Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thank you for shopping at Kroger.

Unaccustomed as I am to random unsolicited compliments from strangers, I was rather taken aback the night before last at the grocery store when the guy overseeing the cluster of self-check-out stations told me that I was very efficient. “I’ve been watching you,” he said, “and you really know what you’re doing. No wasted motion. You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” “Um, yes,” I admitted, but did not add: “You do something for seven years, you figure out how to do it.” I quickly left.

And a creepy Halloween to you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Powerless to change.

Or perhaps, just powerless.

I had just gotten home from work, watched enough of the Redskins game to see they were hopelessly behind, and started watching something I had recorded.

Boom! The lights went out. More importantly, the TV went off.

Didn't hear any thunder, so a nearby tree probably wasn't hit by lightning. Doubted it was a tornado, unless it was one of those extremely rare blue-sky tornadoes. Just one of those things, I guess, those things that Dominion Power is fond of: random outages for no apparent reason.

I called the emergency line, and the automated voice told me (a) that a "widespread outage" had been noted in my area, and (b) that the power should be restored by 8:15. Hmm. Interesting that an outage could be described as "widespread" after only 5 minutes, and that they could predict a successful conclusion to the quarter-hour.

Rather than sit in the dark, I drove to a local watering hole for dinner. On my way out of the neighborhood, I couldn't help but notice that the widespread outage did not include, for instance, the house immediately in back of mine - on the other side of the power line from me. But it did include the vast majority of the houses in my neighborhood, and the nearest set of traffic lights on the major road near me, so I was satisfied.

And by 8:30, the lights were back on.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You can tell it's the middle of October.

Last Sunday, I saw that my neighborhood grocery store has a display of boxed Christmas cards for sale - and already marked 50% off.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Party like it’s 1999!

Or, at least, work that way.

The folks “in charge of” the project I’m working on at BigLawFirm discovered early in September that they had a large production due by the end of October, and that the current number of contract attorneys (there were five of us) was insufficient to do all the work necessary for that production. Naturally, that meant that they’d wait until the end of the first week of October to actually do anything about it, at which point they hired on ten more contract attorneys, eight of whom had never done document review before and five of whom had never had a law-related job before, having just graduated from their respective law schools in the spring. I’m guessing they’ll be a big help in meeting the October 31 deadline.

Well, anyway. They needed to bring in a bunch of rental computers for these new folks, and in keeping with the firm's tradition of providing us with crummy-but-insufficient resources, the computer of the fellow at the table behind me has that sticker on it.

Holy cow! A Y2K sticker? Even the decrepit, steam-powered computer I use at home is new enough that it didn’t need to be tested for Y2K compliance. (And I’m ready to send my home computer out to the farm.) Nothing but the best for us, I suppose.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Introducing ... Tommy.

Here's Tommy, short for Thomas Jifferson. (See here for the explanation of the odd part of his name.)

He's still a big cutie, and he's getting more comfortable in his new house, but his interactions with Rebel have gotten no better. Well, except for the fact that he completely ignore's Rebel's screeching and howling and waving of her little paws if she approaches him while he's eating. Otherwise, though, she still has him completely terrorized.

I'm still looking for a new home for him - or for Mosby and Rebel, who will have to go together - so that he can have a place to live where he feels safe in every room of the house.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Click a Vick.

Today's celebrity football criminal drama was somewhat tamer than the one a few weeks ago (pictured to the right). For Vick's arraignment, there was a huge crowd, about 90-10 in favor of those opposed to dog killing for entertainment. And since the arraignment was taking place a block away from where I work, naturally I went to see the circus: People dressed in dog costumes, people opposed to dogfighting, people supporting their favorite quarterback (who surely was innocent of those horrid charges), people out to gawk at all the cameras.

Today? Much smaller crowd, and 80% of it was made up of religious fanatics, who were certain that Vick could be saved, if only he believed. (In, I don't know, something.) Vick's grand press conference, where he sincerely apologized for whatever his press folks wrote for him to apologize for, took place 50 yards down the hall from my office. We took a quick stroll out to see the sedate crowd, decided he wasn't going to walk down our hallway, and went back to work.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Name that cat! Round two.

