Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well, there's news, and then there's... NEWS.

Yeah, I finally got the BAD news about my car repairs..

Can you believe that for a little economy car there is nearly $5,000 worth of repairs to be done??


I don't think all of the plastic, metal, upholstery and rubber in my car would add up to $5,000!

However, because I'm in the wrong line of work, I can now see that about 2/3 of that bill is LABOR costs. Let's get something straight here..

If I were to take my car in because I can't get a headlight to work, it would cost me about $75 to replace it in a shop.


Because it's a MINIMUM of $60 just for the mechanic to even look at it, plus $15 for the new lamp.

I've replaced headlights before. It's a 10 minute job.. TOPS.

If they're clearing $60 for a 10 minute job, that equals $300 an hour.

Yup. $300!

I need to go back to school. Trade school, that is.

That way, I can learn how to work on these computerized cars, and the fleece the unknowing consumer who buys these cars for every last cent they own!

Better yet.. I'll buy a garage, and staff it with mechanics, and just take my cut right off the top! This way, I can't be seen as the "bad guy" because I'm only paying my guys for the hard work they do in order to keep your expensive toys up and running!

This is brilliant. Now, all I need are a couple of willing *ahem* guinea pigs *ahem* investors, and I can get started!

Any takers??

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yeah, I wrote the date out today..

Why, you ask?

Because I wanted to make sure that my wife took note.

You'll see the reasoning as you keep reading.

I went back, and looked over my archived posts, and things I've written and said about my marriage, my wife, and my family life.

Do you know that I have complained more than I've complimented my wife since starting this endeavor?

I don't know why that is, it just turned that way on me.

So, in order to alleviate this problem, I've taken it upon myself to build her up here on my blog as well as at home.

Thus, I'm starting today.. If only to get a jump on the New-Year's resolutions that everyone seems to put off doing!

My wife is a wonderful mother, not only to my kids, but to those she watches for friends and family as well. She cares, and has a HUGE heart for children of all ages.

My wife is awesome with numbers. What I have to take time to figure (and usually get wrong!) she can do in mere seconds, and be correct! This is one major reason why I have her keep the checkbook, because she's able to juggle those numbers around much better than I ever could.

My loving spouse is a very vital and outgoing person. She tries to make friends with everyone she meets, and attempts to get each person to participate in activities if possible. (even when some of us don't want to deal with another!)

My wife is great at the attention to detail. I don't know how she does it (must be a girl thing!), but she's able to tell if the floor has really been vacuumed, or if it's just bee the cursory swipe and duck kind of job. To be honest, I don't think I could ever have the patience to "deep clean" the way she likes to..

These are just a few of the things I love about my spouse. I can't tell you them all, because then I'd have nothing left to write about the next time except to repeat them, and that's boring!

I don't know why it is that I fail to mention the "little" things to her. For most women, the BIG stuff is nice, but to hear the everyday "Thank you for being you" kind of things really pay off more.

I tend to get fixated on the major issues, and harp and nag when something doesn't tend to go my way or happen the way I planned. She doesn't deserve the ire I send to her, it just winds up going that way.

For the most part, I've made the consious attempt to keep my frustrations that I deal with at work well apart from my home life. If things go really badly at work, I'll call ahead, and let her know that I'm going to be needing some "down-time" before dealing with family stuff. This is nice, but it isn't always feasible or practical. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, life just doesn't allow for the slow-down period.

To be honest with you, my readers, I feel that my greatest failing as a husband is that of apathy.


Because if it isn't broke, I don't mess with it. If it works, use it until it breaks.

Not only with mechanical things, but with the relationship as well.

This leads to MAJOR problems.

There are things that I can do that really bother my wife. I've spoken of them in earlier posts.

However, because of her loving and giving nature, she tends to keep her complaints in check, hoping that I'll see the things I'm doing wrong, and change.

However, because I don't hear of any problem or issue, I contend that there's no problem, and I keep up with the action that bothers her.

Yeah, you can see where this is going, can't you?

It boils over, and explodes. And then I rant and rave to my readers here on my blog, which bothers her yet again when she's painted out to be the "bad guy".

Now, there are some of you who have dealt with her, and can honestly say that she's very judgemental. I'd have to agree with you.

However, you must also understand that it's because of that ability of hers to judge that I'm still with her today.

I'm not going to elaborate on that any more, it's something I prefer to keep to myself.

So I now declare to you all (all 2 or so who read this!) that I dearly love my wife, and I resolve to state this at least once a month, if not more from now on.

Please, remind me from time to time, as I tend to forget things, and can use all the help I can get!

Happy New Year people, and the best to you all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Um.. WOW


I was browsing Youtube, just checking out things that make me chuckle, and I came across this video.

I don't know about you, but someone MUST have been a little bit on the twisted side when they made this...

See for yourself, and try to pretend that it doesn't bother you in some way, shape, or form...

Kermit sings "Hurt"

Friday.. Time to recoup!

Well, it's Friday, but instead of giving some fun facts about me, I'm going to just sit here and relax..

After all, it's the day after Christmas, and I really don't want to do too much!

So, here's a funny video to watch, and my best wishes for your Christmas, and on the upcoming New Year!

Straight, No Chaser

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Well, today I'll be doing the hustle and bustle to get kids, wife and dog around to as many family as I can manage..

Yeah, her family and mine live in the same town we do, so we try to pack the entire holiday into about 10 hours of complete madness.

Luckily, there's some kind of twisted formula my wife uses to be able to figure out who's house we go to first.

If it's on a even year, but not a leap year, then we go to her parent's house first.

If it's leap year, we go to her parent's first.

If it's an odd year, we go to her parent's house....


