Thursday, August 28, 2008

Excel Art - You Mean I'm Not the First?!?!?

I was mistakenly under the impression that I had started something new by engaging in excel art. But today in my boredom, I googled Excel Art hoping my blog would be first on the list. Much to my dismay, I found manuals or patterns on creating it and this was art much more sophisticated than any of my genius work. My sight came up on page 2 or 3. Woe is me, another get rich quick scheme down the drain. Oh well. As long as I am bored at work, I will create.

I call this one "Cabinets of Nothingness"

"Lone Wolf" (yes that was intended to be a wolf. I guess if this were an Atari game, it would be a great wolf)

Have a great weekend, and don't Labor on Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lola's Corner - Greatest American Dog

Hello again, I've missed you all. I hope you had a great weekend. Mine rocked!!! Grandpa and Grandma came to visit with uncle Beethoven. And then my Aunt and Uncle came over too. While Beethoven didn't much want to play with me, my grandpa and uncle wrestled with me and I had a blast. Which is good because I was just so excited to have visitors that I had a hard time calming down. I just wanted to play and couldn't really contain myself. Mom swears it's because I'm still a puppy. Thanks for visiting and playing with me!!!!!

So I don't know if any of you are watching Greatest American Dog. Me either. I just want you to know that it's me. I'm the greatest American dog. It's not titled Most Well-Behaved Dog. If it was, that would not be me. Anyways let's just say I'm rooting for the boxer. That's about all I can say since I've only seen it once or twice. Although tonight they had to do some kind of air apparatus where they jump off and zip line down to the ground without being pushed by their owners. Two dogs did it that I saw and one of them was the boxer of course. What a good dog. Not quite as pretty as me...but he is very handsome. I'd play with him.

Remember to send me pics of your furry friends to


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beanchilada Casserole

I'm going to share the best recipe I ever made up on my own with you. Well I don't follow recipes to a t so think of it as a guideline. Do what sounds good to you.

Preheat oven to 350 or 400 or there abouts

1 can of black beans
1 can of fat free or vegetarian refried beans
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes or some rotel works too
cut up some jalapenos to desired spiciness if you don't use rotel
1 onion or as much as you can tolerate
shredded cheddar cheese heavy if you like, lite if you're going for healthy
several dashes of onion powder, garlic, and chili powder
If you like cilantro, throw some of that in too. If not, leave it out.

Mix it all together in a bowl

Get your favorite tortillas. Corn, Flour or whatever you fancy. I've had it with each kind and they are both good.

You'll need a can or 2 of enchilada sauce.

Pour some in the bottom of your favorite baking dish enough to cover it.
put a layer of tortillas down
Then a layer of mixture
then a layer of tortillas
then another layer of mixture
then a layer of tortillas and this should fill the dish
top with the rest of the enchilada sauce

If you prefer to spend more time, you can roll up enchiladas. I found this way to go much faster and is just as tasty after rolling them up once or twice. Oh and it's less messy.

Cover with foil Bake until it's good an bubbly. Remove foil and sprinkle some cheese on top for the last 5 minutes or so. You might want to put a cookie sheet under it to catch spillage. Unless you just have a large baking dish. I usually use a 9x9 dish which tends to cause a wee bit of spillage.

Makes enough to feed a reasonably eating family of 2 about 3 times give or take. But we usually stop after 2-3. Seems like it would be perfect for a family of 3 unless one of you is a wolf.

Oh I also like to add sour cream after it's on my plate....I'm sure guacamole would be tasty as well if you like that sort of thing.


Monday, August 25, 2008

"Air Birth Control"

Since we will be going on vacation in a couple of weeks, I'm going to hold off on great pics from around the world for this week as I promise to take many pictures to last for weeks. But don't hold me to that because I'm terrible at taking pictures.

So today I've decided to talk about this phenomenon I affectionately call "Air Birth Control." This applies to all the ladies who happened to get pregnant while on the pill which has a failure rate of less than 1%. I'm sure someone will correct me on my statistic. And if you or your wife happened to get pregnant while taking the pill, save it. Because unless you take your pill to an alarm everyday like I do and you have an independent verifier that sees the pill go in your mouth and down your throat, I can't confirm that you have taken the pill as advised.

