November 12th, 2004

hairy drumming

Work makes me happy

We've been busy again tonight. This is the first real break I've had in over eight hours. This is when I like my job. I can just crank through files and jobs, getting into a nice little productivity groove. My fingers fly across the keyboard and get cranky if I have to do too much with the mouse; it slows me down. I particularly like when I can concentrate on a big chunk of files at a time. I pop in my iPod earphones, crank up the tunes and bounce along with the music, tapping away and happily cranking through the files.

Ironically, the things we've been busy with are the two different platforms (one for HTML only, one for Typeset and HTML) we have using Microsoft Word instead of our typical text-editor too. These are the tools I like the least, but part of that is because they tend to promote breaking things into huge files. This is OK if you're doing the first pass through a file because you just get into a groove and crank away.

When there are edits, however, you have to download the huge file, search through it for an edit here and an edit there, then create a PDF of the thing for printing, hunt and peck through the file again for the pages where your edits were or just say, "screw it" and print the whole thing out. I, seemingly alone among my co-workers, break the files up as if we were working them in our traditional system. Thus the cover page gets a file. The ToC gets a file. The big financial tables all get their own file. The Signatures page gets its own file. The Index to Exhibits gets its own file. The body between those gets broken into 6-8 page chunks depending on how many tables are in it. Thus, if you're working edits in one of my jobs, you are, at most, downloading an 8-page file to work on, limiting your need to search and the amount of paper wasted if you just print the whole thing out.

That comes off a bit cranky when I read it again which is just not true. I'm quite happy. I like having stuff to do. I'd be happier if it was my own stuff, but if I must do someone else's stuff, I'd rather be doing it than sitting around waiting to do it.

So now, with all of our work caught up and nothing new due until Monday, I'll just cruise about the net for a bit, catching up and seeing what's news.
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self portrait

Lacking of cluefulness

When I arrived at work last night, some kind of hockey practice was in full swing at the arena next door. The parking lot was filled with SUVs, pick-up trucks, mini-vans and other transports of the hockey tribe. This is the lot that's closest to the door I use to enter my company's building. It's public and free, so I park there all the time.

It must have been some kind of special thing going on because there were more vehicles than usual. I did find a space, though.

Problem was, the earth-killing, terrorist-supporting, small-penis-compensating vehicle in the next spot down was parked so that it overlapped the spot where I was going to park. Fortunately, I was able to fit my tiny little Saturn in the remaining spot, squarely in front of the car in the spot facing me and well within the faint, painted lines of the parking space. The poor fellow next to me was going to have some difficulty getting into his blood-for-oil-mobile, to be sure, but he had the passenger side open (right, as if he would have a passenger in that tank), thanks to being crowded over into the spot I was occupying, even though his driver's door was blocked.

So when I got out of work this morning, I was unsurprised to find a note on my windshield. The content was amusing, though.

It's a photo-copied flyer half the size of a letter size piece of paper. The main illustration is a smiling Mickey Mouse, flipping the viewer the bird. Above Mickey's head are the words, in all caps, "Thanks for parking so close" and Mickey has a dialog balloon saying, again in all caps, "you pecker head." Those last words are underlined. Below Mickey's feet is the admonishment, "Next time - leave a fucking can opener so I can get my car out." It finishes off with, "Assholes like you should take the bus!"

Now, I'll freely admit I took joy in making it hard for this guy to get into his truck. I was, however, completely within the bounds of a parking space, while he had crowded into a neighboring space.

What I find utterly amusing, however, is that this sort of thing happens to this guy often enough that he has photocopied this flyer and has a supply on hand. You might think that if he got blocked in that often, he might twig to the fact that it is his own parking habits that are to blame.

On an unrelated note, I used to have a sticker that was bright yellow and read, "This parking space is reserved for the physically handicapped and jackasses. Which are you?" with an attractive picture of a donkey. (Yeah, a sticker, with glue that was advertised as being particularly hard to remove. The folks marketing them, Mouth magazine, a disability advocacy paper, suggest sticking them to windshields where people were sure to get the message.) I carried it in my wallet for about two years. I was giddy the day I finally got to use it.

(Another thought occurred to me just now. Perhaps he was recycling a flyer he'd been issued.)
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self portrait

Rude Awakening

Was on my way to work this evening when I was pulled over by the friendly Minneapolis police. I was informed that my tabs were expired. Again. I missed their October expiration last year, you'd think I'd learn. On top of that, it appears my license has been suspended since June of this year for "failure to appear in court or pay a fine." No idea what that's about. And for the trifecta? They impounded my car, seeing as I'm not allowed to be driving it.


Work is, fortunately, understanding and, I'm told, not too busy. So I get a day off, which, frankly, I could use. It'll be an expensive day off, though.

I say again: Arrgh.
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