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Amparo Bertram

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07:21 am: Employment anniversary
This week marks the one-year anniversary of my employment with CBP. Starting tomorrow I'll be wearing my shiny new GS11 epaulets. News at work is that we'll be getting X-ray machine upgrades, so we're all looking forward to seeing what those will be like. Also, I made a trip to the Oakland airport on Wednesday to get my ID badge there. They only have a few small flights, so they don't have a permanent agriculture specialist staff. SFO ag specs are assigned to travel to Oakland to meet the flights when they arrive. The Oakland badge is all sparkly with laser designs, and it has "LEO" (law-enforcement officer) printed on it. Agriculture specialists are considered law-enforcement officers because we enforce federal laws, even though we aren't armed as the regular CBP officers are. There is a lot of debate over whether our uniforms should be identical (as they are now) or distinct (so that we aren't mistaken for people who have guns). The most common confusion that I see caused by our identical uniforms is when I ask to see a passenger's declaration form, and the passenger responds, "But I just showed it to you guys!" No, actually you showed it to an officer. Now I'm going to ask you about food.

Anyway, I still haven't heard back about whether I'll get a permanent morning shift. They have to wait until everyone submits their bids for desired location before they can assign permanent shifts, and the deadline for that isn't until October, so it's going to be a while. Everyone thinks I'm likely to get it, though, because not many people want to work mornings. There is a fierce battle over the afternoon and night shifts for the extra pay, but waking up early? Not so much.

On Saturday I had my tae kwon do test and advanced to an orange belt. I also received a small trophy for "best board breaking," which was nice, because last time I was the worst.

My cooking experiments this week involved making pizza using a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This required a baking stone, a pizza peel, and a mixing bowl with a lid. I ordered the bowl from Tupperware, since I thought that was a good brand, but I was disappointed because the lid wouldn't fit on the bowl. It's just slightly too small and refuses to close. I'm debating whether I should bother returning it or just keep it to use without the lid.

I'm looking forward to my trip to Michigan next week!

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Comments

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 26th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
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Congrats on your one year! And yay for trip home!

A lot of times Tupperware lids seem too small when you first get them, but once they've stretched out a little, they fit just fine.

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 28th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
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Thanks, and I can't wait to see you!
[User Picture]
From:manga_crow
Date:September 26th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations =) Hopefully the upcoming year goes just as well!
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:September 27th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
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I can't belive it's been a whole year!

I'm not a big fan of Tupperwear, you'll find the lid may always be a fight to get on and off.

If you like bread, you should check out the overnight break technique originally published in the NYT and later improved on by Cooks Illustrated.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:September 27th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations, GS11!

If the mixing bowl is round, I learned at a Tupperware party to put round lids on by pressing down in the center of the lid. (Sometimes there is something in the center to make it easier to target.) Then, to help it hold the seal, many times they recommend "burping" the seal. That is, press in the center; when it closes, lift the part with the tab slightly to let out some of the air while still pressing down in the center, and then immediately reseal it.

What's a pizza peel?

We're looking forward to your arrival in Michigan!!!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 28th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
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I learned at a Tupperware party to put round lids on by pressing down in the center of the lid.

I tried that, but it just made the lid go inside the bowl. Right now I'm just leaving it resting on top, not actually closed.

What's a pizza peel?

It's a flat wooden board with a handle for carrying the pizza over to the oven and sliding it onto the baking stone, which is already hot.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:September 28th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
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Woot! Congratulations.

What does a permanent morning shift mean? That regardless of what days you're assigned to work, it'll always be on the morning shift? Or does it stabilize the days of the week as well? (Also, when does the morning shift start?)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 28th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
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That regardless of what days you're assigned to work, it'll always be on the morning shift?

This. I won't ever have to worry about working a late shift.

It helps to make my days off more predictable as a result of not having to swap shifts with others. For example, in an upcoming pay period (Oct. 11-24), I had originally been assigned a three-day weekend. However, it was also an evening shift, so I swapped it with someone else, resulting in completely different days off. If I were on a permanent morning shift, the days off would proceed in a regular fashion.

Also, when does the morning shift start?

It was supposed to start Oct. 25, but the scheduling team screwed up the timing of the location bidding, which isn't even due until Oct. 1. (People can apply to work in passenger baggage, the post office, air cargo, or maritime cargo.) They can't decide shifts until they know everyone's location, so shifts have been put on hold until location has been settled. I'm hoping it won't be delayed past Nov. 8.

Of course, if they announce the canine positions again in December, and if I am accepted, that means I'd only be on the permanent shift for two months anyway. Unfortunately, I've been hearing other senior coworkers mumbling that they want to apply for canine, so I may have competition.
[User Picture]
From:evil_overlord
Date:September 29th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
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Congrats on the year of gainful employment!

As for the Tupperware...yeah, I've had similar problems in the past. Sometimes they'd go on well, sometimes not. I'd suggest replacement, if you wash a few times and it won't go on [especially if it doesn't work via the 'push in the center' method that someone else suggested]. The nice thing about Tupperware is that you can get free replacements. ^_^ [really should see if I can get a replacement lid for one of my dry-goods containers. heh]

A cheap alternative....the Ziploc [or Gladlock] containers have a bigger size that might be useful [not knowing how *big* a container you need]. The lids seem to shrink after a bit [of dishwasher usage, anyway], but considering the most I've seen 'em for is $10 or so for a MULTIPLE size set, it's worth looking into.
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