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


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bad Luck...

... that's what cha got, that's what cha got...

Thus said the Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes tune I was listening to on the way home Thursday as I pulled up to the red light.  I looked out my window as a dude pulled beside me.  About two foot of his car's hood had been shoved back a foot, making a nice 45 degree angle.  I kept singing and smiled.


Later, Scrappy and I saw an interesting couple...

This, I am told by Birdzilla, is an American Coot.  Not a duck, but the largest member of the rail family.  His date for the afternoon?

Most definitely a duck, standing on a rock watching him swim around.  "Whaddaya think yer doin', ya old coot?"   These mixed marriages never work.


At work, there are two things that fall under the "I should have known better than to do that" category- both of which I did this week.  The first is, I have ear protection with radio.  I know better than to turn on the radio, because it emits a signal throughout the plant calling forth everybody to come bug me with a problem or a hot order.  Thursday, I turned it on at about 1 :50.  By two-fifteen, the following had happened:

- one lady came over asking me if engineer "Larry" had asked me to recut a certain piece for an enclosure boat she was working on.  This stuff had all been cut laaaaaate last Friday, in order for the skeleton crew on Saturday to sew it- but of course, everything was messed up, blah blah blah.  I said no.

-another lady came over and said that a part she went to sew had been given the wrong sew in label (Should have said navy, said black cherry).  Re-ran it, same thing.  Told her to contact engineer "Moe".

-That same lady came back to tell me that engineer "Moe" said he'd look into it and IM me when it was ready.

-First lady came back saying certain pieces did indeed need recut.  Said, okay, get me some paperwork so I know which in the heck piece of this spaghetti laughingly known as "fabric pieces for the aft enclosure" you actually need.

-Engineer "Moe" came out needing a recut on two panels of a cover that has been a month-long running joke but apparently nearing completion. (Story behind it:  Two boat covers of the same thing were released to me, but anytime I tried to cut them, the blade missed the fabric.  "Moe" said they shouldn't have been released yet, they weren't ready, he forgot to put them on "production hold".  Two weeks later, he had me make one of them- it was ready to cut, but had to be sewn and fitted to a boat to see if it was right.  One week later, he has me make the other because (our only customer) shipped out the boat- with the cover in a shipping package- before it could be fitted, and now they needed the other one cut to try and fit it on the other boat.)

-Second lady came over to ask if I had the label yet.  Nope, sorry.

-Engineer "Larry"  clues me into what the recut for the enclosure needed.  Cut same.

-Second lady comes back yet again.  Spotted "Moe" , sent her his way.  Saw him throw his hands in the air, and her walk away unhappy.


Now, the second thing is a bit less complicated, and I'll bet you've faced it too- saying, "If nothing stupid happens, I'll have this done in plenty of time."  I had to work a half-day Saturday (aka today as I type).  21 bimini canopies and 6 boat covers later, it was about 18 minutes to quitting time, "easily" enough to do a cover that SHOULD take 12 minutes.

So I scanned the order.  Hit the "print labels" button.  This, among other neat tricks, sends the cut-pattern (or "marker") to the computer that actually runs the cutting machine.

But it didn't.  No "This marker is not in the system", no nothing.  So I bring it up manually.  Which is a much slower process ever since the second power failure- a situation I've reported and no one who can fix it seems to care about.  Anyway, start cutting the thing, and about halfway in, here comes one of the little "warning flags" our lovely Chinese fabric vendors clip to the fabric when something is awry and they don't find it major enough to cut away a whole big section.  I look, I see nothing... but the fabric cuts bad side up, it might be on the good side only.  Sure enough, about halfway down the panel in question, it looks like someone tried to apply the black dye with an old paintbrush.  AND it started a good yard and a half BEFORE the tag, another delightful trick the brain surgeons at "Cheap Fabrics R Us" have learned of late.  So I sighed and resolve to recut the panel, after lifting the next piece to make sure it was done with the unwanted special effect.

And halfway down the NEXT panel, it returned for about a yard and a half.  So now I have TWO panels to recut.  It is now five minutes till quitting time and the lady who stopped by to give me a ride home out of the goodness of her heart is here and waiting.


