Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I didn't die or anything.

Just had a bad cold, courtesy of some neice or nephew no doubt. I got it the day after T-Day. Plus the damn game had me crying in my beer for days. Best quote (paraphrased from some guy who wrote into one of the AJC blogs): "Tech would have been better off with two Johnsons and no Balls." Explanation - we have two great receivers who are both named Johnson, and one very flaky good/bad/whoknowswhatkindofQBwillplaytoday QB named Ball (who cost us the frelling Georgia game for the last four years running). Another funny gag floating around is how UGA will retire Tech's #1 QB jersey, seeing as how Ball has been their MVP for four years in a row. Hmpf. But I'm getting over it now. The cold and the football thing. We're doing well in basketball and that helps.

PDM and I went out and got our Christmas tree tonight. An artificial one. Real trees are nice, but I just can't see wasting a once-live gorgeous tree to sit in our house for a month and then go to the chipper. We don't have a place to plant a real one with a root ball, which is what my Dad used to do every year. He had 16 acres. I have 0.5 shady acres that are already loaded with hardwoods. Moxy is already eyeing the big box it is in. She loves to eat boxes, and the bigger the better. Since we would like to keep said box for future storage, we are trying to discourage the little monster. Dang cats.

I'm pretty much over the cold (except for being a walking phlegm factory). But poor PDM woke up with my symptoms from last Friday, and he has to work this week since he is a hardworking college physics instructor. Awww. I tried to be helpful - I made my version of chicken soup: hot and sour soup with chicken. Apparently, I made it a little too hot for someone with a sore and irritated throat. Oops.

And in late breaking news, Stellar has finally updated his blog. It's true. Go check it out.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Big Game

Not so big. And I don't want to talk about it. Next...

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Have a great Thanksgiving Day and enjoy the feast. I'm in the north Georgia mountains with PDM and his brothers and families until Saturday, and they're firing up the deep fryer to cook the turkey. See you in a few days!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner?

No one.

My sister and her husband and son were going to be coming over for dinner yesterday, and she and the nephew were set to spend the night. My bro-in-law and nephew are already in town visiting his dad, and sister was due in on a 6:30 flight from San Diego. They’d all rendezvous at my pad and we would have dinner. PDM and I carefully planned a menu during Sunday’s craziness and had the house and guest room clean and ready to go. We started working on the meal as soon as we got home from work.

The phone rings as expected at 6:30. It was my sister, calling from San Diego, not the Atlanta airport. ARGH! This was approximately five minutes after we passed the point of no return on the meal prep – it had to be cooked no matter what. Turns out, she’d left a message for me on my voicemail at work about how she couldn’t get on the flight. The problem was that I now work at two different facilities , and I won’t be at my main office until Wednesday, so I never got the message. [My sister did finally make it to Atlanta, but got in at 5:30am after spending all day in airports trying to get on a flight and then all night on a plane. She’s a furloughed flight attendant, and traveling on standby during Thanksgiving week, and there were some canceled flights and other problems with the San Diego flights to ATL, which is why she was getting bumped.]

We called everyone we could think of who lives close by, but only two friends were home and they both had other dinner plans. So PDM and I were left to eat all that food ourselves. Beef satay, chicken tikkas, and cumin potatoes. About two pounds of each. The food was delicious, but we had way too much of it. We thought about taking a couple of care packages to the bartenders at our pub, but by the time we’d eaten and cleaned up it was 9pm and we were beat. So tonight when our next houseguest arrives (hopefully!), instead of the beer cheese soup and BLTs that we had planned on making, we’ll be eating reheated leftovers. Except we will have to heat them the old-fashioned way, since our stupid microwave is still out of action due to the broken glass plate that I can't find a replacement for that costs less than $42.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Explain this to me

We broke the glass dish from our microwave this morning and I looked at several sources on the internet to find a replacement. What I found defies logic.

Average cost of replacement dish: $50

Average starting cost of a similar-sized, brand-new microwave: $50

Grrrrrr. So after work, I get to go to the frelling store to buy a whole new microwave, because I am NOT going to pay $50 for a stupid piece of molded glass. If you built a microwave oven from scratch using replacement parts, it would cost you more than $1000! Bastards. And because of this little experience, I will NOT be buying another GE model.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sore Muscles, and a Sense of Accomplishment.

