Hello spaghetti squash, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Yay for Friday. We are pulling the brakes on another work week, and sliding into an extended weekend.

Before the holiday weekend festivities begin, I’ve gathered my Experts for another round of Ask the Experts. Let’s say hi to the Experts now. Hi Experts!

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Due to the aforementioned holiday weekend, I decided to ask the Experts the following question:

Q. As we head into Labor Day weekend, would you please tell us about your work? (Or share a story from a favorite job you had in the past, or share what job made you the most proud)

Expert Andy will start us off as usual:

A. I work for Energy Recovery Product, a company that makes power electronics for LED lighting.  As you may have heard, LEDs are the most efficient light source.  If you were to replace a regular bulb, whose design is 100+ years old, with an LED you would save approximately 84% of the power consumed for the same amount of light.  My company makes that possible.  I run the business part of the company, sales, marketing and customer service.  I’ve been with this company now for 2 years and I’d like to think I’ve had a hand in increasing our revenues by nearly 80% over that time.  We have a great team that we are building upon every day.  In some way, we are in essence, saving the planet with our products.  We typically do the power electronics in better, more efficient ways than our competitors.  We typically utilized 90% of the power that comes out of the wall of your house or your light fixture.  Ten percent is lost due to heat and the amount of “work” involved in converting wall power to power that the LEDs can use to operate.  You can’t just plug an LED into the wall, and if you do, good luck when you pick yourself up off the floor.  We make all of that possible and isolate the user from the power in the wall.  Our business is growing rapidly and we are engaged in the largest accounts around the world which keeps us all busy, on the phone and on airplanes and in strange, strange places.  Like China, where our factory is located.  We sell to companies who sell to the Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, and others.  If you go to Home Depot, for example, and see a 3″, 4″, 5″ or 6″ retrofit downlight in the lighting aisle, there’s a pretty good chance we have the power converter in that fixture.  If you are interested further go to www.erppowerllc.com for more information on our purpose and our products.

A. In retrospect, the best job I ever had was unloading trucks at a warehouse in college. You always knew when a job was done, so you always went home with a sense of accomplishment. In what I do now, the amount of time between starting something and seeing it to completion is often months or years, and nobody likes delayed gratification!

A. I once worked washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant in a small town in Utah. One early morning I found a large bowl of rice in the sink left over from the previous night. I dutifully tossed the rice and washed the bowl. As I was peeling potatoes, the cook came in and started looking around the kitchen. He barely spoke English, but eventually it became clear he was looking for a large bowl of rice. When I told him I had tossed it, he began screaming in Chinese. He had a chef”s knife and he began chasing me around the place. The manager finally rescued me. I eventually left the restaurant business and went to work in a sawmill (where I managed to smash a finger). I decided to go into a safer profession –journalism.

———————

Dottie may join us later. If she does, I’ll update this post right away. In the meantime, let’s admire her adorableness:

And move on to Expert Lewis:

A. Life is beautiful and full of wondrous surprises and challenges since it is Labor Day weekend and our beloved Blog Master has compelled a request of an occurrence in our lives of laborious effort.

In 1965  I was a  young boy of 14, my brother Pat (17), my cousin Joey (14), friend Philip (15), friend Dale (13) and friend Ray (17), we all got summer jobs working at a MGM giant natural gas booster / refinement plant as expendable labors.

Kansas is a land that has produced vast amounts of oil and natural gas for many years and has vast energy production facilities scattered across it.

We showed up one morning and they the Mega Gas Monster facility swallowed us up immediately and put us to work, no questions were asked about our age or knowledge but we were live bodies, fresh meat for the Mega Gas Monster / MGM that needed renovation. They actually helped several of us file the paperwork for Social Security cards.

The MGM was undergoing a large scale repair and upgrade project and needed strong back and young mind with bucks $$$$$$ in their pockets.

We all worked around large digging tractors, moving truck, hoisting cranes, giant piles of very large 4ft. pipes and pipes and pipes and construction materials.

You got to pee find a truck that’s not moving, hurt your back off the job keep moving and watch out

Madness was the order of the day and get the hell out of the way was the rule

We moved, we carried, we dug, we ran,  we sweated like dogs and worked like fools which young men do.

The Kansas sun is merciless and so were the bosses but cash in a day of limited opportunity is its own whip.

Large long trenches 5’ to 6’ foot wide and 15’ to 25’ foot deep ran rampaged across the compound, at the bottom lay  huge 4’ wide pipe and someone had to dig the dirt out from under the pipes

Safety, safety, safety who the hell needs safety, OSHA was years in the futures the jobs got to be done, so you shut up and worked, no one’s going to listen to a dumb kid away.

