Showing posts from August, 2009

Challenge Cup - IT vs Sales

Our latest work competition for the Challenge Cup was us versus Sales. They won the trophy in kickball. No way am I playing kickball so we challenged them to bowling. We're good at bowling and I can drink beer during the event. It's a win/win.

There was much negotiating on the event date as both departments tried to make sure their "star" bowlers were able to play. I think we finally picked a date where everyone could make it then the trash talk began.

Neener, neener, neener.

The sales team thought they would be funny and brought the trophy by "just to let you see what it looks like since you won't be winning it back". Ha ha. Very funny.

We did our usual competition format. Everyone who wanted to bowl did two games then we took the top four combined game scores from each department then those 8 bowlers faced off. Total pins for a final game for each team determined the winner.

I always hope to be out for the final game so I can sit back and drink …

An Evening at La Boca

My friends and I went to La Bocca for dinner last night. It's in downtown Tempe (but not near Rula Bula which is what I thought and why I parked far away, doh!) so we had a nice combination of the Mill Avenue atmosphere with a somewhat fancy restaurant. Think lots of dark wood and you'll get the idea.

They have happy hour on drinks until 6:30. Half off wine, well and drafts. Nice. I selected the Rudolf Muller Riesling and it was quite refreshing.

We started out splitting two of the plates. The med plate with basil humus, babaganoush with warm feta, roasted peppers, queen creek olives, artisan toast and house made flat bread and the cheese plate with a trio of craft cheese with rosemary raisin pecan crackers and artisan toast. Everything was quite yummy. I especially liked the crackers and the toast. Morgan said the feta was a little bland, though.

Tuesday nights are 2-4-1 pizzas so three of us split bocca trio - crushed san marzano tomatoes, pepperoni, genoa salami, sch…

Um, Thanks?

A friend of mine came over last night for a short visit. No surprise, but I was playing Full Tilt Poker. I'd just made the final table in a Sit and Go Tournament when he arrived.

He watched me play a few hands then started offering up advice. I gave him a "look" and he said, "Sorry, I won't tell you how to play."

That vow lasted about one hand.

Wonder how I ever made the final table without his help…

(I busted out in 7th...coincidence?)

Destined for the Poor House

I was asked last night if I were fiscally responsible. My reply was an emphatic "No." Don't get me wrong, I wish I were. It's just not something I've concentrated on but I intend to. At some point. Really.

It might be a losing battle anyway because whether you subscribe to the theory of nature or nurture, I'm screwed.

Know how I know that?

Well, let me tell you a story.

My parents have a Honda Odyssey van. It's actually pretty nice and it does a decent job of getting my Mom around town. Saturday, they get a call from the Honda dealership with a hook. "We can get you into a 2010 Odyssey without raising your payments."

Sure they can because you're going to be paying for another few years longer than you were before.

My parents went off to "just look." Steven called me to ask what the odds were that they would come home with a new vehicle. I said it was zero to two percent that they wouldn't. I got a later update from him tha…

Book Review - Fugitive

Fugitive: A Novel by Phillip Margolin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Solid Margolin read featuring lawyer Amanda Jaffre who's offered big money to defend a former prison inmate turned guru on a murder charge. To add spice to the pot, the dude's been living in Africa under a psychotic dictator who's after him for sleeping with his wife. Also, the murder victim's wife was once involved with Amanda's father.

Some decent twists and turns but I had the final reveal figured out really early in the book. Kind of a bummer.

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1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall.. The police are looking into it.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn…

Company Goodness

Our company was founded in the 70s and there are still a few people working here from back in the day and a little later than that. One of my favorite peeps just celebrated her 25th Anniversary last week. Wow. That's more than a lifetime for a lot of our employees.

There was a great party for her. She's a big Francophile who visits France nearly every year. Our biggest meeting room got turned into a little slice of Paris in her honor. Mood lighting, Impressionist paintings on the wall, Eiffel tower table decorations…it looked awesome!

The food was great, too. No Costco carrot cake for her. There was Brie, various shortbreads, fruit, nuts, chocolates in various flavors and shapes (including the Eiffel Tower), veggies and I don't know what else. I had to have a choco Eiffel Tower and tried some of the breads. Good stuff.