My theory is that those that get pregnant on the pill either forgot to take their pill for a couple of days, can't be trusted to take it regularly, or literally throw the pill away and swallow air and claim they're on the pill. A friend and I crack up at the sight of this and if I were a cast member on SNL, I'd be happy to write a sketch about this to illustrate my point. I tried making a drawing to illustrate my point, but I'm a much better excel artist.

I take my pill every day to an alarm. Same time same place. I even worry if I forget and take it a few hours later. Even though logically I know that should be sufficient. I just don't want to be a statistic of failure. Which leads me to my theory on that statistic. I think that statistic is largely made up of people who took the pill improperly and lied about taking it responsibly. I'd say it's made up mostly of women who were trying to "trap" their boyfriend into marriage, or married women who were ready to have a baby before their husband was but needed something to blame other than herself. "Huh, I guess we're part of that 1%..." This is because there is only so much time you have available to you each month to even conceive and you want to tell me that you still found that time while taking birth control? hmmm...very interesting. My advice guys, don't trust your woman if she's on the pill unless you're ready to have an "oopsy" kid, or you see her take it every day

Just my theory. I know it doesn't apply to you. And that's fine. You really ARE part of that statistic. Good for you.

What I do know is that if anyone's going to pregnant while taking the pill properly, it's going to be me for saying all of this. But at least I'm at the point where I can handle it if I am cursed, I mean blessed with the true failure of birth control. I'll be sure to be truthful about taking it properly or truly forgetting it (unintentionally of course). And I'll admit it if I do turn out wrong. But you can be sure I'll be the first to say I forgot if I did.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Is a Little Efficiency Too Much to Ask For???

I found out this weekend that my brother and I make out our grocery list the same way. We weren't taught to do this nor did we know the other has this in mind when making the grocery list. I'm sure many of you do this. We try to make out the list based on the lay out of the grocery store. That way you aren't forgetting items on the list. Of course if your spouse adds items to the list wherever there's room, it kind of messes with the flow and you still end up forgetting things at the store. Still we have this in mind in an effort to save time and money.

This got me thinking to my desire for efficiency, mostly in the work place. Being a government employee is counter intuitive since no matter how much you'd like to be the person to "save the tax payers some money," unless you are the head of the agency making this demand, it's pretty difficult to do. And I don't know that I can be appointed head of an agency with such a desire, unless a governor is elected and decides to clean house. Which would be my dream to be able to clean house.

Then I started thinking about how there's always an ongoing joke about the nature of government, city, state, or federal, and their inefficiency. The thing is, they are all supported by our tax dollars, and we are all voting representatives into office. Why aren't we the taxpayers demanding efficient use of our tax dollars?!?!? We should be outraged that there is so much unnecessary fat that our money is wasted on. We should be calling our senators and congressmen, on the state and national level and demanding efficient use of our money or let them know we will vote them out of office next election.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Work Week in Review

While I have been busier than normal the last couple of weeks with work, I did manage to find plenty of time to talk and laugh with a co-worker, as well as create 3 more masterpieces of excel art. I hope to be able to quit my day job soon to pursue a successful career making excel art.

I call this one "Going Nowhere"

"Fishing for Work" Obviously, if I have time to do these.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lola's Corner - Lovesick for Barkley

Ah, aren't I just the sweetest little puppy you ever saw!!! I like to snuggle even in the car.

So today before I get into my love for Barkley, I'm going to talk about a serious issue. Parents getting pets that require lots of attention for their kids and then not holding their kids accountable for paying attention to them after the initial cuteness wears off.

If you get your kid a dog, you need to lead by example and teach them that a dog isn't to be ignored, isn't to be left behind when you go camping. Camping is perfect for us, we have so much energy. And don't just get a second dog because you want the 1st dog not to be lonely. If you feel guilty about not paying attention to us, you should. Ignoring 2 dogs doesn't make things better for us. We'll just tear things up until you pay attention to us. If you think we would be in the way, then don't bother getting us in the first place. There are plenty of warm loving families out there that will make us part of the family rather than the pesky pest thrown out in the back to be ignored except when you refill our food and water. If you don't want to commit to us and you're too weak to make your kids commit to us, then do us a favor and don't bother getting us. And don't make excuses for your kids saying they are too busy to spend time with us. Plenty of kids played sports and still spent time with their pets. We'd rather go to a family that will take us for walks, take us to the park, take us camping, and just spend time with us.

