Monday, October 24, 2005

BREAKING NEWS---Creamery employees call for work stoppage

To protest managements extreme expectations of attendance AND productivity.

Free ice cream deliveries expected delayed until sometime in early November.

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    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    I think I found my mistake

    The name was Sisyphus, not Sissy-fuss. Thank goodness I figured that out...the feather boa was really slowing me down.

    Anyway, today it's back to the boulder.

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    How 'bout a great big Wookie welcome for

    Peter Mayhew, the 7'3" actor who played Chewbacca. He became an American citizen on Monday. Made the front page of the paper.

    I must say, I'm more than a little envious of his success.

    "Here. Put on this furry suit and stand over there."

    And for this, he's still cashing checks.




    Hey! I'm tall. I can stand.

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    Unintentional irony

    There was a lady on the radio this morning from some group or other who had the position that there was no way Saddam could receive a fair trial in Iraq.

    One of the main reasons she gave was that the laws they were trying him under were some of the same ones that were in place under Saddam and everyone knows that justice and fairness were not the standard while Saddam held power.

    So, let me get this straight...

    She's basically saying that it's not fair to try Saddam using his own laws?

    And as far as I could tell, it being radio and all, she managed to say this with a straight face.

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    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    That'll be it for today

    I have a large boulder to push.


    In heels.

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    Weekend - part II

    Lunch at Sonic. Football. Hot. Snowcones. Hang out in dorm lobby. Dinner at El Chico's (chips, salsa, cheese & onion enchiladas, refried beans, rice, and a Diet Coke since I'm cutting back). Home. Collapse in exhausted puddle (not related to the Diet Coke).

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    Brain Teaser

    Purely hypothetical, of course...

    Executive (A) decides against the counsel of his Senior Management (B) and Management (C) to send job functions (D, E, F) to third party provider (G). In the course of transition, Management (C) discovers several items which need special handling. After discussing it with Senior Management (B), they determine a course of action, which Senior Management (B) confirms with Management of third party provider (H). Management (C) spends the better part of a day gathering and documenting materials which require special handling, segregating them and attaching written instructions on the proper course of action approved by Senior Management (B) and Management of third party provider (H).

    Time passes.

    What are the exact odds that the materials needing special handling will receive said treatment? And as a bonus for the particularly perspicacious among you, which party is most pleased with the decision to out-source?

    For those who may need it, a critical hint (highlight with mouse to reveal):

    Just when you think you've designed an idiot-proof solution, they build a better idiot.

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    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Much ado

    Managed to roll out about 4:00 AM on Saturday so that we all could get showers before leaving about 5:45 to head down the interstate to Belton, Texas (pop. 14,623). It was Parent's Weekend, and so, as parents, it seemed only right that we make an appearance. Breakfast was at 8:30 and consisted of a mixture of eggs and sausage, with just enough green pepper to make everything taste like, well, green pepper. Rolled into a tortilla, it made a nice green pepper breakfast burrito. Fortunately, there was OJ and coffee in plentiful supply.

    Combined with breakfast was a "Meet da Perfessor" (at least I assume that was the working title) event where a large percentage of the faculty was present (hopefully with a large percentage of their faculties) and arrayed around the edge of the room. Met the English teacher, the Speech teacher (with whom I managed to NOT blurt out, "My daughter says you tell lame jokes just like me"), the Art teacher (who doubles as the Design teacher BTW) and, well, the Economics teacher. Not that the EAC has Economics, mind you, but we were standing next to him waiting for the Art teacher to free up and, well, conversations happen.

    Biggest disappointment of the morning was finding out the tailgate party in the Wal-Mart parking lot had been cancelled. Bummer. It was suggested that we could attend the Women's Volleyball match at 11:00 AM instead. So, we did. Mrs. A and I both decided, seperately, that we needed to go to the little room before taking our seats in the stands, so we sent the children off, unsupervised, to find some seats. Upon returning, we sat down next to them and started looking around. Hmmm...seems to be an awful lot of folks with Yellowjacket paraphenalia on. Which is fine, except we're the Crusaders. Oh well. Just try to sit small.

    The girls had never been to a volley-ball match before, and while Mrs. A and I could say we've been, it's been so long, we can't remember when. I knew the rules were a little different than when I learned them - like not having to serve to score, but I had no idea whether a match was the best 2 of 3 or the best 3 of 5. Turns out it's the latter. I also had no idea what score constituted a game. When it didn't stop at 15, Mrs. A and I guessed 21. Wrong. Turns out it's 30. Huh. Well, wha'd'ya know?

    We watch our girls whup up on their girls for 2 1/2 games and then decided it was time to go get some lunch before going to the football game.

    I guess I'll finish later.

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    Friday, October 14, 2005


    After thirty minutes of starting and deleting, it seems I can't muster up the will this morning to share anything of even moderate interest. I think I'll spend the rest of my time this morning just surfing.

    Y'all have a good weekend.

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    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Concinnity? We don't need no steenking concinnity!

    Or something.

    MarcV asked the other day
    Do you also like the number puzzles, like Cross Sums, or do you just stick with the word puzzles? Cross Sums are my favorites.

