September 30, 2005

This picture needs a thought bubble...

This is an older photo of my newest niece and one of her older cousins. The baby is now walking and "speaking" (Da Da, milk, wow!, car and uh-oh), but my sister hasn't given me any more recent pics!

MaryEreadstoMegan.jpg

So, what is the baby thinking?

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September 29, 2005

Smelling the coffee...

Read this.

Bad Example > > brain terminal

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September 28, 2005

And the number 1 excuse for not blogging yesterday was....

Got the school showing over with, and came home to go back to bed; when I woke up, the new Robert B. Parker was waiting for me! Yay! So I had to hurriedly finish reading Ed McBain's posthumous 87th Precinct book so I could snuggle up with Spenser.

Yes, reading does take precedence over writing for me...

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September 26, 2005

Did I mention it poured rain all day?

I had one of those days. My newest pair of shoes sprang a hole in one toe. I broke a nail threading a projector. I used liquid nails to fix my shoe and then read that it was toxic, and not to get it on my skin. When it wouldn't come off with soap and water I had to use popping oil instead of mineral oil or petroleum jelly as the label recommended. Before I could wash the oil off I had to change the cheese bag in the nacho cheese warmer and the nozzle popped off and squirted cheese all over my pink dress. I discovered we are almost out of popping oil and our supply order doesn't come til Tuesday afternoon--and I have a school group of 239 coming Tuesday morning.

And that was all before 1:30 pm. Some days it's not even worth it to go into work.

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September 25, 2005

Word of the day

Malaise.

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September 24, 2005

I'm also the one people call when they want to know the name of the movie they're watching on tv when they can't find the cable guide

Found via The Gray Tie:

HASH(0x8c6b0e4)
You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of
endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and
never fail to impress at a party.
What people love: You can answer almost any
question people ask, and have thus been
nicknamed Jeeves.
What people hate: You constantly correct their
grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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I'm naked under my clothes

Well, this is blog entry # 1501!

Harvey suggests I blog about blogging braless again, but really, what else is there to say? I'm typing, and I'm not wearing a bra, and my arms are pressing my braless breasts together slightly as I type. The turquoise satin nightie I'm wearing has a deep V of lace that is fairly see-through in the cleavage area. It is not at all chilly today, so there is nothing perky to be observed adjacent to the lace.

How was that, Harv?

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September 23, 2005

Good thing I'm not King Solomon

Rachel Ann suggested that I blog about my favorite book.

That's a tough one; it's not like choosing a favorite flavor of ice cream from the maybe two dozen I have sampled in my life time. We're talking about choosing one out of, at a guess, ten thousand. I read, at a minimum, three books a week, and have been known to read three in one day. I prefer mysteries and historical romances, although lately I've been into vampires for some reason.

Now, if the question were "Which is your favorite by Georgette Heyer?" (The Unknown Ajax) or "What's your favorite Robert B. Parker?" (Looking for Rachel Wallace) I could answer that easier, since there are only dozens to choose from in those cases. But even those were a difficult choice because The Grand Sophy and The Judas Goat are close seconds.

I guess it's logical that the more alternatives there are, the more difficult it is to make a decision. It's harder to answer "What's your favorite food?" than "What's your favorite cuisine?" or "What's your favorite vegetable?" Even "Who's your favorite author?" gets tricky for me.

Don't ask me my favorite movie, either--I've seen thousands...

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September 22, 2005

Honey, How Was Your Day?

Woke up. Made coffee. Drank coffee. Read some blogs. Played some Neopets. Checked out Rita.

Ok, let's try this: instead of my giving you all a topic to discuss in the comments, you all give me a topic in the comments to blog about?

Anyone?

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September 21, 2005

If you can't say anything nice about someone, use a quote from somebody else

Since I can't think of anything to blog about myself, I will share this insight my brother emailed:

Mayor Nagin says he's "better prepared" for Rita than he was for Katrina.

It must be because this time there's been a couple days warning...whereas three weeks ago no hurricane forecasting technology existed.

What a dolt.


