Bryan's Little Corner

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Monday, March 31, 2008

What a Nice Day

What a nice few days. Not sure I got a lot accomplished but... well let me share.

For some reason I had a wonderful attitude from the get go on Thursday. Now part of me is sad that my partner at work of 10 3/4 years is leaving. Part of me is real worried because there are certain things he knows that I do not and it will not be a 5 minute thing to learn. Of course this will force me to learn which will make me more marketable. Still I could not help but smile for no reason at all. I felt like breaking out in song occasionally too but I did not. Lucky for everyone most of those times where when I was in my car. With the windows rolled up even the other un-expecting travelers would not be in danger.

I started in my training on what I need to know once said partner is gone. That will be slow going and I need to force myself to work at this and take lots of notes but we are getting there.

I was in touch with another group that works near where I do. There was a going away party for someone we know and I thought it would be nice to car pool since it was heading in the wrong direction for both of us. I thought we would each enjoy the company. Unfortunately she was dragged down with a bad headache most likely from the weather and she had a busy weekend so scratch that but it was nice to talk with her again. By the way, before I get any possible comments she is married. Anyway as it turned out I was not up to the night myself.

During the day I got a call from my Mom. Once again her heart was racing (128 or so at the peak) and she was worried. She did not want to go back into the hospital so I told her then go see your doctor because we are almost upon the weekend and you need to do something now.

Just under 2 hours later she got in and several hours later she was back home. That whole time I was really worried what was happening. They ended up adding a water pill to her blood pressure meds and said see the cardiologist. It seemed to calm her down and by the evening her pulse was back below 100 and was doing much better. Of course I knew I would be dead if I did not make this one phone call.

My Sister and her family have been on vacation in Florida visiting Mickey, watching the Tigers play spring baseball and, if I them, sitting by the pool enjoying the good life. I hated to bother them especially since I know my Sister really over reacts but I knew I would be a dead man if I did not call. I knew my Mom would not call since they were on vacation. I started out the call with some niceties and after a little while I told her why I was calling but not before saying everything is OK, nothing to worry about, she is at home and doing fine. In the end I will staying alive at least for a little while and will even get a souvenir to boot (which would have been withheld I am sure.

Several calls to my Mom on Saturday told me she was doing much better and would be fine until her cardio appointment on Tuesday. Time to move on to other things.

The Vampires called me last week. Ve Vant Your Blooood!!! So I decided to go along with them and made a pit stop in the morning on Saturday. All went pretty well. The one nurse made a couple of minor mistakes (that I could care less about) but all and all uneventful. Still I lost an hour or my life. The person right in front of me left and rescheduled because it took to long. In this day and age I really wish they would make part of the process be online that you could read what ever they wanted you to read and then you could fill out your questions. I would cut the time in half I would bet. Oh well, maybe some day.

Still being in a wonderful mood I decided to go for a mini drive and ended up going out to breakfast when I was finished with my ride. How nice was that. I really enjoyed my Mexican Skillet. I just added on a some more spice and I was all set to go.

The rest of the day and most of Sunday for that matter was just things around the house and making phone calls. Not bad. Oh I did do one other thing. I bought me a waffle maker and ingredients to become a waffle making fool. I hope to become said fool this evening. If all goes well I will be freezing some and bringing them with me for the up coming weekend. We celebrate my Sisters Bday (Feb 26) and my Niece’s Bday (Apr 6) on Sunday. I am sure I can sneak in the waffles somewhere. I am sure my brother in law will shoot me as my niece is sure to love them.

Two more things and I am out of here for the past few days. I went to see a movie on Sunday, Definitely, Maybe. I loved it. It was certainly not a macho mans movie. I guess it was a somewhat mild to medium chick flick. But in the end I was pulling for April and ... well you will have to see it. Still I loved the concept. The guy started out on a Campaign and he expected to be some important and to make such a difference. He ended up getting coffee, toilet paper and other stuff. He eventually moved up on the Clinton (set in 1990's) campaign. In the end he discovered these people whom he thought were perfect and everyone should know that, turned out to be human after all with the hole Jennifer Flower and Lewinski affairs and the “it depends what is, is” thing. Anyway this whole story and what followed was him telling to his daughter what happened and how he came to marry her mother (whom they were getting a divorce now). He disguised the three main women and told the story. The daughter hated it but would not let him stop. In the end she figured it out. Well that is probably more than I should tell but I did enjoy the movie.

Afterwards I called back my friend and found out her Mother had died over the weekend. She had Alzheimer bad for sometime and they really do not know what happened but she started downhill fast on Thursday. By Sunday she had passed. It is sad to see her go as I really liked her but I am sure it is much easier on her and the family at the same time. I think I go to a visitation on Wednesday. I have mixed feelings but look forward to being there.

Well that is my weird weekend. Somehow it did not bring me down even though fate tried its best.

I hope you have a very nice weekend. Happy Spring! Oh, one more thing. I am working on a way to at least take in the maximum amount of Derby in a few days. I will miss some of my favorite things but it will be nice to go for a visit.

