Monday, April 4, 2011

Everything that can, and will, go wrong - or - its all about the Irishmen

This weekend the Dockyard was humming with activity - or screaming as the case may be - as one thing after another after another began going wrong. But what started out as an exercise in not screaming like a three year old in frustration ended as a great lesson in how adversity makes people better, tougher, and more ready for the next challenge.

First, on Friday night, we had a hacker attack and lost our primary comupters. Earlier in the week, we lost one to a rogue beer tsunami. Luckily, everything was backed up, but I lost notes, our web people lost drafts and all of our carefully balanced technological ballet fell flatter than Natalie Portman's actual dancing in Black Swan. Fun times were decidedly NOT had by all.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, while work progressed in the Framing Bay and in the office, a series of nasty squalls hit the Dockyard and took out the cover on the No. 3 Monomoy. I was told that it was quite a sight - almost biblical - the way the frame shattered, lines parted and tarp disintegrated into tatters. But alas, I was neck deep in computer issues and didn't even hear it. All else was well, but now we also had issues digging a Monomoy out from under a wrecked cover.

Saturday evening, we recieved word that a donor was coming down to the Dockyard. Greaaaat. Here's how your hard-earned well-donated dollars are working - computers that are fried, boats hidden under wreckage, and of course wet, crappy weather. Come on over! As if I had anything that I could possibly say to stop them that didn't make us seem like bumbling idiots.

But in the process of getting to know our dear friend Murphy - whose endless stream of probable improbability laws I have always known to govern my life - I also got to know his dear cousin Mulligan. Now, the latter I've been casual friends with since I took up golf - invoking his good graces on nearly every outing, at every hole - who am I kidding? at every stroke. This time, as hurricane Murphy devastated our operations, we wept and prayed to his cousin - the patron saint of do-overs.

On Saturday, around mid-day, our multi-media coordinator Alex arrived and began plotting the solution to our computer woes. Until this incident we had worked from laptops, so we could take our efforts mobile on the drop of a hat. Except the hat never dropped, and those computers stayed glued to the worktable in the office. Using a spare 52" LCD TV and some reconditioned towers, we were soon up and rolling with five times the computing power and a kick-ass joint control desktop display. Yes, that's right - we just had those laying around. Actually, we're master scroungers - we have to be to operate on our shoestring budget - and a special thanks to Kenny and the staff at Best Buy for your help in finding us the best scratch-and-dent deals and second-hand donations in the area.

Meanwhile, the volunteers in the Dockyard - thoroughly pissed off at the collapse of the cover - went hardcore into DC (damage control) mode and used the ol' time-tested boarding axes to clear away the wreckage. Haven't seen that angry working spirit evoked since Monomoy No.1's first mast exploded during testing. But in about 15 minutes the cover had been cleared away, new lumber was being laid out for making up the new framework and the requisition for the new cover was on my now very Gucci desk. Fantastic.

And of course, our donor arrived just in time to see our media assistant and volunteers hard at work, recovering from the pain, and was so impressed that he gave us more money! I know you don't want your name up here, sir (for fear of divorce, I think) - but THANK YOU just the same!


I don't ever expect that we should meet every setback like we did this weekend, but whatever the next one happens to be, WE'RE READY FOR IT!


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