Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WTF Internet Explorer?

I use Firefox at home because I need constant spell check ability.  Whether at home or work (where I have no choice), if I'm on Blogger using Internet Explorer I continue having the same issue.  It started a couple months ago.  Originally I thought it was linked to my conversion to Windows 7 on the home desktop.  But with my work computer, I didn't think I'd upgraded in over a year. 

I cannot post a comment on a blog as anything but anonymous.  I'll be logged in to blogger to pull up my dashboard like normal.  If I read a blog and type a comment it asks me what account I want to post it from.  Typically on Firefox it's already chosen or at least has my name on the list, but if not, I just select Google Account and log in no problem.  Here lately though it asks me to sign in and still posts me as anonymous.  Then it asks me to log in again as anonymous.  This cycle doesn't end.  I have to actually select anonymous to post any comment. 

Anyone else experiencing this? I assume it's an IE setting I just don't know which one to change.  Your help is greatly appreciated!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm A Hermit Crab No More!

I've had a long history with this company of being displaced as far as offices go. 
I started at the begining of 2007.  A few months in, I was brought from a remote office to the distric office originally because my boss needed to keep a closer eye on me.  It had nothing to do with performance other than my boss's job kept her in the same place all day.  Mine on the other hand is primarily out in the field.  Bottom line, if you see me at the area office, I'm not really doing my job.  (Probably still working, just not doing what the central focus of my job is.) 

The end of 2007 we all got a new bigger boss who was going to be in Austin and not San Antonio like his predecessor.  I got kicked out of my office and sent back to the original remote location.  New my place in the world that day.  Let me just tell you, humble pie tastes like shit. 

December of last year we closed that remote office because it was unprofitable.  With it went my office. I've been "homeless" for 7 months now.  A mobile office and occasionally "borrowing" office space from others has been my life.

I wanted to convert a portion of one of my other locations for an office.  It didn't need a ton of work, but the building was so old that the electrical and everything else required to even begin put our tab around ten grand.  Yeah, so that didn't fly.  I had the option to office in a store in the north suburb of Austin, but that is a 45 minute commute without traffic, hour and a half with.

Finally we settled on redoing another location and it came in under budget.  I began moving all of my stuff in a few weeks ago.  It was back breaking and had they not just begrudgingly forked over the money for the office, I would have hired movers.  I hind sight, I should have and said screw em!

Today I am officially done.  Some furniture needed to be replaced (therefore self assembly was a few days of my life).  Today I spent the morning when my phone wasn't blowing up doing what I've been trying to accomplish for weeks...finish purging my files and boxes of crap. 

It's a nice feeling.  The office is organized and how I want it.  Truly a happy feeling. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unprovoked Hostility Scares Me

I have a few drivers moving our equipment around my territory.  I am losing many to college next month and wanted some advice on where to recruit.  The last recruiting round was a miserable failure.  People openly admitted they wouldn't pass a drug test and declined the job.  But hey this is Austin, so some things are to be expected, right?

I called our HR director, with whom I've only had email communication prior.  I introduce myself and ask how she's doing and then get to my question about recruiting avenues I have at my avail.  She immediately flipped her wig and demanded the who, what, where, when, why, etc.  I explained that we were still one head short for the territory and I'm also looking to replace a couple who will be leaving and one no call no show.  She begins ripping me a new one about no open requisition requests being in place.  Fine, I get that there's a protocol, but that's really not what I'm asking.  I play along and give her the details she demands. 

She then tells me that we already have filled the req and there is nothing further to discuss until I've had approval for a new hire.  I explained (again) that we are still one short and I'm just looking to back fill a few.  She listed off the names and I said yes, but there is still one short.  This is when she tells me that she doesn't understand the hostility and frustration she's getting from me.  She's here to help and I'm freaking out on her.  I reassure her through my frightened chattering teeth that I have none and apologize if it's coming across that way.

