2009-03-31

Facebook Follies

Pre-Stalking:

A while back, I wrote about Facebook Diamonds it's about worlds colliding:

Imagine 4 people sitting around a table. Everyone knows the person to their left and right, but no one knows the person across from them.

Well, a blogger recently looked me up on Facebook after reading that story. Not really that difficult, since my name, picture, and city are sitting RIGHT OVER THERE on the sidebar. But what really tipped them off, and what rocked their world was the phrase written next to my picture. "You have 1 mutual friend."

Disney's "It's a Small World After All" must have been ringing in their brain. Our link wasn't another blogger. It was a guy I know from college. Someone they know from home. Creeped their shit out a little. It was like I "pre-stalked" them.

6° of Scope-aration my ass.

Too old for Facebook:

Saturday I was out in the burbs getting my oil changed and hanging with old friends ("the Blond" and her husband). She's been to the blog a few times. And we talked about my planned trip to Seattle. Then we started talking about Facebook. She mentioned that her husband's 72 year old aunt had asked them to join Facebook. Then she looked at my mobile FB account, and knew only about 40 of the contacts (including 2 of her 3 college roommates). There was more than one, “oh!” moment as different names and faces passed by.

I now give her 2 weeks to join.

2009-03-30

Realistic Sexy Statues vs. Realistic Sex Dolls

Last week, Robot Nine did a posting on realistic sex dolls. They are realistic. And creepy. And weird. And, as a single man, filled me with a "there, but for the grace of God, go I" pile of dread and foreboding that is very difficult to explain.

It also got me thinking. For a number of years, while I was living in Lincoln Park, I would go to the
Old Town Art Fair. It was usually one of the first street fairs of the season, and was due east of me a few blocks. I never really bought anything at Old Town. It was a "fine arts" kind of show, and a lot of the paintings and sculpture was way out side what I was willing to pay. But I would go with friends, and we'd drink, and look at some of the wild artwork, then head down to the the Wells Street Art Festival, which was also held in Old Town, on the same weekend, but 2 blocks south. This was more like the arts and craft show that I was familiar with, and I occasionally recognized an exhibitor there. (My parents did craft shows for a number of years, so I would hang out with them. They've pretty much stopped. One day, I will do a story about their stepping stones.) All in all it was a good way to spend an early summer weekend in the beautiful city of Chicago.

One of the exhibitors I saw for years at the Old Town Art Fair was named
Marc Sijan. Below is a sample of his work. Cruised through my personal pix, and that is the only one I can find. There are plenty on the web, but also, the link above takes you to his gallery pages.

The art is super realistic. The skin tones and freckles are just amazing. I've always thought it would be a bit creepy to have a life sized (well if you're Cora or Lisa sized, that is) statue of a woman in a towel in your home as art. Which is why I thought of this when I saw Robot Nine's column.

And how realistic is it really? That old security guard sitting there? Yup, statue.
Below is a video with the author from the show a few years ago.




2009-03-29

Random Sunday

Welcome to the Scope-Tech weekend edition. I have been running a lot of errands, and visiting with friends. Just a series of quick hits from the weekend.

Earth Hour

I didn't celebrate Earth Hour. I did consider turning my lights off, but considering I was driving 65 mph down the expressway through a slushy, snowy rain. I didn't think shutting of my car lights to be prudent.

Taxing Times

I finally got around to doing my taxes. And by that I mean that I took my stuff to H&R Block and they did them for me. With the new condo, cashing in savings bonds, etc. I figured it would be money well spent. The one thing I learned: H&R Block could really stand to upgrade the GUI on their software. It was like time travel to 1997. As an IT guy, I notice that stuff. Getting serious bux back from the fed. I owe the state $22. They can wait for that down in Springpatch. (Sorry, Sassy B., payroll will have to wait.) :-)

WFP?

What the Pho? Snow? NO!!! (But it is due to mealt tomorrow.)


Shame! Wow!

You've been warned. But you didn't heed the warnings.
Now look what's happened. That's not Vince Offer. It's obviously that ShamWow! imitator that he warned us about. I was hoping Vince was going to jump out and whoop this guy's ass with some karate. You know, give him a SlapChop!

2009-03-27

Oh The Places You'll Go - Red River Rising‏

I don't know how many of you have paid attention to the widgets on my side bar over there, but one of them is the slide show, "Oh the places you'll go," which is filled with pictures I've taken. I am NOT a photographer. I use cheap point and shoots, but these pictures mean something to me, either the time, the place, or the people. They take me back. I have been planning on explaining them for a while, but never have gotten around to it.

But at least some of them are topical now, so I figured it was time to do it.