Did she trick me?

I'm thinking so!

Whatever her reasons, we end up being at her folks first each Christmas. We celebrate with them, give and get gifts, and eat.

Then, we make a quick stop at the house, unload everything gotten from her parents, load up the gifts for my folks, and go to their house.

Then follows round two of Christmas. Gifts given and received, food eaten, and a bit of conversation.

Once this is over, and food coma is beginning to set in, we pack it all up again, and head home.

This then leads to the LAST part of Christmas, when we have the family time..

Gifts are given and received, yet more food is eaten, and then as my wife and I clean, the kids get to play with all of the goodies they've gotten...

Once the madness settles down, I find my comfortable spot, whether in my overstuffed recliner, or in my comfortable corner on the couch, and watch the mayhem of new toys and excited kids.

Ah, Christmas...

Where else can you drive yourself crazy to get things done, only to reminisce, and look forward to the next time?

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not a Creature was stirring.. Not even my Manager!

Can you believe that this day, Christmas Eve, when we're already working a shortened day so that employees can get together with family, that my Manager would do even LESS than he normally does?


Let's see..

Hos job duties, as described in the handbook are as follows:

Patrol the warehouse, doing random checks of order selectors, loading personnel, inbound receiving clerks, and replenishment drivers. Do a weekly yard audit of all trailers outside, ro ensure proper storage and movement of inventory coming into and going out of the warehouse. Randomly check on inventory in stock, including reserve items. Participate in one store audit per day, making sure that QC associates are doing their jobs correctly. Inspect and audit 5 company stores per week, limited to no more than two stores per day, one store visit per month.

Yeah. Those are the duties he's been slacking in. He hasn't left his office since the end of Summer! He sits in his office, browsing the web, and sometimes filling out enough paperwork to walk it down to the front office. Yeah, he does leave from time to time to go to a meeting, but 95% of the time you can find him sitting at his desk, talking on the phone (usually with his wife and kids), or browsing some internet site totally unrelated to work.

I can't really fault him for the internet use, I mean, look what I'm doing on company time!

But seriously, to shirk all of those other things, and pawn them off on the rest of the crew? Don't you think we should get some kind of pay raise for doing his job?


Not even a "Great job this year, you all make me proud" kind of speech.

The last "talk" we had was his instruction to buckle down, and do a better job, because we missed a HALF POINT in the last corporate audit we had.

So we got beat down because instead of the 100% he was expecting, our department got a 99.5% rating.

Oh. My. God.

Someone fire me because I didn't do his job for him.. again.

I hope that Karma means he'll get something worse this year than what I've dealt with...

And I hope to you, all of my readers, that your Christmas is filled with life, love, happiness, and joy.

Merry Christmas, and I'll see you all on Friday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the season to... File an Insurance Claim..

Yeah. You read right..

Because of the wonderful weather that we're getting here in the Pacific Northwest, I get to file an insurance claim.


Because the shelter I'd bought to cover my car wasn't meant to hold up under that much snow, and collapsed last night... On my car.

Oh yeah.

Happy Holidays to me.

Now? I've got to drive my wife's car to work, and call the homeowner's insurance to get my car fixed.

Joy To The World.

Just think.

By the time this is all over, I'll probably wish that I'd gotten a new car for Christmas...

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that your week goes better than mine!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Something totally random!

Well, these last couple of days I've been basically stranded.

Here in the Northwest, we're really not used to too much snow. However, this last week I've gotten about 2 feet of the powdery white stuff!

Thanks to the greenness of our road-keeping crews, I have absolutely no way of getting out of my driveway, let alone through town or even south down the interstate to my work.

Now, this doesn't stop my wife, who drives the testosterone-charged SUV with all-wheel drive.

It does put a crimp in my driving habits, though. I can't get around very well in a small compact car who sips gas through a straw. It just doesn't happen.

Yeah, I sacrificed the power and prestige for the pocketbook. Sue me.

Anyway, I've been slacking at posting because of the weather, and I honestly apologize.

I'll make sure to get to work on Tuesday, and you can all chew me out then, and give me all sorts of crap!!

Not to think that you won't give me some kind of grief today about it, but heck, if I'm getting comments, it can't be a BAD thing!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WTF Wednesday


Today I've got a personal bitch, and it has made me say "WTF?" a few different times today.

All last night the news forecasters were talking about the weather front that is coming in, and how bad of a snowstorm we're going to be getting.

Now realize that this ISN'T the midwest. People here start to really freak out when they see the white stuff fall from the sky. Rain, fine. Sleet? I can deal.

Soft fluffly snow?

Lemme outta here!

Thus, we've gotten about 2 1/2 inches of snow so far. Not much, but enough that I've personally seen three wrecks since it started falling.

Now the warehouse I work at isn't in a busy area. We're one of only five buildings in the surrounding area, and two of them are residences.

Tonight is the night for our Christmas dinner here at work, so not only am I getting to sit here and watch the snow pile up, but I get to wait until after dark for it to freeze solid before I climb into my car and try to drive home.

Now, I'm not worried about _MY_ driving in the snow.

What really freaks me out are all of the other insane drivers..

You know who I'm talking about.

The folks who drive like there's nothing on the roads, and then you see them wrapped around the highway median a few miles further because of some ice..

Or the idiot who's driving 10 miles an hour down the center of traffic, and weaving side to side in order to keep everyone else from "throwing crap" onto his windshield.

Or the trucker who's on the far right, but swapping lanes with no signal, and shoving other cars left and right as he tries to make his shipping timetable.

Yes, I get to deal with all of these, and a few more....

The worst part?

It was completely clear when I came to work this morning.

No clouds.

