About me

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Granny sends a hat to Josh

Granny bought this hat at the NC zoo some 20 years ago. It's a boonie with zoo animals on it. The chin strap is an old shoestring. I suppose the original chin strap fell off at some point.

Last month at the Toot-n-Tell, she asked about Josh and his flying, and then she mentioned the hat, which she thought would be perfect for a pilot. No, I do not know what made her think that. I was just surprised she remembered Josh was a flyboy. The hat did not so much surprise me because it's an old memory.

So being the good son, I'm putting the hat in an envelope, and sending it to Josh. Why do I doubt he wears it?



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Friday, August 28, 2009

It's what's for lunch

After being gone for a week, the fridge is low on anything you might want to eat, and I don't expect to go grocery shopping until tomorrow or Sunday. The green and red peppers were holding on, if on their last, and I chopped them up with some turkey snausage, and dropped the mess in the skillet with a lot of olive oil.

After a bit of sizzling, I poured in some Food Lion egg beater knockoff and a handfull of shredded Mexican cheese. It all sat on the stove in the covered iron skillet until the bottom was burned just as Mama would have done it.

Since you didn't show up for the leftovers, I ate the second half during the afternoon. You missed a treat.



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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Working together

Today was an excellent day at work. Several work groups came together to initiate the formal planning and review of an integrated software project that will greatly enhance our work and life, permitting us to work smarter, not just harder.

We celebrated this start with drinks and desert. Being the good boy, I had the drink, as you can see. However, instead of desert, I had a salad. Someone should pat my head.



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My China Initiative

If you read much of the business news, you know that China is often seen as the up and coming place to be. Companies head over there with a pipe dream and dusional dreams of getting rich quick. About the only ones to prosper are the airlines, hotels, and translator.

What is generally missed is the strain the Initiative places on the sponsoring organization and it's people.

My China Initiative took another turn. Someone left a slip of paper tucked in my driver's side door window. I used the lucky numbers on it for my PowerBall ticket.

I just checked the numbers. Only one hit. Not enough for a payoff. But a nice pipe dream, and substantially cheaper on this enterprise than the more usual China Initiative.

However, my real question here is just who put that fortune cookie slip on my car. I might never know.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A nanner watched

I've been watching this bannana age in the parking lot for a few days now. I expected by now that someone would have mashed it flat with a car tire, leaving the bugs to take on the cleanup duty. But no, it's remained intact, and now some has unpeeled it, magically leaving it in one piece to resemble a couple of other things, just depending on how your mind warps.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And so it's over

As quickly as it started, it ended. The peeps appeared to have a good afternoon. I seem none the worse for the wear, though my ears are ringing. One could do worse than spend an afternoon with a pitcher of Bud Lite and a plate of huge raisin cookies. Note that I left the popcorn alone.

I never did get a hotdog. Maybe I should go back in. Maybe not. It'll be several months before my ears recover from the din as it is now. Maybe we'll just get some dogs at the gas station. Maybe not.


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It's never enough

It's not enough that we have cookies the size of dinner plates, gallons of coke, and quarts of beer, but no...we gotta get the popcorn going. And here I am without a toothbrush, much less floss. The doomnation mounts.


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Down to the wire

The beer runs out about evenly with the bowling. I can report that these gutters are clean. Are we better team players for the afternoon? I doubt it. Will we yell as much at each other? Maybe not. Will we laugh more with each other? I hope so.

While these events are not going to change our world, they do permit a little more humanity to creep into our lives, and that's probably a good thing despite those gaudy shoes.


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Vice Presidential ball

We have determined that this blue ball is in the employ of a vice pres. He just looked over my shoulder and shook his head while giving me the look. The sandals might present a scandal.

He really is a good sport about it all.


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An ugly truth

Note the evil intent. The color choice. The way she holds this ball reminds me of how she holds my head as she's explaining my work flow for the day. My doomnation escallates.


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Our balls of many colors

The games continue. Double digit scoring is the norm. I doubt many will quit the day job to become a pro-bowler. The preponderance of pink balls both surprises and amuses me. The paucity of blue balls astounds me.

Is it time for a hotdog and buttermilk?


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Score!

We have a score of some sort. If we put them all together, we might hit triple digits. Fortunately for the peeps, the one pro bowler on the staff is on vacay this week. I suspect there might be some planning in there.

Meanwhile, the hotdog in that ad is looking better and better.


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We do our duty

We slowly get to where we need to be. Yep, and a VP just nailed me, but where's the news in that? Or so I thought. Besides, I'm so used to it now, it might as well be a job description.


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Feets bowling!

I think bowling is all about the decorative footware. Does it get any better than this? Surely not. If it does, I'll need a better class of heartmeds.


