Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DELAYS ARE NOT FUN

People, let me give you a message; don't take your sweet-ass time when you have someone delivering something to you. These people do NOT have all day to be waiting for you to get your act together. Be considerate and recognize that you are NOT their only stop or customer.

Yeah, I had a couple delays today; people taking their time in getting their stuff from me. That put me a little behind schedule, as did once again waiting for a parking spot that supposedly was about to open up. And my 5th floor stop, well after all the things we talked about yesterday the idiot STILL misplaced a package. We had to go down and scan through the boxes on the loading dock taken down for garbage till we found it. And to make matters more interesting, Rory dumped a stop on me as I left my building. I had 6 minutes to go, so I ran to that stop where I luckily caught the freight and dumped it, then ran up the block the opposite way to try and make my last one in the 3 minutes I had left. I made it, but ya gotta love when a simple day becomes a harrowing experience.

I worked on my website stuff some, although impromptu dozing off didn't let me get to the actual updating part. I did scan in far in advance, so all I hafta do is get those pages up and wait for their release probably by early next year. The night was topped off by a call from Britt, which is always nice...and unexpected in these busy times for her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

MONDAYS, HOW I LOATHE THEE, LET ME COUNT THE WAYS...

One of my stops just finished getting themselves a nice, new lobby. As a result, they no longer want any carts of any kind rolling through there. Understandable...except that makes my job a LOT more difficult. They have no freight entrance, you see, and while 90% of the time my one constant stop in that building gets one or two light packages, there is that 8% of the time when they get several medium-sized and heavy boxes, and 2% when they're a bonafide bulk stop. Now since I park around the corner due to the endless amount of NYC restrictions, that would mean carrying at most 2 boxes at a time around the corner from my truck to there and repeat as many times as needed (at least I can cut through the stores on the return). And this is all assuming best case scenario that I get my usual spot near the corner and not halfway or all the way down the block. I'll hafta hook Damien up with their number so he can call and work this situation out.

Now, the situation I had to work out, plan A is in effect. The mail guy feels his unintentionally making me look bad makes HIM look bad, so he's gonna be even more vigilant when it comes to the boxes. I'll put the number he'll have on one, and he damn well better make sure that's what we got when I get there.

I'm being haunted by heaven. Or, rather a scent; Heavenly by Victoria's Secret. Since smelling it on the ex, I've smelled it around here a lot, then discovered the name when Lis came in one day wearing it and I asked. Well, since that conversation, she's worn it a lot more and to top it off another female courier wears it like EVERY day. Good thing it's not an unpleasant smell aside from attached memories, since I can't seem to shake it!

Ma got Fuzzy's collar today and tried to put it on him. He didn't like that too much. First cat we ever had trouble with. He also kept attacking the bell on it, either like a toy or because he didn't like it. We took it off before putting him back next door 'cause ma was afraid he'd strangle himself, but we're gonna keep putting it on him until he learns to accept the fact he's not special. No naked kitties in the house!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

THEY SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY...

One reason I chose that particular weekend to go to Texas was 'cause the following week is Britt's birthday. I figure instead of a lame gift or gift card, I'd make use of my desire to return and just take her out for a day of fun. She had made mention of a concert by one of her favorite bands going on that weekend and was gonna look into getting tickets. Well, I did a little investigating and found what I figured was most likely the concert. But, I had to ask her to be sure. Of course, she wasn't TOO happy when I said why, that I'd be buying the tickets for it, but she liked the news that we'd be going and it gave her a pick-up after having to deal with a project she wants no part of (which was also my intent in telling her, aside from ensuring she didn't buy what would be duplicate tickets). Well, that's a couple hours of the day planned. Now, for the rest...

Friday, July 25, 2008

TO THE MATTRESSES

Approaching 9 and 7 stops heavy meant I had dumbass come out with me again. I basically handed him all the outside stops, as well as my 5th and 6th floors (although he ended up missing that there were TWO stops on 6) and did the rest myself; including an ADDITIONAL paper stop that was given to me on the fly by management in the street. When we met up at the truck I double-checked what he did because his missing something meant I'd get hit with it. And sure enough, his count was off by 3 on the 5th floor stop. I sent him to investigate when I did my last 2 stops, then went up there myself. Unfortunately, I had no way of knowing what boxes were missed since I didn't know what was scanned, so my investigation was practically useless except to get, in stereo, there were 15 boxes instead of the 18 I counted before I dropped it off. Back at the station, doing my paperwork revealed that I, in fact, had counted right and 3 packages had disappeared unless they were the ones I asked about on the mailroom floor.

So, what's that mean? Well, since this is the SECOND time packages have disappeared from that stop, it's time to take some drastic measures. Gonna talk with the mail guy about how we can coordinate this better between us, or else I'm gonna end up havin' to rescind his taking packages before I get there priveledge I gave him, and Damien's gonna have me put a scan on them and leave them in the truck until I'm ready to do it. That will most assuredly guarantee they won't get anything before 10:30. I'm going to war with these people, because now they're making me look bad.

So between a whole week of working hard and trying to make deadlines, and from doing my route AND running the sort today, I ended up crashing for a 5 hour nap. I intended to only make it 3, but I forgot to set my alarm for PM instead of AM. I got up and farted around with my lists some, talking to Britt for a bit until working on her project took up all her attention (and will for the next week or so).

