Monthly Archives: April 2007

Dissappointed FOH

One of the FOH’s main responsibilities is keeping track of all the garbage in our office. She’ll walk around the office several times a day, looking for new piles of anything, checking the bins, and then asking me where each of the items came from, and if it is trash, and if I’ll mark it with a ‘Basura’ tag so the cleaning people know it’s trash.

Since there are so many people here and none of them tell me when they are going to throw something away, I usually don’t know, and this displeases her because she thinks I don’t care, even though I really don’t.

Well, she got an ultimate disappointment this morning. It turns out that her obsession with the trash bins extends out to the dumpster way over on the other side of the building. Every day when she drives in, she drives past the dumpster to see how it is.

She was worried that unauthorized persons might throw stuff in our dumpster, so a few months back she bought a chain and padlock for it. So if the interlopers would have to throw their garbage over the fence, instead of opening the gate and tossing it in.

Well, the cleaners don’t have a key or the combo for the lock, so she’d leave it unlocked on trash day. Then one day, the lock and cable disappeared, so she bought a new lock, and has been closing and locking it every time.

Well, apparently a someone or something hit the gate and bent it a bit, and she’s been struggling with all her might to close the gate so she could lock it, every morning since then. So today, she came to my cube for counsel, wondering what to do. She thinks it was the garbage guys, and is mad that they didn’t say anything, but she can’t call and complain because she can’t prove it.

I think she picked up on my utter apathy, because she eventually threw her arms up and said, “eh, who cares?” and chuckled and walked away. But she can’t fool me, I know she’ll still drive past the dumpster every morning to see how it is.

The fat guy skips out

Today the fat guy was going to help me pull two servers from the racks and get them boxed up so I could ship them to San Jose.

He’s been working on something since yesterday, though, unable to figure it out. I had told him it wouldn’t work. It was something I had tried to get working two years ago. So I let him work on that for a while, and got the rest of the shipment ready to go: pallet, shipping boxes, waybill, etc.

Then, I walked over and asked if he was ready. He said yeah, but that he wanted to check on something first.

Well, he must have wanted to check if the crockpot full of food was done cooking at home, because he disappeared into the lobby, and then I heard the front doors open and close. I looked out the window, but he had disappeared into fat air! I’ve never seen a fat person vanish so quickly!

I waited around for a while, but he didn’t come back, so I went and did the servers by myself.

I eventually did see him again a few hours later. He didn’t say anything about the incident; he was just still trying to figure out why that thing I told him wouldn’t work wasn’t working.

Return of the Fat Man

The Fat Guy reappeared, out of the great blue, as it were. I don’t know where he’s been or what he’s been doing, but the other day he suddenly came into my cube, stood too close, and started asking me all sorts of random questions.

Then he told me all about some new website that has video conferencing and hosting, and tried to talk me into it. He said it’s great for blogs, or making instructional videos and other stuff, and how certain he was that I could find dozens of uses for it.

And the subscription fee was really low, he said.

And if I refer anyone, I get a bonus of their fees.

And he’d get a bonus from my fees.

OK.

Happily, I was able to convince him I don’t do any video anything, but would let him know if I change my mind, and he left.

A few days later, the wireless networking on my laptop stopped working. I wondered whether I should bother asking him, and if there’s any chance whatsoever that he’d know how to fix it.

Eventually, he dropped back into my cube, stood too close, and talked about random stuff. As he was leaving, I asked if he knew any reason why the wireless would suddenly stop. He said there’s a switch right on the front that turns off the antenna. He discovered that way back when he got his laptop, because he switched it off accidentally, and it took him forever to find out about the switch.

He flipped my switch back on, and the wireless came back up!

So, I can keep feeling superior to him because:

  • It took me 7 months longer than him to have the same self-inflicted problem.
  • And for several other undefinable but really good reasons.

Tomorrow, we’ll work together to pull two really heavy servers off the racks, and ship them to San Jose. Hilarity will ensue.

Happy Easter

Once again, Becky pulled off a great holiday. She must plan really in advance, because she had baskets, treats, trimming, decorations, eggs, and other stuff, all ready to go, right at midnight, Saturday.

The kids had a blast, and marveled at everything Sunday morning. We had Easter Egg hunts in the big and lush backyard, a delicious Easter meal, and lots of fun together.

Hooray!

Fun Kendo practices

I never posted about kendo practice from two weeks ago, but it was a blast!

On the weekend of March 24th, there was a northern California Kendo mini-camp. All the sensei from NorCal were there, and all the students who wanted could attend. In addition, a super-high level sensei from Japan was visiting.

And he visited our dojo the Friday night before the mini-camp!

So a bunch of sensei from the bay area all came over to visit, and our dojo threw a pizza party afterwards.

So, we wound up with a decent size class of our regular students, plus a few visitors from around the area, plus about 10 sensei. What a party!

The visitor was originally from the bay area, and dominated the north America kendo tournaments back in the ’70’s. Sometime in the ’80’s he moved to Japan. Now he’s one of the old masters.

We had some quick warm-ups, and then he lead our practice. He had us do some of the basic hits and moves, and coached us on it. He emphasized footwork – keep your feet pointing the correct direction and width so you have a good stance and balance. Kiai, hit, and follow through. When you step, keep your foot flat and parallel to the floor, don’t kick your toes up and come down on your heel.

After about a half-hour of basics, it was free practice. The sensei all lined up on one side, and we got to walk around, pick a sensei for practice, and go at it. They’d give instruction during the practice, rough me up a bit, and send me on my way.

It was funny watching them watch some of the students, who have really lousy footwork and other basics. The basic footwork of kendo is a shuffle, pushing yourself forward with the left foot, and extending the right forward. Then, quickly pull the left foot forward to just behind (but shoulder-width apart from) the right foot, and repeat.

But some guys, as a shortcut to learning how to do the shuffle really quick for speed, they just hit and take off running like there’s a sale at K-mart. One guy I usually practice with, he looks like he’s going to do some good kendo form stuff – he’ll swing, and just as he strikes, he pulls his shinai in to his body, and takes off running across the room as fast as his little legs can carry him. When he gets to a wall, he stops, turns around pretty slowly, and sets himself up for his next attack.

My favorite thing to do is let him take the first swing, then I calmly follow him across the room, and as he turns around, bop him on the head and back away quickly, yelling at the top of my lungs. Yee-haw!

So that was then, and then I missed a week, and then tonight, it was a nice little class. We were back to a regular class size of 10 people total, with me and the sprinter and a visiting girl the only non-black belts. Although, normally, we have 2-4 sensei, but tonight it was just our main sensei.

It was nice, though, because I got to practice with him pretty early on before I was super exhausted. But he still wore me out completely flabbergastedly in less than 5 minutes.