Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So, How's It Going?

Well, here it is January 19, 2011 and my last full day of work at the dish rack factory was December 17, 2010.

Yep, we were sent home for a two-week lay-off with orders to report back on Monday, January third.

On that fateful day, I arrived at the plant, but there was little noise coming from the shop floor. No machinery was running.

Uh oh.

Turns out the plant's air compressor went down and would not come back to life. That is a bad thing, because without our compressed air service virtually nothing in the plant can run.

We employees went about doing as much productive manual labor as possible, but by the 9:20am break all the hourlies had been sent home. I lingered for a couple more hours to work on a customer issue but was also off the clock by lunch time at 11:30.

We were told to report back on Monday, 01/17/11.

Great. Another two-week furlough.

At 4:30am on the seventeenth, my alarm went off.

By 5:30 I was showered, shaved, dressed and pulling out of my driveway for the one hour, 41 mile commute to the plant.

At 6:30 I pulled into the parking lot directly behind the Manufacturing Manager's van. The only other vehicle in the lot belonged to the Vice President of Operations.

"Um, am I even supposed to be here today?" I asked the MM. (CLERKS alert!)

"Well, no," he replied. "I guess I forgot to call you and let you know the compressor's still down."

Bottom line: The VP had me work some more on that customer issue and then sent me back home by 10:15am.

The last word was that I should wait for a call as to when we might be resuming normal operations.

Thank goodness for my unemployment benefits stipend and for Mariel's eligibility for the NC health plan!

Also, thank goodness for the Lakedale Church of God's food pantry outreach!

A co-worker told me about it last month and I was finally able to get out there this morning.

There, I met Pastor Rich who had me fill out a simple one-sheet document about why I was seeking their assistance. I gave my on-going lay-off situation as my reason.

In return, I received the three bags of foodstuffs pictured at the top of this post.

And, as a bonus, since I had a child living at home we were eligible for the meat package upgrade! Here's a break down of the vittles:

8-1/2 lbs. frozen Tyson split chicken breasts
2 lbs frozen steak
2 lbs frozen Jennie-O turkey and gravy
2 boxes of Special K cereal
1 box Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal
3 cans of Tuna
2 cans of chicken and dumplings
2 cans of beef stew
2 cans of corned beef hash
2 cans of mixed vegetables
2 cans of field peas with snaps
2 boxes of mac & cheese
1 jar of peanut butter
1 box of spaghetti
1 box of cereal bars

Thanks to Pastor Rich, his congregation, the pantry volunteers and donors! We Davisons are truly appreciative of this bounty.

And, with any luck, I'll be back to work by next month...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Whiling Away The Hours

I have been laid off from the dishrack factory (with the exception of five hours worked Monday, 01/03/2011) since Friday, 12/17/10.

Oh, sure I've been scouring the employment sources and sending out resumes during this time. Heck, I want to work for a living, people.

I've started a little project this past week to help while away the time, though.

Owing to a modest post-Christmas windfall, I bought a few DVDs of silent-era cartoons on the (ahem) collector's market. I'm in the process of tweaking them using my computer's video editor so as to create yet another compilation DVD.

What that generally means is laying a music bed and adding sound effects, but can also include some minor re-editing and/or creation of new title cards, as shown above and below.

One cartoon looked like it was the result of pointing a camcorder at a movie screen. I tried to "improve" the image by converting it to gray scale monochrome and cropping it a bit:

Next comes the "fun" part: dropping in a music bed and adding sound effects.

The music bed isn't that bad, but synching-up all those boings, sproings, bonks and other cartoons sounds really takes a lot of time. In the above cartoon there were innumerable pool cue clicks and clacks to add in.

Ah, well, looks like it snowed out again!

Guess I'll get back to editing some more cartoons. Somebody come and get me if they re-open the dishrack factory, M'Kay?

Labels: ,