That's all I'm going to say about that.

Barkley, My Barkley,
How do I love thee,
Let me count the ways,
1. You're a real man
2. You're real hot
3. You like to play
4. You like to eat

That's really all I need in a man.
I hope I see you this weekend!!!

Send me pictures of your furry friends to to share with the rest of the world. Have a great weekend.

Sloppy kisses,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Naive Dad

So get this, a father I know was telling us how he took his daughter camping with some of her friends for her 13th birthday. We starting asking if they were doing their YM and other teen magazine quizzes and other things that we did as teenage girls. He said they were texting because 2 of her friends were boy crazy. We said she was too.

You're going to love his response.....

"No she's not because she would tell me if she was."

I still can't stop laughing.

To which I said something along the lines of, boys don't have to be calling you or showing interest in you for you to have crushes on them at 13.

He maintained his position that she's not interested and she really would tell him.

To which I responded, "right, I wasn't ever a 13 year old girl."

And for the record I didn't tell my dad or my mom every time I had a crush on a boy. Nor did I have lots of boyfriends hanging around in junior high and high school. That didn't mean I didn't have crushes on boys. And it started before 13. I was well into adult hood before I even talked with my dad about being interested. And that was because if I wanted to bring a guy around it was hard to keep my interest a secret from my dad.

Denial is a dangerous thing. And quite funny in this case. I should have asked him if he asked his wife about this. I'm sure she knows better.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Asolo Italy - Part 2

For you car enthusiasts, his wasn't even half of them that day.

Hope you enjoyed more picture of Asolo or the views from Asolo.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hope and Hopelessness

Do you ever have those days full of hope and hopelessness all at the same time? You know there's something better for you out there but you don't know what it is or how to get to it? Do you have dreams and/or great ideas but you don't know how to make them work? It feels like the only way to make them work is to win the lottery, that way you don't have to bother with the risk of debt or asking for funding. Some people are very comfortable with debt. I am not one of those people as you may be able to tell from previous posts other than a mortgage. So my challenge then is how do I make my dreams and goals a reality without going into debt?

How do people get miraculous dream job offers? Well I think my dream job is to be my own boss, which means I have to somehow make that happen rather than hope someone will offer me that dream job.

Do you ever feel like life is only going to get worse if people insist on not taking personal responsibility for themselves and their families? Aren't you fed up with paying for other people's perpetual and insistent irresponsibility? I don't mind offering a helping hand, but don't insist I give one by taking my money and giving it to someone else? What's the point?

It's like teachers giving out lists to parents of what the children are supposed to bring to school the first day with unreasonable amounts of paper or pencils or whatever. And then when the kid brings it to school the first day, the teacher tells all the kids that actually followed through with the list to bring all their supplies up to the front of the room and watch as she hands out their stuff to the kids that "couldn't afford" or "didn't bother" to bring any supplies to school. I never had my supplies taken from me, nor did I take any supplies from my friends that I thought were better than mine. It was what it was. I'm not opposed to helping the kids whose parents can't afford supplies. But don't put all the supplies that were brought into one pile and then redistribute evenly.

That's the first lesson in income redistribution that a child may experience. That's what some people dream of. Taking money from the super wealthy and giving it to the super poor so they won't be super poor. The problem is that the super poor did nothing to earn this money. If it's just handed to them, where's their motivation to earn more than what's handed if they can always count on getting some rich person's money?

Teach your kids that income redistribution is wrong, but that charity and sharing is right. Especially the sharing of knowledge. Teach a man to fish and he can eat for a life time. And he will take pride in providing his family meals everyday. Handouts should be a temporary solution.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Buchenwald liberator, American hero dies at 83

This is an important story for those of you like me that didn't know about this particular story. This man and his comrades were true American heroes like the brave soldiers today still fighting for our freedom and human rights in this world. Thank You

By Wayne Drash senior producer

(CNN) -- James Hoyt delivered mail in rural Iowa for more than 30 years. Yet Hoyt had long kept a secret from most of those who knew him best: He was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first see Germany's Buchenwald concentration camp.