Pat got terrible heat burns from the boiling hot wraps used to water proof the new  pipes, Phil hurt his back moving tons of rocks, Joey got splash burns on his face from the hot wraps, Ray got hit in the head by a swinging load. No one quit we weren’t dead yet

Hard hats only went to manager or long term company employee’s, gloves you want gloves bring your own, PPE didn’t exist (Personal Protective Equipment)

The fumes off the tractors, trucks, chemicals in the tar wraps and the oil and gas leaks were nauseating, but the foreman said “Hold your breath if you don’t like it, and we worked on for the money was goooood

Don’t die on company time is slows down the works and clogs the machine

Dale and I were at the bottom of a quarter mile long, 15 foot deep trench, on hands and knees digging out the bottom dirt under a 4 foot gas pipe, there was no ladders into the trench, there was no trench box or bracings against the walls, no slope of the tailings / diggings which were piled at the edge of the trench. A large tractor was working near the edge of the trench and no one was watching out for us.

We were alone at the bottom of the world digging away under that pipe and the tractor rumbled on.

Sometime that little voice in our heads tells us something that we need to listen to and now was that time.

A small amount of dirt was falling off the wall and landing on my shoulder and the tractor rumbled on.

The dirt fall stopped so I returned to digging on my knees removing the dirt from under that pipe.

A little more dirt falls, again the voice or my guardian angel says “ Dirt falls Dirt falls, Dirt fall “ but it stops, I dig again and the tractor rumbles on.

Now sometime the little voice or the angel has to be a little more direct as the dirt falls again,

DIRT FALLS DUMBSHIT, DIRT FALLS DUMBSHIT, DIRT FALLS DUMBSHIT” is screamed in my head,

Dale is on the other side of the pipes and hears and sees nothing.

I stop, stand up,  look up to the trench edge far above my head and get a face full of dirt and the tractor rumbles loud and on.

I say to Dale “I think we be in a precarious position and should make haste away from this spot, or something like  Dale RUN.

He stand and we run like hell and when we are about fourty feet away a thirty foot by ten feet high section of the trench wall with the tractor setting sideway falls into the trench

exactly on top of the spot we has just ran for lives away from.

The guy on the sideways tractor half ways down the trench bellows at us “What the hell did you guys do down there”

Like yea we dug the side of the trench out to upset the tractor guy.

That 1,000 tons of dirt setting on my shovel made me decide.

That someday I would be a Safety Guy and help some other poor sap in a trench or other unsafe situation

Wow, Lewis, what a story!

I liked everyone’s answers this week, thank you so much! I’m enjoying learning more about each of you.

That does it for this week’s Panel of Experts. I hope you enjoyed them, too. The Experts will return in exactly one week.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this plant was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “I’m not seeing a plant, so I’m going to go with “real, but invisible.””

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “That is the rare Aluminumis magnificis. I don’t know how you stumbled across it, there are only three known specimens on the wild, living in an undisclosed auto salvage yard somewhere in Arizona…

Either that or its fake”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “I think claude is close. This looks like the less rare cultivar –Yardartus florus, commonly referred to as Sheetmetal Flower.(B>{D>>”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “It’s a robot plant!
And thus, clearly, fake.”

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “i like mr.s’ idea of this being invisible…but i’m gonna take the fake route.”

That’s one vote invisible, zero votes real and four votes fake.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider view:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

The horrors!

These metal cacti were for sale at the grocery store. Who goes shopping for milk and eggs and comes home with a metal cactus? I hope no one!

I knew this would be pretty easy to spot as metal, but I wanted to use it as a puzzler anyway because I couldn’t believe the price tag. $80!!!!!! Seriously? I get that $80 may be a fair price when you consider the labor and materials, but my contention is IT NEVER SHOULD’VE BEEN MADE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Eighty bucks is way too much to spend on pointless, ugly clutter.

Anyway.

mr_subjunctive, you knew it wasn’t real, and you were the first answerer, which makes you the best answerer. For being so speedy, you’ve earned the following title for the weekend: The Premier, Numero Uno, Fastest, Big-Armed, of High Intellect and Skill, Quickest, Bestest, Most Fabulous, Rapidest, Swiftest, Grandest Shadow Dancer Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and More.

For example, if you’re at a party this weekend and meet new people, you should introduce yourself as mr_subjunctive The Premier, Numero Uno, Fastest, Big-Armed, of High Intellect and Skill, Quickest, Bestest, Most Fabulous, Rapidest, Swiftest, Grandest Shadow Dancer Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe and More. I’m sure it’ll lead to lifelong bonds.

Congratulations, you may multiply all the prizes by four sparkles.

Everyone’s a winner this week – well done! To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One holiday weekend, four checkered Dalmations, 13 1/3 extra credit points, six tickets, two silent letters, strawberry milk, an A+, one labor day, five labor-free minutes, carne adovada, three earlobes, Paseo del Norte, an imaginary vacation getaway, a round of applause, one shimmering galaxy, and a pretzel. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Are these plants real or fake?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Kinda tricky this week!

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, September 5th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.

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