Here's Cat Number Five. The previous owner named him Jif. (She evidently named her cats after brands of peanut butter, as the cat who lived with her before this one was named Skippy. I predict that her next one will be named Peter Pan.)
As you might guess, I'm not a huge fan of the name Jif. So there's now a new name-the-cat contest. Grand Prize yet to be determined, but it might involve your receiving a new cat. (Might not, I guess.)
At the moment, I'm leaning towards a British name for him, like Winston or Hudson.
He has mostly incorporated himself into the little feline colony at my house. He's made friends with Sami and O Henry (whose attitude seems to be "Oh, fine. Another cat. yawn. Feed me"). He's reached an accommodation with Mosby, so there's a minimum of screeching when they get close to one another. But Rebel? Little Rebel hates him, and shrieks and howls and scratches whenever he's around. And she terrorizes him to a degree that he tends to stay in one or another of his Safe Places.
Which, I suppose, is one of the signs that he's a friendly, peaceful cat. Because he's about four times Rebel's size, and all he'd have to do to win would be to lie down on top of her.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Old riddle, revisited.

If Two’s company, and Three’s a crowd, what are Four and Five?

The classic answer, of course, is “Nine.” I have an alternate answer, though.

“Four” is the number of cats I currently have. “Five” is the number of cats I’m about to have.

When kittens went to their new homes last year and the year before that, I always offered the owner a “money-back guarantee”: that if, for any reason, they had to give up the kitten (or the cat it grew into), they could (and should) bring it back to me instead of taking the kitty to the pound.

And oops, one of those kitties is coming back to me. One from the Class of 2005, so he’s now two years old. The owner changed jobs about six months ago, and the new job requires a lot more travel. As a result, the kitty is left at home alone for days or a week at a time, and he’s not happy about that. The owner feels bad about the situation, and has offered the kitty back to me – “at least, until my situation changes.” (And with the understanding that I’ll be looking for a new home for the cat, not that I’m expecting to have much luck finding one: how many folks want a two-year old cat, when they can go to the SPCA and get a cute little kitten instead?)

So, starting sometime this weekend, I’ll have five cats.

Anybody want a two-year-old neutered male kitty?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alumni photo from the Class of 2005.

Here are Ladybug and Flower, mother and child from the previous year’s visitors. Flower has clearly been well fed, as he’s much, much bigger than Ladybug. And yet, Ladybug gets away with maternal behavior – putting him into a headlock so she can lick his head.

Feline roommate update.

Most of the kittens from the Class of 2006 have gone to their new homes. And it would appear that I’ve run out of kittenless friends. Just as well, then, that John’s Home for Wayward Cats is closing its doors to new wards. Again.

One kitten – current temporary name “Rebel” – doesn’t have a new home yet. She’s certainly made herself at home here, but four cats is at least one too many.

The mother – Mosby – doesn’t have a new home yet, either. Well, she probably thinks she does. But I’m still looking to place her with someone else, so I can get back down to two cats. Of course, since I’m looking to place Mosby and Rebel together, it seems that they’re going to stay here for a while.

Here is the Class of 2006:

The first to go to her new home. The smartest of the kittens: she’d figure out how to do something (climb out of the box, get onto the furniture, escape from the kittens’ room) first, and two days later, the other kittens would learn it from her. While she was still here, I called her “Harriet” after Harry Potter, as the white streak up her nose and forehead reminded me of Harry’s scar. And because she was always the one getting herself and the others into trouble.

The only male of the group. Of all the kittens, he was the one that O Henry seemed to take the most pleasure in bopping on the head (possibly because he looked the most like her). His owner reports that Tux has grown huge.

Frick and Frack. Thing 1 and Thing 2.
The solid gray kitten. And the other solid gray kitten. If they were together, you could discern just the slightest difference in the shades of their fur – but such a small difference that I could no longer tell which was which when they were apart. They went to the same house, where the new owner hadn’t yet given them new names the last time I heard from him, about two months after he had taken them home.

Still waiting to go to her new home. Her first temporary name was “Scooter” for no reason other than it seemed to fit. Her current temporary name is “Rebel” – she likes being somewhat contrary to my wishes, and the name is a good thematic match with “Mosby.” The most mischievous of the litter, she enjoys climbing the curtains and screens, pouncing on the adult cats’ tails, and chewing on my big toe. She has made friends with Sami and O Henry – quite an accomplishment with the latter. I had hoped that she would go to the same home that took Jill, as they were thinking of taking her in the hope that the sisters would play together and allow the owners uninterrupted sleep. Well, that was the theory, and I didn’t disabuse them of it, but they seemed to have wised up anyway.

