Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not My Kinda Cat

Don't know about you guys but any of the cats I have ever had did not look like this one.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dropping the Hammer

So, the hammer dropped at work today. No it wasn't the hammer (2-7 in poker). My boss was confronted about some thing that were going on by her boss. The new guy of our group, JF, is out in Portland with her and got to witness the excitement first hand. I guess she was doing some major ass kissing and yelling on the phone.

She didn't get fired, at least yet. She did admit that a trip she took in Feb to Vegas was paid for by a vendor who is attempting to do business with us. That is a huge mistake and a violation of our code of ethics. I cannot believe they did not hook her for that.

She also admitted that a presentation that she gave to senior mgmt about a program involving the previously mentioned vendor was way off base and would not save the company any money (she told them $1 million/year) but would probably end up costing more money than the current system we are using. Funny that program, with vendor has now been cancelled.

Alot of this could have been avoided if she would not have been so pushy about "just getting the program out there and we can fix it once people start using it". She probably did not want to give up the perks that vendor was feeding her. Hey who wouldn't want a trip to Vegas paid for.

I guess she spent most of the day telling JF that she was probably going to get fired and trying to find out who ratted her out. So far no clue that it was her own team. She then proceeded to dump another poorly run project on to JF. She then got upset with him that since he has had the project (all of 1 day now) that he is not further along than he is. It would help if someone (boss) has submitted the requests for the proper access for him. So, this project is doomed as well and will probably be scrapped within a week or so.

Are you seeing the same pattern, I am?? I really think that they should just get rid of her. Only time will tell.

Rufus is sick. He was up like 4 times last nite and had to go outside. When he got out there, he has to go. You could tell that his tummy was not feeling so good. Every time that he had to go out he would start by scratching the foot board at the end of the bed. He would try that twice. If I didn't get up (hey, I told him to lay down and go back to sleep) he would then come up and scratch at my arm or head. That made me get up. At least he didn't putz around out there. Did what he needed to and came back in.


Would you rather....

Eat 30 cigarette butts that you find lying on the beach


eat five pounds of wet leaves that you find on the ground after a rainstorm?

This is tough. Cigarette butts just gross. 5 lbs of anything is ALOT... have to go with the leaves on this one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gotta Love It

Today was a strange sort of day at work.

First of all it was take your rugrat to work day.... or as StB said it was "Breeders, Take Your Spawn to Work" Day. I have said this many times before. I am not a kid person. I love my nieces but really do not want any of my own. I am perfectly happy with the dogs and bird. I can leave them in their crates all day and not get thrown in jail. I do not want to be subjected to your brats all day at work. I have to give the organizers for our building credit. They for the most part kept them out of my way. Except for the fact that the candy machine was barren by time I needed my mid-afternoon sugar rush.

My team had a meeting today with my boss's boss, T. T is a pretty good guy. I think we totally blew him away with the information we gave him. I have a feeling that my current boss will not be so for much longer. This is a good thing. Once he realized the scope of things he was shocked. Obviously, he had no idea on alot of it. He does now. We made her look good because for the most part we are a very small but competent group that is self sufficient. L and I pretty much run things. We know what needs to get done and we do it.

I told T that one of the reasons we did not come forward sooner is that we feared retaliation. Whenever you question boss on something she gets very defensive and combative. There is no reasoning with her. When she finds out that we went to her boss (who in turn went to HR and his boss) she will be pissed. I felt much better about things after he said that if she so much as says anything to us that can be construed as hostile or retaliatory towards us we are to get ahold of him or his boss ASAP and she will be dealt with swiftly (I think that means fired). The next few days will be very interesting. I'll keep you updated.

This afternoon my dad calls me at work. This is odd. Last week I had told him that if he wanted to get a new cell phone that my contract was up for renewal and he could go and get a new phone for free or for a small price which I would pay for. I told him to go to the Verizon store and go look at the phones that they had there and let me know which one he wanted. He had to call me at work to tell me which phone he liked. He liked it because it has big buttons. Is that a sign of being old when you don't care what other features it has other than big buttons?? He'll get his new big buttoned phone next week.

This is a shout out to marcus, who complains that I never tell him about what trivia questions we missed the night before. I forget to write them down. I remembered last night. So here is the final question.

