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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

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Today, I was very much reminded that there is, indeed, no such thing as a free lunch. I mean this figuratively, of course. A more literal saying might be, There is no such thing as a free day off from work.

Bobby chose to wait until the sun came up to leave for work, and it was good that he did because my car tires were frozen solid to the parking lot. That was interesting. After a half-hour of trying to break me out, he informed me that I wasn't getting out until the sun came up further and the ice possibly softened to where he could chip it away. He broke two ice scrapers just trying to clear my windshield.

The "snow" isn't even really snow: I can walk on top of it without leaving a track, and--in slightly ickier terms--it takes several seconds of steaming hot dog pee before a dent is made in the surface. I attempted to drive my toe through the ice and to the snow beneath without luck. I dare say that this is worse than the ice storm in 1994 when my friend Lisa and I went ice skating in her pasture; then, at least, I would occasionally hit a spot where my foot would punch through. Also, I weighed much less at age twelve than I do at age twenty-five.

Bobby drove me to work, where I had next to no work waiting for me, which allowed me to catch up on the eternally neglected security threat group database. Still, I should have known that it was coming. I should have known. I hadn't gotten new warrants in a week. Warren picked them up last Thursday. Friday is his day off. Monday, the office that processes our warrants was evacuated because of a "police incident in the neighborhood," so he wasn't able to pick up warrants. Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days.

So an apologetic Warren came in with twenty-nine brand spankin' new warrants for me today.

There is no such thing as a free day off from work.

Meanwhile, this was also Pester Dawn on the Phone Day. Pity I must have missed the memo on that one.

My favorite is when the warrant officers call up and, when I answer the phone, exclaim, "Oh, you're in the office today!?" or even better, "What are you doing in the office today?" Ummm...it's a Thursday. Last I checked, I generally work on Thursdays.

It kind of annoys me too because I work the most consistently out of anyone in the unit, yet people are always surprised when I'm there. I'm always there. They'll call at noon on a Friday: "You're still there??" Or at four on a Tuesday. "Why are you still there, Dawn?" *headdesk*

This also makes me wonder who they're calling if they think that I'm not there...?

Anyway, because my car was frozen to the parking lot, then Johnny the Boss made arrangements to have Brian pick me up and drive me home from work. Unfortunately, since things weren't going my way today, I got a call around two from a courthouse in PG County; they had one of our sex offenders and needed a prisoner transport.

I tried Lenny; Lenny didn't answer his phone. (Lenny had called me two hours earlier to express surprise that I was in the office.) So that left Brian to do the transport, which meant that I didn't have a ride home from work, since it can sometimes take hours to get in and out of a prison. So I had to change my plans with Bobby to have him pick me up.

Lenny showed up at the office fifteen minutes later. (Though this ended up a good thing because I'd gotten in another sex offender warrant, so he got on that one right away.)

Tomorrow is Friday, thank Eru, and the start of a long weekend besides. I have nine warrants left to run, a detainer to file, and the review list to compile. After that, I'm finishing the annotation on "The Cottage of Lost Play"--which I've only been working on for a month--and writing, and that is it.

Maybe I won't even answer the phone. Since no one thinks I'm in the office anyway.
  • Wow. Sounds like Baltimore just got a hundred-year blizzard there.
    • In terms of depth, we only got about five inches, which isn't even considered a lot around here! Four years ago, we got three feet, which was bad on several counts: 1) I was over my parents' house, 2) my dad decided not to move the snowblower from the shed, and 3) my parents' have a really long driveway. It got to the point where we had no place to put the show because we could not toss it to the top of the pile...quite interesting.

      This year's storm isn't that bad, despite all of the ice and the fact that Alex can pull me across the surface of the snow as though I was on a skateboard (which is kind of fun but a bad behavior that I really should not encourage...)
      • Alex can pull me across the surface of the snow as though I was on a skateboard (which is kind of fun but a bad behavior that I really should not encourage...)

        But which you're going to encourage anyway because it's just so damn funny. Admit it.
        • And really, how often do we get the sort of ice in Maryland where 140 pounds of Dawn can stand on the ice without punching through? I don't think there will be any lasting damage to Alex's training...
          • Mush, Alex, mush!
            • When Bobby and I were in Hershey for the holidays this year, we watched a sled-dog demonstration, and we were told that any large dog can learn the sport...including Golden Retrievers!

