Feb 26, 2009

Catching up on Idol action.

Shan's Mom's birthday was Wednesday, so we did not watch Idol until Thursday night. We watched Wednesday's show first, so what you are reading is our reactions to what we saw. I have no idea who has made it through or not while writing this...

American Idol, Week 2

Jasmine Murray------N-------?-------Y-----
Matt Giraud---------N-------N-------N-----
Jeanine Vailes------?-------?-------?-----
Allison Iraheta-----?-------?-------Y-----
Kris Allen----------Y-------Y-------Y-----
Megan Joy Corkey----?-------N-------X-----
Matt Breitzke-------Y-------Y-------X-----
Jesse Langseth------N-------N-------N-----
Kai Kalama----------N-------?-------X-----
Mishavonna Henson---?-------?-------Y-----
Adam Lambert--------N-------N-------N-----

Running notes made during the show:

  • Whoa, okay Jasmine was WAY better during auditions and Hollywood week. I don't think she did well at all. Shan likes her, so she gave her a question mark.

  • Matt needs to do something other than breathe into the microphone. We didn't like him.

  • Jeanine is the strongest so far, but I think she was too many affectations or whatever you call those add-ons to the end of nearly every phrase she sings. Kinda gets annoying.

  • Oh bother. I cannot stand the Nick/Norman guy. This is a joke, right? If he makes it through, it'll be only because America is playing a cruel joke. He could have been a real contestant, but he is taking the place of someone who genuinely should have made it through.

  • Allison is one weird child judging by the pre-song interview. Let's see how she does. She is singing Heart... Can you say karaoke? Once she started rockin, it wasn't too bad, I guess.

  • Kris sings "Man in the Mirror." Why do these folks start with songs that are too low for them? Well, he's not bad, actually. I forgot he was from Arkansas! Shan and Emily changed their vote after he appeared in a local news commercial.

  • Megan Seemed okay, but what is up with the flailing arms!? Her voice is all over the place. I don't think I can give her a "yes"...

  • We liked Matt during the auditions and Hollywood week. I think he did a good job with this song. I don't know if he was better than Kris or not though...

  • Jesse does "Bette Davis Eyes." Man, that is a huge song. And, man did she blow it. What's with the weird accent going on?

  • Okay, let's see if Kai does any better. Well, if K-Tel were putting out an oldies remake CD, he could sing on it. But, really, no thanks.

  • Misha sings "Drops of Jupiter!" Man, I hope she does well. I love this song. Well, I'm disappointed. I think she could have done better with it. I like her voice, but it's not enough to save her, I'm afraid.

  • Emily doesn't like Adam because he looks goth. She said, "I can tell you right now, he's a no." This was said as he started singing. It's easy to understand why he can't get no....

And now, we've made our picks and so we watched the results show:

We are whipping through this pretty quickly because no one on this show jumped out as a clear winner. I will say that if Nick would have dropped the dumb Norman thing, he might have had a decent shot at top 12. Of course, he may still get there. As I type this, they are doing the intro song. Of course, there are always the wild cards... I will say I think the first group did their song much better than these folks.

Allison - Top 12 - Of the three, I can see her making it, and she was probably the strongest woman.
Jesse - Not Top 12 - Not a surprise from here.
Matt B - Not top 12 - That's a bum deal, but he was not the strongest guy up there.
Megan - Not Top 12 - she is a STRONG contender for a wild card.
Kris - Top 12 - Wahoo! The boy from Arkansas makes it through! And with a Mijac song to boot! Awesome.
Matt G - Not Top 12 - That is no surprise to me at all.
Jeanine - Not top 12 - Not surprising after the other performances.

Wow, Brooke White! I liked her last year... She's got that soft, raspy voice that reminds me of Stevie Nicks or Bonnie Tyler. I like her first single. i don't think it'll be a mega hit, but it's a nice change from a lot of what's being put on the air these days.

Mishavonna - Not Top 12 - Wrong song sends her home, I guess.
Kai - Not Top 12 - He's done. He is not a wild card contender.
Nick - Not top 12 - Well, praise the lord!
Adam - Top 12 - Really? Are you serious, folks? Man, he should not have been through...
Jasmine - Not Top 12 - Not surprised based on her performance.