The mother. She still has the Call of the Wild in her, and she wants to get outside whenever she can. She has snuck out twice this spring - once for 24 hours - and always returns when she realizes that the bowls of food are inside the house, not outside.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Out of sound, out of mind.

For no apparent reason, my land-line phone isn't working. (Yes, I've paid my phone bill. Through the wonders of on-line banking.) And since none of the outlets inside the house works, I'm blaming the line outside. Somewhere, there's a tree limb on the line. Or possibly it's an ice storm, although that seems unlikely as it got up to 95 degrees today.

Still, if you've tried to call me and I didn't answer, it's because of the equipment. It's not that I'm ignoring you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Unemployed layabout, again.

The two-week project that I’ve been working on – for seventeen weeks – came to an end on Friday. A somewhat inglorious end, as it just stopped. The underlying case didn’t settle, and we certainly didn’t finish all of our work that needed to be done. They just pulled the plug. For the best of reasons, though: the client wasn’t paying the law firm’s invoices.

And yet – somehow – the client still seems to think that the law firm will do a bang-up job of representing them at trial later this year. So perhaps we’re not completely done with this case, after all.

In any case, they’re going to be transferring us to another ongoing project starting Monday. So I’m going to be an unemployed layabout only for the weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Long time, no write.

Wish I could say there was a good reason for my absence from these pages. There hasn't been, though, so I'll just claim that it's that I've been abandoned by my muse.

So what has been going on with me? Let's see:

There's work. I'm in the fifteenth week of my two-week contract attorney gig, although the Death Knell clock has been ticking loudly of late. I'm expecting this project to end fairly soon: possibly this week, possibly next. But those of us working on this project have been assured by the law firm that we'll be moved over onto another project when this one ends, so I won't have an unexpected and unpaid vacation.

There's springtime. Well, there was springtime. They're calling for tomorrow to hit 100 degrees, so I guess it isn't springtime anymore.

There's yardwork. I now find myself hoping for droughts, as when there's no rain, the grass doesn't grow and I thus don't have to go out and mow it. Sadly, the remains of Tropical Storm Barry passed through here last Sunday, dropping a couple of inches of rain, so there's mowing in my future.

There have been wine festivals. Spring wine festival season arrived a month ago. I poured wine at a festival here in Richmond, for Cardinal Point Winery. And I arranged for other contract attorneys to help me, so that our tent was the only winery tent staffed entirely by lawyers. (For all the excitement that particular claim generates ....)

There's baseball. Well, there's watching baseball. Rice is back in NCAA post-season play, hosting the hated Aggies this weekend in a Super-Regional. And then the College World Series next week.

There are movies. Well, movies on DVD, which is much the same thing. The last movie I saw in a theater was V for Vendetta, about 16 months ago. I don't really miss the theater all that much. Of late, I've enjoyed watching The Stranger, Hollywoodland, and Duel.

There are cats. Still four of them. Thankfully, only four of them. More on them later, I'm sure. Rebel celebrated her first birthday last month, by climbing the curtains in my bedroom and then jumping from the curtain rod onto my bed. (Strictly speaking, that's how she celebrates every morning.)

So I guess there's been plenty going on; just nothing especially worth sitting down to write about.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ah, springtime.

Easter weekend: Time for flying kites, going on picnics, admiring the daffodils and azaleas in bloom, and gernerally frolicking in the warm spring weather.

Or perhaps not.

At least now I have a reasonably good excuse for not planting azaleas this weekend.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

As I recall.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream has announced a voluntary recall of a quarter-million pints of its new flavor, Willie Nelson's Country Peach Cobbler (Peach Ice Cream with Cinnamon-Sugar Shortbread Pieces and a Peach Swirl). Was the recall for a good reason, like they'd accidently blended in 100 gallons of lubricating fluid or tossed in chunks of tasty broken glass? Um, no. It's because they didn't print a "wheat alergy" warning on the label or mention "wheat" as an ingredient.

Yes, yes; avoiding inadvertent anaphylaxis is doubtless a good thing. But wouldn't you think a little common sense could be applied here?

First of all, wouldn't the flavor's name ("peach cobbler") or its description ("with ... shortbread pieces") be a pretty good indication that there's flour in it, even if "flour" is absent from the list of ingredients? And thus, a good way to avoid an allergic reaction might be to refrain from eating the ice cream?

