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July 15, 2024

Notes From the Office 23: Delays and Vacations

By Sand Pilarski

Yes, some of you have noticed that the Piker Press is very late this week.

"Teacher, the dog ate my ezine."

Wait, no, that doesn't work. In point of fact, one of the dogs did barf on what remains of our carpet (why can they never find the linoleum?) and an 80-pound dog never makes a 'little' mess. What a way to start the day!

Let's add in that my husband's employer is about to kick everybody out the door at the end of next March. What has that to do with this week? Why, simply that as of next April, there is no more health insurance! Hence, a consult with my doctor this past week led to a flurry of scheduling this test and that test and further indignities and fights with the insurance company ... this morning I had to go and let crueller vampires than Lydia Manx's drain blood from me.

Big deal, right? Apparently so. The clinic was empty when I got there, and in spite of no one being ahead of me, the 1.7 minutes it took to fill out the same paperwork that is in their computer forever stretched into an hour and a half before the phlebotomist (not phrenologist, or lobotomist) was able to spare 1.5 minutes to draw blood.

Now, at this point you may be saying, "Sure that was today, but what about yesterday, and the day before, you slacker?"

Sundays ... I do not work on Sundays at all if I can help it. Especially during NFL season, even though the West Coast was CRUELLY denied the exquisite pleasure of seeing the Pittsburgh Steeler defense SHUT DOWN Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. Grinding my teeth with frustration while watching San Francisco being dragged around by the annoying Houston clowns and simultaneously checking computer updates on the Steeler game wore me out. Zzz.

So, what about Saturday? Well, things were coming along nicely with the Press, but then John Dowling's article exploded on the wall, erasing half of one paragraph in the uploading, and two or three others following it, then continuing as though there was no problem at all. I howled for Alex to leave her gardening and artistic weekend and come over and look at my computer, which she did, though it took time out of her day. She could find nothing in the HTML formatting that would cause the text to disappear. We spent HOURS on it, to no avail.

"Save it as an .rtf or as a .txt and see if that makes a difference," she said, assuming that I would understand what that means and be able to take action on it, which I would NOT have been able to do three years ago.

An hour ago, I finally just erased the text in question and retyped it -- and it worked fine. "The computer ate my ezine!"

Next week I'll blame the uneveness of my toenails, I'm sure.

"Strange Bedfellows," that wicked mix of clever vampires and panting werewolves goes on hiatus this week, as Lydia Manx takes a well-deserved vacation, during which I have informed her she must continue to write as well as take many, many pictures. The story line of the alliance between werewolves and vampires will resume in December.

Finally, this week we welcome Aaron Rowley of Mississippi and his cover story "Bruce O'Lantern." Mr. Rowley sent me a draft of this story some months ago; I thought it a great idea, and was not at all disappointed with his expanded version.

Cheers, all!

Sand Pilarski

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-10-26
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