What woman won a best actress Oscar for a movie that was directed by her husband? To see the answer drag your mouse over the next section of white space. Frances McDormand for Fargo. Her husband is Joel Coen. Did you get it right?? We didn't, but we still took first place.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring is in the Air

Happy Earth Day. What have you done to make the world a better place to live?

When I got home today it was beautiful out. Being this close to the lake it can be a whole lot chillier than going inland a few miles. I walked the dogs around the park, this time avoiding the area with all the stick-tights. It took me 20 minutes yesterday to clip them out of Boomer and Riley.

When I got back, I decided I should get my ass in gear and ride my bike outside. I have been sorta riding inside but as we all know that is BORING!! I pumped up the tires, lubed everything up and wore my new shorts from Voler. I love them!! They have a really soft chamois in them and are a dream. The chamois is also anatomically correct for girls :) Thanks, Kim for the recommendation.

So off I rode. Not really knowing the best place to ride where I can avoid traffic, I went around Greene Park and back up KK to Howard. I then went to the lake and rode the bike path up to the yacht club and went back home. It was cold and foggy right along the lake. it was also hard cuz there were so many people walking, with dogs or strollers. You could never get a good rhythm going. I rode for about 50 minutes or so and estimate that I went about 10 miles. It felt good to get the legs moving and heart pumping again. The city really needs to get the street sweepers put as there is alot of debris on the roads. Towards the end of winter, the city used sand/salt mixture and that sand is still hanging around. Intersections were a bit dicey. I may end up driving out to near our old house and riding in the country again. That was nice as there was little traffic and decent roads.

Today at work, I may have wrote my death sentence. I have been working on a server upgrade project for our application for several months now. It is now ready for us to install it and my boss wants to do the upgrade on a Friday or Saturday night. Our maintenance window is Sunday evenings. Our major users of the application want us to do it on Sunday. Our vendor wants is Sunday. I want it on Sunday. My boss does not. So I did what I felt was right and went above her head to her boss. I told him the deal and he agreed with me. Sunday it is. Whoo Hoo!! That pissed my boss off to no end. I really do not care as I know I am doing what is right for our users. I am to the point that I have absolutely no respect for her and pretty much do what I want.

So tomorrow I get to chair a meeting with the vendor, my boss and her boss as we go over the details of the upgrade. Funny thing is, is that we have weekly meeting with the vendor. My boss has not been to one of these meeting in over a month. If she would have been there, she could have had these questions answered weeks ago. Now it is a big freaking deal. I'll keep you updated.

I want to give a big shout out to Kris. She is running a half marathon in less than a month for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training program. She is almost to her fundraising goal. She needs $55 more. I encourage you to go to her page and donate. I know that she will appreciate the support.

All the fresh air and exercise has really made me tired tonight. I'm heading off to bed.


Would you rather....

Eat one long strand of spaghetti that you've sucked through your nose


have a teaspoon of sugar poured into your ear?

I would have to go with the sugar. The spaghetti thing freaks me out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Someone's in Trouble... and it's not me

I finally met the woman who owns the house next door to me. She moved into a retirement community a few miles away. Her house has been vacant for almost a year now.

She stopped over yesterday with her daughter. They were wondering what happened to the side of her house. I had to tell them that they guy who did the plowing on the driveway, hired by the realtor of the seller of my home, hit is with his truck.

It happened on the day that I moved in. We stopped over for the final walk thru before I went to the closing. I told the selling realtor that he had to get the foot of snow out of the driveway. I had movers that would be there in three hours and that they would not unload my stuff if the driveway was not cleaned off.

So the selling realtor knew some guy to who could plow. He came in with a HUGE 10 or 12 foot plow. It was way to big for the driveway. He got stuck and when some other guy was trying to tow him out they hit the house next door. Left a gash in the siding. There is also a spot where the gutter is crumpled and the foundation looks like someone put their fist thru it. I do not know when that happened but it has been there since I moved in.

The daughter was not happy to hear this. I would have thought that the selling realtor would have called them to tell them. He did not. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Today, they are all out there. The plow guy, selling realtor, owner, her daughter and 4 other people who look like they may the owner's other kids. Not sure what is going to happen but, it should be interesting.

I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happiness is.....

...hearing the clunk, thunk and thud of the ice falling in the ice bucket of your freezer.

Thanks to my dad for hooking up the water line to the fridge so that I can now have filtered water and ice. I no longer have to go out and buy ice at the gas station to fill the cooler.

Happiness is....

a new battery in Boomer's bark collar!!

Can you say quiet??

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

This morning there was an earthquake in Southern Illinois. How do I know this?? No, not because I watched the news or read it online. It was Ollie, my African Grey parrot.

It was 4:42 am (on my clock) when Ollie when crazy. At first I thought that he fell off his perch. This sometimes happens when he sleeps. But after about 30 seconds he was not settling down. It was then I had to get up, turn the light on and talk to him to calm him down. He was squawking up a storm which in turn set off Boomer. Rufus and Riley pretty much ignored them and continued to sleep.

I remember the last time there was a small earthquake. Even tho' it was hundreds of miles away, Ollie could feel/sense it. He made a big fuss then as well. It is amazing how sensitive he is.

As I am driving home this afternoon, I drive my the corner where there are 3 gas stations. After, I picked my jaw up, I realized that gas is now $3.69/gallon. WTF?!?! It was $3.49 when I drove in this morning. This is beginning to get crazy. I am going to revisit with my non-existent boss about working from home at least 1 day a week.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh What a Beautiful Day!

So after a very productive day spent around the house, I had to go back to work today. It sucked. It was kinda funny as everyone asked if I was feeling better. I played it off like I had bad allergies that made me all stuffy and such. Only L knew the truth as I figured since I had it all planned out I should at least tell him. He was cool with it as he knows the score around there.

Trivia was fun last night. For whatever reason the beer was going down way to well. I surely felt it this morning as I was moving a bit slower than normal. Must be something about the warm weather that makes the beer taste so damn good. We kicked some butt in trivia as well. My knowledge of the fact that Seinfeld lived on the 5th floor came in handy as we were able to put the location of where each family lived in order from highest to lowest. It was Mr. Drummond (30th floor penthouse), George Jefferson (12th or 14th floor, I forget which it was), Jerry Seinfeld (5th floor) and Lucy Ricardo on the 4th floor. That netted us another 50$ bar tab.

it is now less than one month until camping season begins. I cannot wait. I will have to go out to my parents and open up the camper sometime soon. Pack all the crap back in it once again. My only hope is that E is able to join us this year. With his dad not doing well, it may be tough. Who else will make the awesome shrimp salad (with no peas).

That's all for tonight folks.


Would you rather....Have a job swabbing athlete's foot cultures from between peoples' toes


taking photographs of skin conditions for a medical publication?

I so have to go with taking pictures. Some of you know that I am not a fan of the feet and think they are nasty.

Here's to a Friday that goes by quickly.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sick with Spring Fever

It is Wednesday.

As of right now it is 59 degrees out.

It is sunny.

It is spring.

I am at home.

I called in sick with 'spring fever'. Ok, so maybe I planned it a bit (ok, ok, maybe planned it alot) when I seen earlier in the week that the weather today was supposed to be really nice. I figured what the hell. I normally do not use many sick days so, what a better day to use it than today. I was up early and started cleaning out the flower (dirt/weed) beds in the back of my yard. It runs the length of my yard and is about 2 feet deep. I pulled all the dead leaves and grass and crap out. I filled up two garbage bags of stuff.

I had a meeting at 9 and another one at 10 that I have to be at. My 10 am meeting should be a good one. I am calling out one of my co-workers on something that L and I have been beating into his head for over a year now. He is just sloppy when it comes to doing his job. Yesterday, I found another error that he made. Because the customer was having an issue I had to fix it right away. I then got to thinking how many other people have their info messed up. So I pulled out the config file from the server and started looking thru it. I stopped counting after 105 people. WTF?!?! I was pissed. When I showed this to L, he was livid.

When we bring this up to our poor excuse for a boss we get the old 'he's new' or 'it is a language barrier issue' routine. Ok, he has been here for 13 months now. The honeymoon is over. It has nothing to do with language, it is pure sloppiness. He is supposed to check for this as L and I have reminded him no less than a dozen times. So he will have to spend at least a full day going thru and fixing all the entries that are screwed up. I know that we can edit the config file and do a mass update but, fuck that. He can feel the pain of his actions. He screwed it up he can fix it.

Like I said it should be interesting...

Ok, back on topic again... After I finish up the meetings, I want to go out and rake the leaves and twigs and such up from the yard. I am pretty anal about stuff like that and want it to look good. Plus it will be a pain when it comes time to having to cut the grass.