Friday, March 28, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

What a strange job you have.

You took the Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm

You care for, maintain,
and treat the human body

Mend broken bones

You do your best
to keep them all well

All this so they can be put to death

Being a doctor on death row
is the ultimate oxymoron

I do not know where this came from but it just popped into my mind. It just seems more than a little strange. I mean you can not just let the prisoners rot. That was be inhumane. But somehow it just does not make sense. Then again I am not sure that putting someone to death makes sense. I mean sometimes you would really like to for such hanous crimes that they have done. But it is like what I heard said this week I believe, the eye for an eye mentality will lead to us all being blind... or something to that affect.

Well it started to hit home. We were more than likely going to have to work overtime yesterday (which actually in the end was avoided). The boss came in and asked about covering everything. Usually overtime means one of us has to work overtime, the other is free to go. We have always in the past worked it out so that neither of us were overworked by doing this. If we needed to work into the night usually the person that went home would come back and relieve the other person. We had it down to a science.

Well yesterday the boss came back and started down the usual I need someone to be here for coverage and I chimed in we had not talked but it would be my counter part that would be working and he said no, he was not paying any more to him when he left. You see, we are allowed to carry X number of hours over from year to year. Also, we are guaranteed being payed for those same X number of hours (if we have hours banked) should we leave or even be fired. The boss is being stung bad by this one. This person has so many hours banked that he will be taking a big hit on his budget this year.

Now my soon not to be counter part at work is maxed out on the number of hours he can bank. I thought the boss was wrong about having to pay him more if he worked more hours but he is the boss. But at the same time I started to think, it really is not right to work the overtime when he will not be compensated for that time. I mean I at least will get comp time which means no extra pay but an hour off for each hour worked over (yes it should be 1 1/2 hours but oh well). So it is hitting home, strike two and it is only just over 24 hours since he announced he is leaving. I have a feeling I am in for a fun ride.

It is getting close.

You may ask what is getting close???

If we get about four and a half more inches of snow this season (we just got about 2 more inches overnight) we will have received enough snow in one season to bury me in snow. Now I am no shrimp. I am over 6 foot tall so these days I am more or less average but, at least for this area of the planet, that is one heck of a lot of snow. Now I know our upper peninsula regularly gets over 10 feet (maybe 20) of snow in a season and I am sure Wisconsin and Minnesota and Colorado and New York, Vermont, and well others get a lot of snow but here it is just so unusual to get so much snow.

I may go to a going away party tonight. What is strange about it is this is for the person that is leaving whose job my counter part is filling. It is just a small world after all. We will see. By the end of the day I would imagine I will be tired. I contacted a person I indirectly work with to see if she would like to car pool to this thingy. If she wants to go than I guess I will force myself. :)

Oh dear, I think I am in the falling in love stage of my life. Susie has posted a couple of different peoples music videos in the past month and I have enjoyed those. I have seen that a few other places too in the past month. Now HERE is the strange part.

I have never been a fan of Country Music. Growing up it was just way yo twangy for my tastes. Of course over the years music has changed. What passes as music these days, I will be honest I am not thrilled with a lot of it. Some is pretty good and other stuff is not to bad and could grow on me but still. Of course country music has been a changing as has everything else. I have noticed that, where in the past I could only listen to about 5 minutes of country music without going insane, now I can listen to a lot more. And then IT happened.

Last night I watched the final episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Now I have not been watching Apprentice as first it is a reality show and I just really try not to do those. I also am not a fan of how commercial the entire Apprentice show is, more than I think it needs to be. Anyway it came down to the loathsome Piers Morgan against the rather likable Trace Adkins.

OK, lets add a little something about me here. I may be temporarily won over by the glitz, the glamor, the celebrity, the beauty, and you can go on and on. But eventually I see through it all. See if I would give Brittney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, or Paris Hilton the time of day. I mean when they prove they have changed that I can forgive and forget but normally until then the person all but does not exist to me. Anyway lets rejoin my blog post already in progress...

I could not help but think Trace Adkins is the real deal. I could not help but like his personality, how he handled himself, and what he just seemed to be all about. So I did a little searching on the Internet and found some of his songs. I also listened to his latest hit single that he performed on the Apprentice last night. I think I could really like his music. As a matter of fact I would be willing to bet I will own some MP3s of his before the weekend is out.

ARG, what is happening to me? Stop me before I make a fool out of myself... oh, to late.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend and I will see if I can do the same. Oh and Go Michigan State in the NCAA March Madness...


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Congratulations and Oh Shit

Today was both a good and bad day for me. Today my partner in crime at work turned in his 2 weeks notice. He gave the organization a chance to counter offer but they would have had to give him at least a $10k raise, maybe more. What does that mean.

