Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow Day?

6-8 inches of snow tonight.

Students and teachers are sitting by the TV, hoping that their school district will be on the list of closures. Never mind that the missed time will be made up on a glorious late spring day and that there is absolutely nothing to do tommorrow except watch it snow; these people are cheering for a micro disaster.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Propping Up February

It's coming. In my opinion, it is the worst month of the year. Much has been done to add some sugar to the medicine that is February - without success.

What has been done to make February a fun month? They tried Valentine's Day. ( I'll have more on this in a couple of weeks) In my opinion, Valentine's Day should be wished to the cornfield. President's Day provides a day off for a lucky few. I think most furloughed employees either sleep or catch up on housework on that day. There's nothing to do on a cold snowy February Day anyway. Thanks for nothing. Inventory Tax Sale used to provide a few chuckles for Indiana folks, but that's gone now. February is Black History Month. If I were a militant of color, I'd be pissed that I was getting the crappiest month of the year to praise the traffic signal inventors that emerged from my culture.

Like a bad cut of meat, it's a challenge to make the month bearable, let alone palatable. I'll knock of a week of it in Las Vegas and am still well enough stocked with books and strong drink to wait out the other 21 days.

My plan this year is to take care of tasks that have been put off until a time when I have nothing better to do. What better time? Twenty-eight days - twenty-eight jobs completed. March will be that much sweeter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This is a quick note on a phenomenon that I experience.

I have a vast reservoir of words that I seldom use (or hear) in conversation. Do my friends, like me, only offer a small portion of their vocabulary in everyday conversation? I think so. No one wants to elevate their diction in fear of showing up a less verbal comrade.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Torture at 1000hz

Extended wait times on corporate phone systems were the order of the day. Sure, I can wait, especially on a Monday when everyone and their pets are taking care of bad news that arrives via mail on Friday. My issue was resolved, so no complaints there.

The problem is the playing of music while you are holding. I understand the need to fill the dead air that may be mistaken for a disconnect. I have no problem with selection of the music either, although today's selection was a a jazz trio playing music that you might hear at the Playboy mansion or in a bar / restaurant that is hoping that the tuxedo clad musicians will add sophistication to their unsophisticated food and beverages. My issue is that the music is being played through a phone receiver. It sounds like you are holding an ear bud at arm's length. The quality is that of Thomas Edison reciting "Mary had a Little Lamb" on his talking machine.

Another day - another annoyance.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Peril that is Plastic

Two (make that three) recent encounters with plastic packaging have me longing for the time when natural products like wood, paper, and cloth served as containers.

1. Patti used a cheap plastic-lined lunch tote. Her crackers, tasted "funny". No wonder. PVC isn't our spread of choice and the tote wreaked of chemical odor. The bag was an office gift that everyone received from the boss. A covert staff reduction scheme?

2. My manual dexterity is far below average, but nobody should have any trouble opening thin produce bags that tear off the roll. I was going to get a couple of baking potatoes but couldn't get the bag open. I resorted to weighing the potatoes sans bag and slapping the price sticker directly on the spuds. The adhesive residue will probably kill us all.

3. I get a light bulb. Ironically, the energy saving bulb is packed in environment harming molded plastic. Luckily I had Hector, my pet knife, at hand to cut through the package and gingerly pull out the bulb without cutting my hand too badly. I've shed blood before taking items out of hard molded plastic. Sometimes the very tool that you need to open the product is what is secured inside the package.

I'm telling you. They're trying to kill and / or maim us all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quest for Music

One of my last batch of iTunes downloads was "Up the Walls" by PT Walkley. I heard it on a commercial for Dewar's Scotch Whisky. The music snob in me (See Jack Black in High Fidelity) has trouble admitting this. Thinking it though, there are plenty of great songs used on television commercials. I've even heard cuts from Wilco's Sky Blue Sky on VW Jetta ads.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Where? Who?

Nothing makes the adrenal cortex spurt adrenalin like a good old fashioned fight. Admit it. Despite your high level of sophistication, you'd have some interest. Of course, you have the option of disdaining violence, but only after you rushed to see what happened.

Last week, Sarah twittered "Man vs. dog fight in the computer room!". This almost stirred me to call and ask if I could come over and get the details first hand. I imagined Wendy having Brenden's head in her mouth and tugging him across the floor. I make no apologies. Just as putting a banana by your crotch will make me laugh, I will respond to fisticuffs. If ESPN is going to show a basketball or baseball fight in the next segment, I will sit through boring coverage of tennis and 7 commercials so I don't miss it.

As a 5th grade teacher, I saw plenty of playground fights go down. There was a zero tolerance for fighting and the matter was dealt with seriously, but invariably staff members would ask who was in it and inquired as to who won. One playground fight is most prominent in my memory. The combatants were two of the biggest thumb suckers of all time. You guessed it. The combat was carried out with one hand each as the other was holding their thumbs securely in their mouths.

Monday, January 14, 2008


That's right. I feel like I've battled my way out a thick shell, and I'm covered with albumen. I need to gain my feet and start scratching and pecking. I've managed to get everything else back to a steady state, but MSLOE has been neglected. All I have are these stubs for entries.

The Indiana Pacers suck
They have always provided some reason for liking January and February. Their excuses for losing are much like trading cards. When one has almost the entire set of cards, each new pack brings many repeats and maybe only one new card to the collection. I haven't heard a new excuse in weeks and their degree of play indicates that I don't have the full set.

Youssif: CNN as Bat Boy:Weekly World News.
Does CNN need to run this poor boy's picture every day on their web site? At least Weekly World News was a parody and Bat Boy (as far as I know) was a hoax. This is blatant exploitation on CNN's part, methinks.

Al Sharpton, why?
It seems that all he does is man a hot line so folks across the country can report any perceived "racist" remark. He, in turn, can demand that the person making the remark be punished severely. His suggested punitive measures make Islam law look like Unitarian guidelines. I'll leave the old dinosaur alone. This is his shtick. Like Guido the Pimp said in Risky Business. "In a sluggish economy, never, ever fuck with another man's livelihood."

Listen Up
Watch this. I laugh every time I see the couple holding these devices toward the preacher during church service. They may be able to hear the sermon, but carpal tunnel is a certain side effect. Cable TV after midnight is a wondrous world.

Big Brother 9
Thank you writer's strike. The most perverse of my guilty pleasures is this show. It's coming on CBS next month at a much needed time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Having fun is hard work.

Seven (count 'em) holiday social events have left me dog tired. Throw in a nasty head cold and you can see why this post serves no other purpose than getting something down before the month of January slips away.

Bundling up, drinking a big pour of Wild Turkey 101 and continuing my reading of "An Army at Dawn " by Rick Atkinson seems to be all I want to do tonight.

I received a bonanza of books as Christmas gifts and should be in great shape until the spring thaw.