Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interesting sidenote

I didn't notice this at first, but upon reflection I saw the change. Note the difference between the pre-flood and post-flood pictures of the same section of the Monocacy.

This is what the river looked like on Monday, before the river hit flood peak.

And this is a shot of the same section of river on Wednesday. Note the yellow bush on the far bank in both pictures. Of course, the bush is actually on the bank in the earlier picture, but is in the water in the second shot. In any event, the island of growth in the first shot is just fricking gone in the Wednesday shot, and I don't think it's under water. Carrie Underwood, baby - blown away.


So, traffic was down last month. We had six months of steady growth, then  drop-off. I'm a little bummed, but realistically speaking,  I haven't done much to drive readership beyond the core audience. Even with traffic down, it was one of my better months. Should I make major efforts to drive traffic? I don't know. Maybe I'll buy Blogging for Dummies. Couldn't hurt.

Frankenstorm ,after

Having spent yesterday at home, languishing without work (not true -- more on that later) I went back out today to get some after-storm photos. The flood peak of the Monocacy was supposed to be sometime Tuesday, so the flooding here is not at its peak. Still, quite a contrast to the "before" pictures.

This is the southwest view from the 355 bridge over the Monocacy Wednesday afternoon. The river is clearly well out of its banks, even 24 hours after flood peak.

 Same here, with a focus more toward the south (from this perspective, left bank).

 Now looking northeast along the right bank. Hard to see, but the river is well out of its banks on this side, as well.
 Looking northeast, trees under water.

 Wider angle view, same perspective.

Looking down while facing northeast, trees underwater. Usually, you can wade across the river here in less than knee-deep water. Even well after flood stage, not today.

What does all this mean to contract attorneys? The job I would have started Monday didn't materialize. Now, it starts this coming Monday. While doing next to nothing in my area (I seriously don't give a fuck about New York), this storm cost me about two grand. Sucks to be paid by the hour.

Cows don't care

I guess rain doesn't damage leather on the hoof.

Taken Monday afternoon.

Frankenstorm, before

On Monday, while DC was shutting down and any possibility of a new project starting was washing down the drain with all the rain that was falling, I decided to do a quick tour to see what the area waterways were doing. I had to take a few detours because of roads closed by flooding (or, I suspect, expected flooding), but I was able to get a good look at the Monocacy River and its main tributaries. Here is the Monocacy Monday afternoon:

These two photos are from the northeast side of the Route 355 bridge over the Monocacy. The river is high, but not out of its banks.

This photo is taken from the southwest side of the bridge. Again, the river is high, but not out of its banks.

The tributaries, on the other hand, are another story. One of these is Bush Creeek; I don't know the names of the other tributaries, although I think at least one is also Bush Creek, which meanders. In any event, these are all taken from or near some of the one-lane bridges in the area.

As you can see, the tributaries were getting pretty full up on Monday, and often already over the banks. The peak flood stage for the Monocacy was supposed to be Tuesday sometime. The next post will focus on the post-peak Monocacy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm? What Frankenstorm?

Sure, Metro, the federal government, most DC agencies, a lot of private employers are closed because of the impending wallop from Hurricane Sandy, but not all of the federal government is closed

That's the Old Guard, the 3rd Infantry Division Tomb Guard Platoon. They're always marching post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, no matter what the weather.

Hat tip to Ace, who got it via @KristinaRibali from the Facebook page of Dan Marshall.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More game food porn

Packers won ugly, but a W is a W. Trimmed-down menu today, as the Marine now sleeps all day Sunday (due to work schedule) and his girlfriend comes by later as a result. Cuts the game crowd in half, so I fix less.      That said, today we did stuffed potato skins (as always)

and nachos. This is before the sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos and onions were put on the sides.

Good grinds.

Are these guys new?

Not going to lie, this has been a little bit of a down month for traffic. Posting drives traffic normally, and I've been trying to post at least once a day, but I've fallen behind lately. Frankly, I post less when I'm not working, which is now, and the fact that I spilled a beer into my keyboard doesn't help. Some pretty funky typing action there.

