Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Visitor this Morning

We have a lot going on at work, but this morning several deer cut across our parking lot and ran into the woods beside our building. Later when UPS came I grabbed my camera and took some shots of one of the deer watching us.

It's been a hard winter for us, how do you think the wildlife are handling it? They don't know to get to the grocery store and stock up, they get by on what they can get. It makes me feel pretty lucky.

  But when I think about it, they don't get all excited over inaccurate idiot weather predictions either.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Driving with Hot Flashes

Saturday morning I took my wife to lunch at a local place we frequent regularly. A large part of the regular clientele comes from nearby assisted living centers.

We were sitting in a booth at a window when two women who were both on the far side of 80 years of age came in. One using a walker, the other using a cane. They were seated in the booth behind us.

Neither had a hearing aid. Which precipitated my wife and I being privy to every word they spoke.

  The truly terrifying part of what we heard was that the lady using the walker, who also wore big thick black sunglasses INSIDE the diner, was the one who DROVE them there.

Walker Lady: "I'm glad you could come today. I have trouble seeing the driveway."

Cane Lady: "I can see the driveway, I just can't turn my head to drive."

  Does that scare you? Wait, there's more.....

Cane Lady: "I have been so hot at night. I had to get up and turn on the air conditioning in my unit and stand in front of it. I can't believe I'm still gotting flasshes at my age."

Walker Lady: "I don't think we ever get over menopause."

   That's just what I needed to hear as I was eating my Tuna salad sandwhich and Crock of French Onion soup. We weren't the only ones who could hear this either. The Senior Couple on the other side of us started discussing the old ladies' problem.

   Wife: "She should see her Doctor."

  Husband: "What did you do about your hot flashes?"

  I almost spit soup on my wife. There are some things I just don't want to hear. We left very shortly after that.  There was a small white sedan parked sideways in a handicap spot outside, and partially blocking the driveway. Any bets on who it might have belonged to?

  All humor aside, I drove my parents everywhere they needed to go for about 6 years before they both passed away. I know how tough it is to restrict their freedom of movement to insure the safety of others around them. You have to weigh whether you want to risk getting a call that they had an accident and were killed or caused the death or injury of someone else over allowing them their freedom of movement.

  I don't envy anyone who faces that choice.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I knew those damn Groundhogs were out to get us.

 (I've had this in drafts for a while, and I needed a laugh.)

Punsxutawny Phil was just the beginning. You think the snow is bad? Who knew the varmints were training in the woods for a military strike?

   Fortunately I have two vigilant Cocker Spaniels guarding my home. I bet the Pennsylvania Lottery is rigged, That Damn Groundhog Gus is probably their leader and sending out secret messages to them in those mindless commercials.

   If I were a paranoid you should be worried, but I'm not.

  I just thought the picture funny and thought I should share it. It sure would make hunting season interesting if the animals shot back, wouldn't it?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Visions of the Future?

Does this look like the end of your Driveway? it sure seems that way to me on my street. It took me two hours just to shovel one side of my driveway wide enough to get one car in. I think I spent a total of five hours in all clearing it from curb to curb.

Over the last few days I picked away at it a few feet at a time.

I think the unofficial motto of the Snow Plow drivers in my Municipality is: "If you can still get out of your driveway, then we haven't done our job."

A family member had made me aware that The Farmers Almanac has been pretty spot on with its predictions for this Winter. It also says the worst is yet to come around March 8.

Personally, I have had enough.

Monday, February 15, 2010

As if we did not have enough Snow......

....there is more on the way.
Yesterday I spent more than two hours clearing the ice and snow out of all my rain gutters. I also cleared all the snow I could away from the foundation of my house.
This is some friendly advice and a reminder to many of my friends that you need to give the water someplace to go once the snow starts melting, unless you want the water in your basement. Even worse, uncleared gutters could cause Ice jams that lift up shingles and allow water to penetrate within the walls of your house.
I cleared my deck as well, because I don't want that water pooling near my foundation either. The cycle of thawing and freezing by water around a house may not cause immediate damage, but the cumulative effects over many years can add up. It may not be an issue today, but five or ten years down the road, it might. One more thing, I cleared the snow off of and from around our Air Conditioning Unit. Even if it has a protective cover, you should keep it cleared of snow. That's Casey's helpful hints for today. Keep Your Snow Shovel Handy, it is coming again!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is Death good for the Olympic TV ratings?

When Someone is killed participating in a sport at the World wide level, it is going to be news. . I personally feel that sudden unexpected death is the hardest to cope with.

What's got me up on my pulpit is the media morons and their handling of it. How many times do we have to see the footage of him slamming into the steel pillar at 90 MPH? Tonight CBS news had a reporter trying to get the grieving father to look at the footage. He did not want to watch his son die, and I had an impression that the reporter only cared about getting the poor man's reaction on tape.
Right after it happened I was watching a Sports News show, and one of the commentators offered the opinion that the tragic accident had a silver lining. He opined that this would give NBC's anemic viewer outlook a boost, because more people would tune in to watch.
I think he was right. We Americans love to slow down and stare at car wrecks. We watch NASCAR just to see that spectacular four car crash replayed 100 times during the twenty minutes it takes to clean the track and keep racing.
I watch the Ski jumping and Downhill racing at the Olympics because I thrill at the incredible speeds some hit going downhill. The thought they could wipe out has me on the edge of my seat. I smile and cringe when they blow a landing, just as I laugh out loud when someone misses a turn on the downhill and rolls into that red restraining fence.
It's all part of how they sell it to us. Lindsey Vonn is going to be skiing in pain. They are selling us at how tough these athletes are and I am buying that. But I don't buy profiting on their death.
It is one thing to think it, it is another to just come right out and say it.
Are we that desensitized as a people that we can shrug and ooh and aah at such a horrific sight? I turned the TV off last night, and I did so again tonight when they started to roll that video of the crash again. I can't help but remember that Russian diver a few years back who cracked his head on the side of a pool and died. The comedians made Russian diver jokes for months after that. How soon until we hear the first Luge joke? And will we laugh? I bet we do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No Writer's Block here!