Feb 23, 2009

"Now, I'm a Big Eater..." parody time again

Tyler has been listening to "I'm a Believer" on my iPod on the way to school lately, and well, my mind was wandering a bit and it sounded like "I'm a Big Eater..." So, of course, I decided to jot down my own rendition of the song with my own lyrics.

The music-only version can be found on this website.


I thought food was
all dessert and pizza rolls
frozen on a shelf
just for me
then take-out did get me
chocolate filled with creams
gym appointments haunted
all my dreams

And then I cleaned my plate
Now I'm a big eater
Not a trace
of food in my mouth
Not enough
I'm a big eater
I sure could eat more
If I Tried

I thought food was
more or less a given thing
the more I ate, the less
I left, oh yeah
Heard pizza man was crying
I said I wasn't payin'
when I wanted supreme
I got plain!

And then I cleaned my plate
Now I'm a big eater
Not a trace
of food in my mouth
Not enough
I'm a big eater
I sure could eat more
If I Tried

starvin kids are crying
i'd send it on a train
but I wanted supreme
and got plain!

And then I cleaned my plate
Now I'm a big eater
Not a trace
of food in my mouth
Not enough
I'm a big eater
I'd like to eat more
If I Tried

And then I cleaned my plate
Now I'm a big eater
Not a trace
of food in my mouth
Now, I'm a big eater
yeah, yeah, yeah
yeah, yeah, yeah
I'm a big eater
Then I cleaned my plate
I'm a big eater
Not a trace
of food in my mouth
I'm a big eater

Feb 22, 2009

Mom's surgery and all

If you're a regular reader of this here blog, you most likely know the sitch with my Mom and her surgery, but in case you don't know, or you happened to have stumbled across this blog while hitting the "Next Blog" gizmo at the top of many Blogger pages, I'll fill ya in!

The surgeon said her surgery went well. He said it was something like this: "Imagine you've cooked spaghetti, then strained it. You let it sit in the strainer a bit too long and now is something of a sticky mess. My job is to pull apart all the spaghetti strands without tearing any of them. It was a lot like that."

Not a job I would want! The good news is that he was able to do just what he needed to, and in the process, he also repaired the problem that is most likely the culprit in the first place: a place where the original surgeon had knicked Mom's small bowel and then repaired it. evidently, the repair did not go as well as thought, which also explains all the times we've had to visit emergency rooms over the past two years.

The other kicker is that this surgeon saw the mess as soon as he looked at the CT scan! How on earth everyone seemed to have missed it is beyond me.

Mom is recovering well. she sat in a chair for four hours today! that is major considering she didn't even want to sit in a chair for 45 minutes yesterday!

She is in good hands with my Aunt and Uncle and all our extended family on my side is out there in da 'burgh!

I can't remember if I posted about a trip I was planning to take to New York for Sharepoint training or not. Well, doesn't matter. The class I was going to attend was cancelled or moved or something, so now it looks like it's a trip to Chicago, if I get approved to go. I am very excited about it, since it will be the first REAL class I've had on sharepoint, even though we've been running sharepoint for a couple years now.

The whole thing came about because one of my area's school techs got a 3-for-2 deal on classes. He and I will go to the Sharepoint class, while his assistant tech will go to a server class. We should all benefit greatly from the whole week-long coursework.

I am very excited about Toy story 3 coming out in June 2010!! It has been way too long waiting for Woody, Buzz and the gang! And speaking of sequels...

Cars 2 will be out in 2011! It's sad that both Paul Newman (Doc Hudson) and George Carlin (Filmore) have passed away. The rumor mill is abuzz with what will happen to those characters in the sequel. I am betting that Filmore may make an appearance but without a speaking role, and that Doc's character will be voiced by a replacement. I can't imagine they would write Doc out of the movie, unless they did it out of love and respect for Newman...

Feb 19, 2009

My job is never the same...

I get to do all kinds of different things at work. Today, my main goal was to finally get our twelve MacBooks set up with Parallels and Windows XP so that we can use the laptops for training this summer. Of course, what should have been a "15 minute job" turned into an all-day affair that ultimately *could* have taken about 45 minutes.