There will only be one of us that knows the business that we both do since he is leaving. There might be a plus but there is certainly a minus. I think my Derby week, something I have been doing for 20 years now, is either canned or at the very least I will only be able to go Thursday evening through Monday evening. I will miss so much by doing this. I could go down two weekends in a row but excuse me, I think it costs me between $90 and $110 for a round trip at today’s gas prices. Not to mention a round trip is 12 hours of driving.

Trying to get in any vacation will be tough except during the summer and odd hours here and there.

One last thing to share. Tonight one of my fave shows came on. Have you ever seen Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Channel? Enclosed is two parts of the episode I saw. He really is good as he passes on a lot of interesting things. Sometimes they are silly, sometimes it is real useful information. In the end you get details on putting some food project together and you get entertained. Of course it could just be my inner geek in me that likes it.

There are things I do not know that I will need to come up to speed on. I can guarantee I can not come up to speed that quick (two weeks).

Getting someone from outside the organization (or even inside) that knows what we need to know will be hard to come by at best. That means, should we hire someone, they will be green. Well that and since they will not want to pay them much they will be real green.

But at the same time I am happy for him. It is about time someone start paying him what he is worth. Personally I think they should consider paying him more than what they will be paying him but still, not bad.

Well I guess I will just need to learn to enjoy my time away from work more quickly and start taking vacation soon. I have a lot of vacation time to plan for Mondays and Fridays between now and the end of the year.

I hope this does not last long as if it does it is going to get real old.

OK, it ate it again. Here is something I watched tonight. A show called Good Eats by Alton Brown on the Food Channel. He is a most interesting person. He is always either entertaining you with something goofy or something real good to know. In the end you have a food project to do and you probably learned something. Of course it might be just me and my inner geek but I really like it. So here are parts one and two of the show I saw tonight on waffles.


You know I struggled with the Title for this post. I don’t think obsolete is actually it either but I decided it was time to move on.

Over the weekend one of the things I did was replace a burnt out spotlight for my parents. I figured no big deal, I needed to go to the home improvement store anyway to buy some nails and screws. Was I mistaken.

Back when I was a teenager, or maybe younger, I had this thing for lighting. I owned probably at least 4 spotlights. I was building a light bar (I have always been impressed by the technical nature of theater). Back then you had few choices. You could get a 150 watt spotlight or a 150 watt floodlight. You could also get red and green versions of these same lights. Well to be fair there was also the 75 watt version of the spotlight. I had me two of those to light the mirror ball I owned but that is a totally different story.

When I walked down the lighting isle, one entire side of an isle was spotlights. Try as I might I was not finding what I wanted, just a plain 150 watt spotlight. First most of the spotlights were 65 watt to 90 watt. They also had indoor only spotlights or floodlights that I guess were more for those recessed lights you see in homes these days. Ok, those were eliminated easily. But now I had natural daylight and halogen and soft white and ... I just wanted a simple spotlight. My head was hurting at this point.

So I started to look at the lumen values (how bright the light really is) and how long the lights were suppose to last. I also would not mind something that was bright but used less electricity although they really do not use those lights a lot.

In the end I ended up buying a two pack of 90 watt halogen lights. The one thing about these particular lights they were suppose to last 4 years (6,000 hours) so at least they should not have to worry about changing lights any time soon.

I can’t wait for what is coming. Now they have those compact fluorescent lights which are suppose to use a lot less electricity, be rather cool and last a long time. I have several of them and I can tell you two of them are just what I needed as bulbs were always burning out there. Of course these also have mercury inside them that is a problem if they are broken or sent to a landfill. But what I am excited about are the LED lights that are coming. They are much to expensive now but they are getting there. You see them in Christmas lights now. They claim that they can last a long time. As a matter of fact I was paying attention to something that was going on with the State Christmas Tree this past year. A company offered to sell the State LED Christmas lights for the tree at the same price as regular lights. The benefit is they use a lot less power and they should last for about 50 years (so they claimed). The lights that were normally used were thrown away at the end of the season since they were basically at end of life by the time they had been on continuously for most of 2 months (almost 1,500 hours). The LED lights I just looked at were good for 100,000 hours. I have seen LED trouble lights. I look forward to the bulbs that replace the current bulbs we use becoming more affordable. You are looking at over $35 now for even a small bulb. But I really think these are the way of the future unless they come out with something even better.

You know it is not just lights that I am a little dated. It is things like bands. I have no clue who most of the groups are out there these days. Here is less than one percent of the names I found out there and I left off the really bad ones:

Spanking Bishops, Spank the Monkey, Spastic Colon, Squeeze 'Em Hard & Make 'Em Fart, Stiff Dead Cat, Stiff Woodies, Tate & Her Mosquito Bites, The Dead That Arent Alive, Three Jerks and a Squirt, Touch Me Again and I'll Break Your Arms, Toxic Shock and the Tampons, Uncle Bob Touched Me, The Virgin Connie Swail, Operation Cliff Claven, Naked David Hasselhoff, Mini-Skirt Fetish, Life In The Fridge Exists, Sensitive New Age Cowpersons, Shitty Shitty Band Band.

And then we have cars.

