Showing posts from September, 2006

Maybe It's Just Because I'm a JJ Fan...

These crack me up. Especially, the Cup Holder video. The Bob-A-Long was funny, too.

Ok actually it's the eyebrows on Lil' JJ. They're so Jimmie.

Little Things Make Me Happy

I readily admit to being a business geek. I have an MBA. I read business books for fun. I easily get immersed into conversations about COGS (cost of good sold for you non-business geek types) and ROI (return on investment).

There's one facet of the business world that can drive me crazy, however. It's the "Meeting".

Meetings can be incredibly painful in the business world and in so many ways. I can't stand the folks who think we have to go for a full hour because that's how long we booked the conference room for. I go nuts when someone feels they need to recap the recap. I think it's a phenomenal waste of time when someone goes off on an unproductive tangent. And, don't get me started on people who are critical to the meeting but show up late so there's a room full of people sitting on their arses doing nothing.

Today, we had a great meeting. It was a Marketing Director, Marketing Analyst, one of my IT Project Managers and me there wearing two hats a…

Stephanie Plum Day?

It's been a long time since I did anything Plumlike but today is starting out that way...

First, I got my morning Diet Pepsi and ran into the doorway while drinking it which caused a lot of it to spew down the front of my jammies.

Then, within 3 minutes of the first incident, I was putting clothes into the dryer when I banged my head on the dryer door.

I'm almost afraid to leave the house...

A "Real" Lesson in Communications

The very same day I learned that I was an Expressive, I got a first hand lesson of what it's like to go up against a Driver.

It wasn't pretty.

First, a little background. This particular Driver (I'll call him D in a very limited attempt to protect his identity even though many will guess who it is) came over to my house on Wednesday night because I'd done him a favor and gotten him some stuff (no, not drugs, more along the lines of trinkets).

He'd told me he was going to "drop by" and, once he was here, I said I wasn't sure what that exactly meant so he told me he was thinking I would make him dinner. OK, no prob. I whipped up some pasta and a big salad and we split a bottle of some nice Chianti while having a generally pleasant conversation.

Then, it went bad.

Some more background to explain the story. A few months ago, we had talked about going to an out of town event together. The plans were not firm. Someone else asked me to make rooming arrangements w…

A Lesson in Communications

We had a mandatory managers/supervisors off-site on Wednesday. The first part of the morning was spent on finding your interpersonal style and learning how to communicate with people with other styles. The second part was on harassment and discrimination training. I got a lot more out of the first part of the session, I must confess.

The gist of it was that folks can be divided into four categories (like many of these theories), based on a few criteria. We ranked ourselves on the grid based on how emotional (outgoing versus cold and guarded) and, well, I guess I'd say our social style and risk taking (more likely to ask others about themselves and low in risk taking versus more like to tell people about stuff and more willing to take risks). The grid is below:

A quick summary of each type:Analytical - low risk taker, needs to know all the facts before making a decision, can't be rushed, socially more likely to listen to others than talk about themselves.Driver - high risk taker,…

Maybe I Should Just Move There...

I've spent so much time in Tucson lately that I feel like I did actually move there. In the last month or so, there was Mark's house concert (and my subsequent kidnapping), the concert last Thursday night and I'm heading down there again on Friday.

It's all Norene's fault. She started this whole "Let's go to lots of concerts!" thing and it's out of control. We've seen Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and John Fogarty, Mark Mulligan, Elvin Bishop, Buddy Guy and George Thorogood and next up is an Oak Ridge Boys show. The first two shows were in Phoenix but she's sneakily getting me to agree more and more on the Tucson venues.

Here's how the Oak Ridge Boys came about...

Norene, Rick, Loreen and I were having dinner at the casino sports bar before the show Friday. Norene was relaying a conversation she'd had with a co-worker about how she was done going to concerts for a while. The co-worker replied with something to the effect of "I'l…

Book Review - Anyone But You

Anyone But You is a chick lit book by Jennifer Crusie that she wrote back in 1996. They recently put it out in hard back so I actually found it in the new book section of the library.

I really like Crusie's stuff and this an enjoyable, very quick read. The heroine is a recently divorced 40 year old who meets her younger, single doctor neighbor and is instantly smitten. She thinks she's too old for him, he thinks she's perfect for him but can't figure out how to convince her of that. My dream story, really - although, if a cute, young doctor hit on me, I wouldn't be nearly as reluctant.