James Hoyt Sr. was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first find the Buchenwald concentration camp.

James Hoyt Sr. was one of the four U.S. soldiers to first find the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Hoyt died Monday at his home in Oxford, Iowa, a town of about 700 people where he had lived his entire life. He was 83.

His funeral was Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oxford, with about 100 people in attendance. The Rev. Edmond Dunn officiated and recalled time he spent with Hoyt and his wife.

"I used to go over to have lunch with Doris and Jim, and I would sit across from Jim at the kitchen table and think, 'Before me is a true American hero,' " he said.

Hoyt had rarely spoken about that day in 1945, but he recently opened up to a journalist.

"There were thousands of bodies piled high. I saw hearts that had been taken from live people in medical experiments," Hoyt told author Stephen Bloom in a soon-to-be-published book called "The Oxford Project."

"They said a wife of one of the SS officers -- they called her the Bitch of Buchenwald -- saw a tattoo she liked on the arm of a prisoner, and had the skin made into a lampshade. I saw that." Photo See the horrors of Buchenwald »

Pete Geren, the secretary of the U.S. Army, said the sacrifice Hoyt made for his country so many years ago should never be forgotten.

"It's important that we don't allow ourselves to lose him," Geren told CNN by phone. "It's the memory of heroes like James Hoyt and the memories of what they've done that we must ensure that we keep alive and share with the current generation and future generations.

"Mr. Hoyt, as a young man, saw unspeakable horrors when he was one of the soldiers to discover the Buchenwald concentration camp, and those are experiences as a country and a world we can never forget.

"You think back on a young man 19 years old and to have the experience that he had," Geren said, his voice dissolving before ever finishing his thought.

The discovery of Buchenwald, on April 11, 1945, began the liberation of more than 21,000 prisoners from one of the largest Nazi concentration camps of World War II.

The official U.S. military account of the liberation called the camp "a symbol of the chill-blooded cruelty of the German Nazi state," where thousands of political prisoners were starved and "others were burned, beaten, hung and shot to death."

"There is reason to believe that the prompt arrival of the 6th Armored Division ... on the scene saved many hundreds and perhaps thousands of lives," it said.

As a private first class in the U.S. Army, Hoyt was just 19 when he and his three comrades -- Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward -- found Buchenwald in a well-hidden wooded area of eastern Germany. See U.S. military documents detailing the liberation »

Hoyt was driving their M8 armored vehicle.

According to military records, Keffer was the officer in command of the six-wheeled armored vehicle that day. The soldiers were part of the Army's 6th Armored Division near the camp when about 15 SS troopers were captured. It was mid-afternoon.

"At the same time, a group of Russians just escaped from the concentration camp, burst out of the woods attempting to attack the SS men. The Russians were restrained and interrogated," Maj. Gen. R.W. Grow, the American commander of the 6th Armored Division, wrote in a 1975 letter about the Buchenwald liberation.

Keffer was ordered to take his three comrades and two of the Russian prisoners "as guides to investigate, report and rejoin as rapidly as possible."

"I took this side journey of about 3 km away from our main force because we kept encountering SS guards and prison inmates, and the latter told us of the large camp to the south," Keffer wrote in a letter around the 30th anniversary of the liberation.

"We had been told by our intelligence that we might overrun a large prison camp, but we -- or at least I -- had no idea of either the gigantic size of the camp or of the full extent of the incredible brutality."

Keffer and Gottschalk, who spoke German, entered the camp through a hole in an electric barbed wire fence. Hoyt and Ward initially stayed at the vehicle.

"We were tumultuously greeted by what I was told were 21,000 men, and what an incredible greeting that was," Keffer wrote. "I was picked up by arms and legs, thrown into the air, caught, thrown again, caught, thrown, etc., until I had to stop it. I was getting dizzy.

"How the men found such a surge of strength in their emaciated condition was one of those bodily wonders in which the spirit sometimes overcomes all weaknesses of the flesh. My, but it was a great day!"

Keffer said the prisoners, through an underground system, had already taken control of the camp. The four soldiers notified division command to get medical help and food to the prisoners as soon as possible.

