Thursday, August 31, 2006

The dog ate my....

Wow, this week has been long!

On Sunday morning, we decided to take the kids and go canoeing. Allie had a friend stay over, so there were 6 of us and we got 2 canoes. The girls were in one canoe; Jeff, Conor, and I were in the second canoe. It was a lot of fun. We managed to stay afloat the whole 6 miles (we took the short one so it wouldn't be too hard on anyone), no one tipped over at all. Of course we did get wet - we splashed each other using the paddles and did stop to swim in a couple of spots.

Towards the end of our trip it began to rain, but not too badly. We were all starving by the time we got back to the car, but none of us were fit to go to a restaurant (wet and dirty), so I called on the way home to have pizza delivered.

After a hot shower and some pizza, I was extremely tired, so I took a nap. We had a pretty good day, we all laughed and had fun.

But then came Monday...

To begin with, I had been asked to make a cake for a wedding shower that was happening Tuesday night at 6:30 PM. I still needed a few things for the cake, so I just figured I would go during my lunch hour and get all that I needed to make the cake Monday evening. Since I had been unable to go to the grocery on Sunday (the tiredness...), I went to the grocery first - I only needed a couple of things. After the grocery, I ran to the bakery where I usually buy the box and any decorations for the cakes I make. CLOSED. Great. Now what? The other supplier I usually use is a 40 minute drive North and I don't have time for that.

The Hobby Lobby. I could go there and get the box at least. I doubted they had the sugar bells that I had wanted to get, but I could find something else. It didn't have to be edible, right? So, I went there. It was, of course, in the opposite direction of my work and my time was running out for lunch. Heading towards the highway, I pass a lot of semi trucks going through town. Strange. Then when I got to the highway, I knew why. North-bound traffic was at a stand still. So, I had to take the back roads, no big deal. When I got to St Rt 741 it, too, was at a stand still. It took me forever to get through the traffic. I then went onto the store and rushed through, getting what I needed. Yes, I was a little late getting back to the office, but it was not a big deal.

I stayed a little late to make up for the long lunch, and when I went to leave the office, I turned right to find myself stuck in traffic again. Grrrrr... I turned on a side road, turned around and went the other way. It was a little longer, but I did not want to sit in traffic again!

Since it was "Grand-Dad's night" I did not have to pick Conor up from the sitter's, so I went home and began making the cakes. One chocolate, one white. After both were done, I had them on cooling racks at the back of the kitchen counter and I went to do some other things. Giving them plenty of time to cool, figuring the decorating wouldn't take too long, I went back to start working on them a little later to find that they were both 1/2 gone. Zeus had propped himself up on the counter and helped himself to both the cakes! I was livid. I couldn't believe it! I yelled at Zeus and put him in his cage. I then had to re-make both cakes (thank goodness I had all the ingredients) and wait for them to cool again.

After they cooled, I kept telling myself that I would just put the base coat icing on it and decorate it the following day during my lunch hour. Then I figured I would just do the edges. Then I just decided to finish it. I did not want to risk not getting it done and I wouldn't have time to do it after work since they needed it there at 6PM and I didn't leave work until 5PM. I ran out of icing before I was done and had to make more, so I am glad that I found that out Monday night and not Tuesday afternoon.

I finished it around 2AM. I put the cake in the box and put it on the table. I figured since Zeus was in his cage for the night there wasn't much risk. I also taped the box closed and put a note on it that said, "Do not attempt to move or look at this cake!"

I envisioned either Jeff or one of the girls wanting to look at it and not noticing the tape. Somehow it would get messed up again. I did not want to get out of bed on Tuesday, but I managed to. I moved the cake from the table to the washing machine and closed the door to the laundry room. I left the note on top of it in case the girls decided to do laundry (yeah, I was thinking of any unreasonable thing that could happen!), so they wouldn't move it.

I even called them right when they got home from school to let them know not to touch the cake and not to leave the laundry room door open for any reason. I was being extremely paranoid about it.

