Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Not having a good day

Me and this boss dude are gonna have to have a talk. From what he has told me he has asked for my services at least until February 14. Trust me, he is no Valentine.

I cannot believe I have not had a blow up with him yet.

Today I had to tell him that I think a big part of the problem with out responses are that 2 people are responding.

He agreed. I am the lead and responding.

And then he sent out another response.


Monday, January 27, 2014

I wobble along like the Michelin Man

I found the old Dennis Basso coat. That coat took me through the coldest winter in Europe in years when I was in Graz. It is missing a button but it is warm. I also acquired a trapper hat with faux fur flaps from Moose Jaw and it snaps below my chin. Then we got the tall Ugg boots in the plain suede and sheepskin. My big savings of the day, my hairdresser told me about No Nonsense cotton leggings. Thin enough to wear under pants/jeans and $ 12.00 a pair. That and my scarf and sunglasses (whether you need them or not) and I made through the day. However we did not dip below 10 degrees. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 0 with high winds.

I did not feel well all weekend so got nothing accomplished. I need to finish taking pictures for the hand softer than soft post, finish the chili recipe for Badger and do some work around here.

Big Daddy got a recipe out of the Sunday paper for a pork extravaganza. He is taking photos so I can show Punkin Head how this turns out. Yesterday we had a pork roast with roasted root veggies, acorn squash, and brussel sprouts. It was all very good. Tonight is stir fry pork and a green salad. Did I tell you about the sugar snap peas from Trader Joe's? I am all over those for salads and just for snacking they are great. Wednesday is pork tacos and Finally on Thursday is a soup finishing up the pork. I told BD if this turns out well-in the future I think the portions should go into the freezer and maybe a once a week pork dish. If the recipes are keepers. But you could always use it for hash too. We will see.

Well, four more days and this month will be over and then February is pretty short so maybe this will be okay.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It is just too damn cold for me

I do not have the clothes for this weather. I am not besties with the woman who owns the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe and is also the heiress to the Carhartt fortune. I need one of those orange suits. Walking to and from my car is a fucking frozen nightmare. It is ridiculously freezing cold. No shit, it is cold.

My walk into work is no joke, it is an assembly plant parking lot and I park in the very back and at one plant I cross a major thoroughfare. Today I wore: tights under jeans with knee high socks, a long sleeve tee and sweater with my poly plastic orange safety vest, a down coat to my knees with a cashmere scarf, knit hat, and North Face huge gloves, along with sunglasses and the hood up on my down coat and it was not enough. What fucking more can I wear?

Tonight I am looking for an old winter coat from Dennis Basso, and a fur hat and I am buying Uggs and leggings and more fur and whatever looks warm as this is supposed to go on into February. Problem is, just how much does one invest in these cold weather togs that are usually not needed here in Motown.

And I have to cart all the stuff I bring into the plant with me, maybe I need a new roller bag. And I hear there is stuff called hand warmers and foot warmers and always the old standby---Pearl's baked potato in your pocket. I would attach that post if I remembered how.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

When your stuff breaks

I have 3 broken things now. Yes, the Comcast is still broken and Big Daddy is laying in the sun in Mexico pretending to work while I am slugging it out here in the frozen Motor City. So that one is BD's baby and he will pay for every extra minute I am forced to endure the asshats.

My car is still broken, the auto start, but now I am thinking my Verizon phone is also on the fritz. When I called people on the Sync in the car it starting calling what I thought was random people. I am now thinking it called the last call made regardless of my voice instruction. I thought it was the Sync. Now I am thinking it is the phone as it happened again when I made the call from the phone.

Maybe this is a multi virus situation and I am just a growing infection of crap.

Tomorrow it is supposed colder than cold and 50 mile an hour wind gusts. They expect the electric to go out. I think this might be a snow day. I have new respect for Pearl and the Minnesota peeps who live in this weather year after year. I think it is because their brains are frozen and have never really thawed out.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Undeclared War or don't piss on my tree

Yes indeed, they are at it again. Every once in a while someone decides they are The King of The World and mounts an aggressive campaign to make sure we are all aware of this. And it always fails because, well, no one gives a shit except the campaigner. And every one else piles shit on this person because really, well, we all have too much time on our hands.

