Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Found Some Talent

With help, I found some talent on the web. This guy is currently drawing the characters in my favorite TV show, Lost. Go here to see his work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Damn - Sick again

My cold has become a monster. I set the alarm so I could get up and go to "work" this morning, but instead I called in sick. What was a small cold yesterday is a big cold today. Now I'm stuck between going to work/class and possibly making everyone else sick (which I'm strongly against) and staying home and missing a lot of important information. I've even considered buying one of those medical facemasks so I can go in without spreading my germs. But I think it might drive me crazy. I'm on the horns of a dilemma.

If you have an iPod you probably need one of these.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sometimes I dislike myself

A three-day weekend, but I didn't do anything. Nothing. Well, except for computer things.

I need to replace my mailbox. Didn't do that. (The one I have is very unsteady.) I need to clean the house. Didn't do that. I need to clean out my car. Didn't do that. I'm just too stinkin' tired! (Still.) I haven't resolved the tiredness issue, and it still haunts me whenever I have free time.

On the indoor-tasks-that-take-little-effort side, I did upgrade my Dave Barry website so it looks more like the old site. Due to a huge brain fart and the failure of a Zip disk, I lost the site for awhile. Thank God for the Internet Archives "Wayback" Machine. They save EVERYTHING!! I managed to get the whole site back and, with a little work, it's back up with Dave "dancing" on the home page like he used to do. Next I'm going to tackle my pussy games website. I lost that one in the same brain fart.


I have caught a little cold. I have a sore throat and sinus issues. So far it hasn't gotten too bad because I've been taking Zinc Lozenges. These are great things if you follow directions. They do the same thing as the more expensive Zicam, but but they're much cheaper. Instructions on the Equate (Wal-Mart) brand say to suck on one as soon as you feel the earliest symptoms. Then suck on one every three hours. You must suck. You musn't chew. This releases a measured amount of zinc into your body which helps your immune system fight the cold. Buy the store brand, either at Walgreens or Wal-Mart or at whatever drug store you have in your neighborhood. They're called "Zinc Lozenges." You'll find them near the Zicam and other cold medicines. I've also been taking the generic "NyQuil" at night.

I guess I could use this as an excuse for not doing anything productive, but I won't.

Land of the Lost

No doubt because of the new movie, The SciFi channel is having a Land of the Lost marathon tonight. I used to watch that show every Saturday morning while I was cleaning the house. That is, until they added new characters and the show got dumb. Or dumber, depending how you look at it. It's great to see it again.

Real Bad News

My step father, Jake, who is getting more and more frail with age, fell and broke his neck. Except for a great amount of pain and some sort of gizmo that he has to wear, he's doing okay. Mom is okay, too. She spends the day with him at the hospital. Eventually, once he can walk (with a walker), he'll be transferred to a nursing home. This was a very bad experience when he broke his leg a few years ago. Plus, Charlie was alive, so he could help out when the nursing home idiots acted like idiots. Charlie's not there anymore.


I'm doing laundry and cooking, preparing for work next week. Some guy kept bringing home made enchiladas to work last week, so tonight I'm cooking enchilada casserole. Yum.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Rant: Today's Youth

I know I've written about this before*, but I'm in a new environment now, and the young people I spend the day with are annoying me in different ways!!

I've spent the last two weeks in a classroom environment, being trained for my new job, with people of various ages. I am, without a doubt, the oldest. The youngest are in their early 20's. And they're driving me crazy.

If you're normal, you gain a lot of wisdom over the years. The more years, the more wisdom. I like to think I'm normal and, therefore, wise. These young people are smart, but they are far from wise. For example, regardless of the dress code, they want to wear what they want to wear. We were given an extensive description of several styles of "flip-flops" on the first day. These kids still are wearing flip-flops to work (class). Same with their clothing. These young women are not bashful, and there is far too much cleavage in the classroom. We were also told "no cleavage" - no breast cleavage, no butt cleavage. I've seen too much of both.

These people will be talking over the instructor, who tells them to be quiet. They will stop talking for a couple of seconds and then continue until the instructor has to be mean about it.

And there are those who think they know everything and want you to know they know everything. They don't wait for the instructor to call on them - they just blurt out the answer. Today I asked the instructor a question and one of the students started to answer it. This made both of us angry (the instructor more so than me). Later I was trying to find something on the computer and one of the other students was "helping" me. I knew where to "click" but was not ready to "click." The other student kept saying "top link, top link, top link" until I made a gesture (no, not THAT one) that got him to stop.

Because of the environment (a lot of personal information), we are absolutely forbidden to have a cell phone out. It must be turned off and put away in a pocket or a purse or wherever. But guess what. As soon as the instructor leaves the classroom for a few minutes or we go on break, there are a half-dozen cell phones on and playing music or ringtones or whatever. No one is making calls, but the cell phones are out and turned on. Today, the ninth day of class, the instructor had to get angry and reemphasize that their cell phones will unequivocally be confiscated if she sees them out and turned on. And God help the student who is caught taking pictures (which one of our students did early in the course).

