Showing posts from September, 2009

It's A Guy Thing

We have gated parking lots here at work. The keypad is on the left side so you can reach it from the driver's side of your car but the gate opens from right to left. I haven't timed it but I'm guessing it takes 15 seconds to open far enough for you to drive through.

15 seconds is apparently too long for some people as they will punch in the code then back up far enough to move to the right side and drive through as soon as there's room. Total time savings? Maybe 5 seconds. Really? You're that impatient?

And, by some people, I mean men. I've never seen a woman do that but I thought today was the day. The car in front of me was being driven by someone with really long hair and you could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather, I was so surprised that a woman would make the backup move.

I followed in behind and saw the driver get out. It was actually one of the long-hair guys that works in our print area.

The stereotype lives.

Morning Fun (For Me, Not So Much For George)

When I went to the front door this morning to get my newspaper, it wasn't yet there. So, I left the door open for George to scope out the world and walked away.

Just a few moments later, I heard “Bam!” followed by a rattling sound. That was caused by the carrier throwing the paper into the screen so hard that it actually stuck.

About a millisecond later I heard frantic scratching of claws as George tried to get enough leverage against the tile floor to run away. She finally did and scrambled to safety. I think her nose had been right up the the screen when the paper hit.

She stayed away from the door the rest of the time I had it open.

I should probably feel sorry for her but after she punctured my finger with her claw the other morning, I'm not feeling very sympathetic.

There's Hope for the Middle East or How I Converted to Mac

We have two distinct religions at work: Mac and PC. It's like other religious wars - it's always been that way and no one switches sides.

I was a staunch PCer. I liked the "business" use of the PC and didn't see much need for the "artsy" side of the Mac. I also didn't like the price tags. I know, the equivalent power in a laptop would cost just as much as a MacBook but you can sacrifice some power and still get a reasonable laptop at a livable price.

My first experience really working on a Mac was editing a movie for a work Employee of the Year presentation. I used iMovie on Sugar Daddy's machine and I hated it. The dang thing froze up on me countless times which is not good when you're still editing at 3 AM for a 7 AM showing.

My last movie was done on a MacBook Pro and it was a much nicer experience. It was a machine we ordered for one of the company directors and he let me use it right out of the box. No freezing up at all and it was…

Dinner at Estate House

My one night out for Arizona Restaurant Week was Estate House. It's a very nicely designed place in Old Scottsdale and would be perfect for a romantic dinner. I was with three of my girlfriends so not so romantic but pleasant nonetheless.

Here were our menu options:
First Course (choice of):Vanilla Scented Duck ConfitSpanacopita with Toasted Almonds Chilled Galia Melon & Coconut Soup with Rock Shrimp Tender Greens, Baby Vegetables, MisoVinagretteSecond Course (choice of):Flat Iron Steak, Piquillo Poppers, Manchego Hash Olive Oil Poached Salmon, Fingerlings, Lemon CremaChicken Breast, PimentonFrites, CippolineThird Course (choice of):Chai Tea Creme BruleeRuby Red Grapefruit Pate, White Chocolate Mousse Chocolate Toffee Pudding I had the Duck for the first course. It was rich and surprisingly sweet but tasty. Our waiter suggested that if you like your steak any more cooked than medium then the Flank Steak was not for you. He was quite pleased when I ordered it as rare as …


I don't remember if I wrote about the BevMo! incident before so I'll potentially repeat myself. I was walking out of the 5 Cent sale with an overflowing case of wine when I ran into a guy from work in the parking lot.

I barely know him. He was carrying out one bottle. I must have had 20.

What could I do but say, "I really like wine."

I'm guessing he may have mentioned it at work but probably only once.

Tonight, I had to hit the store for Parrot Grande. I was shopping for myself and some friends flying in from Utah for drinks to keep in our rooms. I had an overflowing cart of Miller Lite, Corona, Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke. Oh, and six limes. That's it, no other grocery items.

Of course, I had to run into another guy from work. Literally. He backed into me.

He was getting healthy, actual groceries.

Now, this guy is the type who will tell everyone for the next five years how I'm a raging alcoholic so I got that going for me.

