Showing posts from April, 2007

No One's Died...Yet

No, I've not offed myself over work yet nor have I taken anyone out. I have, however, threatened to fire several people many times. I'm only half joking, too.

Posting will recommence at a more frequent pace next week...assuming all parties make it through the upcoming integration weekend.

I wonder if I can access my blog from jail?

Gag Me

I make this "ick" sound at seeing the 24 previews.

I really didn't like the Audrey (I know it's not nice to make fun of people's physical status but I always thing of her as Horse Face) now that I have to see previews (of flashbacks so are they preflashes or backviews?) of Jack kissing her I can't help myself.

I literally say "ick" out loud every, single time I see the preview. And, with FOX, that's like a gazillion times each week.

Before I know it, they'll be bringing Kim back and I may have to swear the show off forever.

Sad State of Affairs

Tomorrow is the spring NASCAR race in Phoenix. My buds from Tucson and I have tickets and were planning on spending all day out there before catching the night race.

I love the night race. The cars are so pretty and sparkling under the lights and it's just a great time.

As I was resolving a work problem last Saturday around 8 AM, I got a call from Tucson. My friends need to put their house on the market ASAP and they just couldn't see how to fit the race in with all that they have to do. They begged off the race and, since everyone I know that wants to go to the race already is, I told them to go ahead and try to sell all of our tickets.

My initial reaction after I got off the phone?

Not disappointment at missing the race which is what I would expect.

Nope, it was relief.

I was stressing to the max about spending all of Saturday at the race then having to do a ton of stuff on Sunday before going into our final week of integration work and I was trying to fathom how I was going…

The Job Isn't That Bad Yet

I got home tonight after another 11 hour day and there were two people hanging out in the back alley where I park my car. They said, "Hi", I said, "Hi". I went about my business unloading my purse, my laptop and other assorted stuff that I needed to carry in when I started to catch a bit of uniquely identifiable aroma.

Yep, they were smoking the ganja.

The thought, very briefly, went through my mind that taking a hit would be a great stress reliever after my long day.

However, I rejected the idea immediately. The job's not that bad and I don't smoke the wacky anyway. Give me another week like this one, though, and that might change.

Sports Numbers

I've been thinking about this post for over a week. What triggered the thought was the announcement that many MLB players were going to wear #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson last Sunday. I wish every player had worn it. That would have been a great gesture (and made for one confusing score card).

I got to thinking about how I unconsciously associate some numbers with athletes from various sports. I don't even need to see the number related to a sport - just seeing the digits makes my mind instantly go to a player.

I'm sure a lot of NASCAR folks react the same way to the number 3. For them, it's Dale Earnhardt's number and that's all she wrote.

Anywho, here's my list:

4 - NFL Brett Favre
6 - NLL Dan Dawson (we'll see if that lasts)
9 - NBA Dan Majerle
17 - MLB Mark Grace
23 - MLBRyne Sandburg
25 - MLB David Dellucci
27 - NHL John Tonelli
48 - NASCAR Jimmie Johnson
99 - NHL Wayne Gretzky

Time For a New Job?

I've been so busy at work that I haven't had time for:

Reading blogs
House cleaning
Finishing the club newsletter
Watching TV
Grocery shopping

Pretty much, it's all work all the time. I'm even dreaming about work which is very sad.

I did sneak out last night (after an 11 hour work day) for a poker tournament at one of the local (well, sorta, it's in Maricopa and 45 minutes away) casinos.

I got busted out after two someone who used to work at my company.

Geesh, I can't leave the job no matter how much I try!

Thank God for an Easy To Make Post

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.What Kind of Intelligence Do You Have?

Guess I should also thank Vern.

Can't Turn a Night Owl into an Early Bird

Sugar Daddy and I worked on Sunday afternoon to make a system change. We have to make the change when there's no one on the system and that's pretty much the only time we have during the week.

Unfortunately, the change didn't work and we had to roll it back. Since it has to get out this week, we decided to come in at 5 AM this morning and finish the job. We only have a few users (I thought) at that time so it seemed like our best option.

When my alarm went off at 3:45, I decided it was not fit for man nor beast to be up that early. I hit the snooze a few times but finally dragged my butt out of bed. The first shortcut to getting ready was eating my toast at the kitchen counter while trying to speed read through the paper. The second shortcut was eliminating drying and straightening my hair. Yep, it's the poodle look for me today. I did put makeup on - there's no foregoing that, trust me.