If you didn't know, the Red River in the center of North America is flooding, and threatening Fargo at the moment. While there are a lot of factors, recent heavy snows, a slow flowing river on extremely flat land, and the fact that the river flows NORTH so that the snow melts in the upper part of the drainage basin first, sending the floods and ice dams "down river" where it is still frozen all contribute.

Last time I was up for a family reunion, it was summer (Poo, that 4 months that you DON'T use the block heater in the Pontiac and the sun doesn't set until 10:00 pm), but the Red River was flooded then too.

We were getting together in the border town of Emerson, Manitoba (Yes, named after Ralph Waldo). One of the events was supposed to be a golf scramble. It was called off, because the water hazards were a little large.



Look carefully: That tiny red spot out there? Yes, that's a flag on top of a green pin. Emerson is a cute, but dying town. The border crossing used to funnel traffic thru town, but now, it runs west of town a little bit. Progress can be sad.



This shot has nothing to do with the flooding, it's just one of the old family churches out toward Ridgeville with the beautiful blue prairie sky in the background.

After we left Emerson, we drove north a bit to the largest cultural and metropolitan area for hundred of miles. The Mecca that is Winnipeg. You laugh, but get out a map. I think Honolulu may be a slightly more isolated metropolitan area. Barely.



There is a beautiful bridge downtown over the Red River. (Yes, I know technically, the pedestrian bridge and the vehicular bridge are separate, but they form a whole.) The weather that day sucked. Off and on thunderstorms which couldn't have helped the already overflowingness of the river. But still nice down there by "The Forks".

This last shot isn't on the Red River. It's only about 325 miles due west. But that ditch between the highway and grain elevator is the mighty Souris River, so I'll toss it in, too. Weyburn, SK. My dad grew up outside of town. For all the nothing that you drive thru to get there. Some of the nothing can be pretty darn spectacular.

(Yes, I was very unlinky for me. But, you're at a computer. You've got Google. Go for it.)

2009-03-26

Funny Plates

... I Dig 'Em!

2009-03-25

Liar! Liar!

So, as you know, or will figure out, I grew up on a farm. My grandfather had a farm that he’d rented the land on for years, and the out buildings, too. The farmhouse and yard was someone else’s.
Well, one year, the house was empty, and the huge yard went untended. So, the owner paid my grandpa to clean it up. And he paid me to help.

The grass was 2 feet fall and had gone to seed, so first we mowed it with the big ditch mower, then raked it, and put it into a big pile on the other side of the dirt road (don’t want to burn the house down). We then mowed it again with the riding lawn mower, raked it again, and put that over on the pile. And by “we” I mean he drove the equipment, I raked. And raked. And raked.

But finally, we were done, except for the burn. Now the grass was pretty dry, but not, “toss a match in and watch it go” dry. It was going to need a little encouragement, so I grabbed an old pop can, filled it with gas from the tanks, and walked over to the grass pile, matches in my pocket.

I feel I need to stop here for a second and tell those of you not from the Midwest, “Yes, we burn things.” We go out side and set shit on fire. On purpose. No one gets arrested. The cops don’t come. The fire department doesn’t come unless called, and sometimes not even then. It is a VOULUNTEER force. This is just the way things are. And yes, growing up, most farm yards had 2 huge tanks up on legs about 5 ft. off the ground. One with gasoline. One with diesel. Farmers don’t drive the tractors into town to fuel them up. But the tanks are probably locked these days.

So, noting the direction of the breeze, I use most of the can of gas to soak the grass pile, so the wind would blow through and burn the rest. Then, thinking smart, I poured about a 4 foot trail of gas along the ground (no EPA). Safety first, I took the can with a little gas left in it, and walked it to the other side of the road. I came back, struck a match, and dropped it on my gas trail.

And my grandfather saw one of the damn funniest things he’d ever seen in his life. Self immolation, country fried style.

I don’t know if I went to the wrong spot when I walked back across the road, or if the gas had run down hill slightly, but what I do know is that I was standing in a small pool of gasoline when I threw that match. Oh, sure, the flame followed right to the grass pile and set it on fire good. Totally worked as planned. The flames that shot up my pant legs and singed all the hair below my knees into curled up little embers, and caused me to jump and hop and dance and swat at my legs like I was on fire? Not so much part of the plan.

Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.

2009-03-24

Tech Tuesday - On The Razor's Edge

Nobody puts Atra in a cornerIn my 100-4-100 post, I mentioned how much I hated replacing technology that was still viable, just because something newer and cooler came along.

079 - *I have a hard time replacing technology that still works. I was very upset when my answering machine of 15 years died, because they don't make ones that use two full sized cassette tapes anymore. Other say I'm cheap.

Case in point, my razor. No, not a
Motorola Razr, but the thing I use to shave 3 times a week: my Atra. Yes, the Gillette Atra is a 32 year old design of a pivoting head 2 blade razor. I love mine. I've had that handle since I was 21. It has, heft. It's a solid bit of stainless steel. It’s a tool. Not a light weight plastic toy.

