Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Endless Cycle of Waste"

The toilet seems to be installed and working. We're going to glance at it every so often to check for problems, but that should be the extent of our waste-water management chores. Just one more reason to be glad that Karen and I don't still live on her family farm, or keep pet cows.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Among Many, Probably

I just put on some loose fitting clothing, which in itself was a challenge since just as I got within a few ounces of the top end of my goal weight, I fell into a vat of gravy and had to drink my way out. And then it turned out that Costco had sold us two vats. It was exhausting. I've put on enough weight in the last few days that just racing to the end of that long first sentence left me breathless. But now, I'm about ready to start work replacing our new toilet with an even newer toilet. If it goes smoothly, this might be my last post on the topic.

Hey, Wait a Minute, I Like Those Books

I don't know if this means anything, but now that I've got a lot of Barnes and Noble gift cards, I've been spending a lot of time looking at e-books and I've noticed that a lot of e-bestsellers seem to appeal to the geek demographic.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Us Post Office Hostage Ordeal Ends

Well, maybe in Virginia. Here, in our station, we still have six vacant carrier positions, and extra supervisors brought in for the holidays to stand around with clipboards watching us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not That I Even Know What a Loofa Is.

I have to use 128 bit encryption if I even want to buy a loofah on Amazon, and the military doesn't encrypt their drones at all? If that's the case, they ought to at least "monetize" the feed, by selling it to Al Jazeera, or letting Google run ads down the sides.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Frito-Lay Institute of Science

Immunization with an experimental anti-cocaine vaccine resulted in a substantial reduction in cocaine use in 38 percent of vaccinated patients in a clinical trial supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

Yeah, get back to me when they've got something for a truly addictive substance like Doritos.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

WWJD and then There's Nothing New Under the Sun

I forget (which is one of the blessings of getting old) whether or not I've railed about Christmas songs being replaced by Winter songs. Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Let it Snow, and Rudolph, are on constant rotation, while you never hear songs like Joy to the World, and Come All Ye Faithful.
Fine, we live in a secular, post-Christian, society. But tell me how Baby It's Cold Outside, isn't a song about date rape.
Then when I went to Wikipedia to make sure I had the name of the song right, it turned out that I was not the first person to notice that. Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian writer in the 1950's and 60's cited the song as evidence of the "animal-like mixing of the sexes" in America. His writings, which included the line,"Civilization should favor humanity, not act against it," were very influential in the founding of Al-Qaeda.
And then so on and so on, link after link. Finally, I tossed Wikipedia a couple of bucks to let me go, and you can do the same. =====>

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Going In Vicious Circles's customer service rep responded to my e-mail by telling me that they'd had terrible luck with the Postal Service. I thought, "Oh, come on, your luck with them can't be as bad as mine, and don't even get me started about mailing things." Or something like that.
Since we have six vacant positions at our station, they're forcing carriers to work overtime to get the mail delivered. As carriers get tired or resentful, they're getting doctors to write them notes saying they can't work overtime which means that the carriers that haven't done that have to work even more overtime which means even more tired resentful carriers going to doctors, add nauseum and stir.
I was wandering through the cold, hard, seemingly interstellar, dark last night looking for addresses or mailboxes, or even a street sign. It was like an interminable Zoloft dream, without the prospect of waking up. Anyway, the days have pretty much stopped getting shorter, and next week after the solstice, the sun starts to move north, and we can begin our headlong dash into next winter.
Oh, speaking of interstellar, am I the only one who is not rushing out to see Avatar? Doesn't it sound like amazing effects serving a tired story about corporate greed and the military? I mean they probably won't finish up with how important it is to believe in yourself, but still, really? Greedy corporations, how original.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Guess It Shouldn't Come As A Suprise...

that made me sad. I painstakingly put together a personalized calendar with beautiful pictures and demotivational sayings like, "Never be afraid to share your dreams with the world, because there's nothing the world loves more than the taste of really sweet dreams,"or, "If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, you're not alone. And yet you are alone. So very alone," only to discover that for 2nd Day Air to Alaska they wanted $52, and $20.00 for Ground.
That's right, $52 shipping for a calendar, and it's a paper calendar, too, not a bunch of huge monoliths standing in a circle.
Have they even thought of just putting it in an envelope and dropping it in the mail with $1.39 postage?
They also sell a personally painful T-shirt that says, "More people have read this shirt than your blog."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Main Stream Media Gets It Wrong Again

