I had to limp on back home

Let’s recap the day. It was fun.

Wake up (6:15 AM)

Drag ass downstairs to the hotel gym. And by Gym, I mean really small, stuffy room that has 3 machines in it. Bike and curse.

Back to room to check email. Too many came through while I was sleeping. While I was sleeping, it seems that there was like 4 feet of rain. Great.

Shower, dress and head to office.

It’s wet everywhere.

Log into email again, this time using dial up connection. Boy, that’s a lot of fun.

TooNiceSupervisor arrives at RedVendor site.
Me: Um…where’s your computer?
TNN: On my kitchen table
Me: Well, that’s awesome

So, he’s got no access to email today. Great. Anything else you have planned.

Then, I leaned back in my chair and had like a back spasm or something. It hurts a lot.

Listen to RedHead babble that we don’t have enough SOPs or Checklists. Fuck…can this week ever end?

Head to production floor. Chaos reigns. From across the production floor, I saw 10,000 sheets of printed output that WERE ALL WRONG! From across the room, I could tell. Seems we had a little printer drift and nobody bothered to see that the print, including the barcode that drives the inserter equipment, was off the page.

FUCK. So, I fired up a printer and sat back to start watch 20,000 clicks run by.

Then, I wrote down my lunch order: Chicken salad with hot peppers on a Kaiser Roll and a Coke. Simple, right?

I go back to the office and lunch has arrived. I got a Pepsi and a chicken salad on a Kaiser that has slopped in mustard. Who puts mustard on chicken salad? One smell of it made me sick to my stomach.

For fun, I opened up my itinerary for tomorrow to verify my flight time. WHAT? 5:55 PM? FUCK! I mean to book for 8:55 PM. SHIT! Time to call Southwest to make a flight change. Thank God for them and their ability to change flights.

Then, on e of the Directors up in Marketing (someone who I hope to work with soon) sends me a rush print and mail job. But…she didn’t send me the job…she sent me the idea of the job. And she still wants it out on Friday…but, things are not what they once were. The facility in NJ is gone. RedVendor has signed on to turn my jobs in 2-3 days. Needless to say, we have a dilemma. Not to mention that the job still isn’t in my hands. FUCK!

Back to the floor to run a printer again because my pals at RedVendor have not run some work that’s been sitting in the queue for over a week. YAY FOR SERVICE!

More talks with RedHead about SOPs and checklists.

We also have a printer being installed up at the Ivory Tower and still we can’t connect to it, we don’t have an operator, we don’t have supplies on hand…otherwise…no problems.

At some point we went to dinner and then I came here to the hotel. I don’t even know what day it is any more. I’m beat and a half. My back is killing me like it’s nobody’s business.

I don’t even know if I have any additional work to do tonight, but I’m not doing it. I need to go lie down and pray for death. Tomorrow should suck.

Maybe if you’re all lucky, we’ll have another installment of NoGoodDaddy writes from PHL.

Just do it again and again

Anything to say?

Shit…I don’t know. Back in PA this week. But, it may be the last trip. As I put it, on Thursday, we’re having the “washing of hands” ceremony. Me and my co-project manager will be done. The little birdie that is the new facility will have to fly on its own.

I have one trip to NJ to make in July, but that should be it.

I hate travel.

Well, I don’t. I hate travel for work. It’s not fun. Not fun at all. Have you noticed that yet from my recent tone?

I can’t believe it’s 10:20 and I still have to write a training and staffing plan for another site. I was the lucky recipient of this assignment at about 6:00 tonight. Woohoo.

I’m still not talking about my job situation.

My parents get to Raleigh on Thursday afternoon. I get in sometime later that night. Pray for me. As if coming home in the middle of the night won’t be bad enough on its own.

Some day, I have to update on the State of my Kingdom. I hate my fellow board members and may take contracts out on them. I’m no longer pro-democracy.

