Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
For a while now I have not been reading as much as I would like and I am just now starting to pick up writing again. When I am home and I need to relax I spend my time in our bedroom. With adjustable beds it is like sitting on a chaise instead of being in bed. This is where we watch movies, read and relax because it is the most comfortable place for me. Yet our room always seems cold to me. That might have something to do with the light aqua walls and the two water paintings hanging of the walls. Now I don't want to remove those paintings because they exude a great sense of peacefulness and they were painted for me, one from my mother and the other from my dear friend Valerie. I love those paintings so they stay.
I visualize myself reading more this winter and I would like to do that in front of a fireplace while listening to Mozart, which I find particularly helpful when reading. So I decided that I am somehow going to make a movie I can pop into my DVD player. The movie is going to be my fireplace and in the background I plan to have the crackling sound of a fireplace coupled with Mozart. I am going to put it on a continuous loop so that I can enjoy it for hours. This will be a lot less expensive than remodeling besides we don't have the space to add a fireplace. In addition, my hot blooded husband couldn't handle the extra heat. Did I really just write that?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I found these celtic knots in various freeware sites. I am trying to do some research about these interesting and I think beautiful knots. If anyone can recommend a good book about these knots please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to design some stationary and business cards influenced by Celtic design. The interesting knot at the bottom is supposed to be a dragon knot according to the site I lifted it from.
I had to laugh because 8 or 9 pieces of chicken is a lot of chicken hanging around for three people who only eat 4 ounces of chicken at a time. That is about half of a breast. Then to have it with no seasoning I thought oh my God what is that going to taste like? Then I found out that it was cooked well done, really well done. We both started to laugh because she told me I've been eating lean cuisines for the last 2o years and you can season it after it is cooked. She stated that she shouldn't cook and wondered if the dog might like some chicken for dinner too?
I told her I hated Steve's night schedule because he is such a good cook but he is not home to cook, I physically can not cook and she really shouldn't cook. I pulled out the raspberry chipotle sauce from the depths of the fridge heated a little in the micro and poured it over my rubber chicken and you know it wasn't half bad. In fact it was really very good. It even some how managed to help unrubberize the chicken. All in all it was a good dinner but it reminded me of the Sugar Hill gangs very first rap Rapper's delight. If you have never heard it and want to hear the part I am thinking about it is 4:45 minutes into the six minute song. You can hear their rap on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-MEL84yXh0 It is funny to watch because it is from the seventies. Check out the dancing, clothes and hairstyles. Too Funny for words!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
An email from Ireland to all brethren in the States ... a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:
'We, in Ireland, can't figure out why you people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States!
On one side, you had a pants wearing female lawyer, married to another lawyer who can't seem to keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer, who goes to the wrong church, who is married to yet another lawyer, who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run for office!
Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate 'Mc' terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship!!!
What in God's name are ya lads thinkin over in the colonies !
Jack Langley is being locked up for Jerry's kids. He pointed out that since I am one of Jerry's kids I better let everyone know that he going to need some donations to get out of the clink.
Here is a little poem from Jack to everyone who reads this blog:
I've been busted, incarcerated, locked up
My crime is flawed family genes
I got spared cause I am the kid in between
You may think I got off Scot free
But not likely, I got a brother and sister doing time with MD
There is only one way I'm gonna get free
Gotta raise $500 big ones from my friends and family
So people if you have the time
and can spare the dime
Dig deep and give freely
and one day you can be sure
The MDA will find a cure
Donations can be made for my August 26th Lock up.
Please email Jack@mwls.net and
note "donation for MDA lockup" in the subject line.
Additional instructions will be sent via email.
Thank you for your generosity.
Friday, August 15, 2008
It is not a new idea but certainly one that is being entertained by a few large companies and universities. I was able to determine this from all my Internet research on this topic. It is the 4-10 or compressed work week. What is the 4-10 well it is something a lot of people are almost doing anyway. It is working 10 hours a day but only 4 days a week.
This week Steve and I experienced the 4-10 by default. His company gave him Wednesday off with pay in addition to the normal weekends that he already has off. Now they did not do this to get him to work the extra two hours for the other four days. It just kind of happened on its own. It was a nice gesture in appreciation of their trainers. The day was ear marked for the whole group including spouses and children. So we all went to Silver Dollar City in Branson. We attended for four hours and that was sufficient for us.