No rain.


Now I'm just kind of curious how bad it is at home, and whether I should take a personal day off tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2-Fer Tuesday Post #2

Well, I'm kind of curious about y'all.

Yeah, I said "y'all".

Sue me, some of my family have spoken like that for years, and there are some "country" phrases that just say it all, so there!

Anyway, back to my question..

Do you look forward to, or do you fear, the company Christmas dinner/party/whathaveyou.

Me? I can't stand it.


Because we've got an absolutely CLUELESS HR person, and she doesn't understand a thing about the employees.

Each and every single function we've done these past 5 years has been a complete and total FLOP.

She picks events, food, entertainment et all to her personal preferences, and not to the general consensus.

If she wanted to do something like that, why not put on her OWN party, and invite us over? Don't use the company money and time to make the associates grumble and gripe over what they're not getting, and how silly the theme is, or anything of that nature..

I'll give you a couple of examples of her style.

First, we've got the company gift-giving process we do each year.

Before we even got started on this, the warehouse personnel decided to save up funds to help the "Make A Wish" program for kids with, or recovering from, cancer.

What this program does is give the child, and their close family, the chance for a vacation of a lifetime. The only request from the foundation? $5000 for each child you want to try to sponsor.

If your facility is able to make that goal, you get to "adopt" a child's family, and you usually will get a visit from them once the trip is over.

If you make more than that, but less than enough for a second child, then the extra is put into a pool fund to help out causes who are falling short.

The last 4 years our facility has been able to support 4-5 kids per year. That's between 20-25k a year to a charitable cause.

This last year? She stopped it. When questioned why, her answer was this:

"I feel that we're putting WAY too much funding towards these kids, and not enough of it towards our own goals."

Translated, it means that she was hoping that the cash that we'd generate for the kids would then be diverted towards her coffers, where she could delegate the spending.

Sad to say that this year's Christmas gifts are going to seriously be lacking compared to the last few years. All because of some selfish reasoning.

Another example is the picnic we tried to plan for this year.

We tend to try to take pride in being a family-oriented business. Healthcare is paid for in full by the company, and that policy is blanketed to cover not only the associate, but his entire family of dependants as well.

Because of the family focus we have, the picnic planners decided to try to hold a carnival-type of cookout. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Fries, Pizza, Clowns, a couple of trick pets, and some games were in the works.

Enter in Ms. HR.

The picnic ended up like some kind of school fair, with cash being REQUIRED to be able to play the games.

What kind of games?

A cakewalk, that cost $5 per entry. It made exactly $0.

A water balloon toss. $2 per entry. It made $4.

A "Dunk the manager" contest. $1 per entry. This made $10.

No clown. No pets. No bounce house. No fair or circus-type of attitude anywhere.

Only 25 out of 300 employees showed up for it, once it was announced that games would cost cash to play.

There were 20 gifts to be awarded, and 10 were returned because they were things like $1 sun visors, or Water bottles that could be bought for less than $.50 each.

Needless to say, there were plenty of outraged folks over this.

And now we're hearing the plans for the "banquet" we're supposed to be having for this Christmas dinner.

Are we having anything traditional?


Chinese Take-out is the menu.

Sure, it's being catered. However, Chinese food for a CHRISTMAS dinner?

Where's the ham? Roast Beef? Turkey? Mashed potatoes?

Wherever it is, I know you're not going to find it at my dinner.

And the prizes?

Well, like I said, 300 employees, and there's only 15 gifts to be given out.

Odds are that there are going to be some serious rumblings about that one.

Oh, and also add to that the news that the Christmas bonus program that everyone looks forward to this year has been decided upon (by HR) to be diverted towards a disaster relief program for this area in case of flooding or severe weather.

Last time there was something that severe around here, the employer I work for was just buying their first storefront back East!

That was 35 years ago!

So yeah, I'm pissed, I'm disgruntled, and I know that I'm going to hear about it from other workers.

What can I do about it?

Well, you're reading it.

Hope yours isn't as bad as mine's going to be!

2-Fer Tuesday post #1

Well, it's Tuesday again, and I'm going to write and ramble like it's nobody's business today.

Last week, I was swapmed with work, thanks to the idiocy and ineptitude of a manager.

Why is it that when folks have to use a computer for work, they will automatically assume that they can treat the machine like it's their home computer, and not one for work?

There are certain guidelines that need to be followed when you're using a work computer.

1) NEVER open personal emails or email attachments while at work. Just don't do it. You never know what attachments could be potential viruses or trojans, and it's best to leave that stuff at home, instead of bringing it to the worklplace.

2) Limit how often you're on random internet sites. Net usage gets monitored, and it's expected that you're going to have times when you'll be on sites outside of the "work approved" places. However, you should ALWAYS try to take these in moderation. Spending 8 hours of your 10 hour workday on EBAY isn't the best way to keep the surfing potential open!

3) When in doubt, leave it alone. Never go to a site or agree to an Active-X control unless you know EXACTLY what it's going to do or install. This goes especially for folks who have weekly internet updates. You never know when that Google Browser Toolbar is going to cause some kind of resource conflict because corporate is assuming that your system is configured like everyone else's in the network.

These three things could mean the difference between a happy use, and potential termination for abuse of policy.

Anyway, I rant, and rave, but I need to get finished.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cookie Exchange!!

ASM has a great idea for this holiday season, and asked us all to share a recipe that reminded us of Christmas.

Well, my most vivid memory is helping my grandma make her cookies, lefse, krumkake, futtimuns, cinnamon rolls, pies, cakes, and pastries in the weeks prior to our family get togethers.