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Retired bikers and Muzak

While the retired bikers brutalize the lanes and occlude the beer, the Muzak plays "Girls just wanna have fun." I see doom and despair looming over the wrack of blue balls, even while my toes tap out the tune.


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Blue Balls!!!

It took quite the diversion to get the shot, but here it is. We'll be passing the rack of blue balls everytime we go to refill the beer. Apparently, a cut throat group of bikers, long retired, has taken up residence at the other end of the building.

I feel doom pending.


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Not a blue ball in the bunch

I'm not sure how we got here, but I cannot find a blue ball in the house, not even among the pros across the room. Whodathunkit?

Whoa! Found 'em. Way the hell on the other side where it's way too dangerous for me. Perhaps one of the Dykes on a Bike will come to save me again.


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Waiting for the peeps

OK, so I got here early, and I'm trying to be goof and not drink up all the beer and eat up all the huge cookies the company bought. Note: The Man bought the cookies. I'll have to buy my own beer.

So to pass the time, I'm formalizing what I'll say about this book when I write the review this evening. Emotional intelligence? That's surely a stretch for me. Not to worry, I still don't get it, and I'll say Bout as much this evening.


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Ribaldry and Mayhem

Here is where the ribaldry and mayhem will occur, complete with oddly colored shoes. The thing is that I can get into the polished hardwood, and if picking up one of those balls would put that wood on my floors, I'd be all over that rack of psychodelic balls. Besides, we already know how I have a thing for big balls.


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Our Fun Day commences

About every quarter, our company hosts a Fun Day. Although the activities vary, one of the more common things we do is go bowling. I suspect bowling is more popular because of the frat food and the available beer.

The idea is to promote some form of harmony, if not team building, in the company, and there are likely modest gains there, at least in the harmony part. I don't see much progress om the team building side. Existing teams remain as they are, and I'm pretty sure the afternoon is a far cry from what one would see in a corporate team building exercise.

The thing is that I could live a long and somewhat useful life and never enter another bowling alley. The noise alone is sufficient motivation to run away. However, if the man wants to pay me to drink a beer and watch the others bowl, that's sufficiently cool for me, at least for today.

One day we'll have that paint ball team.




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Monday, August 24, 2009

Parental thinking

So after the final drive, I sent each dude a text. Sup? Well, this time it was "Report!" because the Sup?s had not been as fruitful as I would hope.

From #1 Daughter, I learn that for whatever reason, she has figured out how to parallel park. I have no idea what that reason might be. Then I find out about dinner at Taco Bell and going to work after that. I'll get a pic of the parallel parking later.

From #1 Son, nada. Zip. Nothing. What the bear grabbed at. From ancillary sources, I know he's still alive and doing well. How I get a direct report from him is a mystery. I left voice mail.

For now, I'm grateful for what I have. TYVM!, Lil.

Follow-up: He checked in about midnight!




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The buttermilk is ready

This pitcher of buttermilk was cultured Saturday a week ago. I left it in the fridge so I'd have some to drink when I returned from the last road trip, and here I am. It'll get a good stirring tomorrow morning as I settle in to write for work. Come a'runnin' and I'll share.



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Sunday, August 23, 2009

My lunch with Lil

Yep, I had lunch with Lil. It was supposed to be at the Waffle Haus, but we couldn't get there from where we were, so we settled on a Subway. After the sammich artish constructed Lil's cheese and pickle followed by my tuner, Lil selected the one table with death feet which proceeded to amputate my piggies. What you see is all I have left.



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Saturday, August 22, 2009

On being the parent of grown children

And so we are here, despite whatever the maternal unit might say. We are the parents of grown children. One is two years into it. The other just started. The sad thing is that I'm more than sure that despite my $5000 monthly contribution, the maternal unit claims all the credit, right down to the chromosome.

Nonetheless,I'm pleased to be here.


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My new BF

I think this is a prime speciman of the Georgia Death Beetle. I found him on the wall leading to the bathroom. The MO of this pestilence is to leap upon the unsuspecting fellow as he steps from the shower with a fluffy towel about his head. A few stabbings later and the beastie has breakfast.


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My deferred heart attack

By the numbers, my heart attack comes on a Monday morning as I'm headed to work. That sounds about right. Think of it as unrequited stress. However, many breakfasts like this one, and we might advance the schedule. It would really help if I didn't like bacon so much. The biscuits with sausage gravy are a whole nudder matter, especially since we know where the bacon grease went. Fortunately, I don't eat like this often. Yeah, right.




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Lil swims in a hurricane

Yep, she did. Waves eight feet tall and growing. Lifeguards whistling and screaming and otherwise flirting. Foam and spray filled with snarling sharks. I could only watch through peripheral vision while fetching another beach beer.