Our good friends Mike and Patti call it steal your dollar city and I have to agree with them except in our case. Silver Dollar City makes no bones about its accessibility or lack there of. Out of fairness to some of their patrons, individuals that state they are in a wheelchair full time get in free. Okay I fell off track here so back to the 4-10. I did a little research and I found out a few things I wanted to share.
Large companies like Mitsubishi Motor Corp. and Metropolitan Life have adopted this compressed work week for their employees and they are pleased with its success. What they report is that the flexibility of this type of scheduling seems to make happier more productive employees. In addition, those employees take less personal time off during their scheduled work times. They also determined that many of their employees were already working longer hours and the adjustment from an 8 hour day to a 10 hour day did not take long. Efficiency improved because employees could get in the grove of what they were doing and the extra time uninterrupted help them complete tasks. Henry Ford once said, "the harder we crowd business for time, the more efficient it becomes..." I guess these companies are finding this to be true.
This work schedule will not work for every company but there are many that are not trying it and maybe they should consider the possibility. A few additional benefits of the 4-10:
- A potential of a 20% fuel savings per week
- 50 to 52 extra days per year of free time
- fewer commuter cars during rush hour
- Personal business can be handled on scheduled weekday off
- Additional rest and relaxation to recharge your battery
The disadvantages reported were:
- More difficult for single parents with children
- Daycare scheduling and after work activities become more difficult
- Customer Service could become a problem if scheduling is not handled properly
- Fatigue from longer work day
Employers that can offer a 4-10 work schedule should because it is basically a free benefit to their employees. Employees who desire this type of schedule would appreciate the benefit and retention of that employee is more likely. As long as there is adequate coverage for the customers, the benefits seem apparent for both employer and employee. Where there are several employees trained for the same type of work customer service coverage and scheduling would not present too much of a problem. Large work environments where job sharing is already taking place are good models for the 4-10.
What Steve and I found is that the day off in the middle of the week was great because he was able to play a little, rest a little, go back and finish out the week with greater productivity. It would be nice if we could convince his employer to consider this as a permanent schedule.
I personally would love to see this happen at my husband's company and I am curious how many others out there would like this too. Please email me your thoughts about this at email@example.com . I would ask that you allow me to post your thoughts on my blog. If you want to comment and prefer not to be posted just state that in your email and I will respect your wishes. Anonymous postings are acceptable too.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
We both had the same thought at the very same time. This is something that has happened to us throughout our friendship. We didn't even have to talk the other person into this it was unanimous. Being two gals from the west coast seeing one of these guys was about as good as seeing a martian land in a UFO. There he was upside down and barely dead best of all he was ours for the taking.
So we strategically planned out the capture. We had multiple challenges in obtaining our prize. Now this guy was not on the grass as pictured here. He was in the center of a road that gets a lot of traffic. Our forensics were a little rusty so we could not determine from the inside of the car how dead he really was and where the potential stink factor would fall. All of these variables had to be considered carefully before we could apprehend our treasure.
We circled the area first and determined that a trip into Price Cutter for a few supplies would be necessary. We determined that we needed heavy black trash bags to carry our gem away and also some heavy gloves. We had to see this guy up close, everything about this creature had our curiosity peaked.
With our supplies in hand we make an initial Reconnaissance. Our plan was set in motion, I make a slick maneuver by getting into a left turning lane and pretend to be chicken about making the turn. You know that type of driver that forces you to yell at them out loud "you can go! just go!"
We were relatively close to our subject in this lane so Laura jumps out of the car.
Now all the drivers around us are thinking what the heck. Laura makes a beelines for Fred with black bag in hand, and make a sweeping play as if he were a loose football on a field. I make the turn finally while she trots him across the street dodging oncoming traffic and holding our prize as far away from her as humanly possible.
I am certain that if the 50, the Man, the Cops would have been driving by we would have been ticketed at the very minimum or taken for a short ride to county health. The scene we caused was enough to provide another bad Springfield driver with a great excuse. Fortunately there were not any bad Springfield drivers driving by because no accidents occurred.
So we drag Fred there to the Price Cutter lawn to get a better inspection. What a trippy animal. First let's address the smell. Fred was dead and Fred had been dead for at least a few hot sizzling July morning hours. We no longer needed our black trash bag because Fred permanent resting place was the lawn at Price Cutter. I am so sure that their gardeners were livid when they had to remove Fred's rotting smelly Carcass from their lawn.