Nice, fluffy read overall.

Concert Review - Elvin Bishop, Buddy Guy and George Thorogood

I made another road trip to Tucson last week to hook up with Norene, Rick and Loreen for a concert at one of the casinos down there. (Digression - the have a casino name "Casino del Sol" and another named "Casino of the Sun". I wonder how many bilingual types end up at the wrong one?)

This was another show in my ongoing series of "seeing people before they die" concerts. I saw Thorogood way back in the early 80s but I've never seen Bishop or Guy. The latter are getting up in years so it was a no brainer to catch the show.

I am so glad I went - it was entirely fantastic!

Bishop opened and was highly entertaining. Although he only performed a couple of songs, he was funny and clearly having a good time. I love that in an artist. Nothing annoys me more at a show than the performer acting like he or she is bored to be there.

Next up was Buddy Guy and I would have very happily let him play the entire night. Talk about high energy and having fun! I think if the…

Biggest No-Brainer Arrest...Ever

Every State Trooper across the country could make a drug bust. Just look for the bus that says "Willie Nelson" on it. Then, this story could be yours. It's not like anyone should be surprised...

Movie Review - The Fantastic Four

I'll do anything to avoid housework...

I love comic books. I have fond memories of reading them when I was a kid, either from my stash or my Uncle's. He had huge piles of Superman and Batman and other DC issues to read. I was more of a Marvel fan, though. X-Men rule.

I'm not so much a fan of comic book movies - they seem to be either great or awful, nothing in between. OK, X-Men still rule but The Hulk? That was crap. Elektra? Daredevil? Bad... Spiderman and Batman? Good.

The Fantastic Four clearly falls into the "bad" category. It just wasn't that exciting, lacked humor for the most part and didn't even have stellar special effects. Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd and Julian McMahon were completely wooden and, while Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans tried to add some color as Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, the script left them all very one dimensional and dull.

In the hour and 45 minutes that I spent watching it today, I could have dusted, swept, mopped and cleaned t…

Book Review - My Sister's Keeper

This is truly sad...I went over 3 weeks without reading a book. I think that's close to a record in my adult life. That dang Parrot Grande really consumed a lot of my time.

Book club is this coming Tuesday and I screwed around so much that I couldn't get the book from the library in time so I had to buy it today. I headed off to Border's this afternoon and, surprisingly, came home only with my one needed book. I'm still not sure I can commit a lot of time to reading in the near future. That is truly sad, as well.

Anywhooo, this month's book club selection by Jodi Picoult was a great choice. I couldn't put it down and 4 hours after I started it, I was done and crying like a baby. It was a quite an emotional read and I actually teared up many times.

The story revolves around 13 year old Anna who hires a lawyer to get medically emancipated from her parents. Anna was conceived as a donor for her older sister who had leukemia. Anna's cord blood put her sister into …

Chick Poker

I told a couple of guys at work that I was playing poker last night and that I'm disappointed if I don't double my money in my chick game every month.

I didn't double my money last night.

I actually more than tripled it. My $20 investment turned into $69.50.

While I think I played well, I must confess that I got dealt some great cards. Pocket pairs, straights and more flushes that I've ever seen. It was nice.

The biggest surprise was who came in second (we busted the rest of the gang). Stacey, the one who usually busts out first due to excessive bluffing and a careless attitude, ended up with $30.50. The highly competitive part of me wanted to go head to head and take all of the money but we stopped when it was down to just 2 players.

Man, I loves me the poker. I could play every night for weeks on end and be happy.

Pictorial Evidence

Crime Dog mentioned the incident here. This is how his 'look' progressed.

Parrot Grande - The Hurricane

What just happened here?
For most of Saturday afternoon, the staff at the Francisco Grande and I scanned the sky. It was dark and forbidding and threatening rain. We had a backup plan to move inside if it rained and Wood-Eye had even set up a thunderstorm plan that involved tarps over the stage. Bowing to the locals who thought the storm would go by, we went on with the original outside dinner and entertainment scenario. Dinner was served without a problem and Stars on the Water started their set with their signature Born To Be Wild tune when it started sprinkling. We moved in with the tarp and covered the instruments and the stage. No sooner had we done that when a gale force win whipped through the area. I'm not kidding about the gale force, either. It knocked over tables with dishes on them, bent our tent poles and flung a rib into my arm. Originally, I thought I was bleeding but it turned out to be barbecue sauce. Next up was some heavier rain and everyone started unplugging the e…


I would have Parrot Grande completely reported on except I was held hostage this weekend and kept in Tucson. Scary stuff but I managed to escape and make my way home.

