Thursday, October 30, 2008

If you ever need a little bit of a pick-me-up and can stream video, go to this site. It's just a live cam trained on a pile of puppies doing what puppies do, but it is so incredibly sweet.

I missed 6 questions. I bet they were all in music, though that section seemed pretty easy to me...


Your result for The 80's Test...

The Master of the Universe!

You slapped a radical 24 out of 30 High-Fives!


Bodacious, you are truly the Ferris Bueller of 80's quizzes. Take this opportunity to lay back and drink your cherry cola, flip down your mirrored aviator sunglasses and listen to your favourite beats on your walkman - you deserve it!



If you enjoyed this test or have any suggestions at all on how to improve it, or even if you spotted a question thats just plain wrong, please let me know! My website is http://www.chimpwithalimp.com or you can catch me on OKCupid as "chimpwithalimp". I love to get messages of any kind so feel free to contact me.


Thanks,


Anthony (Proud child of the 80s)


Take The 80's Test at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Updates

I started writing a long post about church stuff Sunday or Monday at the laundromat (I can't remember what day I went). I have the draft saved, and I'll finish it and post it sometime.

Yesterday I had a migraine, but I didn't realize it until this morning. I only get them once or twice a year, and they aren't the debilitating kind that I know other people get, so I don't really do anything about them. But the one I had yesterday, combined with really, really bad cramps was enough to send me home from work. I know it's TMI for the fellows out there, but every now and then the first day of my cycle hits me really hard. Guess I was due.

Anyway, like I said, I didn't realize until this morning that it was a migraine. For a little while, I thought I was having a stroke or an aneurysim (I bet I spelled that wrong). One side of my head hurt, and 600 mg ibuprophen wasn't touching it. But then I realized that the pain wasn't all that bad, and not even the worst I'd ever had (that would be when I had an almost 105 degree fever when I had a staph infection that I didn't get treated in a timely fashion because I didn't have insurance). So then I decided I had a sinus infection on top of the monthly unpleasantness. That option is still on the table, actually, but for other reasons.

So this morning, when I was coherent again, I put all the pieces together - headache, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, hormones - and realized it was a migraine. When I get them, it's always on the first day of my period. Just thought you should all know that.

But that's not the reason I've gathered you all here. I want to share my plans for November, seeing as it is only three days(!) away.

Yes, I am doing NaBloPoMo again. So you may reliably expect a post of some sort from me every day in November.

But I have also decided to get serious about The Great American Novel. I really think I have something that could be publishable someday. But if I keep putting someday off, it will never come. I'm not going to go crazy and do NaNoWriMo, because I hate quantifying things. So what if I haven't written 1500 words today if the 500 I did get down are good? But I am going to commit to actually putting pen to paper - or pixels to screen as the case may be - on a regular basis during November.

November is also looking crazy at work. One of our junior writers will be out on paternity leave the first two weeks, and the rest of us will have to pick up the slack. I also have a feeling the guy I wrote about before who drives me crazy may be saying goodby this month. I could be completely wrong about that, however.

So that's my November. Just wanted to keep the world apprised.

Huh.

Yet another person I went to high school with died. I didn't know him well - just recognized the name. But that makes 6 that I know of from my graduating class of 221 who have died.

That seems like a lot, considering we are all only 37 or 38.

What's up with that?

Just to prove to you all just how much of a geek I am (as if there was any doubt in your minds), I am having to fight with myself to keep from buying the Face of Boe action figure from Amazon. I just think he would make a fantastic addition to the collection of crap on my desk.

And yes, I am aware that the fact that most of my readers don't know Doctor Who from Doctor Spock (the pediatrician, not the Vulcan) makes me an even bigger geek.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have a longer post in progress, but I feel the need to tell you all that I have had "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" stuck in my head since yesterday morning. It won't go away. I thought for a moment that "Enter Sandman" had replaced it when I heard it on the radio this morning, but no, it's back.

Who knew Martin Luther wrote earworms?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here's a fun little meme...