In any event, I have visits from Spain and the United Arab Emirates. I think the UAE has been here before, but I have no way of checking. Also, I have no recollection of Spain dropping by. Firsts? Anyone remember? Food porn coming up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forecast; Light showers and persistent Doom

Not feeling the love at all. The new project has not yet launched, and might not Monday (probably won't). Guess I better get my application in at Walmart.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I love the smell of Doom in the morning

It smells like, well, um, Doom. Yeah, party's over -- today is the last day of the project. I'm in the unenviable but all-too-familiar position of having no idea what I'm doing next. Fortunately, that is partly because I have a number of options that haven't firmed up yet. Unfortunately, they haven't firmed up yet. It is good to have lots of options but not good to not yet have work. You say tomato, I say just fucking hire me. There is one gig in particular at this agency that is supposed to start this week and all of us on this project are in theory going to just move to the new project. Alas, no firm word on a start date (or any other details, like rate, hours, etc.), which led to this conversation this morning:

CA1: I just don't want to leave here today not knowing what's going on with the new project.

CA2: Tough shit.

CA3: You're just so warm and fuzzy, reassuring people. Like a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

On the upside, we are getting Barbecue of Doom today for lunch. So we've got that going for us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More game food porn

Packers have triumphed, as did the menu. Food was great. Today we had ribs (with sauce from King's Famous Barbecue in Petersburg, VA. The best), onion straws (the moral equivalent of onion rings, but with less emphasis on rings), fried pickle chips (eat 'em while they're hot, kids), and the old reliable, stuffed potato skins.

First, the pickle chips:

Also, onion straws:

Not to forget the ribs:

And potato skins:

Pretty damn good. Win makes it perfect.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The gift that keeps on giving

He's still trying to feel your . . . . uh, pain.

I guess he's moved on from Russian dissidents.

Hat-tip to Twitpic via Ace.

And it just got sadder

The agency that posted the pathetic project I just mentioned has retracted the ad. Why? Because the rate was too low and they realized no one would take it? Nah. Because the project is in New York, not DC, which makes $25/hour totally understandable. New York City is much more affordable than DC, right? Should have not problem staffing that goat-roping.

This is just sad

An agency is advertising a project that defies belief: 40 hour cap, 2-1/2 weeks, starting tomorrow. The rate? Five dollars an hour below what is generally accepted as the market floor. I shudder to think what the folks willing to take that project must be like. Top-shelf talent, no doubt. Somebody here suggested creating a new email account and asking the agency if they've lost their fucking minds. I might do it -- maybe using

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Doom on the horizon

Forecast for this project: Sunshine early, with widely scattered Doom. Looks like we're out of here no later than Tuesday. Market seems to be moderately busy, so I'm not deeply concerned about finding work. Doesn't mean I will, I suppose, but I am optimistic for the moment. Optimism in the face of Doom: courage or cluelessness? Perhaps there will be pizza.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Football! Update

Ah, fall, cool enough to open the windows, not so cold as to close them. Perfect temperature as the sound of gunfire drifts in the window (hunting season, kids).  So what does it all mean?

It means it's game day once again, and while there have been some grim performances lately by the Pack, hope springs eternal. I have high hopes for a tough game tonight, and just the menu for the occasion. Tonight's fare will feature the standard stuffed potato skins, along with half-ears of roasted corn on the cob, cocktail wienies (I love writing "wienies") wrapped in bacon, then doused in Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, buried in brown sugar and baked, and brats. Of course, a vegetable tray will be offered, but this isn't about  heart-healthy eating. Game day is for that perfect Queen moment:

If I think of it, I'll update with food photos. Nothing like a little food porn.


Just a couple pictures of what went on the table today. Taken before the brats and roasted corn, sorry.


Friday, October 12, 2012

I heard it through the grapevine

This project is getting near its end, although it is not at all clear how near. Could be a week, could be two. But near. So I figured I would stir things up a bit, and the following conversation ensued:

Me (to the project manager): So, Pizza of Doom on Tuesday?

PM: Where did you hear that?

Me: I made it up. Just trying to start a rumor.

CA1: We're done on Tuesday?

CA2: Since we're done Tuesday, can we lift the hours cap for the rest of the project so we can load up on hours?

CA3: If this is over Tuesday, is it OK if we just jump to a new project starting Monday?

At this point, the project manager gave me a dirty look, put his headphones on an proceeded to ignore us. Start a rumor? Mission accomplished.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

RIP, Mongo

Alex Karras died yesterday.  Most folks remember him as Webster's dad, many others from his time as a commentator on Monday Night Football. I remember him most as a fearsome defensive lineman for the Lions for 12 years. He used to wreak havoc on the Packers (and everybody else). I had a poster of Alex Karras on my wall, even though he was a Lion. He was a great player who deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Despite all those claims to fame, though, Alex Karras will live forever as Mongo, the brute enforcer in Blazing Saddles. Question: Will he be best remembered for the great quote, "Mongo only pawn in game of life," or for this:

I laugh my ass off every time I see him deck that horse.

