Today was an interesting day. Saint Patrick's Day is something of an unofficial half-day for field technicians, you see. That's not to say that there was no work being done. Quite the opposite.
I had an LGGS 9.6 analog data circuit installation. If you looked at that and blinked and said, "What the hell?" then you pretty much mirrored my reaction. Yes, there are still companies out there that, for some bizarre reason, order analog data circuits. There aren't many of them, but they're out there. Anyway, the way to test these is by sending tone, which one would normally do with an Ameritech meter. I am familiar with the operation of an Ameritech from working on automatic ringdown circuits (brokerage houses have phones that are directly connected to somewhere else; the moment that one of the phones go off-hook, the other end rings).
I was not, however, issued an Ameritech when I came back to work, so finding this job in my work was a bit disturbing. I was told to come to the office and pick up a Halcyon. "What's a Halcyon?" I asked. "I'll show you when you get here," was the reply.
I picked up the Halcyon and had to suffer through a brief, incoherent tutorial. When I got to the job, however, and started testing the circuit, I found that the controls on the meter were quite easy to figure out. Furthermore, the operation of the Halcyon was excellent. Seriously, I don't suppose it's a normal thing to be blown away by the operation of a piece of field test equipment, but this thing was aces all the way. The Ameritech is a piece of cheese by comparison. The only advantage the Ameritech has over the Halcyon is that it is smaller... but though it is twice the size of the other meter, the Halcyon is of comparable weight.
Well, I was impressed anyway.
Of course, today being the day that it is, this would not be a complete journal entry were I not to describe the hilarious altercation between two people at the bar. One was a well-dressed guy talking to a friend of mine, Dawin. The other was this ornery old fart who was in the corner talking to himself.
The old dude got pissed off about something and started yelling a muddled tirade at the well-dressed guy. Apparently, he was angry that the well-dressed man used the "f" word, and proceeded to belligerently taunt the other guy. We're not exactly sure what he was saying, but he was pissed. He was eventually tossed out of the bar, but he waited outside for the well-dressed hombre, insisting that he was going to wait for him to beat him up.
At one point, he came back in to use the bathroom. Charlie and I saw him and both figured we had to see what's going on. When we get in the rest room, we find Dawin is already there, washing his hands and chuckling. The old guy was in one of the stalls. Charlie took a urinal and I took the stall next to the guy, and Dawin asked (loudly) if we were going to stick around to see the ass-kicking. I replied that it had been a long time since I'd seen a good ass-kicking, and the old guy got pissed. Not knowing who was speaking (and possibly being intimidated by me - shows you how drunk he was) he started railing at Charlie, telling him that he had a "Paper Ass," and that he should shove it "up your balls and then eat it."
He then left, and eventually disappeared.
That's it, though. Charlie will now forever be known as Paper Ass.
It's also nice to know that when you're seventy, you might have reason to tap the same shit-talking skills that you had when you were seven.
I'm really not doing this guy justice. I guess you had to be there. It was hilarious. Trust me.