Courtesy.

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Apologies for the whinging about work again. I shouldn’t rag on customers too much, since they are paying us for a service, the service of watching movies, but man, they can really put a spanner in the works, eh? I worked an 11-hour shift downstairs in the thick of it all yesterday and, although things went reasonably well (a 500+ person show starting more than 10 minutes late notwithstanding), I have to commend my the staff (again) for not losing their shit at customers on a regular basis. Sometimes I forget what it’s like to be in the thick of things, especially on a busy weekend. And this was one of our busiest in years. Continue reading

Things fall apart.

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(That is a truly tacky title and I apologise. A bit.)

At this time yesterday, I was already at work. At this time today, I am very resentful of the ongoing construction (it’s been four months of digging, filling, re-digging, occasionally moving giant concrete structures, more digging) because they always start earliest on days when I want to sleep in a bit. Jerks. But, for the first time since June, we are now connected to the ‘normal’ water supply rather than the auxiliary, who needs water pressure when you’ve got a giant hose?, one. On hot days, a drink tasted like an inner tube. It was less than delightful.

The construction has also meant that just to leave my house, I have to make a detour across the neighbour’s lawn to get to the garage and do a big loop to get to a useful road to begin my commute, because my street is a mess of gaping holes, mud, and gravel. Beyond my neighbourhood, for a while, there was construction in my way on four of the possible main routes to work as well. As it stands, the ‘fast’ way (called that (by me), but probably not actually fastest) up Somerset has been closed to me since May. By the time it’s done, my bike will have been put away for winter. Very sad.

However, the theme for today is ‘what’s gonna break now?’, after I had to call the popcorn machine repair folks for a third time in as many weeks. You know what’s gross? A motor that lives under a popcorn machine. Apparently, coconut oil, popcorn bits, and dust are not good for them. It actually makes them look like they are full of the Creature from the Black Lagoon’s poop. Now we have a bright, shiny new one that will keep everything nice and toasty warm again. Because our patrons (and staff) take popcorn very serious. We get accused of serving days-old popcorn (never), or changing ingredients (nope) if a batch is not exactly perfect. (We’ve also had two embolisms caused my errant kernels in the oil line this year. Which breaks things like this.)

ANYway, this comes on the heels of months of repairs to our old 35mm projectors (the sound has been wonky on and off for months), installing new-to-us seats in the balcony, replacing the switching board in our marquee, and our alarm going off every night on one set of doors, even though there has been no breach. There have been a lot 1am phone calls, which sometimes I get to answer shakily because it’s 1AM, and grouchily because they expect me to be able to answer detailed questions at 1AM. I have also spent a lot of time on hold during the day to try to get repair people to, y’know, actually take time to diagnose the problem instead of saying ‘Oh, well, it might be this? I’ll replace a thing and hopefully that’ll fix it.’

I’d blame this all on things not being built to last anymore, but all of these things are old. The cores of the popcorn machine and projectors are from the 1960s and 70s, the sewers and waterworks under my street have needed an overhaul for at least a decade, Somerset had some of the gnarliest potholes in town, the marquee switching board might be from the early 1950s, and the alarm system was installed in the 1990s. We fix them in hopes that they will stay fixed, but it doesn’t always work.

And the fact of the matter is just buying new is not a solution, not only because our antiquated machinery frequently doesn’t have a modern equivalent, and even if it was, it is generally not built to last. Because guess what? Our laminator broke on the weekend. Like, super broke. And it was only four years old. It’s not like we spend all day trying to put plastic over sheets of corrugated cardboard or anything; it gets used, but not for anything tricky. It just…didn’t last. And there aren’t experts around to fix that kind of thing. Even if there were, it’s still probably cheaper to order new. Or easier, since repairpeople FREQUENTLY DON’T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. And that’s depressing.

In addition to more or less unavoidable crap, we’ve twice had a front door smashed (in one case by a man’s head – he refused to press charges against the folks who used him as a battering ram) and once had someone break the marquee. Nice, eh? It’s like the building is rebelling AND people are rebelling against it as well. Margot Kidder and James Brolin are going to show up any second and put in a bid, I expect.

Edited to add this video, because I’ve been on an Electric Six kick, not because I almost tried to clean in/around the popcorn motor before turning off the breaker or anything.


 

Something something arseholes.

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It’s grarragr o’clock on a Sunday morning. In less than two hours, I’m starting a 10K run at an inconveniently located venue, so I have to keep this short.

I’m not especially well prepared for this race. I mean, I can do 10K, but I’m not gonna break any records this morning. For one, I have been incredibly lazy lately. I fell off the fitness bandwagon for awhile after Ride the Rideau (hey, did I mention that I biked 100km last month? In one go? ‘Cause I did.) I did go running a few times, including a 10.5km pre-work slog, but, by and large, I’ve (again) not trained as thoroughly as I could/should have. As usual.

It’s a shame, though. Running was the closest thing I did to meditation (the odd yoga class I take is more about stretching out kinks and trying to make my chiropractor happy), though now I find that biking is usurping its position. I don’t even have a road bike, just my awesome workhorse hybrid, and I dread the days when I don’t get to bike commute (for reasons of monsoons or work-related errands). I literally don’t understand why more people don’t bike everywhere always. Until I get road rage. On a bike.

As in most situations, I wish people were kinder and more observant on the roads. It would improve my commute tenfold if pedestrians didn’t just step out into the street with no regard for traffic lights, nor even the most basic rule of the road, ‘look both ways before you cross the street’. When did that become a thing to ignore? I am that dickhead cyclist who will yell “IT’S NOT YOUR LIGHT” if someone steps in front of me. I will never do this, however, if there isn’t a chance to ride off before they can reply. I don’t actually want to get into a fight. I just want to get to work faster.

Speaking of which, I also get ragey at the slow cyclists. I don’t mean people who are just slow, though, but largely the people who bike slowly but ALSO go through red lights and stop signs. So I will struggle to find (safe) opportunities to pass them, stop for a light, and they will just sail (slowly) by. Then I’ll have to find another opportunity to pass them. Later, rinse, repeat. This annoys me more than getting stuck behind a frequently stopping bus, because at least buses are predictable. (Other cyclists who annoy me include those who bike on the wrong side of the street or sidewalks, who think one-way signs don’t apply to them, and who ride with their seats so low that they have to bow out their knees ridiculously so as not to hit them on handlebars.)

Most cyclists blame drivers for woes on the road, and they are not blameless, but if one assumes that all drivers (and cyclists and pedestrians) are clueless, generally things are fine (though,  driving past a line of parked cars is now even more terrifying). This is not ideal, obviously. It would really be nice if people knew what they were doing.

Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is this morning. Let’s all get along? Don’t be an arsehole on the roads? Be careful out there? Man, it’s early.