Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Wednesday the 17th
As part of our comprehensive retirement plan Donna and I play the Powerball Lottery every drawing. We will plop down $10 and get a quick pick set of numbers that are good for the next 5 weeks of Wednesday and Friday drawings.
Letting the machine pick the numbers for us is the best way to go. We used to play some family birthdays, but never won anything so what good are they. Besides, we had more than 6 birthdays to choose from, so we had to leave some numbers off. Then what would have happened if we were to miss the jackpot by one number and that one number was one of the omitted birthdays. How would we feel towards the person who had the birthday number that was wrong? How would we feel towards the person whose birthday we left off and would have won it for us?
When you go to a Chinese restaurant and you get a fortune cookie now a days they include a set of “lucky” numbers for the lottery. Well, a couple of years ago I got a fortune that said, “Financial prosperity is coming your way!” Seeing this as a good omen, I tucked it into my wallet with the intention of giving those numbers a try, but never got around to it.
Yesterday while chatting with a co-worker (Hi, Mark) I mentioned that seeing as the Powerball was up to 180 million that just maybe I’d go buy an extra shot at the prize. I told him about my lucky numbers and he asked to see my fortune slip. I thought he was kidding when he wrote them down and said he was going to play them. This morning he told me that he really bought a ticket using those numbers.
Tonight on the way home from getting our hair cut I stopped at a quick mart and bought a ticket using the “lucky” numbers too. Had to. Just imagine how I would have felt if he hit with those numbers that I had been carrying around in my wallet for years and never played. That’s right, the only thing left to do at that point would be Seppuku.
Life of the Party or Annoying Guest?
Monday the 5th
When I went for my esophagogastroduodenoscopy (I just love that word, I can’t say it, but boy does it look impressive written down) on Friday, I had a hospital arrival time of 7:30 and a procedure time of 8:30. Donna dropped me off about 7:15 so she could get to work at her normal hour. The patient registration clerks were ready and efficient, so when I entered the Endoscopy Lab where I was to have my procedure, I was very early. All the nurses were sitting in a big circle drinking coffee, cutting up and laughing. When I was noticed, everyone quieted down and one of the nurses directed me to the waiting room and told me they would call me when they were ready for me. They were probably having a morning staff meeting or something, but they sure were a happy bunch with all that laughing.
Whatever the feel good juice is that they give you before the scoping, it is awesome. One of the nurses stuck the needle in the IV and said this will take about 5 minutes to kick in. I looked up at the clock and saw that it was 9:05 and I thought that I better remind the doctor that I wanted a picture of my insides, when the next thing I knew I was in the recovery area and a nurse asked if I wanted a Coke to drink. Memories of the next hour or two are very scattered, for me. My wife will tell you different. Apparently I babbled on and on, repeating everything I said two or three times. Donna even tells me I was tormenting the other patients, particularly a woman who was in for a colonoscopy. I have zero recall of any of this. I wonder what else I was saying?
Over the weekend I figured out what all those nurses were laughing at when I walked in on them Friday morning and why they went so silent so fast. They were probably comparing notes on how their patients had acted and what they said while under the influence of the anesthesia the day before.
I expect they all had a pretty good laugh about me at this morning’s meeting.
Saturday the 24th
We went for a nice long walk in Hitchcock Woods this morning and boy was it crowded. We saw 4 people on horses and three people walking their dogs. One of our favorite pastimes while walking is to make up elaborate histories of people who have trails named after them. Mrs. Knox, Mr. Fletcher, Willie Barton, etc. This “lane” is named for the great Civil War General Beauregard Nimrod who died in 1864 while either defending Aiken from the vile northern aggressors or from friendly fire after berating the beloved company mess sergeant because he felt his grits were undercooked.
From Ask Yahoo:
The American Heritage Dictionary offers two distinct definitions of a nimrod — either a hunter, or a person regarded as silly or foolish. The dictionary goes on to explain that the second meaning probably originated with the cartoon character Bugs Bunny. The wily Bugs used the term in its original sense to refer to dithering hunter Elmer Fudd, whom he called a “poor little Nimrod.” Over time, however, the “hunter” meaning got dropped, and the “dithering” connotation stuck.
I Know Why He Did It
Tuesday the 17th
While in DC the other week, after we walked to a lot of the war memorials in West Potomac Park we headed over to the Tidal Basin to see if we could find any cherry trees that still had blossoms on it. Unfortunately there were only a few. There are about three or four varieties of cherry trees planted around the basin so that some of them bloom at different times, but during our walk we only came across about three trees that looked like they were at their peak. Because of the great distances between bloomed trees, my dream of a sweeping panorama of blooming trees with the Jefferson Memorial in the background (very postcard-like) was squashed. I did take a couple of close ups of one blooming tree. As we strolled along I was looking down reviewing my last pictures when – SMACK -my head hit a low hanging branch. I know now why George Washington chopped down that cherry tree. It wasn’t bad enough to make me see stars, but I did decide from then forward that I would wait until I was stopped to look down at the camera’s LCD.
