am in the night class) be tested on the wiring diagrams that we had been working on for the past month. Out of maybe twelve students one failed badly and four barely past. Out of fifteen in my class how took the test later that night everyone did fairly well, save for one guy who was having trouble, but who, I think got a chance to redo it and I believe he past. Which was good because I had been helping him right before class started. I had also helped a guy who was convinced he was going to fail, but with those last five minutes before we headed into the test I was finally able to get the difference between contactors and fan relays and what they were used for to make since to him. He past with a 100. So in a way I fill proud of the people that I have come to view as my students. That we out did the afternoon guys by about 5-1 with D's or worse is something that I fill in someway responsible for. After all, we have the same teacher...the only difference is that my teacher has help in his night class...He goes it alone in his afternoon class.

Robert L.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh Rats.

As of two seconds ago I moved all (except my last one) of my "My Life as an Attic Rat" post to another file on my computer and deleted all the old ones from this account. It does not mean that I will stop writing them and posting them, it just means that I will be storing the on my PC now and not on the Blog. Also when I deleted them all of the comments made where lost as well. So I wanted to take this time to thank y'all for 1. Subjecting yourselves to reading them, 2. Commenting on them and re commenting on them again and again, 3. For whatever point I forgot.
So here's to you readers, thanks for everything!

Robert L.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


College is not what I had expected it to be. Yes it is time consuming but overall it is easy. The Math class could be past by a monkey, the Computer Science is the most time consuming but easy all the same. My Basic Electric for HVAC and Refrigeration Principles are by far the two fun classes that I have. I did not know that the College that I attend is (as some people have said) one of the top five A/C programs in the nation. There is so much to learn from this program it is amazing. I was told (and it was true five years ago) that I would know more then the instructors in some things with my two and a half years in the field. But five years have changed the program. It is amazing now.
As far as other news go, there has been very little else going on. Another date marking that on which I was born has past. I am now considered to be twenty. (What ever "considered" means...I will leave that to you to decide.) I have started reading some books by Tom Clancy. Though I enjoy them I must also say that they are a little rough around the edges, and could do with some editing. I have only read Tom Clancy's EndWar by Michele Davids completely but am almost done with Without Remorse. EndWar not being part of the main line of books in the Clancy Universe I read first as I waited to get the before mentioned Without Remorse which is the first book chronologically. EndWar I enjoyed a lot. It was short but action packed not at all in the style of Tom Clancy though. However I would still recommend younger people asking their parents before reading EndWar or ANY other of Tom Clancy's works. Also if you would like to read EndWar, I would recommend first playing EndWar the game for X-box 360 or PC. The game was made first and has a lot of story line laid down that the book builds on.
Anyway I need to get to bed. I just thought I would update y'all let you know that I did not get to close to a NLE that I would not be returning from. (see last post.)

Robert L.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A near life experience.

What is a Near Life Experience (or NLE)? Well it has been defined many different ways. But first we must look at it's better known counterpart Near Death Experience (or NDE). A NDE is when someone comes so close to dieing that, one; they are traumatised to the point that they enjoy the rest of their life a lot more then before. Two: Someone comes so close to dieing that wired things start happening, such as time appears to slow down, and everything is very vivid. Also there is the times when some one dies and before they are revived they see thing, of which I will not get into because it is not important. So besides that last little bit remember what I said about NDE, it will be refer to again.
So then what is NLE? And what are the ways that it has been defined. Here are what a few popular sources had to say on NLE.
1. The GBPT (The Grannies Book of Proper Terms.) A NLE is when someone almost plays that board game where you get married and have kids get jobs and can go to college.
2.From the TBFA. (Terrorist Book of Failed Attempts.) A NALE (a near AFTER life experience) is when you forget to put the detonator on your bomb. Resulting in a NALE and ESAG (Extended Stay At Getmoe*.) (Note: No clue if I spelled that "*" right. I only hope you know what I am talking about.)
3. This one is taken from Pg. 10,347 in the WDPFM (Women's Derogatory Phrases For Men.) "A Near Life Experience occurs when he almost turns off the X-box."

