Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Incarceration of Scooter (A Story in Four Pictures)

It's been at least three months since the last cat post. And even if it hasn't, there's no way anyone is going to go back and look to prove that it hasn't, so here we have it, the quarterly cat post:

Behind Bars (or, I'm too pretty to go to prison):

Please, sir, may I have some more gruel?


Free at last.

(*) In case it's not obvious, Scooter was in the dog crate by choice. The dog crate has a gaping hole in the side from the time when the dog decided she didn't want to be contained any longer and made an extra exit.

In other news, the LEDs for the aquarium finally shipped on Friday, so maybe the tank will have new lighting before too much longer. That's assuming that Jeff and I can make everything work together. This might be interesting.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What Time is Love?

(Imaginary bonus points to anyone other than Rvan who can identify the band quoted in the title.)

This is my alarm clock:

It used to have an LCD display of the date and time. Hell, it used to have a front cover which protected the LCD display.

But then, as will happen, it fell off the bed one too many times. My bed doesn't have a headboard, and I've never quite gotten around to getting a bedside stand, so the alarm clock stays on the bed. Except when it falls off. It gets a bit crowded on the bed sometimes, especially when it's cold inside.

Anyhow, this was a pretty good alarm clock. It was easy to set the alarm time (back when it had a display), and easy to turn on. It had two alarm settings (currently set at 7:30 and 8:02 am). I never had to set the clock because it did all that magically, which was really handy around time changes since I've been known to go twenty-four hours without realizing that we lost or gained an hour.

The thing is, it still works. Sure, I can't see what time it is, but the alarm still goes off properly, and the snooze button makes it snooze. As you can imagine, my inherent cheapness combined with my overwhelming laziness are making me wonder whether I really, really need a new alarm clock.

But what if I don't want to get up at 7:30 or 8:02?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Sister Is The Devil

Not to get all religious or anything, but I seem to remember that there was some story in the bible about some guy suffering out in the desert and being tempted by the devil.

My sister K-poo looks good in red.

Even though I keep trying to get her to come work at a place that gives out big gaudy awards, where she would not only get to work with three of her siblings and Rvan, she keeps refusing. Worse yet, every time I try to come up with an incentive, she ups the ante and tries to get me to go work over there.

I tell her that she could come work on project management software, trying to integrate every crappy third party project known to man.

She retaliates by sending a link to the latest Black Eyed Peas video which uses their technology to make robots dance.

I gleefully inform her that the company has fired Sodexho as the vending machine company and they have replaced the vending machines with ones that might actually dispense Diet Coke (the only beverage that 90% of the people in the building drink, yet the only beverage that Sodexho stocked less and less of over the course of the year, to the point where it would last for one day after the machine was stocked and then the machine sat unused for the next month until the guy came to stock it again, upon which he would fill up the empty slots with some other drink).

She sends me mail informing me that they are provided with free snacks and Diet Coke.

I tell her that I am the queen of my own little fiefdom, even if I can't get them to actually fire the incompetents.

She tells me they need people who can work independently.

My sister is the devil.

Friday, February 19, 2010

If It's Chinese Food, It Must Be Monday

So, it turns out that yesterday was Thursday, and I failed to notice that, and thus missed my self-imposed deadline to post on Thursday.

Really, I have no excuse, other than I forgot, but mostly it's because I had a yam roll for lunch.

(Stick with me here, this actually does make sense.)

There are a limited number of places to eat within walking distance of work, and even fewer that the people I eat with can all agree upon. Because of that, we almost always eat at the same place on the same day every week. Monday is Chinese food, Tuesday is the bagel deli, Wednesday is the sushi place, Thursday is the other deli, and Friday is bring your lunch to work day, which everyone else interprets as "go get something and bring it back" day.

Sure, it's a little predictable. Okay, it's a lot predictable. But it's better than trying to make a decision every day as we're walking out the door. Lest you think I'm the only weird one, K-poo used to have a spreadsheet that she and her co-workers consulted when determining where to eat. It's all engineers, I'm telling you.

Anyhow, we didn't go to sushi this Wednesday (since everyone except for Jeff bailed on the group lunch), and since I really like the yam rolls, we went there on Thursday. So mentally, I was more prepared for a Wednesday. Because, really, lunch is one of the few things that distinguishes one day from another. And I'm okay with that.

Anyhow, that's why this is twenty-four hours late. Deal with it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's all in the DEETails

While most of the country is stocking up on batteries and firewood, here we are suffering through a plague of mosquitoes. It's been relatively wet for the last month, and apparently it's been warm enough for the little buggers to get crazy. I usually don't worry about clearing out pools of standing water during winter, which is why I was attacked by a swarm yesterday. My own fault.

Anyhow, since I was wearing a long sleeved sweatshirt, jeans, and hiking boots while digging weeds out of the lawn yesterday, the mosquitoes had to go after my hands. Do you know how annoying it is to have multiple mosquito bites on your fingers? It's irritating. Or maybe that's the malaria talking.