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Friday, August 21, 2009

Orphaned Lava Lamp

OK, so the lava lamp didn't make it to Florida as intended. The Seester Unit claimed it for the Kingdom of Tate, what with Josh already having two lava lamps. Three in one dorm room would just be too much. So #3 lava lamp has gone to live on Tate Street. It's probably better that way.


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Needing more time at the beach

OK, it was a good afternoon at the beach with Lil. I think the tan doubled as though I were new to the sun. What is it about the Floridian sun? UV off the sand? Maybe. Big beer off the boardwalk? Possibly. Gotta figure how to visit Josh more often.



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Beer at the beach

This was my 32 ounce Mich at the beach. At the suggestion of the vendor, I kept it legal and stayed on the patio because I really didn't need an up close and personal with the beach patrol. Meanwhile, Lil slurped her coke on the blanket while oogling the hott surfers.



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Rain at the beach

Yep. Lil and I got caught in the rain at the beach. We ordered another round of drinks and put the phones under a towel. Then we realized that rain at the beach doesn't matter, especially with the water full of hott surfers.

We are both diggin' Josh's choice of school.


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ERAU laundry room

OK, so I was being the silly dad. And it got me the look. All I did was suggest that the freshmen had to wash clothes out in the canal with the egrets and alligators. Woe is me!




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Monday, August 17, 2009

Reflections

Josh says he's all packed and ready to go. I suspect he might even sleep in the car tonight just to not be late. They have a nine hour drive waiting for them.

I left a day early. First, I'm not sufficiently mature to spend that much time in a minivan with the maternal unit. Second, I wanted a little more time to process this milestone without the maternal unit telling me how I should be feeling.

So here I am in Augusta where I spent the afternoon broiling by a pool, thinking, and keeping a steady stream of cold beer going. It's been fruitful. In particular, I recalled in detail working on the farm that last day in 1971 before going to Chapel Hill to matriculate.

Josh is right there. He is so ready to be in school, just as Lil was two years ago. Funny how it works out that way.

I am really looking forward to this next season.




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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fried bologna

I was passing through Blithsville, SC, and it was time for dins and gas. I was too late for a breakie bistit. Bummer. It was hardly 6 p.m. Whodathunk that was too late for breakie?



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Friday, August 14, 2009

Teaching an old dog new tricks

I love this pillow. How might I count the ways? Once for every blessed moment I sleep and the some. About two weeks ago, I had given up on sleeping more than an hour at the time. The nagging sciatica was winning, and doing so on the wrong side.

Finally in a fit if desparation, I shoved a fluffy pillow between my knees as so many had suggested, not that I believed for a minute such would work on such a complex case as mine.

It was like flipping the light switch, and I've slept through the nights since. Go figure. Well, except for that periodic excursion to pee, which I generally do not remember.

Sweet dreams!



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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Espresso beans

I could take them directly from the bag, but they're better snitched from the $3000 espresso machine. Why? Because they're warm in the machine. Now we just need a chocolate dip. Dark chocolate, please.

BTW, Missie says I'm not worthy, but where's the news in that?



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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Research and publication

For what purpose do we gather? First, there're the personal reasons. Who's done what, where, when, and why? Find any good food on those foreign expeditions?

There's also the discussion of who has figured what in their lines of research. And of course, what didn't work, which I find more important than knowing what finally worked.

And we have publication of the peer reviewed variety, which I find the most difficult. We also have book reviews, which I find the most interesting. Actually, I find them a delight to write because I know I can express some opinion without being shot at too much. Besides, it gives me the opportunity to keep up on what the rest of the world is doing.

However, the best part is the diversion. I am not much of a potter. Yet, I find myself often making the same pot over and over. Yeah, the price is right, and we both know there's a better word than "potter" to describe me.

Nonetheless, here's to the next professional confabulation over margarita's and Mexican food. I do so enjoy it!




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Tomorrow's buttermilk

That's a 2-quart container. I added maybe a cup of cultured buttermilk. (The first cup came from commercially prepared nonfat cultured buttermilk.). Then I added two coffee mugs of powdered skim milk, which is, maybe, 50% more than you'd use if you were making skim milk. (This makes the final product thick and high in protein.)

Next goes in enough water to fill to the top. Finally, stir it very well with a slotted spoon or spatula. (The slots make the stirring more effective.)

Now here's the hard part. You let it sit out covered for 24 hours. You also leave it alone while it's sitting out.

Some time the next day when it's all cultured, use the same spoon or spatula, washed of course, to stir it again. It'll be thick upwards the top like yogurt, and you want to break all that up and remix it with the whey on the bottom.

When it's all stirred, add a slightly heaping teaspoon of salt to cut the sweetness and to bring out the tartness. Remember that you can always add more salt, but you can never take out a single grain. That would be my mama speaking there.

Put the pitcher in the fridge overnight. It'll be cold enough in a few hours. I find breakfast about the best time, but it's hard to find a wrong time.