And second, pulling the ice cream out of the stream of commerce seems like classic overkill. And if consumers have bought any ice cream and not eaten it yet, "they should discard the ice cream and send the base of the empty container back to Ben & Jerry’s for a full refund." Sounds to me like a waste of perfectly good ice cream. Here's a better solution: "they should make sure the ice cream is eaten by someone who isn't allergic to wheat, even if that means giving it to the neighbors."

I bought my first pint of this ice cream about a week ago, and I can report that it's pretty good. Sufficiently good that I bought another pint of it yesterday - a day or two after the recall. The flavor was still on the shelves.

Also in recall news possibly involving wheat, the manufacturer of store-branded cat and dog foods is recalling boatloads of wet food for dogs and cats, as it might be causing kidney failure. They suspect it's related to wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier (a supplier they won't be using in the future, as you might imagine).

This recall doesn't affect my household. No one here deigns to eat store-brand catfood if there's something more expensive at the store that I can get for them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Not much to say, of late.

Working like a maniac at the job. I'm about to complete Week Four of this "two week" project, not that I'm complaining. And it'll last at least another month. So my mortgage holder and checking account are both happy.

The cats were happy on Wednesday and Thursday: the weather was warm enough (over 80, and high 70s, respectively) that I left the bedroom windows open for them, the better to sniff the outdoors. Didn't do that today though: as I was driving home, it was snowing.

Snow!! You'd think it was the middle of March, for crying out loud.

Monday, March 05, 2007

An unfortunate spectacles incident.

I got to leave work early today. Or, perhaps, I had to leave work early today.

My glasses fell apart.

A screw holding the frame around one lens decided it was tired, and fell out of the frame, causing my right lens to follow it. No amount of coaxing could get the screw back into the frame properly, especially since I lacking sufficient hands to hold the lens in place, squeeze the frame together, accurately insert the screw, and tighten the screw.

You know, it's tough to read a document and type the appropriate information into the database when everything is in focus through one eye and very, very badly out of focus through the other.

I've learned from enough past experiences to keep spare sets of glasses in the car, so I had the choice of driving to the glasses place wearing (a) the glasses with one lens (guaranteed to cause an accident, (b) glasses with a seven-year-old prescription (guaranteed to ruin my depth perception and give me a headache) or (c) my current prescription sunglasses (guaranteed to look stupid - or possibly stylish, but not on me). I chose (c), sunglasses after dark.

Luckily, the woman at the glasses place has far more coordination than I have (okay, not an especially high standard), and they're repaired. And ready for another exciting day at the office tomorrow.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Waiting for news.

One of the things about working on short-term projects is that you're never sure when it's going to be over. Typically, you get no notice - "what you're now working on will be it, and when you're done, you're done" - and sometimes it's worse than no notice at all (a phone call from the agency when you get home in the evening, telling you that the project is finished and don't go back to the office).

So you get to be good at speculating from the slightest of clues: the amount of work left to be done, compared to the speed the group has been working at, or the approach of a deadline which may or may not be extended, or the frequency of visits from the people in charge, or the level of distress on their faces when a contract attorney leaves the project, for instance.
And then there's speculation based on no clue at all, just wishful thinking. ("Wouldn't it be nice if the project lasted until the next lottery drawing, which I would win and then quit this job...." which tends to lead us into other lines of speculation.)
My current project was described as being "two weeks" long. On our first day, we were informed that we were to have everything finished by the end of the month, nine days hence. On Monday of the second week, we estimated that we had about one more day's worth of work, and on Tuesday, we overheard one of the paralegals on the phone: "You mean today's not going to be their last day???"

Through the next couple of days, they kept finding small things for us to do - mostly reviewing and re-doing work that had previously been done (and done badly) by BigLawFirm's associates who had picked up pieces they could work on and thereby pad their billable hours. But the last of the documents kept looming in front of us, signalling the end of the project.

Until today: they swept through the room and announced that they'd next like for us to go back through all the documents, and determine which documents should be used in upcoming depositions. And that this document preparation work ought to last "at least a month."

Well, good. I'll be able to keep making mortgage payments and purchasing cat food, after all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Slight interruption, clarified.

The new job just referred to is slightly different than originally explained. It's not the same client we'd worked for before, and the job will be complete by Feb 28, as that's the once- (but not twice-) extended deadline for production of the documents we're reviewing. And since we're not even using the same software that we had used for that earlier client, it's not especially clear why the firm was specifically looking for alumni of that client's project.

But it will still keep me out of trouble. Alas.

A slight interruption to my movie-watching schedule.

Yes, alas: a job has shown up.