Things went wrong from the beginning. I had an 'old' copy of Windows XP, and the Parallels software was none too happy about it. I guess before I go too much further, I should explain what Parallels does, right? Well, it lets you run any operating system (say, Windows XP) on the Mac while still using the Mac as a Mac. It basically lets you run Windows as if Windows was just another program. So, let's say we need 10 laptops for a Word 2007 class. Well, since Word 2007 doesn't run on a mac, we can run Office07 on a Mac INSIDE the 'virtual' Windows XP. It's like having two laptops in one, although you can install just about any system you want, so really, you could have Windows XP, Vista, Linux, or more all running on the mac with the same one machine! It's very cool stuff.

Well, after fighting for a couple hours, I finally got ONE of the macs to take the old Windows, which I then updated to the latest version of XP (that is, I applied all the patches and service packs). After I thought about it for a bit, I realized that I could take that one virtual XP and copy it to each of the other Macs. See, when you create a 'virtual' system, everything is kept in one nice (albeit HUGE) file! So, i burned a copy of the virtual image, which fit nicely on a DVD. Then, i copied it to the next Mac and things were looking good!

Then, I had another thought: Why not set up ONE Mac's XP just like I want it (with the right software, settings for XP, etc) and then copy THAT to the other Macs!? Brilliant!

So, after a couple more hours of getting XP just like I wanted it, I had a virtual image too big to even fit on a DVD! Time to do some clipping, deleting, and pruning. I whittled down the virtual image size to where it would just about fit on a DVD, then I compressed that image down further. If you've ever messed with ZIP files, it's the same thing, but on a grander scale.

We have a 7-bay DVD duplicator here, so I made 7 copies of the DVD and walked around installing the images to various macs, moving the DVDs from machine to machine as i went along, knocking out all the machines in two whacks! It was a great!

I still have a little tweaking I need to do on each machine, but that's minor and the main thing is that the machines are ready for summer!

© Pete Kozachik

After I finished the XP-on-Mac installs, I started cleaning my office desk. It's a mess. Seriously. Well, I came across the January issue of "Advanced Imaging" and flipped through it. Here is where I once again talk about the semi-work-related magazines I get. Even though most of what AI discusses never makes into anything I do, every once in a while, I come across a pretty cool article. The issue happened to be the "2009 Solutions of the Year," which touted all KINDS of cool advancements in the field of imaging. Things like a camera that shoot high speed images of the world's largest parachute attached to a rocket. Why do that? so scientists can see exactly what's going on and find ways to improve space travel (and return for that matter).

There was also an article about the process of making "Coraline." I am not a Tim Burton fan, and don't care much for the whole 'claymation/stop-motion' thing. But, I found it very interesting that the camera techniques used for Coraline were the first time they had been used. Ever. It was shot all digital, which turns out to be quite a feat. Then, on top of that, it was shot in 3D - again, all digitally. I love movies, and I love the technology of movies - the first films, first talking movies, color, digital, etc. I think it is amazing how people come with various techniques to solve the problems they are having in expressing just what they want the audience to see. "The Matrix" was a milestone in cinematic form with the whole 'spinning around the character' thing...

I learned a lot in the article, and plan on using some of article during a movie-making workshop that we'll hold this summer. Awesome!

I tried to find a link to the article itself, but the site was being cantankerous. You can try this link, if you want to: Coraline Article.

Feb 18, 2009

I hope you're sitting down... American Idol WEDNESDAY!

Before we get to Wednesday's Idol wrap-up, I got a call this morning from my Aunt. She said, "Are you sitting down?" And then she went on to tell me that Mom is in the hospital AGAIN... Except this time, the doctor took one look at her CAT scan and MRI and said, "Well, there's your problem." Turns out she has an inflamed area in her small bowel. I talked to the doctor himself, and he said he didn't know this was not found before now. He said it is very obvious. So, my Mom is having surgery on Friday. Yes, she is still in Pittsburgh. So, she had to fly across the country to get sick so that a doctor in da 'burgh could correctly diagnose her problem. Figures. I'll keep you posted as know stuff. Since Mom's sister and brother live out there, I decided not to fly out unless I am needed. I know that may seem crass to some folks, but she is in very good hands and I will be taking care of her when she gets back home.

And, now that you're sitting down, here's our Idol run-down:

The group performance of "I'm Yours" was very well done!