After my new asshole has been installed, I ask her about MY question.  She tells me a few options (one of which I was interested in) and proceeds to tell me why none of them are best and asks why I don't just outsource the help.  I explain why I want to proceed and I asked her if the local posting is something she sends me via email or if it's something she orders or if I just create it.  She says, I told you I would send it to you originally.  OK, I've pissed off the beast.  Finally, she starts talking to me about a posting.  She didn't want to use my cell phone and didn't understand why I didn't have an office line.  I haven't had an office in 8 months because we closed one of my stores that I officed out of and have been "homeless" ever since.  Fine, we move on.

At the end she tells me I need to put a smile on that everything is alright and I shouldn't be so frustrated.  At this point my pulse is throbbing in my neck and I'm freaking out because she doesn't seem to get that I'm not the one with the psychotic tendencies.  I apologize again and thanked her. 

I immediately called my coworker to warn him she was going to contact him about what we'd discussed.  He was apparently already on the phone with her so i called my boss.  In his annoyingly "poke the bee hive" sarcastic way he starts telling me that there is no way and begins slinging questions toward me about what we discussed.  Only til after I'd fully explained did he admit that she's always like this.  He said she's one of those people whom he has no clue how they've survived in a position as long as they have.  She's from Boston but lives in Chicago for twenty years.  She hasn't dimmed that accent at all!

It's terrifying to be yelled at in German, but being accosted by a psychotic Bostonian is flat out horrific!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Suck It!

Our daughter is two years and eight months old. She still uses a pacifier (Binky). We've parred her down to nap time and bed time usage only.  Only of course is a loosely use term. 

For a year she'd been doing phenomenally well with that arrangement up until a couple months ago.  Now she's been begging for it at any boredom moment throughout the day.  She'll ask for it when she watches TV and anytime we're in the car. 

It's time for Binky to retire.  So this week we've been prepping her for it.  We've talked about how she's a super big girl now and only babies have Binkies.  You know, trying to get her psyched.  A few weeks ago we added a book into the night time reading repertoire about not having it any more as well.  Both the conversations and the book were received with the same "this is bullshit and you know it" looks from my little girl.  Didn't realize skepticism began so young.

For the record, our son will not take a pacifier for anything other than an amusing chew toy that lasts for a second or so.  This has made bed time a strictly milk bar visit affair.  Neither option is easy to break, I'm learning.

Several people gave us the idea to cut the pacifier so that it becomes inoperable and have the child throw it away.  We'd been talking about throwing it away for a week now.  Same skeptical look followed by a mad dash out of sight with this concept.

So on Friday night I did just that.  I cut both of the pacifiers we had around.  (There are two back ups MIA, which is why we have back ups you know.)

When she asked for it, I said you know we aren't going to have binkies any more.  I need you to go throw it away.  She refused.  When she popped it in her mouth, she discovered the damage. 

She announced "Binky Broken."

We shrugged our shoulders and said "it's time to throw it away."
She states, "No, we just need sticky tape." (Thank you Dora the Explorer)
I pulled out a Scotch tape dispenser and pulled off a piece and wrapped it around the tip.
She popped it back in her mouth but pulled it back out 30 seconds later and said "Not working."
I again told her it's OK because we have to throw it away anyway.
She declared, "No we need bigger sticky tape."
I grabbed masking tape and had the same result a minute later.
She walks up to me with this very serious look and says, "Daddy, we need the big sticky tape ever."
Packing tape it is kid.  She was so happy when I pulled out this giant roll. I taped the nipple flat to the base.
Still beaming she quickly deflated with "Tape to big, can't put in my mouth.  You take it off."
I shrugged again and told her it needs to go in the trash.
With this she retorts, "Mommy, Daddy, you need to go to the store and buy me a new binky. An Elmo binky."


I couldn't stop laughing.

Our night time routine was rough.  A few extra books and crashing in mom and dad's bed was necessary. She woke up early in the morning and went back to bed with little fuss.  We were astonished by how easy this was seeming to be.