Not exactly a new job: the project that ended in December (the three-month project that I worked on for two and a half years) is coming back to life. Probably not for too long: the client has authorized a two-week extension, and it sounds like the client means it. But it will certainly cut into my attempts to reduce the number of movies in my Netflix queue.

The Departed has been the best of the movies I've seen lately. Little Miss Sunshine was okay - I'd put it on a list of nominations for "Best Comedy of the year" but not "Best Film of the year."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I am officially old.

What was the clue? Checking out a book from the local library. Okay, perhaps that's not the giveaway. This is: I voluntarily checked out a book printed in large type.

I was looking over the the "new books" section, and discovered something from one of my favorite authors. (Web of Evil, by J.A. Jance.) Looked interesting enough - and then I realized that it was the second book in a series. As I hadn't read the first book in that series, I figured I shouldn't read the second one yet.

I looked in the library's on-line catalog, and found that they had the first book (Edge of Evil) in a number of formats: paperback, audio (CD), and large type. I'd prefer to read a hardbound book instead of paperback, and all the paperbacks were already checked out. So I had to take the one in large type.

I enjoyed Edge of Evil enough that I returned for Web of Evil, which I started last night, intending to read a couple of chapters before going to sleep. Didn't exactly follow that plan - I ended up reading the entire book.

This new series is okay. They're a lighter read than her other on-going series (with Joanna Brady and J.P. Beaumont): a bit breezier style and the plotline is not as finely crafted. But they were a good read. Even in large print.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter after all.

I spotted snowflakes today. Not many, and not big ones, but some.

Not enough to stick to the grass, but there was a dusting on highway overpasses. Until it warmed up to above freezing, and the precipitation stopped anyway.

But actual snowflakes.

Fairly impressive, if you figure that less than 70 hours earlier, it was 75 degrees.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Because they can't read calendars.

From the front yard:

This crocus is one of a half-dozen or so that have already bloomed. Clearly, they are putting their tiny little heads together to figure out what to do about tonight's projected low temperature of 25. And tomorrow's of 19.

It can take a certain amount of pride in beating last year's first blossom, and by almost a month.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Flat flip flies straight.

It's Sunday afternoon. NFL division playoff games are on the tube. And yet - it's seventy-three degrees outside, in the middle of January. Most years, "the middle of January" means temperatures around freezing and some variety of frozen stuff on the ground. This year, we haven't had any freezing weather yet, and only a couple of evenings in the 20's back in December. And my poor bulbs are confused: I've already seen one crocus in bloom.

Still, 73 degrees in the middle of January shouldn't be celebrated by sitting inside watching football. That calls for shorts and flip-flops and being outside somewhere, doing something.

And on Sunday, "something" meant that I would find one of the Frisbee golf courses that are located in my county's park system. Well, "disc golf courses" to be precise. Although playing Frisbee golf with something other than an authentic Frisbee seems just plain wrong to me. So I found the closest course on Mapquest, got some general idea of how to get there, and took off. I was about halfway there when I realized I had left my Frisbee on the table by the door. Hmm. Setback. But I wasn't going to turn around and go home to get the Frisbee; not when I had the viable alternative of going to the course and playing a round of zen Frisbee. A round where I was guaranteed not to hook the disc into someone's back yard.

I had an interesting scenic tour of part of the county I hadn't been in before, while searching for the park, thankful that I started out with a full tank of gas. When I got to the park, it was so big that I couldn't find the course right away, so I wandered around. Perfectly reasonable course of action, given that it was 73 degrees. In the middle of January. There's the kiddie playground, with swings and slides. There's the picnic shelter. There's the path through the woods, with carved signs identifying the types of trees; someone's Eagle Scout project. There's the football field; there's the tennis court.

Ah. Way over there is the sign welcoming you to the disc golf course, and informing you of the rules: no alcohol, and you have to be gone by dark. Beside the sign was the path leading into the woods, as they have laid out this course through a small forest, the better to have trees and streams as obstacles. And ten feet down the path is a bench, where someone is clearly waiting for his disc golfing buddy to show up so they can start a round. How could I tell? He was carrying a shoulder bag full of flying discs. There must have been at least 10 of them. I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Holy cow. What a geek." But I kept my thoughts to myself, realizing that I was wandering through the woods that constituted this disc golf course, wearing an aloha shirt, shorts, and Corona flip-flops, and I didn't even have the excuse of carrying even a single Frisbee. Or some other, alien flying disc.