How do I define it you ask? Oh...You did not ask? Well I will tell you anyway. Remember that little spill about NDE? Well bear that in mind for what I am about to tell you.
Have you ever heard it said "To really live you must almost die." The same concept is push forward in a song that goes "Some day I wise you get the chance, to live like you were dieing." Don't ask who wrote it I do not know. It is a country song I think. (where was I...)
Yes, to almost die you must really really live you must almost die. It is a famous saying so just pretend you know it. So lets go to the old math board shall we...

If this is true that almost dieing produces really living.
AD makes RL
Then we can take our next step. Now let say that AD is equal to a NDE. So...

NDE makes RL.
So now let's add in a "Factor". What if you add a Almost to NDE. That would change things to...
ANDE makes ARL. We can now say that Almost Really Live is equal to Near Life. We can change it to that with out losing context...I think. So...
ANDE makes a NLE. That's Almost Near Death Experience will cause a Near Life Experience.
What do you mean this does not make any sense? did not say that either...But you thought it! It will make sense when I apply it to a real word situation. Enter... (bet you did not see this one coming)


So it was a hot summer day...(what other type is there around here) it was a normal summer day for south Texas and I had received a text dispatch from my boss early that morning. "Service Call CR 57, A/C not cooling." Well County Road 57 was right down the street so I went over there right away. Upon getting there I went to work. This was easy to figure out what the problem was. The unit was pulling a zero degrees supper heat. Dirty coil, yes sir. In fact I noted that the condenser coil was dirty to. I sold the job there on the spot and went right to work. After cleaning both coils ( I will not go into what all that Intel's, if you want to know ask me in the comments) I prepared to recharge the system. I opened the first valve. The hiss of the trapped freon racing into the vacuum in the lines met my ears letting me now that very thing was working right so far. I inserted my yellow jacket refrigeration ratchet into the hole on the second valve. I turned it once...then twice and world was turned upside down. (it was really just me that was upside down) My vision was gone, engulf in a fog like vapor. My hearing...there was a loud crash and then a high pitch whine and nothing else. Next thing I know I was air born and spinning like a Hamster wheel. I landed on my back and bounce/rolled till I opened my eyes...I was fifteen feet away from where I had been crouching. The burst valve and my tool had both half covered them selves in the dirt when I found them. Some where in between there the old man who lived there found time to walk all the way from the front of his property to the back of the house to help me up. I am not sure how fast he moved, but something tells me he could have stopped to hard boiled an egg on his way and I would have never known the difference.

That is what I call my Almost Near Death Experience. Or as you might recall my Near Life Experience.

Now that you know what a NLE is, leave a comment with your NLE. If you do not have one tell about your ANLE, or AANLE............

Robert L.

P.S. Yes this is a joke do not leave nasty comments about poor math logic and dumb talk.

Monday, July 13, 2009

In V.A.

