Thursday, January 28, 2010

Travels through Podunk

We used to have an electric stapler at my office… well actually that is to say, we used to have an electric stapler that worked at my office… now we have one that doesn’t work, so after the electric stapler stopped shooting out staples, about 4-5 months ago, I went back to using an old fashioned stapler – with an arm that you have to push down on to staple things. Pushing down whilst holding a paper underneath the stapler arm is a little harder than just holding papers under the stapler and having it do the pushing down on its own, but I keep myself in pretty good shape, so I’ve managed so far. My stapler upped the ante a little over 2 weeks ago though, when I started having a little trouble ramming the unused staples to the front of the unused staple chamber (Don’t I have such an amazing vocabulary when it comes to the stapler anatomy… I think I must have a secret dream of working for Swingline … Swingline makes staplers… THE BEST STAPLERS… unlike the staplers that we have at my office… the piece of crap on my desk is made by “Bates” who the hell are they ?… they obviously could use someone like me at their factory to tell them about the proper anatomy of a stapler…).

Anyway, The lazy rammer spring added a third step to the stapling process… not only did I have to hold the papers under the arm AND push down with the stapler… now I had to tap the nose of the stapler on my desks a couple times (to help slide the unused staples forward) before moving onto the aforementioned stapling procedures… on Monday though, stapling at the Menlo Park Shamrock office just got a little too Podunk even for me… ‘cause the spring in my stapler wore out completely, so now to staple something I have to open up the staple chamber, physically push the staples to the front with my finger… or a pen… I prefer using a pen ‘cause its no fun when the staple chamber snaps shut on my fingers… so now to staple something I have to ram the staples to the front, tap the nose of the stapler (on my now dimpled) desktop, gather the papers together and then push down… AND THEN I do the two table taps, get the papers together and push down on the damn arm… so at this point I think at this point it is actually easier (and safer) to go without the stapler entirely and just install the individual staples to my paperwork by hand… or maybe I’ll get a new stapler… I think that our Xerox machine is set up to add a stapler that would actually staple things as I print them… so then I wouldn’t even have to gather the papers together it would be 0 step stapling… God what opulence that would be ! I think I will just have Jose get me a Swingline next time he’s at office depot though.

Another kinda Podunk thing happened to me on the way to work today. I was riding along on my bicycle just about to start onto the Dumbarton bridge (which is about 2-3 miles from my office) when my pedal stopped turning… “weird” I thought to myself as I awkwardly continued along as best I could: peddling fine with my right food and fumbling to keep my left foot balanced on it’s pedal as it circled around…It was like trying to stand still on a log in the river… just very unnatural, and just when I was starting to get a system down, the left pedal just fell clean off. I could kind of see that might be coming, so I just casually stopped my bike, walked back, picked up the pedal and screwed it back on… “Phew problem solved”. It was too easy. It was like I went around putting pedals on my bike all the time … so I got back on my bike and for about 15 seconds I was sailing along thinking I am just super handy dandy and should have my own bike fixin’ show or something… and then the pedal again stopped turning and again fell off. “Hmm maybe I didn’t screw it in right the first time” I thought, so I went and grabbed my pedal out of the road and squatted down on the right side of my bike to inspect how that pedal was managing NOT to fall off. From what I could tell, it seemed to be screwed in the same way as I had just screwed in the left pedal and I don’t know how many ways there can be to screw in a pedal, so I slapped the left pedal back in the same exact way this time being sure that it was as tight as I could possibly make it. Still though, about 25 seconds later it stopped turning… and fell off…

At this point, I figured since I was only a couple miles from my office, and I would be going downhill for the second half of the bridge, I might as well just ride it the rest of the way with one pedal and fix the problem later on… so I rode a few miles today with only one pedal… and I got a few “what’s wrong with this picture” looks from other bikers, but by the time I got here I was pretty good at using the little nub that comes out of the crank as a pedal and I was even a little early to the office… I must say though, it required a lot more effort to be constantly kicking the crank nub rather than just being able to rest my foot on the pedal. (sorry I think I have much better terms for stapler anatomy than bike anatomy) I never really thought about how important pedals are before… or how important it is that they turn as you push them, but it is really important… and I guess the answer to the age old questions… “ how many Jillian’s does it take to screw in a bicycle pedal” is > 1.

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