UPDATE: Video:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That about sums it up

Just got a text from a friend of mine who is a big wheel at one of the staffing agencies. He wrote: What basement are you in and for how long?

I could have been insulted. I could have been offended. I could have hit back at him for trivializing what I do, but who am I kidding? My life in nine words. So I texted back and told him. Maybe he's got a gig for me when this one ends, right?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Can't a guy celebrate Columbus Day?

Stayed home yesterday, mostly because I was tired and wanted to sleep. For a long time. Which I did. It was a holiday, after all, and you could get the impression looking around the room here that this is an attendance-optional project. Anyway, I didn't give it much thought.

Got over half a dozen emails checking to make sure I was still alive, still on the project, interviewing or whatever. Damn, y'all.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

If you've lost SNL . . . .

Sorry to send you to an NBC link,  but . . .It's worth it.


It's football Sunday, Packers looked great for a half, decided to stink after that. For this I didn't go to work? Shit. Game day menu: Wings (honey barbecue, teriyaki and traditional, your choice), stuffed potato skins, pigs in a blanket (a classic that never goes wrong) and a vegetable tray (broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots, with ranch dip). Didn't make up for losing to a shitty team, of course, but maybe this will.

Certainly all 'Skins fans have to root for today.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

No getting around it, really

No matter how you slice it, working Saturdays sucks. Can't work Sundays during this time of year, though. Interferes with my weekly worship session. This week, we'll be watching the Packers do the Lord's work in Indianapolis.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Huns at the gate

Time for the daily assault. The pounding that is either freeweights being cast aside after a lift, or Huns at the gate with a battering ram, has begun.

Just in time

Many of the temps on this project belong to "the late crew." Many temps, including about half the ones on this project, come in fairly early, within the first hour or so that the work window opens. Often, especially when the work window doesn't open until 8 am or the work hours available don't provide much flexibility to get your hours in, temps show up as early as allowed.

And then there's the late crew. They come in later, sometimes after rush hour ends, sometimes a lot after rush hour ends, sometimes just in time for lunch. A number of temps on this project fit into this category.

One of the temps on this project who belongs to the early crew didn't make it in until 9:30 or so this morning, prompting this exchange:

Temp 1: About time you got here -- we thought you weren't coming.

Temp 2: Nah, figured I'd come in a little later today, see how the little people live.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

I like my explanation better

Every day at about 5:30, the building starts to reverberate with periodic rumblings that sound sort of like thunder. It apparently is a heavy pounding coming from the floor below us. Someone today said it is from the fitness center downstairs. The sound, apparently, is the impact of heavy freeweights being dropped after a lift.

I think there are ways too many "booms" coming to just be freeweights dropping. I am virtually certain that the sound is actually a bunch of Huns using a battering ram to try and break down the door so they can pillage. I could be wrong.


The Princess Bride turned 25 this week. One of the funniest movies ever.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Maybe Putin's a fan

Russia is rapidly overtaking Sweden for the number two spot on the "Country of Origin" list for traffic. Desperate to learn the ways of Temp Town, apparently, the Russians have cut Sweden's lead to less than 50. Just a few weeks ago, it was more than 100. Come on, Swedes, show some pride!

On another note, Ukraine has totally bumped Romania out of the top 10, leapfrogging Brazil to take the No. 9 position. Latvia clings to No. 8, the third former (reluctant) member of the old Soviet Union in the Top 10. Speaking of former SSRs, Georgia stubbornly refuses to visit. Don't know why they're so obstinate.

Actual temp conversation of indeterminate number

Temp 1 rises from his chair and then just stands there, motionless. Temp 2 takes note, and the following exchange takes place:

Temp 2: So what's up? You look like you're deep in thought.

Temp 1: No, I'm just deciding whether I should take my first step with my left foot or with my right.

Temp 3: Why don't you hop?

Temp 1: No, hopping isn't a good look for me. It's hard to pull that off.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And there it is

This morning saw the 12,000th visitor to Eff You. Thanks for coming by. Tell all your friends. Or your enemies. Somebody.

Monday, October 1, 2012

This hurts to watch

Patriots fan sitting next to me, seems like every time I glance over there, he is watching this scene from yesterday's game and really enjoying it:

Getting crowded in here

They keep adding more people to the project, with four added to the original six and now another four coming this week. It's kind of typical -- someone somewhere in the food chain gets nervous about whether deadlines can be met, so they add a few more warm bodies. All it does is shorten the project. Yippee.

Picking up steam

Only three weeks after we passed 11,000 hits, today or tomorrow we will pass 12,000. I'm pretty happy about that. Thank you all.