Thursday, April 11, 2013

SEA CHANGE: Printing the Xeric, Day 5

A few days have passed since the last time; got laid up with intense yips. The problem I'd been experiencing occasionally ramped up to frequently, until, disgusted with being ignored, became constant. Squeaky wheel gets the grease - and in this case, grease was indeed part of the problem - but you know. The bitchy printing press gets the fixing-up.

My attempt on Monday wrung me out and hung me out to dry, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Stress from work compounded that. I couldn't sit up for more than an hour or two before my back was tingling numb and too painful to stand. My eyes and hands were shaking too much to draw. I felt like throwing up into the press every time I came near it. Then came a mid-April snowstorm.

Thank god for real pressmen, though - having called Mr. Sally many times in real distress as Maisie ate my hand and my sanity, he and press-wrangler extraordinaire Clint stopped by the garage last night before the storm hit. It was like having a goddamn angel come to visit. As I thought might happen, it took little more than just pointing Clint towards the machine and he'd not only pinpointed and fixed the problem of the paper delivery that'd had me flat on the ground, sobbing, for days, but proceeded to diagnose six other problems I'd been having and the simple ways to fix them. If it has to indeed be December in April, then that was fucking Christmas Day.


As soon as the problem had been fixed, I felt that crippling stress disappear. My back wasn't screaming with pain, my eyes could suddenly focus again.

Picked up some grease, WD-40, caffeine and an oiling can (and if you can ever find a use or a reason to buy an oiling can as an adult person, please do, it's strangely exhilarating). Cleaned, greased, and adjusted every gear, spring, bolt and moving part that I could find and reach. The screeching noise of the dry gears grinding on each other like inexperienced teenagers is gone, and my terror, too.

Gonna re-draw the plan and come at it again, informed and calm(er).

Yes, just like that Prince song, sometimes it does snow in April.

Cleaning day supplies.

California Wash (press wash), for the oil can. Like I'm Dorothy and Maisie is the Tin Man.

No lube, no love.

The feed gears I caught my left ring finger in, but mid-run.

Just waiting for a goddamn hint of spring.

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