The 6th Armored Division newspaper "Armored Attacker" ran a headline on May 5, 1945: "Four 9th AIB Doughs Find Buchenwald." The article described the discovery as "the worst concentration camp yet to be uncovered by west wall troops."

Hoyt, a Bronze Star recipient and veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, was the last of the four original liberators to die.

Born May 16, 1925, to a railroad worker and a schoolteacher, James Francis Hoyt Sr. returned to his Iowa hometown after the war and largely kept quiet about the atrocities he saw. He and Doris married in 1949 and had six children. "She's the love of my life," he said.

He met Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, in recent years and began telling him his story.

Even 63 years after the liberation, Hoyt suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and attended a weekly group therapy session at a Veterans Affairs facility.

"Seeing these things, it changes you. I was a kid," he said. "Des Moines had been the furthest I'd ever been from home. I still have horrific dreams. Usually someone needs help and I can't help them. I'm in a situation where I'm trapped and I can't get out."

Hoyt was invited to attend the 50th anniversary of the liberation, but he declined. "I didn't want to bring back those memories."

"Thinking back, I would have pushed to be a psychologist -- if for no other reason than to understand myself better."

The military documents detailing Hoyt's involvement in the Buchenwald liberation were discovered in a box in an archive at the The Center for Military History this week after a CNN query.

It was fitting for the humble Iowan. Hoyt listed his greatest achievement not as a Buchenwald liberator, but as spelling bee champ of Johnson County in 1939, when he was in eighth grade. "I still remember the word I spelled correctly: 'archive,' " he said.

The story of James Hoyt -- mail carrier, spelling bee champ and American hero -- has now been archived for history. Sacrifices like his were something his commander once said future generations should never forget.

"Memories of evil get erased, for life must go on, and new generations cannot be locked in the past. But they would do well to remember the past," Keffer wrote.

At Hoyt's graveside Thursday, a 12-veteran color guard gave him a traditional 21-gun salute. Hoyt's casket was draped with the American flag, and that flag was folded, as is tradition, 12 times.

Retired Gen. Robert Sentman gave the flag to Doris Hoyt. Sentman had earlier told mourners about the Buchenwald liberation.

"When the prisoners saw Jim, they picked him up and threw him in the air, that's how happy they were after seeing such horrors. Prisoners had been hung from hooks to die. He saw a lampshade made from a prisoner's tattoo. Jim carried those horrors with him forever. He never got what he had seen out of his mind. If you ever wondered about Jim, think about what he saw."

"When you were discharged, no one really gave a hoot about you. It was difficult for a compassionate person like Jim to forget what he saw. He was a hero.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jolie-Pitt Kids Turning Cheetos Orange?/How I Spend my Days at Work

I got this great idea to blog about how the Jolie-Pitt kids have been photographed a lot lately eating Cheetos. So when I went searching for pictures of it and found someone beat me to the punch. So I'll give you the link since I haven't been keeping up with their photo-op diet.

Either way, they ought to try better by putting some fruit or veggies in their kids hands when the cameras are around, otherwise they might start getting turned down for adoptions if they think all their kids eat is Cheetos. Seriously, Cheetos are like carrots, if you eat too many, you might turn orange....

Now onto my next feature. I'm going to try and work this in some how. It may be my new weekly post to replace entertainment since there are so many great entertainment blogs out there that I don't even care to read. Meaning I'm terrible at finding great entertainment stories to blog about.

So as I work for the government, you can guess that I am one of two people. One someone who is dramatic about how busy I am and all the over time I put it because I'm just so busy. Or two, someone who is bored to tears except when my stuff has been put off as long as possible by management so we have to rush to finish everything at the last possible minute even though I was ready to move on it 8 months ago.

See if you can guess which one I am by the following...

This is what I proudly refer to as excel art. Aren't I just the most talented person ever. I even named them at the time, I just can't remember what. I think the purple and green one was called "Time is Running Out." The top one, we'll call it "No Irritations Allowed"

I have more genius ideas for excel art in this head of mine, and will share them from time to time. I may actually break down my day into work, mindless chatting, personal email, etc. But this week would be pretty boring as I was working probably over 60% of the time. I may share my co-worker's week some times as that's even more entertaining.