It's an oldie, actually, but I ran across it reading someone's archive today. I did this once before, but I don't think I posted it.




1. Go to this site. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.




2. Go to this site. The last four words of the last quote on the page form your album title.




3. Go to this site. The third picture on the page is your album cover. You may have to refresh to find one that you can copy, but you should not refresh otherwise.




4. Put it all together in the graphics program of your choice, and the results are your album cover.




I used Paint Shop Pro, which can't hold a candle to Photoshop, but is much cheaper.




Here is what I got:






This is the original photo, just to give the photographer, mevsim1, credit:


Friday, October 24, 2008

Interesting...

I do like Impressionism - and the description isn't too far off, either.


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

13 Impressionist, 5 Islamic, -1 Ukiyo-e, -10 Cubist, -4 Abstract and -9 Renaissance!


Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.


People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So, I'm just finishing what amounts to a 35 hour shift.

I'm not happy.

See, it all started earlier this week. The three junior writers in the department don't have any proposals of their own to work on at the moment, so they are supposed to help the senior writers. So one of them, dutifully, asked me on Tuesday if I had anything he could do. The answer on Tuesday was no. I was waiting for inputs from our technical people so I could prep for a review team, I was waiting on inputs from another company, basically, I was just waiting.

Well, all three of the boys apparently decided that that meant that I would never need any help, ever. On Thursday, when I could have started to use some help, one called off because his wife had the sniffles, and he didn't want to pass it to anyone else. Mind you, his wife was sick, not him. The other two were helping another one of the senior writers who had a proposal going out first thing Friday morning. One thought he was helping by printing the resumes, but they hadn't been reviewed yet, and they were incorrect. Another one took two hours to write a three paragraph letter, and another two hours to put together a box. Just to give you some perspective, I put together two boxes in five minutes today. Then he couldn't figure out how to print labels to put on the tabs for the binders, even though I have shown him more times than I can count. Then he decided he had to go home because his wife had the sniffles, too.

I try to be patient and tolerant of people with families and kids. I do. But sometimes I feel like the single among us really get the short end of the stick.

Anyway, I stayed and helped the person who had a Friday morning deadline, putting off my own stuff, which I now had in droves. If I hadn't, she wouldn't have made the deadline. She ended up working all night on Thursday. Yeah, she's single, too.

She gave the two junior writers who were "helping" her on Thursday a simple list of about 7 things. Nothing complicated, nothing that required research or writing (except for the three paragraph letter that took two freaking hours), but little detail things that had to get done for her proposal to meet deadline. With two of them working on it, it took them all day to accomplish what should have been the work of about 3-4 hours, at most. It would have been 3-4 hours for any of the senior writers. And the didn't finish everything!

So on Friday, needless to say, the person who had the proposal going out that morning did not come in at all. I wouldn't have either. And one of the junior writers decided he was going to take the day off because he had his 80 hours in for the week. No big loss - if it takes you 2 hours to tape up a box, I really don't need your help, thanks. The other senior writer had to leave early because she had a contractor coming to her house to see about post-Gustav repairs.

Now, that should have left two of the junior writers. But what do they do? They decide to take the day off because there wasn't anything for them to do.

Did they ask me if I had anything for them? No. Did I have anything for them? Oh, you betcha.

So that left me, by myself, to wrap this proposal. I had to make all of the review team changes (there were 134 comments that had to be addressed) because all of the technical people were either off, at a customer site, or traveling. I had to rewrite all of the input from the other company because it reached a new level of sucking (seriously - I would be ashamed to send writing of that quality to a teaming partner - let alone someone who has been and might be again a competitor some day). I had to make 16 tabs for each of 8 binders, I had to write a cover letter, and I had to do a hundred other little detail things that someone else could have done quite easily...allegedly.

But no, I was left on my own.