The BBQs are looking...well, light. Mine, so far only the four I expected are coming. Three couldn't make it, one's a maybe, and the rest just never responded. The CAG BBQ...given the fact it's a pot-luck the fact it's light worries me. A lot. I'm bringing burgers, dogs, buns and I guess fixings for them, got one guy bringing steaks and chicken, one is contributing brownies, one is doing drinks, and one is doing flatware. Everyone else I haven't heard from, including some I expect to just show up without telling me what they're bringing. Some of our guys decided to have their own party thing the same day, albeit 4 hours later, but I dunno how much that's impacting people's desire to come. I'm sure asking for food contributions is a big factor. Forget I'm supplying most of the main stuff as well as the grill and charcoal and stuff. Ah well...I'm betting people are just gonna show out of the blue, leaving me with a ton of potato salad contributions.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

OUT OF STOCK

If there's any doubt in the crappiness of my station, it's resolved by the fact that, as of today, we're officially running out of power pads. See, our pads have a habit of going down in the middle of scanning or before even leaving the building, so they hafta be sent back and fixed up. All well and good, except when the pads go down faster than they're fixed. Today, I just BARELY had enough for everyone coming in. We basically can't afford any more pads going down. The problem with all customer-driven businesses is that they end up so busy focusing on servicing the customer they forget to look at the pople and things who do the servicing.

On the plus side, the heatwave is officially over and today feels like a nice, crisp, fall day. I love it. It's dark, it's rainy, it's nice. Man, I can't wait for fall!

I tried to register for classes, and again ran into the same problem with my film classes. The only thing available for me to take was a 300 level English class, which I think I already covered for my minor. So, I'm debating; do I really wanna spend money on a useless class that I probably won't get reimbursed for, or just take the hit and push my return to Spring? In any event, I'll be finding out when the film head gets in and find out WTF is going on with these prerequisites.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ONE OF A KIND

My truck is still out of service, and yesterday the truck I was using to replace my truck went out of service. They gave me one that was slightly smaller than usual, which of course ended up being on a day when I got big boxes. Not so much a huge number of boxes, but BIG boxes. Today, though, I got the awesome diesel so I was pretty happy. Although driving it and hearing some noises coming periodically makes me think the transmission's not doing so good. Assuming the thing has the original engine, it has over 200,000 miles on it so it's expected eventually. Yeah, you read right...200Gs. As I explained once before a LOOOOOOOOONG time ago, because we basically drive and park for most of our routes, the company gives us the castoffs from the outer districts where they drive constantly. So our trucks have some pretty high miles on them, and all the problems that come with that. Not helped by the fact our mechanic, well, SUCKS.

Dumb me, I agreed to shuttle out some frieght when I came back. Coulda been a quick thing, shoulda been, but I got stuck in a lot of traffic trying to do the smart thing. I ended up taking a few detours to get to the two trucks I needed to be, dumped the freight, and got back in time for a break violation. Ah well, I don't care, it's on them. Let them deal with it.

Ran to the bank and STILL forgot a damn check to cash (second week in a row), then got my comics and some Subways and settled down for a day of reading. Actually got through a healthy amount, the rest I still need to catch up on. Sooooon.

Nancy IMed me tonight. She does that every so often, and we had our usual talk that leads to things like relationships and friends, and how I don't have any. The romance thing....ehhhhhhh, dead horse, don't care about it. The friend thing, ya know it's just hard to do the friend thing when you don't fit in anywhere. I NEVER have fit in anywhere, not even with my own friends. Especially not now. Hell, I don't even fit in with COMIC PEOPLE! No matter who I'm with or what we do, it always feels like I'm outside looking in. And then there's the whole bar/club thing which is ALL anyone is capable of these days, which bores me. Nobody wants to do the kinda things I want to do...or did want to do. It's getting so I haven't done anything in so long I'm losing all notion of just what it is I wanted to do in the first place. I'm forgetting what there is to do around here. Not to mention I've already done most of it...another good reason to want to leave. When I go to Texas in January, gonna see if I can check out the north eastern corner. I hear the weather is a bit more favorable that direction. Gotta build up my list of possible relocation spots.

In the end, I'm one of a kind...which is NOT always that good of a thing...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HULK SMASH!!!!

Standard day, I was overloaded and running late thanks to the usual BS the station has become, but I woulda been able to make all my stops easy. Rory decided to do my 5th floor stop on his own, and ended up missing 4 packages...which came up on my reports. I was doing the research to verify what I suspected, and that stupid dumbass in the office was in my ear buzzing away with jokes about how I was missing stuff. I was already angry at my numbers taking ANOTHER hit thanks to the enforcement of this damn stop count policy, but he was driving me to pure RAGE. I never hit no one out of anger before, but goddamn I was close. Once I got the info, I went to Lis who had him go and do the packages he missed, the only way to fix that problem.

Ya see, the job would be so great if it wasn't for all the people I had to deal with. From moron civilians who get in the way, to receptionist/mail guys who disappear, to stupid co-workers. They're what add any difficulty to the job. If I didn't hafta deal with so many friggin' people, I could probably do FIFTY stops in an hour. Maybe less! At least Damien gave me a $35 award for a job well done in my next paycheck. Dunno where that came from.

I called the school today, and came to learn I missed that the registration re-started the 24th. So, I've got to register on Thursday and hope classes are still available that I need. Although, I barely have time for anything now...gonna add school to the mix? I must be nuts.

Yesterday pops told me some guy was on a corner selling comics. I decided to check it out, picked up a few books for a couple bucks. The guy was ready to go when he suddenly got a crowd, so decided to stick around and to come out every day to get rid of his 5 boxes of comics. I intended to swing by again today, but didn't quite make it. Which is a good thing since I spend enough as it is, and I just bought myself a plane ticket to Texas in October, not wanting to chance the standby with only 4 days at my disposal. I'll take the risk in January when I've got a real vacation.