Once we arrived in V.A. the fun never stopped. The first day was spent in greeting old friend. One year had changed many of them. Fortunately it was only outward changes, and everyone was the same friend that we had parted with just a year earlier.
The lectures were as they always have been very good. The themes of which as many of you know was on John Calvin, the theologian. Chris Strevel was given the opportunity to speak the most, which was fine by me. Out of all the pastors in the RPCUS, he is one of the few that I am unfamiliar with and was happy for the opportunity to change that.
The Second day came and with it so did the games. Early that morning I downed five opponents in ping-pong as I started my quest for my sixth straight ping-pong title. After that Ultimate Frisbee was started. My friend William G. Anderson introduced me to Stewart Orr right before we got started. I soon realized that he was a valuable teammate as well as friend. I cannot remember how the first game went as far as the details go, I do know that Stewart and I dominated enough that we were selected for team captains in the second game. I won the toss and got to pick first, which started the end. With some great D from my teammates and some lapses in coverage by Stewart's team, we rolled over them with a 5-1 win. The third game I appointed the two oldest of the group to be team captain's in hope that Stewart and I would be on the same team again. No such luck. We were the first two picked. This time however Stewart and his team blasted me and mine 4-1 as we called the game due to the large deficit the one team faced and the lack of energy left in the players. Sometime between the first and last full day there was one game played that took the top for most well fought game that year. I was late to join, and was disappointed again when I found that I was being put on the losing team. Not that I minded the fact that they were losing, it was that again Stewart was on the other team. Which was why my team was losing. However things were made better by the fact that William Anderson was on my team, which had just given up a third point with out scoring one. The tide turned when another person joined (I do not remember his name) he was fresh and in his place we traded on of the other players who had been playing for awhile to the winning team. With two new fresh players on our team we turned things around. We answered their three point with two of our own before Andrew connected with Stewart for a 4-2 lead. However my team found a second wind and for what seemed thirty minutes of hard playing by both teams, my team put up two more points. We were all knotted up at four. At last it seemed like the marathon game had ended on a little flare thrown to the corner of the end zone by our team after a long drive had brought us with in feet of the goal. However the catch was made with one foot out of bounds. The longest game that I had ever played of Ultimate Frisbee would continue. Not long however, as the other team, now warn out from playing longer then I and a few of my teammates had, made a bad pass that was blocked only a quarter of the way down the field. Two passes later I found myself with the Frisbee and a small shot at hitting William near the end zone. There was one player that stood between us, and as hard as I tried to get a perfect pass off I failed and air mailed the Frisbee. However it could not have worked better. The Frisbee tipped a branch and change from what was a air mail throw while it was over the covering man, to a perfect strike to William. And between him and the lone man in the end one. An easy toss made us the come from behind winners.
Finally on the last full day Stewart and were on the same team again, for the first time since we had started that first game. And we gave everyone enough reason not to want to let us be on the same team again. 5-0, a complete shout out. However in an attempt to balance the teams, they traded both of us to the team that had just been blasted 5-0. I was surprised but happy. The good news was William was on that team. So for the first time the three of us were going to be on the same team. The bad news was Stewart had to leave for singing practice. The three of us never were on the same team. That last game started out bad. Within three minutes the score was 3-0, we were losing. It seemed as though Stewart and I maybe were to the reason for the 5-0 win in the last game. Ten minutes later however, a whole nother story as we were set dead even at 3-3. We were forced to tie it up again at 4-4 and end the game with an amazing one handed catch from a throw that had started half way back across the field. 5-4 was the final as my team pulled out another come from behind win. After that last game I found Stewart and told him he had mist a great game. He said, "I know, I have been told that. More then once already." Word traveled faster then I had thought...
The Dancing was fun as always, I learned one new dance that I like very well...I will for go the trouble of trying to explain it. Maybe one day one of my sisters will post a video of it, and I will post a link to their sites. Besides that there is not much to say about dancing, it is not like sports where you can go on and on about things my reader(s) (I know at least one person reads the whole thing.) care little about. So that when I get to the dancing I am out of things to say...What a let down I am sure. But what more needs be said then it was fun.

One last note. And yes it has to do with sports. Congrats to Isac Johnson, for holding a lead on me late into a ping-pong game. And then after falling behind at the end, coming back and knotting it up at 20-20. However he fell short 22-20. I went 11-0 in ping-pong this year and took home my sixth ping-pong championship title, and third title without a loss.
Players lost too in V.A. and the win to loss ratio that for those years against those players.
1st year, Pastor Johnson. 2-1 record overall.
2nd year, Mr.Candler. 3-3 record overall. (note: I have beaten Mr.candler all seven times I have played him since.)
4th year, Tommy. 2-1 record overall.

Robert L.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Travels to a far off land.

As most of y'all know me and my family, minus my brother and mother, traveled to V.A. about a week ago. It is a trip that has been made by members of our family for the past several years, since 2004 to be precise. But to start this story I will have to take you a year further back, to the 2008 trip. That time it was my two sisters and my brother who made the trip. My brother was still driving the first leg of our journey when the car started acting up. A sort of sputtering and choking fill to the way it was running. We made it all the way up to Houston before it broke down. This was the first time that we had ever broken down (in my memory, so the time when I was one does not count) on a trip. Triple A came to the rescue within ten minutes, however the toe truck could only hold one other person. So Calvin (my brother) went with the man driving the truck as me and my sisters headed for the closest donuts shop. In Gods mercy the mechanic shop was only a block from where we broke down. So Calvin walked back to where we were and took us to the shop where we began our first wait. Again mercy was shown to us, as the men who worked on the car stayed late to get us on the road again.