If you have have mindless talents, do feel free to send to me at Doodles, poems, Deep Thoughts, etc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lola's Corner - Meet Chelsea, Lady, and Beethoven

Hello Ladies and Germs...
It's that time again. I'm back from my vacation. Well I didn't really take a vacation, just a night off of work. No one sent me any pictures so mommy let me use some she found.

This is Chelsea
And her sister Lady
I can't wait to meet them, they sound like a lot of fun. Mom said they gave her her "dog fix" until I came along. She says they are really cool dogs and I'll like playing with them. I hope they teach me all about the snow some day soon...
I few weeks ago I played with a puppy that looked a lot like Chelsea only she was about my age. She was a lot of fun so I'm looking forward to playing with Chelsea and Lady.
This is uncle Beethoven. He's a few years older than me, but I'm much bigger than he is now. He's coming to visit again in a couple of weeks and I hope he doesn't bark at me. I suppose I shouldn't insist he play with me so much. But I'm a puppy, that's what I do...He's still fun when he decides to play with me... I might get fired if you guys don't send me any pictures of your pets. You don't want me to get fired do you??? Well If I do, maybe I'll just run for President or something like that since I'll have so much free time. I'd make a much cuter President don't you think??

Have a great week.
Lola Finola
Tiger Lily
more names than you really care to know....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Personal Finances – Build a Budget

If you or your family has a problem with spending too much, one of the best ways to overcome it is to create a budget and then stick to it. You can’t make too much or too little to make a workable budget. Budgets are for everyone, not just people who can’t control your spending. They are for people who have goals and dreams as well.

First, figure out what your take home pay is after all your taxes and deductions are taken out. Never forget to look at how much the government takes from you each month.

Second, if giving to charity or your church is important to you on a regular basis, determine how much it will be each month. I realize some people will disagree with this being second, however many of us feel strongly about this and find they better manage the rest of their money when then commit to giving first.

Third, figure out what your regular bills are every month just as rent or mortgage, utilities, gas, insurance, food (non-restaurant), and any debt payments you must make like a car loans, school loans, or credit cards that need to be paid off. Decide if you want to pay any of these debts off faster like the credit card. Commit to not putting any more money on the credit card or this debt will just grow rather than go away which should be the goal.

Fourth, look at the receipts you have a for a month and categorize them into needs incidentals (i.e. you got a cold and needed some cold medicine, or went to the doctor for something worse), entertainment, eating out, non-needs incidentals such as candy, girl scout cookies, or who knows what people buy that they don’t need. You may also want to use this method to determine how much you’re spending on gas and groceries each month. Determine if this is a reasonable amount to be spending each month or if you should cut back in areas such as eating out or entertainment. Don’t cut these out completely but look for ways to spend less in these areas so you can stash more away in retirement or your emergency savings. Depending on how strapped you are at the end of the month you may want to evaluate the need you have for such luxuries as cable or cell phones.

Finally, determine how much you can save and how much you would like to save. Start out with a number you can commit to on a monthly basis without over-extending your budget and leaving a bit of a cushion for incidentals. Savings means all kinds of things such as a regular savings account, 401k, IRA, or regular stock portfolio. Figure out how you would like to divvy it up keeping in mind that savings for emergency purposes as well as future large purchases such as a vacation, gifts, or fixing up your house, are necessary components to savings. Look for little ways to save a little extra here and there be it by stashing some cash every once in awhile and leaving it alone or a change jar, or whatever you can afford from time to time.

I’m sure I’ve missed something, but these are the basics to getting you started on a budget. You’ll find things that work for you that may be different that what I say. But just remember, it is your personal responsibility to live within your means. This is a tool that can get you started on that path.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Asolo Italy Part 1

This is Asolo a tiny little town in the north of Italy about an hour west of Venice. This is where I lived for 10 months of my life while going to school. It's a picturesque town right out of a movie. Actually there have been a couple movies there but I can't remember which ones. But one of the coffee shops/bars has a picture of John Malkovich on the wall. I just looked it up and it was the movie Ripley's Game and it was partly shot there. Now I need to run out and rent it. Here's a fun fact, I saw the movie Being John Malkovich for the first time in Asolo. So does that mean there are 2 degrees of separation between me and John? Here's one more fun fact for any of you that watch the bachelor. Aaron Buerge Bachelor number 2 I think, went to the same school I did a few or several years earlier. I saw pictures and Wikipedia will vaguely verify this or over embellish the degree he got. Note to self, change your resume to show your degree as an MBA in International Finance. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Five Things That Drive Me Nuts About My Office

This post applies to the things that drive me nuts that happen in any communal work setting. Inefficiency and lack of accountability are infuriating tolerances around my place of business that will have to wait for another day.

