Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pretty well

So last week I left work--

and a boss who was experiencing all the stages of grief upon being informed that the person previous to me had not distinguished between "Pastors" (the CEO of a church) and what she called "Clergy" (deacons, priests and bishops,
but she used it to to mean 'anyone who works or has worked for a church, including nuns and directors of religious education and the associate minister whom everyone likes because he/she is so much more FUN than the pastor, who is wondering when God will provide for, say, the elecric bill). These are not the same thing, when the boss is intending to send out a mass mailing to people with some power over the churches' budgets.

This week we are having fun trying to get a mailing list sorted by zip code of all these clerical types (dropping out some of the obviously-not-pastors and anyone who has given us money lately) when a) half the entries are home addresses and half are work addresses; thus, there are two possible zipcode fields, and my computer is not that intelligent, and b) the database has a hissy fit because about half the (800+) entries say "United States of America" and the other half just assume it. Almost everywhere in New Hampshire can be assumed to be part of the US. But sometime, maybe after 9-11, she found it necessary to say so.

I cannot help but think he ought to have hired someone who was better at office computing than I am--

you might say I left work_with relief_, and drove to Grafton Fibers, in Vermont by way of the areas in SW NH flood-ravaged last October. And they still are.

And Saxton's River is much farther out of the way if you take the NH back roads (with Highland cattle, though) than if you go out of your way on 91 from Brattleboro.

It was a warm and lovely day and I picked up a dozen beautiful spindles and drove another hour to Northampton, MA, and stopped on the way to Smith to get Chinese food for myself and my daughter and another person stuck behind the registration desk of ConBust, a small but tasty science fiction convention that almost no one from Smith attends except for the women who put it together. About 150 people in all.

I had eleven people in my workshop, which was free, but cost the price of the spindle if you wanted to take it home (I charged my cost because I wanted to Enable people). The goody bag of roving came out of stash, roving that I had no memory of-- what it was, where I'd obtained it. (And I still have a lot of roving...) Six people bought their spindles and I sold one to the woman who couldn't leave the vendors' room during the workshop; she (and a passerby) had lessons the next day. The one-hour workshop ended up lasting two, and almost everyone had enough yarn to be shown how to make a plying bracelet. At least one person (as reported by her roommate) who was up to her neck in running the convention, got up Sunday morning and said, "I have five minutes, I can spin!" Which was very satisfying. For both of us.

Since there are only six or seven people in the world, the male fan who came in and stated chatting about Elizabeth Wayland Barber turned out to be the ex- (but still cordial) boyfriend of the only other spinner I have encountered in archaeology field school. And he and the vendor may both come to this year's field school, which would be most amusing.

It was, however, the hottest day of the year -- a stuffy, humid near-80 Fahrenheit-- and my feet swelled up and everyone was pole-axed tired. Then the front came through, though no rain. Sunday was crisp and lovely and I was still exhausted. I spent idle moments sitting by the registration desk spinning and people watching. it was a fine weekend, though too soon over.


Friendly Neighborhood Tech Fairy said...

I don't know what database you are using, but they all have some kind of option for doing a global replace in a given field. It might be worth your while to figure out how to use it so that you can erase United States of America from the Country fields. Just replace it with the empty string "".

Helen said...

Sounds like a really nice weekend Laura!

Sara said...

*warm, lovely day* and *near 80-degrees*??? These are strange things. Please describe.

green and moldy here

mamacate said...

I'm very glad that you're spreading the enablement here at my place of employ (or something like that). V. good. I'll let you know if I ever encounter any spindling in the wild, though I rarely leave my office lately.

Saturday? It rained (poured) in florence, 2 miles away, on 4/1. Or was it the weekend before when you had your con? That is so long ago, at this point, that I have absolutely no recollection of it, though I have a vague sense that the weather was fine. It's snowing today, so I'm feeling a bit humbuggish about the weather.

Laurie said...

Proselytizing is good when it is good for the soul, like spinning.