Second he was weird. He was wearing a little armour suit probably why he got his name. In addition to that, he had straight wiry hairs sticking out of all he crevasses, beady eyes, talon like feet, dagger tail and sharp little teeth. I felt kind of sorry for the guy. He looked hot and stinky. Okay so he was dead but he looked like he had BO even if he was alive and still he looked hot. I think that is why they play chicken with cars they are so depressed. Wouldn't you be? being born so ugly and wearing a suit like that in the heat?
What I learned from this experience. Reading about your prize on the Internet is a lot less smelly but the experience itself was priceless.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
When you live in the middle especially so close to tornado alley you learn a lot about the Fujita scale used to determine the strength of a tornado by what it destroys. There are certain types of dwellings that can not sustain the lower end of the scale very well and will be wiped off of the face of the earth when dealing with the upper end. The dwellings I am thinking about are the mobile homes. That is why the residents of these homes need additional shelter for storms.
Warning systems are in place to try to prevent death and injury in these storms. The weather service will announce a “watch” or a “warning”. For the a short while I didn’t bother to distinguish between the two the word tornado was enough to send my southern California self out of bed at 3 am. That gets old quick in the spring time when there can be a watch or warning every time you turn around. So I made the effort to learn more about this.
It breaks down like this, a watch means keep at least one eye open but stay in bed conditions are favorable for a tornado. The warning means the funnel has been sighted, haul your heiney out of bed, and go somewhere safe.
The other day Steve and I determined there is more than one F-Scale because we put ourselves under a “watch.” We were at Wal-Mart, it was late, we were both tired, and conditions were right for a fight. It occurred to us that there are now two F-Scales the Fujita Scale and the Fight scale and they parallel each other beautifully. Consider the similarities Wal-Mart is the trailer park, when you mix that environment with “tired = the High” and “late = the low” the conditions become correct for a marital fight. How bad the fight is really depends on how tired and how late it is and of course how crazy Wal-Mart is.
The official watch was announced and it flared into a small F-2 warning. The "Low" did have to leave the grocery area and go directly to the card area for a few minutes so that the "High" wouldn’t turn into an F-3 or F-4. F-5 someone’s getting left at Wal-Mart. About five minutes later a cell phone rings to determine where "High" was in the store and of course the "Low" was still spiking. The warning was announced and both the "High" and the "Low" got back together peacefully and made it through but not before making the official NOAA announcement.
The "High" and the "Low" talked about the developing F-Scale and we determined that relationships need to have the scale too. That way the "High" won’t sneak up on the "Low" and cause flat out devastation or vice versa. It was also determined that a scale is necessary because you can not take appropriate cover if you don’t really know how strong the High and Low are going to be. I mean who wants to get out of bed at 3 in the morning if the storm is just in the “watch” stage. For heavens sakes you don’t want to be leaving your "High or Low" in a grocery store, at some point someone's got to go back and get the "High or Low." By then it is certain that what was an F-2 will increase in power and strength and is sure to turn into an F-4.
Making the announcement is helpful when conditions are right because devastation can most certainly be avoided especially if the warning system is in place and well understood by the High and Low. One other tip as mobile homes should be avoided during stormy weather Wal-Mart should be avoided during "late and tired" conditions.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Last week I went into my brother's office for a few hours to see everybody that works there and to volunteer and help out where I could. I notice a few things that I thought was very interesting and definitely worth writing about. One of my brother's repeat customers was so happy that he could help her with a refinance and her reaction was heartwarming to me. He had done a really good job for her the first time he helped her with a home loan and an even better job the second time around. So much so that she really had very little she needed to do to get her loan completed. This was a relief to her because she was facing some medical issues and dealing with her home loan was the last thing she wanted to do or worry about. He handled everything for her and you could see the relief on her face. It is that level of service that makes him so successful during this period of mortgage lender uncertainty. I was really proud of him and the best thing was this was not an isolated incident I have seen him do it before with many others. He works hard for his customers and they send him their friends and family and when they need him themselves they are back. That says a lot.
Another business that impresses me like that is the Treasure Chest. They have the most incredible and unusual jewelry and gifts. Their prices are great too. Whenever I need a gift like that they are the first place I think to go to. They are also a wealth of information about lapidary, gemstones and jewelry making. They have beautiful pieces for your home. They sell the work of artisan from all over the world. The people at the Treasure Chest are fantastic if you go in you will meet friendly Floyd, Vicious Val, Terrible Tracy and Mean Martha (names supplied by Floyd) but if you ask me it should be Venerable Val, Talented Tracy, Marvelous Martha and Facetious Floyd. There is something special about this business and I believe it is when you step in the door you feel like you belong there. They are so welcoming and quick to befriend. It doesn't matter if you spend $10 or $1,000 they make you feel like a VIP. That says a lot.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Happy 47th and 1st birthday to the sweetest boy I know. This is an extremely important year for this guy. It is a year of renewed health and happy birthday wishes. After all he has been through this year and for as dear as he is to me, I thank God for all the blessings we have received this year.