My first computer job I had back 30 years ago (yes they had computer way back then) was working for a market research group. We did research on a lot different things including research on what people thought of their new vehicles they purchased recently. Back then I knew every car and truck that the American companies made and most of the foreign ones that were in sold in the United States. See I used to have to break down a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and tell not only what year a vehicle was but also what type of vehicle it was and what some of the major options were that this vehicle was built with. It was amazing how many different variations there where and then along comes October and I had all new VIN numbers to add to my pool of prior VIN number.

These days I have no clue what there is out there. At work I have a car park next to me that is a 300. A 300 what? Oh, 300 is the type of car. There are those wacky Scion Xb vehicles that remind me of the bamboo car that they had on Gilligan’s Island that they peddled around the island from when I was growing up. Not to far off of that you have the Honda Element. I rode in a Toyota Prius hybrid last year and fell in love with it. There is almost nothing I recognize these days. I guess that is because I just have not been in the market for cars much lately. I bought something a couple of years ago but I knew exactly what I wanted so I only looked at that and I specifically looked for a used one with low millage.

Well I guess times are just passing me by.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Sorry I have been MIA lately but I have been busy. You see my computer has been running slow. I was not sure what was causing it so I started putting it through the full press trying to get it into shape. I spent over 15 hours running a defrag on my hard drives. (Yep I have a TON of hard drive space which is part of why everything is taking so long) That was followed almost 4 hours of searching for adware and spyware software, And now I am in the middle (9 hours and counting) of virus scan. After this I will be doing a registry fix program that promises to have my machine running like new. Hopefully when all this is done my machine will still boot.

So what has all this done for me? Well the hard drive was badly drefagmented and I suspect that alone was really slowing down my machine. All the adware and spyware stuff only found minor things like tracking cookies and a couple of nuisance things that are now gone. The anti-virus has found three infected files but, since it is not done, I do not know what they are yet. That makes me a little anxious as I rarely ever find a virus. I am sure the registry fix will actually help things out as I saw a scan (without fixing anything) and it looks like it should clean a lot of unneeded registry entries that can’t help but make things run a little better. Bottom line, my machine will probably run about the same and I will have wasted 2 or 3 days cleaning my machine but at least I will know it is healthy none the less.

Time to focus on spring. Spring snuck in and the very next day it dumped snow on us. Snow is OK but not now. We have had one of the snowiest winters ever. Now it is time to let the flowers and grass grow. Oh well, I best get to shoveling the sidewalk before heading to my folks for bunny day. Should you celebrate Easter I hope you have a nice weekend filled with family and friends and of course CHOCOLATE.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Christmas Came Early This Year

Last week I received a book shipment from the Doubleday book club. Now there are several things wrong with this. First I did not order any books. Second I am not even a member of the book club. Third the person it was sent to does not even seem to exist. At least he does not exist at my house. I know, I have lived here for 9 years and I would know if there was an Anthony living here.

I decided to write them and see what happened figuring I would probably end up doing a return to sender on the box and send it back. It took several days but I just heard from them. They said keep the books and they would cancel out the account and I should ignore any bills should one be sent to me.

So now I am proud owner of 6 new books.

The first shiny new book is Honor Thyself by Danielle Steel. List $27.00.

A world-renowned actress falls victim to a terrifying explosion in Paris—and begins a courageous journey of survival, memory, and self-discovery in Danielle Steel’s mesmerizing new novel. I am not sure this is going to be my cup of tea but we will see.

Next up we have Strangers in Death by Nora Roberts. List $25.95.

Technology may be different in 2060 New York, yet the city is still a place of many cultures and great divides. But as ever, some murders receive more attention than others-especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman, found in his Park Avenue apartment, tied to the bed-and strangled-with cords of black velvet.

It doesn't surprise Lieutenant Eve Dallas that Thomas Anders's scandalous death is a source of titillation and speculation to the public-and of humiliation to his family. But while people in the city are talking about it, those close to Anders aren't so anxious to do the same. With some help from her billionaire husband, Roarke, Eve's soon knocking on doors-or barging through them-to find answers.

But the facts don't add up. Physical evidence suggests that the victim didn't struggle. The security breach in the apartment indicates that the killer was someone known to the family, but everyone's alibi checks out. Was this a crime of passion in a kinky game gone wrong-or a meticulously planned execution?

It's up to Dallas to solve a case in which strangers may be connected in unexpected, and deadly, ways.
Oh gotta love a good mystery.

Yet another new hard back book (which they all are hardback by the way) is Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. List $14.00.

The highly anticipated follow-up to the 2,000,000 copy bestselling inspirational book, The Power of Now

With his bestselling spiritual guide
The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived "in the now." In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

The Power of Now was a question-and-answer handbook. A New Earth has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world. Could it be I will learn something, I think so.

And how about this one, Duma Key by Stephen King. List $28.00.

