Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday again

I seem to run in here on Fridays for a quick brain dump...who am I to overturn that tradition?

The intertubes are ablaze with outrage over the POTUS' Democratic voter creating amnesty program. So very over this man. While I'm looking forward to 2016, it could go very, very badly if the other party doesn't get their act together, start showing real concern for the public and present a united, rational front. If they don't, and the vote is spilt all over the place, we could end up with ::shudder:: Mrs. Clinton in office.

On the plus side, she might spend all of her presidency defending the husband-in-chief from allegations of sexual assault.

It is still cold here, with freezing rain expected overnight. The level of the atmosphere is warmer than the surface, so what starts up there as rain ends up down here as ice.

Back in September, I asked a member of our Environment (party planning) committee whether or not our Christmas party would include a charity silent auction, the way it has in the past. She didn't know, but thought maybe not, as the last two years there has been declining interest.

The "invitation" to the Christmas party just came out, and yes, there is a silent auction. Sigh. These people must not be crafters - three and a half weeks' notice at this time of year isn't enough. I did come up with something, though: dishtowels, potholders and an apron all applique/embroidered with snowmen.

I have the dishtowels ready to embroider already (they were meant for me, but I hadn't yet started them, so...), have everything I need to make the potholders from scratch (again, I bought the insulated batting to make potholders for myself - there's more than enough for both projects) and only had to purchase the snowmen designs (bless you,, for your 75% off sale) and a plain apron (Amazon). A friend embellishes serving spoons and forks with wrapped wire and polished stones - a set of those completes the package.

Like I really needed something else to do.

Under the weather a bit here. Upset stomach earlier in the week, with occasional rumbles yet today, but the main issue is the first of the winter colds. Sneezing, nose running and an overwhelming desire to sleep.

Sleeping, but with much dreaming. Night before last, it was centered at work, around a project I'm not involved with, but apparently needed to attend an organizing meeting. I'd lost my ID, and couldn't get anyone to help me find it or procure a new one...This morning's wasn't centered around work, but the details that were so vivid on rising have faded from memory. In a strange way, I like being sick, since it leads to nights of odd dreams.

Hoping I can hold it together, as I'm meeting a friend for breakfast tomorrow.

It is already time to pick up stamps for Christmas cards. I didn't feel behind until I realized this. The tree usually goes up Thanksgiving evening, which means the cleaning needs to be done extra well this weekend. You can't exactly move the tree to vacuum behind it once it is up. Besides, it's time to rearrange the living room again. I've come up with a new arrangement that I think will work, and will let me sit next to the fire more often. It also provides a great place to put the tree.

We'll see if any of that gets done this weekend...the urge to go home and go straight to bed is strong.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Words, words, words, I'm so...happy to deal with them rather than numbers

My boss often has me proofread memos and documents for him, especially if they are going in the packet to the Board of Trustees.*

I think he gives them to me because I tend to correct the grammar mistakes and catch repetitious, add on phrases that don't add value or meaning, but stop short of shouting, "Argh! This is junk! Let me rewrite it!!".

In other words, I clean it up without stripping it of his voice.

Once upon a time, I wished I could be an English major, but practicality won out (as well as a need to earn a living) and I landed in accounting. It's kind of nice to deal with words rather than numbers on occasion.

*Pfft. You know I don't proof anything here. Or at least I haven't on things written in the last several years.  I need a short cooling off time between writing and proofing in order to do a good job on the edits; these days, if I write something and put it aside intending to go back later, I forget about it entirely. Hence, the brain-dump quality of the writing here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Familiarity breeds - inattention

It's no-shave November, and it seems a lot of the men I know are foregoing shaving for the month (if women tried to this, there would be a riot). Most of the guys I've dated have been furry, so the added hair isn't a big deal for me either way, but it does bring to mind a funny mustache related story.

I've an uncle who wore a mustache for pretty much all my life. It wasn't a little skinny thing like my dad's (who apparently was told at one time he looked a little like Clark Gable, hence the skinny 'stache), but not a huge handlebar like Geraldo's. Somewhere in the middle, full, but well trimmed and neat.

A number of years back, my mom had had some surgery. That half of the family is the Italian side; when someone is in the hospital, for any reason, it's mandatory for all the extended family to show up and make nuisances of themselves cheer up the patient.

When I walked into the room, my sister, her family and this particular aunt and uncle were already there. I said hello to everyone, then turned to my uncle to ask, "When did you shave off your mustache?"

The entire room erupted in laughter.

It seems he had shaved it off several weeks earlier, on a whim one morning. When he came out of the bathroom, my aunt didn't say anything about it. He decided to wait to see when she, his wife of fifty plus years, would notice that the soup strainer was gone.

It took the better part of the week, and in the end, he finally had to tell her. There was nothing wrong with her eyesight...she had just had a lot of other things on her mind.

We see what we expect to see, I guess. One thing I'm sure of, though - my aunt started regularly checking to see if my uncle was regrowing the mustache. She wasn't going to be caught unawares again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Speaking of freezing...

