Sunday, November 12, 2006

That was fast: for about a week after the return to Eastern Standard Time, by the time my subway train came above ground at Fern Rock, the sun was fully up and the streetlights (which I believe are activated by the light levels in the environment) were off. But of course, the sun is continuing to rise a bit later and set a bit earlier, every day, so the level of daylight decreases every morning.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, as I departed Fern Rock on the regional rail train, the sky was so dim that the streetlights were still on. In this case, it's because the clouds were so opaque that they blocked most of the sunlight. (I know this because on Thursday and Friday, when skies were clear, the streetlights were on when I arrived at the station, but they'd turned off by the time I caught my train.) However, I guess if my assignment lasts far enough into December, I'll see days when the sky is still fully dark when the regional rail train pulls out. Already, I'm seeing only a tiny bit of twilight when I leave in the morning and arrive home at night. I'm resigned to seeing sunlight through the windows of my own house only on weekends for the next few months.

Returning for a moment to the subject of Fern Rock: if anyone here has a favorite Philly-area investigative reporter, email me the person's name because I have a task for them. My screen name on AOL.com is the same as the six characters that precede ".blogspot.com" in this blog's URL.

The task I have in mind is for someone, somewhere, to convince SEPTA to do something about the mess that pigeons have made at Fern Rock. Both the subway and regional rail portions of that station have some areas where it's obvious that pigeons have roosted in the rafters for some time. It's as disgusting as it is unsanitary to have to walk through areas of pigeon mess all over the floor that are so widespread as to be unavoidable. This is especially true on the huge (higher than two stories tall) stairs that extend from the inbound regional rail platform up to the Subway fare booth. Pigeon droppings under one particular beam not only extend the entire width of the stairs, but cover a portion of the RAILINGS as well. I was so revolted by this, the first time I saw it, that I became unwilling to touch ANY of the railings in the station from then on. Anyone who knows me offline is aware that I normally rely on the rail when I navigate on stairs, due to chronic knee pain, but not
at Fern

Anyway, I should think that a good investigative reporter would welcome the opportunity to educate SEPTA, and any other operator of an outdoor area used by the public, on the need to clean up after unsanitary hazards. I don't dislike pigeons at all, but if they've taken up residence anywhere that their mess could make people sick, they need to be evicted from that location.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When I arrived at work this morning, I discovered that my cubicle (foreground), as well as the cube of the person I'll be filling in for when her maternity leave begins, are decorated for our mutual birthdays. :o)

What nice people work here! What a complete turnaround from the way that people behaved at my previous job!

Mark and I will celebrate the Big 4-3 by going out to dinner when I get home.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This [EXPLETIVE OMITTED] train operator is trying to kill us. This train station is at ground level, so we have to take a giant step up to reach the entrance of the train car. There are platforms... actually, they're more aptly described as blocks made of 2x4 planks, in place to help us reach the train.

Too bad the unprintable dunderhead in charge of applying the brakes hasn't stopped the bleeping inbound train even ONCE this week in a place where the doors are anywhere near said wooden blocks/platforms/whatever the heck they are.

My knees have been KILLING me all flipping week, and the megastep I've been taking every afternoon is responsible for a good part of that. Imagine trying to step up from ground level onto a step that's waist high to you. Now imagine trying this feat with one borderline arthritic knee and one that's having sympathy pains because you're favoring the bad ("worse", really) knee. If your mental image includes knee pain that leaves you wondering if you've done some sort of soft-tissue damage, then congratulations. Welcome to my world.

I'm all kinds of sore after a week of these contortions and as you may have surmised by now, I'm NOT happy about it! They either need to instruct the train operator where to stop, or if he's stopping where he should, then they need to move the &#$%* blocks to the place where the doors will be. The way they're doing things now is a flat-out hazard. My knees are screwed up enough as it is from the combination of my injury history and heredity. I don't need to mess them up worse than they already are.

LOL! There's a jewelry vendor in the cafeteria today, and they have this sign on display. :o)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

As long as I'm ranting anyway, let me continue. I process incoming faxes, as well as incoming mail. This means weeding out spam like "Lowest Mortgage Rates Ever!" and other unsolicited ad faxes (which are supposed to be illegal, so why are we still receiving them?).

Today, I had to filter out multiple copies of ads for two business seminars. One was "Get Organized!", and the other was, "Managing Your Time: Work Smarter. Not Harder".

How ironic. I'd have more time and be more organized if I didn't have to weed out multiple spam faxes from the valid documents every freaking morning. Go figure.

Oh, and we have a new record-holder for "smallest change-of-address letter". Yesterday, I received one written on a 3"x3" post-it-note.

I hope I don't get one that'll break *this* record. If the freakin' papers come in any smaller sizes than that, I'll need a magnifying glass to find them!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My car battery appears to be on its last legs. First of all, there's a momentary delay between the time the ignition key turns and the time the engine turns over. Then, although the car seems fine at first (once it's actually running, that is), by the time I drive the mile or so to the park-and-ride or to my home, when I use the turn signal, the radio "blinks" on and off, in a pattern that's the opposite of the turn signal lights.

Last time I had a "turn signal and radio are mutually exclusive" situation, I wound up stuck in Norristown with a dead alternator before the day was out. This time, I'm crossing my fingers that it's only the battery (since no warning lights are coming on), and Mark will take the car to the mechanic tomorrow.

In other news, it's a small world. I overheard a conversation at the next desk over, which concluded with, "Run that by Tim S[...]s and see what he thinks."

I thought, "Tim S[...]s? That's the name of someone who was in my wedding party!" I looked him up in the company directory and found that he works in another office, one that's close to where I know our former groomsman lives.

I emailed Mark about it, and sure enough, it's the same person. How funny is that? :o)