Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another Magic Box

Behold, its wonder:

This *new* magic box is just about as magical as the magic coffee box. This magic box allows us to put plates, glasses, mugs and silverware into it, hook it up to a water source, plug it into an outlet, and after pushing another magical button, it *washes* all those things for us and makes them sparkly clean.

The plates, glasses, mugs and silverware are kept hidden in this magic box while they're cleaned by magic elves, instead of piled up in my sink and stacked up on the dish rack to dry. It's a whole new way to live. I can't figure out why it took me this long to buy the damn thing.

Update - 09/06/06:
How the hell did I ever live without this? I was a fool - a FOOL - for not getting this years ago. Though the electrical circuits in the kitchen weren't upgraded until last year, I could have dealt with a few blown fuses now & then to have a sink that's always empty, a counter free of drying dishes, and all those dishes washed for me by this incredible modern miracle. Thank you, Lords of Cascade.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Three Hour Tour

Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

It was an ordinary Monday - get up, drag self out of warm, cozy, dreamy slumber next to tiny kitten, drag self onto public transit and into the office, drag self from desk chair to meetings and back again to slog through projects that drag on for weeks and weeks - a regular day.

I'd planned to work late to get caught up on things, wearing my headphones to enjoy hits from the 70s, 80s, and even some from the 90s and beyond. As I was about to wrap up one more item on my list, I noticed my cell phone had a voicemail.

I called and listened to the message, from David: "Hi honey... flipped the boat... wet bag... is gone... heading back..." That's all I could make out.

He called only moments earlier but I missed it because I was bopping along to Dream Police. I dialed him right back and thankfully he answered. He'd been out kayaking (alone!) and managed to paddle from Jack London around the west end of the island, past the old Navy base and was now relaxing on Crown Memorial beach after flipping the boat a couple of times in the choppy bay.

To those of you unfamiliar with the area, that's a couple hours of straight paddling (at least). And at this time it was 4:50 p.m., and the shop we rent from closes at 6 p.m. And I could tell he was shredded from climbing back into the boat. It's not easy, especially by yourself.

about 7.5-8 miles overall
(Google map)

Good thing I have a station wagon! I was off like a prom dress. Had to stop at Pagano's on the way to pick up a collection of bungee cords, but I made it to Crown Memorial by 5:45. We strapped that sucker down and took off.

Crazy that they'd make a car with a swell rack on top, where one might want to strap down a small boat of some sort, and there are no easy ways to anchor the front & back of the boat underneath the car. But whatever.

Pulled up at the shop at 6:05 and the guy came out singing, "a three hour tour!" He couldn't have been nicer. He helped us get the boat down & had us on our way in just a few minutes.

The best part (for me) was leaving Jeff a note that said, "Gotta run, David's sinking in the Bay. See you tomorrow!"

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Work Week

Monday through Wednesday, and that's it. Weekend starts Wednesday night and lasts through Sunday night. I need four days off every week. Every. Week.

Not working from home on Thursday and Friday - those are part of the weekend, as in, Me Time. There's no "work" in weekend. Wend. Keen. Deek. Newk. But no "work."

Here's a question, why is ER still on the air? I thought the big shootout I heard about in last season's finale meant they were all killed. Even the hospital - shot dead.

What are they gonna do next? Put them all in a cruise ship ER with patients infected with smallpox that sails into the perfect storm with terrorists and a bomb on board?

Speaking of bad TV, how jacked is it that Mariski Hardtosay won an emmy and how is it Edie Falco wasn't nominated?

Can't believe they gave a statue to Alan Alda & not the guy who played the conniving, creepy president on 24. That makes no sense at all. Some of these must be charity awards.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Road Trip!

