chuck_artemis: (Default)
hello livejournal, remember me?
life is good on the graveyard shift. we walk in the door, see what we have to deal with, know how much time we have, and make it happen. my partner ant i usually have to deal with 700 to 1,000 items a night. i'll spare you the numbers, but anything over 800 items means we have to average over 100 pieces per hour. this may sound crazy, but this is an easier job than being a cook. i work 32 -39 hours a week now. when i owned my cafe, i worked 60 hours on a slow week. back then i often went without a paycheck so that my baristas could get paid. now i get paid quite well. with crazy bennies.
it's almost bedtime. i need to feed Elwood and Tick then shut it down for the day.
on the subject of Tick - she's gonna die soon. there's no escaping it. she's deaf, half blind, wobbly, and ids dogsheimer's crazy at times. i created this journal for her all thouse years ago.... i may delete when she goes to the big dog park in the sky and fall back to my first LJ, [ profile] the_tick. i've been here too long to just walk away.
chuck_artemis: (Default)
as it turns out, there is only one Mexican on the freight crew. everybody loves Victor because he's a hard worker and a friendly guy. everybody hates Victor because he is a virtuoso whistler but...he whistles really bad 80s songs. jefferson starship. scorpions. those songs that we remember because they have treble hooks that catch your brain.

the floor crew is Mexican however. we, the freight guys wreck the floor with our pallets, forklifts, and what have you. the floor gang starts away from us in the front and in produce and bulk foods, but by 3 or 4 in the morning we start interacting. first comes the big broom. then comes the mopping machine. then comes the dreaded floor buffer.
they know what they have to do, and when they have to do it. they are inflexible, yet friendly. i spend the last two hours of my shift feeling like i'm being chased by an angry landscaper with a lawnmower. they don't move. YOU move. i had a bit of fun with them the other night - the buffers have an electric starter, and take a lot of cranking when they are cold. i heard this last night the next aisle over - :::RRR..... RRRRRRRRRRRRR....RRRRR::: (they don't know i speak some spanish) i said, "la bateria esta muerta!" (the battery is dead) i heard mumblings of WTF??!! who said that. they tried it again. i said, "usted necesita una batería nueva". and ducked around the corner and got busy. they don't have a clue.
i need to talk with them - since i got out of the restaurant business, my spanish has gotten weak. i don't use it anymore.
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i work with a bunch of pacific islanders these days - marianas islanders, guamanians, filipinos, and one guy i don't know yet that looks like a hawaiian (and one lonely ukranian). what with the holidays and all, we've had a few potlucks in the break room, and besides wowing them by being a haole that groks musubi, i've put together this rice thing that i am almost positive is a re-creation of something that almost exists:
into the rice cooker
3 scoops of rice @ 6 oz dry per scoop
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 8 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 tsp salt

this brought the level of liquid up to the 3 cup line in my cooker. to make up for the oil in the coconut and the solids in the pineapple, i added water to the 4 cup line.

closed the lid, hit the button marked 天皇陛下万歳!
a while later.... very yummy!

it needs... fish!


Dec. 5th, 2010 10:32 am
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a while back, the city of auburn annexed the unincorporated bit of king county i live in. i was again' it, and voted so, but it passed. soon after, we got a new bill each month for $14.36. for "storm water". in the vein of, "you can't fight city hall, but you sure can fuck with them", i send them odd amounts every month. underpay by 7 cents one month, overpay by 99 bucks the next. bastards. what are they gonna do - plug up my storm drainn? no, my trees do that for them. on the other hand, during leaf season, they havve a street sweeping truck out twice a week. but in july/august when we might have an inch of rain if we're lucky, the storm charges amuse me.
chuck_artemis: (Default)
one part of the grocery business which is inescapable is the 'go-back'.
shopper picks up an item and puts it in their cart. at some later time, shopper decides that item is plutonium and discards it at once. every store is different, but they all have a go-back department. i find a lot of off the wall stuff, because my stuff is spread out all over the store. i could find a 10 pound bag of rice in my candy canes, a bag of carrots in my dog toys, or some tampons in my candy. or for that matter, some candy in my tampons, because they are close to each other and both my responsibility. yes, i'm the guy that stocks your feminine hygiene supplies. it's just as well, i've been buying them for Tory for almost 20 years. sometimes i put on my conspiracy hat when i find something off the wall - a potato in the light bulbs. a can of cinnamon rolls in the dog toys, which was close to the carrots.