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September 20, 2005

Later we'll get ice cream

I haven't felt "bloggy" the past few days, although I don't think it's beal. It's probably just blogger's block. Nothing seems worthy of (hmmm....what is the modern equivalent of "putting pen to paper"? putting fingers to keys? putting keystrokes to word processing software?) sending pixels to the server.

I don't think I'm much of a "how was your day, honey?" kind of person, unless something interesting--good or bad-- has happened, so rather than post:

Went to work. Made some popcorn. Showed some movies. Came home.

I just played Neopets and computer solitaire with my blogging time.

Now I'm going to play Neopets with my laundry-doing time....

Somebody's got to feed my Shoyru!

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September 18, 2005

Birthday Pr0n for Pixy

Happy Birthday to the Benevolent Ruler of Munuvia, the Wise and All-Powerful Pixy Misa!

(Due to International Dateline issues, this is actually a bit early since the 20th is his big day. But, he'll have that much longer to enjoy it, won't he?)

In the extended entry, Your High Webmasterness...

birthday ms.jpgms.gifms2.gifms3.gifms4.gifpixy prez.jpg

Many Happy Returns, Dear Pixy!

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September 17, 2005

I like the 20th Century!

Yesterday was exhausting--not because we were busy, but because there was so much managerial stuff I had to do, not the least of which was dealing with getting the computer to print (I took in my old Canon BJC 250--designed for Windows 95!--and got it to work! Yay! Now I have breathing space until we get the Epson C86 to print something other than the print test...), fielding phone calls from groups that wanted to arrange theater rentals and getting my weekly inventory done. I'm really looking forward to the time when the computer will do half my paperwork for me. That may be as early as Tuesday's payroll. I'm hoping that by next Friday I'll be able to do my inventory with Excel. That will be so awesome!

I suspect that now we've become computerized, white-out sales will bottom out...

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September 16, 2005

I need a Geek!

I don't think I mentioned this before, but we're having problems getting our Epson C-86 printer to work with the "new" computer. See, when the other theater had it before it closed down, the old printer broke, so they would send the info to a floppy and print it off a different computer. They finally bought a printer, but they got an error message saying there wasn't enough memory, so they just kept doing the floppy thing until they closed. Then when we got the computer, we bought more memory and put it in. But the printer still won't print!

We tried uninstalling and reinstalling. We tried using the parallel port and the USB port. We even bought a new USB cable in case that was the problem. We ran an anti-virus program, and called every technical support line we could find. Finally somebody (Epson? the ticket software vendor?) told us to check Microsoft.com. The DM and I both found the same "solution" to the error message (rundll 32) about adding a piece of code to the boot info, but when we went to do it yesterday, that line was already there--so that wasn't the problem, either.

The printer prints, by the way--you can print a test page from the task-bar icon. But if you try to print from excel or word or the ticketing software reports pages, it just hangs, "not responding."

Do any of my beloved geeks have any suggestions? Because I'm afraid if we don't get this printer going soon, the owner is going to take the whole thing back!

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September 15, 2005

Update

I talked to one of my nieces (I once blogged about her here) who told me her dad is doing ok--they are keeping him overnight at the hospital, and my sister is staying with him. He had 99% blockage in 2 arteries--the doctor said they call it "the widow-maker"--and they put a total of 4 stents into him. As long as there are no complications, he should be ok.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers!

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Request

One of my brothers-in-law is having angioplasty this afternoon, so I'm a little distracted again. He's only 43. That seems to me to be way too young to be having heart problems, but my sister reminded me that his dad had a triple bypass at age 41 (and was told he could only expect to live 5 more years, but lasted over 20 more years) so it's a genetics and Type A personality thing, I guess.

Say some prayers for him, ok? My nieces need their dad...

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September 14, 2005

Bad Example Bad Boy's Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday Harv! With Belated Felicitations to Ted and Early Greetings to Pixy:

harv birthday prez.jpg

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This one's for the gals

Happy Birthday, Jen! Enjoy!

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September 13, 2005

From the email joke file:

In the extended entry for those with page-loading issues....

new suv.jpg

new_mp.jpg

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Somebody's behind on the vig...

I just read that "the mayor [of New Orleans] warned that the city is broke, unable to make its next payroll."