Suffice it to say that Duma Key, the story of Edgar Freemantle and his recovery from the terrible nightmare-inducing accident that stole his arm and ended his marriage, is Stephen King's most brilliant novel to date (outside of the Dark Tower novels, in which case each is arguably his best work). I have seen Stephen King movies but never read a novel. I bet this will be outstanding.

And how about The APPEAL by John Grisham. List $27.95.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again. Oh man, I know I am going to love this one. :)

7th Heaven (Woman's Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. List $27.99.

A terrible fire in a wealthy suburban home leaves a married couple dead--and Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. And after California's golden boy, Michael Campion has been missing for a month, there finally seems to be a lead in his case--a very devastating lead. As fire after fire consume couples in wealthy, comfortable homes, Lindsay and the Murder Club must race to find the arsonists responsible and get to the bottom of Michael Campion's disappearance. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to home. Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay must find a way to solve the most daunting dilemmas she's ever faced--at work and at home. Sounds Interesting for sure.

You know this is kind of sad. I really do not read books all that much other then technical books or maybe some science fiction books. I can think of probably half a dozen people I know through blogging that deserve this $150 book bonanza so much more than I do. Oh well, I guess it is time to get reading.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Oh man, I am so excited. I did some checking and I found quit a few audio books by Michael Crichton. He just happens to be one of my favorite authors. So why is this exciting to me? Well you see I will be heading to Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby Festival end of April. The trip is at least a 6 hour trip. With the books on CD I can listen to the books on my way down. It is amazing how fast the time goes when I am listening to a book like that. I did that once with The Da Vinci Code. I really loved it. I only had to turn it off a couple of times when the traffic got a little heavy and I wanted to pay more attention to the road than I was. WhooHooo, I can't wait.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top O' The Mornin' To You

Happy St Pattrick's Day. Leave it to the United States. This really is celebrating the Irish Saint Patrick. I believe the way I heard it was he did not want people to morn his passing but istead he wanted them to celebrate with a sip or two. From what I gather St Patrick's Day is hardly anything over in Ireland, actually for that matter it is hardley anything other than the United States.

In the United States there are some parades, dyeing of the water green (I think they still do that in Chi town) corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, bagpipers, and of course lots of beer and other fine beverages. This is possibly the third or fourth most drunken holiday there is behind New Years Eve, Supper Bowl Sunday and possibly the day before Thanksgiving (who knew this was a major part day???).

I did my thing on Saturday and went to the small town nearby. I went to a local watering spot and got some beer and no, it was not dyed green. Me and green beer, no thanks. It turns out that bar puts die in for anyone that wants it. Then I decided to partake in the Irish Stew event. Six groups each made at least 10 gallons of Irish Stew. Then anyone that wanted some could come up and get some stew to sample and, in the end, vote for thier favorite stew by dropping money in a canaster.

I sampled 5 of the 6 stews. My favorite was this one made out of beef. It only had beef, carrots, and potatoes. There was no liquid at all to it but the spices were superb. So although I liked it the most and I gace them the most money, the second place one was much more an Irish Stew. It was made with lamb and let me tell you it was pretty good. So I made sure to put money in their canaster as well. In the end I had a beer (with my meds I am I should not even have had that) and my fill of Irish Stew whish I really wanted to find somewhere anyhow. I think this will certainly be a regular part of my St Pats celebration.

I then went back to my car and donned a little more green before going to stake out a spot to see the parade from. Now mind you in a town of only about 6,000 people it really is not hard getting a spot to see the parade. Well that and this is only the 5th annual (my 3rd one however) and it has not completly caught on yet. Luckily the spot I picked had sun at my back and helped keep me a little warmer. It was 4oF out but wind did not help.

The parade was probably about 30 minutes long or so and not bad. They had the firetrucks, police, horses, bagpipes, queens, floats, candy for the kids, beer, marching bands, politicians, clowns, ... basically a nice little parade.

Today I am in the process of making corned beef and cabbage and in a day or two I will give Irish Stew a try however it will be will beef instead of lamb. The only place I found lamb they wanted to sell me 2 1/2 pounds of lamb. I only needed 1 lb and boy is lamb expensive. So this time, call me cheap, but my first attempt at Irish Stew will be with beef. Other than that I have my green on. I will try and pop in a few pictures of the parade and of me in my green.

Everyone have a safe and fun St Pattrick's Day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

55Flash Fiction Friday

Click, click, clickity, click click.

*bing bong*


Clickity, clickty

*bing bong* *bing bong*










Clickity, click





Clickity, click, click, clic

*bing bong* *bing bog* *bing bong*

How am I suppose to get any work done?

Would someone please answer that darn door?

I know I broke the rules. This 55 will not mean anything to anyone but me, but still.

I write computer programs for a living. Some days I do better than others. Most times I am OK but some times I just can not concentrate. It is moments like that, that I can be distracted by the person in the next cubie over eating something. Heaven forbid if someone where to be chewing gum. Oh and a sneeze can make me lose my place. I think I am just barely above brain dead on those days. It takes concentration not only when being creative but also when trying to figure out problems and you need to be playing detective. You need to climb inside of your code and when you get distracted, you need to get yourself inside the code all over again.