The guests ran the gamut from the CEO and his wife to people who work in the production area. We have a lot of folks from Africa and Indonesia and t…

I Wasn't Expecting That

I was heading out of my condo complex on the way to the grocery store when I noticed a guy standing a few feet away from the row of cars parked on the side of the street. He was actually somewhat in the middle of the street. As I got closer, I thought, "Am I really seeing what I think I'm seeing?"

Yeah, um, he was peeing in the middle of the street.

In broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon.

I guess he really had to go. Funny, though, he could have stepped back about 10 feet and had bushes and walls to disguise what he was doing.

Book Review - On The Grind

On the Grind: A Shane Scully Novel by Stephen J. Cannell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The latest in the Shane Scully series has Scully getting drummed out of the LAPD for felony misconduct in a solicitation for hire case and separated from his wife for sleeping with the starlet accused of trying to kill her rich husband. With no other jobs on the horizon, Scully ends up in Haven Park, a small incorporated city near downtown L.A. Of course, he's soon up to his neck in gun running, police corruption and the attempted murder of a Mayoral candidate.

Cannell always puts out quality products and this was a good entry in the series though I felt the end was a little rushed.

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Officially On Crack

So pretty, so addictive

I finally broke down and joined the leagues of BlackBerry owners yesterday. Despite mocking many people over the past few years for their Crackberry habits, I couldn't resist any longer.

Here's how it went down…

The first thing that led me down the path was that my friend Annette got data on her phone. Annette who was totally out of date on her electronic communications was actually more wired in than I was. It almost killed me. But, I talked myself out of upgrading when I realized I could get Facebook and Twitter updates as text messages on my current phone.

Oh, my text message count last month? About 2,600 including pictures. No, I'm not a teenage girl but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

The next thing that pushed me was that uploading pictures via picture messages to Facebook stopped working. That was a major bummer because I liked to be able to do updates from my many travels to make people feel like they're right there with me (and…

A Trip to Cheuvront's

Some companions and I enjoyed a lovely Sunday afternoon visit at Cheuvront's in downtown Phoenix. They had Happy Hour pricing on some items: 25% off wine and $5 special Mojitos and Martinis. Of course, I had wine and it was lovely but two of my friends tried the Mojitos and liked them very much.

We stayed for dinner and the food was great. One companion and I split the Prosciutto Fig Tart appetizer(Prosciutto, Mascarpone and Fresh Fig Wrapped in a Puff Pastry
Topped with a Honey Balsamic Drizzle), Chicken entrĂ©e (Parmesan Crusted Breast of Chicken with Housemade Gnocci, Wilted Arugula and Served with a Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc) and Pumpkin Bread Pudding for dessert. There was plenty of food for both of us. The fig was great and the chicken was awesome – really moist and flavorful. I've had their bread pudding a few times and am never disappointed in it. Yummers.

The others in my party partook of Housemade Sizzled Gnocchi (Sizzled Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Arugula, a …

Artsy Stuff

I recently had the chance to check out two exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The big one was Phantom Sightings – Art After The Chicano Movement. There were some great pieces. I really like the bold colors that a lot of the artists used.

Julio Cesar Morales had a set of drawings based on actual pictures taken from people getting busted for trying to cross the border. Picture someone curled up in the glove box, sitting in the shape of a car seat under the leather, etc. Those people were clearly willing to live with a lot of discomfort in their attempt to get in to the U.S.

I don't remember who had my favorite work but it was a huge American flag made out of anti-immigration post cards. Very interesting and thought provoking.

The other exhibit was Locals Only that featured 12 Chicano and Latino artists from the Phoenix area. It was an interesting mix of quite contemporary work (some featuring comic book hero characters) and historical photos with some really clever captions.

It w…

Neglecting The Blog

Oy, I feel so badly about not putting consistently witty posts out here. Or, at least consistent posts. I've got lots of them half written in my head but no time to get them posted.

Here's what's going on: work, club stuff, poker, Facebook (including Mafia Wars and Pirates), Twitter (oh, that Brent Spiner!), dating, book club, family events (July is a killer - 3 birthdays and my parents' anniversary) and the usual out of town trip that I seem to take every month.

Here's what else that I'm not doing because of the above: reading (unless it's for work or book club), watching or even reading about NASCAR, housework, exercising, cooking, watching TV and sleeping.

Ah, sleeping. I remember when I was good to go on 6 hours a night. Now, I feel like I'm lucky if I get 5 uninterrupted hours.

Another neglected activity is playing with my baby. George doesn't know if I'm coming or going but she knows the going part isn't good. When I am home, it t…