Last week I had a strange gig constructing a convention display. Convention displays can range from a pop-up (as simple as a pop up tent) to a complex bi-level building. Whatever the scope, it’s always a fun engineering exercise akin to erector sets and such.
Well, everything was fine, all the parts were there and the instructions were detailed. The problems were that my supervisor was sick, the pieces were very small and numerous, and the blueprint numbering system was non-linear.
The client (my supervisor) was adamant about implementing my services for no more and no less than eight hours. Most clients are only concerned with getting it done regardless of manpower hours, but this particular display was for selling the displays we were making and I think construction cost in lieu of man hours was part of the selling point.
Any how, he asked me what time I started, it was a quarter to nine. Nine to five is eight hours, plus one hour to account for lunch, six. I should have just said that but I took it down to the lowest denominator and started counting with fingers. I’d start with the start hour equivelant to zero – no finger, but he’d stop me in the middle of counting accusing me of counting an extra hour. If he would have watched my fingers he would have noticed. He set my ‘done time’ to be at seven. He even asked the foreman, who didn’t have the time to stop and think about it and concurred.
I didn’t argue and I made an hour of overtime and another hour of double time.
Something about the snow brings out the kid and the monster in me.
The rush-hour ride home was just plain magical. All the cars were inclined to travel single file as close to the center of the road as possible, leaving me plenty of space.
With Schwalbe Snow Stud tires, traction was there all the way. Worst case was any deep ruts impeding steering or that slippery brown mash potato slush. That was only as bad as gravel, a tiny slip and the studs dig in and I’m off and cruising.
This may complicate the local Great Fruitcake Toss.
I was riding home from work this evening and as I turned off the trail on a path to the street I saw a postal van approaching.
I thought to myself, “wow, that’s a bit strange, postal delivery is usually a daytime thing.”
I continued up the block to the street that I make my turn. “Hey there’s another one across the street!”
I turn left towards home, half a block and there’s another one.
Another one passes by me, and another parked halfway down the next street to the left.
It was surreal.
It was an undercover police operation (the area has a “history” of suspicious activity)
It was a hurried effort by postal carriers to catch up after some mishap.
It was a message from God.
A sunny yet cold New Year’s Day. I spent it rustling around the house making preparations for projects that I plan to do in 2008.
The last few years were exhausting but, thanks to a quiet last couple of months, I have had the time refresh my tattered soul a bit.
It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah . . .