Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Christmas Season

I am the biggest grinch when it comes to Christmas. Just call me Scrooge, because I see little or no point in giving gifts to adults. Take my husband, for example. He is one of the worst people to shop for. And my brother has the same problem. They mention that they would like something. Word gets around and eventually some one buys it for them. Two weeks before Christmas, they’ve decided that the item cannot be lived without for one moment longer. Immediately they rush to the nearest shopping compound and buy it for themselves. Meantime’s, I look like an ass as I’m the one who suggested that it would be a great gift. I usually start to cultivate a list during the summer – who do I need to buy for, ideas of what I could get them. And then I watch for sales. But this year, I’d really like to forgo it all together. My kids are little; how many more toys do they really need? If Hubby-dear wants something, he just buys it anyway. And I can’t think of much that I would like except more time. I know I didn’t always have this feeling of meanness that looms larger as the 25th grows closer. I’m still going to start the list and make a “wish list” for my own family. I just hope that it helps to alleviate the problem and not perpetuate it.

The Internet at Work

My company's official policy on internet and email usage is "work-related" only. The moral dilemma is this -- if I spend five minutes to post to my blog, am I committing as horrendous a sin as my co-worker who spends anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes talking baseball or football or the level of intoxication reached last night? I am of the opinion that a tracking device should be installed to check how long conversations of this sort last. If they monitor what websites I go to, shouldn't conversations be tracked as well? Productivity would go through the roof.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Book Crossing

A fascinating way to share books with other book lovers. I went to the local Pick and Save, thinking it would be easy to find an out of place book, but after shopping and browsing for 45 minutes, I gave up. Now, the hard part is deciding if has been found and not registered yet or if it still there. I wish they would have given a hint of some sort.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Is it any wonder that I am overweight? You can be pleasant and say stuff like "I'm still losing the baby fat," but get real. The whole nation is fat. Better bang for our buck at fast food places means that "super-sized" isn't an option, but part of the meal now. If you aren't sure what I mean, check out Hardee's. The ones in town have a small, medium and large combo options. The small drink is a 24 oz cup. It only gets worse from there. Added to the conundrum of fast food places is the diet programs -- all backed by scientific evidence that completely contradicts one another. Is eating red meat good or bad for you? I couldn't even get a nurse to answer the question. Her response was "I wouldn't ever recommend it as the best way to get iron." If people had to go back to hunting and gathering, we'd starve. That's the conclusion I've come to as Hubby-dear has come home from yet another fishing expedition sans fish. And with the amount of rain has fallen upon us this year, the garden isn't so good either. It's still in the starter cups, dying a slow death. In the mean time, I'll keep running after my kids and eating the stuff I think is good for me while attempting to stay away from large boxes of chocolate. I know what a big box of Godiva does by my ass, even if the scientists aren't quite sure.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

MSNBC - Judge certifies Wal-Mart class action lawsuit

I am no fan of Wal-Mart for reasons like this article states. I need to figure out how to follow this case. I'm extremely curious. Ah, yes...a whole website devoted to publicizing the crimes of Wal-Mart --- Wal-Mart Watch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Wired News: Heavy Betting on Election Domains

Wired News: Heavy Betting on Election Domains is a cool business to be in, depending on what side you are on. The premise is that the Bush campaign was lazy and let a very searchable term slip by. Now an anti-Bush support owns it. The site is a parody of what an election site may be like. Whether I'm pro-Bush or pro-Kerry is quite irrelevant. It is wrong to portray the site as legitimate. It adds to the problem facing campaigns everywhere at every level. It is one thing to disagree with politics and policy. It is quite another to misquote and misprint views and promises. Especially when the person is the leader of the country. Regardless of what is thought of the man, respect the office.

Working at Work

I'm tired of working at work. I want to be one of those types that sits in their jammies all day and does fun things. I want to close big deals and hold conferences while doing laundry. I want to have a 19 inch LCD screen at my house, not at my job. I wish I worked for someone who would allow telecommuting. Hell, right now I'd even settle for a boss that talked to me on a somewhat regular basis. He operates more on the "if you don't hear from me, everything is good" philosophy. The best part about that, though, is I don't even work for him. I'm "on loan" to another department and have been for the last six months. My annual review is rapidly approaching. Should make for an interesting time. Especially when you consider that my supervisor reviews based on what he thinks should be done, rather than what is actually accomplished. Ain't life grand?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Too Much Stuff

I recently moved to a new house with all my stuff, all of Hubby-dear's stuff and all of my mom's stuff. (She lives with us as child care is outrageously priced.) As this article states... "As a society we're called 'consumers.' Last year the president told us to go shop as our patriotic duty. When we hear this, it's all about stuff -- not what you make, but what you do with it." I just need to look in my garage, open my cupboards, or trip, again, over Thomas the Train to know my house is very guilty of too much stuff. And we don't do as much with it as we should. What really scares me is that my kids will learn from me...and my pack-rat husband...and my mother whose's mantra is "it was great-aunt So and So's." They are doomed.

Happy Father's Day!

A day late anyway, is better than not at all. We had a fantastic day in the Oshkosh Area. I was able to wrangle the kids before they woke anybody up. We walked to the nearest gas station for the all-important chocolate milk and the morning paper. And once everyone was going, our day went to Green Bay to the National Railroad Museum. The kids were thrilled, but the best comment I heard was from the 4-year-old on the train ride. The whistle blows, the passenger car lurches forward and he yells out, "Go Faster!" He was feeling the need for speed. After lunch at Lambeau Field, Hubby-dear drove the sleepyheads home again. Where dinner requests were fulfilled with cake. What a wonderful way to spend the day!

Friday, June 18, 2004

The MegaPenny Project

The MegaPenny Project would be great for anyone with curious kids -- teacher, parent or childcare provider. Great way to visualize some super huge numbers

Thursday, June 17, 2004


I know, I know, with the plethora of games available, I should be able to find something more challeging that Minesweep. But I just have to say... I just scored 148 in the Intermediate level! Thanks, I'm better now.

Rules of Unclaimed Money

When money is discovered inside the home, various rules apply. These are our house rules. 1. Any money found is fair game -- home team and vistors alike. 2. Money found in the laundry is payment for services rendered -- regardless of denomination. 3. Change is added to the piggy bank -- how else do the kids get to go to college? 4. Change can be claimed after twelve hours. 5. Paper can be claimed after twenty-four hours. 6. Money in containers is considered "claimed." 7. All rules are void when cleaning. Any money found during cleaning process is considered fair game.

The Naughty Baby

The eleven month old was terrible last night. Any time I was more than two feet away from him, he would cry and scream. It was frightful, to say the least. I know that when they start to walk, they become more clingy. But shouldn't a person be able to pee when necessary?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Breaking a Friendship

Yesterday's mail brought an invitation to a shower that I have no desire to go to. It's for an old friend that through time and circumstances the friendship has waned. I appreciate the gesture. We are not to the point where it would be like asking for a gift. We are still doing the "my life is so busy" bit. But how do you break it off? Should it be just allowed to die gracefully, through neglect? Or should there be an aburpt ending, through a confrontation of sorts? I'm at a loss, quite frankly. I could go through the various points and reasons I have for not wanting to continue the relationship, but I fear that the individual would be recognized. Not something that I want to do as we have mutual friends who might read this. I do have bigger reasons than "my life is busy." Screw that. Everyone's life is busy. Any advice out for the situation? Have you gone through the graceful demise? Or the confrontation? What knowledge can I glean from your experiences?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The Dump Site

Lurking on the countertop of the ladies restroom in my department are several bottles of lotion, hairspray and soap that never decrease in volume. It is the old age home for unwanted toiletries. I myself have contributed to the items -- a bottle of lotion -- that was donated as a gift for my baby shower. The recipient of said lotion did not care for the scent. And, I must admit, it leaves the user feeling the urge to use lotion. Not a good recommendation. I hate to throw it out. And now that the baby is 11 months old and there it sits, waiting, content unchanged, I'm humored by its presence. Not one person has dared to try it, yet no one throws it away. I'm going to leave it there. Perhaps in ten or twelve years, when I'm a vice president, I'll get a chuckle when I return to the department and there it sits, along with all of the other unwanted jars and bottles that seem to accumulate on countertops everywhere.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