Okay, what the heck is up with showing the same thing we saw all season (the 'recaps') and then showing all the same stuff we saw last night. Give me a break. They could do this Wednesday stuff in a half hour.

Casey - We passed on her, so let's see what America said... Not top 12. Not surprised.

Steven - I said NO and Shan said YES.... Not top 12. Not really surprised based on Tuesday's singing.

Alexis - I wasn't sure, Shan said YES... Top 12! I think she can do well, but there are stronger folks already and we have a lot of singers to go.

Ricky and Jackie - We passed on both of them. Ricky not top 12. That is no surprise at all. I think Jackie could have done well, but I didn't go for her look and style yesterday either.

Anoop and Michael - We passed on anoop. Shan wanted Michael to go through because he can do better. Shan called it! Michael goes through. I think he has a shot as long as picks the right songs and can keep up with the stronger folks.

Man, I had forgotten about Carly Smithson. I really liked her last season...

Ann Marie - We both liked her. Not top 12, which is a bummer, but oh well...

Brent - We both liked him, too. He'd be good on Nashville Star.

Stevie - We passed on her. forgettable.

Danny and Tatiana - We picked danny to go all the way. Tatiana needs to be outta here. Wow, Paula actually said she thought Danny would go through. man, how did that happen!? she never commits to anything on here!

DANNY Top 12! It's not a surprise, but man am I glad to see it!! so far, he is the only one with true star power on the show. We'll see next week how he compares to the next group!

Okay, the producers needs to quit showing tatiana. It is Danny's moment, not the spotlight-seeker's... Give me a break.

Is this REALLY what you want bailout money spent on!?

I saw a report about this website (lenderoffender.com) that posts bank-owned properties that have fallen to ruin due to lack of landscaping detail.

Yes, I'll let you read that again.

The guy who runs the site, I don't remember his name nor care to look it up, said he got tired of seeing his property value go down because the banks weren't keeping up with the lawn care of foreclosed homes.

Yes, I'll let you read that again.

This guy wants the banks that just asked for BILLIONS of dollars in bailout money to spend that money on LAWN CARE! Lawn care!? Are you friggin kidding me with this!? People are losing their jobs at a rate of 5000 people PER DAY, and this guy is worried about what the LAWN looks like next door!?

Frankly, this guy should pick up a dang rake, hoe, mower, and whatever else he has and clean up the yard himself if it bothers him that badly.

Or, perhaps he would just rather have a little cheese with his whine!

Feb 17, 2009

American Idol TUESDAY!

American Idol Tuesday Night

Jackie Thon----------N-------N-----
Ricky Braddy---------N-------N-----
Alexis Grace---------?-------Y-----
Brent Keith----------Y-------Y-----
Stevie Wright--------N-------N-----
Anoop Desai----------N-------N-----
Casey Carlson--------N-------N-----
Michael Sarver-------?-------Y-----
Ann Marie Boskovich--Y-------Y-----
Steven Fowler--------N-------Y-----
Tatiana Del Toro-----N-------N-----
Danny Gokey----------Y-------Y-----

Shan gave Sarver a YES because she likes him and thinks he can do better than this song (I dont wanna be).

Tatiana can sing, but she is a bit "psycho." She is just out there man...

I think Gokey has a real chance to be top two, and could even walk away with the Idol title...

A little bit of random...

One of the blogs i read posted a link to freerice.com as a way to donate rice through the UN World Hunger something-or-other. I thought it was a joke. I was wrong.

You answer questions (the default is vocabulary question) and each time you get an answer correct, you donate 10 grains of rice. Seriously. I checked it out. here's the cool thing (because I don't give a rip about donating rice for crying out loud): you actually LEARN (gasp!) while you donate. I question some of the definitions they use, but of the four choices, you have to pick the 'closest' match.

Have fun, and happy donating (if that's your thing): HERE!

Something I like to do on a whim is make up lyrics to songs, based on the current topic of discussion. usually, this takes place on an email list that I belong to and has nothing to do with what folks are actually talking about. Here is my latest example (with context references to make sure that it makes sense... or as much sense as I can conjure up, anyway):

Person 1: In the cell phone scenario (more likely) the interface will improve to the point that full SVGA will be focused on your retinas and you navigate web pages by motion of the device or multi-touch screen.