Arizona Restaurant Week

From Sep. 19th through the 26th, a lot of cool restaurants are offering deals to show off their establishments and menus. For $29, you get a three course meal and some places throw in a glass of wine, too. It's a relatively inexpensive way to check out some of the fancier places in town.

Last year, the Chick Poker gang caught a couple of places. This year, the timing's not so great for me so they're hitting three places but I'm only going to one (Estate House).

Check out the link to see all of the restaurants and the menus. There are some places in Tucson, too.

More Google!

We trained the final group of Phoenix employees on Google mail last week. There were 37 people from our print and warehouse areas with various degrees of computer knowledge and English language skills.

There were people who didn't have a clear idea of what the internet entails, no concept of what a browser is and I think a few had never actually used a computer. Many of them were completely unfamiliar with a keyboard and mouse. There were folks from Vietnam, Ethiopia, Sudan and Gabon and several Hispanics with limited English abilities in both speaking and writing.

We divided everyone into groups of 3, 4 or 5 by estimated computer knowledge and native language. Each group had ½ hour for training. I was the nuts and bolts mail instructor, one of our Human Resources people did the intro and another HR person helped guide the students through the class.

The training started with "What do you know about the internet?" That was followed by "What is email?" We explained…

Book Review - The Goal

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of the Directors at work bought The Goal for our Manager's group to read and discuss. Several people already had for college but I'd never heard of it.

The basic message is you're in business to make money. Sounds simple, no? Well, there's a lot more to how to make the money and how to count the money. Traditional Cost Accounting takes a big credibility hit in the book.

This would be a good read for folks who aren't business book junkies like I am. The story's told in a novel form and we get to read about the manufacturing plant manager's struggles with his marriage as well as with getting his plant profitable. That makes it more engaging than a dry, technical tome.

View all my reviews >>

The Times, They Are A Changing...

Several Valley institutions announced they were closing recently. I'm talking long standing, well known places. It seems like an end of an era, somehow.

The first was The Quilted Bear Restaurant. It was started by Dale Anderson in 1973 who also ran the Other Place Restaurant. Quilted Bear was the place you took your Mom to on Mother's Day. We took my Mom, Aunt and Grandma there in fact.

The Pink Pony was the next one to fall. It was a classic old time, dark bar loaded with baseball memorabilia. Lots of the old time players hung out there during spring training.

Finally, Big Surf will be officially closing after Labor Day. It was one of the first huge man-made water parks with a wave machine that people could actually surf on. They later tamed it down and it was more for body surfing and boogie boarding and they also added huge water slides. It's an awesome place for kids. I remember one time in grade school when I lost my glasses in the huge pool. They actually fo…

The First F in FFL Stands For Frakked

We did our first Fantasy Football League with the Arizona Parrot Heads last year. Steven and I owned a team together and our relationship as co-owners was, well, a bit rocky. So, this year we decided to have separate teams for family peace if nothing else.

Only thing was, Woody (our commissioner) and Steven couldn't seem to hook up via email. Woody would say he emailed Steven with an invite. Steven would say he didn't get anything. Both would tell me and I would tell Steven to email Woody and tell Woody to email Steven again and they still couldn't hook up. Why I had to be in the middle when they're both on Facebook, I don't know.

So, draft day was decided upon and Steven didn't have his own team. Worse was that I was scheduled to be out of town. I had asked the Jello-Shot Prince to draft for me but I needed to put together a master draft list for him. As the days rapidly closed before I headed out of town, the time to put together said list grew smaller…

Poor George

I was out of town from Wednesday morning until last night so I asked Steven to watch George. That may have been a mistake. At least, I'm pretty sure George thinks so.

My first text from Steven asked me when George got so fat. I told him not to talk mean about his sister because it would hurt her feelings. (He hates it when I call my cat his sister.) He said, "why not, maybe she'll realize how much she's let herself go and do something about it?"

It's not George's fault that she's gotten a little chubby, it's mine. I haven't been home much lately so her fetch and feather on a stick play times have decreased greatly. I imagine she spends most of her time dozing in her kitty condo when I'm gone and isn't thinking about exercising.

The next day's text said that George had thrown up all over the living room and that she scratched him when he was trying to check on what was wrong with her. He also added that he'd given her no pe…