DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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Tuesday World

It's a gray, rainy, and windy day, and I'm feeling cranky. Part of it is because I've been debating the pros and cons of dropping the price of one of our product lines with MM. He wants to do it because our main competitor's prices are much lower than ours. I point out that their quality sucks, and these are specialty items. Feh. Technical people always lose these arguments. Also, I made a typo in a chemical name in our 1999 catalog that caused a a bunch of people around here to start running around like chickens with their heads off, until I was able to point out that it was, in fact, a typo, and we had been using the correct chemical all along.

Also, my office chair is an inch or two lower than it was yesterday morning, because the upright post slipped down though it's socket in the base. It's an old, crappy chair, but it's comfortable, and more importantly, the arms are (normally) exactly the same height as my desk, and extend far forward enough that I can rest my forearms on them while typing, and especially, while using the mouse. Very ergonomic for me. When we last looked at replacing it, all the examples we saw had arms that extend for a few inches, then either stop, or drop off at an angle towards the floor. Glorified elbow rests just don't work for me ergonomically.

Anyway, I took the base home last night, and pounded the shaft of the post back up through the base with a hammer, reset it in the socket, and hoped for the best, but alas it's still slipping. Tonight I'll repeat the process, but put a couple of pieces of thin metal shim stock in there to try to compensate for the wear and tear.

I haven't mentioned any books for a while. I'm about halfway through Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop, and I'm loving it. It's about Danny Boles, a seventeen year-old rookie shortstop for a class C minor league baseball team in Georgia during WWII, and his friendship with the teams first baseman, an incredibly ugly hulking man named Jumbo Clerval. Danny is mute due to a combination of childhood injury and recent trauma, while Jumbo unintentionally intimidates everyone in the book, and speaks as if he learned English from reading Dickens. (Together they fight crime!) The friendship develops slowly given that Jumbo is a very personal, reticent man, and Danny can't talk at all, but develop it does. I've just reached the point where a big secret is revealed, and I gotta admit, it wasn't what I expected it to be, although that's probably because of the huge gaps in my knowledge of Bishop's source material. It also makes me terribly aware of my own lack of imagination, because it such a neat idea.
They had a one-armed man in left field,
Named Pete Gray in forty-four,
There's no healthy men around to play baseball,
They's all away fightin' in a war.

     "Who were the St. Louis Browns" - Skip Battin

Even if there weren't a big secret, I would enjoy this book. It's a wonderful evocation of what it was like to play ball in that era, when all the best players were away playing ball on various islands in the Pacific, and the teams consisted of men who weren't draftable for one reason or another. Check that, the teams consisted of *white* men who weren't draftable. There were plenty of good black players who could've played, but were kept off the field by the baseball PTB. Case in point, there's Darius, the Hellbender's bus-driver/assistant coach who's the best player on the team, but can only play in intra-squad games, and even then many of the southern players gripe about his presence on the field. The contrasts between the game and life then and now are fascinating. Plus the team seems real to me. It reminds me of teams I've played on, and the dynamics are right. Anyhow, I'm loving it more and more. It's a borrowed copy, so now I need to find a copy for my very own.

R.I.P. Gordon Jump, the loneliest man in town, and the man who uttered the single funniest line I ever heard on television.
As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly...

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