Anyway they are in the process of installing something “new” at work. Every time someone walks in and crosses a beam two doorbells will sound. One were most of the people I work with are located. The other will be no more than 25 feet away from where I sit. Now let me tell you, every time someone comes into our area or leaves it this thing will sound. If two people pass through the beam it will ring twice. I work with 15 other people. Many of these people go on runs to help out users either with broken machines, networks, or just helping them out with problems on their computer. I mean we are an IT shop for heaven sakes with networks and computers and programs oh my. Some of those people may be in and out of the office 10, 20 or more times in a day, every day. Not to mention all people that come and visit us. That doorbell is going to melt down.

Anyway when I heard about what they were up to I asked if they were going to mind when I filled the doorbell with Great Stuff (so it would not make noise anymore of course). I did not get an answer. Then I asked if it drives us insane can we get this thing turned off or disconnected? The boss started to get mad and said I do not need to install it.

Now I hate to say it but who knows, maybe this is for the best... I don’t know but I just know it is a bad idea. I decided to shut up. The 4 other programmers I work directly with did not say anything, big help they were. But I just know what is going to happen.

First it will drive me insane for about 1 or 2 weeks, that or I will wear headphones. I already have a stereo and headphones at work for just such occasion, you know when I am brain dead. Next I will learn how to tune it out. I will never even notice the bell ever again. What a total stupid idea. And the other thing that is crazy. Lets say someone has bad intentions when the doorbell goes off. Sorry I am only 25 feet or so away from where the sensor s. How fast can someone travel from where they enter toward where they hear the doorbell and see me? I mean there is no escape for me. Also if it is so someone does not sneak up on me... who cares? I really do not have anything to hide. Yes I know in this day and age there are some wackoes out there/ You hear about them blowing people away all the time. Someone shoots up a lawyers office, a school, a post office (wait, there has not been many of those for a long time), a McDonald’s, you name it... no one is completely safe. I think someone is just going way over board here.

Sorry for totally miss using a 55 but I just needed to bent a little. Silly jobs we all have.

Update: Oh yea, I just found a whole pile of MP3s I did not know where I put them. They are all my favorite songs I ripped off my CDs I own. Now I know how I am going to get past this darn doorbell.

Have a great weekend everyone. I know we are suppose to have some nice weather and, Monday is St Patricks day. Can you say THINK GREEN? I need to find me some Irish Stew. I can make some corned beef and cabbage. It turns out fine in a crock pot. Yummy. But no green beer for me.

My Kind of Sky

I thought I would give Sky Watch Friday a try. I think I need to try it on for size before I really get involved. I love the idea of it. Post pictures you have taken that feature the sky. Now I believe it can be a day sky or night. It can feature nothing but sky or only a piece of sky. I look at it as a way of showcasing your photography. I have some pictures I have taken already that I will feature but, I hope to use this to kind of get me inspired to take more interesting photographs again. I have much to learn and I am sure many wonderful surprises in store in the future.

This picture is from a family reunion. I was out on my brothers boat and when I saw the sky and the island I just knew what I wanted to take. I took a small hand full and I think this is the best one. The island just looked so interesting especially since I could fit the entire island in the frame. And the sky, I love it. The only thing that would have made it better to me would have been if I had a polarizing filter to darken the sky a little. Still, none the less, I like this picture.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daylight Savings Time?

I don’t know about you but I am not liking this Daylight Savings Time (DST). It has been a while since I really did think it was OK but not any more. Stop fooling with my time. It takes me forever to recover from the “simple” change.

This time seems to be even worse. The alarm goes off at 6:00 am. I used to get up then and just kinda putz around before going into work. Not any more. The last two days it has been so dark when the alarm goes off. It does not seem to get light out until I have to go into work and I just can not get my butt moving until it gets light out. Of course it did not help that it was over cast the last few days. As a result it does not even seem like the days are any longer. No sir, I am not liking this DST.

Funny thing, the Congress, in it’s infinite wisdom decided to make this change to when DST starts and ends in order to save energy. Of course in exchange for me using less lighting and thus less electricity, I instead find I am more ready to jump in the car go do something. With how little electricity I use they are losing out big time on me in how much energy I use. I guess that is what a lot of people are doing.

Now there is an upside to this mess. They pushed back when DST ends at the same time the moved forward when it starts. It now ends the first Sunday in November. What that does is always make Halloween be while we are still on DST. At least here that means that Sunset is at about 6:30 PM which means it should be a little warmer for anyone tricker treating and they might be just a little bit more visible too. Of course how many people still have their kids go out door to door for Halloween anymore?

What is your take and Daylight Savings Time?

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Am Sorry

I just notices that I was the one that brought on the unwanted emails from FanBox on myself. I signed up to get something from someone I knew and really did not remember it or even realize it. I have just tried to do a few things to try and kill it. We will see if it worked.

In the mean time I wanted to first warn every.