Person 2: OOOOOOOOO... I may become a professional truck driver. Then I could play my video games while making a living!

Person 3: Don't quit your day job yet... soon as they start embedding those auto-drive sensors in the streets and highways there won't be anymore over the road drivers. :)

My Response: "East bound and down, my truck is automated. I'm not even drivin anymore. Well, it's a long way to go, auto-drive is gonna get there. I'm just a wi-fi bandit on the run!"

You see what I mean?

I have found a site after my own heart! It is Anti-Green Movement! This site is dedicated to bringing ideas to those folks who aren't buying in to the whole 'go green' hoopla. Now, i admit, some of their ideas are bit out there (I am not taking the insulation out of my house), but I love "Steal a tray Mondays!" Feel free to check them out.

It's tax time, and we got the call yesterday that our taxes were ready. I went by there after work, and I was handed a PAYDAY candy bar! That means we got a REFUND! Wahoo! If you aren't getting a refund at our tax place, you get a CRUNCH bar instead... Either way, you get free candy! Though, I suppose if we owed money, we wouldn't be a happy about getting candy...

Feb 15, 2009

An inside joke...

(our preacher is Perry Johnson)

It *could* be a real sign...

I found www.says-it.com while looking for a vinyl record for my baseball card blog... You can make all kinds of cool signs, records, cassettes, etc with your own sayings. very cool for party decorations or fooling your friends! This is what I did for my card site:

Give it a try! (Click here!)

Feb 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

(custom 'Goudey card' I made the other day)

On Tuesday, I sent Shan a dozen roses +2 to the school. I sent them early because I wanted her to be able to show them off all week! There were a dozen red roses from me and two white ones from the kids.

The original plan for Saturday was for us to go to the movies, acting as chaperones for Tyler and his date. As fate would have it, the girl's father never said if she could go, so that didn't pan out, and shan ended up fighting a cold.

Shan got me one of my favorite things of all: baseball cards! Now you talk about a woman that knows her man! :-)

Here's wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 10, 2009

So, what do YOU do on a day off?

I woke up this morning and helped a little with the kids as they got ready for school. My main job today was taking my Mom to the airport, so she could get to Pittsburgh. She and I left around 8:30 this morning in the middle of a very foggy, soggy day.

We got to the airport around 10:15 this morning and Mom told me to just pull up to the curb and we would take of check-in at the curb. Her flight was scheduled to leave at 11:45 and at the Little Rock Airport, guests can only get to the top of the escalator (for all intents and purposes), so parking would have been a waste.

We got her checked in and said our goodbyes. I decided to run to Hobby Town, USA, down the road and see if I could pick up some boxes to ship baseball cards in. Sure enough! I also picked up a couple packs of cards just for kicks.

After that, I headed home. On the way, the rain came in waves. At times, things were nearly clear and at other times, you couldn't see anything until it was almost too late.

I decided to run through Mickey-D's for lunch. Since the Mcdonald's in Hope is now a recently poured cement slab, I haven't had Mcdonald's in a while and I was craving a cheeseburger. What my Mom failed to tell me was that her driver's side power window has a slight issue. You see, once the window goes down, it may or may not go back up again, depending on how much it likes you at the time. evidently, I had made it mad. I started driving down the Interstate with the rain pouring in and the window down. I looked every bit the hick I felt like - cruising down I-30 in a Cadillac in the rain with the window down... Brilliant.

I eventually, lowered the window all the way, and this time when I pushed the "up" button, the window started up! I did not let go of the button until the window was sealed shut.

I fought high winds and driving rain off and on the whole way home. I was surprised no one went careening off the road!

Once at home, I decided to put together some of the baseball boxes I am giving away. I have a gazillion cards, bought before i had my "12 Days of Christmas" giveaway. The problem is that I ended up winning nearly every eBay auction I had bid on, so my 'stash' of cards grew by about 20,000 or more! Ouch. Well, I decided that I would give them away on my baseball card blog. The response has been great! So, for the past few weeks, I have been organizing the cards and packing them up for shipment. It's actually been a lot of fun. And a LOT of work.

I picked up Tyler from school, ran through sonic for supper, and headed home again.

all in all, not a bad way to spend the day off in my book...

Feb 9, 2009

Wherefore art thou?