Oh…and can it maybe stop raining for like 13 seconds? Please.

Oh-oh-oh-oh baby what’s new

Cue the gameshow music. It’s time for our favorite game:
NoGoodDaddy sits at PHL!

Woohoo. Another delayed flight! Fucking to the Awe-Some

Yup…here at PHL yet again. There’s weather settled in over the area and nothing’s getting gin or out tonight it seems. So, it’s me, a Heineken and my laptop with 2 hours to kill.

The Canes are trying not to rip the collective heart out of Raleigh on the TV above me. I’ll try to pretend to care just on accounta I live there. But, Hockey? Come on. I’d rather watch the World Cup. In fact, the World Cup shows what type of sports derelict I am; I’m intrigued by it. Then again, I’ll watch any sporting event that has a winner and a loser. Hmmm…I wonder who else is doing this (Now, here’s where I should put in a link to Smed, but my linking cheat sheet, much to my dismay is on my home PC and not here on the laptop.) Anyhoo…go USA or something. I watched them tie my Mother Country on Saturday while printing way too many sheets of paper. Good for HealthCareRelatedCompany. We managed to print nearly 200,000 pages on Saturday. Why? Beats me. I mean, does anyone want a 20,000 page backup to your invoice? Heard of a CD people? Fuckall.

So, knowing that my flight tonight was delayed, I knew I had time to kill. I also had to poop.

Wait…speaking of poop. Here’s a story. Now, I know that you all are hella jealous of my Presidentialness. Admit it, you are. You’d like nothing more than just to be in my presence. I know it. It’s a cross that I bear.

I got email from JewelrySlut earlier.
“Someperson at LocalAddress called. She needs to talk to you about something. Call any time. The message is saved”

Ok…I check the message

“Hi NoGoodDaddy this is YourNeighbor. I wanted to talk to you about something. I live in Court 3…on the end. And, my neighbor’s cat got into my backyard and pooped (Yes…she said pooped. Not crapped, not ‘went to the bathroom’…she said ‘pooped’) And then, her god came over and pooped too. So, I wanted to talk to you about it. Also, if you’re going to be working on the clubhouse, I’d like to help.”

About halfway through the message, my head burst into flames.

Reminds me of another story.

I went to bed at 10:00 last night. I was beat. I woke up at about 12, confused and thirsty. I had a drink and went back to sleep. At 12:15, my pager went off. I was there in bed, very confused, staring across the room at it wondering “Wow…that’s my pager. This can’t be good” I got up and saw the number for our mainframe people on it. This was not good on 2 levels. 1: They should NOT be calling me. I’m not on the on-call list. 2: Oh shit.

“Hello…this is NoGoodDaddy from Print Ops. What’s up”
(Techno talk starting) “Well, printer 900 keeps draining and we keep having to restart it manually. The automation isn’t working.”
“OK…not to be this guy but what, exactly, do you want me to do about it. From the sounds of things, this is a HealthCareRelatedCompany issue, not one for RedVendor. Plus, I don’t have access to see or control the printer. What do you want

(Universe Man..Universe Man…size of the entire Universe Man…)

me to do about it? Just start the thing and keep starting it. That or wake someone up from MVS. Otherwise, I’m going back to sleep”

“Um…OK then. Sorry to bother you”

Shit.

Back to cat poop lady. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that nugget (pardon the pun) of knowledge? I mean…what the hell? Am I to go to her house and clean the poop”

Eat the cat poop! Eat the cat poop! (name the movie and win a prize)

I called JewelrySlut and got her voicemail:
“Hon…Hi. So…you left me that extremely vague email just to see how I’d respond to the message, didn’t you?”

2 minutes later

“Hi….Yes. I mean how could I possibly do that message justice”
“She said ‘poop’”
“Yes she did. Good luck with that”

See, I love the woman very much. She hung me out to dry on purpose. I can’t tell you how much that makes me love her. I mean…a lot.