I Can See Still See In The Dark
Wednesday the 23rd
Today was Donna and my annual eye exams. Good news is that neither of us have any issues nor have our eyes changed enough to warrant getting new glasses.
We went mid afternoon and some six hours later the drops they put in your eyes to dilate them has not entirely worn off. I think I could take a book into a closet and read it with the light off. You know your pupils are open wide when the little WinXP screensaver (bouncing logo on black background) has a bright rainbow hued halo around it.
I remember a couple of years ago we went late afternoon and by the time we left the Eye Guy’s place it was dusk. The sun was down but the sky was still light. Most cars were driving with their lights on and both headlights and taillights were giving off these awesome starburst patterns. Even the traffic signals looked like they were being viewed through a starburst filter. Very cool effect, but it was difficult to concentrate on actually driving and not running into anything while looking at all the pretty lights.
Sunday the 3rd
We expected a Sebring for our convertible rental in Seattle, but ended up in a PT Cruiser. Not a lot of trunk room in it, more than a Miata, but nowhere near as much space as in a Sebring. It was a smaller car than we normally get, so you would have thunk it would be easier to maneuver in tight spots, but you would be wrong. It had the turning radius of a bus, which I guess goes right along with the very high seating position. I’ve always kind of liked the looks of the PT Cruiser and the convertible has only 2-doors which I think looks even better than the standard 4-door version, but apparently it is not as distinctive as I thought. On one of our ferry rides we were stopped next to a car load of twenty-something females and the driver asked me what kind of car we were in. I replied, “PT Cruiser.” “Oh,” she says, “I thought it was a Beetle.”
Un Happy Meal
Monday the 16th
On our way back to the hospital in Florence on Saturday, Susie asked if I would stop at a McDonald’s so young Katlin could get a Happy Meal. Ever the obliging driver I spotted a Mickie D’s and got in the drive up line. Susie also wanted a Snack Wrap or something for herself. Because the only thing I have ordered at a McDonald’s Drive Up in the last three decades is a Hot Fudge Sundae, Susie would tell me what to repeat into the microphone; in essence translating McDonald’s speak through me. After we ordered and the team member inside told us, “Dat ill be foe six dee.” I got to repay the earlier favor by translating Southern for Susie, and told her that the total for the food was four dollars and sixty cents.
At the second window we received our two bags of stuff. Susie’s wrap in one and the Happy Meal in the other. When Susie pulled out the toy from the Happy Meal bag it was a Monster Wheel obviously intended for a boy. I tried to hand it back to the team member in the window saying, “Could we get a girl’s toy?” She wouldn’t take it back; they were all out of girl’s toys. With no Hello Kitty toy on the horizon and rather than get nothing, Katlin excepted the neon green wheel thing with a frown.
To try and lighten the moment I told Katlin that I guess she didn’t get a Happy Meal after all, but instead she got an Un Happy Meal.
Well, I thought it was funny.
Thursday the 9th
Yesterday at 2:35 PM I scraped my arm. The nurse and I spent 20 minutes treating it. We then spent the next 15 minutes examining the scene of the crime and recreating the event. We then called in the maintenance supervisor to have him look at the offending junction box cover and he then got a maintenance guy to remove the cover, smooth off the sharp edge and then replace it. Another 30 minutes used up. From there we ended up in my boss’s office while he, the nurse, and I filled out the accident report, spending another half hour. Pretty much killing the rest of the work day.
Today the nurse spent almost 2-1/2 hours with me, driving me to two different doctor’s offices, so I could get my tetanus shot. (At the first place we went, the front office person “couldn’t get me in the computer”, so we left after an hour.) Back at the plant we spent the next 45 minutes together to 1) re bandage the cut because the doctor did a lackluster job after he spent all of 10 seconds looking at it, 2) filling out the appropriate paperwork to have me take a drug test and 3) me peeing in a cup and her testing it. Later my boss brought around the accident report for me to sign (anther 2 minutes, but who knows how long it took to complete it.)
Next week the Director of Operations, the Facilities Manager, the HR Manager, my supervisor, his Manager, the supervisor of the department I was passing through and his manager will meet to discuss how to prevent this from happening again. More than likely after all of these folks spend an hour in a room, a maintenance man will be dispatched to reroute the offending junction box and it’s associated conduit, another maintenance man will be dispatched to place yellow tape on the floor to designate an official aisle and the department supervisor will spend a half an hour instructing his people not to place pallets in the new aisle.
This was not considered a lost time accident, even though over 8 man hours have been spent on it so far, with lots more to come, because I did not “miss” any work.