Um--how does a city manage to go broke in two weeks? It's not like a city gets a paycheck twice a month, and is now unemployed due to the hurricane. Cities use their tax income to operate. Tax income flows into a city's coffers on an annual or quarterly basis.

I could see New Orleans having a tax shortfall a couple months down the road, when the next quarter's tax installments don't get paid to the county or the state or whoever collects them in Louisana, but unless the Big Easy operates entirely on a weekly head tax, somebody is mismanaging funds.

Must've been President Bush....

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Pinkish-Grey

Wow. I just read Bill Whittle's latest masterpiece, Tribes.

I know, I'm a week behind everyone else, but I knew that not only did I need to make sure I would have time to read it (the man is a genius, but "short and sweet" is not his style), I also had to be in learning mode--alert, able to concentrate, and not distracted.

Of course, he has the ability to distill concepts into metaphors that make comprehension of the subject to hand a snap. But even so, I like to be able to savor his prose and reflect on his points as I read.

I'm a sheep, but I admire and appreciate sheepdogs. Part of me wishes I had grown up to be a sheepdog instead of a sheep, but I come from a long line of sheep and I don't think I could cut it, not even as a sheepdog in sheep's clothing.

When I was in college, a girl two dorm rooms down from me had a seizure. My best friend ran to help her, yelling for someone to call 911 and the RA. I just stood there, helplessly, and then got out of the way for the folks that could do something. It's one of those memories that haunts a person--that I froze in a crisis.

On the other hand, now that I have the responsibilities of a person in authority, I seem to be able to handle crises better--not that I've run into a life-and-death one at the theater, Thank God! But if a platter brain-wraps, or the popcorn popper breaks during a rush, I can assess the problem, determine the best course of action, and direct the troops to help me accomplish it, all without having a breakdown until the situation is resolved.

That's because I have the knowledge and self-confidence to handle it.

Sometimes we don't know what we are capable of until we are tested. I hope that had my friend Katie not rushed to the girl's aid, that I would have leaped into the breach. But I'm no sheepdog--and mostly I'm happy to be a sheep, despite occasionally wishing I had grown up to be Wonder Woman or Xena, Warrior Princess.

Yes, I covet their cool toys....

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September 12, 2005

Who knew I was supposed to fire the good employees?

The company has been on my back to cut payroll. It seems that the first-runs are in a slump, so even though business is good for the second-runs, we have to tighten our belts to keep the company afloat.

I get that. And (finally) having a computer is going to help, because instead of rounding off their clock-in and clock-out times to the nearest quarter hour, the kids who show up at 4:06 and leave at 8:24 won't be getting their free 12 minutes ($1.10) a day.

Yesterday when the owner called to check on our business, I mentioned that the cleaning crew needed more time than the 2.5 hours he'd mandated for 50¢ Day and all of a sudden we were in the middle of an argument about my payroll. It seems that my theater has the lowest employee turn-over in the company. Hey, that's a good thing, right? Less time spent training newbies, fewer screw-ups from trainees, more employees that are fast and efficient, right?

Wrong. According to the owner, I must be doing something wrong to have so many clerks and cashiers marking their one-year with the company.

Some days I am amazed that our theater chain is still in business....

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September 11, 2005

I forgot to mention the touch-screen monitor

For my geek readers, agog for the specs on my work's "new" computer: it's a Compaq Deskpro 64 MB Pentium 2 using Windows 98! Whoo Hoo! We had to buy a "previously owned" memory chip and upgrade to 128MB yesterday to get the Epson printer to work... 20th century, here we come!

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September 10, 2005

Click the link

This is hilarious...

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I didn't get the memo...again

I wish I had been on the list to be notified that yesterday was "Psychotic Customer Day." There was even one in front of me in line at the bank when I went to pick up our change order--she threw her ATM on the counter in front of the teller to make a withdrawal, and then went ballistic when she was very politely told she needed to either use the card at the ATM or write a check at the window. By that point I had already had one customer who was outraged that she had to pay a dollar--a dollar, mind you--for her 2 year-old to see Madagascar with the rest of the family, so I should have been fore-warned.