We had a busy day today. Georgia Tech football consumed most of the day yesterday, and we just gave into it. We left for the game at 10:00am and got home at 5:30pm. I did exactly thirty minutes of yardwork (leafblowing!) when we got home, until it was too dark to see what I was doing, then we went to the bar for the evening. It turned out to be a good idea -- a lot of our friends were there and we had a good time and watched several football games simultaneously, plus one race.

That left a lot of work to be done on Sunday, on a limited timetable (yardwork during daylight hours but not too early with the noisy stuff, and most stores will close at 6). We know better now than to skip a weekend of leaf removal (it makes the next weekend's job nearly impossible), so we both got out there and bagged leaves until mid afternoon. Then we got cleaned up and did some Christmas shopping for relatives we will be seeing at Thanksgiving. The idea is that we'll just give them the stuff during the Turkey Day get together and save us a trip or some postage. We had a plan and were able to knock that out with time to spare. Came home, growled on some leftover Chinese and then made the grocery list for the dinners we'll feed our Monday night and Tuesday night houseguests (separate guests each night). In between all of this stuff, we were cleaning up the house like mad and getting the guest room ready. We're both pooped. But we got a lot done, and it feels really good to have at least a portion of the Christmas shopping off our plates. I've still got to come up with ideas for my gi-normous family, but we got almost all of PDM's people taken care of.

I'm looking forward to seeing PDM's brothers and their families for T-Day, but man, it sure is a lot of work getting everything ready for it. One last loose end is finding a cat-sitter for the Moxinator. My old cat could be left to her own devices for three days, but I don't think Moxy is ready for that. I know that house isn't ready for it!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Until next year...

Today was our last visit to "The Flats" until next fall. We had perfect football weather: sunny and clear, cool without being cold. This game was an easy victory. We took our starters out at halftime and still went 49-21 against winless Duke. I'm not quite ready for the season to end, but I have been unable to convince PDM to take the trip to Jacksonville on December 2 to go to the ACC title game. It looks like I'll be watching the remaining three games on TV. One more to close out the season, then the ACC championship, then a bowl game to be determined later. It's been a fun ride this year.

And now we're down to the week of the big hate match, so I just have to say: "To Hell With Georgia!"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's wiki fun!

How many of you get completely absorbed wandering through loosely related articles in Wikipedia? I suspect I’ve just branded myself a major geek, but I just can’t help clicking on those links to other articles. It begins innocently enough. I find my way to Wikipedia through a Google search or go there directly looking for info on a specific topic, and before I know it, I’ve spent hours exploring and have completely forgotten my original mission. Wikipedia is like crack for people like me: people who are curious about things, enjoy tangents, like to get in only so deep, and cover a lot of ground. It is bizarre where you can end up sometimes. It’s “the six degrees of information”. My wiki trails are odd. I’ll bet yours are, too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just sayin'

This multiple work location thing kind of sucks. Busy here, busy there. Hard to keep track of things when keeping tabs on two different places. And I can't drive in on autopilot anymore - I have to think about where I'm supposed to be for the day. I'll get over it. Just needed to vent a little.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Breakroom Bandits

What kind of person steals other people’s food from the office refrigerator? Before you answer that, let me clarify exactly what kind of theft we’re talking about here. The lunchroom looter(s) don’t just take “new” food. Oh no. They’ll consume anything, whether someone else has already eaten part of it or not. Writing your name on the package in big bold letters doesn't stop them, nor does adding a "please don't steal my food you pathetic loser" note. My co-workers have had all kinds of stuff disappear from there, including partially consumed drinks (backwash and all), half-eaten sandwiches, condiments, frozen dinners, you name it! I stopped using that particular fridge after the time I put some leftovers from lunch at a local Thai place in there, and two hours later when I went to retrieve it, it was gone. I was pissed!!!! Mostly because it had taken a lot of willpower not to eat the whole thing at lunch. It was so good that I wanted to bring a little bit home for PDM to taste, so I saved about a quarter of it and got a to-go box. I hope the jerk who stole my leftovers got the surprise of his or her life when they discovered the “Chinese food” they stole was extra-spicy Thai basil leaves and pork.