So here are some other things that have pissed me off lately:
  • The dog. First off, I love my dog. Really. You would know this if you saw my doorframes. But she was really annoying me this evening with her random barking and wandering around trying to find the cat food, so I gave her a bath. To be fair, there was no question that she needed a bath -- her nickname for the past week has been "Stinky McGee". However, she hates baths so much that I usually ignore the problem. Nothing makes you feel guilty like an elderly, blind, arthritic dog struggling to stand in the tub and whimpering. Tonight, though, I hardened my heart and got the deed done. As my reward she's been snoring on the couch for the past three hours.
  • People who can't do their jobs. I'm not saying that a firing squad is the answer (see how reasonable I am!), but people who consistently waste my time may have their email mysteriously forwarded to my spam folder.
  • Internet Explorer. It's a piece of crap. And yet it's the only browser officially supported by the company. Next they'll be claiming that the only operating system they support is DOS.

That's pretty much it. (Okay, that's a lie, all kinds of things set me off, but those are the worst of the lot.) Anyhow I'll leave you with a random anecdote that I still find funny after many years:

Jeff had some friends who absolutely hated potlucks. Instead of just refusing to go, they brought the same dish to every one so that they wouldn't be invited to the next: Vienna franks in lime Jello.

That's brilliance.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Diamonds Aren't A Girl's Best Friend

I'm the first person to admit that I'm not a very observant person. In fact, K-poo had to point out that there was wallpaper on one wall of my bedroom, and I've owned the house for eight years. (It runs in the family -- Jeff, as a child, once responded to a request that he get something out of the garage with "What garage?")

All this means is that I don't notice anything about my living space after about two days. Except for this:

This is the wallpaper on all the walls of the bathroom. This is just ugly. Unfortunately, this I notice every day.

I might paint the bathroom soon...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Office Space

Over the weekend I finally set up a space to work from home. I've never been a huge fan of mixing work into my living space, but this means that I can avoid the drive to work on the weekends (yeah, the project is going that well...) so I'm all for it.

My original plan was to set everything up in the spare bedroom so I could banish the cats if they got too annoying and also protect everything from Scooter. However, either the work laptop doesn't have wifi or I don't know how to set it up (which I freely admit is very possible -- my knowledge of Windows is almost nil), so it has to be within cable's reach of the DSL modem. Which means that the work setup is in the living room next to my beloved Mac. (I turned the Mac away from the laptop so it doesn't have to look at it all day.)

I bought a new computer table and a rolling chair. Buying the chair made more sense when everything was going to be in different rooms, but it turned out to be a good thing -- it's hard to lift my existing chair over the ethernet cable suspended in the air, so I end up using both of them.

The back of the new chair came with a huge sticker with fine print listing all the hazards. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but then I started thinking about all of the stupid things I have firsthand knowledge of...

Warning - Serious injury may occur if failure to follow these instructions

Yeah, that's not really a sentence in English, but who am I to judge?

1. This chair is designed for seating only. Do not stand on this chair. Do not use it as a step ladder.

Okay, my first thought here is: duh! But then I remember back to olden days when I worked at UCSD. One of the facilities people needed to change a lightbulb, so he put a rolling chair on top of a cubicle desk, and climbed on it. He wasn't injured when he fell, but the person who got hit in the head by the chair got a ride to the hospital in an ambulance. OSHA was not pleased.

2. Do not use this chair unless all bolts and parts are firmly tightened. Check and retighten all bolts and parts at least every 3 months.

First off, who are they kidding? Nobody is going to do anything after the chair is put together. On the other hand... in a couple of different places in the instructions it admonishes the user not to tighten the bolts until the chair is completely put together. But it never reminds the user to do so after the last step. So maybe they've had a problem with this.

3. This chair is designed for sitting one person at a time.

I'm not sure how you could fit more than one person on it anyhow.

4. This chair has been tested and approved for users weighing up to 225 lbs. It is not recommended for use by users weighing more than 225 lbs.

Um, I bought this thing at Target. At least 50% of the people in the store don't qualify to use this chair. They really need to put that information on the outside of the box...

5. This chair has been tested and approved to be used as a seating device only. It is not to be used as a replacement for a walker, wheelchair, crutches, or any other medical support device.

What? The chair is only meant to be a chair? Why didn't they say so?

Whatever. These instructions are obviously meant to keep the idiots from suing over a chair.

I think I may have a case against the manufacturers of my steak knives, though. There was never any warning about not using the knives to dig out the dowel that fell in the wrong hole when putting together the desk. I'm thinking it ought to be good for at least one million in pain and suffering. It hurt when I jabbed that thing into my hand.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

His Just Awards

A while back (and yeah, I'm too lazy to go look up the link), I pointed out that when you become an adult you no longer get awards for anything, except for the awards at work that only have the benefit of giving your friends something to make fun of you for.

Well... Rvan recently got back from the meeting in New Jersey.

They gave him this.

Not the Diet Coke. Because that would actually have some value. No, they gave him a gigantic piece of plastic on a wood base. An expensive hunk of plastic on a wood base, which we know because the $70 price tag was still on the bottom of the box. This thing wouldn't look out of place mounted on the end of a glowing staff in a cheap science fiction movie.

Aside from four year old girls (and maybe Liam) who would want this thing?

Rvan also got the "flame" award, also a big chunk of plastic, which has provided additional amusement for us all.

Really, I can't decide if this is the perfect example of what is wrong with corporate America today, or if it's just sublimely funny. Maybe both.

Anyhow, he definitely deserved the gem and the flame, but it's too bad they didn't just give him cash instead. Or at least ship the crap home for him so he didn't have to fit it in his luggage...