I come from a very large family, and the celebration of Christmas was usually a 2-3 week event. Many meals, many people, and lots of gifts to go around.

But the one cookie that tended to let me know that is was Christmastime was when my grandma would start baking the Peanut Butter Hershey's Kisses cookies.


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together first 5 ingredients; then add remaining flour and mix until you form a sticky dough. Roll into small balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown. Place unwrapped Hershey kiss in center of each cookie, while they are still hot. Makes approximately 48 cookies.

I would DEVOUR these with gleeful abandon. Of course a tall icy glass of milk is also a must for these delights!

Hope you enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

4F Friday!!


Amazing how quickly the weeks go by when you work like a dog..

Anyway, here are my five fun factoids for you to vicariously live by proxy through me and my sad existence!

1. Growing up, I had quite the animal magnetism. I could honestly walk one block, and have dogs and cats follow me for no apparent reason other than I looked good.

2. To this day, I can usually get dogs to obey me with little to no effort on my part. I'd say that I'm a dog whisperer, but then Victor Milan wouldn't have a job, so I'll let him keep on thinking he knows more!

3. Don't tell my wife, but I LOVE to cook. I love learning new recipes, and I also love to try making new dishes from time to time. I make a mean BBQ, and I've been asked about my chicken wings a few times, even though I haven't made them in over 2 years!

4. When I was in college, I lived off of potatoes, pasta and rice as a staple to my diet. I'd dice and fry up potatoes like mad, make hommade noodles for pasta and boil them for a side dish, and I'd fry up or steam rice and add cream of chicken soup to make a minor meal. (This explains how I was only 180 pounds before going into the service!)

5. When I start doing hard work around the house, I hate to get interrupted while "in the zone". It never seems to fail that while I'm trying to get some nasty job like digging up root systems for old bushes we've taken out, or trimming the hedges back, or replacing windows or blinds.. That I'll inevitably get pestered to come see this, or help lift that, or bring me this, or take that out during my time of work. I don't mind helping, but if it's not really that important, can it wait until my major project is done?

Anyway, these are my facts for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you again on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday's Lecture

Last week, I was talking about how differently men and women see things.

Guys are very physical creatures, while women are more mental and vocal.

Today I'd like to talk about something else in a relationship.


If you can't talk to each other, how exactly do you expect the relationship to last?

Now, I know this is going to sound stereotypical, but in "general" terms, men say exactly what is on their minds, while women tend to insinuate and lead conversation.

Don't ask me why. I don't make the rules here.

Guys are direct and to the point. Point A to Point B. Get it over with, done, job's done, check, move on.

Girls? Well, not so much.

First, let's talk about this.. Does this make you think of anything? No? How about this? Now are you getting it?

Sad fact is that communication between the sexes is like comparing simple addition to trigonometry.

For guys, it's 1+2=3.

For girls? 3x2 + x - 2 = 0

It's sad, but that's the basics.

In order to understand what a woman is trying to convey, either you need to read between the lines, and solve her equation, or you have to cheat, and straight up ask her what she's trying to tell you.

Let me put you straight guys: Try to solve it as much as you can!

Asking a woman to explain what she's trying to say is like asking her how much she weighs.

Don't do it.

Just don't.

Try to be an active listener. Repeat back things that you pick up that seem to be important. This actually means that you've got to at least follow the conversation, and not just pick out some words that you hear while you're watching the game.

Ladies: If you want to have your guy listen, try to also understand his weaknesses.

Don't start talking seriously with him while he's watching the ballgame, or playing a video game, or is in some other distracted frame of mind.

All this will do is frustrate BOTH of you. Him for trying to concentrate, and yet try to show you he's paying attention, and you for thinking that he doesn't care about your concerns, just his game/video/food, etc.

If you need to talk, see about setting up a time when you can both sit and relax. Set a mood. Let him/her know how serious this means to you.

Girls, even though it's really not in your nature, try to be more direct and to the point. Yes, sometimes this means being blunt. However, with honesty being the best policy, I don't really see how he can be offended if you're trying to actively be open and honest in your relationship?

Guys. You've GOTTA listen.

That's it. LISTEN.

Don't try to find something to fix. Don't offer advice unless asked for. Nothing.

Just. Listen.

90% of the time, women really only talk to air what's on their minds and hearts. They're not asking for someone to fix it, or give them advice. They're actually processing their emotions and feelings while communicating, and this helps them fix the issue themselves.

Take this example:

My wife sat down to talk with me one morning. Something was bothering her, and she needed to tell me about it. Me, being the all-wise and all-knowing guru decided to appease her, and waited for her to tell me her problem.

While she was talking, I noticed something interesting that kept me from turning into "Mr. Fix-It". I noticed this:

While she talked to me about her problems, answers that she knew but didn't want to face kept creeping into her talks. She'd address these feelings as they came up, and her conversation would take a turn.

I literally watched my wife start talking to me about a problem she had, and watched her talk herself completely through the problem without me really saying anything at all.

That's right.

The man who knows how to fix it all stayed mute, and helped her fix her problem.

Most of the time, we all know how to solve the problems that face us. The major problem is admitting that we're willing to pay the price to get it done.

Maybe it's telling the truth after so many years of lies and coverups.

Maybe it's admitting that you're not feeling the same way as you used to.

Whatever it is, usually the answer is painful, secretive, or dark.

Now, this isn't always the case, as there are many other reasons to talk.

Maybe she's wanting some kind of input on your finances.

Granted, she might completely ignore this input, but at least she feels that you know your money's in good hands when she's keeping you "in the loop".

Now comes the biggest problem in communication:


Yup. Me and my gender are the biggest problem in communication.

Why? Because we tend to assume.