Mice/Rats roaming the office

We have recently experienced visitors running throughout our building as if they own the place. And as most of find them dirty and repulsive they have made attempts to control the problem. However being in one of the “politically correct” capitals of the U.S. apparently they are trying to eliminate them humanely. That is not by killing them? Or is it? I’m not sure which. This is because the first time around they set out a bunch of glue traps all over the place. Great. But how is catching the little critters and letting them struggle to get away to death more humane than a snap trap that instantly kills them? Then they but out a second round of traps that I’m not sure what they are so I don’t know if they are meant to kill them or meant to be a mechanism of catch and release. Release where? Another building? The sewer? Some other place of infestation? Needless to say we still have a problem that has been going on for months and I don’t project them going away anytime soon. I’m in favor of letting some cats loose in there.

Disgusting community refrigerators

So we all have had varying degrees of shared refrigerators in the work place. Although recently addressed at my current work place due to the conglomeration of about 4 or 5 refrigerators in one break room producing a toxic stench that do doubt kept the aforementioned rats and mice away, many of us can relate to having to share a refrigerator at work with people that think it is their own personal trashcan that somebody else will clean out.

Terrible email etiquette

Everyone gets the email messages that go out to the whole building or to a specified large group of people. Invariably, someone will reply to all with a question or comment that really only the sender needs to see. We get an email everyday that the “Taco Truck” is here. This applies to just about every place of business in Austin; it’s part of the culture I guess. Anyways so one person sends it out which I just directed email from him to my trashcan so I could stop getting infuriated. If I wanted to get fat like everyone else there I’d know when the taco guy arrived and be the first in line to gorge myself. The problem is when this guy is out of the office, someone else is sure to step in to tell the whole building that he’s here!!! And I’m infuriated all over again.



Lesson three: If you think it will piss me off because it was unnecessarily sent to me don’t send me the email. I’m so tempted to “reply to all” and say that every time it happens.

Lesson four: All Caps is really inappropriate for an email. So is red unless you are responding to questions asked in the body of the email and you need to differentiate your answer from their question. Red All Caps are always inappropriate.

Out of control b-day celebrations

Everyone likes to feel special, but not everyone cares about their birthday or being the center of attention. Some of us just like ice cream. That doesn’t mean that a mandatory singing of the Happy Birthday Song has to accompany the cake and ice cream does it? No one can sing well anyways, so what’s the point? If singing is mandatory, I’d rather skip it all together and just celebrate with my family like normal people. But I do conveniently show up late now so that the singing is hopefully done in time for me to line-up for the ice cream. How anti-social of me right???

Cards sent around to sign with checklist of everyone in dept

We randomly get a manila envelope passed around with a card inside and a checklist of everyone in the office to check their name off and pass it on to someone who hasn’t checked their name off. Sometimes they ask for money for a gift. At least they can’t tell if YOU gave money or not. Sometimes they don’t even tell you who the card is for? So you want me to sign a card for someone I don’t know? What if I don’t like them? Or what if they hate me and seeing my signature would do them in? (Dramatic I know, since I don’t have any mortal enemies that I know of at the office). Still why don’t you just put the card in a central location and send out the dreaded mass email letting us know it’s there if we want to sign? As long as no one “replies to all” asking a stupid question, it’s an appropriate use of email in my book.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lola's Corner - From Sweet Little Puppy to Big Giant Poo Poo Head

Lola's taking a much deserved night off. Since she didn't get any new pics to share with you all, we decided to share some of the best of pics of her life starting when she came home to recently.

Send Lola your favorite pet pics to Enjoy..

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Venice Part 2

So these are more pictures of Venice outside of the square. I hope you enjoy.

If you ever go to Venice, I highly recommend wandering through the streets. They call it getting lost, but you can't really get completely lost as you will usually see some kind of sign directing you to either the main canal or the shore. I just don't remember how they are labeled, but you can figure it out.

