Sunday, October 31, 2010

Office fun

My new boss has taken over two other departments and squished them all together into one entity. We're all related, more or less, but I've always been the back-room Production sort, and didn't really think of myself as having the same "mission", so to speak, as the dealing-with-students departments. Nevertheless, that's how the cookie crumbles these days.

Now the B. wants us all closer together, so half of us in Dept. A are being squeezed in with Dept. B, across the hall from our present locale (Dept. C is too big to move anywhere else). That means I can kiss my nice office-with-a-window goodbye, and everyone in Dept. A can kiss our common area, with its nice big conference table, goodbye too. All of that blows chunks. And I would complain vociferously about being moved (and the accompanying stupid idea of renting out our wonderful suite to whoever the hell they had in mind, whether university or civilian) if there hadn't been an employee bloodbath recently. As it is, I'll just shut up and appreciate the fact that I'm still among the employed.

But I'm sure gonna miss my window and my great big desk.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Little Ali's quilt

Sister A. had her new grandbaby's quilt almost done at this point. Now it's finished and has reached its pint-sized owner. Hurrahs all around!

(It's a girl. Can you tell?)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Latest project done

The guys finished the last little bits on the patio cover and front porch yesterday, and we are very pleased with the result. Sister A. and I were both surprised to find that having the patio cover felt "normal"--possibly because one of our early family homes had a wooden patio cover that our dad built. (If it hadn't been for a particularly heavy snowstorm one winter, that sucker would still be standing--Daddy built things to last!) The cats like it, too--they now have an escape from the sun if they want it. Sammi, in particular, likes to sit in her favorite chair (the one with the green striped cushion) under the cover like a queen on her throne.  :)

We also had the guys put a square post cover around the ugly turned post on our front porch, and it goes much better with the style of the house.

Our contractor is now working on A's china cabinet, which was in pretty sorry shape, being exceedingly vintage (like, from the '30s or '40s, and maybe a Sears or "Monkey Ward" special), and warped from rain or some wet environment at some point in its long life. But Sister A. likes it because it fits her china perfectly, so she did not want a new one, she wanted this one fixed. So, by gum, they're fixing it! I'm sure it'll be much improved when Chase is done with it. And then we can finally get rid of the LAST moving box!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Patio cover progress

The guys have been working hard on our patio cover. These pix are from yesterday and today. Below, Chase the Contractor welds cross bars to the framework, then the first sheet of steel goes up.

And they're off! Sheets of steel march across the framework.

Here's why we decided to sheathe the underside of the patio cover, too--apart from the fact that birds would nest in all those convenient C-shaped purlins, it was also ugly.

The top side is complete!

Masonite begins to go up on the underside. It will be painted off-white and get white trim to cover the edges and a bit of a gap down the middle.

And instead of an ugly iron post showing, the guys will box it up in this square column cover.

We're also getting one of these covers around the fake (plastic) turned post on the front porch. It'll go with the style of the house much better.

The guys should be done tomorrow!

Sewing assistant

Sammi performs the very important task of holding down the
quilt-in-progress while Mom pins another piece to it.
Protection, too, is an important job. Lasers on!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kitty pix

After the stress of the past week, I think we need some kitty pix. These were taken last weekend, I think. Here's Minnie proceeding to her favorite "wallow" to have a good, dusty roll. I tried to catch a shot of her fuzzy white tummy, but my camera's shutter lag was too slow.

(She was getting a little freaky at this point.)
And here's Sammi lying in wait for Minnie around the corner of the house. She's a champion lurker. Don't you just want to bury your fingers in that luxurious fur?

Now Minnie walks up to the trap, but stops--she knows something's fishy!
Result: a Mexican standoff.

A bit more remodeling

Well, I didn't get caught in the job upheaval yesterday, thank heavens. As far as I know, I still have a job. I think it was only middle management that got nailed--this round, anyway. That sort of whirlwind-of-destruction sure makes a person feel skittish, though.

On the home front, during the past week, we've had our favorite contractor and his main guy working on our patio. Here are some pix from the project; there are more on my Flickr site.  :)

Here, the guys have dug out and framed up in preparation for pouring concrete. The patio had a curve in it so that some previous homeowner could put a flowerbed there next to the house. We decided not to try to reclaim that flowerbed (it's been a long time since there were any flowers in it) and had the curve filled in and straightened so there won't be a mudhole there when it rains.

You may notice that the stepping-stone forms lead to blank fence rather than to a gate. Yes, we did that on purpose. We're going to put the gate in a different place (like, at the end of that path!) when we have the falling-down fence replaced next spring.

Here's what used to be a little overhang over the utility room door. The guys sawed that off entirely so they could bolt the patio cover to the house.

Yeah, those wires (mostly cable, which we're not using) are practically going to be lying on the patio cover when it's finally up. There's not much we can do about it. But at least nothing will be rubbing on the wires, so I think it'll be OK.

Naturally, the guys replaced the siding over the denuded part of the eave once it was flat.

Next, the fellas cut long C-section iron purlins to build the frame of the patio cover. Two long pieces were bolted securely to the house itself; the rest of the framework will hang on these pieces.

Then they started welding the frame to the house, using a temporary wooden frame to hold it up while they worked.

And here are the finished patio cover "bones".

They have to fix one spot where the frame was welded to the supporting post a bit too high (lest it direct rain runoff straight into the house), then they'll be ready to put the steel on the frame. We're having them cover both the top and bottom of the frame, else birds will nest in the C-shape of the purlins!

Friday, October 1, 2010

"My! People come and go so quickly here!"

There's a sudden employment shake-up going on at my workplace today. My former boss, who was moved out of her position into another one (made up on the spot, probably--it wasn't her idea to move), just found out that her current (made-up) position is being "eliminated", so she's out of a job. She's 50-something. Ditto for at least two other long-time employees. My former boss's assistant boss, who was still working as head of a satellite department, has been fired--according to our head gossip, he's been being documented for this move for about a year (first I've heard of it!).

It's a good thing I'm just a damn grunt.

At least, I hope it's a good thing.

I've worked here for 17 years officially today. Seven more years until retirement with pension and medical insurance. Assuming the money's there when I retire, of course. And assuming I can remain employed here for that long without some butcher manager-type slicing me out of the organization for no perceptible reason.

These are shaky freakin' days....