Nap time the next day seemed easy but last night's bed time was a repeat of the previous night.  Nothing to freak out about though.  She asked for her binky on multiple occasions and told us we needed to find the "orange binky" (back up sanity saver) several times. 

Today though, NO NAP.  FU oral fixation! Needless to say, I'm at my wit's end right now.  Bed time has been going on for over an hour and we're still no where near asleep. Right now it's "Daddy, you have to lay down with me." Breaks my heart cause that gets us exactly NO WHERE!

I understand why people dread this part of parenting.  It's also really hard to be mean about it knowing she is so sweet and doesn't get the issue at all.  Alas, every parent with a binky addicted toddler has been through this at some point. Justin hoping I have the strength to not go ape shit on her this week. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's 0.04 Seconds?

While waiting for my PC to do a ridiculously long update reboot my mind began to wander into pointless pondering. I'm sure the topic is somehow stemmed from either the fact that I just order a clock and calendar for my new office or that my cat turned 10 years old today.  So I'm wondering why they divided up the year the way they did. I will fully admit, I've never looked at it, studied it or even wiki'd it.  That said, there is just a lack of logic to it and it even drove me to whip out a calculator.

First the fact that we have 12 months with varying amounts of days within each doesn't make sense.  Granted all but a couple of exceptions they teeter back and forth from 30 to 31, so fine, at least there's balance.  But why not just have 6 months with 61 days in them? Hell it' would eliminate that pesky Leap Year (wait, I'll get back to that later). But ok, that would make for some hellaciously long months.  How bout 10 months with 36 days?  It's not like we really need 4 seasons with 3 months apiece.  Realistically there are only a couple months of Spring and Autumn.  Here in Texas they last less than a week.  We go from blazing heat to winter jackets over night and vice versa.  The equator folks never catch a break!

So, lemme get back to my Leap Year comment.  Why do we do this at all? Now, I'm no math or science expert, but if my calculations are correct, every day we are off by 59.11 seconds.  By the end of four years we've accumulated an extra day that we just toss in.  Who decided this was acceptable? Sucks to be born on the 29th of February.  It's almost as bad as a Christmas Birthday.  Instead of your day being YOUR DAY, your day is just an imaginary day three years running! Speaking of fuzzy math...if you take those seconds and break them down amongst the rest of the seconds in a day, it appears to be only 0.04 seconds for every full second we have that's missing.  Did you follow that? if not, don't worry, it's just gone midnight and I probably shouldn't be thinking about any of this anyway, let alone when it's past my bed time.

So back in the day when they were constructing the genius methods of time measurement, why didn't they just factor this crap in? I mean really? just add 0.04 seconds on to every second.  We all would have just counted a hair's width slower from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on.  I'm not joking or over thinking this (I hope). Didn't they do the math before they claimed their math was sound? Or did someone just take the seconds, minutes, days, weeks, hours and years and force the physics in? After they crammed in more holes than any container can withstand, they then had to spread it to the whole world (well, except the Chinese and Jews...still sticking with those ancient calendars...kids). How did everyone decide upon how long a second was? Surely some other civilization in the world...say the Mayas, had thought this through right?

Oh well, it's too late to retrain 6.77 Billion people to count a smidgen slower!

And don't get me started on the retardedness that is the Daylight's Savings!

Gute Nacht or probably Guten Morgen by the time you read this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fueling the Fire

I read on cnn.com that the wackadoodles from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS would be picketing Betty Ford's funeral.  If you don't know who they are here is the wiki link of their leader that I just scrolled through while my stomach did somersaults.  WBC is the group who have been picketing fallen soldiers funerals the past few years.  They also seek out major celebrities funerals to picket to bring attention to their extremist religious/moral standards. 

The pastor/leader/father, Fred Phelps's biography makes me sad for everyone involved.  He appears to be a controlling, vengeful egomaniac with a holy agenda.  He's spoken out against everything not puritanical.  His big targets involve sex.  That shouldn't surprise anyone though, most radicals seem to view sex as obscene.  Homosexuality is numero uno.  But like with Mrs. Ford's funeral, he's chosen divorce/infidelity as his cause to protest. 