And the blades are starting to get harder and harder to find.

Would it be insane of me to buy a crate of them? I mean really, I shave 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sometimes on Saturdays, if I have a date. (So like I said, 3 times a week.) I replace a blade every couple of months (the Van Dyke cuts down on the area I have to shave, too.) So, 50 packages of blades should do it. At $6 a pack, that's only $300. And it's not like I won't be buying razor blades anyway, right?

I could switch to one of those 5 blade Fusion razor with 6 blades. But I'd still be buying blades for it, until a 6 blade razor with 8 blades or some crap like that comes along. I'm not a
Luddite, but seriously. Can't good enough be good enough?

(And yes, that's my razor, chillin' in the corner.)

2009-03-23

The OTHER Blogger Meeting This Weekend

As you may or may not know by now, there was a blogger meeting this weekend. Gwen and Whiskeymarie? Well, sure. There’s that one. I’m sure it was filled with much drunken debauchery. And hung over debauchery. And then re-drunken debauchery. From previous discussions, I know how much Gwen was looking forward to this.

But this is not their story. They will have to tell their own story. I wasn’t there, and the spycam I placed at Gwen’s house is out of order.

No, I’m talking about my meeting the beautiful blond blogger.
First name: Sassy
Last name: Britches

Last week, she’d mentioned that she was going to be in Chicago at the end of the week and for the weekend. And then she mentioned window shopping in
Lincoln Square. Well, I live about 4 blocks from the square in Lincoln Square, so said I would try to find her. She thought that was a grand idea, and even sent me her phone number incase I was having no luck.

So, Saturday, after taking a series of naps to try to recover from working until 7 am, I set out around 11:00 in my search for Sassy Britches. I cut thru Welles Park on the way. It was a beautiful day, people were out playing ball, or sitting under a tree, enjoying the weather. I hit a couple of my favorite shops. All the timing, singing, “SAAAAASSSY, Sassy Britches, Queen of the wild frontier.” I kept looking and looking to see who was looking, but no bites. So, I went to the
Huettenbar, for cold tall glass of encouragement in the form of a weiss beer. Sipped that, and then walked back up Lincoln.

SAAAAAASSSY, Sassy Britches, Queen of the wild frontier.”

Nothing.

Well, I’d made it to the north end of the square and ate a light lunch at
Trattoria Trullo. A glass of pinot grigio, some Prosciutto, melon, dates, fried calamari, bread and oil. Yum. But not Sassy. I walk back down the street, plop on a bench in the square, and make the call.

She was across the street!

I walked into the store and there were only a few people in there, a blond in the back, and a few people up near the front. The brunette in the front group kind of looked up when I entered, but she was chatting with the group. Confused, I looked around, and the blond in the back then cracked a smile: I’d been played, but finally met Sassy Britches. (I will be calling her by her first name, “Sassy” from here on out.)

We talked a bit in the store, and then went to the
Chicago Brauhaus to chat. We talked (about you). We talked about ourselves. We watched a couple waltz around the dance floor to the live accordian player. She is sweet, cute, and when the topic of Cora came up, she pulled her self into a little twisty squirming ball of excitement. Her reaction was adorable. We talked for what seemed like a long time. Honestly I don’t know how long it was. She confessed that she was sitting in the park when I walked thru earlier. (I was emailing Sass, so was a little oblivious) I invited her back to check out my to see my condo. Deciding that I probably wasn’t going to axe murder her or try any “brown chicken / brown cow” on her, she agreed. Sadly, the joint was a wreck, put she was polite and acted not to notice.

She often gets mistaken for Mrs. Potato HeadEventually, we had to call it a day. Took a picture, and said our good-byes.

I don’t know what I expected 145 posts ago when I started this blog, but let me tell you, the people I have met thru it are all top notch. And Sassy was absolutely no exception. Aces. And in a bit of unsolicited advice to someone who doesn’t read this blog, “Pokey, RING that THING!” If you let her get away, that you didn’t deserve her in the first place.

Oh and Zibbs, yeah, her britches had just the right amount of SASS in them.

2009-03-22

6 useless facts about me...

I was tagged by JJ In LA in her post, 6 useless facts about me...

The rules are:

1) Put the link of the person who tagged you on your blog.
2) Write the rules.
3) Mention 6 things or habits of no real importance about you.
4) Tag 6 persons adding their links directly.
5) Inform the persons that you tagged them.