I also didn't make the comics because ma convinced me to apply for a credit card I got offered in the mail and promptly rejected. After some research through the credit check site they used, we determined it's because the money on our shared accounts matched with my annual income probably put them off, thinking the debt was entirely mine. So, the options there at the moment are to either take me off the cards (which can't be done) or get the debt paid off (which is a slow process). Ah well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

BANG! ZOOM!

Ah, the Honeymooners. Days like today make you realize just how much of a genius Jackie Gleason was.

Today, I got the clock I picked out for my 1 year safe driving award. Out on the road, this Jersey jerk decides at the last second maybe it's a good idea to get out of a blocked lane at the same time I'm on top of him. The brakes on this replacement truck suck at high speeds, but boy did they work when I needed 'em. Skidded to a nice stop as this sumbitch drove on without even so much as a turn signal. Of course, this reminds me of an episode of Honeymooners where Ralph gets such an award and the Judge who gave it to him caused an accident with him. Life imitates art.

Fuzzy went back to the vet. He's fine for the most part, has some stuff for his ear now. We gotta take him back in 3 weeks for the next round of shots. So far so good.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND

Today was the funeral for pop's friend. It was eventually revealed he had a coronary which was obviously fatal. Staten Island police, the pricks they are, refused to open up the house or turn the body over to his daughters for a long time. SI cops are bullshit. If you ever saw the Law & Order movie with Chris Noth, his sentiments there are pretty accurate all around. Anyway, that was pretty much it. Pops is gonna miss that pain in the ass, being friends for about 30 years.

I once again attempted to get my comics put away, and actually made it a whole letter farther this time. Fortunately, ma's been putting on the AC so some of it breezes into the kitchen where we're keeping Fuzzy, so I had it nice and cool for a time as I worked in this heatwave. I still haven't managed to do any cleaning for the apartment, or writing. Looks like I'm going into another unproductive period.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT

Gotta say, the movie was good. Made plans with D the Sunday I wiped out to see the movie today, seeing as it's been over 2 weeks since we last talked OR hung out. Movie was actually good, and Heath Ledger stole the show. Sure, some bits were boring and I still think Bale was a crappy choice, but it was far better than Begins.

I had an unfulfilled craving for Burger King yesterday, so we opted to go get some today instead of going to Anapoli. There, we ended up running into Danielle who was having lunch with her son. Hadn't seen her since the BBQ last year, although I did talk to her a couple times through Myspace and one brief call when she tried to enlist me to help her move. We sat near her and basically had a three-way convo going on for the duration of our meals. We left together, but they headed home for a nap and we headed to 86th to browse around. D ended up getting a game from Circuit City and KB ended up disappointing me with its sparse offerings. We headed on back home and parted ways so I could do some cleaning in the apartment...

...which didn't happen. I got sidetracked on a few things. Also, not really motivated with my 'rents here. I was looking forward to my vacation from them. So much for that.

Friday, July 18, 2008

HEATWAVE: THE SEQUEL

Not even two months into summer and it's a second heatwave. That's right, 90+ weather predicted until at least Monday when it's supposed to rain and cool things off. Yeah, we'll see.

The heat hasn't been so kind to Fuzzy next door. Ma had set up a fan to cool the room some, and has even started turning on the AC to allow the cold to creep through the doors. We've also been bringing him over periodically, letting him stay a while.

So far, the cats are reacting as expected. TC watches intently. Friskie and Stitch outright hate him. Smokey is kinda on the fence. Figaro just couldn't give a shit. This guy is just in his own little world, playing with everything and trying to play with everyone. Ma thinks he might have ADD with how he goes from one thing to another and back again. He's also a tough guy, refusing to be intimidated. Since Friskie first hissed at him, he got this "You bastard" look on his face and now constantly antagonizes him.

Yeah, I don't think we'll need to worry about him too much.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

HELP?

Another really late start resulted in my having to take the idiot out with me this time. Let's face it...24 stops and leaving after 9 just don't mix. No matter how fast I am, even if I was 100%, I could never do all those between 2 buildings and several stores. So, I gave him all my outside stops and commandered his handtruck for my uses to save me a trip into my building. I wasn't expecting much more than that out of him. I mean, I figured knowing how much of a dumbass he is that those 8 stops would take him the entire time to do (and they did) but so long as they were getting done and it kept him out of my hair, I was good with it. Just to highlight how much of a dumbass he is; I have 3 handtrucks for a purpose. Here it was approaching 9, I'm ready to go, and he's trying to "borrow" one of mine to do something. Me and Damien both ripped him a new one with that stupid move. He didn't even ASK, he was just gonna take it and leave me hanging. Whatever, I got it done in time. However, I apparently grabbed a non-priority by accident, so I had to go deliver that before I could leave. Can't wait till this week is up and my sorting can return to normal.

Managed to get through most of my comics that I'm current with, and even had time to start a review for the message boards. However, I was getting a little tired so I saved it for later. I'll probably finish it up tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LATE START=LATE FREIGHT

Two days later, my side decides to start hurting. Doing the sort also proved pretty interesting, being I still can't use my right hand fully without lots of pain, and I had to keep dodging falling boxes that seem to target my wounded leg. You know the most annoying thing about being hurt? It's when you need bandaids. Let's face it, them sumbitches are sticky bastards, and when you're a hairy individual like me that constantly gets cut up in hairy areas, trying to change them things sometimes hurt worse than the injuries themselves! Some brands you can get off easier with a little water, but then there are those water resistant ones that are just too stubborn to know when it's game over.

