Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday 55

Time to provide the  g-man with a little 55 word entertainment.  Make sure to share with him if you do the same.

“How are you?” was the question.

A million replies came flooding forward.  
 Sadly, none were jolly.  
 Petty complaints rushed to elbow my non-committal, “I’m here” 
out of the way.

Then it hit me. 

Being “here”, 
even on a bad day, 
is better than the alternative.

A dirt nap.

The eye opening revelation,
made me smile.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Say A Prayer...or something

Ran by the Main Office today and jokingly asked if they'd shoveled out the office space I'm suppose to use temporarily.  The Secretary smiled and said, "They cleaned it up for you!  Go look...I haven't had the chance."

I knew the room was the size of a large closet and had no windows, but I hoped it would suffice until what will probably be January 2012.

I found a small table (not a desk), a reading chair which won't make me tall enough to utilize said table, a telephone without a receiver and a computer which appears to be a small t.v. with a keyboard.  Everything was unplugged and my question as to whether I have DSL to do my job was met with a shrug.  Why do I feel like I'm going to discover my Internet service is a tin can with a string attached?


Ah yes, welcome to working in the big time: land of local government.

So pardon me while I go improvise a desk drawer to hold the paperwork necessary to do my job. In the meantime kindly say a prayer, or whistle or do something that will make me laugh, thus saving my sanity.

What?  I still have a FEW braincells left!  At least until Monday.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Another Lazy Sunday

Well, depending on your idea of lazy, I suppose.

Hubby is manning the boat as two of his buddies go Gator hunting.  Don't worry, this isn't a story about hunting, just setting the scene.  

Now, before everyone starts yelling "Evil!" or PETA, you should know the alligator population around here is out of control.  Years ago, gators were the point they overpopulated.  And when that happens, literally anything is game as far as their dinner is concerned.  Since we live near a lake, we hear more about "nuisance" gators than most folks....those would be the ones no longer afraid of people, who think that poodle running around a lake front home's yard is a mobile hors d'oeuvre.

However, with responsibility comes a price: only 1,200 hunters are selected statewide for the 30 day season and they pay $110 for a gator tag...whether they get a gator or not.  I don't worry about Hubby, I worry about the guys he sometimes takes with him.  I fear they may maim HIM when they suddenly realize that gators, especially up close and personal, resemble prehistoric monsters.

So while the guys are on the lake/river, Bou and I took this opportunity to work on the Annual Shop Calendar.  Hubby and I've debated about my even doing this annual surprise that isn't a surprise any more for Christmas.  Until Smokey died, I've done 11 calendars, mostly featuring Smoke, then with Bou added.  With Smokey gone, it was a tough call.

Until I decided to go a different way with it...and truly make it Bou's calendar.  Which is why this year, rather than the business name as calendar title, it's called "Bou's Backyard"....where the business just happens to be located.

Over the years, poor Smoke went through trying times as I came up with new concepts.  Why he never bit me is beyond me.  Heaven knows I deserved it at times, begging him to be still for just one more minute.

Bou, on the other hand, is a ham.  Rather than make him work around the calendar, I made myself work around him.  Oh sure, there were some shots where he gave me that, "There had BETTER be a ride in this after we're done!" expression.  Secretly, I think he liked being the center of attention.

One of Bou's favorite things to do is howl.  Or "sing" as Hubby and Bou consider it.  Hubby will howl once...and Bou takes over, head high in the air.  Because I merely sit and giggle,  Bou thinks girls can't howl.  He's even come over and nudged me, as if I only need encouragement to get started.  I've resisted.

Until now.
SO here's the result of what happened when....
(a)  No Hubby was home to witness my stupidity
(b)  No neighbors were close enough to call the cops
(c)  Bou is now convinced I am truly part of his pack.  Why?  Because to get these shots, I had to howl.  Enthusiastically!

Here's the wind up...
with a suspicious, "Um, why are YOU howling?"

The startled, 
"By jove, I think she's got it!" 

And then......

Rock stars, eat your heart out!

