Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Visits the Leprechaun Early

Well yesterday we participated in one of my least favorite things. Shopping. At the Mall. At Christmas. I dropped the cutie off at the door and she went in to get us a table at the Cheesecake Factory. I drove in circles for twenty minutes without success. The one thing that really burned my little arse was this. Along the main drag at the mall are several restaurants and they have those special "pick-up for (insert restaurant name here) parking only" There are more of these than handicapped slots. Add to the mix the "parking for expectant mothers", "parking for people with a baby", "parking for cat-lovers" and "parking for people who once tried out for the Olympics but failed because of mental angst over a bad break-up" and the choices are so very few for handicapped drivers. So I park seven miles away and after riding the shuttle bus and a worn down old mule named 'Vera' in below freezing weather, I arrive in the restaurant. My cute wife is waiting for me at the hostess stand. Last time we were here the wait was four months so I figured I had plenty of time. Once seated and beer in hand the stress began to melt away. 
After a decent lunch we ventured into the mall. I really don't mind the mall per say, but my problem is with all those people in a small area. I don't really dig human congestion. Too many people too close. But I digress....Santa right?
Mags has been vexed lately because she hadn't gotten me anything for Christmas. I tell her no sweat, she has gotten me such cool things in the past. Plus she's been very sick lately. She does worry though, because she does like to do good things for me. So we pass the AT&T store and she pokes her head in. We are both in need of a new phone and she suggests we go in and look around. Now comes my problem with tiny spaces. The store is more like a phone booth. And in this booth are maybe fifteen people. So Mags spots a phone on the wall and shows it to me. I'm hesitant at first because it is very cool and although I have never ruined a cell phone, I'm worried I may. The phone in question , which Mags did end up buying for me is called a Sumsung Eternity. This phone is freakin' cool people! I'm still learning all the things it can do but, whoa!
We got the Internet access and it is amazing. The phone has a touch-screen keyboard and the phone actually knows when you turn the phone sideways and adjusts the keyboard! It even has the MusicID app in it. This is the coolest thing. You hold the phone up to the radio and it analyzes the song and gives you the title and artist! Not to mention the 3megapixel camera. Can we say 'sweeeeeeeeeet'?
As I learn the phone more I'm sure it will get progressively cooler. So thank you Mrs. Clause for another awesome gift! 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Stuff

The weekend is here and as usual, I've been sucked into some kind of twisted, merciless time vortex and my two days will be over in what seems like five hours. This is the first weekend I have not worked in a couple of months. Even though neither of us gets to sleep-in very often it's such a joy to not have to get out of bed and drive to work on a weekend. I am having alot of back aches and pains lately so I'm not sleeping well. I got up early today and had some toast and 3 Ibuprofen. They seemed to fix me up until about 20 minutes ago when the aches started again. 
I did alot of nothing this weekend.Yesterday we did a little shopping and had a really tasty breakfast sandwich at our local Panera Bread. The we came home and relaxed. I even got a little snooze in later in the day and when bedtime came around...I laid and tossed and turned. Thankfully, Mags went out like a light and slept through. She's been having her own back pain lately due to her recent surgery. I changed her dressing and I hurt her when I was applying the Vaseline to the open wound on her back. I apologised and she said not to worry about it, but she still picked me up over her head and did a 'helicopter' with me before tossing me onto the couch.
This morning I did a few little things around the house while Mags ventured out to Wegmans. I vacuumed the upstairs/stairs, filled the bird feeder so my little feathered friends can stay fat during the cold days ahead, and I think that was it. Oh I scooped the yard. I even suggested to Mags that maybe CrazyDog needs a diaper. I kicked the ball a few times but it is cold here and while the dog is built for temperatures up to 80 degrees below zero, I am not. He was genuinely disappointed when I went in. 
It's back to work tomorrow for the final stretch. We're going to have several flatbeds to load and alot of cleaning. Should be a blast.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Axeman Cometh

Today I went into work later than usual because Mags had some minor surgery on Weds. and I stayed late at home to change her dressing. She had MOHS surgery to remove  a nasty bit of skin cancer. The wound is deep, but clean and the good news is there is a 90% chance that the sucker is gone. So that's a good thing. but I digress...
When I went in, the entire mailroom was empty of all the massive work tables. There were maybe 40 or so. Well our afternoon/night guy Dean must have worked 'til the wee hours because the floor was cleared of said tables and he had cleaned it with our 'zamboni' floor cleaner. The guys from Maine had also finished taking down the racking. Talk about a shock. You don't realise how big a space is until it is emptied of everything that it once held. 
Today was also the day the Axeman cometh and relieved all but 5 of the workforce of their jobs. He's from the Boston office and he is a super-nice guy. Yet he has a pretty shitty job. Telling people their employment has ended. Tough job. The last of the girls in receiving were let go, as was the last two mail room women. Two girls in the office and my side-kick Jason. I think he was the only one happy to get his pink slip. 
So that leaves me and Thom, one temp and three or so folks in the office. The head of the site was even let go today, which was shocking. I figured he'd be here 'til the end. Too bad, he is a great guy. 
When I go back Monday it will be more loading of flatbeds with our racking. Not fun, but it's still a paycheck. Lots of cleaning too. ALOT
So tonight I'll kick back and maybe have a beer. Ok I'm not kidding anyone, I've already had one...maybe two.
I think the hardest part of all this is the people. You work with people for 5, 6 or 8 years and you grow close to them. You know about their families, their pets, their lives. You learn what buttons you can push and which you shouldn't. They become like family. This doesn't happen with everyone. Some people I've worked with I could honestly do without, but some make an impression. They become your friends. This is what I'll miss the most. Dean has already decided that we will all get together for a 'Reunion' dinner in the new year. I hope this works out and everyone can make it. 
Good Luck everyone.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Okay..So I'm Not So Angry Today.

