Archive for February, 2009

second job

February 22, 2009

It has become ever more evident with each passing week that I need to get some more income rolling into my own personal budget.  The reasons are many and varied, but the end result is that I need to get my hands on more coin or start forfeiting some of the niceties that I have accustomed myself to.  I am sure that there a lot of people in my situation.  My biggest question is what to do to earn this extra money?

I hate the food service industry.  Wait, let’s amend that; I love the food service industry but have no desire to be anything other than an occasional consumer.  I don’t like to cook, prep, deliver, or serve food except maybe occasionally at my own home.  Even then, there had better be some open flame or a lot of cream cheese involved.   I’m not likely to start a band, which is something that has really helped out a couple of my friends when funds were tight.  I can’t play a guitar well enough to land a backup gig and I’m not quite a lead singer, either.  I guess I’m probably going to have to be pretty creative to come up with something.  Thankfully, I am not allergic to hard work which should keep the field pretty wide.  If anyone’s got anything, let me know…

i’m not as big a loser as i want to be

February 18, 2009

My family’s Biggest Loser contest has just wrapped up it’s second 3-week session, and I was sorely disappointed to find that I had only lost 1.8 lbs. in that 3 weeks.  I think being laid up with a cold for 5 days and doing nothing but eating and drinking to try to get myself healthier may have had something to do with my meager loss.  Oh, well.  The good news is that among the 10 of us in the contest, we’ve lost almost 100 pounds!  It doesn’t sound like a lot for 10 people over 6 weeks, but I think it demonstrates that we’re not ding crazy shit to lose weight quickly; we’re all trying to do it the right way.

So wish me luck, and don’t let me near the doughnuts…

fix list for 2/11/09

February 11, 2009

Home ownership is a gratifying and labor intensive game.  Of course, when you got a 55 year old ranch, there’s going to be a few things to take care of here and there.  When the previous owners were more the MacGyver type than Bob Vila wannabes, you get a lot more interesting stuff to deal with.  Thankfully, today was not that bad.

First on the list was repairing the front screen door, which had busted loose the strike plate from the frame.  Simple.  Buy new strike plate, remove old broken one and install new one.  Turrns out the previous owner had used a plastic Blue Cross key-chain (you know those kinda round flat ones) and some kind of fiber board as a spacer to properly position the strike plate – yeah, I know.  I replaced that with some real wood.  Thing works like a charm just in time for the 50 mph winds we’re supposed to get tonight.

The second was a simple thing, really.  There was a small leak somewhere in or near the solenoid valve that controls the water flow to the ice maker in the refrigerator.  After not fixing it for a month because I didn’t want to even think about ordering a part from Sears, I finally looked at it.  Turns out that I neede to simply straighten the copper pipe going to the valve and retighten the compression fitting and voila!  No more leak!  It’ll be nice to have some ice again.

Coming soon, floor molding in the bathroom.  Gosh this house is so fun!

stapler update

February 11, 2009

I couldn’t take it anymore.  The damned thing sat there, almost mocking me, every time I made some copies.  Oh, it was funny for a while; pausing to try the stapler knowing that it would be empty, a wry smile to show myself I was in on the joke.  Then my disgust with my fellow employees started as a faint murmur in the back of my mind and grew exponentially into a roar as the days passed and still no staples.  Soon I began to question my own actions; surely my failure to fill the stapler myself was an act not less heinous than the perceived nonfeasance of my colleagues inhabiting the cubicle-dotted landscape.  There was also the realization that my little experiment in office behavior was costing me time since I had to go back to my desk to staple everything.  Pfui!  There must be an end to this!

Finally, today, February 11th of 2009, a full 14 business days since the sound of the empty stapler first echoed through my psyche and filled my brain with a peal of righteous and disdainful laughter, I have capitulated.  I have done what I should have done in the afternoon of January 23rd.  I have finally filled the stapler.

how much money does it take

February 10, 2009

I just read something on Yahoo that claimed that there may be up to $3,000,000,000,000.00 coming to the rescue of the US and global economy.  My own completely unscientific reading of this indicated that most of the money will come from the US Treasury, which means that you and I and many of our fellow US citizens will be footing the bill.