Where was I? Oh yea…so I had to poop. I went with Cohort to his hotel (my usual hotel…but it was booked (and when this is over, the NoGoodDaddy hotel review extravaganza is coming)) to use the potty and check my flight. Well, the computer was down and the little Korean kid who works there was in the stall, talking on the phone. I’ve used the lobby bathroom 3 times. He’s been on the john, on the phone all 3 times. So, I had to poop. I needed someplace that offered a chance at cleanliness. Where did it occur to me to go you ask?

IKEA!

That’s right…IKEA baby! There’s an IKEA right at my exit from the PA Turnpike. And, me and JewelrySlut do love us some Ikea. And with no Ikea in NC, we’ve been in withdrawal. So, to Ikea I went. I mean could I be gayer? I could just start sucking dick I presume. But, a single guy going to Ikea comes close. And, considering my little getup of plaid shirt, khaki shorts and sandals, I was seriously trolling for cock.

Anyway…$70 dollars and a few logs later, I was one happy asshole. I bought Shmuppie some hanging storage things that we can put in her playroom to hold her ever-increasing volume of crap. I also bought her some finger puppets and a little baking set that had the cutest little rolling pin. I bought JewelrySlut a dozen little glass pinch bowls and some candles. I seriously considered leaving all my clothes on the side of the road and just filling my suitcase. I mean…IKEA (This is where I should put links to people like Kristin Tracy and MimiSmartypants (my hella D-Land crush…seriously, JewelrySlut is on notice, if MimiSmartypants comes to the door with Nora and wants me to come along, I’m grabbing Shmuppie and going without asking questions) were I not a linkless dork. Go look them up…they’re on the left…I’ll wait.

Hi.

Beer #2 is on the table. This could get good.

1:15 until estimated departure. As long as I don’t end up like one of the people on Airline who miss their flight because they’re in the bar, I’m fine.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 1-0 Canes!

Wait…it’s being reviewed.

On the topic of sports…imagine this:
My cohort’s cousin’s son, as I’ve mentioned, plays for the Nationals. Well, yesterday, Father’s Day, he hit a walk-off Homerun to beat the Yankees. Mom, Dad, and family were in the stands. I had told Cohort that he should call his cousin and I’d happily drive to DC. Imagine that. Not only is your kid a major leaguer at age 21, a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, but he homers to beat the Yankees on Father’s Day. Does it get better? I emailed his Dad this morning to offer some sort of congrats. Any father out there would get chills just thinking about it. I’m quite enjoying “knowing” a major leaguer. It’s fun to follow him and to know that he’s a contributor to my fantasy team.

That’s all.

Shit…still reviewing the goal/no goal. What the fuck? Oh…no goal. Just a power play. That sucks.

So, back to our regularly scheduled nonsense. I’m happy to beheading home. As I mentioned, I’m tired. I haven’t eaten a useful meal in days and haven’t had a good night’s sleep since…well…since a while ago. It will be more than nice to be home for the next 6 nights. Then, 4 away and then…maybe then…I’ll be home for a while. But, I doubt it. I get the sick feeling that on the evening of July 4, I’ll be back in the City of Brotherly Love. And I’ll be pissed.

But…something or someone could intervene.

I’m not saying what, but if you pray to anything, say a little good luck prayer for your NoGoodDaddy. I could use a break. I have a few things that could break for me in the next week to 10 days. I just need one of the “right 3″ to break for me. Shit…do I need one of them to pan out.

Boy…I need to pee something fierce. This poses at least 2 problems…no make that 3. I have not settled my tab. I have a lot of shit with me. I don’t know where a bathroom is.

Time to go pay up and find one.

Sing it, Mike: “Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris and Rome. But I want to go home. Maybe surrounded by a million people I …still feel so alone. I just want to go home Babe, I miss you…you know”

“I’m fine baby, how are you?”