Oh, and did I mention that I woke up with a raging staph infection? I called my primary, but since I am a new patient to her, they wouldn't make any effort to get me in on Friday (the earliest she could see me was Wednesday, according to whoever answered the phone), and wouldn't prescribe antibiotics for me over the phone even though I knew what I had. So I called the dermatologist who has treated me for multiple staph infections in the past. She wasn't in, and because I haven't had one on over a year, she wouldn't prescribe over the phone either. I ended up having to take time out of my day that I could ill afford to go to the urgent care center, where the doctor looked at me for all of 30 seconds and prescribed the antibiotics I needed. He also charged me $30 more than either my primary or my dermatologist would have.

So yeah, I'm sick, I have a metric buttload of work to do, and all I want to do, frankly, is go home and get naked because whenever I have a staph infection, my clothes feel like sandpaper on my skin.

TMI. I know.

Instead, I worked in the office until 8, then worked at home from 9 until 6:30 this morning when I took a shower and dozed for about an hour and a half. Then I came back in. I wrapped my proposal at 4:40 p.m. Production alone took me almost 3 hours, because I had to do it myself.

I'm really, really frustrated. I've helped all the junior writers when they've been on deadline and were in danger of missing it because they messed something up. I'll pretty much bend over backwards to be a team player. Isn't that what you are supposed to do when you are part of a team?

For two of the junior writers, I blame it on their age. They are both in their early-to-mid 20's, and I'm discovering that that generation just thinks differently about work. They don't think twice about taking time off whenever they feel like it, sometimes they work kind of haphazardly, and honestly, they are just kind of immature. They have room and time to grow, however.

The other junior writer, though, is in his 40's. He is the one who takes very, very extended lunches almost every day, who disappears to go socialize around the building several times a day, can't tape up a box without help, and will never, ever manage to make tabs on his own. I feel for him, with a wife and a baby at home (though she is a nurse, so it isn't like he's supporting them all on his own). But it is really hard to be sympathetic toward someone who slacks off as much as he does.

I don't know what to do about it, though.

Sigh.

Well, I'm off to buy new glasses (I'm apparently even more blind than I was 18 months ago), and then I have to go shopping for baby gifts for one of the young guys who is about to have his first (well, his wife is about to, at any rate).

Have a lovely Saturday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food for Thought

A meme about food floating around. Someone came up with a list of things you should eat before you die. If you want to play, bold the ones that you've eaten.