Being an overly obsessed HP fan, I bide my time before going to see the movies. I'm not an opening night junky - although seeing kids compare it to the book, with the movie falling short always tickles my funny bone. No, I'd rather wait until the house isn't going to be packed, so I am free to express whatever criticism come to mind with the poor person who was willing to go with me. (I feel for them as I have one of those detail soaked brains that is capable of not only telling you that the dialogue isn't verbatium, but what it should have been.) It makes for an interesting time at the show. But last night as I waited for the events I knew were to occur, I thought of something. J.K. is part of the process. Some of the deviations were brilliantly appropriate. If I change my prospective just a bit, rather than a travesty that ruins the movie, I could see it as a tickle for those individuals like myself. How else can we be thrilled and amazed by plot twists when we know the very next word that will be said? The visual of the movie merely serves to emphasis the points that the medium cannot. Its limitations are such that developement must be faster -- 2 1/2 hours rathers than 433 pages. The characters must manuever through their scenes in the extreme ends of their personalities. Action packed though it is, the book still contains more that has been left out. If taken simply for a movie, and not a knock-off of a book, it was well done, well developed and well, decent. But the book was still better.

Freecycle is a better recycle

I belong to a group at Yahoo called Freecycle. The idea is rather than take it to the curb, offer it to people who might have a good home for it. The idea is fantastic. I've felt the benefits of someone else's generousity. The basketball hoop is great! Thanks again, Becky. But some people just don't get the concept. The postings today included a request for X-box games. Who is going to give away Xbox games? Get real. Or one guy was looking for a Palm. In spirit the postings are supposed to be giving, not requesting. It's okay to request, but of the 12 that resided in my folder, not one was an offer to give. Each one was looking for something for nothing. I'm not going to give up on it. I love the idea. As I go through the nooks and crannies of my house, I'm finding a few things to post. And perhaps, when the "wanted" aren't getting the results they want, the group will be left with those who understand the concepts of generousity and giving.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Writer's Digest subscription

Writer's Digest offers a month's worth of writing prompts for the uninspired. I religiously save the list, intending to get to it every day. After all, what's 5 or 6 minutes of my time for a creative writing exercise? But it just never seems to happen. As I think it over how I want to shape and grow my blog, I'm struck by the coincidence that the format provides. Why not use the blog as a record of my creative genius? It would be simple, really. I'll think it over and let you know. If I do use their prompts in this forum, I'll probably still have my own "originals." The dilemma now lies in whether or not I mark them as such.

Tired, very tired

It is a struggle to keep my eyes open. All I really want to do is lay on my floor and sleep. The working environment really isn't keen on that sort of thing, nor is my floor clean enough for me to really consider it. The baby is teething. The sitter just called asking if it would be okay to give him some medicine. It's going to be a long night of crabbiness at our household.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Online Reading

Online Books, Poems, Short Stories - Read Print Want to read a book and only have access to the web? Read Print gives web users the opportunity to read the classics on the web. The catch -- the book must be public domain or printed before 1920. Unless you like classics, the titles won't be of interest.

A Call to Respect

If has happened again. The office fridge is void of my icy cold soda. The long anticipated carbonation won’t be enjoyed with my luncheon feast. The affects of caffeine depravation are bound to kick in during the one o’clock meeting. Who took my soda?! What tormented soul would do such a thing? Is it one of the interns? The water bottle gossip? The know-it-all next door? Really, it’s a $0.50 can of pop. It shouldn’t matter this much. But it was right on top of my salad. It was obviously somebody’s, even though it didn’t have a label. Instead, I’m suffering through the lukewarm substitute that the reserve supply offered. The caffeine benefits are the same, even though the enjoyment level plummeted. Therefore, I urge you, respect your co-workers. If isn’t yours, don’t take it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Departure from Normal

My uncle Mel found out in April that he had cancer. On Sunday, May 30, we were called and told to come to South Dakota for his last hours. He passed away at 8:30 that night, a mere 6 hours after we got there. I sat, with my myriad of relatives, remembering, talking and waiting. I’ve never lived for such a long time. The worst wasn’t knowing that he was going to die, it was waiting for it. The type of cancer was harsh and unforgiving to a man who lived healthier than most I know. And as I sat, waiting, I couldn’t help but think of how Mel had just retired, with his wife to do so also in two months. The unfairness of it screamed its protests to all who listened. All the savings, all the planning was for naught. In a cruel trick, everything that they had waited for was gone. But Mel left something large than himself. Brothers and sisters were drawn together, for both laughter and tears. Future plans are becoming present plans. And what truly matters has been thrust forward with all that is petty behind it. I’m going to miss Mel. But I was able to say good-bye the way that I wanted to. And I’m starting to get my priorities in order. Life is much more than doing what you have to. It’s about doing what you enjoy. Every day, not just at the end.