My 6 useless facts:

1) I used to be able to touch my index finger and my pinky behind my middle and my ring finger. I can’t anymore.
2) When I get “stage fright” I do binary math in my head to relax “2 + 2 is 4. 4 + 4 is 8. 8 + 8 = 16...” And I always start with “2 + 2” never “1 + 1”
3) When typing, I often spell words with an “f” instead of an “h”. “I need felp”
4) The top sheet on my bed is currently untucked from the foot and floating free. Has been for 3 days.
5) I’ve had the same key ring since I was 16. Says “Damn I’m good”
6) I dislike Office 2007. The ribbon is stupid and I can never find what I’m looking for. They should have a “classic mode” feature.

Tags:
None - Sorry, not my thing.

2009-03-21

Saturday Morning Randomness

Well here I sit. As I start this, it's 3:00 am. I'm a little tired, but not bad, honestly.

Background – I work in I.T. (Information Technology) for an international law firm. Once a month, we get to do work that would be disruptive if done during the standard workday. We call these "maintenance windows." All the offices have slightly different times for their windows.

So, I had to start working on Europe at 1:00 am my time, wrapped that up, and now I'm waiting to start Asia in about an hour or so. That should take an hour and a half if all goes well (knock wood), then I can crawl into bed at 5:30 am or 6:00 am, depending, for a couple hours of sleep. Luckily, the other person left on my team is covering the Saturday evening chores when the US needs done.

After work, I met up with some friends and had a few beers at "InFields." It was a sports bar "In Marshall Fields" with a baseball theme. Cute. "InMacys" just doesn't have the same ring. Suck it, rat bastards for changing the name.

Anyway, it closes at 8:00 pm (an hour before the store does) so I got home 9ish and took a 3 hour nap (alarms set for 12:34 am!) and then began my work.

At 3:00 the world is fairly quiet. The gentle hum of the fridge, occasionally the whoosh of a passing car. The dog that lives above the bakery next door was having a FIT a while ago, but has since calmed down. Nothing to really disturb the mood.

I keep thinking of things I should be doing now. Sleeping. Paying bills. Sleeping. Unloading / loading the dishwasher. Sleeping. Folding laundry. Sleeping. But I'm writing a completely random-assed babbling post, instead. YEAH PROCRATINATION!

2009-03-20

Root (Canal) Of All EVIL

It was the summer of 1983. The summer between my Junior and Senior years in high school. And I was about to feel pain like I had never felt before and hope to never feel again. A pain so great, that I have no idea what the second worst pain I've ever had would be. It's not even on the charts. I'm not saying it compared what Cowguy did, but let me put it this way: after giving birth, a lot of women do it a second time. Oh H-E-L-L N-O!

The front molar, lower left had always been a problem. We grew up on non-fluoridated well water, so our teeth were naturally a little soft. And that tooth was shot, and needed a root canal and a crown. The appointment was set for Saturday, since the dentist was going to do the root canal and fit me for a temp crown in one shot.

Not so much.

He used the phase, "hot nerve" to describe the phenomenon. Basically, it wouldn't freeze. If you are squeamish, too bad, you didn't have to sit through this like I did, so suck it up. For about 2 hours, he would squirt a little novacaine DIRECTLY ON THE NERVE wait a few minutes, and then would take this sharp, needle like probe, poke it into the RAW EXPOSED NERVE ENDING and ask, "Is it numb yet?" I didn't have to answer as over and over and over again, squirt, wait, poke, "Is it numb yet?" Squirt, wait, poke, "Is it numb yet?"

Each time I desperately tried to avoid flinching too much (sharp needle device near exposed nerve and all) as the acid fire of pain shot through my body. My toes curled in my shoes. I had a death grip on the dental chair. Squirt, wait, poke, "Is it numb yet?" I sweat thru my clothes. A good time was NOT had by all. Squirt, wait, poke, "Is it numb yet?"

14 vials of novacaine later, I was numb thru to my chest, but not where it mattered. Finally, he couldn't do it to me anymore, and he packed the tooth with some goo and a temp filling and had me come back in a week. I slept fitfully that night, awakened screaming with
charley horses seizing my legs a few times.

A week later, it was like going back to the electric chair after they'd done a practice execution on you and just shocked the fuck out of you over and over and over and over again the first time. Doc numbed me up, drilled out the temp filling, and popped the nerve out easy as pie. I demanded to see the nerve, under the "I Spit On Your Grave" theory.

Whew! The rest should be smooth sailing.

Well...

So, after he drives and cements these stainless steel wire anchor rods into me jaw, they need to seal them off and add some shock absorption. So he placed a wad of rubber in my tooth, and then struck a MATCH, blew it out, and touched the smoldering end to the little rubber ball. If you've never been privileged enough to have the taste and smell sensation of a smoldering match and VULCANIZING RUBBER IN YOUR MOUTH, you are missing out on one of the most truly vile flavor/scents combos of all time.

My current dentist wants to replace that crown with a porcelain one. I told him touch it and die. That's my badge of honor.