I hate days like that. I hate having to ask teen-aged mothers to please watch their language because they are repeatedly shouting "shut the f*** up!" to their toddler. I hate fielding complaints because unruly children are running up and down the aisles disturbing other patrons, while their parents are watching the movie. And it makes me heartsick that little kids have mothers who leave them unattended in the lobby where they can dart behind the concessions counter during a rush--they could get stepped on, tripped over, or splashed with hot oil or butter. It's probably just as well I've never had kids; I would hold on to my child crossing streets and in busy public places, and not shout "shut the f*** up!" at her (at least until she was a teenager) repeatedly--which, judging by the examples I see at work, indicates that I have a narrow view of what is and isn't proper parenting. There must have been a memo for that I missed, too.

All that turmoil definitely ruined what would otherwise have been the high point of my work year: yesterday afternoon the DM surprised us with a computer...

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September 08, 2005

What is wrong with people? (Part 37)

Back in the days when Clinton was President, as much as I loathed him I never came close to even thinking like this (hmmm...no permalink--go to The Elitist Pig and read the Sept. 6th post "All the Hate You Can Gag Down"), let alone saying it or writing it. I suppose it's not a federal offense to make threats against a sitting President's parents, but if it is, I hope the Secret Service tracks down these wackos and puts them in a nice padded cell....

UPDATE: let's try this to link the post.....Yay!

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Always read the fine print

nujoy1.jpg

I'm waiting for the non-decaffeinated coffee and the non-chunky peanut butter...

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September 07, 2005

I hate Illinois Nazis....

Thanks to Beth, I realize that Hurricane Katrina was a racist--she picked a predominately black area of the country to wipe out.

I'm just waiting for the lunatic fringe to claim that Katrina used to date President Bush...

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I should have been up by the crack of noon

Boy, when I oversleep, I do it big! Luckily, I don't have to be to work for over an hour, so I have time to get beautiful. What I don't have is time to post...

Heh. Bonfire entry.

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September 06, 2005

Idle hands are the Devil's tools...

Most of the folks I talk to suspect that the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana should rank ahead of the President and FEMA when blame for the mess in The Big Easy is assessed. There were two notable exceptions; one from a professionally unemployed couple (whose entire income is derived from disability benefits, food stamps and other welfare programs) who think the President and only the President is at fault, and the other one an employee of mine, who, when asked for specifics of the President's failures replied "I just hate him."

I think this is a microcosm of the criticism of the President that we're hearing--most of it is from people who think the government owes them a living, or who suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Thanks to Harvey's niece Sarah, I found FEMA's time line of their response to Katrina. Judging by it, I don't think FEMA was as behind the curve as some people are trying to make out.

And in case you missed it at Harvey's, this post at The Intellectual Activist seems to sum it up nicely:

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

Unfortunately, I am sure some people who read Robert Tracinski's opinion will cry "racism!" even though not a word about race, color or creed is mentioned in his article. That is because we have been taught--by the media and Black Activists--to associate poverty and crime and welfare with "urban Americans," and if there is no association implied or intended, they will find one.

The "professionally unemployed" couple I mentioned above? My "white" sister and brother-in-law.

My middle-class neighbors in my middle-class neighborhood are "black", "brown", "yellow" and "white." There is a Halal grocery a block from my house. At my work we serve African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Arab-Americans and European-Americans, including families that are comprised of various combinations of those ethnic origins. I have no doubt that some of our customers are welfare recipients, but I couldn't tell you which ones by looking at at them, whatever their color or ethnic origins.

I bring this up only to point out that not all poor people are black, and not all black people are poor, despite what television news would have you believe. Those who are convinced that it is the government's responsibility to provide for them, like my sister, have little inclination to help themselves, and no experience either.

I firmly believe that Mayor Nagin is at least partly responsible for his city's failure to evacuate those citizens who wanted to evacuate, and for the failure to force those who refused, and Governor Blanco was negligent as well. I myself was once a flood "refugee" due to a mandatory evacuation order by the mayor of my city. Police officers and firefighters moved door to door ensuring that everyone had gotten the word and was complying. It was several days before we were allowed to return. We were lucky--the dike held in my neighborhood, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who sandbagged under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers, and my family returned to a water-logged basement but otherwise intact house. Other parts of my city weren't as fortunate, but there were no riots, looting or gunfights--everyone was too busy trying to save their homes...