I shouldn't add to his Internet hits with this post, but I wanted to voice my opinion against him and his kin from WBC.  They so willingly wield it when no one else wants to hear it, they should be met with equal push back.  This man's vile and potentially violent messages and means of spreading should be classified as hate crimes.  I'm sure Muslim Terrorists have less hatred toward their fellow man than this guy does. Lets hope the powers that be have a close enough watch on him that he can't step up his game.  The UK banned he and his wife from entering the country, so apparently some one's paying attention. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Declan!

My little boy is a year old today! My wife and I were discussing our experiences this time last year. Both of our birth stories are all drama and bumbling hilarity. His was particularly complicated because we had another little one running around.  Drama and inside humor aside, this little guy is an ever smiling/flirting/happy dude.  Makes me feel like we've done something right when your kids are just happy. Sure it's a false sense of accomplishment, but with all the antisocial, timid kids we encounter, I'll pat my own back thank you very much. Oh and startling resemblance to me...as should be expected...definitely helps him win favor!

Speaking of resembling me...my dad always used to call me an orangutan because well, I was a giant lanky red head, just like our primate kin.  But Kottke.org posted this link about a wild life photographer whose camera was swipe by one of the Black Macaque monkey he was documenting.

This photo made me smile so much this morning. It was weird looking at those teeth. I don't know why I never noticed it before, but they really do look like human teeth.  Not sure what I thought they'd have, but that looks like Uncle Herb's grill more so than a wild animal no?

Imagine not being there when nature begins to do your job for you! I wonder what this little guy thought when he saw his reflection in that camera. Do you think he's self aware? I couldn't tell when my kids crossed that line from thinking it was the best looking baby they'd ever seen versus playing with them selves in the mirror.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baby Wyatt

A friend of mine was induced last week and her baby was still born.  There were complications with the pregnancy, I didn't fully understand the details, but I believe they were the cause.  This is her second child.  We just stopped in to see them on our vacation to New Orleans.  Dropped off baby stuff she'd given us thinking her first son was going to be her only, as well as some other things we thought she'd like. 

Since she moved to Louisiana we've not been as close, but we definitely still kept in contact.  I heard the news from one of our friends whom could easily be described as "the town gossip." When she announced she was pregnant, she called me to let me know. With that she said, "I wanted to tell you before you heard it through the grapevine." Within the hour, the town gossip was calling me to break the news.

I have a feeling she let him know (via text) so she didn't have to tell all of us and deal with the uncomfortableness of it all directly.  I get that and might do the same.  That said, I don't know what to do now.  I at least want to send her a condolences card. But I feel awkward because she hasn't told us about it yet.  I don't think in the grand scheme it matters how I found out.  I just want to let her know we are thinking about her. 

What's the protocol/ettiquite here? I called my mom and she basically reiterated my thought.  It's more important to let her know we care than tiptoe around how we found out.  What are your thoughts? Ever experience it or have ot react to it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Happy Birthday America! Hope you guys had a great celebration today. Most of Texas is under a burn ban and therefore canceled fireworks displays and banned the sale for personal use altogether. 

We went to a cookout with friends for a few hours. The kids got to play with their son in the pool and sand box. Good times with good people and good food! As for our own fireworks display, I'll deny this blog has any ounce of credibility should the police some snooping around.  Last year our oldest kinda freaked out with our own personal show so I had a whole goodie bag full for this year.  We tried out everything that didn't fly up in the air (well, with one mistaken exception).  Both kids had a blast.  Daddy's a hero...hooray!

Mashable posted this and I laughed the whole way through.  The New York Times created America's Facebook Wall, should our nation have been socially networked from its inception. Hope you enjoy.  BYOT! And I think OJ owes me a thank you note for those Isotoner Gloves!