1. Venison. Like it, but don't love it.
2. Nettle tea.
3. Huevos rancheros. - I'm not a fan of eggs, though
4. Steak tartare.
5. Crocodile. - No, but I've had alligator
6. Black pudding/Blood pudding/Blutwurst. - Yes, but I didn't like it at all.
7. Cheese fondue.
8. Carp.
9. Borscht. - Beets. Eww.
10. Baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari. - I've also had pickled squid. Can take or leave both
12. Pho. - Tried it, but didn't like it..
13. PB&J sandwich. - Every day for two straight years in 5th and 6th grade. I haven't had one since.
14. Aloo gobi.
15. Hot dog from a street cart. In New Orleans
16. Epoisses.
17. Black truffle. - Got to try a teeny, tiny piece at a food tasting for charity here. Yum.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. Manechewitz Blackberry Wine. Cheap and full of alcoholy goodness.
19. Steamed pork buns. - At our Christmas party last year. It had this weird Asian/Louisiana theme.
20. Pistachio ice cream. - Don't eat nuts ever.
21. Heirloom tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries. - Elderberries. Yum
23. Foie gras. I will eat muscles from animals, but not organs. Except for chicken hearts.
24. Rice and beans. - Yes, but I pick the beans out. Just like I pick the pecans out of pecan pie.
25. Brawn, or headcheese. - see organ comment above.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper. - I can barely handle jalepenos.
27. Dulce de leche. - Heaven.
28. Oysters. - Not my favorite shellfish, though.
29. Baklava. - Heaven, despite the nuts.
30. Bagna cauda.
31. Wasabi peas. - Didn't know what I was eating. WAY too hot.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. - Highlighted because I have had both clam chowder and soup in a sourdough bowl. Not together, however.
33. Salted lassi.
34. Sauerkraut. - I'm pretty sure they would take away my German membership card if htis wasn't bolded. Honestly, though, I don't like it. I should, because I like cabbage and I like pickled thing, but I don't
35. Root beer float.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. - Yuck, to both
37. Clotted cream tea. - Not a fan of clotted cream. Guess they'll be taking away my British card now.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O. - Is it possible to make it out of your 20's without having at least one Jello shot? I think not.
39. Gumbo. - At least weekly.
40. Oxtail. - My dad used to buy this all the time. He liked Oxtail soup. It's OK, I guess.
41. Curried goat. - UGH! Not a fan of curry (though used judiciously, it's OK), and I could never, ever eat goat. They are too cute!
42. Whole insects. - Not on purpose, anyway
43. Phaal.
44. Goat's milk. - Not a fan at all.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$130 or more. - Don't like whisky, and wouldn't waste my money on something like that.
46. Fugu/Pufferfish. - Can't see this without thinking of The Simpsons. Wouldn't eat it, though.
47. Chicken tikka masala. - One of few Indian dishes I can stand.
48. Eel. - Tried a friend's when we went to a Japanese restaurant. Didn't like it. I had tempura shrimp.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut. - Of course. I like Mary Lee better. In fact, Krispy Kreme had to close several locations here because they couldn't compete with Mary Lee, a local chain. Go local guys! (Starbucks faced the same thing here. Go CC's!)
50. Sea urchin.
51. Prickly pear.
52. Umeboshi.
53. Abalone. - Food tasting again.
54. Paneer.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal. - Seriously. I can't stand the sauce.
56. Spaetzle. - YUM. We used to put spaetzle in soup instead of noodles.
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV. - Don't like beer. Yet another threat to my German cred.
59. Poutine. - All of the components of this are wonderful, but the thought of putting them together creeps me out a little.
60. Carob chips. - Blech.
61. S'mores. - I've been camping.
62. Sweetbreads. - See organ comment.
63. Kaolin.
64. Currywurst.
65. Durian.
66. Frogs' legs. - Food tasting again.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake. - Deep fried dough and powdered sugar. Does it get any better?
68. Haggis. - Organs, again
69. Fried plantain. - They're OK, but not as good as I thought they should be.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette. Is andouillette the same as andouille sausage? If so, then I've had that, but not chittterlings. No organs.
71. Gazpacho. - Not bad.
72. Caviar and blini.
73. Louche absinthe. - The literary part of me would like to try this, but the idea freaks me out a little.
74. Gjetost, or brunost.
75. Roadkill. No, no, no, no...
76. Baijiu.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - Used to get those in my lunch box, too. Haven't eaten them since, either.
78. Snail. - Food tasting again. Yuck.
79. Lapsang souchong. - Didn't care for it. Too strong a smoky taste.
80. Bellini.
81. Tom yum.
82. Eggs Benedict. Don't like it.
83. Pocky. - Eh. I'd rather have traditional shortbread.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. - HAHAHAHAHAHA.
85. Kobe beef. - Tiny piece at the food tasting.
86. Hare.
87. Goulash. - It's OK. Not a fan of tomatoes and meat in the same dish, though.
88. Flowers.
89. Horse. - Blerg.
90. Criollo chocolate.
91. SPAM. - Yeah. Yuck.
92. Soft shell crab. - Fairly inexpensive around these parts.
93. Rose harissa.
94. Catfish. - Duh. I do live in Louisiana.
95. Mole poblano.
96. Bagel and lox. - Don't like lox, though.
97. Lobster Thermidor. - Never had lobster, but I've had crawfish. Those are like tiny little lobsters, right?
98. Polenta. - Not a fan at all. Don't like the texture.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. - I don't drink coffee.
100. Snake. - People have tried to convince me on this one, but no one has succeeded.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Regardless of how you feel about the war, or anything else, I defy you to watch the video Andrew Sullivan embedded in this entry and not cry.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This news story was sent to you by request

post-gazetteNOW A news story has been electronically sent to you by Sheryl

Sheryl has sent you this news story from post-gazette.com with the following message:

Read this column by Tony Norman. I couldn't put my finger on what bothered me about Sarah Palin (beyond the obvious) before, but he nails it. I'll comment more later.
Click here to access the story:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08281/918018-153.stm

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm glad I don't believe in reincarnation...

