Have you ever woken up tired and then had two cups of dark roast coffee only to wind up more tired afterwards than you were when you started? Yeah, that's me right now.
Many moons ago, I fell into a subscription to a professional magazine called Government Technology all about emerging tech for local and state governments.
I've had to do some work from home the last couple of days. This is a concept that has never been easy for me. Why? I'm easily distracted. If I'm at home, I may have TV, DVDs, Netflix, reading books or comics, napping, chores or, the biggest (and best) distraction of all, Nathan!
I get annoyed when people don't know when to stop talking to you. Admittedly, I'm certain I've been guilty of it, too, but I at least try.
Can someone help me understand something? Oh, if you're not a techie, just skip this post entirely. I wouldn't blame you one iota.
A couple weeks ago, I was expressing my envy to Marty that he gets to wear shorts to work. That has never happened for me, that I can recall, at any time in my professional life at either of my two jobs since grad school.
I've been listening to the Millennial podcast a lot lately. Although it's targeted at 20-somethings, I find many of the lessons applicable to almost any generation of person currently engaged in the daily work grind.
Are work friends real friends?
No better way to start an otherwise so-so Friday morning than to get a phone call and have the caller ID show the name of some guy you've never heard of... from the HR office!
I've heard of crashes after excessive drug, alcohol, or caffeine intake. Heck, I personally endured a monster caffeine crash when working at Starbucks one summer as a barista. But can you have a crash after a big project is done?
The source of all my stress these last few months -- and what I blame for my constant headaches, occasional stomach cramps, random other flu-like symptoms, and my inability to make my step goal pretty much at all this past month -- may actually be done.
I had the best of intentions when I grabbed some files at work and brought them home to edit.
If you follow my Twitter feed, you know that I was at the Healthy Driven Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon today. Not as a runner, but as staff. Communications, mostly. A lot of photography. Even more social media outreach. It was fun. But you don't need the details.
Hey Adobe pros, I need some help with an InDesign problem. And I need it quick or I am going to throw my stupid computer off the damn roof.
I have a coworker who shares a lot of the same interests as I do. Comics, toys, science fiction, some fantasy, the works.
Today, I attended an Adobe Users Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Oak Brook, IL. Normally I wouldn't be this specific about a location, but I have a beef.
Originally, I had planned on today's post being a meme I found over on Dave2 and Kazza's blogs. However, when I discovered it was 100 questions, I changed my mind. Memes are fun. Usually. When they're short, that is. Holy god.
I had this great idea for a blog post today. Another good current events one, but I cannot find the news article and any Google search I perform comes up with older stories that are not at all the one I want. I don't know what happened. Weirdness abounds on the web. I'll keep searching, but, in the meantime, I'm bumping up a post I was holding until later.
I recently discovered that I have to burn off some paid time off (PTO) at work or I'm going to lose it. I can only roll over a certain number of hours from one fiscal year to the next and I've maxed those out. By April 30, I need to take five days off to ensure I lose no time.
A coworker decided to run a charity drive at work that she calls the "Soup-er Bowl." To take part, you place a can of soup in the box representing a team you want to win in the NFL Playoffs that week. Then you do the same the next week and then again for the Super Bowl. Oh, and if you tell her that the Green Bay Packers are your favorite team, she will match your donation (she loves the Pack).
The old maxim "With friends like these, who needs enemies?" has never been more true than in this instance.
Honestly, I thought we were nothing more than leverage. A bargaining chip used to negotiate a better offer from the City of San Francisco.
I don't usually like to talk about work here on my blog. I don't want to get Dooce'd, after all. But, I am going to blog a little about it today. In very general terms. Oh, and positive ones, too!
I've got a project that I've been helping a friend work on for some years now. I'm not the first person to help him with this project. The first person had to quit the project and that's when I agreed to help out. I really don't do too much work on it anymore so I don't think about it. Until today.
Katie and I use a lot of avocados when we make our homemade guacamole. During one of our kitchen sessions a few years back, she informed me that avocado trees can be grown from the pits of avocados. Makes sense, right? So we looked up online how to do it.
We tried the instructions we found three times and, each time, we wound up with a rotted-out shell of the old avocado pit. Nothing ever happened.
I went through CPR/AED recertification today. It has been a few years since I've renewed my knowledge and, damn, how things have changed.
As I recall, we were supposed to give 15 chest compressions for every two breaths back in the day (yanno, waaaaaaaaay back in 2007, a bygone era) for adults and 10:2 for kids. Or something like that. Just pray I don't have to save your life.
Now, however, according to American Heart Association standards, the ratio is now 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths regardless if you're an adult or a child. The only real change is how hard you press and the immediacy of your CPR actions as opposed to taking time to call 9-1-1 first, whatever.
And, according to my instructor, the European Union standards dictate 100 compressions with no breaths.
