21 Mar 2009

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Dr. Who - The REAL Master!)
Exquisitely understated, utterly inspiring, the wartime poster striking a chord in our credit-crunch times
Keep Calm
There is no fuss, no frills, no clever design or wordplay, just the crown of George VI on a red background and a five-word message: Keep Calm And Carry On.

It is a veritable stiff upper-lip of a poster and has been heralded the 'greatest motivational poster ever'. It hangs on walls everywhere from Buckingham Palace to the National Trust HQ, No10 to the officers' mess in Basra. Its message pops up on mugs, mouse mats, tea towels, T-shirts (David Beckham reportedly has one), rugs and even the cover of a recent magazine for hedge fund managers. Thanks to Stewart Manley, who co-owns a Northumberland bookshop with his wife Mary, it sells by the thousand every week, 70 years after it was commissioned by the Ministry of Information as a World War II propaganda tool.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that the scarlet missive never actually made it into circulation during the war. In fact, despite seeming to be part of our historical furniture, it wasn't until 2000, when Stewart and Mary discovered one of only two perfect originals in a dusty box of second-hand books he'd bought at an auction, that this inspirational message started popping up on walls all over Britain. 'I found a little folded poster right at the bottom of a box of books that had been lying around for months in the back of the shop,' says Stewart, who is 60-something and cheery-looking, with big specs and an impressive grey beard. 'So I opened it out and thought: "Oh gosh! Isn't that wonderful and so British."

Great story, and I want the t-shirt!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
Hit the milestone yesterday. For each of the five days of the work week I drove at least 200 miles. Most of them went well over, so it was probably closer to a 1200 mile week.

Yeah, I'm a Metallica song right now.

But yesterday took the cake. At the start, it seemed a fairly easy run. A couple of stops in Concord and Walnut Creek, up to Pittsburg, and then back to Milpitas to cover the stuff I couldn't get to earlier. I wasn't even phased when I got an order added that specified "after 1000AM only" because it would be easy to make it work. But then things started going downhill.

At first, it was just two pick ups in Livermore. That was no problem. Then I get called to cover two pick-ups on the East Bay route. Again, no biggie, since it is a pretty light day. I rock along, doing my Livermore pick-ups, and get called. They need me to go to Benicia for an emergency transfer. The two East Bay stops get taken off, and off I haul, right back up 680. I drove this stretch of highway four times yesterday.

Make it up to our Benicia warehouse for this amazingly important transfer... and no one there was told I was coming. The order hasn't been pulled. I end up waiting for an hour, and getting violently ill from some fumes (probably paint and thinner; it got a few other people besides me), before heading back south. Get to my add stop in Fremont, and throw up again. Finally, finally get back in, and too my amazement the day has only lasted about eight hours. Illness, discomfort, and constantly changing orders only made it seem like it lasted forever.

There were two incidents that merited a [livejournal.com profile] customers_suck post.

Despite a bad Friday, the week went well. The new scheme of loading trucks the night before is working with minimal mistakes, and somebody up the chain of command shook something, because management is now listening to us. We may take Milpitas off my route for a week and handle my few stops there as second run fodder.


21 Mar 2009 07:48
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Cobra Commander)
Ensign Wheatbiscut! Long time no see! Die in a fire!

iTunes for the win.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
I've been filling out the guest questionnaire for Baycon 2009, and have come to the biography. Here's what we used last time:

The first step in a cunning plan by the world’s penguins to enslave all of humanity, “Doug Berry” is actually a giant (for them) battle robot piloted by a crack team of fairy penguins (Eudyptula minor) and disguised to appear as a slightly odd writer of role-playing games.

In order to maintain the illusion, the Doug-bot writes for the classic RPG Traveller. Published works include GURPS Traveller: Ground Forces, At Close Quarters, and sections of several other books, including the upcoming GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars. He is the acknowledged expert on the military in the official game setting.

Terrifyingly, the Doug-bot has married, and lives among the unsuspecting citizens of San Jose. The bot has survived both Hodgkin’s Disease and the 2002 World Series with minimal complications.

The only way to keep the Doug-bot from carrying out its horrible mission is to feed it lots of Coca-Cola. That, and tacos… Penguins love tacos.

Anyone have suggestions to improve on that? 250 words maximum.

How about this: What panels would you like to see me on? Suggest some topics and i may add them to my suggestion list.

[livejournal.com profile] madelineusher: when does your school year end? Any chance of making it up here for Memorial Day weekend? We have crash space and a membership for you if you can.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Music - Metal God)
Flash of the horns for [livejournal.com profile] bruceb

Heavy Metal Band Name flowchart.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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