Today ended up being a little frigged up, mostly in part to us starting the sort at 7:35. Dude who usually loads my truck's on vacation, and his replacement has even less clue how to do it. At least the other guy, though he did it wrong, split the freight somewhat by building and section. This one just throws it all in so I have EXTRA sorting to do. Then, of course, there's the little matter of the lack of space...

I didn't get to my block till after 9 because of traffic, and by then there was no parking. I ended up down the block (and in a loading zone, which I thought I just missed but oh well) and had to bust my ass to get my crap inside. Trying to do 20 stops in half an hour is no easy task, especially when the last of your load is brought up when the good elevator guy goes on break. I ended up with 3 lates, but was only over by 2 minutes. Ah well. Got an unpleasant surprise when I came back that the light-duty they gave the asshole for his foot was running the office in the early afternoon. I don't understand this company...instead of paying one person already working an additional hour, they figure they save money by paying ANOTHER person to do the same job of the person already on WHILE the other person is already working at the same time? Seems bass ackwards to me, that and I just don't wanna deal with that shithead any more than I have to.

I finally convinced the mechanic there's something wrong with my truck. He's trying to tell me the sputtering is normal and I just have to warm the truck up. Um, no. It's NOT normal when everyone else with the same truck can just drive off like I do, and when the alternate truck I use doesn't do it either. Mentioning the check engine light, which I have before, drove it home so he's finally gonna look at it. Took long enough.

Ended the day with a call with Britt. Intended to call her Saturday, but was just too worn out from all the running around I did. Good thing I caught a nap earlier in the day as the call ran pretty late and as long as usual, which is just fine by me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

COMINGS AND GOINGS

It's interesting working in a job where you need hands when you don't have any. I had to be careful especially of my right palm while I handled boxes. And, of course, today would be the day one of my stops would get a GINORMOUS box that I could've EASILY handled if I was 100%. But, of course, it was a comedy routine as I tried to drop it out of my truck onto my handtruck. There was also the added challenge of a sprained thumb on my right hand, which made things like using door knobs or holding anything with my fingers a little difficult. Fortunately, my stops were fairly light for the time I got out there so I didn't have too much of a struggle ahead of me outside of very large boxes. I was even able to go help with a bulk stop...although it was one of those situations where the boxes say one floor but it hadda go to another. I hate doing other routes because of that crap.

Despite any physical difficulties, I did get a nice piece of happy news which you will totally think me a horrible person for. The mumbler? The ghetto asshole who cut me off twice when I was trying to park, got fired, rehired and knocked me out of my desired vacation last month? FIRED AGAIN! Why, though, is still a question. Either he stole a phone (which was a major problem in the past) or he was taking illegal pictures at the airport. Either way, he's G-O-N-E GONE. Unfortunately, the retard on the sort came back today. He had gone out with a broken bone in his foot or some shit. It was a nice reprieve while it lasted.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SAND TRAP

Mountain terrain.

Potholes.

NYC Traffic.

Shitty weather.

What wipes out my bike? SAND. GOD DAMN SAND!

I went to Best Buy today to get the DVDs we ordered, having the uphill wind fight the whole way there. So, I figured I'd get to enjoy the high speed boost of the wind going home. All was well and good until I hit the curve just before the bridge. I ran over the sand, which I've done before at full speed which I wasn't even at, and ended up skidding out and falling. Best I can figure is the DVDs were unbalanced and threw my bike off on my handlebars. I had put my 4 seasons together in one bag and the single DVDs in another. I should have moved a season over, which I tried to do before I left, but I couldn't open the bag without destroying it.

So, I tore up my knee, elbow and palms, got road rash all up my leg and on my arm, and some cuts and scratches on various places. Tore the handlebar pad opposite the side I fell, dunno how the hell that happened. Also landed right on my MP3 in my pocket, but all it got was a tiny crack near the dial. Tough stuff!

This shit can't happen when I DON'T have to work the next day? At least the DVDs only suffered minimal damage.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

WEST SIDE STORY

Because our normal location is closed for summer break, CAG had to relocate temporarily for this month. Although, given all the work I put into it and how many people said they weren't gonna make it or just didn't show, I wondered if I shouldn't have just taken the month off like Mark suggested.

Anyways, we were to meet on pier 45. However, they all decided to relocate to the sitting area just off the pier and I sat at the intended meeting spot for several minutes before James flagged me over. We ended up confusing several people because of that, having to flag and lead them over from the pier. We also had some visitors from the CT branch, which sadly ended up comprising most of the attendance for the meeting. At least we had a soundtrack this time, because there was some kind of women's health thing going on at the next pier over and they were playing music amongst all the events they had going on. And there also seemed to be some kind of street festival going on around Bleeker Street. Did not know about any of that. Overall, it was a nice place for a meeting, and it stayed relatively cool until we finished.

HOWEVER...the goddamn flies. They were vicious! Not only did their bites hurt in an uncharacteristic fashion, but one of them actually drew blood through my sock on my ankle! At least I managed to kill one, but they would not leave me alone.

We had lunch at the Bus Stop Cafe. Nice little place, doesn't do much with the bus stop motif aside from actually being next to a bus stop. But, the food was good and, despite Mark's insistance, decently priced. Had I known about Sue's bday next week, we coulda arranged something better. As it was, we tried to get one of their cakes for her but they all had slices missing, so they said. We ended up just getting her a slice on her own. Best we could do. It also looks like I may have a hangout with our new member Lindsay coming up. She got pretty excited when I said I got the Lois & Clark DVDs today at Best Buy. So, we'll see what happens when I get this apartment clean.