As I was getting ready, SD sent me a text saying he was going to do his p…

Off With Their Heads

I always say I'm a lover, not a fighter. For the most part, that's true. I can take a lot of crap before my blood boils. However, once it gets hot, I can sustain a high level of irritation for a long, long time. (Just ask anyone who's dated me...)

I've hit that level of irritation now. Actually, I hit it a long time ago but I am now at the point where one wrong comment is going to get someone an asschewing like they've never gotten before.

What's bugging me?

Frakking nitpickers.

I've had it UP TO HERE with people who sit in the background and criticize every effort of the folks who are doing the actual work. Oh, the criticism is never direct. It's spread around to everyone but the people being talked about. Cowardly, I know.

It's not like the nitpickers offer to do anything to help, either. It's amusing to me to watch what happens when you turn it around with a comment like, "If you think you can do better, you're welcome to take on the task…

Would You Like Asbestos With Your Pasta?

Sugar Daddy, our buddy Dave and I went to a local Italian place, Red Devil, for lunch today. They have really good pizza and spaghetti though we don't go there all that often. Mostly because there are lots of work people there and you can get whiplash from doing the head swivel to see if anyone is in earshot that you don't want to hear what you're saying.

Anywho, SD and I had finished our salads while Dave was still working on his when all of a sudden a bunch of white stuff fell on us. I thought at first that someone was throwing straw wrappers at Dave (our work people are like that) but then I noticed a bunch of small foam pieces and dust fell on us. SD didn't notice any of that at first - his first idea that something was amiss was when Dave suddenly jumped out of his chair and started brushing crap off of his body.

Several tables in our area got coated with whatever it was. Apparently, they had someone working on their A/C and something came through the blower that sh…

Book Review - The Book of Lost Things

What an interesting book by Irish writer John Connolly this was. It's the story of a 12 year old boy, David, during WWII who loses his Mum (he's British) to an illness then his Dad remarries and has a son with his new wife. David feels left out and misses his Mother terribly. The new family moves to the step-mother's home in the country and strange things start happening.

The books in his room start whispering to David, he sees a strange man in his room and he eventually enters a fairy tale like world. Fairy tales in the traditional sense, not the Disney version. It's a violent, scary and sexual world and I got totally sucked into the tale. The villains, especially The Crooked Man, were really creepy and I couldn't wait to see how or if David was going to vanquish them.

And The Winner Was...

Neither Poker nor Work won in the battle for my time yesterday. A sleeper entry won instead...and, pun completely happenstance, it was Sleep.

It's not what I was going for, though. Poker was actually in the lead at 5:30 PM last night. But, then I called Pirate Rick and asked him what time he thought the tourney would be over. He estimated around 11.

Since I was already dead tired, I did some mental math. A 12 work day was going to give me a lot more mattress time than a 10 hour work day, 1 1/2 drive time to and from the casino and 4 hours playing cards (assuming I made it until 11).

So, I worked a little over 12 hours then headed home. Dinner was chips and one beer accompanied by one episode of poker.

I was fast asleep by 9:30 so I think I made the right choice.

However, I did put next week's tourney on my calendar. In theory, we should be less busy then.

Torn Between Duty and Obsession

I put in a nearly 12 hour today at work. We had a crisis that took up most of the afternoon but I still had programs to move into the live system so I was there until almost 8. (Have I mentioned that I'm not really a programmer but sometimes I have to be and I'm trying not to be bitter? Well, if I haven't mentioned it, I just did.)

Tomorrow looks to be just as busy. Besides our integration project, I have an outside contractor coming in from Chicago for two days to finish up a project for us, a two hour IT Team Meeting and another contractor coming in all day Wednesday.

Honestly, it's just plain busy. I could easily spend 12 hours at work tomorrow and have stuff still left to do.

But...Pirate Rick and some of his poker boys are going to the casino tomorrow night. There's a tournament with a $65 buy-in and a 60 player limit. The winner gets a seat into a $1,500 World Series Of Poker Hold 'Em event and $500 in spending money for Vegas.

Man, I want to go! The …

You Can Go Home Again

Saturday was a surprise 80th birthday party for a family friend. My parents, another couple from Port Washington, WI that we know and I went down to Casa Grande for the celebration. It was great!