So I've been working alot. And remarkably...outdoors. Let me 'splain Lucy. My company is closing down and they have a crew of guys (and girl) down from Maine. They are from New England which means two things. They are very cool and they are very hard working.These guys are taking down the racks that we kept our stock in. I wish I could explain how massive this job is. The racks reached just shy of the ceiling. Meaning they are at best guess 35 feet high. Mix in the shelving and supports and you've got yourself alot of tired New Englanders when 6pm rolls around. These guys (and girl) bust their asses. I could never in a bazillion years work for these guys. 
So anyways, the uprights and supports are bundled and usually these guys take care of loading the flatbed truck. Someone, however, in the braintrust of my company decides to save 53 cents a week by having us load it. Well it's involved, but the only way to actually get the stuff on the truck is to stage it in the parking lot & then have two guys with forklifts go outside and load the trailer. It has been chilly here lately btw. We did three trailers Thursday and two Wednsday. Not a whole lot of fun. Now if it had been 60 and sunny...
Anyways, my boss asked me to come in on Saturday and open the building to let these guys in and tehn come back and close at 5. "No sweat", says me. Well when I get there I learn one dude has hurt himself and his partner has to work alone. I can't leave the guy there alone. Not that he would take anything mind you. It's the fact that if he gets hurt he's there alone. So I end up doing 9 hours yesterday and while I like the extra scratch in my check, I'm hurtin' for certain. I kept myself busy cleaning and doing inventory receives....and taking lots of breaks.
This morning I wake and realise I may be getting sick. I generally have the constitution of a Yak but this is different. Somethins brewin'. So I drive over in the early morning light (no traffic at this time Sunday morning) Get gas for the car, which by the way is only $1.65 here, then go to work. The guys are waiting and ready to go. 
I work on receives for a couple of hours and then head home top my poor wife who is battling a bad dose of something. Hopefully it is just a nasty-ass cold and nothing more. We decide that it's time for decorating and I get into the attic and send all our goodies down to Mags. She works on the tree while I repair the massive garland that drapes our front door. Four broken bulbs replaced and we have success! I just had part of a sub (which she was kind enough to bring to me at work yesterday even though she feels like poo) and a cold Sammy.
I have to go back to work in a bit to lock up the building. Then it's back to the real grind again on Monday. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Still Nothing On?

Okay. So the other night, I was flipping channels and discovered there was nothing on that appealed to me. We have IO digital cable, we get like 200 channels...Sports, soaps, cartoons, SciFi, pay-per-view....nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I threw my head back and groaned, tossing the useless controller onto the couch next to me. I sat there staring at the dark screen. Thinking about how I could have sooo many channels and there was nothing being broadcast that would hold my attention. Imagine. We have like ten channels devoted to sports alone! Cooking channels, travel channels, Gameshow goes on and on. Maybe I've become spoiled. I laughed to myself when I think about my childhood. 
When I was a kid there were like 6 channels on the tv. We had the local affiliates of ABC, CBS, and NBC. PBS ( of course) and two or three UHF channels we got from Boston when the weather was just right. Yeah, that's right you spoiled little pricks out there. My tv viewing often hinged on the weather
One of my greatest tv treats growing up was watching the Boston Bruins on WSBK in Boston. Being in Rhode Island we were close enought to receive the signal but once the heavy snow flew, we relied on the rabbit ears and the antenna that was attatched to our chimney on the peak of the roof. Worse case scenario, when the weight of the heavy, wet snow destroyed any hope of receiveing a picture, we would lie in our beds, listening to Fred Cusik and Derek 'Turk' Sanderson, call the action at 1440 on the am dial. From Boston to Winnipeg, they were there. The knowledgeable statesmen of the game, giving us the scoop. Talking directly to us. Sharing their insights and tellign us stories from hockeys golden age. Listening to the game from far-reaching places in Canada or right in the cozy confines of the old Boston Garden. We'd be tucked, safe and warm into our beds; while outside a nor' easter would be hammering our tiny house that sat on the coast of Narragansett Bay with wind-driven snow and freezing rain. Ahh the good old days..
Those were the days before the evil, money-grubbing bastard corporation we know as the cable company came along. TV was free! Fucking FREE people! Every game, home and away. Gratis! It worked the same for the Sox too. Channel 6 in Providence would carry some games but again, the good folks at WSBK would carry the bulk of them. The along came the cable company and someone figured it would be a good idea to charge you to watch tv. Paying to watch tv. It almost killed my grandfather who loved the Sox as he did his own children. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" was his immediate reaction I believe. He paid though. Everyone did. You had to.
I snap back to realty and feel I should be grateful for the 'selection' available to me. I'm glad I don't have to climb onto the roof to adjust the antenna or have to fiddle with 'rabbit ears' to get a picture...but me something gooooood.