"She should know I love her because I provide for her as best as I can!"

"How can she feel unloved when I do all of this stuff?"

Ever hear these?

We need to learn to communicate, and not just show by actions and deeds.

Yes, the actions are great, and appreciated. However, remember my definiton at the beginning?

If you're trying to show love to a man, then actions will suffice.

BUT! If you're trying to show your love to a woman, then you need to TELL her. Frequently.

Why? It's part of the mental stuff, guys!

Get this:

A woman who is poor but happy will have a husband who works his tail off for the little amount that they have, but also comes home to tell her how wonderful she is, and how happy she makes him feel.

I can also give you plenty of instances where rich women have turned to other lovers because even though they have nearly anything and everything they could think of materially, the husband isn't around enough to give her the time of day, and she feels neglected and unappreciated by her spouse.

Let's see.. Rich and miserable, or poor and happy?

I'll bet most women would be willing to deal with pinching pennies if it meant that they were in a relationship where he was able to make her feel alive, loved, and a vibrant sexual creature.

Anyway, that's my soapbox lecture for this week.

Never forget to talk. Guys need to learn this skill in order to make a relationship work, and ladies need to learn a new dialect when talking, so that they can actively communicate with the opposite sex.

Thanks for reading, and I'll talk with you all again next week!

Oh, for your listening pleasure, I've included this great little ditty!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WTF Wednesday

Gah. I'm so humiliated right now, I can't even express it really.

I have to offer my apologies to Bee at Bee's Musings for my royal screw-up of her "Secret Santa can Suck it!" gift exchange.

Apparently, I shouldn't attempt to operate machinery, or blog!, while exhausted.

Last night, thinking that I was going to be pro-active, and do something ahead of schedule instead of flying by the seat of my pants, and just pulling ideas and excuses out of thin air, I decided to complete my project, and post it.

Much to my dismay, once I'd posted, then informed my recipient, I sent an email to Bee letting her know about my overachieving-ness, and prepared to bask in the knowledge that I'd finally done something ahead of schedule, and appropriately.

Oh no.

Not this duck.

You see, the whole idea of this was to post everything on Thursday, and BEE was supposed to be the person to inform your recipient of the gifts they were to receive.

So, not only did I cut out Bee's part in the game, but I also blew the whole "secret santa" aspect of the exchange as well.

One good thing did come out of it. My recipient liked what she saw.. (I think, either that, or she was just being polite so she could get the heck out of my trailer-park blog.. One of those feels true!)

Anyway, here's my promise to Bee that I'll follow orders next time, and if need be, I'll make sure to come up with something completely random the day it's due instead of blowing the rules, and screwing the entire operation up.

You can trust me on this one. I'm great when it comes to procrastination!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Secret Santa can Suck IT!

OK, I joined Bee from Bee's Musings in doing this virtual gift exchange.

My victim **AHEM!* recipent of my holiday cheer?

Jacki at Moving At The Speed of Light.

Here's the link.

Because I've got SO much time on my hands, I couldn't just get her one thing, so I got her a couple..

And because you're so lucky to read this, you get to share in the joy as well!
First, we have my all-time favorite.

Why? Because it poops, of course!

What comedy blog do you know of that doesn't mention poop at some point?


Next, we have another close favorite of mine:

Yup. PERV, the Christmas Elf.

He comes complete with sporting his own personal Yule Log, so no worries there!

Then we have the oh-so-popular gift of:

Yup! Yule Doo!

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING says "Merry Christmas" like an ornament fashioned like your own pet's poop!

Finally, because they're all small-ish gifts, and I can, I'd box all of these gifts together into one box. Well, mainly so that Bee would think that I was at least attempting to follow her rules!
I'd then send these lovely gifts off wrapped lovingly in this cheery holiday gift wrap:

I mean, doesn't that just warm your heart?

Anyway, that's my gift, and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

2-fer Tuesday

Here's the second thing I need to talk about today:

Somehow, and I'm not sure where it started, but somehow this blog of mine has become a type of blackmail against my wife.

Honestly, I don't try to use this in any form to influence her thinking at all.

I just use this like an empty canvas before a painter, and spill out the ideas and words that are jumbled in my head, and hope that something meaningful is conveyed once the stuff is put down.

I don't write this to belittle her, or chastise her, or critique her.

I blog because it helps me to sort out who _I_ am, and what I'm thinking and where I'm going.

It helps me to figure out were I might have gone wrong.

It helps to use my overactive imagination, and tell stories and anecdotes.

It helps to give me the release I need for pent-up frustration and anger at times as well.

Needless to say, I'm on PMS watch at my home. I'm not saying that I know exactly what's going on with my wife and her body, but there are times where the signals are just too vivid to not notice.

I don't understand why, but PMS has always confused me.

I'm not trying to alienate you ladies, but I've gotta be honest here:

In my experience, women in general are hormonal creatures to begin with. I mean, you've got the "biological clock" ticking away, and it does strange and wonderful things to you.

You see the picture of a newborn baby, all snuggled against come fuzzy blanket, and you get the warm soft fuzzy feeling, say "Aww", and everything seems wonderful in the world.

You might see an overly suggestive scene on TV, or read about some racy idea in a magazine, and get all worked up only to bring that feeling home. This could be directly after an argument, or even after something good has happened. We guys can't really tell the difference, we're just happy to get some!

Then there's the temper. Oh lord above.. The TEMPER.

The toilet paper roll is on upside down. One dirty dish is left in the sink. There's visible dog hair on the carpet. There's water drops on the bathroom floor. The toilet seat's been left up. The bed's not made.... Need I go on??

