It's Christmas Eve here at 'Just Blowing Smoke' (just like everywhere else), and since I missed a weekend posting, doing one for the holiday almost seemed a requirement. Things have actually been rather quiet for the last couple of days here at JBS, which probably had a lot to do with the plague symptoms of those who attended the JBS Christmas Party over the weekend, and the ensuing recovery period required for a return to sub-normalcy.
In fact, all noise production in the facility immediately afterward was reduced to a level lower than the sound of a mouse fart, in hopes of stretching the Advil supply around here far enough for someone to manage to get to their feet long enough to see to replenishment. (It was a near thing, let me tell you.) With most of the troops having recovered as much as they ever do, they were sent their way for the Holidays; their Christmas bonuses clutched tightly in their hands. (Actually, they were all not-too-politely tossed out the front door and told not to come back until at least next year, if at all.)
All that's left in headquarters today in fact is the Janitorial staff, which requires these seasonal breaks in the madness to more carefully sweep up the piles of empty Cheetos bags and recycle the empty glass bottles that have accumulated since the last Holiday season. For those of you who have yet to understand the budgeting process here, that means that I'm entirely alone in the building with a couple of over-filled trash bags and a broom so worn that Harry Potter wouldn't be caught flying across Diagon Alley on it.
Don't get me wrong, as I'm perfectly OK with this situation. After all, I've turned most of my real problems loose on the public at large for a few days, which is a greater relief than I can tell you. Besides, this is that time of year which allows me an opportunity for reflection on the year past, and to prepare for some seasonal work that I'll be helping out with presently. I'm sure that I'll have something to say on some part of 2012's events next week, but if it's OK with everyone (and even if it's not), I'd like to take some time to gather some Christmas spirit before doing so. (Hey! I said spirit, not spirits. Geez, you guys must think that nothing goes on around here except adult beverage consumption. In fact, there's .... OK, let me get back to you on that.)
If you'll excuse me now, I want go ahead and finish up the cleaning so that I've got some time available to bake some of my favorite Christmas cookies before the evening really gets going. (So few kids leave snicker-doodles out any more.) Besides, I have to make sure that there's enough left over from my requisite QC testing process for the visitor that I'm expecting later this evening.