About me

Monday, November 28, 2011

Organization and planning

I fear there has been a dreadful misunderstanding about the pegboard in my kitchen from which I hang some utensils. We must attend to this problem before we can advance.

It is not about organization. It is not about planning. It's about being able to see what's available when I need something that's not in my hand. Besides, all this stuff was too much for the one little drawer in my kitchen.

I work with project managers at my day job. It's a necessary evil when projects are large, somewhat complex, and numerous. It would be unfair to the peeps to just bumble along from day to day doing things as the spirit strikes, though I'm sure most of them, at least from time to time, think I organize my day according to some notion of what might be fun. Actually, they do a very good job of keeping me reminded of which something is next, and while that does not preclude the occasional time when 15 things are next, it does lend a certain balance to the day job.

Bear in mind that I do not much organize my life outside work this way. I suppose this is why it's rare that I board an airplane for leisure. I prefer to drive. Or walk. Or even stay home. And while you gasp, note that I have queued online payments for known bills through June of 2012. One hour of focus pays a dividend of six months of not having to think about it.

Of course, there is a schedule. I just don't much share it. We do things at the doing time. We go places at the going time. We read at the reading time. We eat at the eating time. We bathe when we stink. You probably get my drift. You probably also get that I, generally, live alone.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Treasures from the parking lot

Usually, the treasures of my world accumulate in the laundry room. However, they've relocated, it would appears, and now they wait in the parking lot for me.

After the recent rainy evening, the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving, I walked out to the car, and what did I find, but this water-logged beauty.
And yes, Bigger Bunion has been getting frisky and producing a blister. If this is your 'boggin or you just need an extra for the summer, let me know. I have a few extra these days, and they're all washed to Ebay standards.

Under the next tree, found on the same day, I found this piece of a local uniform.
I can't decide quite how to launder this thing, and I'm certainly not putting it in the dry cleaning like the tag suggests. Meanwhile, if you've taken a PT job with Waffle House and need to augment the uniform, here's your scarf.

Blessing always come in threes, and this week was no exception. Yet again on the morning after the rainy evening, I found what I thought was a burka, which is likely spelled some other, less phonetic, way, but the thought of a nekkie burkette had me alarmed. Upon closer inspection, I realize it's an unfitted satin sheet. Someone was planning to get frisky. It's a table cloth now.
The truth is that I found this several days earlier, and I wrapped it about the nearby light pole thinking that the owner would surely return for it. Maybe Santa will bring whoever it was a new one for Christmas.

We'll talk about those plates, saucers, and cups later. There are several stories there.

Someone bought a hamster

Yes, they did. A hamster. Upon getting home with it, they left it in the cage with food, water and a wheel. Five days later, they noticed the hamster was stuck in the wheel by its leg, which had turned black. They returned the hamster to the store for a replacement.

I think we know all who and what is really defective here.

Lily adopted the hamster with the support of coworkers who helped provide those things a hamster needs. She pumped it with antibiotics, and it lived a week. In the final day, she took it to the vet, and they decided to euthanize Captain Hook. Lily delivered the drugs. That was not a good day for Lily.

She girded herself at the dinner table last night with the thought that the hamster had a good last week. Who among us would not ask for the same, a good last week?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving with Bro

I started a pot of chili last night. You surely know the drill, and I'll avoid the details. Two pounds of beef. One can each of diced maters and peppers, chili beans, kidly beans, and black beans. Rinse each can with a third of tap water. Texas Pete to taste. It's better if all the products are from Food Lion, though that is not necessary, not if you're willing to cut back on the quality of the chili.

Let it sit over night. Let it simmer all morning. Turn the heat off to go to the gym. 90 minutes later, bring the heat back up. Cut it off. Move it to single serving containers.

Here's what it should look like when you cut the heat off.
Try not to think of dumping the black water from the RV.