A little history...we lived across the street from this family and their son Kurt is a year younger than I am and one of Steven's Godfathers (I was a progressive Catholic - two Godfathers and one of them is gay - not Kurt). They moved to Arizona a month after we did (more than 30 years ago) and I think we originally met when I was five and he was four. It might have been six and five - sue me, I didn't have a PDA back then to keep track of events.

Anywho, we spent a lot of our formative years together. When we were tykes in Wisconsin, our parents used to bundle us up in our jammies and throw us in a bunk bed as they played cards into the wee hours. His older brothers (there were four) and sister floated in and out and I often felt like just another kid in the family.

When we moved to Ari…

It's There To Spend, Right?

Apparently, I have an aversion to saving money. As soon as I get some, I feel compelled to spend it.

When I won $550 (big money to me) bucks at a poker tourney, I dumped $200 back to the casino that night and spent another $175 on my Sting Jersey.

I won $240 in my NCAA tourney and immediately offered up the first round of drinks for the gang. I got off cheap on that one because it cost me less than $40.

The bulk of my last Friday night's poker winning just went to The World Poker Tour's online store.

I ordered a ring and a necklace. A girl's got to have jewelry and I'm unable to resist the lure of sparkly jewelry. The fact that they're donating some of the proceeds from the necklace to fight breast cancer was an added incentive.

Hey, you only live once and you can't take it with you...

Book Review - Step on a Crack

James Patterson and James Ledwidge introduce a new hero, NY cop Michael Bennett, in this crime novel. Bennett has to deal with his wife dying from cancer, how to care for their 10 adopted children and, oh yeah, work the case of kidnappers hijacking the funeral of a former First Lady.

Bennett becomes the hostage negotiator in the unusual mass kidnapping of famous celebrities that include the former Mayor of NYC, an Oprah like personality, a classic rock star and a popular comedian.

There are the usual Patterson twists I've come to expect but Patterson and Ledwidge also do a great job of developing Bennett as a character you come to care about. I'm looking forward to the next installment which I'm sure will be coming.

Book Review - Cross

I know I haven't posted any book reviews lately. It's not because I haven't been reading, it's just that I've been too busy to post about it.

Cross is James Patterson's latest Alex Cross mystery. He introduces a new bad guy, the Butcher of Sligo, who's incredibly evil. Even by Patterson standards, the Butcher is one bad dude. While tracking the Butcher, Alex comes across clues to his wife's murder that took place years prior.

This is one of the better Patterson novels in a while. I got sucked in and read it all in one night. However, I have to say I'm not happy with the ending. I can't say more without spoiling it but it left me extremely disappointed with one of the major characters.

No-Fail Greens Recipe

I've gotten so many weeds, er, greens with my organic veggie deliveries over the past few months.

Various types of chard and kale, collard greens, mustard greens, braising greens (whatever the hell those were but I gotta tell you they literally looked like a collection of things currently growing in my back yard) and others whose names I can't even recall.

I have found a recipe that makes them all palatable.

Cook three strips of bacon in a wok.
Remove bacon from the pan and toss in the cleaned and dried greens.
Stir them up.
Slice the bacon and put it back in the pan.
Stir some more until all of the greens have turned to bright colors and are heated through.
If you're feeling particularly in need of extra flavor, throw in some diced fresh garlic while you're cooking the bacon.

OK, it's not exactly the best recipe considering that I'm trying to eat healthier but at least I'm eating the veggies.

A Reminder of Home

I had to talk to two employees from our company's bank today. We use M&I which is based in Milwaukee and they were calling me from Brown Deer.

Within 30 seconds of listening to them, I felt like I was back home.

Within two minutes, I started to sound just like them.

You can take the girl out of Wisconsin...

What The F*ck

Our latest work birthday celebration included playing the drinking game called, literally, What The F*ck.

Each person took a turn answering a random question that had an A or B answer. The rest of the group had to guess which answer was selected. Each question was weighted by difficulty with either one, two or three beers. Since we were at work, we turned the beers into points instead of brews.

It was pretty fun and interesting to see how well, or how little, we knew each other. Also, how some people projected their own response on to others.

Some of the questions (paraphrased) were:

Which would you rather attend? A: the next Presidential inauguration or B: the next Sundance Film Festival.