Now, I'm not saying that it's all bad. However, for some reason, your clock seems to magnify all of this 1 BILLION percent. Yes, I said a BILLION.

(Well, not the horny part, since most of you think that's completely disgusting during that "time of the month" anyway!)

Yes, I'm a slob. I take my time, and do things MY WAY. Can that really be all that bad?

If the job gets done, is it really important when or how it got done?

I say, let me have my little quirks, and deal with it. I'm too old anymore to really change too much more about myself.

If you feel that I'm using this to get at you, my wife, it's really not.

I'm just thinking out loud, and airing my thoughts.

I kind of like it that way.

2-Fer Tuesday

Yup, it's Tuesday again, and I've gotta get some things off my chest, so here's posting number one:

I'm a selfish bastard.


Lil' old me.

I don't know what it is about my mentality, but whenever I get something, I tend to think about how it is going to benefit me, and what I'd get out of it.

Cash, what I can get myself.

Food, how many meals I can make out of it.

The list could go on, and on, and on...

What is it about me that makes me have a knee-jerk reaction like this?

Why can't I act like other folks I know, and think about other people first, and myself AT LEAST second?

What has caused this seeming greed that I tend to show at the worst possible times?

I don't know..

I do know that it really bothers me at times.

Get this scenario:

I'm given a small amount of money. In my mind, I'm already divvying up the amount, and figuring out what I could get myself with it. Let's see, there's that book I've been wanting, and I could get a couple of cheesburgers for lunch.. I can budget the rest for a soda each day at work..

Are you seeing this?

If my wife sees that I've gotten money, we'll talk, and then I do the more responsible thing, and take care of the necessities: Gas. Bills. Kids.

Why is it that I need to talk it over in order to do the "right" thing with my money? What has caused me to be so irresponsible?

Again, I don't know.

I don't know why I'm so greedy and selfish about things.

I do know that I'd like to change this behavior, I just don't really know where to start at right now with everything else personality-wise that I'm already trying to change..

Maybe I'll just shelf this for a time when I'm NOT working on another character flaw..

After all, looking out for myself got me to where I am today, didn't it?

Well, DIDN'T it?

Friday, December 5, 2008

4F Friday

Time again for some fun facts about me.

1. I love this time of year, and yet some of my most dark memories are also around this time. Read next week, and you'll get to see one of them.

2. I have two scars on my left hand on either side of my thumb. It happened when my brother kicked a raquetball under my foot as I was carrying a contoured coke glass in one hand. I stepped on the ball, fell backwards, and slammed my hand down on the glass, sending a glass shard through my knuckle joining my thumb to my hand. I still have use and feeling of my thumb, so it was blind, dumb luck that kept me from having the tendons severed!

3. I have chronic back pain due to falling out of a cherry tree when I was 8 years old.

4. Because of #3, I also have three vertebra in my lower back that are completely fused together.

5. I used to dream about becoming a professional hockey player while I was in high school. That and my dreams of being a pro soccer player died when I blew out my left and right ACL and MCL in my knees while playing football. Injuries that still bother me to this day.

Ok, now you know a little bit more about me. Yes, a couple of these posts show that I'm getting old, and things are slowing down and not working as well as they used to. That just means you've gotten one more piece of info about me than I originally planned.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you all next week!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday's Lecture..

Today I'm going to just talk about something that's been on my mind since I really started this blog.

I mean, most of my posts have been about my relationship, and the things that bother me, or what I've needed to do, or what she's done to upset me, etc, etc..

So with this in mind, for the next couple of weeks I'm going to talk about some serious stuff, and see what you all think.

If you have questions, and want me to do some research and look things up, feel free to mention it in the comments, and I'll do what I can to answer it.

With that being said, here's today's topic.

How to impress a girl:

Wine her
Dine her
Call her
Hug her
Support her
Hold her
Surprise her
Compliment her
Smile at her
Listen to her
Laugh with her
Cry with her
Romance her
Encourage her
Believe in her
Pray with her
Pray FOR her
Cuddle with her
Shop with her
Give her gifts
Send her flowers
Hold her hand
Write love letters
Go to the ends of the earth

How to impress a guy:

Show up naked
Bring food
Don’t block the TV.

Amazing, isn’t it?

The difference in relationships between a guy and girl is so diverse, there are times that I seriously wonder if we’ll ever get it right.

I mean, yeah. I stole this whole thing off one of my prank T-shirts at home, but it still speaks volumes about how men and women perceive relationships.

Take another shining example of my T-shirt wisdom:

10 Things men know about women:

10. Women have boobs

Yeah, I know it’s crude humor, but doesn’t this tend to reinforce the assumptions we all have about what guys look for, and what completely frustrates women who are still looking for “Mr. Right”?

I went to a seminar a few years back about couples and relationships. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was going to take anything back with me that would help me understand this alien that I’d decided I was completely head over heels in love with. But one of the analogies that I heard that weekend has stuck with me over the years, and I still get a chuckle from it.

It goes like this:

Sex to men is like needing water to drink. The human body needs water. It CRAVES water.

The keepers of this life-giving water that men so dearly crave is kept by the well-watching women in their lives. They’ve got the water, so why would they need anything more?

So men do just about anything in order to get the water they so desperately crave. They do “nice things”, they buy gifts, they put on a show, some buy water, some beg for water, but as stated above, ALL MEN ARE THIRSTY.

How is it that they’re able to get a drink from time to time?

That can only be explained by the well watchers, and they’re not talking….

I don’t fully agree with the last part of that statement, even though there are times when it feels true.

However, the key here is humorous, and it’s also quite serious as well.

Yeah, men LOVE sex. If you don’t believe me, then just check out the ratio of porn usage between men and women. Men are gratified just by SEEING sex, let alone experiencing sex.