After lunch, we all headed back where we were so Mark could pass off stuff from his car, and we all split up; the CT crew heading home sans Liz, and the NY crew heading to Union Square to see Hellboy sans Lindsay. The movie was pretty good, lotta humorous moments. Nobody seems to like the character moments, though, and Liz didn't like the whole movie. Ah well, can't win 'em all. How bad am I getting that when some ass was talking on his phone next to me in the theater I seriously had to fight back the urge to cram his phone up his ass? The temptation was there...

After, the others went their own way and me and Liz hit Forbidden Planet before heading back to Grand Central to catch her train. It's the first time she's been here and we've been in that area, so it was a new experience for her. I was also able to pick up a book my shop said they'd get but didn't. So, I had to pay full price...ah well. Read it and the issue of Sky Pirates I bought off Ev on the tain on my way home, and then tried to get some things done but I'm too pooped from the day. Time to call it a night.

Friday, July 11, 2008

KITTEN KABOODLE

Walking 56 blocks in the summer heat while running on only less than 4 hours sleep after having run the sort where you unload 5 cans by yourself while having other things to do later is really not a good idea. About the only smart thing I did was stick around for a station BBQ after my route to fuel up before my trek.

Since a couple weeks ago, I've been trying to find an area in the West Village for our group to eat after our meeting. The problem is, most of the places are nice, but tiny as all hell. I tried to be smart and compile a list of possible places based on reviews and price, but then decided while that was all well and good to ensure we don't pay out the nose to get food poisoning, I'd still need to walk around to make sure they fit our practical needs. So, with the weather determining we would be meeting on the pier like I hoped, I blocked out an area with it as my center. I figured 4 blocks north and south, and 5 blocks east, the distance to the nearest train from the pier. Now, if you're doing you're math, that's 8 blocks north, 8 sets of 5 blocks east and west, and then 8 blocks south; 56 blocks. That's also not counting the extra steps I take to check out places I find.

In the end, I cut my expedition short as my feet started hurting and exhaustion started catching up to me. I found 3 additional places along with one I already had in mind, but wanted to get options 'cause two of those places are ethnic foods and who knows if anyone's gonna want that? All I wanted to do was come home, turn on the AC and crash on the couch for a bit...plans interrupted by the fact ma came home early and thus took up part of the damn couch. Grrr.

She was able to lock up Fuzz Ball and we went to the vet. There, we learned, the kitty we thought might be a she was in fact a he. So far, he's doing fine. Blood work is being processed overnight and we'll get the results tomorrow. He couldn't get his shots just yet because he's got a little cold, but once that clears up we can get him taken care of. He was thoroughly pissed, of course, and lonely now that we've got him locked up next door in the kitchen and bathroom, but it's only for the next two weeks or so.

Now, this was going to be a slight problem 'cause they were planning to go away next week, leaving me with 3 sets of cats to feed plus having to give medication to the one. That pretty much meant I'd be getting up 3:30 every morning. Well, those plans may have changed since pops got a call that one of his friends was found dead in his garage. No clue what happened there, guess we'll find out as things gradually roll on.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

WHEN IDIOTS GET RESPONSIBILITIES

In the infinite wisdom of management, they decided to push our start times back 5 minutes, which means the sort and everything ends 5 minutes later. And today, I had to go and get jammed with not only large and heavy stops inside the building, but one of my outside stops decided to get a PRIORITY bulk stop. What that meant was loading up and walking allll the way around the corner. No shortcuts there! I had busted my ass to deliver what I could, and it's a good thing I told them I'd need help 'cause I didn't get outside till 10:28. I wasn't even affected by the fact it was the dipshit they sent to help me...except for the fact he took my keys so I couldn't check if he got everything OR leave.

The dipshit you might remember from me talking about him on the sort months ago. He got hurt so can't do that no more, but has gone for courier training to become one. However, he's been used as a shuttle driver and overnight driver, wisely, instead. Thursday, I became privy to the story of how he was sent to go help the annoying bitch with a bulk stop, and not only did he just sit there with a few pieces for 2 hours and NOT help her, but when he left he scraped the hell out of the truck he was in. Yes, this is who we need delivering packages. He was useless on the sort, and he's even more useless on the road. At least he's learned to drive faster since the time he took me out on my route pre-certification as he kept pace with me and rode my bumper all the way back.

Fuzz Ball has gotten to the point of letting us touch her (him?). She's been following ma around, so the time is ripe to make the move. She's gonna call the vet tomorrow and get her into the carrier, and then I hafta bring her over. Now, the question is where to put her until she's good for integration with the other kitties...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

CAT-NAPPED

So I mentioned once before we had an all-new batch of kitties to feed outside. We had 3 adults: Snagglepuss, Isadora and Morris, and we started out with 3 kittens: Socks (tabby with the most white), Stubby (missing part of her tail) and Axel ('cause he liked to sleep on pops' tires). A fourth one popped up, different from the rest in that she was black and white and scruffy. I call her Fuzz/Fluff Ball. A guy who wants her next door has taken to calling her Cougar. Um, no.

Anyways, Axel turned out to be the friendliest, rubbing up on us and being all cuddly and nuzzly. Ma had decided to take him in "for his own safety" she said. nah, she just fell for him. So, I had told her to call the vet to get him checked out when I got back. She didn't 'cause she was waiting on this certificate from this Muffin thing, whatever the hell it is. Well, last night, a couple people were checking out the cats and ma thought she put them off by saying we were taking them in.