2009-03-19

The Other Big Sandwiches

Yesterday, the Great Dr. Zibbs asked a question about our favorite sandwiches. I tried to post this answer, but screwed up the HTML on the embedded links, and totally lost the whole FRAK'n thing. I've already talked about my personal BIG SANDWICH. [PIC]

So, here are some of my regionally favorite sandwiches:
Ricobene's King Sized Breaded Steak – This Chicago classic is like a heart attack on a roll. A thin bit of "steak" breaded and fried, folded into a big roll with "red gravy." You've gotta get the sweet peppers and the cheese. I've always wanted to see if they would wrap it around a couple of meat balls, to just make it INSANE!


Avanti's Gondola – This is a true Central Illinois classic. Simple as the Illinois farmland. It's just a cold cut sandwich. It's cheap as hell for a monster sub. Ask anyone who's had one. The won't mention the meat. Or the cheese. They will talk about… THE BREAD.


The Belgian Village Inn's VandeReuben on Raison Bread – The Moline Monster. Oh, I'm sure you've had a Reuben before. Not on raison bread. And probably not on bread that's over 12 inches across. Most people split them with their dates. Don't be most people.

Those are the name sandwiches. But the one I really miss is the pork tenderloin sandwich. Hammered thin. Breaded. Deep fried. Put on a little hamburger bun with about 4 inches sticking out of the sides. Yellow mustard. Dill pickles. Raw onions. Go into in tavern in my area and you can find one. Just 150 miles away in Chicago? Nope. Ask for a pork tenderloin sandwich and you get a thick breaded bit of pork, open faced, with mashed potatoes and gravy poured on it. Abomination.

2009-03-17

Tech Tuesday - Kicking Acer / Taking Names

So, last week I told you that I bought a little Acer AspireOne netbook.

1GB RAM
160GB Hard Drive
802.11b/g Wi-Fi Network
10.1" WSVGA CrystalBrite Display
XP Home Edition
$349.99

I have it set up now on my wireless network, but I have yet to get folder / drive sharing up and running between this device and my main computer. Yes, I am using it to hammer out this little blog post. Here’s a quick review:

Pluses:
- Light weight - About 3 lbs.
- Small - It fits in my murse with plenty of room to spare.
- 6 hour battery
- Enough power for web surfing, e-mail, streaming YouTube videos, etc.

Minuses:
- The 10.1 screen is small.
- The keyboard is touch undersized. Fine for web surfing, but I would hook up a real keyboard for serious work.
- I hate touchpads. Have to hook up a portable mouse with it most of the time.
- No CD-ROM drive. Can make installing software more difficult it you haven’t set up the CD-ROM drives on your tower for sharing yet.

All in all, if you need a second or third machine around the house, or something for the kids (smaller hands, smaller keyboard) to do web stuff, not a bad choice. Nice price point. If you are looking for a primary machine? No. Get a full strength laptop.

2009-03-16

St. Pat's

I know St. Patrick’s is on Tuesday. But in Chicago, where contrary to popular myth, the don’t dye the river green*, this weekend was St. Patrick’s Weekend. Parades, green beer, bar specials. Years ago, I would go downtown drinking with friends. Never actually made the parade. Never saw them dye the river. Just drank heavily.

But, years go on, and then next thing you realize is that you haven’t done the St. Patty’s thing in 7 years.

So the other day, I got a note on my door from a neighbor who invited the others in the building (only 6 of the 9 units are sold) down to her place on Saturday for brunch and beer. Leah and I moved into the building on the same day. We kept running into each other that day, but have only seen each other three or four times since. But, when the cute doctor invites you down for beer, you go. Plus, her place is the mirror of mine, except that her den is closed off. And I was curious to see what she’d done with the joint.

There were some slight differences, but I really like the way she’d repainted a few rooms. But I prefer the color of the marble in my bath, and the decision to replace the “dining room” hanging light with the ceiling fan was confirmed.

Had a good time, and joined her and her crew on the pub crawl through the neighborhood afterwards. No great stories, but felt good being out with a group again on St. Pat’s.

And I got lei’d!


* They dye it GREENER. It’s always green.

2009-03-14

Yin / Yang - Cosmic Balance

The nasty, brutish real world has raised it ugly had and bitten a good number of our blog friends squarely in the ass this week.

Braja, who I don't know well, but see around, was in a terrible car accident. Vodka Mom and Sassy Britches are keeping us updated. At noon your local time ("when the sun is highest in the sky and shining upon us all."), they are asking you to observer a moment of silent prayer.

Dr. Zibbs and Sass both lost loved ones. My heart goes out to both of them. Even when there's nothing really to say, I know that simply saying "I love you both and am sorry for your loss," sounds hollow to say, but having been on the receiving end of those words, aren't hollow to hear.