The headline in today's newspaper said that our new snow created a nightmare. That's funny, because last night I actually was dreaming about scary snakes. Before I went to bed, I was reading a book I got for Hannukah called provocatively, I'm a Neurotic and So Are You. Mostly it seems to be people confessing to disgusting or weird OCD issues, except for the charming quirks that I have.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Look, I Can Write Our Customer Service Policy In The Snow

Okay, we've got tickets to Chicago, and a flight home from Boston. All we need to do now is connect the dots. We had planned to use our $50 companion ticket (soon to be a $99 companion ticket due to a recent price increase) but the price was sky high (a little airline humor) so we used miles.
At the airport, the agent had explained that it wasn't just missing connections in Seattle, that bumped us out of first class. Another factor is that when the airline changes to a smaller plane, as happens sometimes, upgraded ticket passengers are the first ones pushed back to coach, and then mileage passengers. A customer on my route told me yesterday that his son was recently bumped off a plane entirely to make room for non-revenue airline employees who were going to a company party. We agreed that the only promise the airline makes to its passengers is to not non-metaphorically urinate on them, and that's only if for some reason they don't want to.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Karen and I are planning a trip next month. We went out to the airport this evening to buy tickets, but they sent us packing, as it were.
Apparently, Amish (who surf the web) can fly, Luddites can't.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well I got too excited in my tech Talk moments ago thinking and
talking about this dictation program and micro current stimulator the
heater doesn't stimulate or overstimulate that forgot to mention that
after 14 months yesterday Karen was finally disconnected from her
Karen was finally disconnected from her you can tell I'm still
dictating right here was finally disconnected from the external pump
that she's been carrying around for the last 14 months. She's free.

Sent from my iPhone

Tech running amok, and not

It's too soon to tell if you'll be able to tell that I didn't download
or upload her install dragon For dictation and am dictating this blog
into a yes or quick glance shows that you will be able to tell that I
did download the Dragon happen. I'm dictating into it and we all know
by now the perils that Running amok posers from the Terminator to
twitter. It turns out that text just sitting still can be kind of
annoying to yesterday Karen finally after months got some electrical
stimulating device that was supposed to help with her pain management
which has two states one whatsoever and two, burning sensations flying
upper arm glancing at what I've recorded so far, I see that the
Nigerians let's been using this system for years to send out e-mail.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To The (Data) Mines We Go

Okay, it was pretty exciting to hear that Dragon is coming to the iPhone because it has been a Windows staple for years, but unavailable for Macs. I'm kind of put off by the fact that it has almost as many one star reviews as 5 star ones. Apparently, the first thing the app does is upload all of your contacts to their servers.
Maybe I'll give it a few days and see if they eliminate that due to privacy concerns. I mean if I wanted everyone to know how few friends I had, I'd join facebook.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Strange New Facts

New to me anyway. 
Discover Magazine had an article about solar energy. They said when we eat we are "...literally chewing the sun."  I thought it would be hotter.
In looking for that quote, I found this quote, "In daily life, space and time are harmless illusions"
And then, way more shocking, we found out that Karen has a great niece and a great nephew no one in her family ever bothered to tell us about.  

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, December 07, 2009

I've been thinking that I've had so few new ideas lately that if I was
a rock star it would be time to release a Christmas album.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Comes Now The Case Of Nature v Nurture

I'm reading an article about a genetic study. I've learned two main things so far. Genes that are associated with negative characteristics might have positive benefits given the right parenting, and rhesus monkeys are really, really cute.
They used rhesus monkeys for some of the work because they share 95% of their genes with humans, although in the case of the Olson twins it might be slightly more.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

In Case I Don't Mention It Later, Merry Christmas

Out on the route, a man told me that he had just gotten home from the hospital after having heart surgery. The night before the surgery he dreamed that I had done the operation. The rest of the day, I dreamed about how I could bill Blue Cross.

In other health news, or fitness, anyway; I downloaded an app for my iPhone that promised that within six weeks I could do 100 push-ups. It's a bit of a disappointment because the way the app accomplishes that is by having you do lots and lots of push-ups during those six weeks.

For the last few weeks, our station managers have been repeatedly forcing carriers to work more hours than the contract allows. This is dumb for lots of reasons, most of which I'm too tired to type, but here's one: they're paying carriers at the top of the pay scale double time rather than hiring, as the contract allows, lower paid, non-benefit-receiving temporary employees (in fact they just let one of those go when her term was up, rather than reinstating her). So, tiring for the carriers and expensive for the post office. As of today, though, most of those restrictions on carrier hours are rescinded for the holiday period.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Happy Anniversary

A quiet day out on the route, the 13th anniversary of my first day there. No hoopla, but a little celebratory black bunting.