Map, I think Bou may soon be available for international duets.
As for me, I'm much more comfortable
the camera.

Just remember, 
this is OUR little secret.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amid the Fluff....a Hero!

During my lunch hour I usually do a lot of reading.  Sometimes it’s a book, sometimes it’s the CNN website and occasionally it’s the “News” on Yahoo.  I don’t consider Yahoo’s blurbs a Pulitzer winning news site, but it does have a way of illustrating what they believe interests the general public.  It’s usually heavy on entertainment, sports,  politics, career strategies and weird fluff.  Today I did a casual survey of the forty (40) stories listed, with a couple of  um… “highlights”.

Food/Health issues (3) Bacon (and its smoked cousins) is still bad for you, but if it helps, there’s a “perfect”  Mac ‘n Cheese recipe available.

Sports (8) A QB admits lying to the media (What?! Stop the presses!) while a so-so Basketball player is crowned Mr. Olympia.

Politics (6) The usual grumbling among Republican Presidential candidates plus a rivalry at the White House amongst the President’s economic advisers.

Military (1)  An expensive plane the US won't sell to Taiwan.

TV/Entertainment: (7) Brad Pitt apologizes (again) for foot-in-mouth disease concerning his ex, Scott Baio had lots of blonde girlfriends before marrying and Beyonce feels empowered by pregnancy.  (I think my Mom only felt nauseous). 

Just plain weird (5) Custom made cat house (for the 4 legged kind) and Starbucks’ 40th birthday celebration with a designer t-shirt featuring coffee stains…for $85.
Misc. (10)  Cities where homes sell fast, dialing for better deals, career and dating advice.  LOTS of career/dating advice.

Lately, I’ve noticed a pattern.  What use to be a “balanced” group of stories has become heavy on politics and entertainment.  Pretty soon, the Presidential candidates can just appear on the “X Factor” and save us the cost of an election.  Just about the time I was ready to push away from the computer, I found a story that made me smile and feel proud to be a normal human….meaning not a politician or movie star.

Meet my newest hero: high school junior Josh Ripley. 

No, I’m not sliding into “cougar” territory here.  But I felt like sliding  out of my chair to give this kid a standing ovation.   While participating in a 2 mile, cross country race, he heard a scream during the first mile.  No one else paid much attention to the runner writhing on the ground in pain.  But Josh did.  Rather than simply call for help, he stopped and CARRIED this kid a half mile back to the starting line.   Assured that everything was under control, he turned around and FINISHED HIS RACE!

And that my friends, is a hero in my book.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Still Here But... mind is in survival mode.

The good news is the Seniors' center is getting renovated.

The bad news is I have to move out in October until the work is completed.  Hopefully in my life time. 

Did I mention it's the Main Office I'm moving too?  Where they find me oh-so-helpful.  I fear if I'm seen sitting still for 10 minutes I'll inherit a new project to complete for them.  Then again, the spare office is located in the suite with the Athletic Department guys.   

Did I mention it smells like a locker room?  Literally.

The survival part is trying to figure out how much of 18 years of work stuff I need to put in a box to bring to an office I don't wish to sit in.

So when I get tired of thinking, I come here to visit you.  Which reminds me of a sign which use to hang in the office of one of my Dad's co-workers.

When I works, I works hard.
When I plays, I plays loose.
But when I thinks, I falls asleep.

So kindly make sure you tap on the screen every now and then to make sure I'm awake.  

Or haven't somehow packed myself in a box.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tonight, Hubby's going to the swamp....

....wonder if any gators will be home?

  "Swamp" photo I took last summer.
Below is the grist mill, now sadly neglected, 
that the water use to feed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Silent Tribute

A year after the 9/11 attacks, I attended my hometown Fire Department's Memorial Ceremony.  I don't think I'll EVER get the sound of that siren out of my ears.  No, not the usual blasts heard for clearing traffic.  This was long and continuous, like an agonized wail, as it was sounded for those who were lost. It was the longest, most painful 30 seconds I've ever experienced.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I was once again at the Fire Dept. bright and early for a different kind of tribute.