But seriously, who does this kind of thing? I’d never dream of stealing someone else’s food, mainly because it is wrong, but also because I don’t want to eat anything that might be loaded with cooties. Plus, you don’t know if the person left their mayonnaise out of the fridge too long, or how long those leftovers have been sitting around, or how clean their kitchens and hands were when they fixed it, or whether they let their dog take a lick or two. And eating something that has clearly already been chowed down on is just gross. It's tempting to fix up a little something "special" for them to steal, to discourage them from trying it again. A bout of severe intestinal distress might make 'em think twice the next time they are eyeing some vittles that belong to someone else.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fat Cat in a Bathtub, With Water.

I wish I'd had the presence of mind to get a picture of Moxy today. Here is what happened: I took a nice, hot bath this afternoon after another hard day of yard work, because my back and hamstrings felt tight. Moxy took great interest in this event. She sat on the counter and watched for a long time, then hovered on the side of the tub and stuck her paw in a few times. I finally got out, started to drain the tub, toweled off and left the room for a minute or two. When I came back in, I didn't see the cat at first. Until I looked in the still-half-full tub, where Moxy was standing there with a dumbstruck look on her face. Just standing in the water, not freaking out, not doing much of anything! I called for PDM to come take a look. We couldn't believe she was just standing there in 3-4 inches of water and not trying to get out. I opened up the opposite side of the shower door and she immediately jumped out onto the toilet seat. I guess she just didn't want to wade around in it to get out. Did I mention that this was extremely HOT bathwater? Yeah. It was very, very hot. Crazy cat. Poor thing. But that was just weird, that she didn't try too hard to get out. I've had other cats jump in to a full tub, but they jumped back out right away. This one, she's different. I'm not sure what she was thinking, but obviously she wasn't that upset about it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An ugly win, with benefits and lots of leaves

Our not-so-glorious 7-0 win over the Tar Heels today clinched a berth in the ACC title game for the Yellow Jackets. It wasn't pretty, but I'll take the win over a loss any day. And U(sic)GA whalloped #5 Auburn in a surprise upset. I almost always root against the Dawgs, but it was a great win for them and should make the annual grudge match more interesting this year.

I celebrated by raking and bagging leaves in the rain until it got too wet and dark to continue. I tried out the leaf blower in the morning when the leaves were drier. It worked good in some places; less so for the monkey grass areas. Oh well. I told you that monkey grass was trouble. The leaves were falling like big orange snowflakes today, so by tomorrow it will look like we didn't do a thing. Remind me again why we wanted a big yard with trees?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging, Sort Of.

Danny John-Jules as "Cat", a creature (Felis Sapiens) evolved over millions of years from Lister's stowaway cat.

Never watched Red Dwarf? You don't know what you're missing! Cheesy sci-fi special effects meets British humor. With lots of curry.

Red Dwarf is sometimes aired on your local PBS station. Look for it there, or try the DVDs. They're worth it! (Especially late at night, with plenty of beer.) Red Dwarf is far from new, and there haven't been any new episodes for years. But if you missed it the first time around, you might want to check it out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Voicemail Hell

Guess what I did at work today? It was one of my days at the satellite location where I've been reassigned 2-3 days a week, and I have been trying to get things caught up there. I noticed that the voicemail light has been on since I started there last week. Today, I finally had time to deal with it. And found out that there were 31 old messages! And the only way to deal with them was to listen to each one in its entirety. Argh!!!!! They ranged from July to October, and I was unable to delete any of them without listening to the whole thing first. I felt compelled to write the stuff down, just in case it was important or something. I ended up with three pages of utterly useless crap. And the only reward for all this is that the stupid "message" light is no longer on. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I've joined the dark side...

