Rubber Stamps

Awake at 6:30am on a Friday–work and cigarettes

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On weekdays (workdays) I generally find myself waking up every few minutes between 5:30 and when I finally roll out of bed at 7:15. Today being Friday, I should still be in bed waking only to watch the clock.

Then I thought about it. Yesterday, I didn’t punch in at work until 9am when my dad handed me the reigns on the stamps so that he could go home. I left work at 12:30 when it was obvious that the one pressman who had showed up was going to spend his time printing one (albeit huge) order of envelopes. So, at 6:30 this morning, I decided that I was going to stay home. By my calculation, if any pressmen show up, I’ll first be waiting for them to print something, then I’ll be waiting for the ink to dry, and only then will I be able to do my job.

Sure, I’ve got the filing to do. There are also 2 jobs that need to get physically moved into the warehouse (it’s kind of a 2 person job). And that, my friends, is the extent of the real work that I have waiting for me should I go to work today. Oh! And teaching my dad everything I learned whilst reading the manual on our new stamp making machine. I’m pretty sure he can teach himself, but when I call him to let him at 8 to let him know my plan, I’ll make him aware of my knowledge. Considering the most unobvious bit is removing a magnetic plate to make room for the tall cartridges, I think he’ll be fine.

For the past week I’ve been moving a lot of boxes around in the warehouse. I’ll be royally pissed if the certain bank decides to add items which are numbered in the 6100s or 6200s. I know that they will. They love doing stupid stuff like that. But, at least I’ve come up with a new system which will make adding new items easier. Since their new thing is to add items in groups at one time, we might as well put these groups together even though to the naked eye they’ll look out of order. My hope is that instead of a 6162 and a 6163 being on opposite ends of the same row (true story), with my new system in place even though the 6100s are in 3 different places, since they’re more or less broken up into groups, a picker will know at least know that they’re close.

The problem was/is that two items in number order may be vastly different from each other. For example, 6101 is a couple boxes of letterhead for a branch and 6102 is 10 cases of envelopes for that branch. They cannot be on the shelf next to each other because they need 2 vastly different sized shelves! When the warehouse and numbering system was originally designed, letterhead was given first set of 2 digits and envelopes another and they were found on different sections of shelving. Then someone had the bright idea that envelopes and letterhead usually go out together, so to make pulling easier, they should be next to each other, which physically will not work. THEN, to make matters even more fun, they’ve started using numbers that haven’t been used yet even though they fall right into the middle of any already cramped shelf. This is how the 6162 and 6163 got separated–they got tucked in wherever there was space available. And it’s all done by people who have been in our warehouse multiple times a year to do their inventory. That’s as brilliant as the lady who orders 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 boxes of paper towels (usually 4) even though we’ve told her repeatedly that they come from the factory in cases of 30 rolls and that to be nice to us  she should order 3 boxes (1 box is 10 rolls) at a time. At least the ones who on occasion order 10 boxes thinking they’re ordering 10 rolls are quickly educated.

Anyway, being stressed about work and my ever suckier looking paycheck is only half of what’s keeping me awake. I stole BF’s cigarettes again Wednesday evening. Before our trip, I’d been rationing him to 4 per day. During the trip, he was supposed to limit himself to 2 new packs plus whatever he had left over from before. He didn’t last 4 hours on the road after he ran out and he bought himself a new pack when we stopped for a bathroom break in Kansas. For whatever reason, after we got back I didn’t start rationing him again. Oh, that’s right. He’d started taking Chantix again and since he made grand claims about how he’d almost quit the first time with it (a doctor’s appointment had made him quit taking it), I figured he could wean himself down. It didn’t work. So, I’ve take them again and this time, I’ve decided that there will be no rationing. He’s not getting them from me anymore and if I see him with another pack, I’ll take it away too.

I was stressed all day yesterday because I was sure that after I’d gone to bed Wednesday night he’d gone somewhere and bought himself a new pack. But when I got home and asked him about it, he said that he hadn’t, but that he had gotten one cigarette from a friend (I really need to beat up his friends). We didn’t discuss this new situation, but his mood is relatively good so far. I fear that  he’s hiding something. He’s very good at playing with semantics to make sure that he’s always in the right, but he’s also someone extremely horrible at hiding his activities–he used to leave his cigarette butts in front of my car’s tires where they couldn’t possibly have been the afternoon before or I would have run them over when I backed into my spot! This being a double no-no because I’ve told him that my biggest pet peeve is cigarette butt litter.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. It doesn’t help matters when the subject is taboo because talking about it makes him want one.

The Magic Half

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I picked this book because I was reasonably sure that it would fulfill the required “book read in one day” spot on my 2015 Reading Challenge. I was only reasonably sure because I can never guarantee exactly how quickly I’ll be able to read a book. I don’t tend to read much during the day when there’s so much more active things to do, but I do enjoy nothing less than laying in bed with a book. Until it hits me on the nose because I’ve fallen asleep with it above me.

Anyway, it was a risk to start this book on a weekday because I leave for work at 7:30 and don’t get home until after 5 usually. But this has been an unusual (and economically sucky) week, so I knew there was a good chance I’d get plenty of time to read at work. I actually read half of this book between 8 and 9 this morning because there simply wasn’t a reason to punch in until I had enough work in front of me for at least 3 hours. I hate the idea of punching in and out all day for 30 minute jobs and I despise the idea of being on the clock while not working. Sure, I did read for about 20 minutes on the clock today, but that was while I was literally waiting for the photo-polymer to imprint into the matrix board (I suppose that’s a way to describe it), the matrix board to harden, and for the rubber to mold into the matrix board. In all 3 cases, me and my dad refer to it as “cooking” because it’s all done in a heat press (though the matrix board doesn’t need pressure to cure). All 3 steps take 7 minutes when you can literally do nothing but wait. The pressmen often play games or watch movies on their phones while the presses do the work, but whereas these distractions can cause them to miss when the ink starts to “dry up”, when you’re cooking photo-polymer, matrix board, and rubber, there’s simply nothing that needs to be watched. If it’s going to mess up, you can’t stop it mid-process. Sure, I could have taken a minute to cut the one piece of wood I needed and got that ready to go, but seriously, I got paid for 3 hours and 15 minutes today–my boss can eat the time I didn’t spend multi-tasking.

In case you couldn’t figure that out, I was making rubber stamps today. Though half of them were technically MaxLight Stamps. My first love is rubber, but the MaxLights are pretty nifty, too. The company we buy from actually sent us a new machine to make MaxLights (FREE!) because they changed the design so that their stamps no longer work with the machine we have. I was pretty happy to spend 10 minutes reading it’s manual from cover to cover to learn that the only real difference is how it clamps and that there’s a piece that must be removed instead of added, depending on things.

But I’m seriously digressing over here! Sorry!

The Magic Half is exactly the kind of book I adored when I was a kid. There’s magic and a charming locale and spunky girls. Adults will like it for it’s depth–how many kid’s books really question the practicalities of time travel? My only complaint is that I wished there was some kind of additional plot-twist at the end that explained why Miri’s family moved into the house in the first place. If you’ve read this book, you’ll understand what I mean. I think that that would have added more than what the current ending gives.

Anyway. If you’re looking for a very quick read that will take you back to your childhood and refresh your imagination, this book is for you. And if you’re looking for something to hand any 8 to 11 year old girl, go with this one as well.

London Candy Kitchen, 1938
London Candy Kitchen, 1938 by Photoblog
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Ralston PA Main Street Postcard
Ralston PA Main Street Postcard by vintageamerican
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