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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 28, 2007 5:13 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ain't never caught a rabbit. The next post in this blog is By the banks of her own lagoon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mousepads not included

Here's a doozy from the City of Portland. They just put out a bid notice for an "Annual Supply of Adjustable Keyboard Trays." The cost estimate: $100,000! The detailed bid document looks as though it's for 600 trays, plus "installation" for 200. That would work out to $167 per keyboard tray. Wow.

Comments (27)

A decent adjustable keyboard tray costs over $200 at Office Depot (installation not included):

Proper workplace ergonomics are far less expensive than repetitive stress injuries.


My keyboard don't even have a tray, never mind one o'them adjustable ones.

I gotta get me a gubmint job.

Lord only knows what else I been missin'.

Do they wear out in a year? Why the "annual supply" bit? And are adjustable keyboard trays really necessary to prevent workplace injuries?

But you don't get "installation services." Apparently the city doesn't have anyone on staff capable of installing these complex pieces of equipment!

High time for a "Keyboard Installation Facilitator" position.

I'm thinking $78K/year.

Since we're flush and all.

Of course, the actual "Certified Keyboard Installer" will be a separate position - or, more likely, positions.

BTW, It's snowing pretty hard here, right now.

Did you have to do anything special to be listed as a vendor on that bid solicitation?
Seems like an interesting sideline...

I will do that for 52,122.

Why not just get a wholesale price from Office Depot (or similar) if they know what they're willing to pay?

I would be happy to "install" keyboards at the rate of $30/each (plus mileage, of course).

All you guys submitting off-line bids, please remember to certify that you will pay a living wage, and detail what your health care package is like.

Tip to all you Certified Adjustable Keyboard Tray Installers IIIs please don't forget prevailing wage values.

It wouldn't be the SEIU thing to do.

Dinged my thumb and asked for one at my corporate gig. I'd be surprised if it wasn't that expensive or more with the cool ergo furnature we had. They also contracted in an ergo assessment expert to analyze my work style and furniture needs. Any manager could request that evaluation and workspace redesign. Keeping your butt happily in the seat longer feeds the bottomline and repetitive stress injuries are ugly long-term expenses that they try to avoid. Could be penny wise????

Hate to say it, but that is very likely to be a decent price. I'd be shocked if the ones in our (private) office cost less. Installation price may be high, but if it includes retrofitting existing furniture and some ergo training, it may be pretty reasonable.

Funny, mine works just fine right there on the desk. Better too, for me anyway. Those trays are always too low for me, and the desktop is just the right height to keep my wrists straight. No injuries.

The cubes in my office come with the trays under the desk, but its more a knee-killer than anything else.

Those trays are worth more than my computer.

Six hundred trays a year seems like a lot. What does the city do with the old ones when it changes out people's keyboards?

I'm sure the purchase and installation price will be carefully and painstakenly negotiated for the best price.
Portland deserves quality tray.

Do they wear out in a year?

Definitely not. I've had the same one in my office for over seven years.

Why the "annual supply" bit?

My guess is there are a lot of city desk jockeys with really crappy (or no) keyboard trays, and it's going to take a few years to get everybody a decent, ergonomically correct workstation.

And are adjustable keyboard trays really necessary to prevent workplace injuries?

For somebody who types four or more hours a day and isn't the exact right height for a stationary tray, yes.

Sheesh. I'm at the 'board way more than that every day, and I don't have trays of any kind. Maybe the barbiturates are warding off the injuries...

If you've got, say 1000 workers, all with crappy ergonomics, some percentage will get repetitive stress injuries. If you give them all proper ergonomics, a smaller percentage will get repetitive stress injuries.

A couple hundred clams per head is pretty cheap preventive medicine, when you consider the alternative.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I do have a pretty nice ergonomic keyboard tray at work, which has completely made pain in my wrists disappear. The brand name on the keyboard leads here:

The list price for the KBT is $318. I like it so much I built a homemade version of it for home.

Ergonomics is a big thing now, I think the company I work for pays about that or more for keyboard trays and installation. To properly use a keyboard tray you have to then raise the desk to the correct height, which if you don't have a height adjustable desk could entail using deskalators.( They seem expensive for chunks of plastic to raise a piece of furniture.

In looking through the awards I saw this one #107965 "CONSTRUCTION SITE SPOILS DISPOSAL" that looked interesting.

Why would you want to dispose of your spoils? ;)

We used to get the ones that PMG linked to, but we now get ones from this company:

Mister Tee, I'll underbid you for installation @ $28.00 per board. Mine involved four screws, and with my illegal @ $10/hr. taking max 20 min per board, I'll be clearing $74 dollars per hr. less my taxes-but none for the illegal. City won't ask the illegal for papers-that's politically incorrect.

Fat cats.

Its the chair.

I use a TV Dinner Tray, off to my right, and it relieved both neck and shoulder strain. (Cost me 5 bucks at Goodwill and has a flat wood top.)

If my chair were one of those chairs that are made with bosses in mind (like baby food that mom's taste test) then it would force the little workers to have to sit upright rather than tip back so as to ergonomically prop one's feet and legs up in the most comfortable manner. A foot rest would be good, or a discarded box.

My chair cost 6 bucks at Value Village. If I had to sit up then I could not make effective ergonomic use of my TV Dinner Tray.

(Got a deal on a LCD screen that I tip taller than wide, which is easier on the eyes and neck from a distance. Use control-key mouse-scroll to make text bigger.)

If the goal is ergonomics and happy workers (holistically) one would be foolish to confine the inside-the-box analysis to keyboard holders.

SOLUTION -- Tippy Chairs (padded) and non-specialized TV Dinner Trays (for the mouse, as the keyboard goes on one's lap.)

Maybe they can install those keyboard trays with one of those $600 hammers that the Air Force became famous for.

I'm frugal as all get out most of the time - but I have to agree that this may well be money well spent.

I was once the ergonomics coordinator for the 400-person office I worked for back in NYC - where people who'd been using horribly hard, badly-shaped keyboards with the proprietary editorial/publishing system we had developed bad cases of RSI (in fact, I believe a class action suit was filed against the system and helped put them out of business...).

Since it was a union shop, they were able to put addressing ergonomic issues into the next contract - and yes, we hired a consultant to come out and do right by us. People got measured. They got advice on how to configure their spaces. They got monitor stands, keyboard trays, adjustable chairs, and footstools as needed. And it ends up being far less expensive (and painful in all kinds of ways) to take preventative measures than to have people file workman's comp claims, be out on disability, or to have to sub in for staffers who now have to have surgery.

Where and when did this happen? Mid-90's, at the Village Voice.

I have intermittent issues with RSI myself - and they're usually alleviated by having decent equipment, plus knowing how to set your workspace up. And when I asked for equipment earlier this year at my office, it was provided ASAP - no questions asked.

And if you've ever dealt with RSI? You know it's no laughing matter.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
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Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
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Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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