Yes, I caved in and bought a leaf blower. What? You thought this would be about yesterday’s elections? Nah, I’m over it now. Anyway, back to the dark side. I think burning fossil fuels to move leaves around is stupid. And leaf blowers are noisy and obnoxious. And they’re for people who are too lazy to rake leaves. That is why I made it to age 40 without ever having owned a leaf-blower. Unfortunately, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need one now, after trying several different non-blower methods of leaf removal. Problem number one is that I have a metric crapload of monkey grass beds (and ivy patches, and vinca vine) in my yard, and I have been unable to get the leaves out of these areas using a rake or any other gardening implement in my rather large collection of gardening tools. Problem number two is that most of my back yard is covered in moss. Some people try to get rid of moss, but I think it is beautiful so I try to be nice to it so it will stay. When I rake the mossy areas, I do a lot of damage to the moss. Problem #3 is that there are leaves stuck in some shrubs and I can’t get them out, other than picking them out by hand (which sucks).

So I reluctantly went to Home Depot and bought a stupid leaf blower. I got an electric one, so it will be slightly less obnoxious than the gas-powered kind. And it is significantly lighter weight. Also, I’m too wimpy to be able to pull-start a gas one and I don’t want to have to get PDM every time I want to use it. We got the kind that will chop ‘em and vacuum as well. Now I just need to get a gargantuan extension cord to use with it. Hopefully this thing will fare better than the electric string trimmer I used to have. I burned out the motor on it last February -- while cutting back the monkey grass. That monkey grass is trouble, I tell ya. Anything that has "monkey" as part of its name is bound to give you problems.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote, or shut up.

Even though my voting in the state of Georgia is often an exercise in futility, I am still going to go add my drop to the big damn bucket. If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain later about what a mess things are. You may be happy with how the country is being run, or appalled at what is going on at home and/or abroad. Either way, get out there and vote!

Monday, November 06, 2006

One holiday at a time, please.

I stopped by the mall last week and was horrified at the wall-to-wall, excessive, tacky, awful Christmas displays. Stores that are already playing Christmas music put me over the edge. I realize that a few people are already doing some Christmas shopping, but most of us haven’t even thought about it yet, other than a vague feeling of dread and procrastination guilt. Do we really need such an ‘in your face’ reminder of a holiday that is two months away? It makes me want to quit shopping until they put all that crap away. Or do it all online, where I might have to look at a few holiday-themed web pages but at least I don’t have to listen to cliché Christmas tunes while I shop.

At home, I like to take the holidays one at a time. I’m not much for going whole hog on the decorations, but when I do put some holiday stuff out, there are a few rules I follow. The stuff doesn’t get out of the box until a few weeks before the actual event, and must be removed promptly. Ideally, no Christmas decorations will leave my basement until at least December 1 and they will all be returned by January 1. We don’t do any yard displays, but if we did we would not leave them there until June, like some people do. I don’t do much outside because I don’t find removing the stuff on a cold day in late December to be much fun. Plus, you know, there is the whole tackiness factor. This will be our first year celebrating the holidays in this house and neighborhood. It will be interesting to see what the neighbors do, in terms of cringe-worthy, massive yard displays that would make Tim Allen proud. If I find any really awful ones, I’ll post pictures here for a good laugh.

Obligatory football update, because I am such a fanatic: Once again, Tech won and Georgia lost. Happy, happy, joy, joy!!! One more ACC win and we are a lock for the championship game. Not taking anything for granted, but our chances look very good. You’ll have to excuse the exuberance – Tech is having one of its best football seasons in recent history. It is not what we’re used to, but we’ll take it! Next year, our star player is sure to go pro, and other colleges are already drooling over our assistant coaches. I’m guessing we won’t see a repeat performance.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Work, A Wreck, and New Links

The new work assignments and schedule are kicking my ass this week. I hope it gets better when things settle out. Part of it is me -- I like to be really on top of things, and the stuff that got assigned to me was a little behind because the people who were doing these things before had too much on their plates. A lot of the work was catch up work. Once I get things squared away, it should be less hectic. I think.

I got rear ended on my way to work this morning. Apparently the other driver had no idea I would stop for a yellow light and was caught off guard. I was going to be turning right, which I can do on red, so I stopped to let the car coming the other direction take a left in front of me before the light turned red and left him stranded in the middle of the intersection. See what happens when you try to do the right thing? Your bumper gets all messed up and you have to sit around waiting thirty minutes for a cop to show up and write up an accident report. Then you're late for work.

I've added a few friends from SciFi Straight Dope to the blogroll, so check 'em out if you're looking for something new to read. They're sandwiched between the Surf Report and Whedonesque.