You know you really, really need your job when …

… your boss shoots you and you still go back to work the next day. This item is on the Times Herald-Record Web site and also in the paper of Thursday, May 28, 2009.
Contractor shoots employee twice, police say
GOSHEN — State police say a construction company owner shot his only employee on two days this month with a BB gun and now faces felony assault and other charges.
Police said contractor Nicholas Revella Jr., 29, shot the man outside his home on Jessup Switch Road in the Town of Goshen, where Revella runs his business out of a garage.
The next afternoon at around 4 p.m., Revella shot the victim in the calf and thigh, police say. The two apparently were arguing over the victim’s drinking and work issues.
Revella surrendered on Tuesday. He was arraigned and released after posting bail. He is to reappear in Goshen Town Court.

I’ll bet this guy goes back for a third stint, as soon as the boss gets out of jail. But how bad must you hate your employee when you shoot him even though he’s the ONLY one who works for you? Can you imagine needing a construction job done on your house and calling this business owner? He’d have to say, “Jeez, sure, I’d love to fix your roof, but you’ll have to hold the ladder, OK?”

Route 28

As a public service, i offer you the following thought experiment. Pretend you are standing before a blackboard, the top of which represents the direction “north.” Here’s a piece of chalk: Draw the top half of a circle, starting in the west and going up and over to the east. (Draw it nice and big, so the whole class can see it.) Now erase the last 20% of it that you drew. Good. You have drawn an almost perfect representation of New York’s Rt. 28, from its westerm terminus near Utica all the way to Warrensburg in the east. It passes through some of the state’s most beautiful territory — the Adirondacks.

Now, let’s say you are traveling from Newburgh, 150 miles south of Warrensburg, to Potsdam — to get the stuff out of your son’s dorm room at SUNY Potsdam, let’s say. And let’s say further that, not long after you’ve finished that job and gotten all the crap loaded into the car (except the kid, let’s say, because he wants to stay up there with his girlfriend for another week — or as he cleverly puts it, he wants to “study for his finals”), there arises an almost tornado-level electrical storm that turns the sky green-black. There are pine trees and large, male deer blowing across the twisting mountain roads that you’re fighting to keep your car on, and you’ve gotta get all the way to Warrensburg, which is where you can jump onto the much-more-civilized Rt. 87 for the last, two-and-a-half hour leg of your trip.

So here’s what happens: You make it through the twin metropoli of Colton and South Colton; by a miracle, you have swung past Tupper Lake without driving into it; you have passed Long Lake, and have arrived at Blue Mountain Lake. And after three hours of back-breaking, chin-on-the-steering-wheel, white-knuckle driving, you notice from a sign that you’re not on plain old Rt. 30 South anymore; the road is now known as Rt. 28/30. You allow yourself a moment’s hope, because you know you’re at the very top of that map you’ve drawn on the board, and that all you have to do is turn left (east) somewhere around here onto Rt. 28 and you’ll be arcing southeasterly for 45 miles, all the way back down to Warrensburg. Suddenly you see a sign with arrows. One arrow points straight ahead but says, “Rt. 28 South” and the other points to the left but says, “Rt. 28 North.” If there’s only one thing you know in the world, it’s that you do NOT want to start heading north, back up to Potsdam. Here’s the question: WHICH WAY DO YOU GO?

And here’s the answer: YOU GO STRAIGHT. Why? I’ll tell you why: Because you’re an idiot, that’s why! An idiot who should not be driving under any circumstances, much less these. Yes, you go straight, but then within 50 feet, after God has stopped laughing, He sends you another sign, saying, “Utica, 86 miles.” And you realize that even though you’re on Rt. 28 SOUTH, you are also headed the wrong way on the arc. So you turn around and go back, and get on Rt. 28 NORTH, and then there’s a pole another 50 feet later bearing TWO signs: the one on top says, “Rt. 30 South” and the one right underneath it says, “Rt. 28 North.”

Only in the Adirondacks could you be headed southeast on Rt. 28 North, but that’s OK because there’s yet another sign just a few feet beyond those two, and it’s really the most beautiful sign you’ve ever seen: It’s glistening and clear in your headlights through the rain, and it says, “Warrensburg, 45 miles.”

To review: In New York State, do not ever, ever think that, just because you’re on Rt. 28 South, headed west, that you can’t be headed north. Or that you can’t be on both Rt. 30 South and Rt. 28 North at the same time. Or vice-versa.

And i hope you’ve taken notes, because this will be on the final.

Who Are You Calling “Multigenerational”?

I had quite a shock yesterday while leafing through the new (April 24) issue of “The Vision,” the newspaper of the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. There, on Page 8A, are two photos i had taken during a recent hike with my husband, Tim, and three of his pastor-pals. i was given NO credit for the photos (i guess it’s not very Christian of me to even notice that), much less for bringing along the most recent trail guide to that hike, binoculars, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, camera and by far the most water. No, no; none of that bothered me.

At all. As you can tell.

Instead, what got me was this young pastor-dude’s description of our hiking group (5 people, including me). First, he wrote that our group “consisted of four clergy and one clergy spouse, with varying degrees of ‘maturity.'”

First of all, when you put quotes around “maturity” like that, it means you know that all the youngsters reading this are winking at one another and jabbing one another in the ribs, amused and sympathic with your efforts to not say the offensive word, “age.” (Can you please count me out of your little group, people? Age is a GOOD thing! May you all age!) And then the other thing that got me was, in describing the hike*, he wrote, “We struggled and panted our way to three peaks, amidst scenic waterfalls, rock formations, and a climb called ‘The Devil’s Staircase.’ It sounds rough, and it was, but it was more than enjoyable for our multigenerational team.”

I came to a dead stop. “‘Multigenerational’?” There were five of us … all about my age, or a little younger. All adults. No kids, no grandparents. “Multigenerational”?! i read that sentence to Tim, totally flummoxed. i had gotten to know David a bit during that four-hour hike because i deliberately slowed down several times so i could talk with him. He’s no dope. He couldn’t possibly misuse the word “multigenerational,” could he? Tim laughed and said, “Genie, you’re old enough to be David’s mother.”

If i live to September, i’ll be 60. I guess David, who described himself in the first paragraph of his story as “a young pastor,” could be 30. i guess that made our group “multigenerational.”

Son of a bitch. i’m now the one making hikes be “multigenerational.” So OK, here’s the thing: If you want to have a strong, experienced hiker with you — one who remembers to bring the hand sanitizer, toilet paper,  compass, and enough water — bring someone multigenerational. And hope you don’t piss her off.

And take the quotes off of “maturity.”

*It’s the Fitzgerald Falls to Little Dam Lake hike, in the Ramapo Mountains south of Monroe. Find a good description of it in the 2nd edition of Christopher and Catherine Brooks’ “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of New York City.”  The book says it’s 6 hours round-trip but our group, replete with people of another generation, took four hours to do it one-way. We left one car near Little Dam Lake and started from Fitzgerald Falls. Enjoy!