August 02, 2007

Okay, now that the surprise has worn off...

...some catching up to do.

FIRST: Many thanks to all of you for your recent prayers and good wishes for Miss Reba. She had her re-do mammogram on Monday, and the knot level in my stomach ratcheted up to 11 when they told her that there was definitely something there. Sweet relief Tuesday evening when she told me they'd called her back during work to report it was a benign inflammation that will not require any treatment. Obviously, I thought it would be good to get a second opinion and follow-up examination, but she was resistant to the idea, even though I offered to do it for free.

SECOND: Mailout Thursday today, which is why this is a bit late getting going. This will hopefully be my last Mailout Thursday. Downstairs where I'm going, they have one secretary for three (soon to be four) people. Up here, we have one secretary for 23 people. Thus why I seem to always be doing so much typing, folding, spindling, and mutilating. However, I do know how to fix any of the printers or copiers on the floor. (Hint: It's called "RTFM.")

THIRD: Clean up. Lileks wrote about his recent office move, and bragged about having reduced down his personal accumulation of things to something that could fit in a shoebox. Me? I've got twelve years worth of detritus piled up around me. Mugs, toys, books, my "Department of Redundancy Department" sign on the wall. All my kids' artwork on the other wall, all my photos on the other part of the other wall, all the junk in my desk drawers, all the junk on my desk, all the junk on my drafting table, all the junk stashed in file cabinets, all the junk on the window sills, and THEN all the forgotten paperwork that has been layered and compacted into rock-like strata on various horizontal surfaces since 1995. It will be a combination of archaeology dig and canal excavation to get it all cleaned out. When I decide to actually make the effort to get after it.

FOURTH: It's like moving to a new house. I've got to see if I can keep my phone number, I've got to get new business cards, I've got to see what from my old place can be moved to the new, and I've got to dump all those pictures of Maureen O'Hara and Raquel Welch and Sophia Loren off the hard drive on this computer. (Actually, I've already copied everything and transferred it to my home computer, but I still haven't deleted anything, because I'm a pack rat, and that includes computer files.) And obviously, I'm going to have to physically move this stuff.

FIFTH: (Reserved)

SIXTH: The Axis of Weevil, although appearing to be an anarcho-syndicalist commune, in which we each take in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week; but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major affairs, is, in fact, not. It is purely dictatorial, and shall continue on apace, striving to achieve world hegemony through fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to Sheriff Taylor. There's no use being part of an Axis if the whole thing quits working just because the dictator guy decides to go prancing off to do something else instead of blogging. Look, there are supposed to be benefits to being a dictator, and one of them is getting to dictate. SO, even if I'm NOT blogging, I'm still going to be pacing my luxuriously furnished office in the Axis of Weevil World Headquarters Building, maybe even absent-mindedly stroking my bronze bust of Twain (Shania), and if I don't blog, that doesn't mean the REST of you get to slag about! GET OUT THERE AND DO SOME WORLD DOMINATIN', or there WON'T BE A COMPANY PICNIC! Also, everyone please remember to turn in your timesheets tomorrow, because Anita is going on vacation next week and needs to get payroll finished before she goes.

SEVENTH: Chet the E-Mail Boy. He's fine, everyone. Please quit asking about him. As I said, the AoW continues on, and so he's not going to be fired or anything else, at least not until I get him to finish washing out the dumpster and filling in that hole in the parking lot. And anyway, it's not like he's getting paid, so being fired isn't that big of a deal. And best I can tell, he's something like 109 or 110 years old, so he can't be around much longer anyway.

EIGHTH: If you make "sixth" out of six plus th, and "seventh" out of seven plus th, why don't you spell 8th as "eightth"? It is a mystery.