BTW, you can add vodka or white rum for a real taste treat, especially in hot weather.



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Monday, August 10, 2009

Good Saturday morning to me

I arrived at work at 7 last Saturday morning to prepare for the group that was soon to arrive. Greeting me was one of our CEO's orchids. This purple one is one of me favorites. Of course, he appears to have a few hundred.

Maybe I need to get some orchids to decorate my apartment. I wonder what would go well with what amounts to a high rise trailer.

Maybe not.



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More orphaned undies

Are these yours? VS thong. Looks like a medium. Burgandy with some gold bling on the panel. I took this pic last week. If you're interested, I can give you the longitude and latitude.



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$300 Booboo

Notice the horizontal streak just above the red reflection of my phone. Yeah, that's a crack. It popped out as I was driving home from the airport Thursday evening. To my knowledge, nothing hit the windshield.

That happened last year when I was driving to work for a 9 a.m. meeting. Do you suppose workman's comp applies? Maybe I can get the man out to repair, if not replace, the windshield this week.

Alms for the poor...




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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Advanced Psychometric Duty

This weekend, I was working with a delightful group as they assembled two new exams for use in 2010. The organization of the group is such that only a couple of new people join on any given year. This means that the group generally knows exactly what to do, and my job is to set the stage and answer the occasional question.

I also have domestic duties. This morning, I had the dishwasher to empty. I'm not sure which course in my PhD program prepared me for that. I also got to order and fetch lunch.

Some might see my activities as a glorious waste of time given my training. I see it as doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Besides, anyone in that room could have made the coffee. I did it because I didn't want to disturb the work of the committee, and doing do left me close enough to field questions but far enough away to stay out of their way.

The upshot is that they finished and left in the early afternoon, and I had time for a serious nap at the lake. Those 4 a.m. wakeups this weekend have about done me in.



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The Neti Pot

This is one product that I do not get at all. The idea is that you pour the solution into one nostril, let the solution take the scenic tour through you sinuses, and then let it exit through the other nostril.

I have snorted enough sea and poool water to know how badly that burns, and I believe I'll leave that delight to others. Mind you, I've had more than one dedicated user swear to how well it works.

I'll be sticking with Mucinex-D for the duration, thank you very much.



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A dead catfish

Well, I think it was dead. There were no apparent problems, and I have no idea what killed it. Is the oxygen in the water too low? Did it swallow a hook? Die of old age? See my reflection in the water?

Many years ago, Lil and Josh used to fish with me in this lake. As we drove across the bridge, they would duck down so the catfish wouldn't see them coming and run away. Maybe the fish just surrendered to the memory of Lil and Josh with poles baited with stinky bait.



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Decorative peppers

The use of vegetables for decorative planting is an old Southern custom that we don't see often enough any more. Collards, in particular, do well. Besides, you get to eat them later. My favorite is the sweet potato vine.

And that's enough. I'm practicing with a new way of posting short blogs. See the pic of the pepper below. I'm this instance, the gardners needed to plant them 3x thicker. As they are, the peppers look like specimen plantings. They do their job better as beds of peppers.



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Loathing Southwest Airlines

I hate this airline.

The flight on Wednesday from Raleigh to Baltimore was inconsequential. It was also one-third empty, with no one in the middle seats.

The return flight this Friday afternoon represents a clear example of the pain and misery the flying public is willing to endure for a cheap ticket. That I endure this crap is testiment to my need for my paycheck.

I'm wishing now I had driven.

SWA does not assign seats. No matter how early you book that flight, you board like cattle. This means you stand in line, or you carry fake medical papers for earlier boarding.

It was better when I was using a cane. Maybe I have my motivation to limp again.



Cattle boarding also means people generally choose seats from the front of the plane to the rear. Let's add 50% to the time you'll spend in that line.

Today, my boarding pass was B58. I was the 58th person in the second line. The plane is full, and five people were behind me. This means I'm in the middle seat of the next to last row.


This also means my computer is under the seat before me where my feet should be. If the flight were more than 45 minutes long, someone's doom would be sealed.


I've never had a psychology class, but I do study people a little. The fellow to my left has zoned out with his tunes. He's listing to the left to avoid my touch. This means my left thigh is off at an angle claiming a little space for the Kingdom of Jim, and that I also get the left arm rest.

Yes, I know how to be difficult.


To my right, is a holy rolling wingnut reading a religious tract. The return addie says Alabama. The fellow us also above average size. Our body parts are rubbing, and I only wish that I had a copy of the Blade.




So, it's not a happy flight. I doubt I'm adding to the joy. We'll be on the ground in about 30 minutes. I might have to marry the man to the right then.

Oh dear. Aisle Seat Boy is asleep. I might need to pee.