If you see a request from me in your email to join FanBox... I DID NOT KNOWINGLY SEND IT TO YOU. JUST DELETE IT, PLEASE.

This stuff seems to act like a virus. I regret signing up for it and hope I have neutered it and not bothered you.

55Flash Fiction Friday

People despise you
They blame you for everything
If they were not civilized
they would hurt you

And yet you are not to blame
You make minimum wage
How could you control anything?

Other than having a
fresh pot of coffee made
you really have
little affect on them

Gas station attendant
is a dangerous job

Funny, I have not seen a gas station attendant in ages. I use my debit card so I pay at the pump. But I know attendants always used to get the blame for the price of gas. Of course we all know that not only does the attendant not set the price of gas but neither does the station. Those kind of decisions are made at corporate.

Still you feel like lashing out. I mean not all that long ago I remember filling my tank and being shocked if it was above $25. Now as long as I get out under $50 I feel lucky. Gas just keeps going up and taking a bigger bite out of our budget.

Of course that is only part of it. With the price of fuel going up, so is the price of food and, well just about everything. Yet at the same time, I do not know about you but I have only seen minimal raises. Of course with the economy, especially in Michigan, I am surprised to get any raise at all and just thankful I still have a job.

It just does not make sense. Despite the high cost of fuel you still see plenty of gas guzzling cars out there. Sure you are starting to see some hybrids that get some decent millage but those are just starting to take off. Why didn't we already see better fuel millage before this. I mean there was a major crisis in the 70s and since then it was ignored.

Oh well we are paying our dues now and it is going to keep getting worse. I was outraged when I payed $3.00 a gallon for the first time. Most likely we will see $4.00 sometime this year. That is unless you live in cali, in which case you are probably already paying this. I just do not see this ending well at all.

Well that accomplished nothing but I guess it felt good to be said.

If you would like to join us in 55Flash fiction Friday we would love to have you. Click on the badge on my sidebar for more information. It really is not that hard and it is only 55 words. Should you play than be sure to let Susie or G-man (on vacation this week) know so your fellow 55ers know and can come visit.

Next week I am going to try something new. In addition to the 55, I am going to post my first Sky Watch Friday and hopefully get back into the Photo Hunt on Saturdays. Even if you do not participate in Sky Watch Friday, you may want to check them out. I have seen some pretty wonderful pictures people are posting and I have only checked out a few people.

Have a very nice weekend and for heaven sakes, think warm people. And if you are were it is warm now... please send some this way. PLEASE.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mom is Safe and Sound at Home Again

Well that was a fun few days. But first how about some junk that you probably don't want to hear. I will change the color when I get back to my update about my Mom.

While I was down spending come quality time with my Mom and Dad I saw another cute (nice voice too) doctor. Well I think she was an Intern or something. I think I need to hang out at the hospital more often... just without my Mom being in the hospital. And if that was not enough they were joking around with one of the nurses about all the eligible men in the room and she kidded about being single, getting paid well, and owner her own house... hummm. :)

Last night this nifty little storm blew though Michigan. It all but missed my neck of the woods. From what I hear Sign got a little snow but hardly worth mentioning. But the Detroit are ... OMG! My parents house got about 6 to 8 inches of snow. I can not win. I get no snow at home and still have to shovel. An hour and a half later we had the snow all tamed. I even tossed down some salt in the area that never gets sun to get rid of the snow/ice on the drive there. I really would rather not see either of my parents take a tumble. Now for the exciting part. When we were done the snow plow came through and buried the drive but good. Why is this exciting? Why because I was able to dig out the foot of the drive before we headed into the hospital. I really wanted to make sure they were all taken care of from the nasty snow storm.

OK, the Mom update. She is home and doing OK. Her main problem was they changed her blood pressure medicine. They took her off the Channel Calcium Blocker (I think) and out her on something else. Well her body pitched a fit. He heart was beating very rapid. She could feel making it even worse. This impacted her breathing which, with so little use of her lungs, that is pretty bad. Then she also had a pain that I believe they are blaming on her gallbladder. The discovered that it was not working very well. They want to operate but she says no and so does one of the doctors that stopped by (he also happens to be the surgeon my Dad had before so he was familiar with my Mom) and said he would not operate. Being knocked out could be a very serious thing for her lungs.

Anyway after many tests including peering in at her heart and various other things, breathing exercises, oxygen, tests, tests, and more tests, an adjustment in her medicines, plenty of poking, prodding, and probing, doctors, nurses, and nurses aids, three room mates. The first one graduated with my brother making her 31. She had real bad diabetes (260), a gallbladder that needed to come out, out she was real sick and could not keep anything down. The took her down to the ICU to run a Insulin drip to get the diabetes under control before operating on the gallbladder. Don't remember much about roommate 2. Roomate three was always sleeping and would not eat. I think they decided she had just given up on life. They brought in a cute male doctor and she was very smart. He got her to eat. Don't tell me you are not going to eat MY COOKING and some more that got her to eat. How awesome is that.