The campaigner in this war should really know better as he/she has the largest file Human Resources has ever seen. Yours truly is even in that file through no fault of my own, and I did not say one bad word about this asshat as they did not ask me the right questions. I cannot say much about this, but remember that old saying about give a mouse a cookie and he will ask for a glass of milk? Well this guy told the world that not only are mice too stupid to eat cookies, you also cannot teach that species to drink milk. Oh yea, he is a prize. And protected somewhat since he is another species on the protected list.

So yes, I am doing my part to stir the pot. At the same time I have been offered the opportunity to work with a pretend intern. I love interns. They are just so damn naif. And sincere. It is just more fun than I should be allowed to have at work. And this one runs to meet me and show me my problems with such enthusiasm. If I was a good person I could tell him he could reasonably make me wait an hour or so, but why would I do that.

Once again it is freezing cold, my hair is fly-away and I forgot to buy tights for the 10 minute walk to the car. Brrr cold as Big Daddy says.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Today my brother died. Actually my half-brother but I think that is kinda stupid to have to add. We had the same dad.

He was always sick. He had a horrible disease. I always felt guilty that he was sick and I was not. I worried that Punkin Head might have it.

I never met him, nor spoke with him.

My sister, aka my half-sister had to do the heavy lifting on this one alone.

And she sounds so sad and so heartbroken.

I just feel so bad for her.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dumb Stuff

Everyday I see the most ignorant shit on the highways and byways to my work. One road is especially bad and naturally it is in that spot that is sketchy, not quite the hood-but real close.

Today there was a small yucky car, not quite a hoopty, but close. It was sitting in the middle of 3 lanes going southbound as if it was in it's own little driveway. No flashers, no brake lights, no person outside the car waving don't hit us (it is 35 miles on hour posted) and what comes up right behind them, a big ass semi truck. I don't know how that semi stopped in time with no warning.

Yesterday there were 2 pick um up trucks stopped in this area, again to lights and stuff. But aha, I espied the chain connecting the vehicles and surmised someone was trying to illegally tow the other one away. Were there flares? No.

Today I stopped behind a bus at the stoplight, leaving what I consider to be just normal stopping space. The next thing I know this women is trying to pass between me and the bus to get to a fast food joint and I swear I am amazed there is no extra paint on the front fascia.

So now when I hear that someone has died by being hit by a car when they exited their vehicle, I don't feel all that bad anymore.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stupid things I have done 2013

 Packed backless slide patent leather Mephisto shoes for a trip to Montreal at Christmas. Yes, I was at the Aldo sale the next morning. Bought boots and socks.

For years packed "prancers" as Punkin Head called them, on all vacations and could barely walk through the airport much less the cobblestone streets of New Orleans. This of course started my love affair with the Aerosoles store in Jackson square and my devotion to moleskin from Walgreens. 

Somehow got my hair light blond at 18 and decided to go back to my natural brown due to the maintenance. Hair turned emerald green. It was a conversation piece.

Moved (into our condo) in high heels and a cashmere sweater. But that is just me.

I cannot drink any alcohol with bubbles. So one night after a lovely dinner at Brennan's on Royal Street I walked to Antoine's and ordered Cherries Jubilee for one and a glass of champagne. Yes, I was a mess the next morning. And yes, you can get Cherries Jubilee for one if you are outrageous.

Married my first husband to escape from home and ended up having to ask to move back home. That was not a happy time. Or conversation.

Bought a 45 pound Toy Yorkshire Terrier. I did talk a friend into taking the dog, who talked another friend into taking the dog, and somehow this dog came up stolen.  Many years ago and I have changed. I would never buy a 45 pound toy dog again.

