Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snow!

I had to come all the way to Knoxville to see the snow and it was gone pretty much as soon as it fell. It started out small as I left the hotel and I kept thinking this would be an easy drive.

But, I made it about halfway to work before there was a temporary near whiteout and it got pretty slick. The real problem was all of the people on the roads who just never see snow and don't know what to do. You'd think hot lava was running down the street. But, it has been about 6 years since the last big snow here. Al Gore gave us a nice break with his global warming!

I would have taken more pictures but I had no urge to wreck my fine Ford automobile. Back home tomorrow! Woo hoo!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Catching up: Spring Cleaning

Let me preface this entry by saying that we have significantly reduced the amount of superfluous junk we have. In our last few moves, we moved less each time. We have very few closets and there is hardly anything under the beds. The garage and attic are nearly immaculate. The real problems in our house lie in the bathroom closet and the hall closet and it is all my crap!

First, the bathroom closet. In the top, we have all of my computer stuff on one side and a tote filled with cards and kids stuff - such as school papers. The computer stuff needs to go. I bet I have 6 power strips and adapters to electronic stuff I gave away years ago. I keep it all because I tell myself stuff like this:
"I will have a use for a mini USB adapter one of these days!"
"What if I need 4 pairs of headphones?"
"I might need to fix a computer with only a Double Density floppy drive again one day!"

The bottom of the closet is just a lesson in frustration. I have two totes of sheer crap. One has 3 phones in it - my old 110 camera - my old 35mm camera, etc. The other is full of more computer stuff and I would say what if I could remember. And, look at all the TP. I guess I'll have plenty of ammo when I find someone I want to TP.

The hall closet is straight out of Fibber McGee and Molly. You pull out one blanket and 5 more fall on your head. If the power goes out on a 5 degree night, we'll be ready. And, I can wear the actual sweatshirts I wore in high school to my 20th reunion. Well, I wouldn't fit in the them, but I could wear them as arm warmers.
The bottom of this one is the catch all. All of the stuff I've said I would eBAY is here. However, I HATE eBAY! So, I always put it off. I would rather have a yard sale, but I normally give away a carload at a time to the help center.

So, that's where I will start. I do have a tote of coats in the attic - don't know why. Plus a 30 year old Sony b&w portable and no, it does not power on. Arrggghh! Must..save...self...from...my...own...stuff!
As I clean out, I will update!

Catching up: The Home Office

It's that time of the year for spring cleaning. I'm not sure how we do it, but every spring I feel I empty enough junk out of the house to start my own thrift store. Then, I feel pretty good while the junk slowly builds back up. I tell myself that we're not buying junk and yet it slowly finds its way in.
This year, I'm going to document the spring cleaning process for the world to see so:
A) Hopefully someone else will see this and also want to take the plunge into having less crap
and
B) I will embarass myself to the point of getting rid of stuff that I know I have absolutely no need for.

I'm starting with something simple. I work at home and I finally have a pretty decent workspace. We have a fairly small home and I do work in the corner of the master bedroom. (Having a smaller home makes it very important to eliminate as much clutter and crap as possible!)


Here's the office corner on 12/17/2007. The desk was a $70 Office Max special which has more desktop space than a typical cheapie computer desk. I'm not sure how I worked for so many years on just a laptop screen shuffling windows back and forth. Andrew sold me on the 17" flat panel and I've been spoiled ever since. One thing that was missing was more bulletin boards!

Wal-mart had really small bulletin board for $4.00. I could not find these anywhere else around here.

Voila! The office this past week. Now with tons of bulletin board space for tacking up all of the calendars, memos, and really bad jokes that I print out. Plus, I added a $12 WalMart floor lamp which helped me eliminate the desk lamp, giving me more workspace.

Catching Up : Snow

I downloaded pics from the camera tonight and realized I had forgotten to post the picture of our first snow. This is it - it was gone about 2 hours later. This is the most we've had all year and yes, it was enough to close schools for the day!
Monday it is supposed to be 66 degrees.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bulltrue!

I can't sleep - as usual. TCM isn't helping by showing 80's Oscar winning movies. I sat through most of "War Games" and now I'm in the middle of "Stand By Me". I bet I've seen it at least 10 times but probably not in 16 or 17 years. The funny thing is that I almost turned it off.

I don't know - the movie makes me think about being that age again and it's weird - mildy depressing. It's funny to think back to a time when my grandmother was still here, there was no going to work everyday, no internet, no cable, no cell phones. I wonder how my kids are going to look back at all of this. I'm guessing the world will be a lot different when they are my age thinking back to now. If Al Gore is right, it will be a lot hotter!

It's funny to think at one time I was worried about getting out of high school and figuring out what I wanted to do and now I worry about sending two kids to college, paying for two weddings (one day, far from now, I hope!), and retirement!

Oh well, the scene with the pie eating contest is coming on.

Friday, February 8, 2008

From the Home Office in Wahoo, Tennessee....

I get lots of emails during the day - and I mean LOTS. Unfortunately, 99% are work related. However, there are the random gems I do receive from my co-workers. These are the emails that keep me from setting my desk on fire. Here are a few examples.
First, I was asked to participate in a caption contest for this picture. Here is my best submission - I expect an official fatwa to begin relatively soon.

I also had the horror of getting a long email filled with snapshots from the 1977 Sears Catalog. Here are some of my favorites:

The lime green toilet cozy - it looks so comfortable and makes me crave jello.

It's Miami Vice on St. Patricks Day!

Finally, this is probably how I was dressed in 1977. This would explain all of the nightmares and therapy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I think that most of the catchphrases in this video can be applied to many different products. I find myself thinking about the possibilities each time I see this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Very lucky...

We got pretty lucky last night. We're about 17 miles from all of the damage and loss of life. No damage here. When it's 75 degrees in February, trouble usually follows.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

A relic from the past

In a former life (before children), I had plenty of odd jobs. I majored in education (a far stretch from what I actually "grew up" to do), so one summer I worked as a standardized test grader. We graded the written answers that are required now - it's not all just filling out bubbles. I would write down the really bad answers that I came upon so I'd have a good laugh to share with friends and family. It also helped me convince myself that teaching was not for me.

So, tonight I found a very very old post-it from those days. This was from Maryland, I think.

"I you's my calculator to soulve the problems."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekend

Saturday, we visted just about every store one could imagine. It really gave me flashbacks to the day after Thanksgiving.
Most troubling is "Hobby Lobby". Note that almost everything in the store has a tag that says "Made in China". It's hard to avoid buying stuff made in China these days - America has sold out big time and then wonders why the economy is going to the crapper, but that's an entire entry in itself.
I wonder what the Chinese who make this stuff think of us?
Check out the birdhouses - similar to the ones we made in shop. In fact, ours looked better. But, those jobs are overseas now. We expect minimum wage to build birdhouses and then we join the birdhouse makers union. So, the jobs go to a place where they are just happy to work. Hmmmm.
Trolls and assorted lawn ornaments. I do enjoy lawn ornaments - I have some frogs and squirrels. And, I'm sure they are foreign.
A good way to cap off the night is by eating some foreign food. Carrabba's is a very rare treat at this house. I do try to eat it on every company trip - you have to have some enjoyment out there on the road!
Today, I saw quite possibly the best license plate ever. My treo camera did not do it justice.