Showing posts from December, 2009

Um, Dawnie, Not From Iowa

The Moscow Mule kicked off the vodka craze in the United States during the 1950s, when gin was the preferred "white" (clear) liquor. The cocktail was invented in 1941 by John G. Martin of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., an East Coast spirits and food distributor, and John "Jack" Morgan, President of Cock 'n' Bull Products which produced ginger beer and proprietor of the Cock 'n' Bull Tavern, a bar on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles popular with celebrities. George Sinclair (2007) quotes from an article run in the New York Herald Tribune:

The mule was born in Manhattan but "stalled" on the West Coast for the duration. The birthplace of "Little Moscow" was in New York's Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan's Cock 'n' Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise... Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, presi…

Getting Ready for 144

I still can't believe I signed up for the 144 Books in 2010 challenge at That is a LOT of books. However, I aim to start out the year with a bang. I have three books ready to start on Jan. 1 and, last night, I put another 5 on my library request list. I should get those in a few days.

The first three books should be easy enough to go through. The Rocket Scientist and I are going to Rocky Point for New Year's and staying at Annette's. I'm thinking TRS will spend a lot of time practicing his guitar while Annette and I hit the books. In between partying like Rock Stars, of course.

And, I'll have the ride home to read, too. That's a good 4 hour chunk of time. Fortunately, as long as his iPod is the one playing, TRS is good for driving without conversation.

Whew! Not an Axe Murderer

I've been hearing this weird squeak in the house for weeks. I suspected George and tried to track her whenever I heard the noise but she always seemed to be in a different place in the house by the time I found her. It was really bugging me so I started doing some subtle spying on her. Because if it wasn't her, then it was a ghost or an axe murderer. The former wouldn't bother me but the latter...well, I'd have to move for sure at the very least. Assuming I survived.

I finally caught her in the act tonight. She's opening the bottom door of the linen closet and, I'm assuming, crawling in there to nap. I busted her with her paw under the door and pulling it open. There's a relatively new cat sized space in there since I took out an extra pillow to use on my bed which is no doubt an appealing hiding spot.

The strange thing is that the door doesn't remotely squeak when I open or close it so I'm not sure how she's making the noise. Unless she&…

Christmas Gift - Score!

New Dude announced a while ago that he found me an awesome Christmas present. That was a pretty bold prediction since this is our first gift giving occasion together so he had no history from which to judge.

Christmas Eve found him carrying in several packages for me, one which was clearly a booze bottle. I suspected a nice bottle of wine but had no idea what was in the other packages.

The first thing I opened was a mini Jimmie Johnson calendar. Sweet! That was a good gift for me but not awesome. The next box, however, revealed the awesome.

Four copper Moscow Mule mugs!

What? You don't know what those are? Well, let me tell you, they are the key component to making a refreshing, kick your butt drink. The bottle turned out to be Vodka and another package a 4 pack of Ginger Beer and he didn't bother wrapping the bag of limes.

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 shot ounces of Vodka
juice from 1/2 lime
Ginger Beer to fill the cup
Lime slice to decorate

So pretty!

The copper mugs get inc…

Movie Review - Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I wish I had taken a nap instead.

Book Review - The Accidental Billionaires

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so excited to get this book. I love Facebook and business stories and really enjoyed Mezrich's Bringing Down The House so I thought I would whip right through it.

But, I didn't.

In fact, it took me months to finish the book. I suspect one reason for that - Mezrich wasn't able to interview Mark Zuckerberg, the programming genius behind Facebook. There were many interesting stories to tell from the beginning of thefacebook developed for Harvard students that eventually turned into Facebook. There were also multiple apparent betrayals of business partners that led to at least one huge lawsuit payout. The common denominator to all aspects of the tale was Zuckerberg.

While still an interesting story, without Zuckerberg's take on it all, it felt incomplete.

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Maybe Now You'll Believe Me

I get a lot of crap about how I let my cat be a demon kitty. "You should get a spray bottle and squirt George every time she does something naughty" is a common piece of advice. Yeah, the thing is that water doesn't seem to bother her a bit.

