Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Some light fails

I like pies. Not pies from a bakery. I like fruit pies, that I make in my Sunbeam pie maker, that I then nosh with ice-cream and cream. Indeed, toast-watch has now given over to pie-watch since I eat the latter with a greater frequency.

The annoying thing about making pies is the waiting for the pastry to thaw. Sure, you could nuke it for 30 seconds. But it can go a little slimy feeling doing it that way. Typically instead I go the three bears and leave it out until it's just right.

The other day, without thinking, I left it on the stove. We have a big gas range stove. It's always on in winter, on a low heat, to provide warmth to the front end of the house. It has big old timey diver's boot thick lids for the hotplates so you can safely contain their warmth.

I left a pastry sheet on one of those lids.

Yeah ... much like the concrete shield the Soviets stuck on the Chernobyl reactor - it didn't contain all the energy the pumps out.

When I went to get the sheet it was liquidy. Not quite a puddle, but on the cusp of a puddle. A puddle cusp of pastry. And you know what? What epic coda to this fail is?

I still tried to makes pies out of it ... and only gave up when I attempted to lift up a cut out segment and it dripped off the knife.

Which brings us to a more recent fail.

In the public service, unlike the Liberal and National parties, we believe in human caused (or at least heavily impacted) climate change. Even if the science is still yet to be beyond super settled for such folk, we're applying the insurance method of 'if there's a significant chance it's true then let's act as if it is'. Kind of an enviro Pascal's Wager (wiki that - I can't be fucked linking it).

So we're forging ahead and doing things like adding to our font 4 sized email disclaimer serving suggestions 'please consider the environment before printing this email'. Or changing the lighting in our lifts from Close Encounters bright to 'hey baby, check out my pad' low-medium setting on the dimmer switch in a bachelor apartment from the 70's, via LED lights.

All good stuff - and eagerly embraced by moi.

I was recently on a course. They had the cardboard pyramids on the table for you to put your name on for the benefit of people who are not you to know - along with a marker pen for the all important writing aspect. Only ... the pyramid was slotted in a stiff clear plastic holder. It was easy enough to slot the pyramid out to write on it, but getting it back in was a bitch. I had to peel back the flanges on the slot things and kind of cram it in like you do with a puzzle piece where you're only 70% sure it's the right fit.

'Fuck me,' I thought to myself. 'They didn't think that through.'

About an hour later, I noticed a green coloured laminated piece of cardboard next to the drinking glasses. I'd assumed it was the house-keeping stuff they provide on courses - like a safety card on a land locked airplane about where the fire exits are and what the varied beeps and bleats from the Emergency Control might mean.

Nup. On it were printed some lovely icons that were all "environmentally" in nature (e.g. a stylized fluoro globe) along with some text. Some text regarding the cardboard name pyramids and their fucked up stiff plastic shields.

Yeah ... turns out you weren't meant to write on the cardboard pyramids. The cardboard was a bracing material support for the fucking plastic. You were supposed to write on the plastic, with the white cardboard shield providing in addition to its tensile properties - the opaque background by which the letters on the plastic could then be read. There was an important Gaia-esq message about how this was part of the pulling together stuff we needed to do because every bit of carbon reduction helps.

Again, I am pro-reduction. I just wish they'd placed the little green sign a little better on the table so numpties like me would notice it and pay heed. Like if it had balanced against the water jug or something.

So now there was a whacking great First Name on the cardboard that needed to be taken care of. So I did ... by turning it from legible if child-like printing of characters to a maddened intense Pollack like scribble.

I think all the effort I went to, ink consumed, frustration etc. likely meant a net negative impact on the efforts of Carbon amelioration by the course providers.

However, I should note that of my table of three course members, inc myself, none of us actually wrote on the plastic as our first response. We all missed the laminated hint-sheet.

Lesson learned for next time. Always check for instructions ... and actually read them.

Oh, attention sky-waitresses. I actually do pay attention to your marvelous pre-take off aerobics-meets-props dance because I want you to know I value your efforts. I do. That and I am also entertained by the fact that there's a row of you down the aisle in full 3d perspective and it kind of looks like you're doing a futuristic wedding dance floor homage to YMCA.

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