I used the dipper for the first time ever, what with it being Thanksgiving and all, and filled four containers.
There was a small amount left in the pot. That'll be my dessert when I return from seeing Bro.

Let's not forget the ancient family heirloom napkins.
It'd be imprudent to tote four containers of chili in my hands, and that means we'll make use of the Food Lion bag.
It seems a reasonable bagging choice, what with all the components having arrived in such a bag.

Now, we drive. Well, after securing the chili in the bag in the floor in the backseat of the car.
It would be sadness to spill the chili now.

At Food Lion, we spread the banquet on the table.
Yes, we're using the hood of my car as our table. We're creative that way. It'd be better if this were a tailgate, but Crown Vics do not have tail gates. Times are hard, you do know.

Ten minutes later, I return home, and start the cleanup.
But first a nap. There's also a vacuum cleaner in my future. Yeah, Thanksgiving can rock that way.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

All I need that I do not have is a big rock.

Being the good boy that I am, I spent a part of Saturday night washing clothes. White shirts. By hand. In the kitchen sink. The drill is straight-forward. Fill sink. Add detergent. Add bleach. Smoosh. Drain. Add more water. Smoosh. Squeeze. Hang on the rack to dry over night. All I need that I do not have is a big rock.

During the rinse cycle, I noticed something that didn't below. I always good at that game, if I did usually find the other thing that did not belong.
A note. Six weeks ago, I received a call from a bud. Two weeks ago, he called again. This time I wrote it down. Three days ago, I put the note in my shirt pocket. Two and a half days ago, I put the shirt in the laundry basket. With said note. Two days ago, I remembered said note. One minute later, I forgot said note. Shiny... Last night I found said note. The writing was done in water-based blue ink with my italic nib fountain pen.

Is it any wonder I live alone?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Decorating the office

I work with a, generally, sociable group of smart people, and Thursday, we had the office pot luck. Afterwards, our leader needed help with the orchids we keep near the front door, and I, being sluggish from all the food, didn't get out of the way fast enough.

OK, so that's a joke.

Truth is that I volunteered. I like visiting the assemblage of hot houses over in that area of old Morrisville. It's an area destined to be replaced with quickly build tract housing all too soon, if not yet another shopping mall, and that makes me sad, leaving me to wonder how generations past mourned that which was lost when it was replaced by the very thing I now feel sad to imagine gone. The importance of permanency is something we often underestimate.

You do know there was a time the railroad track did not exist there?

So we're off to move some orchids to the hot house where they'll recover from a season in our office. We'll return with a new set. Not too long from now, we'll do it all over again.

On the drive over, Jeffrey is chatting regarding the orchids. Do you suppose the clients like them? I paused, and he offered my initial thought that not many clients ever see them. Just a few visit our offices. However, he was headed down the wrong track regarding the rest of my thinking, and I quickly piped up to say that I thought the more important point was that the flowers offered a welcoming sight for the people in the office and that it was important for people to have such things in the office, especially given how many hours some people spend there. You know, it's easy to spend more time with the people in the office than the people in our families.

He then offered the most wonderful statement. He said, "I like them, and I think they're important." Whoa! Here's a man with what surely sometimes feels like the weight of the world on his shoulders, a man who could easily hide behind the thin veneer of important matters of leadership, yet a man taking time to make a small corner of the world a bit more beautiful, and in doing so, indirectly and immeasurable bringing a positive influence to the well-being of the people within the building. I do not need an accountant's ledger to demonstrate the assuredly positive influence such an act has on the company's well-being.

Behold the Jim Penny Memorial Orchid.

Always the starter

Yes, it's easier to begin than to finish, at least for me. Besides, these things are not projects. Nope. They're on-going therapy. Of what do I ramble? This.

A brand spanking new blog with one whole post that violates the rules right off the bat. How so? It's not Wednesday yet, and I've posted a picture of an orchid . I didn't even take the picture on a Wednesday. It was Thursday. I suppose my doomnation grows even deeper, which, frankly, is hard to imagine, but there you go.

