May 4, 2010

Almost 20 years of my life.

I worked, ran, built and fixed small to medium sized printing businesses.

I managed, worked, rebuilt, on one or two occasions got fired from, got hired back to, and worked my youth away on various types of equipment.

Stopping now and then to deal with the office twit who always seemed to be assigned the job of managing thousands, some times hundreds of thousands of dollars of graphics and printing.

I learned about computers because there was no one to ask, I learned about bars for a quick fix for people.
I learned that no matter how hard I worked or how smart I was I was riding a dying horse and one day a woman came to pick up her laboriously, damned difficult to produce business cards which we were all quite proud of and said, "oh…. Gee,…. It doesn't look like it did on the monitor".

A week later I was doing tech support a hundred miles away, glad to drive that far, making forty percent more money to start, and triple in a year what twenty years of my life had bought.

Not too long after that I heard James Taylor do this song.

Printing usually wasn't boring, but it had a sameness after awhile though we worked to one-hundred-twenty-fifth of an inch and I could see that with my naked eye.

As I told people for years to come, "the first twelve or fifteen years were sort of interesting".


January 24, 2010

From April 2008

Time, labor, and materials.

A few weekends ago the 'boss' and I shot a wedding in Alabama.
Usually it's someplace on or near the Gulf, up around Santa Rosa beach, but this time it was a goodly drive up US 231, the east, some little podunk town that looked to be mostly horse money.

Lisa drove her SUV and I went in the 'redneck sportscar' my little made in Tennessee Nissan truck. We rendezvoused about the same time at the GPS loc that we'd agreed on and went out of this little town to "The Farm", she'd been kidding about HEARING the capitals in that for a week.

It was  nice ceremony, but over done for my taste but that is just me. I prepped and handed the cameras, popped batteries on the forty count, held slaved strobes and fill cards…  All the things a decent assistant does for a commercial shooter.

Ceremony, Set, Establishing, and Family(s) shots [[[gawd I hate shooting weddings!]]], done she told me "you can stay and eat or boogey" I chose to boogey.

Headed for Tallahassee as a side trip, not too far even though away from the target which was home. There is a decent Chinese buffet with good California Roll type sushi there that is close to the Barnes & Noble and Borders AND the Harbor Freight store, the three nexus's of my interest in Tally.

I hadn't eaten all day and it was early enough to miss the evening crowd so I went to the buffet first.

Mike and Penni and I hit this one in December when we got together a week or so after Mom passed away, and it was OK, but just OK..
When I went there in mid-May it was much better and I was enjoying a quiet leisurely meal when reality shifted.

It was like being high… for those of you who missed (or refuse to remember), the 60's or 70's,  I could describe the experience  like having been an outpatient somewhere, and finding that as the drugs wore OFF things looked odd and HEY there is a incision here in me!

It was one of those times in life when things seemed to get a little too sharp edged, and sound took on a different character than usual.

I blame the sushi and the company…

Dead ahead of me about three tables down with no other seat taken, there was a couple; she a hefty, gawky college girl; he a slim and well dressed guy, maybe a grad student, a little older than the girl.

To my right there was a table with three large, well dressed Black ladies who had purses you could hide a fully loaded Uzi submachine gun in each. I have NO idea why that image popped into mind, but like I said it was an odd early evening.

The college couple were doing some negotiating.

"So.. Based on a scale of say, one to eight," (why the hell EIGHT, I thought), "where would you say we are, relationship-wise?" she asked the possible grad student..


The Black ladies to the right were discussing what I finally figured out was the missing member of their usual group.
A lady who was off on this Saturday planning a wedding… and not her first.

--and the possible Grad student replies:

"One to eight???" [shrug], "I'm not even sure HOW to answer that one!"

--and the handbag ladies:

"She been married enough!" "DAMN! It were me and I was gonna get married again I'd just slip outa town to Vegas or Biloxi or somewhere!"

--the gawky BIG chick says

"Well, never mind the numbers, just think of 'US' in logical terms and tell me what is going on!".

-the oldest of the handbag ladies replies:

"somebody need to TALK to that girl!"
Handbag lady with the strawberry hair answers her:
"SHE-IT, you KNOW what she's like… it'd be a fistfight of words before you got one sentence out!".

--now the possible Grad student is starting to squirm:

"can't we just eat our dinner and go to the play?" I really don't feel up to all this right now!"

--and the handbag ladies:

Oh YEAH! She got SOME mouth on her! 'member when we came in here and she didn't like the food!?! I coulda crawled under the table.

At this point, gentle readers, I had had enough.
I got up, paid my tab, headed for the truck and went to the Borders bookstore where life stays safely between the pages.