Using donations and Firefighter labor, a memorial for 9/11 was created to stand outside the main station.  The only thing I knew about it was it would contain a piece of steel from one of the World Trade Centers.  When I took a couple of seniors for a tour of the Fire Station last week, it was covered.  There was a small crowd present today, mostly Firefighters, their families, other emergency responders and a few folks like me who'd been there before. 

When the ceremonial cover was removed, a collective gasp was heard.

No applause. No murmurs in appreciation of the creative process.  Just...silence.  Silence reserved for being present in a grand cathedral, not while  standing on the sidewalk in front of the Fire Station.

Silence in appreciation of how quickly life can change.

I think we believed we'd witness a short chunk of steel stuck in granite.  It would be symbolic and we would nod in reverence.  No one had anticipated the steel shape flanked by black granite replicas of the World Trade Center towers.  There is nothing so eerily quiet as an awestruck crowd.

Twisted and bowed between the two black towers, I found myself thinking that piece of steel was the perfect symbol.  It wasn't just a memorial to those who gave all, it stood as a symbol of American strength at a time we'd had to dig down deep inside to keep standing rather that cower in fear.  

Perhaps most unexpectedly touching was that in the reflective surfaces of the memorial, you could literally see the faces of our community.  Americans.  Void of political or religious strife.  Standing shoulder to shoulder.

A woman old enough to be my grandmother slowed and softly grabbed the arm of the Firefighter in front of me, bringing both of us to a grinding halt.

"Thank you for your service," she offered with a sweet smile.

The Fireman nodded to acknowledge her, slightly embarrassed.  From behind him I whispered, "Not just today, but every day."

It didn't matter that my words were lost in the crowd.  It mattered to me that I voiced them. 

We have our ridiculous moments of petty stupidity, we Americans, but in the grand scheme of things,  "they" didn't win.  Because we're still here.  Standing shoulder to shoulder.  Today we stepped out of the shadows to acknowledge those strangers willing to run into a burning building to save us.  

Today we took the time to tell them thank you. In person. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Only American Not Around on 9/11

We'll hear lots of stories this weekend connected to 9/11, each distinctly personal, yet we relate to them because we're all human.  And yet I read a story Friday which stood out from the rest because of one fact:  Frank Culbertson was the only American not on the planet when 9/11 occurred.

You read that right.  NOT ON THE PLANET.

Why?  Because he was Astronaut Frank Culbertson, stationed aboard the International Space station.   

Calling in for a routine medical check, Culbertson's inquiry of how things were going in Mission Control was met with a reply of, "We're not having a very good day on Earth." 

Click here to see the rest of the story, including video footage Culbertson took from Space of New York.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday 55

It's that means it must be time to entertain the g-man with a 55 word story.  Make sure to share with him.

When things get too hot to handle
you run out the door.
And I run in.

Act of God.
Doesn’t matter.

You don’t even know my name.
But I’d die for you.

If we’re lucky
My training will save us both.

The bell tolls. 
I respond.
Your voiced gratitude
makes it all worthwhile.
 Special thanks to my my hometown Fire Dept.
who made one of my senior citizens' wish come true
with the best tour ever!

Monday, September 5, 2011

As the world reflects on "9/11" week, I will remember this face

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This is why I get updates

Returned home to find this e-mail:

Major Websites Shutdown on Sept 4 
Worldwide Hacker Day Pronouncement 

Major Internet Web Sites shutdown with commercial impact...
United Parcel Service(UPS) 16:00 EDT 9-4-2011

National Geographic  16:04 EDT 9-4-2011

UK Register  15:58 EDT  9-4-2011

A hacker group calling itself TurkGuvenligi has declared September 4th, 2011 World Hacker Day.

The extent of the cyber attack has not been determined as reports of other downed sites continue.

Attacks appear to be DNS redirections.


I have not yet seen this on a news network. Check out the details here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


No, if you came here to read about a doormat, your sidebar didn't lie to you.

I went to delete my spam folder contents, got distracted and deleted my last post instead. 

Have a good Labor Day weekend!