“You deserve that that”

“Another Aeroplane…another sunny place”

“I got to go home”

“Let me go home”

“Cause I’m just to far from just where you are”

“And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life.”

Yup…having peed, I’m listing to a little Buble. And…shit do I ever want to go home. I know Pimp (linkless again) knows how I feel. Again, JewelrySlut is 100% supportive of all this. She “gets” why I’m doing it. She stands behind me. But, I doubt she likes it. I know I don’t. No amount of money could put me on the road full time. I don’t know how people do it. It takes a certain type. I’m not that type. I miss them too much.

2-0! I must have missed a goal while peeing! Maybe I’ll just head to Moore Square if I ever get home and join the festivities by the Acorn. I know what I’m doing whenever it is that they celebrate. Shit, Raleigh…do it down Blount. Not at the RBC Center. Just don’t go too far down Blount…or somebody’s going to be drinking Ripple out of the Cup.

Speaking of awards and such. We all know where JewelrySlut used to work, don’t we. Remember, LittleBlueBox Company. Well, of the 4 major sports trophies, I think the Stanley Cup is the only one she hasn’t had her grubby mitts on. And that, in its’ own right is amusing if you think of it). Cool, eh?

Back on track, asshole…eh…I said enough last night.

I love you, babe. I’ll be home soon (even though I know I need to be home to post this, you get the point.) This will be over soon. I’ll be home again and we can maybe spend a little time together. Shit…I just want to sit on the couch and share a bottle of wine or 4 with you. I’m not asking for much. One of the breaks I made mention to above and I’m home for good. Jesus, that would be nice. Enough with hotels and chain restaurants. I want to go home and stay there for a while. I don’t want to see an airplane again after June ends until I fly to St Thomas in August. I’ll opt for Grounded, Well-Sexed, and Drunk until then. Sound good, hon?

Well, I should wrap things up. This has been quite a ramble, riddled with typos to annoy Andria I’m sure (again…the link thing).

Sorry if it took too long. Blame Philadelphia for sucking anus.

Gonna stop off for awhile and see my woman

Anyone think I can throw together a few coherent thoughts, considering that I’m still away and was at the plant 14 hours yesterday and like 4 today? I didn’t think so either.

Happy Father’s Day to me indeed. I got to spend it working and at the movies. It’s not the missing of Father’s Day that bums me out; it’s the being away all weekend thing. Not to mention the exhaustion thing. But, here I am. I get to fly home tomorrow night and it can’t come soon enough.

Anyway, I was thinking about Father’s Day from 2005. Again…not very restful. Of course, a year ago, our moving van was arriving in NC a day early. The couches didn’t fit. The A/C was busted and it was hotter than hell. Not to mention the whole “packing up and leaving everything and everyone we knew” thing. I remember doing a lot of apologizing to JewelrySlut as the day progressed. What had we gotten ourselves into?

Well, a year later, it turns out we were on to something. (And I’m not talking about looking for a job here or anything) When I interview, I have to explain the whole “How’d you land in Raleigh” part of my life. And, I always get to the part where I have to explain how utterly out of character this move was for us. That we (and especially me) were never ones to do anything spur of the moment. My surprises were scheduled. But, there we were, packing up and moving.

It got me to thinking about the past year. It’s been crazy. From the move, to the first trip back to NJ for work, to the flooding, through the holidays and to the insanity of 2006. I can’t believe it’s been a full year. Unfortunately, I’ve spent 2-3 months of this past year in a hotel, but that just adds to the experience.

For me and JewelrySlut, what used to be out of character, may no longer be so. The move has really changed how we look at life. It’s been eye opening and just absolutely wonderful. I don’t have the right words to explain how I feel about it, but life is just good. No fights, no worries, no traffic, nothing but enjoyment. Now, I know the true fairy tale aspect of this may soon end, but it’s been a good ride. But, things have a way of working out for the best and I have a few things going on that could be very cool.

