Monday, January 16, 2012

Yet Another Twentieth Anniversary…

Mayan Doomsday believers may choose to skip this post.  It contains blasphemy...

Although the Mayan calendar supposedly runs out in December, I am over the firm belief that nobody has thought of turning over the page, or stone tablet, in this case, to see that the world doesn’t really end but that there is yet another calendar underneath.

In a way, the same thing happened here.  I got back on January 2nd from an extended vacation over the holidays to discover that one of the employees was to celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company on January 4th, Ouch!  It seems with all of the hoopla associated with the end of the year, no one turned over December to see that there was an anniversary in January. 

A celebratory luncheon was quickly planned for today, January 16th.  Since I am the de facto woodcarving-laureate (is there really such a term?) of the company, I was left scrambling for time and a good idea for his anniversary award.  Actually, the time I had, the idea was the thing that was missing.  The real problem was that I had received too many suggestions.  Unfortunately none of them “jelled” into an overall design for me.  It wasn’t until late last weekend that I finally decided on the design and began madly hacking away at the Basswood.

As I worked on the train I quickly realized that I hadn’t left enough material for nose of the boiler or the cowcatcher, that is, the piece of wood wasn't really thick enough.  I turned a new boiler nose on the lathe and glued it on as well as another piece of wood for the cowcatcher.   

Jeff's Plaque - less Engraved Brass Plate
The engine is a very special one that can, apparently, belch out numbers.:-)

When I was done with the painting, I decided that the boiler looked a little blank, so I used PowerPoint to generate a circle with a number in it and glued it on.  That was just enough detail to break it up and make it look a little more realistic. But what number to put on it???  Why, his phone extension, what else?  So, you might ask, "What was his first question after receiving the plaque???

“What’s the 117 for?"...uhhh, so much for subtlety:-)

As if things weren’t hurried enough, I had a Doctor’s appointment this morning at 10:15.  That made getting here tight, but just doable if all of the Dominoes felt the right way...they didn't!  The Doctor's office was busy and I didn’t get in to see him until way after 11, I couldn’t leave until 11:35.  The party had started at 11:30, I was about 35 miles away and I still had the Plaque with me!  

I finally got here, fashionably late... just as things were starting to break up. :-(   

I had ordered the little engraved brass plate with his name and the date on it and had to run down to my office to get it while he held the, as yet, “naked” Plaque.

But finally, we could officially present the Plaque commemorating his now 20 years and 12 days of employment.

Me (inadvertently covering the brass plate with my big fat thumb), Harry and Jeff, "The Man of the Hour"
I’m too tired to add a “For the Bench” :-)

‘Til next time…Keep makin’ chips!

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