Thursday, August 17, 2006

The owner is out

One of my favorite expressions, the one I use to describe my coworkers and me trying to, say, coordinate leaving the building together to attend a meeting or have a staff lunch, is "herding cats." As you know if you've ever been owned by a cat, they herd very poorly. It's genetic memory. Once, in Egypt, they were gods. They remember that. In fact, they consider their status to be unchanged in that regard.

Lately, however, I've been inspired by hiring, training and attempting to schedule five new student assistants, to add a variation to the metaphor: "herding fruitflies."

And that is where I've been. Herding fruitflies and watching in horror as complications and workload mount and I progress backwards in the fight to accomplish anything. In spite of the fact that I'm running very hard.

So. I've been gone. Not even energy enough left over to sit down and visit my favorite bloggers, let-alone write anything.

With this note, I'm posting the first in a series of hobo signs. Markings left on rocks and walls as messages for the next wayfarer passing through - from the earlier part of the 20th century, I assume. I've long loved these - which I found in a book on signs and symbols of the world. Some are clear and straightforward and some, in design or meaning, mysterious and complicated in execution or choice of symbol.

The sign above means The owner is out and I post it sadly, because Lucas of Jumper's Hole has taken down all but two posts on his blog. Lucas, I hope you are only gone for a little while.


Anonymous said...

Omega and Infinity are two of my favourites.

Strangely, Yotta has sprung back to life, arms flailing about, wires barely visible. So feel free to coast on us for all your blahyaddajaja for the time being toots.

So sad to hear you have a gaggle of Robins this semester. Where oh where are the Markos and Ts huh? (har!) If it's any consolation at all, we're headed for a flaming fiasco here at the the West Coast baloney factory too. On a good day we should be able to actually hear each others' hysterical laughter.

The owners are out.
The dogs are dead.
The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
I haven't seen the ducks in weeks.


herhimnbryn said...

Sounds like a great book. Title?
Love your 'herding' quotes. Maybe you need a sheep dog to round them up? " Come by, Shep. Come by"!

LJ said...

Where, indeed are the Markos & Ts? I've hired a few with some potential...but no one like the two of you, surely. Not for ages. I don't know, really, if we're getting that variety of student these days. Sadly. Will catch you on Yotta soon,(ducks)....

A herding dog, H? Long as it isn't a black dog or puppy. And you know what?
As soon as I put the book down, the shelvers disappeared it. I have a feeling it went into the general collection instead of reference - but I'll list it as soon as I find it. Most of it is commercial graphic symbols - chemistry, communications, etc.

'Snot said...

Oh-oh. I hope you find the book again.

Jess D'Zerts said...

"...progress backwards..." How eloquent is that!

LJ said...

Not terribly eloquent, Miz D'Zerts, but then my mind is being ground to a fine and useless powder at work so there isn't a hell of a lot left to blog with...

Jessie said...

You seem to be doing very well with the fine and useless powder, IMHO, although I realize it probably doesn't feel that way to you. Thanks for explaining the bared teeth, I wasn't so sure it was grinning... ;-)

LJ said...

Absolutely - grinning. What is IMHO?
I'm terrible at internet shortforms.
I know about three.

chuck said...

Ah, symbols!

Simple communication...and powerful, as well.

chuck said...

Me, too...I hope Lucas will be back soon!

phlegmfatale said...

In the 50s, apparently there was a mark somewhere around my grandparents' front fence, because grandma would always give hobos food.