Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mistletoe Returns!

It's once again time for the Artsgarden's annual holiday choir and band party, the Mistletoe Music Festival. This year we've only got 65 performances, which is fine with me. We've still got an office pool going for how many kids faint and get sick on stage, but we've replaced the category for how many times we hear Carol of the Bells with many times we hear Jingle Bells/Jingle Bell Rock and added a category for how many times we hear Let It Snow. We're done with day one. So far, only one Jingle Bells and three Let It Snows. I picked high in the pool; it's not looking good for me so far.

Loud, obnoxious kids are only an occasional problem with the Mistletoe performances. Usually other performing groups are respectful of the group on stage and tend to be fairly quiet. We just had maybe the worst group of kids I can remember, though. About 40 (sounded like 250) kids from St. Simon's tromped in and ate lunch here. They were loud and obnoxious. More surprising, or possibly not surprising at all, were the parents, teachers, and chaperones. They were much louder than the kids, and much more prone to giving us dirty looks when we shushed them. I won't overgeneralize about Catholic school kids, but I can pretty fairly generalize about their parents. Some of the kids are convinced that the rules don't apply to them, and it's easy to see where they get it. I've got a good story about evil parents from my days working at Holy Spirit, but I'll save that for another time....

On an unrelated note, one section (out of seven) of the Christmas/Holiday decor I hung two weeks ago is dark. Near the bottom of the troubleshooting tree I found the problem: every single light bulb had burned out. None of the other pieces have any dead bulbs at all. Some electrical work later, I figured out that one phase of power in the building is a high leg, at 140 volts instead of 110. You may have heard that if you run a bulb on a dimmer you radically increase your lamp life; the opposite is also true. Apparently running these at 140V reduced the lamp life to a week or so. I've fixed the wiring, now I just need to monkey around and change a pile of light bulbs. We've got a running joke here about re-using existing wiring -- the joke is that you can't. It's funny because it's true.

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