Daily Post – 9/22/10 – ‘Run the day’

Posted on September 22, 2010 
Filed under Daily Writing

(Beware – long post to follow!)

Sometimes, very important people, upon arriving at the office, have their secretary or administrative assistant ‘run the day’.

This means that they want a verbal rundown of the upcoming events.  This entry will be that, only in reverse.  We’ll call it a ‘review of the day’. (I know that’s pretty original……)

6:00am – Day starts at the sound of the alarm.  Can’t say what the song’s name was, but I recognize it from something my daughter has sung along with on her iPod.  Something about tears on a guitar. Yep, it’s KSUX-FM.

6:20am – Into the kitchen to start breakfast, after turning the radio on. (The kitchen set is usually tuned to KWIT.  If I don’t want a daily dose of news, I’ll flip the iPod in the dock on.)  I usually do the breakfast cooking, and like doing it. Most of the time I keep it pretty simple.  This morning it is scrambled eggs with onions and cheese for my wife and I, and some hash browns for the kids and I. (My wife doesn’t like hash browns. That’s OK. My son says my eggs “don’t taste right”. That’s OK, too.  It’s probably because they are cooked with salt, pepper and onions and with a little bacon grease.  Hey, if you are going to have the cholesterol, why not go all out!)  I fry some bacon as well. Everybody likes Bacon! By 6:40 the table’s set and the feast begins.

7:20am – out the door to take my daughter  to middle school.  I really try to get her out the door by about 10 after, because if I don’t, the wait time to get onto Indian Hills Drive can be almost 10 minutes some days.  Today it’s no exception, and after watching about 45 cars go by in both directions, manage to do a NASCAR style pit exit to take my place on the road.

7:40am – back in the house and time to go “to work”.  This means it’s time to go downstairs to my desk and see what the overnight email consists of.  Maybe someone bought something of mine from eBay? (Nope.)  Well I start in on the task of the day.  With no homework left over from last night, I start company work.  Project for today is ten 3 minute presentations.  Over the course of about 3 mornings in the last couple weeks, I have worked with a member of my church to cut audio for some mission presentations.  The audio is all edited and I have all the photos lined up, so here we go.  First I get my laptop where (I swear) I have the original project which we did as a proposal.  Nope, not on the laptop.  Oh well, since that leaves me somewhat befuddled, I start up the videotape to DVD rack, and load it up.  By now, it’s almost 8:30 and I walk upstairs to see my wife off to work.  Then, it’s back downstairs.

8:45am – I locate the project files on my desktop computer (how’d they get there?), and fire up Final Cut Pro and start editing.

8:47am – Phone rings.  It’s a client, wanting to ask some questions about transferring some 8mm film to DVD.  He’s been getting ready to send his stuff for some time and has evidently been looking at other sites and asks the infamous question:  “I like all the info on your site but why should I send my stuff to you?”  Having answered this question many times in the past, I recite all the points about experience, high end equipment, professional software and so on. (I leave out the part about making a house payment. I figure that goes unsaid.)  I don’t criticize other companies, and really don’t like it when I hear someone boosting their company by attacking someone else.  Probably why I don’t do political spots as a rule.  He’s satisfied with all my explanations and we go over some other information, and he agrees to send his film in.  Back to editing.

9:00 am – time to change tapes in the dub rack, then back to editing.  My goal is to be out the door today by 11:15am, since I have a physics lab at 11:45.  Let’s see if that happens.

9:15am – phone again.  A friend of mine is having trouble getting a new Mac up and running with Final Cut.  This problem has been around a day or two, and the suggestions from yesterday didn’t work. Seems a previous owner turned on something called “file vault” and it has succeeded in encrypting parts of the operating system.   Time to wipe the HD and start over, we decide.

9:21am – phone. It’s someone I talked to yesterday who has a tape from a surveillance camera.  It’s of somebody stealing a political yard sign.  Yesterday he asked if I could “clear it up, or enhance it” so they could get a license number off the car. (Thank you CSI!) I told him that there was not going to be enough resolution on the VHS tape to do much, if anything.  Today, he just wants to “sit down and see what can be done.” He’ll even pay!  I reiterate that there is more than likely no hope of getting anything useful from the tape.  In order to get a license plate, the camera pretty much has to be zoomed all the way in and fill the screen with the tags. I also tell him that my schedule is pretty full and I don’t have time to even meet today.  The fellow thanks me and says they will be back in touch. Back to Final Cut.  Now I have three of the ten done.