Not. This morning me and pops noticed the cat bed and food bowl was missing. Ma learned later when she went out to feed them that Axel was gone too. She thinks that couple came back and grabbed him when we went to bed and he was asleep. Not sure or not, but they are our only suspects. Aided in that fact was we found the bed and its box next to the garbage can across the street in the direction they were going last night. So, ma's upset and on the warpath. I'm pissed too 'cause he was just too cute.

They better hope we never cross their paths again.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

VACATION RECAP

One thing I left out of Thursday, the good part, was getting to eat some Sweet Tooth. Sweet Tooth is the ice cream shop in town that's only open during the summer, run by the local diner. The soft ice cream is soooooooooooo good. And they REALLY load up your cones! You ask for a jumbo, you better be ready to eat quick. That's like a foot or more stack of ice cream that's gonna melt right quick! I did make a royal mess of myself. Now I'm glad I kept the roll of paper towels in my van when I cleaned it out on Sunday.

Friday, I had finished up cleaning as best I could. Vacuums weren't really doing much, I used both the upright and the hand vac which involved a lot of crawling around. Gotta remember, low ampage up there means weak-ass electrical stuff. So, these ain't as powerful as you've got at home. I also touched-up the tub before I showered and cleaned a few of the counter tops, as well as got the grill out and set up. I had a little trouble with the awning, but had come to learn that nobody told me the effin thing had a problem on one side. It was an adventure trying to get it to roll back up the little way I had pulled the one side down. Oh, and of course, I still managed to get a little doused in the shower of water held within it.

Needing a toothbrush (because nobody told me they got rid of ours up there) and apparently a rake (only having a rake head in the shed, and trying to use a broom handle with it not working all that well) I decided to take my planned trip to Walmart in Monticello. Holy. Shit. Was it packed! I browsed around for a bit, getting some batteries for the flashlights and raiding the discount DVD bin that ma and pops usually frequent when they go. I also found a good deal on 16 pack Pop-Tarts and got 3 liters of water for $1 for me and TC to drink, as I don't completely trust the trailer water. I also snagged a 1:25 die-cast General Lee I found. Figured, what the hell. With the crowds, I started getting a little "claustrophobic" so I ended my search for the rake and toothbrush early to check out. I popped down to the Burger King for some brunch and to read more of the comics I brought with me, seeking to get through them sometime this century.

After that, I headed down to Liberty to go to a supermarket called Pecks for my July 4th feast. The 'rents gave me directions, however I missed that the bridge they told me I had to cross was one of those brief parts of the roadway that passed over water, not the bridge in the classic sense I was looking for. I ended up missing my turn, but I wound up finding the roundabout way there. Go me! It was a nice little supermarket. Prices were pretty good. Got ketchup, mustard, cheese, patties and dogs for just about under $20. The burgers ended up good, the dogs, not so much. And they were name brand, too.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the toothbrush, I did eventually find one in the grocery store in town. Don't think I went the WHOLE time with bad breath!

Saturday, I went into town for some breakfast at the diner. I ended up being detoured by a parade going through town. I heard about it, but forgot about it and arrived for the tail end when the last of the tractors were passing, leading into the BBQ the fire department was having. I had my usual egg breakfast in the usual booth in the diner before heading out for a walk around to see the goings on.

I checked out a thrift store which had nothing of interest for me, after being deafened by the air raid siren at the fire station when 12 hit. Ouch. I also swung by the antique where I saw some pretty cool stuff, like old furniture and genuine Cowboy gear. The thing that caught my interest, though, was the 1980s NY Commercial license plate I saw with 3 Liberty plates. I had 3/4 of a plate that pops used 1/4 of to patch a hole in the Chevelle, or some shit, so I took advantage of the find and bought the whole one. Saves me the trouble of trying to salvage the other plate.

Dumping it in my van parked the block behind the main street, I headed back over to the O&W Rail Road museum. The museum is only open on the weekends and I hadn't been there in years, so thought I'd check it out. It was filled with some relics from both the RR's history and that of the town, especially pics from this flower club from a few decades ago. They had signs and signals and a couple model trains running for the kids. The gift shop was also loaded with books, paperweights and assorted toys. It's not a very big place, so it didn't take me long to go through it.

The one thing it served to do was highlight what I love about small towns: the times and businesses may change, but a town will remain basically the same. I saw some of the old pictures and news clippings. One showed an A&P where the market is. I used to know it as the IGA before it's current incarnation. There were also two "mansions" where the former hardware store now is next to the bank. And near the museum there was a Mobil station near the old theater, razed a few years ago. All those buildings were torn down from a fire sometime in the 80s. But, for the most part, the town hasn't changed all that much. I love that.

The hardware store I mentioned had moved to the lumber yard next to the museum. At it's original location, I used to go there years ago when they had double packs of Marvel comics and trading cards that I'd buy every chance I'd get. I headed over there to buy the rake I didn't get at Walmart, then on my way to the van I passed by the O&W annex, an old caboose, by the street. I popped in for a quick look at more pictures and displays, and then proceeded to depart.

Old Route 17 is the back way from town to the campground. It basically follows the same path as 17, soon to be 87 (for the last umpteen years), but is a more winding and twisting isolated road. It's also a hell of a lot of fun to drive. This was one of the roadways flooded out last year, finally reopened. When I drove it the day before, I saw along the side of the road an old roaster turned into a flower planter with a sign "Rust In Peace" next to it. Of course, I HAD to go back and get a pic of it. It's gonna be my main Facebook pic, you betcha.

