Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Outskirts of Hell

Tuesday we cruised to Eldridge Park. It's a good place to lead a dog on leash.

We walked the bicycle path that issues east from the park proper. The bike path looked lovely at first, but we decided to hang a left onto a dirt road.

Uh, oh. Mistake.

First clue: piles of abandoned construction materials.
Second clue: stagnant, dirty runoff ditches.
It was a long, depressing trudge through muck and trash.

Even in Hell there was beauty enough.
Tangled vines and branches hid wildlife, and dirty water came alive with muskrats.

Ellie was busy smelling everything, and we bot
h got plenty of exercise.

But honestly, I felt as if I’d escaped Purgatory by the time
we were safely back at Eldridge.

We lost the leash along the path, but no way would we return for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Josephine Begins Anew

So marital bliss wasn't quite.

Quite what, she still doesn't know. Only thing she does know is that she can't face the others after being played for a fool.

No matter.

There's a whole
Planet out there for consolation and a Road Trip for amusement.

Little Pond

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I dyed yesterday.

Update: The black, done with RIT dye, was wonderful, five pieces colored to perfection. The indigo, done with some stupid stuff from Spain, was not the right blue for denim today, was really thick on the first item, blotchy on the second and nonexistent on the third. The second item will need to be redyed with a liquid dye. I give up on the third, no big deal. Guys, I recommend that only RIT (or maybe some other American dye) be used. Quality control is apparently lacking elsewhere.

And I will dye again today.

Yup. Dye. As in cloth. Not hair: too allergic.

But yesterday I had a successful stint with deep black for my husband's work jeans, a silk camisole and my "dragon lady" undershirt.

Today it's indigo, as in denim. A straight-leg pair of men's cut, my everyday work
"uniform," and his "lookin' good" jeans.

Total spent: less than $10.00 for all the dye. A few hours work over a hot stove, followed by gentle, warmwater laundering and cold rinse. Usually extends the life of my things a year or more. We'll see how long it affects his.

Good work for a rainy day, too.

Little Pond

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New post to RiverDogging

This new post is simply a set of photos recording some work done on the Chemung River to upgrade sewer pipes.

Turns out they may be the only ones available.

I was asked to retrieve them for a local government agency.

But I have some pretty ones coming soon, I promise.

Little Pond

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Layoff Denouement

Not only are we not laid off, but we can expect a raise!

New policy dictates that the positions be posted, and we must vie for them, but we've personally defined them over the last decade. In fact, our counterparts at the other papers mostly come from our department right here!

Of course, a promise of a raise, coming from some sort of district manager, means little until it shows up in a paycheck. But there is hope of more help. Before, we were expecting layoffs, until we lost three people, all of whom jumped in the face of layoffs.

Losing the jumpers left us in position to hire, but that would have been for Advertising Graphics, not for us Paginators (soon to become Production Service Specialists). We had been "granted" a part-time person, but his loyalties were to the AG side.

When they learned that I was working 7.5 hours overtime to fill in the weekends, everything changed. (Never mind that my immediate boss has been essentially donating his time and gasoline to work the other weekend night!)

The district manager was very surprised to hear it, and suggested we needed another full-timer. That means that whoever works the weekends will be receiving the commensurate night-time differential, i.e., raise. The AG people are now scrambling to see if they can cash in, only without working the weekends.

Fortunately, we have been assured that we get will get a weekend-specific worker. It's a wonderful entry-level position that essentially comprises less than a half-day's work, and the rest of the time just facilitating page flow.

Good thing the manager understands that. It will be nice to have more help around here.

Little Pond

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Brakes

Lesson of the week in Little Pond: Brakes are good. Almost no brakes, bad.

Because I had guests coming to town over the weekend, I scheduled the repair for Monday.

Wrong move. Not only did I not have a car to use for my guests, but I also drove around on pins and needles, waiting for the darned things to fail.

My guests had to provide the transportation, and my nerves were shot by Sunday night. I can feel my neck tightening even as I type.

After diagnostics and a new brake line to the back drums, I had the pleasure of speaking with the mechanic on the Yellow Team (Don't you have a team color? Oh, you must get one...) who discussed how they felt to him. We compared notes and chatted a while, and I left feeling a little smarter and completely relieved.

And about $250.00 lighter. Geos are cheap to run, but expensive to repair in these parts.

Little Pond