Thursday, March 31, 2005

I'm all a-Google

I just did a google search on 'random micro thoughts blog' and it showed this site! How cool is that? However, I should point out it's on like page seven, and it cites a post from last month, but hey, we amateur writers with few pretensions to fame gotta take what we can get. If you search on my >name< it cites an article I co-wrote as number one (at least it did the last time I checked); if on my husband's name, you get press releases from his job; my son, and you get a geology article for his summer internship with the state geological survey; and (alas!)with my daughter's name you get nothing at all about her. She was quite put out when I told her (bad mother! bad!) but for now she is doomed to anonymity. The problem with my blog, I think, is that "random thoughts" is WAY too common of a phrase for blogs and other venues. Adding 'micro' only means you get every site that has random thoughts about Microsoft. Pfft. Like Bill Gates needs any more web space than he already occupies. Guess I should have thought harder about some catchy phrase to use as a title for my blog. 'Catharsis' might have figured into it somewhere, except I'd have to spell check everytime I used it.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

March 29th

Today would have been my sister's 58th birthday. After more than a year it's still hard to believe that she is dead. The last few years weren't good ones for us; she had become more paranoid and accusatory, and I was fed up with making excuses for her to my family. When she called the police to our house while I was in the hospital in intensive care, my husband hit the roof and said, no more. But I think more about the years when we were little. All of the people in my life then, my sister, my parents, aunt and uncle, grandmother, all of them are dead now, but back then birthdays were a big celebration, and unlike Christmas, it was all for you. Now that we are adults, it's usually just a time to go out for dinner. When did that all change? Anyway, my sister slipped on an icy sidewalk in Feb. last year, hit her head, and died of a subdural hematoma a few days later. I'm sure she thought the doctors were making a big deal out of nothing, she'd only agreed to go to the ER for stitches on her scalp. I can only guess that she never knew the seriousness of her fall, and by the time we got there she was unconscious and remained so til the end. She was able to be an organ donor, and several people are living a better life thanks to that. But I can still imagine her demanding to go home and yelling about the need for surgery, etc. Not one to go quietly into that good night....
Still feel like I ought to send flowers.................

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Spring Holiday!

Tomorrow is our spring holiday, mainly because it isn't PC anymore to call it Good Friday when we work for the state. This creates a certain amount of friction with my daughter, who works at the same university as I do, but is paid out of another pocket. There are basically 3 different 'employers' at the health science center; people like me, actual university employees paid by the state and governed by state legislature as to hiring/firing, seniority, etc. Then there are employees hired by the hospital, which is a university hospital, and yet a private corporation thru some fancy footwork when it was set up some 18 years ago. ANd then there are UHA (united Hospital Assoc.)employees, who are hired and paid by the private entity that gets the doctor fees when people are treated at the hospital; the doctors get a cut, of course, but not the whole enchilada because they are 'state' employees too. Confusing? Yes. But the one factor that overrides the whole shebang is that everyone hates the 'state' employees (like me). We get more money, shorter work week, more days off, way more holidays, and better health coverage, cheaper. Our jobs are secure (after 5 years) and all the others can be fired in a heartbeat, for no reason except the money ran out. Or because they made a fuss about their job. This is not our fault; but the reason the other two 'employers' were created was to enable the administration to hire and fire at will, no seniority, no state laws to consider, just like a private business. It makes them resentful of the state-leys because we work side by side, but for different amounts of money, different no. of hours a week, different holidays. My daughter is a UHA-er. 4 holidays a year (we get 13), and Friday isn't one of them. I think it's unfair, too; but this is what our legislators got up to one year when no one was looking, and now we're stuck. I expect that eventually they'll let attrition take all the state jobs, and fill them with the other two (or yet another entity) so they won't need to honor all those pesky laws put in place to protect state workers from discrimination and unfair labor practices. Probably no one will notice, by then. Hopefully I'll be gone too.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day

I'm actually glad to be at work today. This weekend was one of those where you plan some fairly taxing project (like cleaning out a closet) and it gradually evolves into a monster project (like organizing all the drawers and dresser tops). When you're done, it doesn't look like you've touched a thing, because it's all hidden inside dressers and closets, but you feel like you've run a marathon. I was on a ladder part of the time (top shelf) and the arch of my foot feels like it's been folded, spindled, and stapled. Sitting here at work now I have my shoes off (such a lovely indulgence) and if I have to get up, it will be in stocking feet, until it's time to go home. I even brought my lunch, so I won't have to walk to the cafeteria. I need a weekend to recover from my weekends. One side benefit is the things you find that you didn't know were there. I found a $20 bill in an old purse, and a brand new tote bag from Alaska from last year's vacation, as well as an Alaska stocking hat (now that it's March and too warm to wear it). I found the charger for my cell phone (no having to use hubby's) and all sorts of little odds and ends that had tried to escape the house unnoticed. I firmly believe that inanimate objects possess personality, which is why you should never make disparaging remarks or talk of trade-ins when you are in the car. I talk to my car, so it will know it's appreciated, and as a result, in 34 years of driving, I have never had a car breakdown while I am at the wheel, or even had a flat tire. Kismet, I'm sure.

