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Monday, April 24, 2006

Random miscellany

His Majesty

I told my wife that people out there in the blogosphere are referring to U.S. President George W. Bush as "the Chimperor."

"Oh, that's not nice," my beloved wife replied. "Those poor monkeys don't deserve to be compared to THAT."

(I got the cartoon off someone eelse's blog. I hope that's not illegal! If it is, someone tell me and I'll take it off...)


Bizzy Daze

Things have been busy around here lately. Last Saturday I started sipping on silly Belgian ales pretty early. In fact, we had hot dogs and beer for breakfast. It was yummy indeed! I spent most of the day Saturday sipping slowly on various tasty beers, actually... I had several of New Belgium's "1554" ales, a couple Boulevard Wheats, a Boulevard Irish something or other that I've never tried before, and a few more, I'm sure. Apologies to anyone who tried to talk sensibly to me that day - I was slightly pickled.

We ended up going to the Icky Nickel (a local establishment) for dinner (and beer), then on to LeMars to visit my brother and our nephew, Hunter, and our beloved Goddaughter, Mad-Dog Maddie. (The other niece, Peyton, wasn't there. That made us sad. But we had fun anyway. Hunter made funny faces at us. We laughed.)

Once we got back home, we happily fell promptly to sleep, smiles on our faces. The next morning, we grumpily awoke, grimacing in pain. Both Dagmar and I were very ill all day Sunday (and she didn't even have any beer, either). Cramps, nausea, headaches, the whole nine-yard ball o' wax. It sucked. What made it worse is that Sunday was the best weather we've had yet! It was 78 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, no wind - perfect! We closed the drapes, shut the door, and pretended it was raining.

Poor Dagmar is still ill, actually.

Today (Monday) I woke up feeling a bit better. I held my carcass under the shower for the allotted amount of time, then trudged off to work. I'd almost forgotten that we'd torn the entire office down last week so some contractors could tear up the carpet and put down some nice institutional tile (we chose "Nursing Home Beige" over "Hospital Gray"). So both G4's, one elderly G3, two anonymous PC's, scanner, very expensive platemaker, desks - everything - was lurking in a discomboobilated mess in the storage room, blocking the freight elevator and one of the collators. So, when I got to work, feeling vaguely ill, I was NOT happy when the boss said, "Gee, the new tile makes the floor look great, but now the walls look crappy. Do we have any paint? I need you to stop what you're doing and paint these walls." Half an hour later, I was slapping white paint on a white wall, feeling about as productive as anyone can be, painting a white wall white. About the time the fumes were really starting to do a number on my poor aching tummy, my buddy showed up.

"Oh, man," he said. "I'm so hung over I could cry, but I'm too dehyrdrated to make tears." I looked up from my task. My poor cohort was standing there, very sunburned, with a pasty green complexion peeking through. "If we didn't need to move our desks back today I wouldn't have come in to work... What the heck are you doing?"

"I'm painting," I said. "See?" I waved a brush at him. His eyes crossed slightly and the greenish tint of "pasty" started showing through his sunburned face a bit more. "Gah," he said. "It stinks!" He made a "glump" sort of noise deep in his throat and bolted for the back room. A few minutes later I could hear the happy "tap-tap-tap" of a graphic designer with a headache working on an Excel database. I knew that's what he was doing. I could tell by the cussing. Graphic designers simply don't speak Database. If we could understand numbers, we'd have jobs that pay more.

I have to admit, seeing someone in more pain than you often makes you feel better.

By about 11 in the morning, the boss had come out to say, "I'm tired of watching you paint. We're going to get back to being a print shop again. I need you to stop what you're doing and start moving your desk back in - we need to keep feeding the presses." Okay. Fine by me! So I finished up my corner of the office, realized it was lunchtime, set the paint roller down and went to put food in my head.

When I got back from lunch, my trusty sidekick had finished his database work and was back in the office, slopping paint at a wall. He still looked green. Green and red. "I'd like to help you," I said, "But the bosses told me to stop what I was doing and get my computers set up again."

After a few minutes of mumbling and pointing, I got both the bosses to help me move my desk back into my corner. It should be noted that my desk isn't really just a desk, it's a "workstation." It's kind of like a big "W" that comes in six sections and wraps around behind me. When it's set up, I have a printer behind me, phone and "works in progress" to my right, Macintosh in front, whatever I'm working on at the time to my left, a RIP station behind me to my left, and a PC station on my far left. It took three of us a good forty-five minutes to move all the pieces in. My hungover buddy was the only one with enough common sense to figure out how the whole thing bolted together, so the poor guy ended up under the desk with power tools. I'm sure that made his head happy.

Just about the time I was plugging the mouse into my Mac, one of the bosses wandered past. "We need to get a plate made on this job," he said, waving various bits of paper under my nose. "I need you to stop what you're doing and get the platemaker up and running." By this time I had a room half painted and a computer half installed. I was getting tired of stopping what I was doing... Oh well - I get paid hourly...

I cleared a path through the debris in the back room and got the other boss to help me push the platemaker back into place. (A platemaker, by the way, is a complicated machine about the size of an ATM that shoots a laser image onto a piece of plastic about 20 inches long by 13 inches wide give or take about two feet, then dunks the piece of plastic into several chemical baths similar to a photographic darkroom, dries it, and spits it out. We then take the plastic plate, wrap it around a cylinder on a printing press, and viola! we're off and printing. So we go straight from our computer to the plate and skip the manual darkroom process altogether. See? Now you learned something.) We got the machine jiggled into place, slapped a level on it, and realized that one corner was low. Of course, my painting buddy with the hangover was the only one in the room bright enough to turn a wrench...

"Hey," my boss said to my buddy... "I need you to stop what you're doing and level this thing." Eyes were rolled and sighs were heaved. My buddy ended up laying on the floor again. He gave up painting altogether at that point.

By the time we left, the computers were half set up, the walls were mostly (but not all) painted, and the boss was STILL saying, "I need you to stop what you're doing and..."

3 Comments:

Blogger mrsleep said...

Funny, but I couldn't find any New Belgium, Abbey, Belgium Style Ale anywhere, so I hopped on a plane this morning for Houston, Texas. I worked a long day, and decided to get a bite to eat around 8:20PM. Went to dinner at the Redfish Grill (awful). The highlight was a bowl of chowder and a Bottle of Kirin Ichiban. I hastily paid my dinner check, and thought I would pick up a six pack at the local Krogers before checking in to my hotel. Low and behold I come across Abbey Ale from New Belgium!!! I am now savoring my second one, and eagerly sucking down my first. That isn't the end of it earlier. I have to route my trip home through Fort Collins, Colorado on the way home. Seems I may just have to go to the New Belgium brewery directly Thursday night!!!

More reports to follow.

Right now I'm watching Moyer rip the wingnuts.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

You might go to the Brewery itself? Way cool! I'm jealous!

Did you like the Abbey? They've been sold out of it around here ever since my first post about it. They say they may have more by Wednesday...

2:58 AM  
Blogger mrsleep said...

Good stuff. It is definitely a beer you savor, it is not one you pound down, even though I did last night.

3:14 PM  

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