But, I'm a believer in yin/yang and balance in the universe, so a little good news to all of you, too:

59 MINUTES!
O.B.A.M.A. - One Bad Ass Mother AwardNikki – One of my newest followers, had a baby yesterday. Please note the time of delivery and the time the blog entry posted! That's right, 59 minutes! She recently mentioned that she hadn't yet won any awards, well, I think we can all agree THAT is award worthy. So, Nikki, you are the second recipient of the Scope-Tech O.B.A.M.A! No, nothing to do with the dude in DC, "One Bad Ass Mother Award!"

Cora – For those of you who read Cora's blog, I'm sure you've deduced that there MIGHT be something going on between us. Well, yeah, the simple blog flirting turned into emails, which turned into friendship, which led to phone calls, which led to plans afoot for visits. For all of you Nosy Parkers out there, we're friends. But she does put a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. J (And yes, I called her, (And woke her, OOPS! Sorry! 2 Hour time diff.) before writing this. I'm dumb, but I'm not STOOPID!)

New Followers – It seems like I just did this the other day, but I want to thank some new folks for following my blog,
Random Real Estate, Lisa-tastrophies, raf, Real Live Lesbian, Skye, Char, Venom, and jadedj. Thanks for stopping by and sticking around.

So, I tried to do a little cosmic balancing today. Hope this starts the turn around. And don't forget teh silent prayer at noon, if that's your thing.

2009-03-13

Totally Awkward Thursday

So, Thursday, my company had a RIF (maybe 175 world wide out of 3,800). No, not "Reading Is Fun-damental"! "Reduction In Force." My job is as safe as any, but everyone is a little on edge. Survivor guilty was the order of the day. And this is going to echo and reverberate and totally crimp some of the more forward looking projects that I've been working on.

A few thoughts:

1 – You hate to see anybody lose their job, but when it was someone you didn't like and wanted to see leave, it's even worse, because you feel bad for NOT feeling so bad.

2 – Thanks for telling me ahead of time so that I can plan, but I planned for it to be local and limited. Knowing the general scope ("General Scope" :-) ) would have caused me to plan a little differently.

3 – When you are getting pulled out of meetings by people you don't normally work with, it looks suspicious. I have the damn BlackBerry in my hand. Send an email to me that says, "My office / 3 minutes." I'll slip out of the meeting.

4 – If you have been let go from your job, hanging around for 2 hours afterwards just makes the people trying to do their jobs feel uncomfortable. Say a quick good-bye. Maybe announce where you will be having lunch / drinking if anybody wants to join you, and then depart. Someone will pack your stuff for you.

2009-03-11

I'm Proud To Be A Canadian-American Idiot

A topic I have danced around for a while is my 'Canadian-American' label.





My father was born and raised in the greater '
Halbrite / Ralph Metropolitan Area' of Saskatchewan. (Due to urban sprawl, these once distinct community have been absorbed as outer suburbs of 'Greater Weyburn'.) Due to the luck of a very complicated series of events and changes in citizenship rules, when the family stopped ping-ponging between Illinois and Saskatchewan, my father was able to choose his mother's American citizenship, but his full blood sister was, and remained a Canadian citizen for most of her adult life. (She finally changed a few years back.)

I have enough kinfolk scattered all through the wind swept and desolate prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and in the lake dotted wasteland on western Ontario that it is a virtual certainty, that I know someone, who knows someone, who knows Poobomber.

I've been using the term 'Canadian-American' for years, mostly because I love how stupid it sounds. After all, you can't be ethnically 'Canadian' and Canadians, living on North America, are 'Americans' so to speak.

But you can have a little fun with your heritage.


We're due for another family reunion in a few years. Hope they let me in the country.

CUPCAKES!
Breast Cake Ever!

Tit for Tat
Jim Carrey's daugher has nice tats.

2009-03-10

Tech Tuesday

Ever since I moved into this condo, I've thought about getting a laptop. While the TV is easy to watch from my computer desk, it's not the most comfortable of chairs. And there are times when I would love to be online out on the balcony, or on the sofa, or in the bedroom. The BlackBerry Bold is somewhat handy, but have you ever tried to write a blog post on one? Not fun.

So, Sunday, I finally decided to pull the trigger. I bought a little
Acer Aspire One. (Not this exact model, but close.)

This is not a review of the Acer. I've only had it for two days, so I cannot give it a fair review.

This is the story of how it all went down.

I had been talking to a co-worker, Ann, about getting a laptop. And then I mentioned the whole "
netbook" thing. I was flip flopping between getting the $2,000 or the $350 netbook. Sunday I decided to go with the netbook, so I ran to Micro-Center around 1:00. After I putzed around the store for a while, but finally picked the model I wanted, got a wireless device, and was walking to service to get them to install the anti-virus (no CD-ROM drive on the little guy when I ran into Ann and her boyfriend. They were heading back to the laptop center. So we hung out until the machines were ready, and I gave them a lift home. Then a quick stop (HA!) at the grocery store, and I was finally home at 5:00.

