Sunday, January 30, 2005

What is democratization?

The De Soto Delusion

I get it. Democratization equals credit debt. Wow.

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down ( & Other Misc Stuff

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down (

Amongst all the violence, there's this. It's silly "style" shit but…it makes an good point about symbolism and leadership. Anyway. Have a good laugh. Or a good cry depending on your political persuasion.

Slogged in to the office today for a few hours to do database cleanup and decided to implement an Exception Report policy for all those boneheads who can't seem to fill in all the fields for their tracking forms. Pinheads. And no one likes showing up on an exception report. Bwahahaha.

iHubby is short-tempered and doing homework, which means I'm lucky I can make as much noise typing as I am. At least I'm not talking to myself - that really drives him nuts!

Slacker-child submitted an application to Merry Maids. HAHAHA! I wonder if he realizes that they clean houses. He can't even clean his room. But it pays $8/hour, which is what he needs. So...we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

McClamp "The Stick" Clamp

McClamp "The Stick" Clamp
The Stick and its partner, The Clamp, are a cool tools for photography.

It's been a photo crazy weekend around here. In a wonderful way. We didn't get the snow that was promised but we're sure getting the wind. Wow! Sometimes it sounds like a train coming by the house. The high today will be 30. Right now it's 20, and it feels like 4 with the wind. After a certain point, though, cold is just cold and 4 degree or 18 degrees...I can't tell the difference. I have to layer up either way.

Yesterday I took a lot of close-ups of jack-in-the-pulpit and tulips. I took some of a yellow spider chrysanthimum too, although I'm not as fond of how those turned out. It was hard to capture the subtlety of the colors.

I'm writing as I listen to Prairie Home Companion - it drives iHubby nuts. Mostly because I'm only listening to parts of it. I like the background noise. This is about the only time I can listen to the radio online without my headphones. He's still in bed (although awake and reading the Escoffier).

I've been unable to figure out why the image on my laptop screen is a different color than that which prints. Hm. Gee, that's a common problem. So I'm messing around with color profiles and all kinds of crap. Finally I tweaked the color set of the monitor - removed a little blue and red - and tada! It's a pretty good approximation of what I'll see when I print. Along the way I learned the color management is a huge area of knowledge, that I'll never be a master of it, and what a pain in the neck it is.

Today I'm going to organize my files, see if I can develop a workflow or something, and then make smoked salmon fettucine for lunch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Project Censored

Project Censored Exposed

Really interesting reading.

Garden-variety Arthritis

The diagnosis is garden-variety arthritis (osteoarthritis). Yes, that's a little cavalier. I haven't processed what that really means for the next forty or fifty years for me. Dr T gave me wrist splints to wear at night to immobilize my lower thumb joints, and he wants an x-ray specialist to read the SI joint x-rays because apparently there is some inflammation and he needs a second opinion. They took six tubes of blood (did I have any left!?). He may as well have been showing me a picture of a secret code because I can't read that stuff.

The Good: There's a label and it's not RA. God knows I like my labels. Now I can say "My arthritis is acting up" instead of "My arthritis is acting up - at least I think it's arthritis."

The Bad: There's still pain but mitigated by Tylenol if I take more than the lowly two tabs a day I've been. At least it doesn't require a prescription. Tylenol Arthritis has this weird cap that isn't exactly arthritis friendly if the arthritis is in your hands. And, I can't tell any difference at all between the Arthritis formula and any other 500mg formula they sell. Is it just marketing? Geez, I really hate that. I did not wear the splints last night. I fell asleep after finally finishing The Man Who Ate Everything.

Must be the coldest day around here today! - Forecast Summary Index: "Northeast:
High pressure will continue building in and this will result in the end of the lake-effect snow for now. It will continue to keep the region cold though. Sunny skies will dominate along with diminishing winds. Highs will range from the single digits across Northern New England to the 20s across the Mid-Atlantic. Temperature will warm on Wednesday out ahead of the clipper racing through the Midwest today. Snow will also develop again, heaviest of which will fall downwind of the Great Lakes."

So, have I picked the coldest day of the year to go take pictures of winter foliage at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens?

Last night I was exploring photos, looking for something to play with, and realized that I don't have anything more recent than 1999, at best. I have the Passages stuff, the New Mexico set, the small Carnival set, and a few choice images from Monticello and Baltimore. Otherwise...nada. It's time to get to know my digital camera a little more. It has enough capability to produce an excellent 8X10 on the i9900, and I need the practice. It's 19 degrees outside! Snow is expected later in the week = another photo op. I have a little list of items I need: tripod, turtleneck, silk underwear. If I"m going to do this, I need a stable tripod and warmth.