I have to tell you this, though, in all fairness. First, I am certain that 22 years of military life has made me a little less tolerant of the lack of discipline than your average older person. Second, I see flip flops and cleavage out on the floor, too, where the actual work is being done by people who have been here since the site opened (over one year ago), so that takes credence away from anyone trying to teach or enforce the rules.

Still, I am irked.

*at least, I think I did, but I can't find the post

In Other News

I am fairly certain that I am going to do very well in this new job. I know it will be extremely stressful the first couple of weeks, but I have been assured by everyone I've spoken with that the stress will pass. I believe them. I have sat side-by-side with people who are actually doing the job and in each case my thought was, "I'm going to be better than this person." I know that because I know myself. I like to be the one who can answer the hard questions - the one you go to when no one else knows the answer, or the procedure. I did that at Wal-Mart. I did it at Walgreens. I will do it at Convergys.

Cute Boys*

Our primary instructor was out for two days with a sick child. Our substitutes were two young guys from Canada. They were fun and not at all bad on these old eyes! They kept trying to tell us they didn't have an accent, but it lept at us every time they said "out" or "about," or when they said a word like "package." It came out "pah-kage." We had fun those two days, but we still learned what we were supposed to learn!

*I'm 55 years old. They were in their late 20's. I can call them "boys." (Although that puts a robbing-the-cradle sort of slant on the story.)

The End

I'm going to go eat a bowl of strawberry cheesecake ice cream and then go to bed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Movie: Taken (2008)

A former spy relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been forced into the slave trade.

Very good. Liam Neeson was believable as daddy ex-spy. Overall I have to say that I enjoyed the whole movie.

One problem: It's a good thing that all the bad guys are lousy shots! There were some places where you have to suspend disbelief. There were many "wasn't it lucky" moments. But that wouldn't prevent me from recommending it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lost, Work, and Stuff

I just finished watching the season finale of Lost! SON OF A BITCH!!!! I knew it was gunna kick ass! It's gunna be hard to have to wait at least eight months for the final season! Now would be a good time to watch the whole series again, starting with the first episode.

Now we sort of know what's going on. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and we still don't know how it will end. I'm going to enjoy reading all the speculations on the (news)groups. I have my own thoughts, but so far all my Lost predictions have been wrong! Well, except for one and I don't remember what that was.


It's going well. So far it seems like something I'm going to enjoy. I've been on time all three days. I think I can keep it up. I got a little sleepy this afternoon, but I drank a "5-hour Energy" drink and felt more awake.


Have you seen the new Subway commercial(s) where the extremely untalented people are singing the "five dollar footlong" jingle? It's awful, right? Yet they give you a URL so you can go to a website and see more. Who in the hell would want to see more of that?!!

I have to get to bed now. I'd already be asleep if it wasn't for the Lost finale. I've been getting up at about 4:45 a.m. in order to make it to work on time. I have to be there by 7:00 a.m. and it's a 30-minute drive. That gives me enough time to shower, dress, feed the furchildren, and get a lunch ready. I also microwave some "Bagelfuls" and eat them on the way to work. They're extremely easy to eat while driving! I'd like to work in some coffee somehow, but for now I'm drinking a can of diet Mt. Dew with my Bagelfuls. (It has lots of caffeine.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Day at the New Job

So far so good. Today was a pretty easy day. It was the first day of training, and all of the day was spent on going over administrative things. I had no problem staying awake, much to my surprise, but I had to give one of my 5-hour Energy drinks to another student. I told him he had to bring his own from now on.

Even though the classroom is on the second floor, I had a small problem with ants at my computer station. They were just scouts that moved on once they realized there was no food around. Hopefully that will be the end of them. They looked like fire ants. I don't want to find out for sure if they are. That would require someone (me) to experience some pain. I've experienced fire ant pain on several levels. Don't want to do that again.

Lunch sucked. I knew there were vending machines, so I didn't bring anything with me except a lot of change. Unfortunately there was nothing but crap in the "food" machine. I selected a microwave sloppy joe. Yuck. YUCK! It was worse than I ever expected. On my way home I stopped at the supermarket and got some decent selections for the rest of my lunches this week.

When I worked at Wal-Mart and Walgreens, I didn't have to worry too much about lunch. There was always something I could buy at the store for lunch, if I didn't bring anything or didn't go out for lunch. This is the first actual job I've had for quite some time where I have to plan for lunch in advance. Or eat crap.

I also stopped and got my oil changed. I thought that would be a good idea since I'll be doing more driving.

I think this will work out nicely, as long as I can get my butt out of bed and get to work on time! That will undoubtedly be the hardest part.

And now, as I expected, I am getting tired. It's not even dark outside yet. I'm going to go throw some clothes in the dryer and then I'm going to bed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Productive Weekend

I actually accomplished something this weekend. I cleaned both aquariums and I cleaned up the TV room. That may not sound like much to you, but for me that's quit an accomplishment! Oh, and I did laundry, too, but I do that a lot.