Hey. How's it goin'? Been a while, huh? Yeah, I haven't stopped by here in a few days. What have I been up to? A little of this, a little of that... Oh, yeah, and I took Mom to the emergency room.

(caution, this could get graphic... or gross.. or both... at least for a little while)

Sunday afternoon, she called me to tell me she had been throwing up since 3:00. She did not look good (sorry Mom). We called her insurance company, who have a 24/7 registered nurse on duty you can get info/help from. After spending some time on the phone, the nurse said it was best if we got Mom to the ER.

The closest hospital is Medical Park in Hope Arkansas. Frankly, it sucks. But, it is close. When we got there, there were half a dozen or so people there and they had been waiting up to SIX HOURS and had not been seen yet. In the meantime, we sit down and I go over and get Mom checked in. And we wait... and wait... all the while, Mom is puking her.. well, I'd say guts, but really, her guts were long gone by this point, so let's say knees, up.

By the time we got called back, we had been there about two and half hours (I think, my memory is a little fuzzy and I didn't even have medication), and by then, Mom had been puking her ankles, toes, and I am pretty sure she was sucking pieces of the floor up through her body.

The doctor and nurses got her settled, and after a bit, she was given some medicine to calm her stomach and make her a little loopy. Well, a lot loopy, really. She began telling me that the room was fuzzy. Then, she said she could see all kinds of things when she closed her eyes. She said a few other things, but even I couldn't make a coherent enough grasp of it to relate it here. She has some xrays done.

Around 10:30pm, I took a short drive to Taco Bell (what else is open that late on a Sunday evening in Hope, Arkansas, other than Waffle House?). It's not really short the way I went, though. I took the by-pass, which was actually longer than just cutting through town. It was late, what can I say?

At one point though, I came around a curve and drive down the road some, then I come around another curve. For an instant, I am pretty sure I had just come around this curve. Holy crap, I'm in the Twilight Zone, or Groundhog's Day, or some new bizarre combination of the two! As I focus my eyes, I realize I am not quite where I thought I was, and indeed, there are two curves, and life is basically normal (minus the fact my mother was lying in a hospital bed finally NOT puking up the kitchen sink).

I get back to the hospital and decide the best thing for me to do is eat my supper in the hospital parking lot....in front of the ER waiting room... Yeah, that was my 'best' thing. Seriously, exactly when did my brain shut off, and really, should I be driving? I'm not thinking so.

I head back into the ER and a few minutes later, we're told Mom gets to check into the Hotel Medical Park. You check in, but you don't check out... or you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave... or well, you might as well check out and leave because we're all going to the monster truck rally. Take your pick.

Evidently, she has several air pockets trapped in her intestines, and her body is not too happy about it. She'll have to stay for observation, hydration, and pseudo libation in the form of drugs.

Mom tells me to go home and get some real rest and for me to come back in the morning to See how things are. I protest, but lose the fight. Amazingly, the drive home was nowhere near as eventful as the trip to Taco Bell. Evidently, the ghoulies and ghosties decided they had better things to do.

Fast forward to this morning. No word form the doctor. The nurse comes in and Mom is gone for an updated xray and an ultrasound. I play UNO on my HTC Touch while I wait... Oh, and I answer email and surf the web. Yeah, we're not supposed to have our cellular devices turned on, but really, do cell phones affect medical equipment at all? I sincerely doubt it. Though, I did notice there was a 'code blue' for the guy in the next room while I was trying to look up a problem with my company's web server. I thought it was a K-Mart thing... Just kidding. Calm down..... I know what a 'code blue' is. And, no, the guy in the next room did not code out. Heck, I don't even know if there WAS a guy in the next room! I'm trying to keep things light here, people!

After Mom gets back, the nurse says the doctor comes in at 10am. He then reads everybody's charts. He goes to see the patients in ICU. I've always wondered if first-year doctors go around saying that alot, thinking it's funny: "I Se You in the ICU!" Yeah, prolly not. After his stint in ICU, Mom's doctor would make his regular rounds. It is at this point, the nurse says, "On a good day, you'll see him by noon. On a regular day, by 2 or 2:15 tops." Nice. mom tells me to go to work.