NINTH: Don't get me started on this one--obviously it should be nineth. ANYWAY, advice for anyone who wants to start a blog. Dedicate yourself to using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You'll obviously mess up every once in a while, but be quick to correct it and thank people profusely for pointing it out. Don't be a putz. Don't argue for the sake of hearing yourself talk (or reading yourself write). Treat everyone as kindly as possible, even trolls and idiots. In their case, treating them kindly means not having any discussion at all with them before deleting their stupidity and banning them and acting as though they never existed. Write about what you know. Write about what you don't know, but tell everyone up front you're an idiot and you don't know what you're writing about. (People can tell when you're faking it.) Write stuff you enjoy reading. If you're an idiot or a troll, this may mean no one else likes it, but you just will have to realize that's because you are unlikable as a person. But you can change if you want to. But don't expect people to change to suit you. Don't mock the dead (unless it's a really, REALLY bad person, and no, lefty-retards, I'm not talking about people who don't think exactly like you). Don't use a blog layout with text and background that is dark on dark or light on light or in colors that clash. No one can see it, and if you can't see it, it doesn't exist. (GOOGLE IT!) Never rely on Google. Learn about logic, and learn the various fallacies of argumentation. Learning to successfully repudiate a fallacious argument in a calm, rational manner goes a long way toward promoting peace and understanding, as does learning how to employ fallacious arguments against dimwits. Do not taunt the insane. Try to be smart, but realize your limitations. Humor only works if something is humorous, and believe it or not, some things just aren't funny. So don't force it. Never blog in your underwear, because you never know when your boss might walk in and tell you you're supposed to be in an important meeting across town in five minutes. Be nice and thank people who read what you write.

TENTH: Questions? Write about personal stuff for long enough, and eventually questions do come up that demand answers. Got one? I'll try to answer it, or at least deflect it genially and act like I didn't hear it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 10:51 AM

What are the plans to replace you at your current-about-to-be-ended position? Who will take all of the meeting notes and show people how to use Microsoft Office for fun and profit? Is there a plan for you to take time in the future to train the *#$% new guy, and if so will you show him how to blog?

It'd be nice to have before and after pictures of your office. Maybe you could at least count how many boxes of stuff you filled and removed from the Possum-lair.

Posted by: Marc V at August 2, 2007 11:39 AM

Plans? In the Planning Department!? Come on, Marc, that's just crazy talk!

Not that I know of. My boss has known for a while that I could potentially be leaving, but filling positions in a civil service type bureaucracy takes a long time, so they're going to be short-handed for about as long as the guys downstairs were. We do have three people in our little fiefdom who are completely capable of doing what I do. I just happened to be willing to do what I do, and therefore got tasked with doing it.

As for computer training, everyone's had the same training I've had. If they can't figure it out by now, they should be so ashamed of themselves that they just keep it quiet.

As for pictures, that's a neat idea. I don't have my camera today, but I'll bring it tomorrow. A sneak peak from some photos I snapped a while back. This is one corner of my office, and this is the top of the file cabinets.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 12:00 PM

Thanks so much for letting us know about Miss Reba's good news. That has made my day!

Posted by: Stan at August 2, 2007 12:27 PM

Made mine, too!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 12:38 PM

Hey, found another picture, this one of my drafting table.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2007 03:10 PM

Just learned via MarcV of your closing up shop. I had to stop reading because you post too much. It was endangering my job and all that. Ironically, I may stop back here more often now...

Anyway, congrats on the promotion! I'm also glad to hear that Miss Reba's OK. My 28-year-old sister had a salivary gland removed, and it turned out to be cancerous. The doctor thinks he got it all, but we're more than a little worried nonetheless. Such a scary thing!

Anyway, best wishes, and God bless, in case you really do stop altogether. If you do, the pent-up demand for possum-scrawl could end up in your getting a lucrative book deal (you planned it that way, didn't you??) ;)

Posted by: Lenise at August 2, 2007 07:37 PM

Well, keep stopping by, Lenise. The blog will be here whether there's anything new or not! Anyway, thank you for the very kind words both for this silly pile of poo and for Miss Reba. And please continue to talk up that "pent-up demand" angle! If people are willing to PAY for this sort of mess, I'd be more than willing to sell it to them!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 3, 2007 07:42 AM

You have big plans for $1.97?

Posted by: skinnydan at August 3, 2007 07:50 AM

I'd have big plans if it wasn't nothing but $0.19.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 3, 2007 07:56 AM

You can take the Planner out of the Planning Dept. but you can't take the plans out of the Planner.

Posted by: Marc V at August 3, 2007 09:26 AM