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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Today was interesting.  We start out work- actually before work- with one of our co-workers delivering homemade tamales that we ordered yesterday.  Jamie, company-famous trencherman, sucked down his six before the first buzzer.  I spread mine around breaks and lunch.  Then work begins, and early on I confronted the oddest fabric I've had the pleasure to work with.  On a bright yellow background, we have a white crosshatch-like design running horizontal across the fabric rather than longways the length of the roll.  Upon further (and later) examination, the design actually had a direction, as well as a "medallion" in the center of the three spots my cut pattern would have to fall.  I didn't see this at first- I was too perplexed by its other "feature".  Apparently in order to design this, they had made a computer graphic of it with the fabric divided by dotted line into 18x25 squares (yeah, I know that's a rectangle, but square is a shorter word).  I said "What the hell,"  and called out to my lead to check it out.  Now my cut pattern is a 17x17 with rounded corners- the finished product being a throw pillow.  And it didn't take much to figure out that either A) the pillow was going to have a stupid looking dotted line through it or B) we would have to waste a LOT of fabric. 

So we summoned over our supervisor, and she took one look and also said, "What the hell?"  After we shared our deductions with her, she went to retrieve our plant manager.  She came out, and also began the conversation with "What the hell."  After speculation that maybe they had the design turned the wrong way, and about 15 minutes of discussion (while I did another project), she finally said, "I'll have to call somebody- but I'm not sure who."  At this point, I had a pretty good inkling I wouldn't be cutting this order anytime soon.

A while later, our super was stopped near my table by our inventory lady.  She was trying to explain her findings on requested stuff, and was about to say something was right on the dot.  But as she started to say it was "on the button", she aborted to "on the money" in midstream, making it come out "on the butt-money".
This then became the (other) joke of the day, with lines like "Obama- change you can wipe" and the like.

Next the production manager had his turn with the fabric.  Rather than WTH, his top reaction was "Wow".  He cut right to the problem- to do this as is, we'd be throwing away " a third of every roll".  Pretty close, we figured to be wasting 7 out of every 25 inches- which would lead a fabric lay that was calculated by some company engineer to require 400 yards to actually take 566 yards- 41% more.  The discussion then became are they charging us (in our system billing) for the whole thing?  We'd be half-again short on fabric needed, if so.  Then we looked into how it layed up.  With the "medallion" in the center of each dotted square, we have to center the pattern both horizontally and vertically- a neat trick when you can't see through the cut pattern- as well as make sure that each ply lay in exactly the main spot.  Believe me, the odds are probably 10% that the size of the design will change as each roll goes on, and 20% that no one roll will match another.  At least with the way things are going this week.

Then co-worker Wanda sent Laurie a e-joke she got that involved a photo of a guy lying on the floor of a Wal-Mart with accompanying story. (Laurie has been off sick the last couple of days.)  Which Laurie looked at without scrolling down for the story (which I will keep secret because I'm sure you'll all receive it before too long), wondered "why was somebody sending me a picture of a guy lying on the floor of a Wal-Mart?" and deleted it.  At least it gave me a story to tell when I got home.

Oh, I forgot. This morning, our gal in shipping came in and announced to Jamie, "Well, this year, I got a deer before you."  And no, she's not a hunter.  She took out an 8-pointer on the way home the night before.  She wasn't hurt, and the jury's still out on the car, but the deer is pretty much an 8-point smear down the side of her car.

On the way home tonight, Pat Miller was in a discussion which seemed to be trying to get someone, anyone to admit that Obama did the wrong thing by sending a drone plane to 8-point that "American citizen" nutbag in Yemen.  Not in the mood to play "anything to start a discussion", I put on one of my 70s CDs.  Along the way, the song It's Over by ELO came on.  It's about the end of summer and a summer romance, and it called to mind a far-ago day.  The last day of high school, in fact, as this song came on on the way home and I almost had to pull over for crying.  Those old emotions, protected in an audio "egg", presented those old misty thoughts again.  And as it faded out, I entered a stretch of road lined with beautiful orange-leafed trees, and the first soft chords of James Taylor's Fire And Rain  filled the car.  Sweet Baby James and I have a habit of matching his songs with magical places like this.  When I was in College taking late classes, more than once I would round the last bend heading to my old home, with the straight road reaching out toward the Church I lived by -and went to -a mile up ahead, and a bright shiny moon right above- and the radio would play his duet with JD Souther, Her Town Too.  I hear that song almost anytime I see the moon dead ahead on the road.

My reverie was somewhat interrupted by a guy in the turn lane right behind me who looked like Lee Harvey Oswald.  Deciding whether to be creeped out by Lee took the rest of the way home.

Finally a walk with my baby to bring back perspective.  And a stop at the scenic Scrappy's landing.

Ahh, peace.

Not real good at self-portraits, eh?


  1. That's quite the day you had Chris... (I have never had a tamale) but I like the end of your post, with the walk and your pooch and the two set of eyeballs looking at the camera! And it does look peaceful!

  2. Tracy, if you ever try a tamale, get it made by someone who's made them all their lives. I've never had a restaurant tamale, just those that my Mexican co-workers have made and brought in. Glad you at least liked the self portrait- it makes a solid minute of "No, Scrappy, sit HERE and look THERE" worthwhile!

  3. Your walks look so peaceful and beautiful.