Just back from vacation, and already another road trip - to Redding! For a company meeting!
Let's Go!!! C'mon! GOOO!!!

ahh... space


quick shopping at the Vacaville outlets

'nana republic and... puma!!!

so dark, you could see every star in the sky, but here, enjoy these tail lights instead.

holiday out

jeff's breakfast joint

the lumberjack

cameron's omelette & jax

biscuits & gravy - much better w/a bite of sausage

my mushroom 'lette & browns

sundial bridge

under the anchor side

the deck is translucent

so wheel yourself the hell off the property if you're gonna smoke

riding back with the top down - only 100 degrees at 2pm - refreshing

racing home

snack buffet portrait - a lovely collection of salt, sugar and fat

nasty accident on the northbound lanes

waiting to arrive back in the cool Bay Area...

And we were home just after 5pm. 19 hours of fun, 3 hours of tear-inducing boredom.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Broke My Fucking Toe

The Piggy Who Had Roast Beef. Just trying to step on the pedal of the trash can, I swung my left foot into the train case I'd evidently left too proximate to the trash can.

Trying to step on the pedal of this:

I slammed into the side of this:

(photo not to scale, it's actually the size of a barn, or must be, if I can't get my foot past this to step on the pedal of a stupid trash can)

It's not too bad. It's sore, and the bruising has already faded, so it must have been just a wee tiny crack.

The last time I did this, I walked my right foot into a cinder block. Broke the *hell* outta that toe, The One Who Had None. It was twisted to the right, so I had to get that fixed.

I went to the school clinic (whilst in college) and they had me see the almost-retired, grizzled ol' doc who must have thought I was a big ol' baby. They x-ray'ed my foot and it showed a gorgeous, teeny spiral fracture.

The doc came in and all he said was, "It's broken." He shot my toe full of something numbing, then took the pen out of his front pocket, I thought to write down some important notes about the severity of my injury. He put the pen under my toe and twisted it back into place, using the pen as a brace.

It worked! All I cared about was that my toe not end up horribly disfigured, ruining my chances of becoming a foot model. Foot modeling was going to be my way out. My bread and butter. I couldn't let my dream die.

I might take a medical leave from work. I can't do my job, sitting at a computer and in meetings, with a broken toe. I need at least six weeks at home to heal and cope with my disability. And to give myself a proper pedicure.

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Day Back

Aside from a couple hundred emails to dig through, it was an easy eight. There's a ton of stuff to catch up on - stuff I'd hoped might die a quick death while I was gone so I wouldn't have to return to it. But no. Nothing ever dies there. It drags on and on and on and on and on and on until you give up any hope of anything ever really being done. Ever.

I spoke with someone today who is brand new to a particular process, and as I was describing the general chain of events, she kept asking, "So you'll send that to me using regular email?" I had to ask her what she meant by "regular email" to ensure I wasn't giving her bad instruction in case there was a special email I should be using. She just meant Outlook, or as she put it, "The Outlook."

This particular project was dumped on her right before its usual owner took off for two weeks. There are confusing elements to it, stuff that's never been clearly explained to me in all the time I've been there. It's not her, it's the project and the lack of clear documentation about any given system or process.

You have to know a guy who knows a guy who knows how to get in touch with another guy who will make a call, and in about a month, you'll get some additional info. It may or may not be what you needed.

But whatever. It was mellow. At least I'm not working with these people.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bracka Fracka!

I just got my car back from the shop this morning, all fixed up and running great, and as I was driving home from Baaaaart this afternoon and crossed a metal grate bridge, I heard a funny little noise...

Sonovabitch, when I got home I found a big ol' tack of some kind lodged in my rear passenger tire. Bloody hell. Those tires are just 20 months old and except for this recent trip to Ore-E-gone, that car is hardly driven.

The real age of those tires is closer to six months, if that. My first thought was to pull out the nail/tack/steak knife but I didn't. My next thought was to do what I did last time I had a flat, when all the tires needed replacing, get a can of Fix A Flat, shoot up the lame tire & limp the car down to the tire shop.

Then I talked to my dad who reminded me there's a spare tire in the back deck. Why wouldn't I remember that? I guess it was all the years of keeping the contents of an entire garage in the trunk of my Acura. You couldn't just dive into the trunk and whip out a spare tire. It was easier to shoot a can of toxic goo into the flat tire & keep driving.