Through the magic of Computers, I can take a post I wrote Wednesday night, add a picture I took on Thursday Morning, and post!
This is a picture of the sidewalk up to my building at work. I took it from the door looking out.
What's crazy is that the snow blower guy came and cleared the Sidewalk. After he left, the guy plowing the parking lot plowed it shut! I dug some of it out, but then I called the service and bitched. They are supposed to be back, but knowing how things are out there right now, I'm not holding my breath.
The Snowpocalypse has come and all the Dunkin Donuts were closed at 4:30 AM. I'm like a junkie without a fix. Gonna have to rectify that.
I was out for about nine hours shoveling snow yesterday. I have always been too cheap to buy a snow blower. My reasoning was I could do most of what I remove with a shovel by myself. Two of my neighbors have Snow Blowers, and both of those machines failed. I am just tired. I am not broken, but that pinched nerve in my back that acts up if I stay on my feet for hours on end started acting up and my right leg went numb last night. That was in addition to my left hamstring acting up again. That's too much damn fun for one guy to have before he is 50 years old.
I love my direct TV, we have had it five months and had no problems until yesterday. Three times I had to clean the snow off of the Dish, and as soon as I did it worked fine. I will take something I can fix in five minutes by myself any day over waiting on hold with RCN for a half hour or more and getting a person in INDIA who can't speak English or get my cable to work.
So there you have it, a short post meshing last nights bedtime thoughts with this mornings' example of Human stupidity. all the members of my warehouse crew made it in, but no one in marketing/order prep has, and if they don't get in to process orders soon we will likely have to work Saturday to get caught up. That's kind of a good thing, because no one is getting paid for yesterday, and many need the full paychecks to get by. We shall see. Stay warm everybody!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You want Snow?! You Can't Handle the Snow!

You have to love the weather people in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.
The race to give the scariest forecast is on! I don't know for sure who coined the word "Snowmageddon" or even "Snowpocalypse", but I can't wait to see who claims to have been the most accurate in predicting this storm.
As if that is going to matter?!
The Schwartz guy on NBC 10 is my favorite when it comes to accuracy. I can count on him to be honest and explain what happens when he is wrong. When it comes to most attractive to look at, Kathy Orr of CBS 3 wins hands down. I think she would explain what was wrong if she had more time, but CBS has to get all those Katie Couric promos in.
Cecily Tynan on ABC is average, but she is dependable. I don't even bother watching Fox 29, because I did once this past weekend, and that was enough. John Bolaris noted that we hadn't had this much snow since 1996, when Bill Clinton was President.
What the hell did Bill Clinton have to do with the weather? Wait, I understand, the heavy snows are all the Democrats fault. I should have known that was how Fox would report it.
And as for Ed Hanna on WFMZ 69 news? I'm sure whatever happens he will tell us he had it exactly right. He always does, whether he is or not (And he likely won't be close.)
In the meantime, get to the market and get your bread, milk, and pet food before the storm gets here and you are forced into cannibalism, or at the worst, barbecuing the family pets.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spam Email to remember, but I would rather not get

Like everyone else, I get my share of Spam Emails. I occasionally explore the list of emails in the Spam filter to see if anything legitimate accidentally ended up there. I explore the ones that look interesting, and this week I got one that made me laugh out loud:

Dear Chris,

"Have you ever had, or are you considering, having a C-section?"

Yep, that is what it said. Now in defense of whatever Spam program generated this message, my first name is gender neutral. So that did not bother me in the least.

Now that a couple of days have passed, I've been thinking about how inappropriate it is to ask anyone of either sex that question.

How does somebody sitting at a keyboard somewhere justify sending out an anonymous electronic message to possibly millions of people and ask something like that? I kind of think that is a personal thing that gets asked under appropriate circumstances.

But now that I have been asked, I have decided to answer. No, I have never had a C-section, and no, I am not planning on having one. I am approaching that age where men have certain, ahem, bathroom issues, but I am sure that I can wait for my doctor to ask the relevant question. I'm sure my doctor will suggest the right course of action should the need arise.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Dangers of Blogging

Monday Morning my lovely wife sent me an email with this article attached.
It was on MSN and detailed how having a blog can both help and hurt a person's professional career.
In recent months the news has been full of accounts detailing how individuals lost their jobs because of information or opinions they posted on the Internet. "Facebook Firing" is sure to show up next year under new terms in the dictionary.
This has been on my mind much in recent days because last week a Blogger from the midwest made it clear to his readership that he was taking it private. We could still read it but we had to send him an email and get on his "Permission" list. He did this because he has been out of work for six months, and had suspicions that prospective employers had read his blog and possibly had a less than favorable opinion of him.
I personally know of a person whose employer investigated him for blogging at work. He did not, but he had to defend himself. He was fortunate that the IT department could readily prove no one accessed blogger from his work equipment, but he had to explain that he scheduled his essays to post on time lag, and that was how they appeared during working hours.
This prompted his employer to institute an Internet use protocol for all employees to read and sign. I actually think that is a good thing, but personally it also scares me to know that your employer can influence what you write about and in a subtle way also influence your right to express yourself.