If you had a terminal illness and only a month live, would you abuse illegal drugs? A: Yes or B: No.

Where would you least like to have a drunken hookup? A: a morgue or B: a dog kennel.

Where would rather get married? A: on a roller coaster or B: in Alaska.

If you found out that player 1 had a shrine built …


Our last team building was an exercise in determining whether the members in our group are more motivated by Intrinsic or Extensive recognition.

Intrinsic being internal - desire to learn for the sake of learning, wanting to be challenged, etc.

Extrinsic being external - public praise, payment, promotion, etc.

We each checked off a list of 20 motivators. Ten were intrinsic, ten extrinsic. We then totalled up the number of responses in each category.

Here are some of the options:

You're asked to take on a tough assignment.
You're invited to a tennis or golf weekend with other star employees in your company.
The boss invites you to a BBQ at his/her house.
You're featured in a local or corporate newspaper article.
You're asked to work on finding a solution to a major problem.

Not surprisingly for an IT group, we were much more motivated by intrinsic items. A couple of us (including me) were called 'attention whores' because we checked off a lot of items on both sides. H…

What A Finish!

Since I was at the Suns' game, I recorded the Martinsville race. As I played it back, I thought Jimmie was going to have an OK day but nothing special.

I was wrong.

Thanks to a well timed pit stop and some cautions, he took the lead and refused to relinquish it.

Jeff Gordon (Jimmie's teammate and car owner for those who don't know) got up on Jimmie's tail and the two battled for the lead for 53 laps. 53 stress filled laps of attempted passes, great blocks and lots of bumping. I was an emotional wreck.

Kudos to Gordon for not wrecking Jimmie as that was the only way he was going to win. Jimmie blocked him good, maybe too good because Gordon was clearly not happy about it. Though, he did say Jimmie did what he needed to do to win.

It came down to the last lap with a bunch of banging and a sprint to the finish. Jimmie's margin of victory was something like .19 seconds. That's pretty dang close.

Correction: I read in the paper this morning that the margin was .065 secon…

An Offer I Couldn't Refuse

I was lounging in my jammies and reading one of the latest James Patterson books (Step on a Crack) when my phone rang a little before 10 AM. It was one of my buds calling to ask if I wanted two tickets to the Suns/Mavericks game today. I asked what time the game was and he apologized for the short notice and said it was starting at 12:30.

I told him I thought I could fit it in.

Compared to my agenda for the day which was to attack the jungle that is my back patio (a task I put off yesterday to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the nth time), going to see the two premier teams in the West play was a fabulous idea.

My first call was to Steven who was at work and unable to get away. After listening to him curse and rail for a few minutes, I called Doona who was in.

Great game! It was close for the first three quarters but the Suns ended up dominating the Mavs and won 126-104. The only annoyance was the lack of travelling calls on the Mavs' Notwitzki. I guess he must ha…

Sting Pull Out a Squeaker

Saturday night's Sting game against the San Jose Stealth was a battle of the two best goalies in the National Lacrosse League. The first period certainly showed how good our Blasdell and their Cosmo are. The score at the break was 1-0 in favor of the Stealth.

We decided to watch the game from the Lexus Club which gave us bar service and TVs so Woody and I could keep up on the Florida-UCLA game. Another nicety is that the bathroom is really close. I decided to make a quick run to the restroom while the Stinkettes, er, I mean Stingettes were performing before the second period started.

I swear I was gone less than two minutes but, in that time, the Stealth had scored two more goals! Of course, my potty break was blamed for the goals. The Stealth then built a 5-0 lead. I think the Sting were a little tired from Friday night's win against the league leading Colorado Mammoth and the trip home from Denver.

The Sting came back with five straight goals, thank goodness, to get us …

Profitable Gambling Weekend

Florida and Ohio State did what I needed them to do so I won both First and Second place in my randomly assigned pool. That means I won $240 and earned the envy of my peers. The latter is almost as sweet as the money.

Total gambling investment in poker and hoops: $25
Total winnings: $377

If it were only that easy all the time...

I've already earmarked some of the hoops money for the first round of drinks tomorrow night while some of us attend a committee meeting and watch the NCAA Finals.

It's going to be an interesting experience as many of us who are going to be there are the same group that watched the BCS game. Woody is a Florida guy and The Jello-Shot Queen is all Ohio State. I know who to suck up to.

Go Ohio State!