Friday, January 27, 2006

Snow Day

In Washington State, they have a special spur-of-the-moment vacation every so often called a "snow day." On those special days, you wake up to a winter wonderland of snow and you eagerly bound out of bed and turn on the local radio or TV and hope that your company or school is announcing a snow day.

Depending on the amount of snow, it's kind of like the lottery and you have to hope that you're stationed somewhere where the higher-ups are the skitterish type.

Should you hear your name, you're released from your obligation to go to work or attend school. Sure, they get it back by dinging your pay, asking you to work extra or use comp., and schools plan extra days at the end in case of snow months earlier. (A cruel trick, to be sure.)

But today's a day I would have really liked a snow day. Our financing plans have fallen through on the new home purchase, our home still has not had any offers, Rachel is recovering from a nasty fall (eye was still swollen shut today), I didn't get enough sleep last night (stayed up with Rachel for awhile) and this morning I had to bring the websites back to life after an upgrade last night that we knew would hose them all.

Now with 36 minutes to go, I'm counting down the time and looking for legitimate work to fill the time until then.

The weekend doesn't necessarily promise any downtime, either.

Ford still doesn't get it -- At one plant, Ford bans all non-Ford vehicles from the closest parking lot. To me, this is just another indication that Ford doesn't get it, never will, and will be the first of the big three to fall. If the "imports" are superior cars in terms of fit, finish, trim, design, reliability, etc., I think that people should be encouraged to check out the competition.

In fact, here's my suggestion for the top brass at all three automakers: they should be required to change cars every week (to cut down on costs, the cars could just be passed from employee to employee.) One week, they drive a competitor's vehicle, the next week, a vehicle created by their company. And I don't just mean Lexuseses and Jaguars, but cut across the entire product line, from Kias to Volvos to Hummers to Chevy's little trinket cars.

Right now, I think the people in charge of the American car companies aren't living in reality and really don't comprehend what their competitors are up to.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Out of Scope

Last Friday while getting my doughnut and coffee, I was summoned into someone's office for a meeting. This was someone who I had a good working relationship with, but had never heard all of my theories, suggestions and fixes for the organization.

She was intrigued, I could tell she was clicking and that she was excited. Sadly, she wasn't in a position to really do anything about it. But we still talked for over an hour.

And then she scheduled a meeting with her boss asking me to discuss the same things with him. But I met with him and he was only interested in the small piece of the puzzle for which I was directly responsible. This is a man I've had a lot of respect for, someone who I believed was "one of the good guys," someone who did get it, worked hard and would actually probably survive in the end, rising to even greater power.

I left the meeting so discouraged. He wasn't interested in anything I had to say beyond my tiny, tiny little piece. He suggested that he'd be discussing with my boss about two or three of the issues, but my boss doesn't know. And it wasn't just that he was heading off to get bad counsel, but that he didn't realize it and that he probably couldn't have absorbed what I had to say, had I had the opportunity to say it.

It's really discouraging, but is just more confirmation (like I need any) that this place is never going to be the great shining star that it deserves to be.

W. Va. seeks to sweep realty TV show

MSNBC.COM -- West Virginia announced this week a plan that would see citizens of its state filling all final competitive positions of the Fox reality TV show "So You Think You Can Dance?" The state will begin installing the video game "Dance Dance Revolution" in its 157 middle schools this year and eventually the game console will be installed in all 753 public schools.

"The installation of DDR will give us a leg up, so to speak, on all the other competitors. By turning out a legion of dancers, we will be poised to sweep the competition and show the world of our dancing greatness," said Linda Carson, a professor at West Virginia University’s School of Physical Education in Morgantown in a statement she never made.

"By getting to them early, we will be showing them that dance is not a bad thing, and when done to flashing lights and a fast synthesized dance beat, it's really cool. Plus, we'll be able to quickly identify those children prone to epileptic seizures," Carl Callison with Mountain State Blue Cross didn't add.

The project will cost half a million dollars with the game console's manufacturer Konami Digital Entertainment contributing a miserly $75,000 for all the free publicity and brainwashing the project will provide them. More...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pssst... wanna buy a house?

After just over a month of really hard work, all the major projects are complete and the house has been listed! I think it photographed well.

Only minor details remain to be completed this weekend. Realtor caravans are happening today and tomorrow and the open house is this Sunday.

E-mail me for the listing.

Monday, January 16, 2006

This is just wrong

You have to see the commercial on TV to get the full effect of why this is just soooo wrong. And funny. Disney, what were you thinking?

Friday, January 13, 2006

I know what the future doesn't hold

So apparently my two bosses hadn't been talking since before Christmas because of all of their collective vacationing. The whole time I had been talking regularly with their boss and the two of us were under the assumption that things were moving forward. I hadn't been actively looking for work thinking that I'd have this to bridge the gap as I headed north.