It started out innocently enough. I headed down to Tucson on Friday afternoon to meet up with Norene at her place. I was planning on a one night stay. We had a couple beers, looked over my Parrot Grande pics and caught up on everything (a surprisingly lot of everything considering that we'd only left each other 5 days previously). Then, we were off to Russ and Tamyra's for Mark Mulligan's House Concert.

We pulled into their driveway around 6:45 for the 7:00 PM show. The place was already jammed packed. I got to give Mark one hello hug before he started. It was a very emotional first set. He started out with a few special songs as he did at Parrot Grande then segued into his love songs. I hadn't realized how many songs he has that mention his wife and kids and how much he loves them. I don't think there …

Parrot Grande - Saturday Afternoon

There's nothing more refreshing than jumping in the pool after a round of golf in the Arizona sun. On my to change into my bathing suit, I ran into Mark Mulligan who was setting up to play by the pool. I gave him two, big, sweaty (and probably stinky) hugs. It felt so good to physically be near him. It's hard to communicate deep emotions over email which is what we've been doing.

He's doing remarkably well after what happened. The first two songs he did were in honor of Adela then he kicked it into party by the pool gear. He was joined by Jerry Gontang, Bob Karwin and John Milner at various points. Jerry once said to me that all musicians are stage whores and he is right. One little hint of an offer to join someone on stage and they are right there!

The Goat is in his new safety outfit.The afternoon went by pretty quickly with a break in the music for the Pirate Ship Races. Sorry, no pics. Somehow, my camera wasn't near me for those. Some folks (the engineers) reall…

Parrot Grande - Golf

I woke up pretty chipper on Saturday AM. A quick shower and a couple of waters and I was good to go. Everyone was milling around the carts waiting for our 8 AM shotgun start so I decided to have a Bloody Mary and some food. The food turned out to be three peanut butter and cheese crackers but at least it was something solid.

The core of my team has been the same most years with Tom, Captain Blood and me playing together with a different fourth. I went looking for our new fourth who was nowhere to be found. Her boyfriend told me she was snoozing. Slacker. In theory, that meant I would have to make more shots on the course to make up for hers.

See, here's how I play. I only do best ball tourneys. I let the boys tee off and, after the first couple of holes, I only tee off if there's a possibility that I can outdrive one of them. I also don't drive the cart and I generally don't pick up any balls. By the end of the round, I usually don't get out of the cart at all except…

Parrot Grande - Friday

I pulled into Casa Grande around 10:30 on Friday morning. Wonder of wonders, I was able to check into my room. It was nice to get my stuff unloaded early.

The Goat, Large and in Charge!
I didn't open my first beer until I made it to the registration table where Cheap Bastard and Annette were hard at work. They really took the process to a new level this year with lots of decorations and had it all under control. Tweetie was getting the raffle set up, Carol was working on the silent auction and Julie was setting up the mini-mart. Since they had everything under control, I dropped off the stuff I had brought down then headed out to mingle with the crowd.

The Lovely Annette, hard at work.My plan was to help where needed as long as I didn't need to put down my beer. It worked for the most part. I spent most of my time running around and socializing...that could only have been expected with the Social Butterfly.
You don't want to know where Kari got that pickle, trust me.Friday nig…

Personality Test

My Personality

Neuroticism 38 Extraversion 99 Openness To Experience 60 Agreeableness 43 Conscientiousness 56
You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. Stressful and frustrating situations can sometimes be upsetting to you, but you are often able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. A desire for tradition does not prevent you from trying new things. Your thinking is neither simple nor complex. To others you appear to be a well-educated person but not an intellectual. You have some concern with others' needs, and are generally pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.
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Is anyone surprised by the Extraversion score? I'm not so much.Got this from Vern.
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Fun At Work

Parrot Grande posting will be coming up soon...

I think I can guarantee that this hasn't happened at anyone else's place of work.

We had the highest sales month in the history of the company in August. To celebrate, the VP of Sales and the CFO (both men) dressed up as Sonny and Cher, told some pretty lame jokes then sang I Got You, Babe.

It was painful. Funny, but painful.

They gave us a nice BBQ lunch with the show, too.