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Furniture

The furniture in my office is

All of the above

I've been talking with a environmental consultant (cube designer) to get this stuff replaced. Actually, our AA has been talking to her for me. What I have is solid heavy light oak. I'd be perfectly happy with utilitarian, easy to maintain Steelcase stand-alone units. It looks like what it's being replaced with is lightweight laminated light maple of some kind by Knoll. My environmental consultant couldn't come up with pictures ("Just go to Knoll's website and look up the model#" except that doesn't actually work). Gee. But I shouldn't complain too much considering that one of the fortunate few managers who gets to have and keep her office! That is if my boss deigns to approve it!


Bologna sandwich, orange, V8, and sticky lemon pound cake.

CH Project Status Meeting

My dreaded first of the year meeting with CH and the rest of the transition team went pretty well. I didn't really feel well prepared for it. I actually, naively, thought that some movement might occur between 12/15 and 1/1. Obviously, I was delusional.

LM's First Day

LM showed up in my office this morning at 8:45, fifteen minutes after I arrived, notebook and pen at the ready. "Where do we start?"
Me: We don't, actually. I'd like you to work on packing your stuff for moving later.
LM: Oh? Okay. I thought we'd sit down bright and early and talk about the organization.
Me: Normally, that would be my first choice but I'm not available to do that today.
LM: Are you sure?
Me: (what, I don't know my own schedule?) Yes. If things slow down, we'll spend some time together later today. Otherwise, it'll have to be tomorrow.

I know, joining a new team is rough, especially when you don't know what they do, or how they do it. She may end up being a pain in the neck for me. She wants to control and the first thing I really gotta do is ensure that she knows that I am in charge. Her previous manager warned me about this one. I'll try to be nice because I'm not an evil pointy-headed manager, really.

(Update, August 1, 2005: LM accepted a job in a different department.)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

We went to see Movin' Out last night. Got dressed up, and I even wore dress shoes instead of my ubiquitous clogs. What I realized after seeing the show was:

a) I don't care for Twyla Tharp choreography generally, and not at all in this case. I'm more of a Fosse girl. Or Jerome Robbins. Or Agnes deMille.
b) It's a cool vehicle for Billy Joel tunes played well, and convincingly Billy Joel-ish.
c) I wanted to hear more Billy Joel music.

I wasn't sure what I expected but it definitely involved sets and speaking. They did the first number and I thought, uh oh, don't let this be a waste of good money. No sets, lots of "concert" lighting, and the band was set high in the fly zone on their own platform, which was really cool. It's basically dance set to a greatest hits collection - a rock ballet. It tells a story about kids falling in love, falling out of love, going to Vietnam, coming home broken, and redemption. Everyone is happy in the end. Through the wonder of dance. It was too short, though. I'm used to stuff like this being 2 1/2 or 3 hours. Whas it Dance, with music? Music, with dance? Since I didn't care for the choreography, I can't say that it was a joyous melding of the two, although I'm sure that's what Twyla and Billy had in mind. The dancers were very good, and iHubby says they executed the work quite well, considering the choreographer, and promised he'd do his own Twyla dance imitation for me when we got home. He chickened out.

iHubby and I did agree we needed to do this more often than once every several years, though, regardless of whether the show is great or just good. Good is ok, even if I am a spoiled elitist pig. Oops. Coastal Democract.

We came home via Harris Teeter, having obtained what I thought were the necessary ingredients for a Cosmo. Faulty memory: I got grenadine instead of lime juice and triple sec. Oh well. At least we had the vodka. I made something that resembled a Cosmo. I'll call it a Dirty Cosmo, because instead of triple sec I used pulp-free orange juice. I barely had enough lime juice from half-a-dozen lime slices to make up the required 1/2 ounce. It was tasty nonetheless. I used the recipe from the Happy Hour Cocktail deck that showed up in my stocking.

We came home, mixed up the Cosmo, poured wine for iHubby, and played Visual Eyes over Chex Party Mix. Yum! Got bored with that, turned on Letterman (which turned out to be a repeat with Kevin Spacey), smooched at midnight, and picked up MatrixBoy at 1:00 from his girlfriend's house.

My resolutions:
1. Go to two more shows at the Chrysler this year
2. Try one drink from the Happy Hour Cocktail deck each weekend
3. oh, hey, there isn't a third!