Point of evidence: she jumped up on the bathroom counter tonight and draped her tail in the sink. I washed my hands and, in doing so, thoroughly drenched her tail and most of her butt.

Did she move or squawk or even give me a dirty look?


She waited until I turned off the light and left the bathroom before she even jumped down. Then, she spent about 15 seconds on a quick grooming of her hindquarters before she was back to trying to crawl all over me.

That water thing just doesn't work.

Random Act of Kindness

New Dude and I were at Sign of the Whale watching the stupid Packers game on Sunday. (The game was stupid, not the Packers.) A woman sat down to me at the bar and asked me where I bought my thumb ring. I told her a friend bought it for me about 15 years ago. She said she liked it because she was into silver and showed me her hands. She must have had 8 silver rings on.

I told her and New Dude that I was sad because I lost my other ring when I was shopping with my Mom the day before. It was my peace symbol ring and I'm a tree hugging liberal so I really missed it.

A few minutes later, the woman tapped me on the arm and handed me a peace symbol pendant. She said, "You need a peace sign." I was taken aback and asked her if she was sure about giving it to me. She said, "Yes, I bought a whole bunch of pendants at the swap meet today and they didn't cost a lot." She then showed me a baggie full of silver charms and pendants.

I thanked her and was really tou…

I Would Be Sternly Spoken To...

My friend does the best out of office messages. While I find them quite amusing, I don't think they would fly at my work.

Hello! And happy holidays!

I'm sure you will not be surprised, this holly jolly time of year, to find that I am out of the office today - and actually for the entire week. I should be back at the grindstone for a few days after Xmas…but soon after that it’s 2010 and who knows what the new year holds?

If you have an immediate need for assistance, and you are feeling festive (and lucky), then you can contact:
But there is no guaranteeing that either one of them will be around. They are probably out spreading joy or something. Caroling, maybe. Or perhaps wassailing.

I know that you are also used to being able to speak with the sock puppet in my stead most times - but I'm afraid even the puppet is off for the next few weeks, so you will just have to make do. Ho Ho Ho!

You can trust me to respond promptly to your message... around January 4th or …

Poor Facebook

This was going around like the Swine Flu on Facebook this week:
If you don't know, as of today, Facebook will automatically index all your info on Google, which allows everyone to view it. To change this option, go to Settings --> Privacy Settings --> Search --> then UN-CLICK the box that says 'Allow indexing'. Facebook kept this one quiet.It wasn't entirely accurate. If you have your info locked down in FB, then the search engines won't show it. I tested this by googling Kathy Pfister Facebook and a post that I wrote on this blog comes back along with my Twitter account and a Technorati link. (I digress but I also found an old newspaper link about our club taking second place in the Salsa Challenge.) No info from my Facebook account.

Of course, it didn't take long for people to start making fun of the dire 1984 warnings. Here are two status updates that I saw today (and reposted because they made me laugh):
As of today, Facebook staff will be allow…

Euchre Time!

If you're from the Midwest, chances are you at least know what Euchre is and you've been playing it since you were a wee child barely able to shuffle cards. OK, maybe that last part is just me and my family.

We've developed a nice sized group of people here in the Valley who either hail from the Midwest or learned to play the game from someone from that area. Enough so that we've had some Euchre tournaments which are always a blast. More so when I win and The Goat doesn't.

New Dude professed to know how to play but it was obvious from our first evening playing with The Goat and The Queen that his skills were a little, er, rusty. I confess to being worried when he asked me to explain the rules on the ride over to their house. However, I give him props for deciding that he needed more practice to improve and has been seeking out opportunities to do so.

He somehow found the East Valley Euchre Meetup Group and asked me if I wanted to play with them. I said, "So…
The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It by Christine Pearson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Our Managers' group read this for Q4 at the suggestion of our HR Director.A quick summary is that not following the Golden Rule actually costs businesses a lot of money. Filled with lots of examples and some scary numbers from a corporate perspective, this could be a wake up call for managers everywhere.