Women, on the other hand, love to be pursued. To them, the game isn’t how fast a man can get into their pants as much as it’s how far you’re willing to go to prove your interest in them as a person. Can you interest her mind, gain her attention with humor, or impress her with your knowledge of arcane facts and trivia? These are all factors for the lady. Gain her attention, get her mind working, and you’re well on your way to a good relationship with her.

Sure, girls like physical stimulation as well, but it’s not the driving force for them like it is for men. Granted, this is statistics talking, and there are generalizations here, but a far greater percentage of women would prefer a long night of serious heart-to-heart talks over one night of mad sex. Being able to emotionally connect with their partner is something that most women only read about in cheesy romance novels. It’s tantalizing to think about, but stuff like that never really happens in real life, does it?

I say it can.

Now, I don’t think it’ll happen overnight. I’m not saying that it’s something you’re going to have happen on the first date, or your wedding day, or even on a 10th anniversary. But I really do believe that it can happen. The key to this is patience and communication.

Men have to be receptive to the wants and desires of the women in their lives. This doesn’t mean that you listen to them, and then interpret their desires as something you might like to do, and this will make them happy. No, just because you’re wanting sex does not mean that when she tells you she’s feeling lonely that you need an hour-long intimate lovemaking session. She’s telling you that this is something that is leaving her emotionally cut off from you, and it’s making her feel abandoned, and lonely. Sex isn’t going to fix this. We as men need to open our ears and minds and listen to the wants and needs communicated by these wonderful creatures, and hear what they’re really trying to say.

Women speak about feelings, emotions, just about anything they can think of..

Men? Well, we tend to speak about physical stuff, and cold, hard facts.

How do we break down the communication barrier?

That’s up to the two of you to decide.

I’ll talk more about ideas for this next week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WTF Wednesday

OK, as some of you may know, because of my work, I'm a commuter. I drive approximately 35 miles one way to work, so I tack on about 70 miles a day in driving on my car. Thankfully I only work 4 days a week, so that extra day really helps keep the gas budget down.

Now, in driving back and forth to work, I've come to one conclusion..

Most semi drivers are assholes.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that they're nice folks outside of their cab, and some of the most nice and impressionable folks you'll ever meet.

But while on the freeway? They're asses.

I mean, I live in the Pacific Northwest. It rains here.. Often.

Yet it never seems to fail. I drive to work at an ungodly hour in the morning, and usually the only traffic I'll ever see is trucks.

About 70% of the time, the drivers are decent, and stay in the far right-hand lane, and cut down on congestion if there happens to be another driver around.

However, there have been quite a few times where I've seen all THREE lines blocked by trucks, and they're all going about 10-15 miles BELOW the posted speed limit.

Then there's the grand deal of RAIN.

As I've said before, in this great Pacific Northwest area, it rains quite a bit. Because of this, visibility gets kind of limited from the rain falling, and the spray kicked up by vehicle tires from the road.

Now, in a perfect world, the mudflaps that are added to a trailer are supposed to cut down on this spray. But in reality? All it really does is fan the spray to the sides of the truck. This causes what I've come to describe as "The Halo" effect.

Picture this: You're driving along, and it's gently raining, so the mist is causing you to need your wipers intermittently, and everything's pretty decent. Then, up ahead, you see a foggy shroud. As you get closer, you notice dark shapes in the fog. As you approach, the shapes resolve into lights surrounding trailers. Suddenly, intermittent wiping becomes low. You come alongside these trailers, and low turns to high so that you can see from all the water being thrown into the air off the pavement, plus the added precipitation falling from the sky. As you finally pass this truck and trailer, then reverse. High gears down to low, then eventually back to the intermittent wiping.

The above scenario is only for ONE truck, and that is only if he's in the right-hand lane.

For some strange reason, when it rains around here, truckers seem to feel the need to drive in the center lane. Now, I don't know if this is for visibility reasons, or just because they like to splash cars on BOTH sides, but it's what they do.

Now, if you get more than one truck, there's no hope of maintaining any kind of speed, and visibility is more a game of Russian Roulette than driving. I mean, what if they hit a small patch of standing water that flies towards your windshield? Suddenly the constant spatter is submerged in a gritty and dirty blanket of oil, tar, and asphalt combined with what water is left. Attempting to see through it is nearly impossible, and even the best wipers can only smear the stuff from side to side for a while. Repeat this about 3-4 times, and even the most well dispositioned personality will be thinking about a sniper rifle and hatch marks on the butt end!

Needless to say, I can't stand driving with truckers. While in a car, they're fine. While walking, they're fine. Put them in the cab of a truck, and we've got problems.

Until they can find a way to monitor this better, I'm going to keep buying stock in wiper blades, tires, rain-x, headlights, and rifles and ammunition!

Wish me luck this afternoon, it's raining here, and I've got a drive ahead of me...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2-Fer Tuesday secondary post..

Today I finally got a chance to let someone else know the pain I experience while dealing with "corporate" folks who are about 3,000 miles away.

I had to get on a conference call this morning, and go through a "refresher" course of how to enter in service requests.

Because of the nature of the beast, I had to also get my backup person in on the phone call as well.

So, before the call, I tidied up the office a bit, got some tea and soda, and one more chair.

Then, my "assistant" showed up, we entered the conference call..

Only to be met with complete silence.

Yup. We were on time, but the call hadn't started yet, and we were stuck in a no-man's land of "when is this show going to get started?"

So we made small talk, and idled about my office trying to patiently wait for the call to get started.

About ten minutes into the wait, the online presentation fired up, and we were able to see that everyone was there, just not able to get into the telephone part of the conference.