              Yes, Alex, keep lying in the middle of the living room floor, looking at me plaintively...you don't know what's in store for you, do you?
  • *boogly eyes* Your tires froze to the ground?!
    • Yep! Of course, part of the trouble is itself our mercurial Maryland weather. The ice storm had ended by late morning, at which point, the sun came out. The temperatures were in the high 20s/low 30s, so all the mess started to melt. When Bobby and I went out in the mid-afternoon, one of our streets was flooded with about six inches of water.

      Of course, the sun inevitably sets and all that mess freezes. I suspect that's how my car froze to the ground.

      In 1996, we got about 2.5 feet of snow, and schools were closed for the better part of the week. On the day that we went back, temperatures spiked to the 60s, and all of the snow melted in one day, and so schools were closed again...for flooding.

      It promptly refroze that night, and I recall some pretty interesting "ice sculptures" on objects where the water had been high and then froze somewhat suddenly in interesting shapes.
  • My friend over in Frederick said 3 inches of ice, yech! Ice is much worse than plain old snow, though a foot or more of snow will give ice a good run for it.

    I've been guilty of calling people when I don't think there in, just needing to leave a VM, imagine my surprise when people answer the phone at 6:30 AM, but these are normal working hours when people are calling you, so I'm mystified.

    Just pat yourself on the back for your work ethic.
    • The funny thing about my work ethic is that it's really not all that great...but it's still better than my coworkers'!

      I mean, around eleven every morning, I generally stop working and start surfing the Internet or writing, regardless of what needs to be done. Or I procrastinate silly, stupid things, like putting away maintenance records for the cars or putting things in the mailbox. I also have an aversion to shredding things, though I've gotten over that a bit with some discipline.

      The warrant officers, on the other hand, work out in the field, so they make their own schedules (which includes as many days off as they want/need) and aren't really held accountable for anything. For example, we have teams that get only one or two arrests a month. Compared with that (my "arrest" column for detainers filed is usually around five or six), I do work hard, if only because I'm the only person who absolutely must report to the office every day, so try as I might to avoid work, it tends to find my anyway. ;)
  • I'm with Allie, your tires froze to the ground?? That is weird. Even mine haven't done that! Now, this morning my car made pathetic noises when I tried to start it, and my windshield wipers were completely frozen to the windshield (I got one un-stuck, hoping to use the wipers to swipe the layer of snow of so I could just scrape the ice, but it immediately re-froze). And you broke two ice scrapers? Wow. Haven't managed that either (though I do have a Super Ice Scraper).

    The Ice Storm of 1997? As in the Blizzard of 1997? It comes every ten years, don't you know, thus it is also called the Ten Year Blizzard. I think the Ice Storm of 1997 might be the time when the marching band practice field/parking lot had a sheet of ice on it, and during which they supposedly "poured oil on the trombone slides and lit them on fire so that they worked". (I do not believe that story for a minute, although in my more crazy moments, I'm sometimes tempted to try to light my slide on fire...But I love my trombone way too much for that.)

    It did finally stop snowing though. For now.
    • I gave Allie a good explanation of why my car freezing to the ground is actually less indicative of the severity of the storm and more indicative of our strange, mercurial Maryland weather. If you're interested. ;)

      And I made an oops when I said 1997...the maths don't add up! I was 12; I am now 25. The year was 1994. I don't know how I boggled it that badly, but I'll edit my post.

      And that wasn't a blizzard so much as an ice storm, again. In 1996 and 2001, we got blizzards in the sense of 2.5 and 3 feet of snow, respectively, which paralyzes a pathetic state like this for a week!

      Also, I can see the oil working, but what is the purpose of the fire? I think I must be missing something, even if just the value of a good ol' urban legend. ;)
      • Ah, that makes sense. Happens here too, except lately there's been so much snow left that the piddly melting doesn't have the tire-freezing effect (at least to the point where people can't move their cars).

        Aww, well, we (as in the state, not me) got a blizzard in 1997; hence 10 Year Blizzard.

        I think the "point" of the fire was that there was supposedly ice sealing the two parts of the slides together, and that the fire was to melt the ice and get the slides movable again. Like I said, a load of bullcrap, but an amusing concept.
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