Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monkeys and weasels and snakes, oh my!

Around and round the Mulberry bush
The monkey chases the weasel
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Then POP goes the weasel!

Today it isn't the Monkeys, but the snakes. But then it turns out that weasels are much funnier than snakes, though less nasty, but still gives an image of sneaky, backstabbing, dishonesty and a lack of integrity - just like I have to deal with at work all the time.

I work in a fricking zoo - monkeys and weasels and snakes - oh my.

The search has started, but very slow. A bit of the clue-by-four first to my own head, because I can't afford to be out of work. So that means sit down, shup up and color - and like it! Don't just drink the kool-aid - take this IV of it and live the frickin' dream!!!

What I'm really finding difficult anymore is getting the energy after a day at the zoo to come home and do anything about it - it is so draining that I just want to collapse - oh but first there is dinner and school supplies and church youth group and band practice and board meetings and football concession and band tax returns . . .

At least it is helping that I'm getting a slight glimmer of respect from some of the weasels, though only by working twice as hard to not only share some of the things that I have learned after doing this for almost ten years, but to do it in a way that isn't showing them to be complete and utter idiots.

Man, I am just ranting tonight, not really going anywhere.

Had one interesting example today. Weasels are having a problem sending data with the new system, so they ask me what might be wrong. I spend the next hour writing up, in detail, just the most obvious issues with what they are doing, without accusing them at all or even asking which orifice their heads have been crammed into lately even once. I then talk to the chief weasel, and he has me sit with him as he corrects the code. However, before we get started, I ask if he has the interface document that actually goes into detail on what should be there. He does, and even laughs about the fact that he HAS read it, but doesn't know XML or DTD's, so just glossed over it, not being a detail type of guy.

Can a weasel be a monkey too? I wouldn't have a problem if he were actually doing the role of a manager, but he is coding as much as anyone, and doesn't really seem to be managing much at all. But we walked through the corrections (me knowing what was needed, him knowing where it was in the new code and the exact .net syntax).

So a better day - though that doesn't take much at all at this point to say that.

round and round the mulberry bush . . . .

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I so badly need a change, and have gotten a bit more incentive to make these changes. Things at work are getting exponentially worse. I've pretty much been told to "sit down, shut up and color. Drink the KoolAid. Oh, and like it!"

One of the hardest things for me is to not carry any attitude moving forward, it won't be to my benefit. I need to let things go, focus on work while at work, and on change while not at work. Until that change comes about.

I'm still struggling with weight. Little desire for working out - and when I'm at home I am either eating or drinking, or both. Something else again I keep telling myself I need to do, but can't seem to kick myself in the butt enough to actually do it.

I've been thinking it is time to go back on Welbutrin again - just the general mood and poor sleep. This time it isn't seasonal, being August, but it is probably time. I hate that, but is yet another factor I have to live with.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jug Nuggets

I just had to share that. My boss used that in reference to some of the code monkeys around here (one specifically), but as soon as he said it, it took on a whole new life of its own, with a completely different meaning. Luckily we were able to pull the meeting back out of the gutter rather quickly, but I think I have a new favorite term.

Reminds me of high school, when we used to try to spot Artesians. They aren't hard to find. They live in women's bras. And when it gets cold, their noses stick out. Yes, we stole the term from the old Olympia beer ads (with the artesian spring water) - check out the story of that here

Jug Nuggets. hehehe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Read a book

Back from band camp. No more major events, just lots of practice. We had the family picnic afterward, so that meant I got off the bus and headed to the concession stand and started cooking immediately, but it went really well.

One morning they boys played this song to wake everyone up - and I just couldn't help laughing. A hilarious parody of the current trend in rap songs - and all over YouTube

Full Version (explicit):

And a clean version:


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This one time, at band camp . . .

Day three, and this is the first time I've had any significant free time. So I'm at the library, enjoying the air conditioning, and just surfing webcomics for a bit, before I have to get ready to drive the pit (the percussion line - i.e. drum set, electric bass, electric piano, vibraphone, bongos) back to lock up in the trailer before dinner.

I have to keep reminding myself that I'm on vacation here - yeah right!!! Taking a week of my vacation to be a band camp chaperone. As the treasurer I can at least pay for things that are needed here, instead of just giving a few blank checks.

Ok, Sunday we leave on time. We had 43 students signed up and ready to go, with 4 chaperones and 6 staff (well one of them was only here two days, but we still had to pay for him a full week). But at the last minute, one of the new freshmen boys decides he doesn't want to go, saying he signed up for band, not boot camp. He isn't happy at all about the running and callistenics that the new director is making them do, and even after both directors and his 'big' (all the freshmen ('littles') are assigned a senior ('big') for the year to show them around, take them under their wing, etc. My youngest son Matt's big is Morgan, who just also happens to have been my oldest son Jon's little. I thought that was kind of cool) talked to him he still refused to go. So we left with 42 - exactly 21 boys and 21 girls.

