Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's 102 and...

After my fingerprinting appointment I'd arranged to go drinking with Vern and Guy again. There was no particular drama associated with the fingerprinting, it just seemed to take forever.

Interesting process actually. As hoped, it involved no ink. The guy sprayed my hands with something or other with instructions to rub it in well (indeed the instructions sounded like something out of a barbecue cookbook). Then, scrubbing each finger with a rag, he took a four finger print of my left hand followed by a four finger print of the right. Followed by thumb prints and I thought that was it. Nope. The four finger print is a reference set; after the reference set they do each finger in turn, comparing the image with the four finger set looking for matches and derive a quality level. All done in software! Poor guy had to do three or four of my eight fingers more than once to get an acceptable quality level.

The foreverness of the process came from the initial wait to get to the head of the queue followed by the QA review of the results. I wasn't about to leave halfway through. It all finished late enough that I took an executive decision not to return to the office. Yeah, Ed would have a cow if he knew but we're not going to tell him are we?

At the end they hit me up with a survey of the process. What was I going to tick? Shitty service? Not this little black duck! Honestly though, the service, whilst slow, wasn't bad. I couldn't fault any of the folk who face the public; they were courteous and polite and I never felt the reality that my future was in their hands. So I gave them an honest assessment of excellent. I reckon they did better than I'd have done given the length of the lines of waiting supplicants!

Vern and Guy were already ensconced at the bar when I arrived. This particular bar claims to have the worlds largest selection of draft beers and, whilst I don't believe that hyperbole, they do have an amazing selection. Something in the order of 130 different draft beers. I didn't recognise most of the names (I'm a wino not a beero) so I went for the one name I did recognise, Grolsch.

As much as I like alcohol I was driving so one beer was my limit. Vern and Guy were in the same situation so we adjourned, after my first beer, to the outside tables at Fatburgers.

I note that even though we were supposedly there to consume beer I'm the only one who did; Guy had something that looked like a Bloody Mary and as for Vern? The only thing his drink lacked was one of those little umbrellas!

I have to admit that Fatburger chips are, so far, the closest I've seen to a real chip in the US. Fie on French Fries! Flavour was a trifle bland but the US hasn't cottoned onto the idea of malt vinegar and chips. I reckon given the right amount of salt, an addition of malt vinegar and catching the buggers straight out of the fryer and they'd be a tolerable substitute for the chips I miss from any Australian Fish Shop.

We'd adjourned about 8 PM and it was pretty warm outside even as dusk fell.

My wife keeps on at me about eschewing the long dacks (trousers) and switching to shorts this time of year. I don't reckon the world's ready for the sight of my knees and no amount of assurance from Sonya that I have good legs will convince me. The fact of the matter is that I'm just not comfortable in shorts and I'll happily endure the heat in long dacks.

Nonetheless it was warm and it was Vern who pointed out that the roaring log fire in the middle of the mall in which we sat seemed a trifle superfluous if the temperature was over 100 F!

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