Late that night I was driving, as we were pushing hard to make up lost time. Around 11:45 or so I looked down and my thermometer. It was hovering right above the little red line on the wrong side of the meter. After an hour of driving with the heater turned on to full blast and the windows down trying to cool the engine down, we finally made it to a hotel. Next morning we found a mechanic shop and tried checking our selves in. But they were booked. That story repeated two or three times before we found one. But even then they were booked as well. However the owner of the shop felt so bad for the sorry lot of Texans that had just walked into his shop, that he did something unexpected. He came out of his two year retirement from being a mechanic and fixed our car himself. He got us back on the road after only two hours, for which we were and still are grateful. The first time we broke down it turned out to be the fuel pump that had gone bad. The second and final time was the thermostat in the radiator that had went out. It was 1:30 am when I pulled that car into the parking lot at Bluefield Collage for the family conference. We had mist the first night of it.

One year later and two week ago. We were about an hour and a half from home when the van started filling with the smell of gasoline. Upon getting out and inspecting the damage I found that we were leaking gas very bad. My father turned us around and we headed back south for about twenty minutes before reaching a gas station where we tried to find a mechanic who could fix the problem. Only thing was, I had to work earlier that day so we left home at 5:30 P.M. which of course means that all the shops are closed. however we were saved yet again. We got a hold of a mechanic on wheels and gave him directions on how to find us. He soon found the problem after he arrived and with the right tools fix us up and had on the road after only a hour or so lost. Skipping forward. When we left Tazwell V.A. and started home the last thing on our minds was worrying about having car trouble. I mean we already had on breakdown this trip, and two last year...but that is what we ended up doing from V.A. to T.X. after we left, the sound of small part of tire hitting the undercarriage of our van motivated us to pull over. Again I inspected and found that the driver side rear tire had started to came undone. However we pushed on. From state to state, we moved closer to home and the hope that the tire would hold became more and more of a reality. However we never found out. The passenger side rear tire blowout before the driver side. No problem...all we had to do was replace it with the spare tire. Big of the nuts was striped. Try as we would nothing work in getting it off. Triple A said it would take them an hour and forty five minutes to get to us. So we found a cow pasture and sat down under some trees and waited for our rescue. It hour and thirty minutes early. Not Triple A but a man who had a socket set. He found a socket that almost fit and with the help of a hammer we had, he went to work. It ended up reshaping the nut down to the size of the socket. Again, for the fourth time in two years we were saved, by the kindness of complete strangers. We fixed the other tire at the next town.

Another post will follow highlighting the time that was spent at the Family Conference. featuring new and old friends, good fellowship, fun dancing, and some of the best competition in sports.

Robert L.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Not much has happened as of late. Thus the long time between my post. And even now not much has happened. Work has been steady, it is heating up down here (which means 95-100 degrees, anything less is not all that hot) but that only means work will be getting more busy. The Houston Astros have been standing firm. Not letting them selves get in a large hole early this season that would make their yearly comeback at the end of the season a hard task. Last Thursday we played Halo with the East again. This time Mr.East and Calvin joined in. The first game was played minus Rebecca though. So we divided the teams up as best as we could. Mr.East, Calvin and Jay on team red. For my team mates I got Daniel and Savannah. The map we played was Cold Storage. At first things seemed to be going even as we where tied at 10. However halfway through the teens it was apparent that the red team was slowly building a lead. However things turned. By the time blue team was closing in on the 50 point mark we had built a 9 point lead. I though it was going to be easy to finish off the reds. However before the final five points could be scored by the blues, the reds turned things around again and tied us up at 48. I had just fallen to give them their 48th point. While I was waiting for my timer to count down for my respawn so I could get back into the fight, the game was showing me the moves of one of my teammates (Savannah). During which time I wittiness her kill and get killed by Jay. 49 to 49. The next team to score would win. I respawned and moved out for the kill. However on my radar I saw two red dots appear close to me. I desperately looked around for them expecting them to be around any corner. I soon realized that they where both a level above me. Without going into to much strategy I will just say I was in a bad spot. However, else where on the map while I played cat and mouse with the two foes that could pounce down on me and anytime, my teammate, Daniel engaged and killed the remaining foe that was not on my radar. 50 to 49 final. We play five or six other games, two infections (of which I won one, a first) a Juggernaut which was really called nijanaught. And then we played two or three more team slayers. Of which the blue team won all but the last one. (When Rebecca joined she was placed on the red team for all the other games.)
We also took a trip to Dallas last week. Just me and my three siblings. But besides that not much else has gone down around here.

Robert L.