I had a horrible headache all day (lack of sleep possibly) and it was not helped by the fact that I had to go to the dentist during my lunch hour. Even though I know I am doing it, any time I go to the dentist the back of my head always hurts because I spend the entire time there pushing my head into the back of the chair, trying so very hard to get away from him... even though I went there willingly, and I know I cannot escape him... I still do it.

Needless to say, the cake survived the day. I went home after work, got the kids and the cake, and went off to the shower. So, the second round of cakes made it to the shower. It was only Tuesday night and it felt like the week should be over.

I am still mad at Zeus though. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Could you spot a Serial Killer?

I received this little quiz via an email. I have sent it to several people to see how well they read people...

You have to look at a picture and decide if the person is a Program Language Inventor OR a Serial Killer...

I got 9 out of 10 correct... so my results say "You'd spot Hannibal Lector in seconds at an Open Source Conference. Your liver's safe."

I had my boss take it, as well as most of the people in my office. They all received 7 out of 10 and some of them did it together! That means there is a 30% chance that he will hire a serial killer someday considering we are in the IT business and he can't tell a programmer from a serial killer!

I told him I should sit in on all future interviews... or at least get to look at the person. :)

See how well you do...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Are you kidding me?

OK, about 2 or 3 months ago, our IS department sent out an email instructing everyone in the company to conform to a new "signature" on our emails. They sent us the template that we were to use, and this was something that was to be done company wide.

I felt that then new signature for the emails was rather bland and boring, so, I ignored the request and kept my signature the same on my emails. Here is what it looks like (if the format comes through correctly):

Firstname Lastname Title
COMPANY IT Solutions


So, everyone in the company changed to the new format (except me). Some people changed the font, some people changed the colors, and some people added a tag line to their's.

Yesterday, we received the following email from our CFO:

I’d like to remind everyone of our expectation regarding email signatures, as well as offer additional guidance regarding email communication. Email is an important method of business communication, and has a significant impact on the image of our company. To that end, please comply with the following guidelines.

1) Your signature block needs to conform to the specifications of the standard example – do not change the font, color, bolding or size of any portion of the signature block. If you have questions about the format, revisit the guidelines and sample signature block on the intranet at: (website given).
2) White is the only acceptable color to use as a background on email communication. While Microsoft Outlook provides a wide variety of borders, formats and backgrounds, none conform to the professional image we’d like to convey.
3) Personal quotes, known/famous quotes, taglines, etc. should not be used. (Note: The only acceptable form of tagline is the “IT Solutions” phrase included in the approved signature block.)
4) Use a standard font in all email communication (i.e., Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Verdana, MS Reference Sans Serif, etc.). Avoid using script fonts.
5) IS will soon be adding a standard confidentiality statement to the bottom of emails (2-3 weeks). More information regarding this statement will be communicated when it is implemented.

If you have any specific questions regarding our email policy, please feel free to contact Marketing Manager directly at (phone number given) or myself at (phone number given).

Thank you for your cooperation.

Everyone's reaction in this office was "are you kidding me?" Of all the things wrong that need fixed or addressed, they sure pick some irrelevant issues to focus on.

OK, I can understand wanting some sort of standard, really I can. But in my opinion, they could have picked a better template. Or they could be a little more yielding to a bit of personalization. Conformity... robots... eeewww... I mean, come on. We are an IT solutions provider, you would think we could utilize some of the options available in our software.

So, I caved. :( I changed my signature. But I am not changing my font. It is not in his list of "standard fonts" but it is not a script font, so I am keeping it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Have you ever noticed that when you are watching a movie and the person in the movie is brushing their teeth, they hardly ever use toothpaste? Why is that? Is that not a commonly used product? Has my dentist been decieving me all these years telling me to brush with toothpaste?

Is it too messy and the producers, directors, or the actors decided that it is too gross to put on screen for people to see? The audience would see the "beautiful people" frothing at the mouth and somehow not like them anymore?

I can't even imagine brushing my teeth without toothpaste, it would just seem silly. And I wouldn't have minty fresh breath when I was done! :)

I know this is a strange post, but it has been bugging me lately... lol And since I haven't posted much lately I thought I would do a short rant about toothpaste...