The bus ride was uneventful, and about an hour shorter than expected. I guess they have completed the widening of US-35 between Chilicothe and W. Virginia, so it is now 4 lane divided all the way, making the trip much faster than expected - meaning that we were the first band here, and the dorms weren't ready yet. We get moved in, and all the boys check in. Then Brian and I, the male chaperones, ask for our rooms - and there is a problem. There aren't any rooms left. They had exactly enough space for 21, not 23. We ended up moving 2 boys out of a room, and Brian and I are sharing it, kind of a pain but doable. What is worse though is they only give the kids one key per room - and we still have not managed to get a second one for us. I really hate the college treating us like the students. It is a bit of a royal pain to not be able to get in the room when I want to or need to.

Monday went well. A lot of hauling in the heat. A lot of sitting there watching the band, trying to actually put names with faces - I think I've just about gotten the band done. The color guard is more difficult - especially because we can't separate them by instrument like the band :-). One girls gets sent home with a serious migraine, another is complaining about first a hurt knee, then ankle, and wants to go home, but her parents insist she stick it out. She is doing better by the dance that night. That was fun, as the old man (me) is the one with all the good songs on his iPod that they end up listening to.

Tuesday, at about 5 am, I hear thunder. I guess I slept through the rain that had started about 1 or 2 am. We check at 6:45, and it looks to be clearing up, but at 7:10 it is pouring rain. Gina, the guard consultant, comes up and tells me that the wheel is off the golf cart as well. They cancel the morning practice, and we go to breakfast. There we find out that the girls dorm is flooded - they had been working on the roof and apparently didn't cover it the day before, and all the rooms have water pouring in through the ceiling fixtures, and the smoke alarms were shorting out going off every hour all night long. So they got no sleep.

Brian and I have to go unhook the van from the trailer and unload it to move their stuff from their dorm to a new one. Then I have to work on the golf cart - but it is just a flat, and once I get the right air compressor I get it fixed up pretty quick. Meanwhile, we find out that one of the guard girls sister died that morning, so her mom comes and gets her as well. The rain finally lets up early in the afternoon, and we have our regular 6-9 practice on the field. On the way I'm pulling the pit carts with the golf cart, and going over the curb a wheel breaks on the big cart - all the way off. So we take the drum set off its cart and make two trips to get the rest of the equipment over, and I flip the cart and take a look. Then I find we have NO tools for the band, just a bucket of wrenches for fixing golf cart wheels - but nothing like a drill etc. So I have Christy, one of the other chaperones, drive me and we go looking for a hardware store. We find this small do-it-yourself place and walk it at 6:59 - they close at 7:00. But I do manage to find some liquid nails, some longer bolts and a drill - so we begin to make what will be the eventual band tool box. It isn't the fanciest one, but I get the wheel back on ( better, faster, stronger than it was before ) and cover the exposed screw tips on the top with electrical tape to keep some dumb teenage boy (and aren't they all) from poking his foot on it or something.

Last night then we had the pizza party, and even though Dominoe's was half an hour late it was fun. Today, no rain. Matt, my son, is feeling sick and dry heaving, and a lot of the kids are complaining. He rests for the morning practice. Driving the pit back to the field (and I found a new route that DOESN'T require me to go over a curb) they mention that one wheel on the big cart is wobbly. Not the one I fixed at least. So unload it and flip it again - and the weld on the axle of the wheel has started to split apart - so Christy and I eventually find a tractor supply store that has an entire new wheel (bracket and all), and I replace the wheel with the new one. However the pit has said that a couple of wheels on the set cart look wobbly now - and we are figuring that they are being overloaded - with the equipment and 2 or 3 teenage boys on each cart riding (we need one to hold the equipment and keep it from falling - the others just want to ride) that we are probably way exceeding the 300 lb limit per wheel. But those wheels are half the price of the one I needed today (basically an 8" caster), so not as big of a problem. In fact our props for the show are 4' dice - and each one has a pair of wheels on it. If I have to I can steal the wheels off one of them for the cart until we get home.

The staff had the kids doing a scavenger hunt after lunch, and they are doing music rehersal until 4:30, so I have about another 45 minutes to a hour before I have to be back, a nice chance to relax a tiny bit. Hopefully no more rain, and no more critical break downs, but I seem to be able to fix what is needed so far.

Brian and I did get pranked - after we went to bed last night we hear the most god-awful fart sounds - each of us, of course, assuming it is the other one and trying to ignore it as four blasts echo through the room. By the end I have a tear running down my face as I am trying so hard not to laugh out loud. Then this morning, as I'm making my bed, I find a "Remote Control Fart Master 2" under the bed, just about perfectly between us. Cute. But they won't get it back until I find out who owns it. :-) (That is the kind of harmless prank I find funny - some of the seniors were going to fill the freshmen beds with baby powder - until the RA let them know in no uncertain terms that THEY would be cleaning up the mess it made. And I haven't had to do anything for work aside from one 2 minute call from my boss after lunch yesterday. That at least is a vacation.