March 21, 2010

we shoveled gravel

Over the weekend, Randy sent an email of things to do Monday morning before we got started with the rest of the week. Meg and I were assigned to go to the shop and move all of the bent steel pieces outside of the shop and unbent pieces up to the loft. After that, we went to the tool bench and pulled numerous hammers, pliers, and screw drivers and laid them out in stations. A little confused by his email, and why he was asking us do this, we finished the task. Later we learned RBA was doing some community service and the local Boy Scout troop was going to be using the shop later this week to work on their projects.

With the shop ready for the Scouts, Randy came in and told us to meet him in the driveway. Even more confusing than his weekend email, we grabbed our jackets and met him outside. As we approached the driveway, a dump truck had just finished spreading a load of limestone somewhat evenly on the driveway. During these past few weeks, the snow has begun to melt and we entered a thawing stage. The water from the melted snow has been running down the driveway and taking all of the gravel along with it. Our job was to grab a shovel and “earn our keep.” The dump truck did a fairly good job on the upper half of the driveway but towards the bottom, we had to even it out a bit. Once again, this type of work is something that I am used to and was eager to begin the task.  I was impressed that Randy never asks us to do anything he wouldn’t do-  so he says- and today he shoveled and raked the gravel along side meg and I.

After about an hour and a half of shoveling gravel, we finished leveling the driveway and headed back to the studio. The rest of the day was less physical, but just as intensive. Randy had three projects that were missing Assassi photos (high quality images) on the network. My job was to go to the CD archives and find the discs that had the Assassi photos of these projects on them. After going through binders filled with discs of various projects, I realized how prepared Randy is for disaster. Everything on the computers in the studio is backed up on discs and for certain projects there are doubles of discs in different locations in case something happens. Coming from K-State where I hit the save button every five minutes and back my hard drive up frequently it was no surprise to see his amount of preparedness. One too many times I have been caught by power failure and had to redo something that took too long to do the first time. After retrieving the three CDs with the files I needed, I downloaded them onto the studio computers and updated their project folders with the high quality images.

Following that, Randy put me too work on the most urgent deadline, the UCLA exhibition board that will be on display at the UCLA gallery in April.   Randy asked me to do a couple different options for the board layout and then we’d discuss one that had potential and go from there. By the end of Thursday, we had locked into a design idea and Friday would be spent refining it.

Friday, Randy was in Wichita talking to the client for a new project, Kobe Steakhouse. While he was there, I was working on possibilities for the UCLA board. After playing email tag for most of the day, we got the board to a spot we were comfortable with and on Monday, the remaining “kinks” would be worked out. If it weren’t for email (and Randy’s iPhone) Friday would have been a total loss. Technology enabled us to communicate and transfer information to each other even though we were hours apart. Conflicting schedules aren’t as much of a problem as what they used to be.

With the weekend here, Meg and I went to what might be one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Roja, which I learned was designed by a former RBA employee who now teaches at UNL.  Roja is very different from all the other Mexican/American restaurants I have been to. A very lively and upbeat environment makes this a fun place to socialize, not to mention, the great food! Saturday I spent doing a little homework. Not just school homework, but researching the Omaha area. There are many places just outside of downtown, such as the Dundee District, which offer different cultural experiences. As soon as the weather decided to cooperate, I am excited to walk around and engage the environment.

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