Anyway all tests came back good. My Mom was breathing well and her oxygen was always good. I never hear a reading below 95... whoo hoo! The pain she had was much better. The heart beat was much better (somewhere in the 80s) so they finally said she could go home. And I believed them. We got a call at home from my Sister saying they were releasing her so we headed back to the hospital. My Mom was all dressed and all dressed and ready to go so I moved the car around. A half hour later they came down. Turns out no one was available with wheelchair. Heck if I knew that I had several chairs available at the main entrance. I would have wheeled up stairs and... oh well.

Thanks once again everyone. Hopefully my Mom will not be making a return trip any time soon. Not only because I worry about my Mom but also since my Dad really should not be left alone. I caught him taking medicine today that was suppose to be taken tomorrow so he doubled up. Luckily it was something for diabetes and some vitamins so he was OK but not good. Time to see if they have some fancy dancy medicine dispenser we can get for him. He still wants to do it himself but I don't think that is a good idea.

So... time to go visit everyones HNT. I hope everyones week has been going great.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Update on Bryan's Mom

I just got word that Bryan's mom is doing a little better. The doctors decided that her gall bladder and new medication are what is causing her to not be well.

I'll keep you posted if Bryan isn't able to.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Here We Go Again

My Mom has been rushed into emergency again because of extreme difficulty breathing and I suspect she will be admitted again. With luck this will just mean a brief stay as they sort things out but it could mean surgery, an extended stay or worse. I may not be around for a while but I will be asking SignGurl (please, please) if she can drop a post from time to time if I am gone for a while.

You know the routine, what ever you can send my Moms way would be very much appreciated.

Thanks everyone.

UPDATE: She was admitted and they are keeping her over night for observation. They are concerned about her heart and her recent blood pressure medication adjustment. With luck she will be OK and back home tomorrow...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

FanBox and Good Times

Is it just me or are you getting FanBox invites too. Two of them were from people I did not recognize the name. One was from Tony and I said "I know Tony." Nope, wrong tony.

This invite was for two very good looking twenty something women who have thousands of people that are "fans." I highly doubt they really want me as a fan. Then I checked out Tony. Yep he was from NY and liked New York sports but that was about it. I think i might have graduated from City University in 2004. That would make him ... well just a few years younger than the Tony I know and love ... well like at least.

I have barely looked at FanBox but I do like that you can share files like pictures and MP3s and maybe more. But the invite was what got me. The invite say they want to be my fan. I am sorry but I would not mind a friend or three but a fan, I just do not see me having fans and that is not a put down. Fans are for like celebrities and I am far from a celebrity.

Anyway am I the only one getting these strange invites from very unlikely people.

What a nice weekend. First Saturday was Sun, Sun, Sun and more Sun. I was not that warm but that was OK. Next I ended up shoveling the minimum amount of snow that was on my cement figuring the rest of it would melt with the couple of 40+ degree days we were suppose to have. I was so right saving myself a little work.

Next I went into work to see if I could not work out a problem I was having. When I got into work I decided to park in the parking lot rather than parking on the street which, if I could find a place, would be a little closer. Someone I have met a handful of times but never really been formally introduced to was just leaving the lot and offered to give me a ride to where I work. Again how wonderful was that especially since my foot was still hurting. Next when I got to the building it was locked and I do not have after hours access. So no work for me. Disappointing for sure but hey, at least I did not have to spend my time at work. Of course I had to make my walk back to the car but at least it was only one way and not both ways.

Oh and by the way, I should have started this off by mentioning my foot is going much better. Now I am not fully recovered yet but I am doing well enough that I see no reason to seek treatment. That and I think Jillie is just about due to be back again and she can take over once again. Although I do have some klutz tendencies, I really don't like this hurt foot thingy. Wasn't it her left foot too? I am not liking this one bit.

Last night was a late one. I started to download 4.4 gigs of information that would allow me to set up my computer at home to do what I was going to do on my work machine. I installed everything and got things working. Then I starting working on the problem I had at work. Rather than bore you I could not get the sample code that I was basing things at work on and finally called it a night (or was that a morning) at 5ish in the morning. But upon waking after 8ish I had an idea and within 30 minutes I had it all figured out. YES! Sorry but considering I program for a living, this was a major thing that I could get this working. Plus it will be useful in the future too.

I went out for breakfast just because and that was nice. Oh and I forgot I also went to see a movie last night, the Bucket List. Some people are critical of the movie but I really loved it. Other than Juno it was the best movie I have seen in ages. I thought it was funny, and sad, and I loved the actors (remember Jack in Will and Grace... yep, he is in it two and I enjoyed his contribution too). Oh ad let me share one line out of it with you that I loved although it was not the best one as far as I was concerned. Good old Jack Nicholson was shared some wisdom... "Here's something to remember when you're older Thomas - never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on, and never trust a fart." I hate to say it but that last one is so true.

I had a few other things happen but I have to say that made for a mighty nice weekend for me. Usually I don't do much of anything.

I hope you had a nice weekend.