The campground does a daily hay ride. They hook up a trailer to one of the trucks and drive it loaded with people around the ground a couple times. In the olden days, the trailer was flat with a couple bales of actual hay on the center. Charlie, the previous owner, would load it up far more than it probably should have been, putting any excess in the back of his truck. I often rode in the truck 'cause the ride was just more fun on those bumpy roads. Now, they retired that trailer in favor of one with rails and seats around the edge and the middle. They also don't even go down to the tent area like they used to. They did a special night ride for the 4th, giving the kids glo-sticks and candy. I decided to go, but had to wait for the second ride they had to do since the response was so overwhelming. Helping with the ride was the father of one of my old friends up there who, surprisingly, recognized me. We did the usual chit chat for a few seconds. His wife was also manning the other side. During the ride, as we passed the former site of some family friends, one of the ladies riding commented she missed the guy who had passed away some time ago, prompting his wife to give up the trailer. Was interesting to hear, two people from the past on one hay ride.

Ms. Britt has a nasty habit of sending me Mac formatted files lately. For the second time, she sent me a .docx file of a story she wanted me to check out, but unfortunately only my home computer is now adapted to open them. The laptop, on which I talked to her most of the day while chilling at the Rec Hall. She re-sent it, and it was good. She's got an accidental style that WORKS, although it leaves her unsatisfied feeling she needs to do the hyper detail thing. Ah well, sign of a true creative person. I hung around the pond after the hall was closed talking to her till about 2 AM when I decided to head on back to the trailer to start my packing for the next day. I was determined to miss traffic at least ONCE this trip.

So packing took a little longer than expected, but mostly because I went around taking shots of the grounds and spent a little too much time at the water wheel at the back. What can I say, the thing has always fastinated me, the mystery of how it once looked before it became the crumbled mess it is and what purpose it served. Coulda been a power house, coulda been a mill. The clues are there I'm sure, I just need to dedicate some time to study it. I settled on one of the fruit cocktails I brought with me for food as I loaded, and gave the trailer a little touch-up in cleaning. I closed it up based on their procedures, loaded the van close to how it was when I came up (with some improvements now that I know) and then proceeded to hit the road.

Traffic was slow in a couple spots, but I didn't hit anything major until Staten Island, which was typical. Got home, let TC out of her carrier (in which at one point I stopped too quick and she went flipping off the front seat...whoopsie!) and then proceeded to unload the van. Now, here's some shit; every time THEY get back, I have to drop what I'm doing to help them unload and carry shit up. Think they did the same for me? Hellllll no. They answered the bell to let TC in, at one point opened the apartment door a couple times for me, but that was it. It's safe to say as soon as I entered that place my feelings of rage began to return. So, yeah, my "anger issues"? All stem from there. But we knew that.

Overall, trip wasn't all that bad. I didn't get as much reading done as I'd hoped, or any other kind of creative work besides a few pages on NYH #4. Mighta been more fun if Tina came, but maybe next year. Oh, and I'm definitely NOT going up until THEY do all the opening shit. I need a vacation just as much as them, screw that crap.

RETURN TO ME

Last year, Keith gave me a BS fat pen with an American flag design and our group name on it. I used it at work every day to sign out my timecard 'cause it was in the bag I started using. Back in December, I accidentally leave it behind as I knew I would one day. Sure enough, it was long gone. Today, I found it right on the office desk when I came in, leaving us reunited. Now how is that for a wild story?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

PASSING THE TORCH

I thought I saw someone from the old crew walking past me as I was biking, but I never got a chance to find out for sure.

So, basically, nobody from the old crew was up that I knew of. At least, I didn't see anyone. Instead, there were a buncha teens running around in their own crews hanging out all over the place. Gotta say, the kids have certainly become more ghetto since my day.

My day...it sounds like words from an old man, and I felt like one watching these kids interact while I read or typed at the rec hall. They were hanging around and goofing off much the same way we all used to years ago. Sure, the conversation was a little more retarded (talking about drugs as if they were experts or whatever...some probably were) but otherwise that was easily us at some point. In a way, kind of fitting I was there to watch them. Kind of like passing the torch, so to speak. The campground was ours, and now it's theirs.

Although, some points I had to wonder just how the hell old some of them were. The topic of some of them just starting to drive had come up, and meanwhile they were telling stories about the former campground owner, Charlie, as if they had years with the guy running things. I also found myself being swept into their nostalgia, knowing first hand about most of what they said. And, it's like, I've been going there most of MY life and they're younger than me, and Charlie's been gone a good few years by now. But, ya know, I guess a lot can happen in a short period of time. I should know that better than anyone.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

SOME VACATION...

I should've known it was a bad idea to go up today.

I had fallen way behind in preparations to go. So far behind, that it took me until 3:30 to get the van loaded. I had intended to leave at 1:30 but ended up staying later at work, and having to eat lunch pushed it back to what I HOPED would be 2... Yeah, right. The real delay came in trying to fit my bike along with the stupid, bulky, complicated ladder pops insists on using. Eventually had to relent and fold the middle seat, having hoped removing the rear one would suffice. Speaking of work, also had the bad omen of klutziness. When I'm more Clark Kent than Superman a given day, I know it's generally downhill from there.

Leaving so late dumped me right in the middle of traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. I was crawling my way out of Ramsey, NJ back into NY on the Thruway. Apparently there was some kinda accident a ways up that mighta been the cause. Or coulda just been the holiday rush. Either way. By the time I got to town, I opted to go eat dinner first as places tend to close early around those parts, costing me what little daylight I had left. I didn't get to the trailer until just past 9.