    And of course the answer is: (in order) yes, YES!, and no. Me too!

    Some of my earliest memories of my mother are of her sitting and working crossword puzzles. I was always amazed at her ability to recall what were, at least to me, obscure words and phrases. "Mom, what's a ten letter word for literary harmony?" I never have quite figured out how she knew so much. When I was little, she'd save the easy puzzles in the beginning of the crossword puzzle book for me.

    If you don't work crosswords, you probably don't know that unless the puzzle book says "only crosswords", it will contain a wide variety of word and number puzzles. With few exceptions, I like them all. But some definitely more than others. The one's I don't particularly care for are the ones where you get a bunch of squares with patterns and you have to draw them in the correct box to form a larger picture (no good at drawing), the diagramless crosswords (my mom's favorites) and the Solicross puzzles (they just don't wow me). I didn't used to like the cryptograms, but those have kind of grown on me.

    My favorites are the Cross Sums, the logic problems (but just the ones with the standard grid - I've been known to make my own when necessary), the Soduku puzzles (though they go by a different name in the puzzle books) and, of course, crosswords.

    When I was a kid, there was only one "brand" of crossword puzzle books - Dell. I remember in the early seventies when the Penny Press books became available (at least in our area). They were cheaper than the Dell books, but tended to have more typos and editing errors. Plus they were printed on cheaper paper that tended to tear more if you had to erase. But they had this deal where you could send off and get ten back issues (random pick of their choice) for a ridiculously low price. (Proving the idiom that quantity has it's own quality)

    Even though today the quality of the Dell and the Penny Press books are pretty much the same, I still tend towards buying the Dell books over the others. And over the years, my working style has changed. I used to work all my favorites first, then start with the easy puzzles in the front and work towards the harder puzzles in the back. (The sequence is Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert, and Challenger) Now, I start at the back of the book and work my way forward. The first half of the book takes forever. The last half goes about as fast as I can write. Oddly enough, I sometimes have more difficulty with the Hard puzzles than with the Expert or Challengers. And yes, I will peek at the answers when I've completed everything I possibly can.

    My big accomplishment for the weekend was working the Sunday Times crossword in the paper. I think this is the first time I worked the whole thing without having to peek at the answers. Again, for the uninitiated, the Sunday Times puzzle is the Holy Grail of crosswords. I did get one letter wrong, so I can't claim perfection. But I do know (now) that the Japanese martial art is Kendo not Kenjo.

    And for those of you who might think that I think I'm smart ... my oldest brother works crosswords in ink.

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Opportunities I have missed that, in hindsight, probably worked out for the best

    We have some pretty straight-laced churched-up folks in our community. One of whom is a woman who happens to be on the school board. And a friend of Mrs. A.

    Mrs. A related to me a conversation they had about us taking dance classes. Her school board friend was on the edge of being scandalized about the whole thing. "Isn't that lascivious?" she asked.

    Saturday, the YAC had her first band competition of the year. Having been to these things before, I brought along a crossword puzzle book to pass the time between bands. It just so happens that I had the book open to the section containing cryptograms, and they were on both sides of the page.

    As the school board lady walked in front of me (one row down), she looked at my puzzle book and said, "What is that?" I told her they were cryptograms.

    After a little thought, I wish I'd have said they were the Satanic verses and I was translating them.

    After a little more thought, I decided my first answer was best.

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    I don't know why I'm this way - part II

    There is a Fina station not far from our house. Sometime this past week they hung a new banner out front with a Shell logo and the words, "COMMING SOON!"

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    I don't know why I'm this way

    Last night, the YAC was modeling her new backpack - which is so large and sticks out behind her so far that I think she needs to tie a red flag on the end.

    "This backpack has 3 and 1/2 compartments. That's why it's so much bigger."

    [needle scratching across record]

    "Um. How exactly do you get 3 and 1/2 compartments?"

    "It has three BIG compartments and then one that's only THIS big." (Hands held closely together)

    "So, you're saying that it has FOUR compartments and one of them is just little?"

    It was at this point that Mrs. A's eyes began rolling back in her head.

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    Truth in advertising

    The EAC had a brief discussion on the merits of the "Fun Size" packs of M&Ms. It is our consensus that this is a severe misrepresentation of the truth.

    If anything, it should be the big, one-pound bags that bear this designation.

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    We took advantage of the fact the EAC was in town to have our Christmas picture taken Sunday afternoon. This early in the year, things aren't quite as hectic as they get from mid-November through December.

    And, yes, I did take something along to occupy myself with so as to not get on everyone's nerves.

    The kid running the front of the studio might have been 19, but if so, he just turned 19. He seemed to semi-know what he was doing, even if he wasn't the friendliest mall employee you'll ever meet. He did have one linguistic tic that just grated on me, though. Instead of saying, "Be sure to bring this receipt with you when you return," he said, "Be sure to bring this receipt wich-choo when you return."

    The first time he said it (to some of the folks ahead of us), I thought maybe he was just kidding around. Nope. He said it every time. The weird part was, he pronounced all of his other words correctly. And he didn't have a distinct regional accent either.