So where’s this money going, and when am I going to see some?  Oh, that’s right.  The government is the only entity capable of spending wisely, so they’re going to decide.  Since they did so well with the first $350,000,000,000.00 I guess we should all thank our lucky stars that politicians should bless us with their financial wizrdry once again.  (Dow Jones Industrial Average when first $350,000,000,000.00 of TARP released on 10/3/2008: 10,325.38.  Dow Jones Industrial Average after today’s stimulus package and new bailout package announced: 7,888.88.  Net loss of 23.6%.  I’m just sayin’.)

Maybe I’m being overly simplistic, but wouldn’t that $3,000,000,000,000.00 be more effective, and much more quickly beneficial, if we followed Buffalo Geek‘s plan (as announced on Twitter)? 

181 Million ppl in US aged 18-65. Give each person $15K for debt payment 2,715,000,000,000. Banks get liquid, ppl get out of debt

BOOM! All done recession. I’m wicked smaht

Hey look, there’s even $285,000,000,000.00 left over to completely rebuild the nation’s power grid – which I think is of vital importance – and maybe even remodel the john in the Oval Office.  Who’s in?

Edit 2/11/2009 08:40 – See here for the expanded version of Geek’s plan.

bleary eyes

February 9, 2009

One of these weekend nights I would like to be able to stay home and not have to deal with stress or drama.  I am not sure what it is that draws these things to my humble abode, but I’ve just about reached the end of my rope.  I left my house Friday night to enjoy the hockey game at my brother’s place, and I am not gone an hour before I get a call telling me that we’ve had an ambulance and two police cars at my house.  No one in my immediate family was hurt, but a family member’s boyfriend had a panic attack of some sort and now the whole neighborhood is probably wondering what the hell’s going in in our house. 

Saturday night, my eldest daughter was not feeling well, crying because her stomach hurt and she was feeling so bad that I had to take her back home to her mother’s house at 9pm.  She’s felt better yesterday, and came over for a few hours to play with her sisters again.  Last night wasn’t too bad except that the kids didn’t want to go to bed until 9:30pm or so, and it took a heroic effort to get them settled down.  Not to mention that they were too tired to cooperate with me in the tiniest matters this morning. 

Of course, all three of these evenings ended up with me overtired, and not able to sleep until the wee hours, and therefore not sufficiently rested for the next bit of drama.  Is it asking too much to be able to get the kids in bed at 8:30 and not have to worry about anything until the next morning?  Or is this the part where some of my elders and others with children tell me to shut it?

stapler

February 4, 2009

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been conducting a small experiment at work.  We have  a copy “cubicle” at work.  By stupidly slashing jobs so that every single person in the building is stressed out of their mind aggressive right-sizing, our staff actually shrank to require less floor space for cubicles.  Coincidental with this, our HR department has outgrown their office area and needed a real office – not a cubicle – for one of the HR people that handles the non-administrative people.  So the HR rep took over the copier room, turned it into an office, and moved the copier into a cubicle in the middle of a large, empty area. 

Now this copier is used by something like 30 or 40 people every day.  There’s  a little table in there to work on, lots of paper, bins for documents that need to be shredded, regular recycling bins. 

And a stapler. 

Since I use the stapler quite a bit, I tend to get the task of refilling the thing.  It’s electric, but old, and uses standard staples just like any red Swingline you might see in a movie.  On Thursday, January 22nd, I happened to need to staple something in the late afternoon while I was in the copier cube.  Sure enough the stapler was out of staples.  So I just went back to my desk, uesd my stapler, and thought nothing of it.  The next morning came and went, and I didn’t happen to need the stapler until about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I completely forgot that it had been empty until I got over there, and realized that no one had filled the thing.  Surely, in the course of nearly 5 hours someone would have tried to use that stapler, found it empty, and refilled it.  Yeah right.

For just a fraction of a second, I was aggravated.  Then I decided to run an experiment to see how long it would be before someone besides me filled the stapler up.  As of this afternoon, 8 business days later, it has not been filled.  I’m tempted to let it go to see how long it takes.  Or maybe I’ll just take the stapler to my desk and let people wonder what the hell happened to the damned thing.

There is a point to this story!  The point is that if you’re in management and you stretch your work force too far, you may get people that start obsessing about office appliances.  That can’t be good.