Why does something like this change so often and remain so truly unstandardized? Have human beings changed that much in such a short time that we need to adapt this lifesaving technique with this high a level of regularlity? Or is this going to be a butter vs. margarine argument where they keep going back and forth until the end of time as to which is better for you?
But 30:2 is pretty easy to remember... so long as my back and shoulders can hold out through that much chest pumping. I might have to take a break while my patient lies there dying. How inconsiderate of them to make me work so hard to save their life!
Apparently today is De-Lurking Day. Of course, the likelihood that you'll read about this fact before today becomes Friday is pretty minimal. But I'll give it a shot anyway. And, oh what the hell, I'll unofficially extend it through tomorrow. Because this is my blog and I can do that.
So, if you're someone who has been reading my site for a while and hasn't left a comment, why not start now? I don't bite... hard.
Happy Good Friday.
Yes, it's Good Friday and I'm at work.
I know many people take days like Good Friday off. Or, in many cases, they have the day off whether they asked for it or not.
At my job, it's not a mandated holiday. Instead we get a few "flexible holidays" throughout the year to account for some of those days that not everybody necessarily wants off. So, if someone does want Good Friday off, they can do so easily.
Me? I love working the holidays. To steal a line from Tony the Tiger, "they're gr-r-r-r-r-reat!"
Why? Two reasons:
So many people do take these days off, so the office is practically empty by comparison to many other, normal days. I get so much work done due to a lack of interruptions, it's ridiculous.
As pointed out by Dawg this morning (I thought it was Dawg anyway, but now I can't find the post anywhere... am I going nuts here? I swore he blogged about his commute into Manhattan being easy peasey this morning. WTF?), commute times are fantastic. I trimmed 15 minutes off my commute time this morning because no one, I repeat no one, was on the road.
So, yeah, sign me up for holidays and that week between Christmas and New Year's when someone needs to cover the office. I love 'em!
Today was the final day of voting for my new baseball team to root for this season. When it comes to new teams, the #1 vote getter was the St. Louis Cardinals with #2 being the Tampa Bay Rays. A bunch of others came in with a single vote each with my favorite single-team vote rationale coming from Le Sombre.
However, it you were to look at pure votes for any team, the top choice was to stick it out with the Cubs. I got all sorts of crap from some people for it. Some of the comments were kind reminders that I should be true to my team. Others... not so kind. I do feel kinda bad, though, as it does come off sounding like I now hate the Cubs. But this is not the case at all. I'm just bored by them. It's not exciting to watch them play. I do want them to do well. I do want them to win the World Series. Honestly. I hope they prove my lack of faith wrong and show me up. But, in my heart of hearts, I don't see this being the case. That's why I was looking for a different team to root for. Not a new favorite team, per se, just some other team that is exciting and fun and can reinvigorate my love of the game.
And now that I re-read my post, I realize that I never actually said I would pick the top vote earner, did I? Does that mean I can pick any of the nominated teams? It would certainly seem that way.
So, you know what? I'm defecting leagues here and jumping back to the American League that for so long held my love. I'm going with Le Sombre's suggestion and rooting for the Twins this season. And it works nicely with my Harmon Killebrew bat and the fact that I've always been a Kirby Puckett fan (the player; his personal life in the final few years, not so much). So, fuck yeah. Go Minnesota!
Oh yeah, and I already have the hat.
So, say that hypothetically, I was going to be in Nashua, New Hampshire, on business starting late on February 3 and leaving very early in the morning on February 6. What would one do in that area for fun during the times I'm not working?
Anybody out there know anything about Nashua? I don't.
There are catches: I won't have a rental car. I'm not sure what kind of public transportation I'll have available either. And I'm limited to post 5 p.m. time slots on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): We tried to open the backdoor for Lilly to just go to the bathroom in the backyard. Thought it would be easier. On both of us.
Turns out the backdoor is frozen shut. Won't budge a bit.
Katie's now pretending to bang on the doors and shout for help as though we're trapped in our own house.
Good thing we have no neighbors behind us. I'd hate to have to explain this one to the cops.
I'm looking for a dog expert here.
I guess I'd even settle for a dog novice.
Just somebody who can explain to me the purpose behind the "marking your territory" phenomenon.
Why? Why do dogs do this and how exactly does it help them lay claim to a specific patch of land?
I've walked Lilly dozens upon dozens of times and have watched as she's stopped in mid stride, lifted a leg, and allowed a few small droplets of urine to fall out onto a specific spot. It could be grass, a garden, a sidewalk, a bush, rocks, a stray leaf, or some other dog's pile of poop.
Is it like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and sticking the U.S. flag in it? So the moon is now ours and anybody else that ever lands there needs to pay us rent like a game of Monopoly? Can we build a little green apartment for the little green men and charge more rent?
I've tried to make sense of her rationale. Why here? Why that rock?
I've got nothing.
But the most confounding thing to me is the occasional remarking of a spot on which she's already dribbled her yellow goodness.