As a bonus, as far as OSHA is concerned it is not a recordable accident because I did not require stitches, x-rays, or antibiotics (tetanus shots don’t count) so our company’s accident free hours numbers don’t get reset.
Dedo de la Mantequilla
Tuesday the 4th
Once every couple of weeks I’ll have a snack attack and head into the cafeteria to quench it. My usual extinguisher of choice is Lance’s Peanut Butter on Nekot cookies. These have two draws, 1) I like ‘em and 2) they are only 50¢. Today I opted to go wild and get a candy bar of some kind. It had been awhile since I had a Butterfinger bar, so I pressed E9. I know it had been awhile because the last time I bought one it was 65 cents, today the price tag below my selection said 75¢.
The only problem with buying a Butterfinger from a vending machine is you don’t usually get to bite off pieces to eat; falling from the E Row always busts the bar up into a bunch of uneven chunks. When I got back to my desk, I opened up the wrapper and sure enough there were 3 big pieces and one small piece inside.
As I savored that crispety and crunchety candy I read the label and discovered that each English word was followed immediately by its Spanish counterpart – Bar followed by Barra on the front for example. I’ve noticed some of the larger chain stores around here have gotten into the same act, Wal-Mart, Lowes, etc. Men with a smaller Hombres underneath. Doors -> Puertas.
I don’t like it. Not for the reason you think either, I don’t like the cacophony (ruido) of it, English and Spanish. Just pick one. Hell, I don’t even care if you pick Spanish. With immersion, I’ll figure it out.
Butterfinger in Spanish is still Butterfinger.
Isn’t That Special?
Thursday the 11th
At work there are 4 of us in the “Car Guys” group. We each subscribe to a car magazine and then pass it around among us. Thank goodness the magazine people don’t have a RIAA like group looking out after them, we’d be in trouble.
Today the latest Motor Trend was sitting on my desk. You couldn’t see the cover because of the card stock overwrap announcing your chance to get two subscriptions for the price of one, your renewal and a gift subscription for someone, just in time for the holidays.
The tear out card has the current subscribers name already on it, it served as the mailing label, so all you have to do is fill out the blanks for your friend and send it back, just check the box marked bill me later. To the left of the address area is the text reading, “Yes, I accept! Extend my subscription for 1 year (12 issues) at the preferred subscriber rate of only $20 and enter my 1-year gift subscription to the person listed above – that’s two subscriptions for the price of one!”
Sounds great, until you realized that you can subscribe to Motor Trend for $10 a year from a bunch of places, including the Motor Trend site itself…
I wonder what their non-preferred rate is?
The Most Fun I’ve Had At Work In A Long Time
Tuesday the 13th
We are getting a front office update, no new cubical panels or furniture, just some new carpet, wallpaper and the trim painted a different color. They did Human Resources first and now they are continuing through the plant from right to left.
I guess I should go pay attention to how HR looks to see what is in store for me, but it has got to be fairly blah, because I have been in there several times since their update and cannot bring to mind what it looks like.
I know no one else in the office is sure what the new wallpaper looks like! The room next door is first to get the rework, last night the contractor came in and removed the old two-tone gray wallpaper. All that was up this morning was the white liner paper covering the still older paneling. For giggles I printed out two colors of ‘wallpaper samples’ and tacked them to wall next to the door into my area. I snagged the background from the Boston Red Sox home page on MLB.com. One was the stock background, dark blue with white-ish socks and in the other I colored the socks red.
The idea came from my fellow front office FRS fan (thanks Gerry) and got the expected reaction from my MFY loving manager. The best part was the reactions from all the other people that pass that way each day. Quite a bit of them are obviously not baseball fans because hardly anyone noticed the real connection. I bet about half of them were actual arguing the merits of the all blue paper vs. the blue with red in it. Some noticed the socks in the pattern, but couldn’t figure out why they might be there.
The folks in the room that is all tore up, that the “samples” are in, were good sports about it and with as straight a face as they could muster, explained that that really is the choice of paper for the office remodel. Sometime in the afternoon one of the USC fans had made up a small sample with Gamecock logos all over it to add to the mix.
At the end of the day they must have tired of all the people asking about the redo because they published an FAQ and pinned it to the wall as well. It consisted of one question and one answer:
Q. Are y’all remodeling?
Wednesday the 26th
We spent a frustrating 2 hours tonight searching several stores for a 32oz insulated water bottle with a big enough opening on top to except ice cubes. They are in every store, on numerous aisles as long as it isn’t Christmas time and Donna had the misfortune of dropping her water bottle and breaking it this morning December 27th.
To ease our suffering we dined on Carnitas at Marias. We were seated at a booth by the window with a lovely view of the laundromat next building over. As I looked through the faux wood blinds, it came to my attention that several of the slats were tilted different from the majority. Reflexively, I nudged the offending slats into line with the rest.
Adrian would have been so proud.