We had our monthly staff meeting in the upstairs conference room (the downstairs conference room is full of auditors - I believe there was a one week break between when the financial statement audit concluded and the NCAA and A-133 audits began...the conference room has been infested with auditors the rest of the time since August 1st).

Good heavens, it felt as if Elsa had taken up residence upstairs. You could feel the temperature drop as soon as the door opened. Even the people already wearing sweaters (which didn't at the time include me) were cold.

We thought it was a local disturbance (ghosts?), but the main office down here is colder than usual as well. My office is about five degrees colder than the main part of the office; I actually put on my big, fluffy, warm acrylic sweater (the one I just brought back today (yay!) after taking it home to wash).

Turns out there actually is an issue with the heat, according to facility services.

We have steam heat, conveniently provided via the WE Energies plant in the Menomonee River valley immediately to our south. Unfortunately, all that lovely steam comes to campus at the other end, then has to travel a long way underground to reach our building, one of the outliers of the campus. Naturally, my office is at the end of the steam line that comes into our area.

Sigh. Winter is not only here outside, it's inside as well.

Early freeze

This morning, I both wore a winter scarf and zipped up my coat.

Generally, I only zip up the coat in mid-January, if we've had more than three inches of snow and I have to brush off the car (I can't reach the center of the roof or the windshields very well without leaning on the car).

When I came home from work last night, it was still pretty warm out. When I opened the door to the Peapod delivery guy just three hours later, however, the temperature had dropped fifteen degrees and the wind picked up considerably. Brrr.

They say this cold is the result of the cyclone/typhoon/hurricane over on the other side of the world. Thanks to its pattern of rotation, it pushed up against the north pole and shoved all that arctic air over the pole, down through Canada and into our back yards, as far south as the Gulf in some places.

Misery loves company.

On the bright side, several local ski hills are busily making snow, and may open in a limited fashion as early as this weekend. In northern Wisconsin, however, they have no need to put down artificial stuff, as they are working hard to get out from under a foot of the real deal.

Winter isn't coming, it's already here.

If you are in one of the eight states that are not seeing below average temperatures, well, good for you. The rest of you have my sympathies. It's time for hot toddies all around.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Seasonal confusion

Rain/snow mix today. Highs only at 35 by Monday. Actual snow possible overnight Monday to Tuesday.

Meantime, Summerfest just announced their first headline act, tickets to go on sale next week. Oh yeah - Summerfest is the annual music festival held the end of each June.

Feeling a bit schizophrenic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

It's all over but the ... whining, shouting and fist shaking

Whew, glad to have the mid-terms over. Even more happy to see that the country overwhelmingly signaled their dissatisfaction with the leadership of the country, and their desire for change.

Though the president doesn't see this as a repudiation of his policies. I really think he is incapable of learning lessons from anything, because he truly thinks he is infallible.

Locally, Scott Walker, for the third time in four years, held off his challenger. The local liberal fish wrapper is careful to say that he basically did it with the same voters who elected him initially in 2010, and confirmed that election by giving him the win in the recall election the following year. Well, duh.

The vote was closer than it should have been, given his opponent has no real governing experience, and no real work experience to speak of - aside from the fact that she presents herself as one brick shy of a load most of the time. The votes she garnered, I think, were not so much for her but against Walker.

It's time for the Republicans to put their votes where their mouths are and get down to business, but not business-as-usual. There's a sense we've chosen the better of two evils, and the elephants have a lot to do to turn around that perception. They need to be a bit canny, since I think we will see a whole slew of Presidential vetoes on things, followed by the Dems whining they can't get anything done because of "obstructionist" Repubs.

Time will tell.

In the meantime, enjoy the 246.5 minutes of political ad free media before the 2016 presidential campaigns gear up.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Back to the salt mines

The Monday after vacation always comes around. Well, unless your vacation ends some other day than Sunday. Even then, that first day back always feels like a Monday.

For a change, I did a good job cleaning things up, leaving a list and getting organized before I went on vacation. That, plus a quick culling of junk/unneeded e-mail Sunday afternoon, and this morning's reentry into the world of work went smoothly.

Cheerfully, in fact.

Unfortunately, I need to leave a few minutes early today, to go do a quick pick up at home before a friend comes by to check out the dryer. I had finished all the work clothes laundry Friday and Saturday in anticipation of today, then moved on to a couple of shirts I only wear around the house. Stuck them in the washer on the way out Sunday morning, then tossed them in the dryer when I got home. Turned the "on" knob.

Nothing. Not even a click.

I checked the breaker (the box conveniently located directly above the dryer) and the plug, but couldn't find anything obvious.

But God is good - the work clothes were clean, I had clean towels, and could not foresee an urgent need for a dryer for at least a week.

I put a general call out on Facebook for contacts for a reliable service person, and a friend who has had her share of appliance problems said her husband could come look at it after work today. I just talked to him (he actually works in my building at work) and he has a couple of ideas of what it could be, as well as a spare part to fix the most common problem.

God is truly good - and so are His people.

So, in spite of it being my first day back, in spite of a busted dryer, in spite of time change induced sleepiness (hello, 3:30 a.m.! Didn't you used to be 4:30?) I'm cheerful and happy to tackle the day.

Time to get another cup of coffee...