This evening at D’s, Jack was talking about China where he’s been spending some time lately. His family is Chinese-American and there are lots of relatives in Taiwan, but there are also family members who have businesses on the mainland. He visited someone’s factory, where they make patio umbrellas.
There was a room of people there, maybe 15-20 of them, around a low table seated on milk cartons. Each of them had a big plastic bucket on their left and right sides. They’d take a bolt out of the left bucket, inspect it, and then file away with a big carpenter’s file for a long time. Periodically the worker would inspect the bolt. At the appropriate length, the bolt was dropped into the bucket on the right.
Why was this happening? Because they needed lots of bolts that were slightly shorter than the ones they had. And in China, it’s much less expensive to have people laboriously shorten bolts by hand than to have a machine do it or order new bolts. So there they sit, filing down bolts all day.
This reminds me of genericus and his fruit rollups job, which I’m not sure he’s LJ’d about but he should if he hasn’t.
So that was depressing, but Jack’s account of his brother’s geeky addiction to high-end flashlights was pretty funny. The guy is obsessed and buys flashlight after flashlight, all from some incredibly expensive company that claims (as all phallic marketers claim) that theirs is the product the SEALs use. There is apparently some “Police” flashlight that has spikes on it to JAM INTO SUSPECTS FACES YARR which no police department would actually permit, and other Sharper Image-style marketing nonsense. It’s as though every kid who couldn’t stop shining a light in other peoples’ faces was 35 years old and had a six figure income. Wait, that’s my country.
Please post: what’s the worst mixed drink you’ve ever had, and why? Mine was a nasty-ass martini that had a deadly bubble of vermouth at the bottom.