Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ahhh! The Pain! The PAAAIINN!!!

More Fun Than The Law Should Allow

No, that's not the leftover aches from my concrete faceplant of three weeks ago, though I am still a bit sore in a few out-of-the-way places.

Today was some mandatory training, courtesy of The Man.

See, the rules mandate that if you request certain documents from The Man, he has to give them up.  You in turn pay 10 cents per page, plus reasonable research time.

So, people will frequently walk in and exchange checks or wads of cash for a stack of paper.

No big deal, right?

Wrong.   Apparently, my department averaged over $500 per month for the last three months, thereby qualifying us as a Major Cash Collection Point.

So, off to training for The Man's Cash Handling Administrative Policy.

The PAINFUL hours can be whittled down to this:

1) Count Your Change.
2) Lock Your Desk
3) Give a Receipt.
4) Don't Fuck Up

Plus, you might get lucky and get audited by Finance, the Controller's Office, or a mix of the two.

Oh, joy...

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Incredible Disappearing Blog

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends...

5 years ago I would have been catatonic with guilt over letting this much time pass between blog posts.

Word on the street, however, is that blogging is as dead as a bucket o' fried chicken.

So, not so much guilt as a sense of inevitability...

The latest symptom of the rotting corpse was the recent Sitemeter eff-up.  Apparently, Sitemeter is "under new management", and was using the embedded code meant to track visitors to instead insert some form of spammage in place of your regular page.

Not that anyone noticed around here...

Sitemeter code is being scalped from the few remaining active blogs as we speak.  I, for one, will get around to it eventually.

Should be a slow week here in downtown H-town.   One would hope that would translate into some more blog content.

We shall see...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How To Fix Things

Ah, To Be Squeaky Clean Once Again!

Step #1 - Invite Brother-In-Law over for a holiday visit.
Step #2 - Lay out hand tools
Step #3 - Stay out of his way.

That's pretty much it.

I don't even have to point things out. All those little nit-picky things that need doing will magically get done.

"Hey, Cap, did you notice the brace on the incoming electric main came loose from the soffit?"
"Um, where? What?"
"Oh, I fixed it."

"Hey, the gap around the door to the hall closet was uneven, so I pulled the door, reset the hinges and rehung it."
"Uh, what door??"

"Damn, Cap, the pressure in the shower sucks.  What's up with that?"
"50 year old steel pipes, a jacked up house filtration system, and 3 municipal water main projects that have dumped pounds of sediment into the pipes & manifolds..."
"Let me take a look..."

3 hours later, there's a hole chopped in the drywall in the office closet to get to the shower manifold, the filter housing has been dug up and replaced, and things are back to normal.

You know how you squeeze the handle at the coin-op carwash, and the blast of water comes out the nozzle?   That's the pressure I'm now getting at the showerhead.  It's f#*$&^ng GLORIOUS!!

I wish the guy drank something other than Lite beer.  He'd be getting a screamingly expensive bottle of Scotch for Xmas.

Good thing he's always in need of ammo.  A few boxes always stuff nicely in stockings.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Just Thankful It's Over...

Nutsack?  Meet Mr. Vice Grips!

I had *SUCH* a nice peaceful holiday planned...

It involved a leisurely 4 day holiday filled with fun & family.  Maybe some overingestion of dead turkey.  Definitely some pie.

It didn't end up that way.

Oh, God.  Where to begin?

Possibly last Monday.  Had a day off to go see the Doc & run a few errands.  Nice visit.  Doc didn't harangue me about my weight too much.  Test results were all pretty good, good enough to not need another visit for 6 months, anyway.

I did get a flu shot, which might have contributed to the coming storm of misery.  Most years I don't get any bad reaction from the shot.  Every so often, though...

So, the big kahuna:  Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving.    Come out of work to get on the shuttle to remote parking, and there's no shuttle there.  Shut down in preparation for the upcoming Turkey Day parade.

Were we told about this?  Ha!  Of course not.  We are peons for The Man, after all. Useful knowledge is for higher beings.

Traffic has been rerouted two blocks away, so I shlep my fat ass towards the nearest intersection in hopes of seeing the shuttle.  I never make it.

Stepping off an unseen curb, I faceplant onto the concrete sidewalk.  Remember being a kid and falling over?  You bounced back up like a Weeble.  Those days are LONG gone...

So, I'm laying there like an inverted turtle, trying to figure out why I'm suddenly in pain and kissing concrete.  One of the building maintenance guys saw me, and got me up and on my feet.  No crimson leakage or protruding bones, so I'm mostly OK.

