Cars Money Stupidity Totally Random Weather

Speaking of Snow…

The downstairs neighbors are morons. They insist on the end spot so they can get out easily when it snows, then leave almost a full car length between them and end of driveway, making it hard for us to park in the next spot in, which we had to go in and out of twice for jobs before they ever budged. At least their newly moved-back-in son helped shovel, though me and the gal upstairs did most of it, including clearing their primo spot they abandon when it snows.

Saturday shift was surreal. Normally it’s been 3 AM to sometime after 7 but before 8, during peak the past week. Knowing trucks wouldn’t make it, they planned 4 AM instead, and when we all got there, nothing had shown. Two were due in maybe an hour, and two more after a further delay, so it looked like it’d be a late shift, but then the others ran so late we had only two trailers. As opposed to eleven the past couple of days. For the first hour we had a safety meeting to occupy the time, in keeping with the place being the most injury plagued facility in the company for no apparent reason. It’s new, but past the breaking in stage, and was designed to be very safe. For me most of the issue has been how the trailers are loaded, but that can’t be unique to the ones routed our way. Sitting down for that killed my momentum most of the way. I get little sleep and only keep going much of the time because I’m going. About a third into the one trailer I co-unloaded, I just crashed, feeling sick, almost like I was going to collapse, weak from all the shoveling effort the night before, and vaguely like I was ravenously hungry. I managed to shake it off enough, and it helped to take off my sweatshirt and work in a T-shirt when it was borderline for that, but I was damn glad when they announced there would be no other trailers. With so many people swarming the work, there was no additional stuff for me to help with, so I was out early.

Ironically, at the meeting they emphasized lack of sleep as perhaps the biggest cause of injuries at that facility. Felt very guilty. The thing is, for the amount of time involved, up to a point it’s possible to overcome and maintain your attention to surroundings and all. Which will make Monday interesting.

Normally there is no Monday morning shift. There has been a short one for a couple weeks, staffed by a few people. Due to the snow, they planned a mandatory Monday shift starting at 1:30 AM. Due to the trucks we didn’t get today, now it’s midnight. Or 12:01, as the manager pedantically put it, to delineate clearly it’s Monday. So that’s going to be massive. Basically a double, 7-8 hours long. Ouch. Immediately following a second significant snow (and ice?) storm and all that implies. Ouch ouch.

The good thing is that makes up for what would have been a three day week. I can look forward to no work on Christmas, unlike Thanksgiving, and no work the next day, same as Thanksgiving. There will be the huge day, the two last ditch days, two days off, one day on, then the normal two days off. Which only feels like one day, due to when the shifts fall and the sleep catch up factor. Then the peak season ends a week later, during which it presumably tapers off dramatically.

I could do without all this snow.

Deb got a trial by fire, having to drive in it. Which at least is much improved by weight in the back of the truck. We do need to get the Buick back into reliable service, as it should be a good snow commute car. It needs a battery badly. I don’t want to spend $70 I can’t afford on a battery until after I know it will pass inspection without any serious issues. That is, if it needs a couple tires to pass, as expected, a battery will be worthwhile. If it’s going to be beyond fixing any time soon to pass inspection, which I have no reason to expect but this is my life, no sense buying a battery.

Sadie just came along and if I had more, or was leading to any further point, I can’t remember. Plus it is time to work on the kitchen and think about supper and, speaking of exhaustion, have more coffee. I am so glad this is a full night of sleep tonight, in theory. Last night I got about 2.5 hours. Since coming home this morning I’ve gotten maybe an hour equivalent of micronapping or simply resting. Tomorrow night, before the megashift, I don’t expect any. The best I could possibly expect would be 2 hours. Mmmm… coffee.

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Not Official But…

The job I have totally not blogged about as intended is planning to keep me beyond seasonal. I am “reliable and a hard worker.”

I’d been wanting to post about how cool it is, in terms of logistics, handling and managing physical stuff, being no-nonsense and well run, and reminding me of a computer program written in physical form rather than in software. It is, after all, a sorting and routing routine. Then there’s the physical fitness aspect, and the fact I’m so capable to handling it, offset by the downsides of how easy it is to be injured and how grueling it is. In the “here’s an entire day or two of exertion to do in 3 – 5 hours” sort of way.

More significantly, I’d been mentally composing a post about my psychology and aspects of my employment history it resonates with, and it being a mental as well as physical reset. I’m not the fastest at unloading trailers and slinging 1000 – 2000 or so packages a shift, but I’m up there, without losing quality in the process. My boss at my last job like this would probably not have been satisfied I was fast enough!

Anyway, in a cosmic sense it’s not enough, but in an ohshitwhatarewedoinginjanuary sense it’s fantastic news. If it’s less intense and we finally get used to it and manage bedtimes and such better and get the cars fully reliable and do some strategic child offloading, many things could be possible. It can hardly help but be a better year, but still, why not shoot for a good one.


Hurricane or Not?

The question came up on account of remnants of Ike having winds in the category 1 range, so people were calling it a “hurricane.” I knew that wasn’t so, because there is a definitional boundary unrelated to wind speed, but I had to look at the details:

Which leads to:
Tropical Cyclone, which is what a hurricane is.

That leads to the distinction between that and:

Which has a money quote of:

It is important to note that cyclones can become extratropical and still retain winds of hurricane or tropical storm force.

So there you go, a storm is a storm and can have whatever wind speeds it wants, which may be spectacular, but if its energy source is or has become baroclinic, it is no longer a hurricane, and no longer gets a name or as much press.

Massachusetts Weather

If This Had Been An Actual Emergency

The blackened sky out there right now, driving a welcome wind through the windows, reminded me I didn’t write about yesterday’s tornado warning. Yes, warning. Not even a mere watch. Yes, in Massachusetts. If that surprises you, by all means Google Worcester tornado and look at some of the results not about the ball team. One of the only times I ever heard the emergency broadcast system used beyond a test was driving down from north of Boston and hearing a tornado watch.

But this was a warning. With our location relatively in bullseye territory. Wow.

We ended up getting everyone dressed and hanging out in the cellar for several minutes during the projected window for the area, at the risk of feeling silly. Deb grew up in an area that had been hit with a tornado and where such things were serious enough they used air raid sirens for warnings and tested regularly. I grew up aware of the Worcesteer tornado, and enough of a weather nerd to be aware they could and did happen here, if seldom, and even rarer with strength. Plus hellow, Wizard of Oz was an annual television event.

In the end nothin happened beside relatively severe thunderstorms, some hail and heavy rain, more darkness in the sky than justified. It was different, though.

I was disappointed that after going offline for the emergency, my Blackberry, from which I am posting this, was not available to look at weather, post, see e-mail, etc. It was as if the cell service shut down completely, right when I wanted it most. Thrilling.

Raining good now, so I’d better make sure no windows are letting it in…