Wordless Wednesday. Don't I follow the pack so well?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Somewhat ill-gotten brunch

Raul is out for the day, and I had to fend for myself in the kitchen. What's a poboy to do?

Find his trusty iron skillet, splash in some olive oil, and fetch out the tofu he bought two months ago. Yeah, that mess keeps a long time. He slices up said tofu and slaps it in the skillet.

OK, that's about enough with the third person.

I fetched the green tomatoes I stole fair and square from my brother's mostly frost bit garden, chopped them up, and poured them all over the tofu.
To think I grew up learning that green tomatoes were poisonous. What's next? Smooching men is OK?

Next, we need an onion, but the onion I have is huge, and that means we really need a half onion. It gets chopped up also.
Now, you're probably thinking some Texas Pete would work well about now, and you are correct. However, cheese will work even better. Shredded Mexican cheese. Think of it as practicing your Spanish.
I put the whole shebang in the oven, uncovered, at 350. Those are F degrees. That many C degrees would likely lead to a meltdown, and you know it, so don't go get all smart with me, not this morning.

After some 30 to 60 minutes, you can take it out, and then let it cool.
You could eat some now, especially if you need another visit from the cute medic who will attend to your cheese-blistered palate. However, it might be better to call your favorite writing partner to discuss the statistics presentation you'll give next year so he can point out that the conference is at the end of February, not January like you were thinking. After that 30 minute confabulation, it's time to chow down.
I'll add the Texas Pete to the leftovers.

Bro bought some books

I drove east yesterday to have lunch with Buck and Granny, and afterwards, I scooted over to Bro's house to see what all he bought the other day. You see, Bro and one of his bud's have started buying storage containers, a la that TV show called Storage Wars, or some such.

One of the containers was full of books, most of which sit on his carport and front porch. These are apparently discards from several schools and county libraries along with a few privately held libraries, perhaps from estate sales. I suppose someone was panning to start a used book store.

Here's the carport. Yes, that's a pool table underneath all that.

Here's the front porch.
And from the other side.
I found just about every genre in the stacks, well with the exception of gay romance, unless you count the regular romance novels with the shirtless hunk supporting the swooning sweet young thing.

Bro estimates that he now has some 10,000 books, all of which are for sale. OK, minus the eight I brought back because they looked like they might have a second life on Amazon. I did not take the retired library book that gave deft instructions for supercharging MS-DOS.

Bro and his partner have certainly had a decent return on their money, though I doubt the reports yet include the time for their labor. In the matter of these books, Bro says this is the one container they wish they had left untouched. I'd likely be loading the mess into a truck, and dumping it off for recycling. Or mulching.

In related news: Not one book I opened contained a hundred dollar bill. What is this world coming to?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kmart is dead to me

I really gotta keep my eyes open better. That, or shop elsewhere. It was bad enough that I couldn't move in the local Kmart without being asked for a frequent shopper card, the one with rewards that could be claimed (e.g., the free Coke that didn't include Diet). Last month, I bought a digital TV antenna there when my neighbor moved and shut off the cable. The box did not appear to have been opened, but it lacked the signal amplifier. Fortunately, I had one from a few years back when Time-Warner was selling fish oil and calling it high speed Road Runner. However, the antenna works just fine without the amplification.

So tonight, Grandpa needs a little mess, and he's too lazy to drive the extra mile to Food Lion, which leaves him to walk to Kmart. While cruising through, I notice a bottle of vitamin C on a serious markdown.
I didn't notice the torn seal while I was in the store. At home, I did. This reminded me that the checkout clerk looked at it too. However, she was miffed that I didn't have my frequent shopper card, which left her calling me "sir." I should pay more attention.

Opening the bottle, what do I espy with my little eye?

Kmart? The one on Western in Raleigh? You are dead to me.