So now I'm home, and Scrappy would like to go for a walk, and so would I.  It's a bit chilly, but bright and clear.  We get geared up and just as I snap Scrappy's leash to his collar...

Something happens to my knee.  Like a really bad pinch.  I say, well, it'll walk off.

It doesn't walk off.  Some steps better, some steps MUCH worse, at least one where I questioned whether anything in the joint was still attached according to instruction.  I finally limp over to the bark park so Scrappy can at least run around a bit, and hobble over to the bench.

Ten minutes later, you'd have never known anything was wrong.  Mysteriously, completely, back to normal.  So, we resumed the walk.

River's high... really high

A good time was had by all, and thus far, the knee is still back to normal.  Not surprised, we have a bit of a history.


When I was, oh, about fifteen, I had the stupid thing lock up on me for no apparent reason.  I was scared, and went to dear old Dad.  Dad was still learning the breaks of the "solo parent" thing after Mom died, and his lightning sharp mind deduced  the facts quickly.  Fact one, he had no clue what to do.  Fact two, the less I knew that, the better.  Fact three,  he was already three beers or so into the day's intoxication, and transporting me anywhere that someone might actually be able to help me would be in poor judgment.

Putting that all together, he took me to my sister's house, where he could drink more beer, her kids could get my mind off the damn knee, and if plan A didn't work, he could pawn the whole thing off on her.  Needless to say, nobody really acted as if they gave a damn about the knee, it relented sometime late in the visit, and I learned to deal with it myself from then on.

One day when I was twenty-one, the stupid thing, after 5-6 years of randomly being stupid, swelled up during a nap.  When the swelling went down, it never locked up or swelled on me again.  Just like that.  So as I say, today's adventure, while mystifying, didn't surprise me.


  1. It is a bit gray there...

    We had a successful mixed duck marriage in Michigan. A white male and a mallard female. They were obviously in love. I don't know if they had babies. I looked it is possible.

    1. The Birdzilla site stressed, though, that the Coot was NOT a duck though... and frankly, she didn't seem real interested.

  2. Try out this theory... your knee acts up when you are stressed out. If you think about how you FELT the first time it happened. Fear, insecurity, anger (maybe) at dad, feeling neglected, missing mom, trapped in a bad situation.... heck this is your list, so it could be all of this (none of this) or completely other stuff. I would write it down. Then think about what was going on the other times it flared. Write that down. Think about today and how you felt. Write that down. Bet you find a pattern. It's officially called Mind Body Syndrome. We FEEL badly emotionally and it manifests itself physically. And when we are over it... well, it goes away.

    1. Hmmmm.... I suppose it is possible. Not so much from the stress side (except maybe a certain kind of stress?), but definitely an emotional component this week. I'd have to say, though, I've never noticed it to be a common thread.

  3. Whatever it was, I'm glad your knee is better. That was strange.

    Maybe the Coot is confused and thinks he's a duck? Maybe he likes to hang out with all the ducks. Or fly south with them because they know a cooler route?

    "Larry" - that name reminds me of Impractical Jokers. Great show.

  4. It IS a peculiar pairing. The coot is way more distinguished looking than the duck. Guess the duck's got a very nice personality.

    I'm glad your knee is cooperating with you.
    A high river is a good sign too.


  5. Chris:
    Like those coot pictures...sure looked like a duck to ME.
    (learn something new EVERY day)

    Those work-related issues...
    Anyone think to get machines that actually DO what they're programmed to do all the time?
    Or fabrics that are CORRECT when they come in?

    One thing I NEVER enjoyed was fixing other people's mistakes.
    (had plenty of those with little gratitude from THOSE "on high" - typical)

    The knee thing...
    I get that from time to time, too.
    Sometimes in the lower back, other times in the neck.
    I figure some bio-electric signal got futzed-up and causes the pain. They all go away without incident, too.

    But that's aside from the arthritis and old age tapping me in places I didn't know I had.

    Good post, brother.

    Stay safe and sound up there.