...because this is really, really scary...



Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Lol Cat


After much consideration, we have decided to make you a LolCat.



Actually, there wasn't much consideration at all. It was the easiest decision we've made all day.



Why? Because, according to your answers, you want to have your good times, but don't seem too interested in all that "other stuff." You know... civilization, adventure, that sort of thing.



We hope you like being fluffy.



I don't know... Can you has cheezburger?

Take Reincarnation Placement Exam at HelloQuizzy

I really regret the fact that, in one move or another, I managed to lose almost all of my teenage writings.

Because, seriously, I wrote some angst-ridden poetry that would be perfect for an event like this.

One of my "poems" ends with the following three lines. Thankfully, my brain has spared me from remembering the rest of it.

The destruction of joy
The absence of hope

The Death of a Dream.


I had a tendency to be a wee bit melodramatic over really, really tiny things back then. I don't remember exactly the circumstances under which I graced the world with that...dreck, but I do remember that it was my freshman year of high school (and isn't 14-15 the best time to write angst filled poetry?) and I was convinced that every dream I had ever had in my whole entire life had been shattered by...something. I wrote in on the back porch of the house in Pittsburgh, in my pink calico print journal, probably while waiting for the sun to set - just to make sure the mood was right.

If I can say nothing else about my college career, I am grateful to the professor TG called "The Taskmaster" in a comment to a previous post for convincing me when I took her creative writing class that I was not a poet. Not even a little bit. Not even for pretend.

Ohio Readers...

Michelle Obama wants me - personally - to reach out to everyone I know in Ohio and tell them to vote for Barak Obama on November 4th.

So, Tim, TG, and other-Ohio-reader-who-appears-in-my-stats-every-now-and-then-and-who-I-think-I-know-who-you-are-but-I-respect-your-anonymity...consider yourselves reached out to.

Seriously, though, vote for who you think is the best candidate. If it's Obama, fine. If it's McCain, fine. If it's Barr, fine. If you decide to write in your high school ceramics teacher, who you are pretty sure was high three days out of five, that's fine, too (what do you mean, I'm the only one who had one of those?).

The important thing is taking part in the democratic process, even when your choices suck.

I guess.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Prosperity?

Just read this article from Time.

There are a lot of churches down here in the Bible belt that preach the prosperity Gospel. You see them all the time if you flip through the channels late at night or early in the morning. And it always makes me mad.

I don't understand how these "churches" can be tax exempt. They prey on their congregants, and the pastor lives the high life. But the congregants are all for that (the high life part, not the preying) because it is an example of God's largesse. But that largesse is coming from their pockets, which keeps them down while they are waiting for their miracle. It's a twisting of the actual Gospel message, and it makes me mad.

And yes, I know I have been cantankerous for a few weeks now. I guess it's the post-hurricane, early fall blues. I'll get over it eventually.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I just ate a turkey sandwich that tasted an awful lot like ham.

It's a good thing I'm not Jewish or Islamic, because I'm pretty sure it was ham.

Sigh.

Regular readers and folks who know me outside of the internet probably all know where I stand politically, which is on reason I avoid talking about politics on my blog. The fact of the matter is, that I have political views that are probably to the left of most of my readers, though how far to the left is debatable.

Still, I have to share this little slideshow because I found it really, really funny. Plus, it really encapsulates how a lot of people on my side of the political aisle are starting to feel about the VP candidate from the other side.

And I'll let you try to figure out who is who in that comment.