The last e-mail from one of them:
x and I will let the staff know either this week or at the leadership team meeting next Wednesday. With regard to needing a firm commitment from us regarding telecommuting, because we simply don’t know what the future holds, we cannot give you a commitment that we will be able to utilize your services from Seattle for sure.
Well, we can tell for sure what the future won't involve. I swear, it's like they see me as some resource they can schedule as they see fit. And I certainly won't sit around waiting to see if they are successful in recruiting volunteers and/or paid staff or not. Even though I can predict right now that they won't.

They will be in a world of hurt and it's too bad they know my off-campus e-mail addresses, because I like my e-mail addresses... but I'm so tempted to cancel and/or change all of my e-mail addresses when I move so that they can't contact me. (We won't put forwarding notices on our phones and will forward all our mail to a post office box.)

We did that when we moved from Glendale, forwarded all of our mail to my post office box in Pasadena. And then when the box was expiring and I didn't feel like paying for it anymore, we put the old Glendale address as the forwarding address. Voila - no more mail!

I know when I'm ready to leave, they'll ask how they can contact me and I'll say "You can't!" And if they really push the issue, I guess I'll offer them the contracting gig again, but the per hour will be huge.

Yeah, that lasted

Ok, so it's been harder than I thought to stay regular in my posting. I still think the problem is the lack of a laptop. We've been living around construction again this week as we had all the new cabinets and countertops installed in the kitchen. We thought we were all done, until I found water on the floor today. Things that didn't leak before the construction apparently now do leak and need replacing. So glad I didn't stay home from work today or I would have been pretty ticked. Anyhow, that should be getting done today, the linoleum should be getting done today and we should be done with the contractors by the end of the day!

The computer is still set-up in the dining room, but will have to move very soon since now that the construction is done we'll be able to re-establish the dining room as a place to eat, complete with a big table that takes up the entire room.

We will basically have 72-hours to finish everything relating to getting the house done and ready to show. This is a horrifyingly short time-frame. I'm pretty scared. So much to do.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Apologies to No One

parodied from California by Phantom Planet. No, I don't watch The O.C., but it was hillarious on The Simpsons when they watched The O.C. and Snoopy held the guys up at gunpoint at Knott's Berry Farm.

We’ve been pushed against the wall
We can’t take it all
Looking out for #1
Seattle here we come
Right back where we started from

Baby pack the truck
We’re gonna need some luck
Driving up the 101
California say goodbye
A new place we will try

Say goodbye!

On the stereo
Heading for the snow
Nothing’s gonna stop us now
Seattle here we come
Right back where we started from

Pedal to the floor
Thinkin’ about how poor
Living here has made us be
California, we’ve got to leave
Right back where we started from

Here we go!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Musical Stock Market

Recently, there has been more grumbling by studios unhappy with the flat 99 cent pricing structure of iTunes. They want to be able to charge more for more popular music. That is, squeezing us for all we're worth.

Which leads me to an interesting thought... what if they made the pricing completely fluid? As more people bought, the price slowly increased? And as a song sat on the virtual shelf, unpurchased, the price would slowly drop?

They could take it a step further and only offer a limited number of copies of the song. That would, of course, be evil.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Keep On Truckin' -- Congrats to my friends Frank and Dan and all the others at JPL... after two years, their little robots Spirit and Opportunity -- designed for a three-month tour -- keep rolling on.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Self-Inflicted Highlights

If you know me, you know I love making others laugh. If I didn't, I wouldn't be making this post right now. Yes, I have to give myself the genius of the day award. Having freshly completed priming a wall, I was moving furniture and plugging something back in. And I felt my head touch the wall. That can't be good, I thought, confirmed by the fact that my hair wanted to stay connected to the wall. I pulled my head away, put my hand in my hair and drew back a whitened hand. I showed Lori who laughed quite a bit. I did not, however, take a picture to post here. I have my limits. Good night, all.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year, New Day

I guess I'm really appreciating the idea of a new year this time around and how it's an easy way to mentally adjust and prepare for a new start. I'm not going to the extreme Kevin is (see link to his blog on the right) -- and way to go Kevin -- but I'm happy and excited about this new year.

We went to The Vine this morning because we thought Lake was going to do something weird and it would be a pain having to park in the parking structure on the other side of the freeway and take the shuttle. And I was glad we went to The Vine. The pastor was right on when he was talking about how cool it is to start out the new year on a Sunday.

Lori got me the updated edition (more like a translation) of "My Utmost for His Highest" and it's broken out by day, so I started that. And in church they had a guide to reading the new testament in a year, so I started that too. I think I'll have a better year, spiritually as a result, especially if I read those in the morning.

Dietwise, I did ok. We didn't have blizzards at the mall and on my burger I had them do a boca instead of beef. It was... different. Not bad, just different.

I did a lot of painting, played with Rachel, hung out with the family. And it rained a lot. And talked to my parents on the phone. It was a really full, really good day.


Happy New Year!

In another hour the morons in the neighborhood will be out of firecrackers and we can get to bed. In the meantime, I'll go hang out with my dog who's cowering against the floor shaking.

I feel bad for Dick Clark. He tried hard, but I think he should have retired. Not because someone who had a stroke shouldn't be allowed to welcome in the new year on national television but because you could just tell from his voice that he wanted to give more than he was able to give.