Even though I came home with a flat tire, I'm sooo lucky... David got me The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I can take Book One with me to the tire shop tomorrow to read while they fix my damn tire.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Last Day of Vacation

8am - drag self out of warm, cozy, dreamy bed
8:15am - drink green superfood healthy goodness
8:30am - push button on magic box, enjoy magically delicious coffee
9am - continue work on personal writing project
10am - take David to Bart station
10:30am - prep stuff to shoot photos for magazine
11am - drive to location
11:15am-11:50am - shoot photos at first location
12pm - arrive at second location, find out corporate auth is required for shooting
12:02pm - leave voicemail w/ corporate requesting permission
12:02pm - 12:15pm - walk around block of second location hoping corporate will call right back
12:15pm - drive home to continue work on personal writing project & wait for return phone call
12:30pm - arrive home, make and eat sandwich, talk to cats and bird
12:45pm - 1pm - continue personal writing project
1pm - jump up and run to answer cel phone - corporate says yes
1:02pm-1:30pm - continue work on personal writing project
1:30pm - jump up to answer cel phone - car at the shop is ready for pickup
1:32pm - 2pm - continue work on personal writing project
2pm - jump up to answer phone - Jeffy!!!!!!!!!
2:20 - 2:50pm - continue work on personal writing project
2:50pm - head out to second location to shoot
3:05pm - 3:35pm - shoot photos
3:35pm - head home via 7-11 to procure fizzy fountain diet cola beverage
4pm - arrive home to continue work on personal writing project
4:30pm - jump up to answer phone - David will need Bart pickup in 20
4:30pm - 4:50pm - continue work on personal writing project
4:50pm - head to Bart to pick up David
5:10pm - return home to finish personal writing project
5:12pm - feed cats, eat a peach, give some peach to the bird
5:15 - 7pm - continue work on personal writing project
7pm - call restaurant to order in food
7:03pm - 8pm - continue work on personal writing project
8pm - 9pm - have dinner & watch DVR'ed 30 Days
9pm - 11:30pm - finish and deliver personal writing project
11:30pm - 11:50pm - write & post blog entry
11:50pm - wash face & brush teeth
12:00am - drag self into warm, cozy, dreamy bed

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Idiot Lights

If car manufacturers are going to put pretty lights in the dashboard they should make them useful. The "check engine" light came on this past weekend while driving home and it wasn't at all helpful or informative.

I checked the oil, the coolant - all that I could check seemed fine, so I hoped for the best and drove it all the way home. I sure as shit wasn't stopping in Weed to have it looked at.

Either give me more information or give me access to the computer that might be able to tell me what might be going on.

Turns out it was a worn "purge valve," whatever that is. I could look it up, but now I'm paying someone who already knows what that is to fix it.

Instead of useless, vague lights, put some effort into it. How about the stoplight system? Green means go, yellow means check it soon but you're fine to limp it home, and red means something might catch fire so you'd better pull over.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Travelogue - Friday & Saturday (8/11 & 8/12)

Prone to violent outbursts...

Paulina (paul-eye-na) Lake, a result of the violent outburst noted above

Obsidian flow just below the summit

Mt. Shasta, on the way home Saturday

First of two stops on the way home - had to get a photo of the town sign, but also to get some distance from a certain CHP who may or may not have seen me from the northbound lane tailgating a go-slOwer-gonian I was anxious to pass.

When the chance comes to pass, if you're too far back, you burn a lot of time/space just getting up to where you can get around them, and some of those passing opportunities are very short and don't come along too frequently.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Travelogue - Thursday (8/10)

Sisters, Oregon.

Thank Yous from all over town to the firefighters who fought the recent spate of wildfires that came close to wiping out the town this past week.

Strange gifts for sale...

In case there was any doubt...

Sno Cap

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Travelogue - Wednesday (8/9)

Backyard visitor

I miss my kids.

Very ready to head home.