About ten minutes after that, the "moderator" for the call showed up, and we were able to get into the call.

So nearly a half hour was wasted on killing time for ONE person.

Now, there have been MANY problems with the way the service requests get done. Mainly the biggest problem for the group that were all in this meeting was dealing with setting up new hourly hires.

Not management, not salaried positions, nothing like that..

Just working grunt joes. Nothing fancy.

How did the conference start out? By telling us how to get things set up for Salaried employees.

Next? How to set up management.

Then, he tried to close, saying that everything had been covered.

Immediately there were 10 cries for explanations for hourly employees.

This is when we found out something I don't think the folks "back east" were wanting to admit to.

When they implemented this request plan, it was initially set up for ONLY salaried and management folks. Hourly associates weren't going to be needing anything from it.

However, when the company grew, it became necessary for them to implement changes in the request process, and hourly employees wound up needing things off the service request menus.

Just because this happened didn't mean that the company actually CHANGED anything, it just meant that we, as remote technicians, had to come up with new and interesting ways to request things.

Now, since the new audit, things have to change. Because of this, we can't request things for new hourly employees until the changes are made.

This means that any new hourly hires are effectively STUCK doing NOTHING worthwhile until the company changes their software and policies.

My "substitute" went NUTS when this bombshell was dropped.

"How are we going to get new folks set up if we can't get them access?"

The response?

"Have them do menial labor jobs until we can implement the change."

So, instead of being able to use the new folks to help with the work that they've been hired for, they're going to be pushing brooms, picking up wood particles, stacking pallets, and anything else that doesn't require some corporate security clearance.

When is this supposed to change?

Implement date is set for the beginning of next year. Tenative date that I was told about is February 10th for finalization.

Forgive me a second, but it's just now December, we've currently hired 12 folks, another 10 are on their way, and so I'm going to have 22 people doing crap jobs for THREE months while the changes that should have been made YEARS ago are finally done?

Yeah. My assistant was able to feel my pain today.

She's glad that she doesn't have to deal with this as much as I do.

Main reason? Because of the call, she went and ate a candy bar, and had three cups of coffee.

Me? I just tacked up yet one more note about things that need to get done once someone finished their job, and then sent off the required emails to my bosses.

Eventually, someone might get something right, and things will operate like they're supposed to.

Right now, I'm just having a tough time recalling who I've allowed to get away with what around here so that folks can actually work instead of play with dirt or pallets!

Anyway, I've got some new hires to fake credentials for, so I'm going to be busy the rest of the day.

You all have a great day, and I'll chit-chat with you at some point tomorrow!

Remember: WTF Wednesday, and I've got a doozy for ya!

(Tagged) 2-Fer Tuesday

Well, while I was out, I got tagged..

So, thanks to Bee at Bee's Musings, I'm going to try my hand at this.

The rules are simple.

First, Link the person who tagged you. Then post the rules on your blog.

Next, share seven random or weird facts about yourself

Then, tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs.

Finally, let each person you've tagged know about it by commenting on their blogs.

So now that this is all done, it's time for the facts.weirdness..

1. I never knew how tall I was while in the service. The main reason for this was because one doctor that measured me was quite a bit shorter than I was, and after his physical I was listed as being 6'5" tall. A year later, I had a doctor that was taller than me give me yet another physical, and according to that one, I'd shrunk, as I was only 6'2" tall afterwards. Because of this, I tend to tell folks that I'm somewhere between 6'3 and 6'4. I let them decide, it's easier that way!

2. I completely adore the cheesy Kung-Fu shows that used to be on TV. Especially when they weren't able to sync up the mouth movements with the dialogue. I also loved the snap/crack of the punches and kicks. It reminded me of the times when I used to cut wood in the winter.

3. I am a voracious sci-fi fantasy book reader. Right now my favorite series is by Jim Butcher called The Dresden Files. I love the mix of reality and fantasy that he's able to combine in these novels. It's like having cake and eating it too!

4. I adore music. Not just one specific type of music. I love it all. Opera, muzak, classical, rock, pop, reggae, soul, r&b, hip-hop.. I have to be honest, I don't like much rap, but there are some good ones there as well, I just have to look harder to find them.

5. I've been able to get places because of my singing. Yes, I actually won a trip to Las Vegas because of my voice. No, it didn't get anywhere after that, but I really enjoyed the trip, and I loved that I was able to bring my wife with me!

6. I hope to one day own a beach house. This has been a dream of mine for a while. Deciding to just pack things up, and head for the beach, and not have to worry about where you're going to stay, because your house is RIGHT THERE. It'll happen, some day..

7. I still have dreams of being in a band. Yes, I don't think the dream will ever die. I'm able to fulfill this dream every so often because of the wonder of the video game systems.. Yes, I play Rock Band avidly when I can, and I live vicariously through my gamer self!

OK. That's it.

Now.. who to tag??

Since I've got _SO MANY_ readers, I'll tag a couple, and see what happens..

I'll first tag my WIFE - gottaluvme3 - at A New Day.

Next, I'll tag Real Live Lesbian, just because I'd love some of her thoughts!

I'll also tag Dana, at Amid Life's Crisis, just because I know how much my wife will love that one!

I'll also tag Brad at Diaries of the Professor, because I haven't sent off his Swapfest gift, so I gotta give him something!

I'll also tag Just A Girl, because I think she got me into the whole truth thing about myself!

I'll also tag Amorous Rocker, because I love her take on things, and would LOVE to see what she's got to say..

Lastly, I tag Siren at Idiot Girl in Action just to see what she'll come up with.

Hope you all have fun, and I'll talk with you later!