Groceries put away, and at 5:58 I opened the wireless device. And realized INSTANTLY that it wouldn't work for me. (I needed to put the device between my DSL router and my desktop. So the device needed both an IN and an OUT. It only had an IN.) The store closed at 6:00. Crap! So I set up the computer instead. And at 6:50 I thought of Best Buy. And they closed at 7:00.

Screwed again!

But Monday, I got the right bits, and setup was a breeze.

During the setup, you have to name your access point. I can see "Kyle" and "Carly" and "Lutz Café". Boring. What should I name mine? "Virus Hive"? "Den Of Inequity"? I hope neighbor's appreciate my new access point name: "I Watch You Shower".

2009-03-09

Monday Memes

Last Wednesday, I got tagged for a meme by "The Gnu" (artist formerly known as Wilwarin) that she got from a friend. (Like the Gnu look. A lot easier to read than the purple type on the yellow background. But I do miss the old picture at the top. Maybe you could but it in your sidebar?)

The rules (slightly reworded):

1 - Write 5 things you love about yourself. Don't write about physical appearance unless it relates to another fact, e.g. you love how much better you look then someone else.
2 - Tag 5 other people by saying one fact you love about them.
3 - No tag backs. If you tag me I will bury you in a fire ants nest and cover you in honey.

My 5 Things:

1 – I LOVE how I play with the English language. Puns, double ententes, plays on words. Can't get enough.
2 – I LOVE that while once an athlete, I was never a jock.
3 – I LOVE that I am back to being creative again. I miss using that side of me.
4 – I LOVE that I'm not overly motivated by money. It's not about the $$$.
5 – I LOVE that while I don't have a lot of friends, I have had a lot of the same friends for over 15 years.

And then on Friday, my blog buddy, the sweet and charming Ms. Cora sent me a hug meme. All I have to do send out 10 hugs to people who make me feel special.

So my ten are: MelO, The Gnu, Sass, Gwen, Candy, Ms. Florida Transplant, Southern Belle, Nikki, Angie S., and SuperGidget The Bacon Lady.

2009-03-07

Spring Ahead

Daylight Savings Time tonight! Don't forget to set your clocks ahead an hour tonight.

This is as sure of a sign of spring as the battleship grey sky and the rain that we are having all weekend.

In 1988, I had been at my first job for a few months when "Fall Back" occurred. On the Monday after, it was 4:00 and my supervisor go up, put on his jacket, and got ready to leave. As he walked past, he could see that I was hard at work on a project, so said, "Don't stay too late tonight."

I looked back at him and said, "Ya know, it's only 4:00, right?" He looked at his watch, muttered, and sat back down at his desk, looking crushed.

When I stood up and put on my coat at 5:00, I turned to him and said, "Don't stay too late tonight."

Oddly, he didn't find that as funny as I did.

2009-03-04

Left Holding The Bag

Went out for a few and then a few more after work last night, got home, smashed, had a good long talk with a friend. Then took my drunk ass to bed. Totally forgot to write something up for this morning.

So, we're at the bar at the final wrap up stage. The group is old enough that we're all trying to make sure we put in plenty for the tab, and the guy with the credit card is trying not to make $100 off the deal. He signs off and heads out the door for his 9:40 train. Miss it and he's on a 10:40 train facing a PISSED OFF wife when he gets home.

So, 5 of us are milling around, the manager I work for, the manager everyone THINKS I work for, a guy who I used to work with and will be starting at my New Co. with in a week and a half, and his boss at Old Co. Yes, the Chicago legal IT world is so tight that you can have a "good bye" party and a "welcome" party wrapped in one, and the people who like each other and get along will show up and talk shop and bitch with people who deeply understand the issue, and the asshole stay away. Especially since there are like 15 people from Old Co working at New Co and everyone left on good terms.

We look down, and someone had left their backpack (not nearly as stylish as my
murse, but with about the same crap). After digging thru it and finding out that it belonged to the guy who was running the tab, cell phones get pulled, and they call him. They were hoping he had his keys, and they would just give it to him in the morning.

And his cell phone in the backpack started ringing.

Just as we were dialing his wife to let her know that we had it and for him not to panic, he showed up, got the bag, and hopped back in the cab to race for the train.

I and 2 others piled into a passing cab and cruised on back home.

2009-03-03

Not You iPod Meme

So, the other day when I was poking around Make Mine a Mojito in preparation for yesterday's 6° of Scope-aration II post and she had this cool Song Title Tag. It's like that iPod meme that was going around a while ago. Except you must pick one singer/artist and use only one song title to answer each question. And since I'm stealing it instead of getting tagged, I thought I'd better do it twice.