Proof that this boy is sweet, a little story perhaps... In 1994, Steve and I were walking through a JC Penney in Fashion Valley Mall when he turned to me (weeks before my diagnosis with MD) and he asked me, "Would you marry me?" I said that I would but was he really sure that he wanted to take me and my health issues on? He told me that in his heart he was already married to me and that to him it was important to stick by me in sickness and in health. And boy has he done just that.
Need more proof, well when most men would buy an expensive sports car to ease the blow of turning forty, not this guy he bought his wife a ramp van and drives an older sable to and from work.
Okay sometimes he is not an angel exactly but to me he is. I love him dearly and I feel blessed that he is my husband.
Happy Birthday Steve, I love you! Have a great year you deserve it!
Okay I'm a little early his actual birthday is on the 7th but what the hay he deserves a little blog time!
(this is Steve his first week home after open-heart surgery the photo above was taken summer 2007)
For years my husband worked in the computer field managing networks and technicians. His education was geared for this type of work, it paid very well but at times it was thankless and did not feed his soul. After a few re-inventions and a little soul searching he found his niche and has a job he loves. His education and experience are still viable in his job. It is not the highest paying job but it is certainly the most rewarding job he has ever had. Best of all he is happy and we are doing well. He is great with people and excellent at training them. He has the heart of a teacher and now he is a technical trainer and teaches adults for a large company. Employment can't always be about the money, in fact, I think when you find your soul's purpose the contentment and peace coupled with the intrinsic value far out way any paycheck. Best of all when you excel in your field, at your true purpose, you will make a living and you will love the way that living is being made.
On another front my youngest brother "Sweet William" working in his garage waved me over to see his latest creation. There have been many. He loves to build furniture and he has filled his house with gorgeous custom pieces. I have to admit I am envious of my sister-in-law because the best of what he makes is in their home. He is a natural artisan woodworker. His patience and problems solving skills make his work stand out. He had just finished making a few custom picture frames out of maple and padauk. They are not your ordinary frames they are stunning. The detail is amazing. Somehow he managed to meld the two woods together. Padauk is an exotic African hardwood that has no need for stain because in its natural state it is exquisite and when married to the lighter tiger stripe maple the result is elegant. I don't pretend to know much about the wood types he chooses to use or how he does what he does but what I can tell you is that he loves it and it shows in his work. He has a natural born talent when it comes to designing and creating with wood.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
It's an opaque stone with a metalic luster and that makes it fun to work with for boy jewelry. There is something rugged and masculine about the stone and I have yet to have a boy tell me "that's too girly" for him. But don't think for a minute that only the boys want this stone, in some feminine beading designs it looks fantastic. It has a very "real" appearance and no one ever mistakes it for glass or thinks it is man-made. I believe that it looks great with other stones of opaque nature like chrysocolla, many of the jaspers, or turquoise. I also love to pair it with black or green onyx. I could list off another 20 or so stones it would look great with but that's not the focus. It is pyrite.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
There are entire sites dedicated to women who game. It is a interactive yet passive past time. If you play it enough you pick up little tips to make the game progress quicker. Something I stopped doing is paying for food. I buy a tree that grows fruit and a fish tank. From both of those sources I have enough food that it doesn't cost to feed your sim. The other thing I did was I turned them into raw foodist. That's right I don't cook a thing so I don't need an oven or microwave. The other upside is that if you don't have a microwave or oven you won't have fire. My sims never die now and I don't have to pay the grim reaper to get their bodies back. Just make sure that when you pull the food out of the fridge it doesn't have green fumes coming off the food because you can poison your sim and they can die that way too. So my kitchen has a fridge and counter in it and that is it. I run the dishes out to the can because I don't want to waste time cleaning up a flood when the sink breaks. And the sink always breaks.
If you have never played sims and do not have hours of time to waste I don't suggest you start. I never thought that I would get hooked on something like that but when you have pain it is hard to concentrate on reading and I have seen just about every movie I want to. This is a nice diversion for me.