After lunch, John and I stop by to see how things are going. Still there, still no doctor. Back to work. Not long after I'm back, Mom calls to let me know that the doc says things have moved a little and that there air pockets down there. Mom is put on a liquid diet for 48 hours. But, the nurses are working up her discharge papers! Wahoo!

A couple hours later, Mom is ready to go (feeling MUCH better), and so am I!

Oh, there is one little thing I forgot to mention. Yeah, on Tuesday, Mom is flying out to Pittsburgh. Her best friend is having open heart surgery, and she wants to be there for her. So, in the hospital one day, in Pittsburgh the next. THAT is my Mom...

Feb 5, 2009

The waiting game

I am writing this while sitting in the waiting room of the Freeway Medical building in Little Rock. My mom had an appointment for her back at 10:30 this morning. It is now 1:00 in the afternoon as I write this. We are still waiting for her to go back to get her treatment. And, then after that, we are to go to physical therapy.

I foolishly assumed we would have eaten and been on the road home by now. Not even close. At this point, I don't even know if we'll be home in time for supper! Yeesh.

Since the building has wireless, I have been able to do some work online. I should ask the boss if I can claim half a day's work since I am working on my 'sick time.'

My question is this: why would a doctor schedule surgeries and treatments on the same day? There is a room full of people that could have been gone from here long ago. instead, we sit here waiting... and waiting... and waiting. At some point, they should just tell everyone to reschedule their appointments and buy us lunch!

Feb 4, 2009

Ever had one of those days?

I had 'one of those days' twice in a row...

I'll start with today (Wednesday) and work backward. I had a movie in my head. You know, when you can picture the actor and you know what the movie was about, but you can't remember the name of the flick to save your life? Yeah, one of those. I knew the actor was Gerard Depardieu. I knew the movie featured him being interrogated by a couple of German soldiers (more on that in a sec), and I knew the movie was from the mid 90's. So, I began my search to ease my mind. No luck. I looked through IMBD and even found several sites that listed all of his films. Nothing rang a bell. Then, I tried Yahoo answers. Unlike the millions of people who ask before they search, I actually searched the site for the actor's name.

As time went on, I remembered the movie was about a death or suicide. This was getting me nowhere fast. And then, I remembered it wasn't German soldiers. It was two police officers. Ah... Well, after poking around a bit, I found what I was looking for. The movie is "A Pure Formality." It's a French movie with English subtitles (yeah, I like artsy movies) and it came out in 1995. How did I even know about this movie? IFC used to run it a lot a few years ago. Why it popped in my head today, however, I have no earthly idea.

So, now I had a title and a year. All I had to do was search Amazon and eBay for a good price on the DVD. while I did find it in both places, it was NOT a Region 1 movie, meaning I could not play it on my DVD player. Dang it. I did find it on VHS, though, so I might buy it and convert it to DVD, but that is a pain.

I'll let you know. Of course, now that I put the puzzle together, I may forget about the whole thing and just grab a coke and be happy.

Before the 'pure formality' brain takeover, I had a tech meeting today. It went really well, and I think was one of the most productive meetings I've had in a while. I am so glad these meetings are working out as well as they are. I wish more techs would attend, but I do understand why they can't all come. There is work to be done at the district.

We talked about the state security policy, what summer trainings they would like to have for themselves and what trainings they would like to see for the teachers. we also took a look at windows 7, which will blow most users out of the water. basically, Microsoft took everything wrong with vista and threw it away. I'm pretty excited about win7.

Before the meeting, I came in to the office and had a box in my chair. I checked the purchase order number on the label and knew this was our 75 flash drives for a project. I opened the box and found... umm... 38 flash drives. That would be about half of what we ordered. I immediately called the rep and chewed him up one side and down the other. we were supposed to get 38 TWO-PACKS, not 38 single packs! Later in the day, I had a voicemail that said he made the mistake and put in the wrong part number and that we should have our replacements asap.

In the meantime, I get to send the other ones back. All I have to say is that I am not paying to send them back. they screwed up, they can pay for it.

Back up to yesterday (Tuesday).

I've been trying to figure out just how to tell this story. You see, it has to do with my mother going to the doctor and my total misunderstanding as just what she was going to the doctor for in the first place. Allow me to start at the beginning.

My day started with a trip to one of my schools so that I could install and setup SharePoint web services on a server they have. It has been a while since I have installed that from scratch, so my brain was trying to play catch up.