Pick a band/artist: Jimmy Buffett

1. Are you a male or female: "Lost Boy"
2. Describe yourself: "I've Got A School Boy Heart" (My theme song)
3. How do you feel about yourself: "Growing Older But Not Up"
4. Describe your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend: "Brown Eyed Girl"
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: "No Woman, No Cry"
6. Describe your current location: "I Heard I Was In Town"
7. Describe where you want to be: "Beach House On The Moon"
8. Your best friend is: "Bank Of Bad Habits"
9. Your favorite color is: "Perrier Blues"
10. You know that: "If The Phone Doesn't Ring It's Me"
11. What’s the weather like: "The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful"
12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: "Cultural Infidel"
13. What is life to you: "Trip Around The Sun"
14. What is the best advice you have to give: "Treat Her Like A Lady"
15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: "Captain America"

Pick a band/artist: The Beatles

1. Are you a male or female: "Bad Boy"
2. Describe yourself: "Day Tripper"
3. How do you feel about yourself: "I Am The Walrus"
4. Describe your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend: "Eleanor Rigby"
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"
6. Describe your current location: "Nowhere Man"
7. Describe where you want to be: "Strawberry Fields Forever"
8. Your best friend is: "With A Little Help From My Friends"
9. Your favorite color is: "Yellow Submarine"
10. You know that: "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey"
11. What’s the weather like: "Good Day Sunshine"
12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: "Fool On The Hill"
13. What is life to you: "Glass Onion"
14. What is the best advice you have to give: "All You Need Is Love"
15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: "Rocky Racoon"

2009-03-02

6° of Scope-aration II


It's back. I've been trying to do this again for a while, but it hasn't been as easy as you may think. Sometimes you end up in dead ends or in foreign language blogs. And it just kept getting more and more frustrating. And then Blogger started screwing around with followers! But with Friday's post about 2° of Separation in Facebook, I knew I had to bring this back.

We've all heard the theory. We've all played the Kevin Bacon game. Maybe we've even been to the
Oracle of Bacon to play the game. Now it's time for my little twist. Are you ready to play:

6° of Scope-aration.
So, starting with me, my blog is followed by:

1 am followed by Ms Florida Transplant of
Just a girl...And her dogs.-
2 is followed by amy (metz) walker of
Chapters
3 is followed by Megan
of Tales of the Trees
4 is followed by Living for the Little Moments of Living for the Little Moments
5 is followed by Candice of
Are We There Yet Candice...
6 is followed by Mojito Maven of Make Mine a Mojito

Her most recent posts are about
Bobby Flay's Moobs and a car worth > 3 X my condo price.

A woman after my heart, I tell you.

2009-03-01

I Am Mr. Roarke, Your Host, Welcome ...

I've been a very poor host. I'm sorry about that. Caught up in my entertaining duties, I have totally forgotten to welcome some of my new followers: Bee and Rose, Nej, Nikki, Ellie Great, Catrina, CHAKA, Just A Chic..., SaoirseDaily2, Paula aka. Zani, & J.J. in L.A.

So, welcome!

And while I don't want to be the host that lays down "house rules" a lot of blogs have kinda different vibes, and I don't know that I've ever explicitly set some of this down in words, and a snowy Sunday is a great day to meta-blog. (Blogging about blogging. Like meta-data is data about data, like the artist and album titles on your iPod. It's not the music, but it can give you important context for enjoying the music a little more. Or not. Depends upon you.)

1 - Like everyone, I love comments. Yes, I have a core group of commenters. They are really good people. From Candy and Gwen who were with me at the start, to Cora, who joined later. They all have one thing in common: they all left a first comment. You don't have to be in the core, a follower, or even a blogger to comment. All it takes is something to say.

2 - It doesn't have to be about the posting of the day. It can be about the "Quick Hit" over there --> too. Or anything. You can find my email address over in the...

3 - Sidebar. It's as important to me as the body, in some respects. The "Quick Hits" is my little side bar conversation with you. It's what's on my mind at the moment.

The "Oh The Places You'll Go" is set of photos that I've taken on my few travels. I plan on featuring them later. That's also where you'll find my followers. The heart and soul of blog. If you are on there, thanks. If you're not consider it. Or just keep popping in. I will also post fun widgets on occasions. At least fun for me.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: New Content]

4 - IDEAS - If you see something here that gives you a blog idea, go with it. Steal it. Run with it. Give it your own spin. Do it better. Do it funnier. Make me up my game. Zibbs, I'm DYING to hear your take on the super hearing devices.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: End of New Content]

Hope you enjoy your time you spend here. That's my goal.