Fine. Well, I could still walk around and look at the layout of the course, so that if I do return with a Frisbee one day, I'll have some idea of where I'm going. The white posts indicating the tee box for the first hole were closeby. It took three or four minutes of searching before I spotted a disc golf "hole" - a pole with a basket underneath it for the disc to fall into. I walked up to it, and sure enough, it was marked hole number 1. Wouldn't you think that the tee box for the next hole would be in close sight? I would have, but I couldn't find it. Fine. Way off yonder, I could barely make out another "hole", so I set off through the underbrush to see what number it was. As far as it was, it was probably number 4, or maybe 8 on the way back. Nope. It was hole number 2. And here was a group playing up to it, from the other side of the hole (and thus not from anywhere near the first hole). I was considering asking them if they had a map of the course I could look at, or if they could generally point out where the holes ran - but then I realized that each of them had a shoulder bag full of flying discs. And hmm, for that matter, so did those guys walking along a "fairway" for what must be another hole.

Wow. I had discovered a flock of geeks, each one intent on selecting the right disc for the shot he wanted to make. Basing that decision on some variation on this table, listing flight characteristics of some 250 different flying discs (only four of which are actually Frisbees).

Each one of them would examine the next shot they were going to take, rummage through his bag for the "correct" disc, line up the throw, and send the disc on its flight. Invariably, it would bounce off a tree about 30 feet from the start or hook into the stream. So much for selecting a disc based on distance and flight characteristics.

I decided I'd done what I set out to do: I found the disc golf course, I had some idea of what the holes were like, and I hadn't been indoctrinated into the odd cult of bag-carrying disc golfers. Time to go find out how the football games turned out.

The new job.

I suppose it's time to report on the new job. Many things about it are a whole lot better than the former job, although there are a couple of drawbacks.

Good things first: They treat us like human beings. The firm has given us honest-to-goodness legal work to do, and are willing to let us make our own "legal" decisions on what we're looking at. (The firm has just taken over as General Counsel for a Fortune 100 company, and the former General Counsel boxed up all the case files and sent them on with a bare minimum of description of what's going on and what needs to be done right away. So we are going through the boxes of case files and writing case summary memoranda: we are to figure out what the case is about, who the parties are, where the lawsuit is located, what motions are pending, what discovery deadlines and trial dates are coming up, and even make suggestions as to what strategy to follow. Possibly four or five hundred cases involved.) The firm even treats us (mostly) as though we were permanent employees - we went through a day of orientation (HR paperwork and videos telling us that sexual harrassment was bad and computer security was good), we get subsidized parking in their parking deck in the firm building, we get our own email address with the firm's address, and they even put us onto their internal website.

And of all that, the best is that they give us actual legal work to do; stuff that would probably be done by the firm's associates if they had the luxury of a bit more time to do it in. But since we were discovering rapidly approaching deadlines (the last date for filing an answer in one case is sometime next week, or a trial in another case the last week of the month, for instance), they really didn't have that luxury.

Just a couple of drawbacks. First, they stuck us into a computer training room. You know, an interior room (i.e., no windows) with three rows of tables with a bunch of computers crammed onto them. The sort of room that you can barely tolerate for a two-hour class on How To Use Outlook. Fifteen of us were shoehorned in there, taking up all the computers. And with no room for the 4 or 5 boxes of case files that we each needed to peruse. (We would ask for mustard sauce, but I'm not sure the paralegals would understand the reference.) Just barely tolerable for a short-term project (and this one is scheduled to last 2 to 3 weeks).

And the other drawback? The project is already over. It lasted about six days. Plus-or-minus a half day, depending on how much work you had left to do when they announced, "This box we're handing out now is the last of the cases. Whenever you're done with what you've got, you're finished with the project." It turns out that at some point they decided that they needed us to look at only the product liability and personal injury cases, about 60 of the 400+ cases they were taking over, but didn't either reduce the number of people needed on the project or tell us that it would be even more limited than originally planned.

So it's back to being an unemployed layabout.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Looking for a new job?

Oh, wait. That's me.

Anyway, here's a job posting to consider, if "Find a new job" was your New Year's Resolution: Chief Beer Officer for the Four Points hotel chain. Part-time and compensation as yet announced. But they'd send you as their ambassador to brewery tours, beer festivals, and random nights out at your local watering hole, and they'd expect you to write a monthly (!) blog entry reviewing beer.

They even have an on-line application form for you.