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Friday, December 22, 2006

'Tis the Season

Frantic Frantic Frantic

Ever get the feeling we're too busy to actually think these days?

I had a customer e-mail me this morning. "I need 2,500 brochures made up, please. I need to have them designed, printed, folded, addressed and mailed by the 30th. Please e-mail me a proof sometime next week before going to press. Thank you. Oh, by the way, I'm leaving in just a few minutes - I'll be back in the office January 3rd." So how exactly am I supposed to e-mail the guy a proof? He just said he's on vacation until AFTER his deadline... But he'll be plenty peeved if his job doesn't get done on time, I'm sure.

I e-mailed a different customer this morning. The subject of the e-mail was "The first four pages of your newsletter." In the e-mail I explained that I was sending the proof of her newsletter to her in two chunks this time because her server rejects anything over 10mb, and that she could expect the second half of her newsletter momentarily. I immediately received a reply. "Hey, I only got half of my newsletter! Where's the other half? What went wrong? Why did you only send me the first four pages?" I held my breath and started to count to ten. By the time I got to "eight," my e-mail beeped at me again. Same customer. "Oh," she said. "I see..."

The receptionist here at the shop called me on the intercom yesterday. "I'm ready to put that Jewish Christmas card on the color copier now," she said. Jewish Christmas card?

It's so busy here I actually saw the boss working. Spooky. Why is it that there's never enough time for us to print a job right, but there's always enough time for us to print it over again? How does that work?

I've been hearing from a lot of our customers (and Dagmar, too) that many people are off work from the 23rd through the 3rd. Is that normal? We only get Monday off...


A New Distraction

In an odd twist of events, I'm now the semi-official photographer of Chesterfield's Wednesday night jam sessions. They're giving me free beer and a couple bucks every week to go to my favorite bar, listen to good music, take pictures of my friends and maintain a website of photos. Color me happy! You can see the results thus far HERE. (Feel free to e-mail me any photos you've taken at the jam - I'll get 'em uploaded to the site!)

I was surprised how many musicians showed up at the last jam -- it's been a while since I've been there. It seems to have grown a bit!

My only problem with this whole thing is that I have a day job. Thursday mornings are gonna be pretty rough on me! I'm not used to being out until 1:30 in the morning on a weeknight any more.

Between that and the American Legion Riders (who created an officer position for me - I'm the PR guy now) I'm gonna be a busy, happy hippie! It's nice to be able to do the "music thing" once a week, and the ALR really gave me a sense of purpose. The last few months have been good to me!


Pops

I'm happy to report that Pops is out of the hospital and is back home. He's got some nerve damage from the blood clot, but they say it may heal, given time. But he's up and walking, and should be back at work in a couple months!


Finally, a Break for the Oil Industry!

Anyone remember the Exxon Valdez? You know, the supertanker that dumped about a zillion gallons of oil off the coast of Alaska? I just read that an appeals court lowered the fine Exxon has to pay from $5 billion to $2.5 billion. And boy, and I happy! Imagine, those 32,000 Alaska natives, fishermen and property owners are pretty chastened for wanting Exxon to pay damages -- just because Exxon spilled a pesky little 11 million gallons of crude oil. "Waaaaah, all the fish are dying and I can't make a living now..." I mean, everyone knows that the oil companies haven't been able to pull a profit at all the last few years. A $2.5 billion fine is bad enough, I don't know how they would have paid the whole court-imposed $5 billion...

Actually, Exxon actually had a $7 billion profit last year alone. Their greed knows no bounds. They're rolling in money, refusing to pay their fine, which would have gone to help the fisherfolk recoup some of the losses they incurred in the years following the oil spill as well as helping the property owners and native Alaskans whose lives were impacted by the spill. I'm sad that they kept this in the courts this long, and I'm sad that they found a sympathetic court that cut their fine in half.

We can't get true alternative energy vehicles on the market because the rich (and conservative) oilmen don't have enough of OUR money yet, and our health care system is completely unaffordable to most people because the rich (and conservative) pharmaceutical companies don't have enough of our money either. They will continue to take our money until we decide to take it back from them.

We need to quit letting ourselves be pushed around by these people.


Merry Christmas.

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