Never did see a shuttle bus.  A passing co-worker saw me and gave me a lift out to the remote parking lot, or I'd still be sitting @ Rusk & Smith, hoping for a cab to pass by.   I call my boss to report the accident per regulations, and head home.

So, now I'm in pain.  And, it gets worse.

I blow off the post-work trip to the grocery store, so no cheesy sausage balls for anyone this year.  All I want is to crawl into bed and moan for a few hours.

I get home, undress and crawl in bed.  2 hours later, the phone rings.  It's my boss...

"So, El Cap, I've got some bad news."
"Oh, joy."
"According to the Accident Policy, I'm going to have to drive out there, pick you up, and escort you to the 24 hour drug testing facility down by Hobby Airport for a post-accident pee test."

It takes every bit of self-control I have not to immediately start spewing profanities.

"Um, I don't think that's really necessary, is it?"
"Well, the rules say BlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah..."

We argue back & forth, punctuated by her call waiting as various other HR Poobahs chime in.

Eventually, an 11pm call (Keep in mind this is the night before Thanksgiving...) to the HR Director gets a ruling that this was a post-work injury that occurred outside the facility, so the Accident Policy doesn't apply.

Whew.  No late night piss test, but there might still be one after the holiday.

Things didn't really improve after that, but it didn't entirely suck.  Dinner was good.  Seeing family was good.  My sister's dog didn't eat my parent's poodle.  My cousin's druggie wife was safely locked in the County Jail, so she wouldn't need to be cavity-searched for jewelry & cash & prescriptions before she was allowed to leave the premises, so that was good.

The added suckage?

First Thanksgiving without Uncle Robert, Mom's brother.  Miss him terribly...

Mom insisted on family portraits in the local park.  Not too onerous, but very painful.  By now my hands, wrists and knees were blooming some beauteous bruises.

The Sugarland crew of 5 cousins blew us off at the last minute to go shopping instead of eating dinner.  We'd already bought the food and everything.  Set up extra furniture.  Feckin' ingrates.  I offered to cut them a check for whatever "savings" they might get if they'd just some join us, but the lure of the mall proved too great.

There was one more major hit that swopped me upside the head, metaphorically speaking, but I'll save that for another post.

Now, where's my damned bottle of Tylenol??

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

19th Century Earworms

I Need A Short Sharp Shock!

I picked up a new copy of 'Topsy-Turvy', the Mike Leigh film about the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera 'The Mikado'.

It's one of my favorite films, mostly due to the excruciating detail that went into replicating everyday life in Victorian London, and also the excellent characters and set design.  The G&S soundtrack?  Just the icing on the cake, really...

You get a pretty good coverage of the tunes from 'Mikado', but also some lengthy snippets from other G&S works like 'The Sorceror', and 'Princess Ida'.

The downside?  I can't stop humming/singing those tunes.  It's been 4 days now...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rats, Bats & Leftover Cats

Random Bits Of Small Mammals

Wonderful weather we're having...   Cold one day, warm & rainy the next.  Typical Houston...

We've got vermin on the loose.  I was in the Wendy's drive-thru line the other evening, and while waiting for my burger to be tossed out the window, I got to watch some rodents scamper through the shrubbery outside the joint.

Seemed a bit small for rats.  Probably field mice that had taken up residence inside the bushes.  Odd to see them scampering around in broad daylight, but what are the odds of a hawk swooping down 10 yards from a busy intersection?

Next up was a bat loose in the lobby of the building I work in.  The atrium has big soaring ceilings, maybe 3 stories tall, and that gave Mr. Flappy all the room in the world to swoop around and scare the peons.

Some poor bastard from Maintenance was dispatched to try & swat it down with a "Wet Floor" sign.  Not much luck on that front.  They need to stock badminton rackets or some .410 double guns.

The next day, I had something scrabbling around up the drop ceiling in my office.  I wondered if it was the bat, but it was more likely some rat up there wandering around.

Seems odd, but you never know what kind of critter will wander in from the bayou only two blocks away.  We had a bobcat in the underground garage not too long ago...

Leftover cats?  Parts of them, anyway.  I pulled out a sweater from the back of the closet, and discovered a huge wad of cat fur attached to it.  One more cat hiding place discovered, long after the cats have passed on...

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Inappropriate Humor

"I Won't Grow Up! I Won't Grow Up!!

Remember, Christmas only comes once a year...

So, aim carefully!