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Manufacturing a disaster - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
Manufacturing a disaster
I'm out of the office today. I'm out because I'm feeling sick, mind you -- I genuinely feel like utter trash. So while this means I was able to avoid today's scheduled "Super Service" brainwashing it's not as if I'm out frolicking in the meadow with birds and deer in Disney style.

Not that this has stopped work from relentlessly bombing me. Why should I want something as trivial as sleep in my quest to feel like a functional human again? My desk phone has been ringing nearly non-stop and when it isn't ringing my cell phone has been ringing in its place. In those blissful times when both desk and cellular are silent, the Treo is chiming away with its cheerful "bing-bong!" sound to indicate a new e-mail has been delivered. I know I'm one of only two network engineers this company has but come on, this is retarded. Reading the e-mails gives one the sense that the company is collapsing as I write this. It's not true, obviously, but it does leave me with the impression that I should never take another vacation or sick day again. Of course, I haven't taken any real vacation in the last two years (working at con and the two out of state trips I took last June/July for deaths in the family does not count) so why should I start now?

In other news, people in my neighborhood are strange. I put out some computer equipment, recyclables and miscellaneous junk last night for today's collection. As far as I was concerned it was all trash that was just taking up space in my home. Some ingredients in the pile were:
  • a 21" Sun monitor (that Sun had OEM'd from Sony back in the day),
  • two broken or otherwise useless laser printers (I consider any printer useless in today's day and age if it doesn't have, at minimum, a USB 2.0 connector on its chassis),
  • a Sun SPARCStation 4,
  • plastic shelving,
  • and a filthy and generally ruined cooler.
Because of raccoons and other random wildlife that tear apart garbage bags I didn't take the actual trash out until this morning. When I reached the end of my driveway I found that sometime overnight both of the printers had been swiped from the top of the pile, although some of the plastic casing from the broken one (which became a lot more broken when I dropped it on my sidewalk last night) was still on the curb. The SPARCStation had likewise been taken. Somebody had opened the cooler and the 21" monitor had been tipped over onto its screen... so somebody could cut off and take the video cable. The video cable ends in a 13W3 connector. Why... did somebody cut off the video cable? What's the point?

Some people just love random, technical-looking trash I guess. At least Doctor Steel loves me.

Rescue me

Current Location: Z'ha'dum
Current Mood: blah blah
Current Music: Dr. Steel - Land Of The Lost

13 thoughts or Leave a thought
skorzy From: skorzy Date: July 17th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its all about the copper! Copper prices are extremely high and there's a growing market, and interest, in salvaged copper from power cords. THere's people literally salvaging small quantities of copper from discarded electronics and making money off it!

Though, I'm surprised the monitor can be "recycled" like you're doing. In California, you have to take old computer equipment in to specified hazmat recycling centers.
feren From: feren Date: July 17th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Note that this wasn't a power cable they took, it was the equivalent of the VGA cable. Which, while it has copper in it, is almost entirely insulation because the wires are so fine. The cladding and plastic for the connector make up for the remaining weight of it, so I'd say maybe 5% of the entire thing's weight was the copper. At $3.4397/lb for copper (last I checked) that's a LOT of video connector cables that have to be collected to amount to enough to buy a Whopper.
tugrik From: tugrik Date: July 17th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The cable thing is easy. Cables have copper. It's 'trendy' of late with the vagrant and scavenger set to swipe absolutely anything with copper in it, due to the price per pound you can get for it these days.

Cutting off monitor cables at a dump is far more sane than some folks' quests for copper. We've had multiple incidents down here of big power outages as some of these brain donors have climbed into substations and started to dike out feed lines they thought weren't live. Until they were. *zort* *crispy*
feren From: feren Date: July 17th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bah, this is hardly new if that's why they took it. In fact they're nearly two decades behind. The drunken relatives of my cousins were stealing copper from wiring inside abandoned houses and live transmission lines as far back as the 80s. And, every once in a while, they'd get fried for their effort.
feren From: feren Date: July 17th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
As I said above to Skorzy... even with the escalated price that copper is commanding these days they'd have to get a LOT of these cables in order to collect enough poundage to buy a Whopper sandwich. I'd estimate that 95% of the cable's weight is plastic, insulation and cladding. And judging by what I see on the curb most trash days I'm one of three people in the neighborhood who have ever thrown out anything computer related. Although, now that I think about it, I could be working on a bad set of data. My statement is based on what I see when I drive to work in the morning and evidence indicates that this stuff disappears before dawn...
doomsey From: doomsey Date: July 17th, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You assume that these people can tell the difference.

A tall order, no?
loboguara From: loboguara Date: July 17th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're assuming that they're intelligent, though, and not brain-addled meth-heads. Lately, a lot of thieves have been trying to steal live high-voltage copper cables from power hookups.

They don't even need to be punished for it, either, as they usually end up...well...grounding themselves. :)
prophetx From: prophetx Date: July 17th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Treo user eh. I am currently test driving a motorola Q. Any thoughts on the treo you wish to pass along would be helpful as it is next in line if I dont like this.
feren From: feren Date: July 17th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm running the Treo 700wx right now and that uses Windows Mobile 5. So far I'm unimpressed with the device. The 240x240 screen is pathetic compared to everyone else that uses 320x320 or better. Also, if you hook the device up to your PC with the USB cable you stop getting your e-mail over the wireless until you do a soft reset (pop the back off and push the button with the stylus). On the plus side, integration with our corporate Exchange server was relatively easy.
wolfbrotherjoe From: wolfbrotherjoe Date: July 17th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
$Coworkers are special.

My suggestion: Turn off the Treo, turn off the cell phone, and unplug the desk phone at the base.
loboguara From: loboguara Date: July 17th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've noticed quite a difference in lack of scavenging, working at a bio/medical company. Here, if a pallet of obsolete junk goes out, it goes OUT.

Back at a dotcom, it was more like scurrying engineers emerging from their cubes to scavenge. Like "Woooow! An ancient yellowed 386! I could run linux on my toilet with it!...or just put it in my car and leave it there!" ...not much actually got out the door.

ben_mouse From: ben_mouse Date: July 17th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Regarding your comments about heing bombarded even on your down-time by work, it's interesting to note that you didn't mention anything about unplugging your desk phone or turning off the cellphone and other wireless devices.

Isn't "putting up with" a thing the same as acceptance? Your skills would certainly carry you on to other venues, yet you remain at a company you constantly and consistantly deride.

I shouldn't be harsh, stones and glass houses being what they are. Certainly there are things I put up with because enertia is both comfortable and hard to overcome. Also, not being a corporate being myself, there may be aspects of the lifestyle which may be quite worthwhile and fulfilling.

Still... I'm just sayin'.
riecka From: riecka Date: July 19th, 2007 09:54 am (UTC) (Link)
This just in from Reuters~~

Dr. Steele has been known to carry a multitude of various bacteria therefor also including the Feren Influenza Steelbug. Please wash your hands and ears after coming in contact with anything Steel related.

13 thoughts or Leave a thought