This is the overhead view of where you'll "get lost."

Monday, August 4, 2008 venice today

So for some reason I can't upload my pictures. I've done all the troubleshooting they suggest, none of which fixed the problem. So Venice part 2 will have to wait for another day.

So I will leave you with this.

If an idiot consistently makes idiotic statements, should he be aborted? Or is it too late? Does his mother have to make that decision? Or can his coworkers? Who's responsibility is it to inform him of his inappropriate idiocy? Can he at least be the poster-person for mandatory birth control?

For those of you that haven't read it. Check it out.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Inner Struggles of a Closet Hypochondriac

Just what is a closet hypochondriac? Those of you that can relate to the title alone know exactly what I’m talking about. To me, a closet hypochondriac is someone whose logic tends to overrule his or her irrational fears so that no doctor would ever label them a hypochondriac. I hope that others that are in the closet about this can rest assured that they aren’t alone and hopefully embrace it from a humorous perspective.

Those of you that can’t relate may now be asking yourselves, just what inner struggles could they possibly have? Well it’s simple, every time something new comes up that causes us to worry, which we logically know is irrational worry, nonetheless we worry. We then struggle with whether or not to go to the doctor. If we go to the doctor, they are going to tell us nothing is wrong, and we fear worse that we will be laughed at once we leave or labeled a hypochondriac in our chart. AHHHH!!! Not that!!! That’s where our logic kicks in and we choose not to go to the doctor. But after we’ve made that choice, we can’t stop worrying that something really IS wrong and this is the one time we really SHOULD have it checked out by a doctor, because if we wait TOO long, it will be TOO late and there will be nothing they can do. This is our internal struggle.

For me, my terminal disease of choice is cancer. If I see a bump on my hand that wasn’t there before, that I don’t know how it got there, it’s probably cancer. Or I’m going to worry that it is until it goes away. I’ve struggled with various back pain most of my life in one area. But I know how to treat and prevent pain on that side of my back. However, if I have pain on the other side of my back that logically I know feels like I strained a muscle, and it just needs time and perhaps ice and heat, I still worry that it’s cancer. Every time I get a new freckle somewhere on my body, I worry it’s cancer. I often have random bruises pop up on my body that I can’t pinpoint how they got there, so I worry I could have cancer. Even though I have a terrible depth perception problem which causes me to run into doorways, walls, or anything else in my way simply because I misjudge the distance they are from my body. Logically I know this is probably how one of these unknown bruises came about so I don’t bother going to the doctor freaking out. But I still wonder in the back of my mind sometimes until it goes away and I forget about it.

I thought I read somewhere once that the two most common diseases feared by hypochondriacs are cancer and MS. I’m sure there are other diseases feared out there. Please feel free to share your closet hypochondriacal disease of choice with the rest of us. It’s great therapy to get it off your chest. We won’t judge you. We might laugh in sympathy. But your choice to control yourself is highly respected. Humor is a great way to deal with a neurosis like this.

You know what the problem is, the Internet. Every time I get some new “symptom,” I have to go to the Internet and look it up. Cancer is always the first thing that pops up. Which is probably why cancer is the disease of choice. Everything is a potential symptom for cancer. What are we supposed to do about that? If we live long enough, won’t we all get cancer? Of course if I’m 90 and diagnosed with it, that’s ok. I just don’t want to be diagnosed with untreatable, terminal cancer at 30.

You see, what we should all fear are sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea (what a terrible name), herpes, AIDS, and the dreaded “warts.” All terrible diseases, but medical science has come so far that you don’t really need to worry about them nearly as much as you did 10 or 15 years ago or more, because there are cures, or effective treatments. You should fear the stigma attached with having to tell your potential spouse that you had syphilis or gonorrhea. You should be ashamed. That’s what we should all fear, not cancer. But cancer, while it’s not always a death sentence, is still killing people every day at all ages. It’s so unpredictable from person to person. And there are so many different kinds of cancer.

Thus the inner struggle continues. As long as logic always wins out to dictate when we do and don’t go to the doctor, we’ll all be ok. Just have a sense of humor about the fact that you’re a closet hypochondriac like me. There’s no shame in it.