    By about the fourth or fifth time I heard it, I could feel the muscles in my neck begin to bunch up.

    On the bright side, since he wasn't overly friendly, he didn't ever acknowledge the next person in line. Which means he never said, "I'll be right wich-choo."

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    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Not much today

    Too much to do and too little time.

    It was a good weekend, though. More on that later.

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    Friday, October 07, 2005

    It's not like I have anything to say...

    But what better place to not say anything?

    Yesterday was filled with a bunch of work stuff and I pretty well kept busy hopping from one foot to the other. Today shapes up to be more of the same. At least I got an earlier start at it.

    Hopefully, I'll get to cut out a little bit early this afternoon. The EAC has a long weekend, not having classes until next Wednesday, and so I'm heading down to Belton to pick her up this evening. If I can leave around 4-ish, we can be back home before 10:00 without too much problem. Mrs. A can't go because she's going to the high school football game with the YAC.

    I don't know what all has been planned for the weekend, but I'm hoping I'll get to watch a little football. I think we're having our Christmas picture taken on Sunday afternoon. Around these parts, one of the best times to schedule an appointment is during a Dallas Cowboy game - a significant number of people stay home to watch. That doesn't mean that the photo studio will be running on time, though, so it's best to take a book or something else to occupy the time. Otherwise you have to make do with pestering each other, and that tends to make Mrs. A a little edgy, if you get my drift.

    The weather finally decided to give us a break. Two days ago the high was in the mid nineties. Yesterday the high was in the sixties. Of course, by Monday or so, we're supposed to be back to the high eighties, but the worst of the heat is done for. Yesterday was overcast and cool and I couldn't help but think the only thing that could have made the day more "right" was if there was a football game going on. I used to think people were nuts when they talked about "football" weather. Now I get it.

    The YAC doesn't have school today. I don't know why. Probably one of those "teacher in-service" days they have now days. (Never had those when I was in school, by crackie!) I think she and Mrs. A are supposed to go to Target for something or other and then do who knows what. If I remember correctly, I think the YAC is having her birthday pictures made. I'm sure there'll be more shopping involved before or after. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

    Well, I've got to go finish making the tea and get started on the day.


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    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    The reticent Aardvark

    For whatever reason (who can know?) the Youngest Aardvark Child was not very talkative this morning. Which, naturally prompts me to be even more ridiculous than usual (a scary thought) to get some type of response.

    Hold that thought.

    The YAC is not known for her generousity or her willingness to freely share. Even though it's my money that funds the grocery purchases, she feels the need to warn people off from "her" cereal and "her" Pop-Tarts and "her" potato chips. A couple of weeks ago she made an edible model of an ameoba for her biology class out of about a 12" round chocolate chip cookie. Different candies and blobs of icing made the parts of the ameoba. She brought the left-overs home and promptly declared them off-limits to anyone but her. I commented at the time that that didn't seem very generous of her. She stubbornly insisted no one else could have any. Ten days later, we threw about half of what she had brought home away because it had become dry and stale.

    Hold that thought.

    My oldest brother likes to play around with words. At his house, you will never be offered any sugar wafers after dinner. Instead, he'll ask if you'd like some "sawdust" cookies. Which is appropriate if you think about it. Anyway, sawdust cookies happen to be one of my favorites (SUGAR RUSH!!!!) and coincidently are much liked by the YAC.

    Hold that thought.

    I came home last night and noticed that, on top of the microwave, there was not one but TWO packages of sawdust cookies, chocolate and strawberry. Mrs. A told me, "I've already had to warn your daughter off. I told her they were YOUR sawdust cookies." SWEET! (literally) I made sure to let the YAC know that, given her penchant for selfishly hoarding her goodies, I didn't plan on sharing MY cookies with her. (Really, I have no intention of NOT sharing them, but she doesn't need to know that.)

    Hold that thought.

    Okay, now gather all those held thoughts together. We're back in the car this morning on the way to school. Nothing I've tried has gotten a verbal response from the YAC. Out of the blue, I say (dramatically, of course), "Okay, okay! You can HAVE some sawdust cookies!"

    The dam burst with a giggle.

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    Living la vida soso

    It's really kind of humorous. I've got a bunch of things I could blog about, but they are all work related and (probably) will remain under my self-imposed black-out rules.

    I try not to be too specific when I post about work since you never know who'll trip by and the last thing I need is to be in trouble for posting something I shouldn't have.

    And so I struggle this morning over what I can blog about, which leaves you with this: a blog entry about blog entries. Bleah.

    Pass the salt.

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    Tuesday, October 04, 2005


    adj: of, relating to, or supported by charity.

    (Hey. Why should I be the only one plagued by these odd words?)

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    Huh ... who'd'a'guessed?

    When you lay off 3/4 of your department, the folks left have even MORE work to do than before.

    At least for a while, anyway. I ran later than usual yesterday so, between that and other folks showing up earlier than usual, I didn't get a chance to post.

    Oh ... and the dog ate my homework.

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