How Damage Control Became my New Normal

So last I posted, I waxed optimistic about how the damage control phase of my life might be over, and I might be able to actually make forward progress with my life in general and creative projects in particular.

Then my Father-in-law died (from long standing illness) and my Mother-in-law moved into our house literally the next day. This was not a contingency we had seriously prepared for. It just happened. There is all manner of ranting and whining that could follow that revelation, but that is not what I keep this blog for. The relevant information is that I have been forced back into damage control, at least in regards to the day-to-day functioning of my home and family.

Conversely, things are actually starting to look up at work. We have made dramatic improvements to our infrastructure, and I am starting to take on a role that involves more than doing the same thing I’ve done for twenty years.

Rhino Staging, where I serve as Technical Director, values their privacy (in what we refer to internally as the Doctrine of Pointless Secrecy), but I think can safely release a few details:

  • Our new warehouse (easily 3x the size of our old rented facility) and our new office space (easily twice the size as the old) are now finally at the same address for the first time in ten years: 125 W Julie Ave in Tempe
  • I spent a week in Middleton, Wisconsin learning how to install ETC Prodigy and Vortek motorized rigging systems and
  • I am the guy who organizes training for Rhino Tempe – at least by default.
  • I am also the Warehouse Manager of this big new thing – at least until I can train ,my replacement. I don’t mind running a warehouse, but it’s my third stint in that role – so it fails the “something I can’t do in my sleep” test.

The warehouse move is in progress – I’ll note later what we learn from that.

Meanwhile, the Christmas tree is still up, so a few notes on gifts:

  • If you make the mead in February, it will be well over its’ bottle shock by Christmas.
  • Relatedly, drinkers are easier to shop for than non-drinkers.
  • Buy gifts for your kids first. The other adults in your life will cope.
  • Seriously, outside of the very poor, most American adults have more crap than they need or can store anyways. Get them something consumable or expendable, or replace something that’s broken. Shiny new things are for the kids.

My new year’s resolution is for this to be less autobiographical and more informational, but it is a personal blog, so some context is in order on occasion. My other is to try and keep these under 500 words, so in our space remaining:

Ranker’s collection of Weird and Funny Toilets – because its been a while since we’ve visited one of our recurring topics. Completely devoid of location or other relevant details, and likely NSFW.

An excellent guide to Tumblr, posted here because it’s too true just to link to once of FB (or Tumblr for that matter).

And finally, this year’s 11 reasons for hope.

Now you know.

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Planets and urinals and an excuse to link

It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Which is the same day as threaten your co-worker if he doesn’t stop talking like a pirate day.

It’s not Blog like a Pirate Day. Maybe we should start a movement.

A few quick links before the toilet humor starts:

A post-mortem of my book signing can be found at Are We Lost yet

GAFDE on blogging (which I am ignoring right now) at Writing Made Visible

The discovery of this planet isn’t monumental, (see last post for more on this process)  but the artwork is cool:

NASA has a new on-line tool to explore planets in our own system. The LA times describes it here.

“You are now free to move about the solar system,” Blaine Baggett, a manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, said in a statement. “See what NASA’s spacecraft see — and where they are right now — all without leaving your computer.”

The actual tool is here.

Eyes on the Solar System

Here ends the respectable portion of this blog entry.

So, according to the WordPress dashboard, one of the top searches leading to this site is “unicorn pooping marshmallows” which leads you to thi

 

That post also has one of the few clean photos of yours truly on this blog, and a video explaining the importance of the First Follower.

This post features something equally classy:

That is a Lady J – a portable urinal for women. That’s right, we span the globe to find weird urinals all over the world – even in your over-sized purse. Franly, I’m kinda disappointed the device isn’t pink.

So you know, women use these things in adventure and other travels. I learned about it from Kelly, who went around the world in a boat.

If you follow the D-backs or the Mercury, playing hard all the way through the game can get you a LOT farther than any of the talking heads would have expected.

Now you know.

 

Sssh! I’m supposed to be working…

Because everyone at my day job has Something Important To Do but me (both my projects have been substantially delayed), but I’m hanging around trying to look busy.

Really, I don’t even have to look busy, but when I get bored I become a pest.

It’s finally happened: a teacher told us the truth. The reason Johny can’t write is because hand writing is not an element of the AIMS test. Have we mentioned that Arizona s the worst ranked state in the nation in education. We is.

It doesn’t matter what we think of trading Amara Stoudemire. It’s all up to him.

Fox News applies known physics to fleeing from zombies. Because we care about your safety.

Time poll on our most trusted news-anchor. SPOILER: Vermont was the only state where John Stewart did place at least second.

And finally, another site cataloguing weird urinals: Porcelin Poetry

Now You Know.

Waiting for people to return my phone calls

A brief comparison of search engines – first hits:

octopus+urinal in Yahoo: The Urinals of the Red Vic

octopus+urinal in Google: South Park S9 Ep10 (“Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” – posted by Octopus)

High End Systems fog juice – any brand – is mostly “food-grade” glycol. And while it will, over time, completely dissolve the 1/4″ Crosby someone dropped in the tank for some reason, rendering both the partially dissolved Crosby and the now blood red fog juice useless, it is not considered hazardous waste. And the ppm of glycol is way below that in anti-freeze. Bottom line: you can dump less than five gallons down the drain if you have to.

If that saves some poor stagehand the two hour internet/phone odyssey I went through to discover that fact – my work here has been worth it. {BTW – the MSDS says “Follow state and federal laws” – which are apparently non-existent.}

Looking up at the stars, do you wonder how many might be looking back down at you? This site tracks the number of people in space right now.

They found a hobbit T-rex in China.

Wired lists the contents of a cup of coffee. I still want another cup.

And this blog is worth nothing. Nothing! How I know…

(Are We Lost Yet is also worthless – if’n you waz wunderin. Maybe if I updated it…)

I have – however updated my Examiner column. Natch. You can’t paste a table into the interface directly from Excel. You need to paste it into Word – and then into the interface. I’m not sure if Alpine is the highest municipality in Arizona (my search was not exhaustive), but I’m pretty confident that Yuma is the lowest.

Now You Know.

Ambition impaired by relative contentment

Probably the single biggest reason I’m not a full-time writer is that I still enjoy my dayjob. Consider: it’s 3am, I’ve been sandbagged into pulling what essentially amounts ot a double shift, and I’m out in a parking lot banding pallets full of plastic flooring together. And I’m still having fun.

Not sex-on-the-beach kinda fun, but I enjoy doing things and being helpful. And I haven’t played with a banding crank since my day-labor days back in the late 80’s.

Now, if a big-enough deal falls into my lap, I could walk away from my job the next day and feel hunky-dory about it, but the odds of that are microscopic.

On my other blog: the coming fire season, the sad story of Macho B, and the grim realities of freelancing with feelings.

Are We Lost Yet?

My Beloved Suns beat Sacramento handily in front of a half-empty arena. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks lost to the even lowlier Grizzlies. That leaves the Mavs 3 games up with six to go, and hosting the Suns on Sunday. Nothing is settled yet.

How did we live without the internet:

How to choose a urinal in a public restroom.

Wii baseball flat out cheats once you get to the pro level. I’m not just talking about how “Sakura” can throw 100+ mph or a inside screwball that would take three different hands for a human using a controller. I mean there is a Japanese strike zone which shrinks or expands according to the conceived competence of the pitcher. Except for Sakura, who can get a strike from a pitch in the dirt.

Just venting. Maybe I should break down a buy a new game…

Now you know.