we, the freight crew, find all these things in the wee hours of the morning when we re fill the shelves. we collect them, and put them in carts for the morning go-back crew. it consists of a very friendly black man and a very MILFy Korean woman. when i was sitting in the break room before my interview and was nervous as could be, the man (haven't learned his name yet) said, " you look like you're here for an interview. don't worry, you got the job.". he was right. he's pretty mellow out on the floor. his partner on the other hand,is mean as fuck. there are 3 crabby people in the whole store, and she is 2 of them. and it's not that in your face asian thing, the personal space thing that freaks a lot of westerners out. i'm used to that from my time in the restaurant biz. she's mean. she yells. she's probably north korean.

life is good overall.. the upstairs wife gets home tonight, Tory gets home sunday. and i need to process a bunch of applejack over the next few days.

being busy is much nicer than having the family all scattered with only critters to talk to at home.
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a week into my new job, and i like the hell out of it. everybody i work with is nice as can be, and i already know the store, because i've been shopping there for 6+ years. the bennies are insane. full everything. the employee stock ownership program (ESOP)is off the hook. i was talking to a guy the other night who has been with the company for some years: the manager of the puyallup store started 18 years ago as a cart boy. now his account in the ESOP is worth close to 3 million. cesar the forklift guy told me about one of his philipino friends (i work with a lot of Pinoy)left after 10 years of part-time work he went back to the philipines with a check for 250K after he cashed his stock out. so yeah, i'm 51, and barring some unforseen tragedy, i've got another 15 - 16 years of hustle left in me. this is going to be my last job.
cousin christy (AKA upstairs wife) started her new gig today. she's working with some company that's affiliated with the gym she goes to. she's part time for now, and will go full time after she gets her LPN certification, and she'll stay with them for most of next year until her RN program starts. as usual, Tory's working on like 4 projects at micro$oft, and staying as busy as the proverbial one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. we're all doing really well. this is a good time for us. now all i need to do is lose the 60 pounds i put on over the past 2 years and i'm set. and quit smoking. or at least stop cigarettes and smoke a pipe or something. it's noon, almost bedtime. i'm off the next few nights, so i'll be getting up early (6 pm) so i can hang out with the family before they crash.
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i felt like spam for breakfast, there was already a skillet with oil on the stove, and things just spiraled out of control from there...
Read more... )
chuck_artemis: (Default)
elwood is a weird bird.

yes, i've been neglecting you, and i'm sorry. more to come tomorrow.


Aug. 13th, 2010 01:03 pm
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a few minutes ago i was in the backyard and i thought i saw a snake. it's warm and sunny, a very snake-friendly day. turns out it was a little bird in the plants and a trick of light and shadow. then i came back inside, and heard weird squawking noises downstairs. i went to see what was going on, and Christy and Tory were cornered by a ....snake. it had probably crawled in under the screen door.
i think about a snake, and a snake comes in the door.

i'm thinking about money now....

oh shit, i just thought about a tiger! run!
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Elwood has a message for you all: "SQUAWWK SQUAWWK SQUAWWK SQUAWWK SQUAWWK SQUAWWK hahahahahahahaha, he's a GOOD boy!"


we lost Rat Dog. her bad heart finally gave out. mercifully, it was quick. i miss her.

the veggie garden is getting bushy. i think the roots will do better than the aboveground crops. that's ok. we like roots. it's our northern europaean genes.

we're off to looziana in a few weeks, for our yearly (at least for me)pilgrimage to the motherland. louisiana. august. i might as well start sweating now. we'll be staying with sheri bear, and she has a good AC unit, but we'll have to leave the house now and again.

i'm hitting the job market hard as soon as we get back - more for my own sanity than for the money.

life is good overall.
chuck_artemis: (Default)
92 on the riding test, 100 on the written - as soon as they mail me my card i'm legal on motorcyles


Jul. 4th, 2010 03:16 pm
chuck_artemis: (Default)

Originally uploaded by playswithknives.

i made a Leibig condenser :-)

chuck_artemis: (Default)
There's a mother blue jay and her 3 juvenile chicks on the back deck, squawking and having a snack. Nika's at the sliding door staring at them so hard I'm worried that the glass might melt.
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