9:30am – I get an email from AOL that the piece I went to Sioux Falls to shoot last Tuesday has failed quality control.  I open the email to find out why, and all they have done is to send me the original instructions. Huh?  Not what needs to be changed, but just a cut and paste of the original guide. (This graphic, this font, so on and so on.) I quickly log on to the message board for the project and post that I need something specific to change, because to me, I did exactly what the instructions called for. I then call my contact, Daniel, and leave a voicemail stating the same thing.  Oh, by the way, this (whatever it is) needs to be fixed and re-submitted in 24 hours.

9:40am – Back to Final Cut.

9:50am – Daniel returns my call.  He agrees that it was poor for the person doing QC just to regurgitate the original instructions.  We both look at the piece and find out that there was a communications gaffe in the instructions and I used the wrong graphic, which was what the instructions said to use. No harm, no foul, quick fix. He does compliment me on the quality of the video.  That’s nice to hear.  I get the feeling that they sometimes don’t get the “A” team to go out and shoot these things (The instructions start out ominously enough with “Use a tripod”, “Use a microphone” and “Use Lights” !?!?!?!) I pull out one of my laptops and start doing the changes on it while continuing to edit on my desktop.  Two fisted editing.  (Yes – I do have four licenses for Final Cut. No cheating here.)

10:15am – Flip the dub rack again,and I’m up to 5 pieces edited.  Looks like the dream of getting to physics lab is fading a bit.

Between about now and Noon, I probably take about 15 to 20 calls, while continuing to edit.  Most of them are clients, and a couple are telemarketers.  I will always take time to talk to a client, no matter how impossible the task they need (My husband erased our wedding tape! Advice: Sorry, nothing short of re-staging the wedding will help that, no matter what you’ve seen on CSI.)  Telemarketers get even shorter amounts of my time now.  I always hang up on the robots and the humans get the “Don’t have time, please remove my number from your list.” recitation.

12:15pm – Lab started 30 minutes ago.  (I can make it up later.) Now I am up to 8 finished pieces.  Well, at least I can eat lunch today.

12:45pm – Must leave by 1:15 to get to Ross’ class. I need to do just one final piece.

1:10pm – Hit the “Submit” button and send all ten pieces to Compressor.  Run upstairs and grab my backpack and out the door with 5 minutes to spare.

1:35pm – I walk into the faculty suite in Mass Comm.  Chris Levine is dis-assembling a tripod for Doc to use as a wall mount for a camera in the broadcast booth at Olson stadium. I try to help.  2 minutes later, my cell phone rings (my business line is forwarded).  It’s the client from this morning telling me that he has all the film ready to ship.  He confirms my address (correct for 5 years ago.  He has been thinking of this for a while.) and promises to email me the Fed Ex tracking number.

I hang up and  within 30 seconds, it rings again.  My wife (the secretary) takes it from me and quickly takes a number as I walk quickly to class.

After class – I wait for my wife so we can leave at the same time, and follow her home across town.  Down to the basement, I flip the dub rack again and then print on a dozen DVD’s to burn the projects from this morning onto.

From now until dinner, which Joan fixes, I return phone calls and burn one DVD after another. (Each project has to be seperate and one disc holds all 11 finished projects.) I also get an email with a tracking number from this morning’s client. (Yes!)

Break for dinner about 5:20, then back downstairs to work on some homework and kick all 11 mission projects through Compressor again to create web versions.

About 6:45, it’s off to church.  After returning from church, about 8:15, I decide to sample the German chocolate cake from the Spoonholder Joan and I picked up yesterday.  Delicious.  From now till about 9:45 I do homework and print out the email from my physics professor reminding me about the quiz in his class Thursday. (By the way, my cell phone shows two missed calls during church. A friend once said about being self employed: “It’s a part time job! 12 hours is only half of the day!” I’m not complaining, though.  eBay is full of people who are selling their video gear because the phone has not rang enough lately.)

At ten, I go upstairs long enough to pour a glass of ice tea, tuck the family in, and head back downstairs for homework.

I turn in at about Midnight. Well, that’s my day in 1801 words.  The rest of my posts will be shorter, I promise.

Till tomorrow (wait, that’s today.),



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