Sometimes, the Protestant Work Ethic is a good thing...

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September 05, 2005

Enjoy your holiday--I'll be laboring

The good thing about Monday holidays is it seems like the weekend has two Saturdays (our best business day). That's also the bad thing, because Saturdays are exhausting.

It also shows how fickle humans are, because we've been selling tons of the less popular candies and are running out of a couple that I didn't think I needed to order on Friday when I did inventory. Oh, well--a complete turnover in the stock means that it's fresh, right?

We're finally starting to get some of the bigger summer movies, and the best draws are the ones that people will see repeatedly, like Finding Nemo and Shrek2. One family yesterday was on its third trip to Madagascar. I myself haven't seen it yet, but all the employees have an ear-worm from that song that plays over the credits. The customers even come out of the theater singing it.

I blame President Bush.

[Only marginally related--ever notice those annoying, can't-go-straight-to-the-menu ads on DVDs that tell you illegal downloading is stealing? Aren't they targeting the wrong demographic there? If you've downloaded the movie already, what are the chances you'll be renting or buying the DVD to see the ad?]

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September 04, 2005

Breaking News

An ABC news poll shows that the media are not yet completely successful in convincing Americans that Hurricane Katrina is President Bush's fault.

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September 03, 2005

Picking the correct person to stone

Looks like I'm not the only one that thinks the reason New Orleans honchos are throwing stones at the Feds is because they are the ones who blew it. Check out these posts at Junk Yard Blog.

UPDATE: bullwinkle has photos of New Orleans Water Taxis

[...see how I am? ;)]

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Good News

Friday my cousin Brian called my Aunt Malen from Gautier. He made it through the storm, and the house lost a little of the roof and took some water, but it's still standing. A couple of hours later, my Aunt and Uncle got back, too--they had gone to Memphis, Tennessee to one of his cousins. There's no electricity, and it's hot as the dickens, but they have a phone. That means they can order pizza...

Thanks everyone for your good wishes and prayers!

(Yes, I know it'll probably be awhile before Domino's is delivering along the Gulf coast, but I'm giddy with relief...)

UPDATE: Thanks to Victor, I learned that they won't be getting any mail for awhile...

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September 02, 2005

On the notion that the government needs to start using its Magical Federal Powers proactively

I was seething with rage at the way the media is tossing blame for the disaster that is New Orleans at FEMA and the Federal Government, and I was ready to burn up my keyboard in outrage. But I see that much of the sensible blogosphere has already stepped up and done that for me.

I suppose my problem is I was under the impression that the U.S. is a republic, a collection of sovereign states that are responsible for their own citizens' safety, and the feds, representing the other states, are only supposed to help out when asked.

Silly me. According to Ted Koppell, the feds are supposed to
... anticipate every potential disaster, including the most recently shored-up, renovated, and reinforced section of the NO levees breaking
... forcibly remove citizens from their homes prior to a hurricane
... have preternatural knowledge of the number of a city's citizens without cars so that the National Guard and its trucks can be sent to do the forcible removal
... over-rule a state's governor and a city's mayor disaster preparedness plans
... psychically divine that there are thousands of evacuees in a secondary location that no one ever mentioned until four days after the disaster
... prevent looting using magical federal powers that don't require shooting the looters

Of course, imagine the screeching from the left if the US Army had gone in and forced New Orleans citizens from their homes before the storm... as a matter of fact, isn't that one of the things the Constitution was written to prevent? The army dragging people away from their dinner tables and trucking them off to a camp?

I plan to blame FEMA if I develop toenail fungus.

What do my readers plan to blame them for?

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September 01, 2005

Katrina

Today is the blogathon for hurricane relief, but I don't feel like dealing with all the links to officially participate. However, I think I'll send my donation to either Samaritan's Purse or the Salvation Army, and if I can spare any more to the Mississippi Chapter of the Red Cross. I also read about an organization called Compassion Alliance that's sending help to the coast.

The scope of this disaster is unbelievable.

Almost (but not quite) as unbelievable is the number of idiotarians blaming Hurricane Katrina on Global warming. Between that and the looters, I've maxed out my disgust levels for the year.

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