I need to figure out what to plant in the back yard in the beds. Maybe some small bushes or something. I would like to put something that offers a bit of privacy from the neighbors as well.

The grass along the garage does not get a whole lot of sun so I may try to put something along there as well. Any ideas???


Would you rather....

Swallow a small fish tied to a string and pull it back up after three minutes


gently swallow a live cockroach whole so that it lives until it reaches your stomach (no beverages or chewing allowed)?

Hands down, no question... I am going with the fish. I do not want something live crawling around in my tummy. Way to freaking gross.

Talk to ya'll later....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

2008 MACC Fund Trek 100

It is once again that time of year. The MACC Fund's annual Trek 100 Ride for Hope. The ride is in support for childhood cancer on June 7, 2008.

I will be asking all of you to support me in my fundraising effort once again this year. I am dedicating my ride to two people. Even thought they are not chronologically children, they still have that child-like spirit.

1. Gambino, who is now breast cancer free. Rock on, girlfriend!!

2. My cousin, Scott, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 42, this past September.

I will be riding the 42 mile route this year. Which means that I really have to get my ass in gear and start riding more. I have been riding a bit this past couple of weeks but maybe only doing like 5-6 miles or so. Riding indoors is boring. I can't wait to get outside and ride. Now that I live near the lake I can take some of the nice paths.

My fundraising goal is $500. You can click here to go to my web page and make a donation on the secure website. Your donations are 100% tax deductable (who can't use more tax deductions) Check with your employer to see if they will match your donation. Many will do so.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bathroom Remodeling

I know that I have said I would have these pictures out here a week ago but I have been lazy and not felt much like posting. I also have been trying to get a picture that does the floor justice.

So here are the pictures of the floor. If you ever need to have tile work done, I would recommend A's son. He did a great job.

The floor is a travertine marble. Each piece has such different patterns and colors. They colors range from almost white to a gorgeous chocolate brown color. It was the colors and movement in the pattern that made me go with this floor.

Here is the floor from a distance. You can see the new register cover, toilet and vanity.

A bit closer shot. You can now see the different patterns in the pieces.

I tried to get a good picture of my favorite tile. It has such a warm chocolate color.

I still am on the lookout for a window covering and shower curtain. I am just not finding what I am picturing in my mind.

I plan on having the tub re-glazed but will have to wait until I can get a plumber in to put new pipes in. They have to rip out a wall in the linen closet and that will be pricey so I have to wait a bit for that.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Water, Water, Everywhere....

... but not a drop to drink.

When I get home this afternoon I notice that there is water on the counter by the sink. hmmm... that is strange. Did I forget to wipe the counter up after I washed the dog water dish out this morning?? I didn't think I slopped that much water around. I know it has been raining a lot today and I cannot see anything in the ceiling where it would be leaking from. I don't give it much thought.

I am making dinner about 5:30 or so. I hear a dripping sound. I notice that water is dripping in the sink. I thought that I had not turned the faucet off a few moments ago. I go over and turn the faucet handle. Nope they are off. I wipe my hand over the faucet to dry it off. I turn back to the stove and hear it again. Drip. Damn. I can't see where it is coming from so I stop and watch and wait. A few moments later there it is again. It is definitely coming from the ceiling. Fuck! There is a small nail hole near the light fixture that is dripping water.

After watching it for a few minutes, I call my dad. He tells me to call the roofer. So I do. I leave him voicemail and about 10 minutes later he calls back. He is on his way out and will be here shortly. Yipee!!

I am worried that somewhere in the ceiling is a whole puddle of water somewhere just waiting to soak the drywall and come splashing down. The roofer is here about 20 minutes later. He goes into the attic and find the problem quickly. The stink pipe?? (I think that is what he called it, I think it is the vent for the sink, basically) needed a bead of caulk around it as there was a bit of a gap and that is where the water was coming in. He caulked it up and the water stopped.

I was very impressed with how quickly he responded on got out here. Once he found the problem he fixed it and went on his way.


Would you rather....

On the job, be accused of stealing


sexual harassment?

This is a tough one. Neither option is good. There was a guy I used to work with when I first started at the bank. He was accused of sexual harassment and fired. Two years later he committed suicide by starting himself on fire. That was a gruesome way to go.