Because I had this install to do, Shan took Mom to her doctor's appointment ( am taking mom to a different appointment on Thursday, but more on that in a bit). I am at the school, flipping through books, checking my steps, etc. Of course, things aren't quite going right, so I have to actually remove some of the installed updates so that I can install the software I need to install, so that THEN I can install the updates we need. Yeah, one of those kinds of days.

Mom was told to be at the doctor at 7:00 so that she could get her anesthetics for her appointment at 8:00. At 10:00, Shan calls me to tell me they had JUST THEN taken my mom back for her work to be done. I couldn't believe it!

After that, the tech I was working with had to meet with an electrician, so he left me to install the software. Everything was going fine. And then I couldn't find the license key for the software. I called the tech, who told me where to find it. I looked and no luck. Since I had access to all the servers, I decided to look around the files and see if I could find it myself.... After about 30 minutes of checking and taking care of other things with my Smartphone, I decided I wasn't going to find the key and instead focused on work I could do through my work webmail.

I was a bit frazzled and frustrated.

Shan called to tell me my mom was done with her appointment. Here is where things get muddy in the space between my ears. In my head, my mom was going to get the shot for her back pain. Shan tells me the doctor gave mom some meds to help make her sleepy, but they weren't working. so, they gave mom some more, and THAT wasn't working. the doctor gave her as much was allowed without admitting her to a hospital for local anesthetic, yet mom was totally awake. So my mom is totally awake while to doctor is going to give her the spinal injection. So far, things make some sense.

Then, Shan tells me that mom had to have a tube put in her mouth, and in order for them to do that, they had to give mom some kind of drink to number her mouth. Somewhere in mind, I ask myself, "What does she need a tube in her mouth for a back injection?" The next thing I hear is that the doctor tells mom that she does not have cancer. I tell myself, "well, I’m glad to hear that, but why are they checking for cancer during a back injection?" My mind is still trying to figure out where the software key might be, and trying to make the connections between a spinal injection and a search for cancer...

Later, as Shan is give me a few more details of the day, I obviously was very confused as to why they would be doing all this internal stuff for a back injection... And then Shan says, "Umm, this was her endoscope for her stomach. You are taking her for her back injection on Thursday."

And that is when the light came on. They weren't sticking things down mom's throat, giving her all those meds, and letting her be wide awake for a back injection!! It was for her STOMACH EXAM!! DUH!!

Yeah, one of those kinds of days....

Feb 1, 2009

Says it all...

Random Stuff on Super Bowl Sunday Part II

It's no secret that I am not a fan of President Obama. I believe he says a lot of things very eloquently, but when you whittle it down, really, he says nothing more than stating some pretty obvious, broad-reaching things (get back to work, etc).

During the Matt Lauer interview, he spoke of signing notices for those that have given up their lives. The interview then cut away to Iraq and a room full of service folks. The most touching moment came right before the cutaway, when the folks realized they were on screen, they turned and waved. Excellent.

I will have to admit, this interview had some very funny moments and for the first time, I actually enjoyed seeing our new President on screen. Have no fears, I still have my feelings about the politics and rhetoric coming out of the man. But, he can be 'human' when kinda caught off guard...

Random Stuff on Super Bowl Sunday Part I.5

This is the new lead singer for Journey. Really? This was the best they could find? A karaoke singer who does a horrible job of sounding like Steve Perry? I mean, okay, you don't necessarily want someone who sounds like the guy you're replacing, but at the same time, it has got to be someone who can at least due the classics of Journey some justice! This guy? Simon Cowell would have sent this boy packing before the auditions even got started.... He sucked in his pre-game rendition of "Don't Stop believing." He botched lyrics and missed a key or three to say the least.

Why is this post "1.5?" because my other post with the made-up cards was really Part I, but i didn't label it that way, so now you know.... For what it's worth...

Check back later for more pre-game shenanigans and thoughts from your truly.

Welcome to Steeler country! (Stealing from myself)

This appeared on my Indians blog, but I wanted to share it here:

When it comes to baseball, I am a die-hard Tribe fan. And, when it comes to football, I bleed Black-n-Gold since the day I was brought into the world in Southside Hospital! I made these cards using pictures I found and the "mytradingcard.com" web site. Enjoy!