atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4518: I lived through it, somehow

First day of work in the new year, and I got my schedule wrong.

I shouldn't put it that way. What actually happened is that my schedule changed on Tue or Wed after I had written it down; when I punched out Monday evening I was still set to be at work at 8:45 AM Thursday.

When I got there today, though? 11-7, with a half-hour lunch break.

I talked it over with the general manager and ended up clocking on at 8:45, taking lunch around 2-ish, and then clocking off at 6 PM. That got me 8.75 hours of lovely time-and-a-half, on what was actually a pretty easy day.

(Full time employees get double time and a half--2.5 their regular hourly rate--if they work a holiday. Must be nice; it means my direct supervisor made as much in one shift as I do in a week. Argh etc.)

I'm going to have to keep a better eye on the schedule, though. This "changing at the last minute" stuff is for the birds, but at least there's a convenient Android app for checking the schedule.

* * *

A discussion of the economics of palletized shipping. And yeah, it's one of the most important logistic innovations of the 20th century, right up there with the shipping container.

* * *

How low is the price of oil going to go? I find it nearly inconceivable that we could see gasoline selling under $1 a gallon in the US again, but oil selling for $10 per barrel might just get us there. Under $2 a gallon is certainly possible, given that right now it's under $2.20 a gallon in certain places around the Fungal Vale.

Drops in gas prices always lag drops in the price of crude by a couple of weeks, and--at least for the moment--oil seems to have found a relatively stable position around $55 a barrel. $2 per gallon is actually quite a reasonable price for gasoline, particularly given the inflation that's taken place since Obama took office in 2009, and at that level it's not going to put much of a brake on the economic machinery of the US.

Still, the fact is, the economic machinery is seriously broken, else oil would not be so low; once things start hopping again (which it inevitably must) the price of oil will rise again. The useless flopping of the aristocracy is not infinitely supportable, and eventually the juggler will start dropping plates.

* * *

Last night Mrs. Fungus and I decided to watch Star Wars--the original movie, the un-fucked-with version. I am really beginning to regret not having bought the letterboxed version of this thing, but there's not much I can do about that without a time machine. *sigh*

Anyway, having watched it, I've decided that the original cut is vastly superior to all of Lucas' subsequent versions. As a lad, reading the novelization (written by Lucas himself) I was always a bit unhappy that the extra stuff with Biggs (Luke's friend from Tattooine) and such had not been included in the movie--but when you see that stuff, and then watch the original cut, you realize that the movie was better without that material, which is probably why it was cut.

The original cut of Star Wars (or, if you must, Ep 4: A New Hope) is vastly superior to any of the prequels in just about every possible way even taking into account the superior special effects. You know, when it takes ten thousand dollars in 1975 money to film one shot, a lot more thought goes into it than when it takes a digital artist (paid perhaps $70,000 a year in 2002 money) a few afternoons to slap a scene together and render it.

Eps 1-3 featured CGI, which is cheap to produce compared to optical special effects like the ones used in the 1970s and 1980s. So cheap, in fact, it's commonplace in TV shows, and Lucas shot entire scenes on a soundstage in front of green backdrops, adding everything else in post-production.

The original movie was exciting--it still is, even though I can mouth the dialogue along with the characters on the screen, I know it so well. I know everything that happens in the movie, but I still get tense when Darth Vader's TIE fighter is bearing down on Luke's X-wing in the equatorial trench on the Death Star.

...and eps 1-3 are about as exciting as watching paint dry. Less--at least the paint is real and not CGI. Shit.

* * *

Our anniversary dinner, this year, was a quiet affair at home. We got a nice beef roast, and had that with mashed potatoes and gravy, crab cakes, salad, and crescent rolls. The beef was delicious even though I overcooked it just a bit (it was medium rather than medium rare), and this morning I had a beef sandwich for breakfast.

We have a real problem with resisting the urge to give each other presents, though; midnight came and I couldn't wait to see how she liked what I got her, so--as usual--we ended up swapping gifts in the wee hours of the morning.

She gave me a very, very nice hoodie and a card; I gave her a new towel and a new set of sheets for the bed--the second anniversary is cloth--a card and flowers...and a 1980s vintage Lemon Meringue (from the "Strawberry Shortcake" ouerve).

My wife has a WoW toon named Biachpuddin, named after a character on Robot Chicken. On that show, Bitch Puddin' is represented with Lemon Meringue. The gift seemed obvious once I learned of all this.

You can look up, on YouTube, the Bitch Puddin' segments of Robot Chicken if you're curious. They're pretty damned funny.

We were both delighted with our gifts. The new hoodie is meant to replace the one she got me last year; she messed that one up when the zipper got caught in the car door and she tried yanking it free. Both of these hoodies are so warm that I refer to them as "wife hugs".

I find it hard to express how thankful I am that I'm married to such a wonderful woman. It just amazes me sometimes, and I cannot believe my good fortune. Words scarcely seem adequate.

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