And it was an actual "weekend" for me. That was a rare thing while I was working in retail. You never really know when your days off will be until someone publishes a schedule. This is the weekend between my old job and my new job, and I'll have actual weekends for at least five more weeks while I go through training.

I have to say that I've been ever so slightly tempted to not go tomorrow morning. Why? Because work depresses me. Any work. Well, any work outside the home. I know I'd be much happier if I didn't have to go to work. But there's that money factor. The fact that I need money to pay for stuff, like food, lodging, vet care for my pets. So I'll get up before dawn and shower and put on my jeans (yay!) and drive to my new job. Who knows - I may actually enjoy it!

I still need a lanyard for my badge.

Movie: Holiday

Half okay, half not so okay. The scenes in England between Jude Law and Cameron Diaz left a lot to be desired. The acting wasn't very good, imho. The dialogue seemed unreal. The acting seemed manufactured. The other half of the film was okay. The scenes between Kate Winslet and Jack Black in Los Angeles seemed a lot smoother and more believable. The acting was better. I'd put this on the what-to-watch-when-there's-nothing-else-to-watch list.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Finished with retail! (For now)

Last day at Walgreens. Didn't feel any different. My very last customer told the manager that I was a super (I think that was what she said) employee! They're gunna miss me. I'm not tooting my own horn - honest. I'm just very good at what I do. I took special care of the customers and their photo orders. I fixed other peoples' mistakes. I could fix problems with the machines that no one else could fix. If I could have worked in the photo lab all the time and not had to do all the other stuff (stocking, cleaning the bathrooms, emptying the trash, unloading the truck, sweeping the floor, facing/zoning, and the myriad small tasks that had to be done, etc., etc.), and if I could have SAT DOWN, I would have been happier about my job. I know I'm not really that old, but my body needs much more rest than one gets working retail.

About my new job: I've had equal numbers of people tell me I'm going to hate it as I'm going to love it. I was assured that, by the end of training (if not sooner), I'd know if I was going to enjoy the job.

One thing I hadn't thought about was the initial period of extreme stress once the training is over and I "go live" taking care of customers. But now I'm ready for that and I realize that it's going to be temporary. I'll get through it.

Today I actually got an e-mail welcoming me to the company and giving me instructions for Monday morning. Do most companies do this? It seems very unusual, and very nice.

I bought a lanyard for my new work badge. It's too short. When did lanyards get so short? Is this a result of the poor economic condition of the country? Can I expect longer lanyards to come back once the economy heals? Come Monday I will be lanyardless. That's gunna throw everything off. Damn.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time For Change (Almost)

Two more days at Walgreens, then the weekend off, then I start my new job. I'm a little scared. Not that I can't do the job. I can. It's a very simple job. What I'm a little scared of is that I'm still suffering from this "chronic fatigue" and yet I'm starting a new job. For the first five weeks I have to show up at 7:00 a.m. and I'm not allowed to miss a single day because I'll be in training. It's going to be harder than hell to get out of bed that early! I'm going to have to set my alarm for 3:00 a.m. just to be sure I'm out of bed by 5:00 a.m. And I'm going to have to ingest a LOT of caffeine while this training is going on, I think.

My boss at Walgreens hasn't chosen to talk to me about why I'm leaving or where I'm going. That surprises me. My guess is that he's made some assumptions and he's sticking with them. Just to stifle those assumptions a bit, I asked him the other day, "If this thing with Convergys doesn't work, will you let me come back?" He just gave me an evil laugh!

What I really need, since Publisher's Clearing House doesn't seem to be coming to see me any time soon, is to be self-employed. I've got several ideas, but I guess I'm just worried that I wouldn't make enough money to survive.

I think I'm going to get busy getting a sales tax permit from the state so that I can do something to make my own money. I'll see how it goes then decide if I should quit my job!

I also have ideas for two great products, but I have no idea how to get them made or who I can trust with my ideas. So I have the potential to get rich quick, but have no idea how to go about it. Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's good to be remembered!

Although I suppose it depends on what you're remembered for.

I got an e-mail from an old boyfriend. One I think about often. Art and I dated while stationed in Germany, back in 1973-74. He was incredibly cute and sexy. But I was dumb and things went wrong. Worked out great for him, though. He's been married thirty-some years and has a daughter.

It's nice wandering through memories of old times. What a good and fun life I've had. Oh, of course some things have gone wrong. But overall life has been good to me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I did it

I gave my two-weeks notice, and I start my new job on May 11. I'm a little scared. I suppose that's normal.

I've never liked working in retail, so I'm going to try something different. Customer service! I should have some funny stories to tell. And I should have some horror stories to tell!

I wonder if it was the Swine Flu

I had a fever, I was coughing, I felt like crap. There was another symptom I didn't blog about out of respect to my readers!! I wonder if it was Swine Flu. But if it was, no one else around me has had it. I've had a flu shot, so it wasn't one of "those" flus. I'm going with a mild case of swine flu. Hey - it was my flu and I can call it whatever I want!! I am, after all, in Texas.