Our group took a survey of how severe they feel certain incivilities are then how prevalent we thought the behaviors were in our company. The good thing is we didn't think things like sexual harassment and threatening weren't considered prevalent. However, we did feel that things like interrupting people, having sidebar conversations in meetings and micro-managing are prevalent. To that end, we're putting together a suggested code of conduct that our team may adopt for 2010.

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Saturday Morning (should) = Sleep In

My alarm goes off during the week at 6:30. George is either already on the bed and staring at me to catch me move so she can jump on me or she's somewhere in the house which gives her room to get up speed and force to jump on me when she hears the alarm.

Mostly, I have to then submit to getting my face washed or my fingers gnawed on or give her non-stop pets and scratches around her ears and chin. If I'm lucky, she'll be content to tuck her head under my hand and just lie on me and purr. No matter what she chooses to do, I'm pretty much done with snoozing. That's OK since I eventually have to get up and go to work.

My alarm doesn't go off on Saturday. My fondest desire is to sleep in as late as I can because it's usually the only day I have for that (if I'm lucky to have even one day). I thought the alarm was the Pavlovian influence on George. Turns out, it's more like the recess bell and she's still antsy and ready for play even if it doesn…

Not The Best Way To Start The Day

This morning was the "Cook Breakfast for Our Staff" day and I wanted to be in early to help out with that. I also have an outstanding fire to put out at work so I wanted to be in even earlier than early to address that before cooking.

Despite attending a Holiday party with New Dude last night that was followed by a nightcap at The Keg that was followed by some quality time at my house and several wake-ups for kitty lovings from George, I was up and in the shower by 7 this morning. That's very early for me. It was even before my paper got delivered so I bypassed that task and just got ready for work. I got one work related call at home that took a few minutes but I still managed to be out the door at 8 AM. That's unheard of in my world.

As I was driving down the 202, I visualized my day. I like to have the picture in my head before I get to the office so I can hit the ground running. However, there was something missing from the picture. I looked over at my pass…

Holiday Niceness

The managers on our floor are getting together on Friday to make breakfast for our employees. We're not only cooking, we're ponying up the dinero for the fixings, too. I think it's a nice thing to do and this is the first year they've invited I.T. to participate. My boss is out of town so it was up to me whether to join in. I told the planner, "Just tell me what to do and when and I'll do it."

I got an email from her with the list of assignments and items to supply. My assignment was plates, utensils and cups.

Score! I got the bachelor items. Apparently, my reputation for non-domesticity has fully spread and I'm not unhappy about that at all.

My Princess reputation was reinforced as I made two of my buds go to Costco today at lunch to pick up the aforementioned items. The problem with Costco is that I needed to get stuff to serve about 80 people and everything was geared to serving several hundred. I grabbed a huge bag of plates and napkins and …

Best. Driver. Ever.

In case you're not up on the Redneck news, Jimmie Johnson won his 4th consecutive Cup Championship on Nov. 22nd.

Frakking awesome!

I'm still flying. I've been a fan since the end of his rookie season and I couldn't have picked a better guy to root for. Great driver and a good guy. He and his wife (if only he had met me first...) are doing some wonderful charity work and, by all accounts, are decent humans.

The final race was pretty stressful. We had a happy hour at Margaritaville at 2 and the race started a little around 1:30. Margaritaville is clear across town so I hopped in the car right before the race started. Trying to listen to that and drive at the same time was a challenge. Especially, since there was an Ironman race in my hood which made a mess of traffic. I was equally worried about JJ wrecking and me wrecking as it took me nearly 15 minutes to get to the freeway which is a mile from my house.

I managed to get to Margaritaville without incident and then …

Very Thankful

Some of my Facebook Friends spent the month of November posting a daily "things I'm thankful for" status. I thought it was a neat idea but didn't participate. If I had, I think my status every day should have been "I'm thankful that I still have two healthy parents."

I am so fortunate.

I came home from Mexico to learn that one of my childhood friends lost her Mom on Saturday. That's the third parent of a contemporary in as many months. Dang.

It's just not right.