My son worked his first days on the job at Target this weekend, so he is now officially employed. He's complaining about his feet too. Yesterday he wore gel inserts in his shoes, it seems to help. I know I couldn't do a job where I had to be on my feet all day long, my back would pack it in after about an hour.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Blogger is Working again!

I've been trying to post for this entire week,(honest) and couldn't get blogger to let me in from the sign-on page. One of the blogs I read apparently had the same gripe, so it's not just me. Anyway, here is my lame-o list of ten things I've done that you probably haven't:

1. Written FORTRAN programs using a keypunch machine.
2. Ridden my horse in a parade in downtown San Francisco.
3. Had a streetwalker solicit my husband while I was walking hand-in-hand with him.
4. Fractured my spine getting tossed off a horse.
5. Applied for a job as an astronaut with NASA.
6. Whale-watched from a 2-seater airplane.
7. Broke my arm ice-skating.
8. Co-authored an article published in the European Journal of Biochemistry.
9. Held my mother's hand as she died.
10. Saved a stranger using the Heimlich manuever when she was choking.

Number three occurred in San Francisco too, what a city. My first day in Golden Gate park I saw two men making out on a park bench, a real shock for a naive 20 something.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Words of Wisdom, Country Style

Never argue with someone drunker than you.
Never sleep with someone crazier than you.
Never corner something meaner than you.

Don't try to make a silk purse out a sow's ear. It won't work and it annoys the pig.

There's a reason bulls are mean. You'd be vexed too if your woman just stood there and chewed her cud while you were trying to get it on.

Don't sell your mule to buy a plow.

Don't squat with your spurs on.

The easiest way to to eat crow is while it's still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swallow.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Only cows know why they stampede.

Lettin' the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

Don't name a pig you plan to eat.

Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.

Life is not about how fast you run or how high you jump, but how well you bounce.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Come ON, Spring!

It's true that compared to some climates, there isn't much to complain about here. Still, when did that ever stop anybody?

Why I hate winter:

My feet are always cold, even when I wear boots lined in sheepskin.

Shoveling snow.

Hacking frozen ice off the car.

Slip-sliding on the way home (it's OK on the way TO work, it's a reason to turn around).

Knocking frozen water buckets out, thawing water hoses, carrying water from the bathtub in the house (last resort).

Shoveling the SAME snow after it blows back across the driveway.

It gets dark too soon, and that makes it colder.

The car is dirty all the time, and gets the back of my slacks dirty when I get in and out.

The windshield wipers don't work right, they skip and leave you crouching like a septugenarian while you try to peer under the track of the wiper, where it's clear. It doesn't seem to matter if they are regular or 'winter' wipers, or how new they are, they still leave a big smeary mess when you most need to see.

All the snowy dirt gets tracked in on my light carpets and makes a slippery mess on the tile floor, where 23 pairs of shoes are stacked, from trying to NOT track the mess onto the light carpets.

That damn snow needs to be shoveled AGAIN.

The outdoor cats make me feel guilty when it's freezing outside and they're crouched in the snow, this despite having a heated space in the barn surrounded by hay bales, to go to, with food and water.

And have I mentioned shoveling snow yet?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Happy B-day, part Deux

Well, today is the birthday of my (sob) baby. The little tyke is, er, well, 24. There. AND he's 6ft 3, too. However did this happen? One minute you're giving them baths in the plastic baby bath, and the next thing you know, they're using the baby bath to change the oil in their car. I used to show C how to do stuff with the computer - manage extended and expanded memory for those of you other dinosaurs out there, change boards, add memory chips, swap out processor chips. Now he tells me stuff in a language I'm sure isn't English, and I just shrug and ask, "How do you...." We used to play Doom together (he has FAR better spatial memory than me, so he was constantly yelling Left! Left! No not that left!) and his games now leave good old Doom looking like tic-tac-toe. He still gives me hugs even when there's no special reason, and I still like them a lot. He takes out the trash, does the dishwasher, feeds the horses, cleans their stalls, and mows grass. He just finished his degree in geology (yeah C!!) and we picked up his diploma earlier this week. All in all, we've raised a pretty special kid into a special man. Don't be in any hurry to move out....Love you, Pooh.