But, in spite of all the silliness, I am certain of one thing .

(Put on the sappiness gloves, folks)

There ain’t nobody on Earth that I’d rather be on this journey with more than JewelrySlut. What I put her through on a daily basis qualifies her for sainthood. She stands by my mood swings, my crabbiness, my general adolescent behavior. But, she’s always there for me. JewelrySlut is my rock. I feel terrible about being away all the time, but I always know that she understands. Or, at least if she doesn’t, she never gives me shit about it. My co-project manager here is constantly getting shit from his wife about being away. Thing is: his job is on the road. Mine isn’t supposed to be, but I know that JewelrySlut “understands” and will support whatever I need to do. I don’t know…what am I saying? Not a whole lot. But, I love my wife and I’m not thrilled about being away from home and I can’t wait to be home in 26 hours. The past year’s been fun and I’m happy I got to spend it with my girls. I done gone and made me a few good choices in life.

Elvis would sing and then I’d dream about expensive cars

Payback, as they say, can be a bitch.

I just heard from the dealer that the repairs to my car will be over $770. Ouch. It needs a new read fluvinator and some gloppleglinks. Or something. All I know is that it rattles like a fuck. I guess it’s time.

$770. Ouch again. It’s a lot of points on the AmEx though. But, I just did some ciphering and came up with this: It costs me $40 to tank my car up. I do it all of once a month lately. Were I still living in NJ, that would be twice a week. So, I’m waaaaaay ahead on car expenditures. $770 hurts, but it could be worse I guess.

Plus, I owe my car a little more TLC than it gets. I love my car. I really do. And, this is not one of those “Guy with a little dick who loves his car” stories. True enough; I do have a little dick, but the car is not there to compensate. The banana in my pants is.

I love my car because it works. From the time I got my license in August of 1992 until October of 2000, I drove a parade of shitboxes; each one on death’s bed. Let’s recap:

First Car: Well, I kinda “expected” a car when I turned 17. Everyone at PreppyMcRichSchool got one. One kid I knew turned 17 and showed up the next day in a brand new red Mercedes convertible. She plowed into a curb in the parking lot and broke the axle damn clear in 2. The next day, she was back at school in a 2nd brand new Mercedes convertible. There had always been an unspoken understanding that I’d inherit the Audi when I turned 17. It was a 1983 4000 Series and it was sweet. Instead of a car, I got TheItalian. He came to live with us and got “my” car. So, I was car-less, but had a new older brother. Yea, I was happy. I got to drive the Audi when he wasn’t out chasing tail in Central NJ or home in Rome.

2nd Car: When my father lost his company car (and job), he took the Audi back. The Italian bought a used Mazda 626. It was a stick, so I had to learn how to drive the damn thing. All in all, it was a good car. It had a lot of fun buttons on it, a sunroof and other niceties. I got to use this when The Italian was away in Italy.

3rd Car: In the summer of 1993, I wanted a car. TheItalian had sold the Mazda to a friend and got himself a huge green Grenada. It was the worst piece of shit I’ve ever driven. JewelrySlut wouldn’t even get in it. It smelled bad, had rotted floor boards and really didn’t work. So, I bought a car. I bought an old Datsun for like $1100. A 2-door hatchback. It wasn’t great, but it was MINE. I washed it up, put in a new stereo and was OK with the world. I brought it to school that fall and parked it around campus, usually one step behind the parking police. Then, one fine January morning while on Semester Break, the transmission on it died. It died one morning while I was driving to work. It died in the middle of the old Somerville Circle. (For those of you not from Central NJ, you won’t get it. Those of you who knew the circle may have just thrown up. Needless to say, this was not a good place to lose the ability to operate your car). So, the Datsun died.