So there I was, struggling in the dark trying to hook up the battery so I could move the glide-out and thus get power going as per their instructions. What those insructions didn't include, though, was that the flashlights we had HAD NO BATTERIES. Good thing I remembered my bike's headlight was a portable hand light as well. About this time, it also started to rain, just for good measure.

Eventually I got the power going and all the glue traps up (caught one mouse) so I could get poor TC inside. I had her loose in the van and she was being good, for the most part, but she probably was freaking with no idea of what was going on. This is a new arrangement for us, ya know. Next came getting the water running so I could flush the anti-freeze out of the system. Unfortunately, dopey had left the hot water heater, the primary dumper, on bypass mode which meant no water was getting in and thus no anti-freeze coming out. It took three calls to them to deduce this problem. By the way, I whould mention that even though they're improving the grounds for the modern day with things like better phone and internet service, I still have to travel ALL the way down to the main entrance to make a call.

Night dragged on and I got done what little inside cleaning I could. Outside would have to wait for the morning with the rest of it, which I was REALLY hoping to avoid. About this point I was aggrivated and tired as hell. I was up all day and too many things went wrong. I tried to call Britt for a little pick-me-up, but apparently the low ampage in the grounds makes for a poor charge as my phone proceeded to die 5 minutes in. Good thing I had the laptop at the moment testing ou this mythical wifi and I was able to get a chat fix. It helped a lot. I was still dog tired, but not as miserable.

I triple checked the water, turned on the hot water heater, and was ready to turn in. It wasn't all bad today, though. The fog in the mountains created some awesome visuals on the drive up, and despite being worried about TC because she hadn't used the pan since we left, she's become uber friendly and completely NOT like her usual self. Glad one of us got something good out of this so-called "vacation" so far.

I should also make mention that I was supposed to go with Tina and D to pick sis up yesterday as she was coming in to be with family for the holiday. Well, that didn't happen. Her flight got super delayed and came in too late, so me and D had to bail and Tina had to get her herself. I called her from the road to see what happened and apparently sis was dog tired and they only hung out for 15 mins outside the house. I know the feeling, trust me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

BUSY

To all streaks, an ending.

I wrote once before that December I had lates almost every day due to bad parking and before having my 3 handtrucks. Since getting my third and with the new year, the last time I got lates (which I don't count because they technically weren't supposed to be mine) was when I helped the one dumbass who took his sweet time helping us to help him about two months ago. Well, today, the lates were all mine, baby.

I was jam-loaded and bulked out today. I had Monday quantities...I mean old Monday, not the Mondays like we've been getting. Well, I went out with far more stops than I should've with the promise of help from someone who only had 5 stops (which turned out to be 7, but I digress). I turned down additional help which was my mistake, because I underestimated how shitty the Empire (which was where those few stops were) was. So, she couldn't get to my truck until 10:15 (or at least that's when I got the message she was on my way), and by then I was dead and buried.

In the meantime, I was forced to park on the corner of my block due to my building getting both bricks, AND garbage. Traffic was also a bitch, I came to find out, because of yet ANOTHER Police graduation. Every time they get new recruits, midtown goes to shit. They need to move that crap upstate somewhere, like maybe the State Trooper Academy. And then, because of my bulk, I was gonna have to make an extra trip, but I "stole" UPS' usual flat (regular driver's on vacation so I didn't feel TOO bad about it...and it was temporary) to bring it up to the loading dock, where I then offloaded stuff for one floor then threw that crap onto the now free handtruck.

By the time I got settled in, it was already after 10 and I had only made the one delivery so far (which I had to waste time calling in because my usual guy was off for the day). So there I was, busting my ass at high speed down every hall to every floor I needed to be. And, of course, today would be the day that either receptionists were absent, slow to respond, or busy BSing. And it'd also be the day that there'd be someone taking their time vacating the elevators I needed to get on, or blocking the hallways.

Anyway, it was a valiant effort and I managed to do the building in time, but I was left with 4 packages between 3 stops late. The good thing to come of today was the extra hours I got with delivering those stops, being stuck in traffic on the way back thanks to the cops, and having to hang out in the office some.

The rest of my day didn't go quite as I hoped. Did the bank, got my money for the weekend. Comics took a bit longer than planned, and I regretted helping ma bring home large cans of catfood on the way as there turned out to be 20 freakin' 4 of them and I was beat from earlier. Got my site's pages loaded while I ate some lunch. I got half of my laundry done, the other half being forsaken thanks to pops deciding to do HIS while I was working on the site. Cleaned out the garbage from the van, took out whatever pops still wanted, and the back seat for some extra cargo space, but the CD player is dead until further notice thanks to a short in one of the wires we discovered yesterday (so much for music on my trip...). TC got a new collar, and was excited because she got the flea stuff on her and she knows what that usually means. I also took care of some CAG business. I'll have to finish packing tomorrow, and looks like I'm using a bigger cooler for drinks as pops is Bogarting the small one for his own.

I was supposed to go with Tina and D to pick up sis from the airport so she could spend the weekend with her fam, but her flight ended up being super delayed. Since I wasn't able to get in the nap I was hoping and with having to work, then almost immediately driving 3 hours after, plus doing MORE physical work, I decided to be smart and just bow out. D had to as well as he also has work. So, sadly, I ended up missing this hangout. Ah well, I'll see sis again soon enough come October, and Tina STILL owes me the bike ride! And there's more movies coming for me and D to see, so it's all good.