If marking your territory is actually a dog's way to try and say to other animals, "hey squatter, that's mine!" then remarking makes no sense. I would think dogs, like humans, would want more and more territory and, to achieve this, they should mark new, unexplored areas, not the same old, same old. They should be striving for canine colonization, if you catch my meaning.
The only rationalization I can make for remarking is that dogs prefer Risk to Monopoly. By letting it flow multiple times on the same spot, when another dog challenges them for dominion, the one with the most pee wins. "Ha! I've got six droplets to your two! Move on or pay with your life, bitch!"
Am I just overthinking this?
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I know I should be leaving for work right now. I need to get off my butt and go.
I just don't want to.
Dammit. The almighty dollar won.
I work with computers. I have for years. So I've become quite accustomed to a rather sedentary work existence.
Occasionally I get up. Mostly bathroom breaks or a meeting here and there. I may go out for lunch. Never too much before I'm back in front of my computer working.
Today, however, has been an exception. My lunch break was actually the longest I sat down all day. I was all over the place. I can't even remember all the offices I've visited and tasks I've completed.
I wish I had a pedometer to tell you how much I've moved.
Suffice it to say, if I moved around like this every work day for six months straight, I'm convinced I'd look like this...
[Christian Bale in The Machinist - a damn fine, albeit weird, movie]
Okay, this might be a bit of an exaggeration. But not by all that much.
As a result of my wife taking classes to become a teacher, I have been exposed to the world of educators, albeit at a much less involved level. However, the current topic Katie is researching has me interested. She's been looking into "cyberbullying" and the epidemic it has become in recent years.
No, my interest does not stem from a desire to participate, but mostly because I work in the Web world and use a lot of the tools that these cyberbullies use, just more for their desired purpose (communication).
But this shit is scary. According to one article she read, 25% or more of kids report at least one instance of cyberbullying against them in a two-month period??? That may not sound like much, but when you consider this is an average and that there are some that are clearly reporting a higher rate of abuse, that's just not right. And, due to the anonymous nature of the Web, it could be anyone at any time.
What the hell happened to just pushing someone on the playground? At least then you know who it is and, in many cases, can see it coming.
I don't know how well I'd fare as a kid in today's world.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Does anyone else think that the Federal Communications Commission, in much the same way that people argue against the United Nations, is desperately grasping at straws to remain relevant these days? If the news I read this morning on IMDb is any indication, I'd say yes. They're apparently considering fining ABC more than a million dollars for a full female butt exposure that happened on the show NYPD Blue.
Give it a second and it'll click...
Yeah, that NYPD Blue. The one that went off the air nearly three seasons ago. In fact, the episode in question aired in 2003... almost five years ago.
And it took the FCC this long to figure out they needed to go after them? What's next? Are we going to see them revive the Janet/Justin wardrobe malfunction and slap some additional fines on that?
I was talking to RBJ a week or so ago and he questioned me about my Top Singles of 2007 list. For the most part, he liked the list and the selection, save for one... The Polyphonic Spree (calm down, Bec! Don't strangle him yet!). He wasn't sure how I could like what I believe he referred to jokingly as a "musical cult."
Well, "cult" might be a bit strong, but I can understand where he's coming from. The very concept of a few dozen people in flowing robes or otherwise matching uniforms singing and traveling together and all that jazz could be seen as borderline choir/cult or, at the very least, a modern incarnation of the Partridges or Osmonds.
I responded that what they do in their own time is their business and it's been a personal philosophy of mine for some years to separate artists from their personal lives. I found out the hard way that if you worry about an artist's personal life, it will ruin your appreciation of what they do professionally. Or, at least, I try. It doesn't always work.
It dates back to when a friend and I saw Oliver Stone's movie The Doors. While Val Kilmer did a brilliant job of portraying the poetically blubbering mass that was Jim Morrison, I hated the film. At the time, my friend and I were going through a classic rock discovery phase and The Doors were high up on our list of loves. After watching Kilmer's portrayal and reading books confirming his behavior, I had the worst time listening to The Doors. I had to stop entirely. Cold turkey. Sold all my music and got rid of anything else I owned. I just couldn't do it anymore.
It was a good three years before I began listening to The Doors again. But it was only after I was able to mentally distance myself from the movie and the stories. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I try to keep doing it to this day.
Amy Winehouse? Great singer; freak of a person.
Russell Crowe? Need I say more?
I don't want it to look like I'm picking just on the three of them as there are plenty of instances of this in the great entertainment machine. These three were just the first ones I thought of. C'est la vie.
It's sad I have to do separate the personal and professional lives of artists, but if I don't, I'd never be able to see a movie, watch a TV show, or listen to an album anymore. Then what do I have left? Working out at the gym with a dead iPod. Oh wait, that happened to me this week. Sucks.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I overheard this one at work... "Oh man! I misspelled 'intelligence'." D'oh!