4th Car: I think 2 things happened once the Datsun died. Well, maybe 3. 1: My father was tired of driving the Audi and wanted a real car. 2: He knew that if I didn’t have wheels, I couldn’t come to work. And, since I was his most productive employee (machine operator), he needed me there. 3: Maybe…having taken the initiative to spend my own money no a car, they felt bad for me. Anyway, the Audi was finally mine. Good times abounded. It ran like a charm and got great mileage. The Audi and I enjoyed good times together. Until…
Driving to Maryland one Friday night in 1995 to go to a conference, I was in an accident. Sitting, stuck in traffic, in Baltimore’s Harbor tunnel, some un-insured asshole rear-ended me. The front end was all fucked up. The insurance company totaled the car. I took what meager scraps they gave me and had the front end bent back into shape enough to drive it. But, the car was never the same again.

5th car: For graduation, my parents “gave me a car”. I got to drive my mother’s Dodge Shadow. Thanks. It immediately started falling apart. Hunks of it would fall of at inopportune times. I drove it for about another year until it literally started falling apart. The engine was ripping away from its mounts and parts were falling off. Since we had no money (me and JewelrySlut), my parents took pity and helped me buy another used car.

I’ll add here that part of their reasoning was that my brother was graduating soon and they wanted him to drive the Audi. I didn’t want the Shadow. It was a hunk of shit. Well, L’il Bro took the car and promptly crashed it into something and killed it. They bought him a used Camry. It ran like shit, so they bought him a new Extera. They’d learned their lesson with used cars.

6th Car: The other Mazda. This car started out OK. It was nice enough and ran well. Then, it and I had an incident. One fine NJ morning, I was driving to work across Route 80. I worked in Englewood at the time, so I drove pretty much the width of Northern NJ. Well, anyone familiar with Northern NJ knows where the Marcal plant it. Well, I was going 70 in the left lane when my transmission just up and croaked. Dangerspouse probably mentioned me on a report that day because I royally fucked up traffic. Well, now I had no car. And, due to some financial wizardry, we owed like $3000 in taxes. And, we had moved in to the house just like 8 months ago, so we were broke. I remember crying in the laundry room when it all hit me. But, with help from Mon and Dad (who I think felt bad for making me buy the Mazda in the first place) helped out to get the car fixed. It ran well for a while and then had more transmission problems. Another $1000 went down the drain. But, the car persevered.

7th car: I took a sales job in early 2000. It didn’t go well. It landed me over $5000 in legal bills and a trip to Federal Court. On the bright side, I got a company car. I got a new-ish Camry. It was sweet while I had it.

8th car: The awful sales job over; we decided it was high time to get me a real car. My father in law worked for a division of Daimler-Benz so we got my car on an employee discount. I bought a 2000 Intrepid. It’s red. Her name is Veronica. I have a Powder Puff Girl hanging from one of the mirrors. I have a Mickey Mouse antenna ball. I have a mystery sticker on the back. (I want, one day, for someone to see it and know what it means. That would be sweet). Veronica’s awesome. I pounded over 100,000 miles on to her in under 5 years. I’ve never done any real repairs. Nothing has gone wrong. Shmuppie came home from the hospital in this car. I’ve driven it everywhere. It rides smoothly (well, it did until about 3 weeks ago), gets decent enough mileage and all together rocks. When we bought her, I was like a little kid. I finally had a new car. I had a car that worked. You didn’t have to put one hand on the brakes, another on the radio and use your teeth to start it. Nothing of the sort. It just worked. The past year has been Veronica’s retirement. I just went 10 months between oil changes (and, yes, I asked if this was OK and was told that it was) instead of 3 months.

I love my car. So, if I have to put nearly $800 into some new Glibulators and some plinkleplonks, I’m OK.

That’s my car story.

Shmuppie is at camp this week and next. Woohoo! Too bad, I’m back in PA next week. That’s too bad. But JewelrySlut will enjoy her solitude I’m sure.

Work sucks. Last week was awful (the 2 hour+ delay coming home was a nice touch). But, I think the clouds are parting a little bit for me.

One more thing: