Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Serve Man

Okay, its been a while. I realize that. But things have finally finished up at the commercial job we were doing, which means I am unemployed for the next, uh, day. Which is about as good as it gets. Being unemployed for about ten weeks was scary (though strangely ineffective at lowering my tax bill). Being unemployed for...oh...Wednesday, that's a chance to catch up, do some business hour errands, etc.
Let's start with a few photos from these recent jobs:

Here is an example of job site ingenuity.

I apologize for the low quality of the photo, but it is a shot from my ancient phone in low light. If you can make it out, this is a latch on the inside of a makeshift bathroom at a job on the Upper East Side. In this photo the door is on the left, the wall on the right, the latch contraption affixed to the door with the latch thrown.

To have a toilet is a luxury during the early days of a job, much less a door. The fact this one has an intricate latch on top of all that is a testament to an ingenious mind with a hatred of the simple framing they should have been doing with all the time they poured into this. The bolt of the latch slides left to right and is held in place by those two vertical pieces on the right. The third vertical-on the left-is a handle/stop and if you look closely you can see shiny metal screw which also acts as a handle/stop. This is probably not as interesting to those of you unfamiliar with general job site conditions.

But I think most people can recognize the other side of the coin, here:

What you are looking at is a tool that, new, was versatile enough to be called a 5-In-One. Whether it is now a 1-In-One or a None-In-One is, I suppose, debatable. Some jobs, including the spreading of certain kinds of mastic, create tools so gunked up they would require gallons of solvent to clean them. This is why they make cheap, plastic spreaders. The tool above isn't remarkably expensive, but I can assure you the guy who did this didn't buy it, or it's replacement.

Seat belts on? Good, because we're about to take a hard, poorly transitioned turn....

I'm not big on news hype, and can only watch any news channel these days for so long before the overwhelming assault of graphics and constant yelling forces me from the room-(no really, close your eyes and listen next time, many of them are actually yelling...wearing microphones 10 inches away from their mouths in a studio and yelling...)-but this stuff caught my eye:

Ummm, I don't want to alarm anyone, but I've watched a lot of science fiction in my day, and I've seen these reports about fifty times over the years. This almost never ends well.
Especially now, without Charlton Heston around to save us from ourselves.
I implore you not fall for miraculous new foodstuffs or the promises of benevolent alien overlords.

I'm just sayin'...

On a lighter sci-fi note, I stumbled on this website this morning:

Cool stuff, speaking of which, "Automatons" is playing in London this weekend if you're in the neighborhood.


  1. When will Automatons make it to DVD?

  2. JR, I'm pretty sure Amazon has it.

    That is no way to treat a tool. My grandfather would have given whoever was responsible of his looks, which went a lot farther than words.

    Did you ever see The Simpsons episode set in the future in which Homer is eating Soylent Green--the box has a banner reading "Now With More Girls!"

  3. I didn't see that, but it is hilarious. No surprise, I guess.

  4. Anonymous10:42 PM EDT

    That's the best damn trifecta of YouTube posts ever.

    Belated happy birthday. At our age, is the crystal in your palm clear? Or did it turn black and crumble to dust a decade ago?

    "Renew! Renew!"