This is from Big Daddy, when we were first married we lived in a farmhouse in BFE, well one day I was screaming in the bathroom and when he ran in I told him the bathroom was going to flood because the sink was overfilling. He reached in and pulled the plug on a chain out of the hole. Guess I momentarily forgot how to work the plug on a chain.

This reminds me of my grandmother, Ruby Begonia, you remember the woman who carried a gun in her purse that my mother thought was a toy gun? She was frugal and one trip has fried chicken she hid in her purse (with the gun). She was stunned that the dog, Mr. Big, a real toy Poodle not only found the chicken, but snuck it out and ate it.

I am sure I will remember more or commit more faux pas in 2014.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Thursday

I am angry with my supervisor, nothing to talk about just put me in a bad mood so I am looking over old notes to crack myself up.

This picture is from when the snow first started, see that odd little path . . . well Big Daddy was babbling about Mr. Slav and his snow removal efforts for the entire block. I thought BD said Mr. Slav got a new snow blower and was trying it out. Nope, he got a new snow SHOVEL and shoveled the entire sidewalk for the block plus a little extra for each house.

I climbed a volcano when I was in Portland, Mt. Tabor. It is dormant and people live on parts of it and it does not have a crater, but still a volcano in a major city is pretty cool. Nothing to see when I got up there as the weather was very overcast. Not being an outdoor gal I thought I did great, and I was the only person in a fur jacket going the route. I left new red Christmas handbag with Big Daddy and he almost got picked up with such a refined accessory, he of course could not remember where I purchased the bag. I would have had pictures but I left the phone in the bag.

This guy started to talking to me at the plant recently and I think he had to build up his courage. His English is not too good. He is Mr. Yugoslavia and he was sad he could not travel to his homeland for Christmas, not enough time. He said he needs 3 weeks for the trip. His old job he used to get 5 weeks vacation and now as a Tier 2 assembly plant worker he gets 1 week and must take it during any plant scheduled shutdown. I of course was very nice to him, I cannot stand people who are not kind to others, but I had to wonder what his old job was.

Well, the first thing to break during the start of the new year was my Oreck vacuum cleaner. It is over 25 years old and has been fixed many a time. This time the handle fell off and I thought for sure it was a goner, but nope-Banks Vacuum is fixing it one more time.

The second thing to break was of course my Comcast service. Now, I can't fault anyone with this frigid weather for a problem but wouldn't you know it, when it was restored my Internet failed again the next day, all the other service was good. So the lady on the phone sent a blip to our monitor and turned it back on and guess what? The phone kinda half ass works. We still get the br instead of the brrring, but now we get a br for every ring instead of just the one initial br. Still won't go to the answering machine though.

I have been checking and our next unscheduled vacation is the end of April and I am thinking Savannah, Georgia. Could be a good thing. I am reading up on the city and I got a tip from our bartender in Jacksonville--he is from Savannah--flying into Jacksonville can be a huge dollar difference and it is only a 2 hour drive. Many people stay at the hotel for early morning/late arrivals. It was a Crowne Plaza and fine as long as you don't eat there. Just don't do it. We turned the car in before we were aware of this. Flight crews stay there, I wonder where and how they eat.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Storm Warning and Arctic Cold

Well, we have Mt. Parking Lot started at plant one. They were just pushing the snow to the edges but now we have the mountain. It wasn't as bad as it could have been here, but it is too damn cold and ugly out there.

Supervisor called when I was a mile from plant one and told me to go home. I went ahead and went in and they sent everyone home at 10 AM. Most of the plants shut down around here and I really don't expect them to run tomorrow with the drop in temps and blowing and drifting snow making the roads treacherous.

I personally will not be taking that long walk unless they tell me the plant is down. And provide a photo.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Pittock Mansion and trip finis

Local Portland artists decorated the mansion for Christmas and it was lovely. I chose the least common decorations to photograph. And the mansion rooms are not that large, I actually thought the way it was set up and the number people that were allowed in at one time it was a huge fire hazard.

For some reason all the landscaping was missing from the front entrance.

Okay, this photo reminds me of one my brother showed me of Elvis at a concert. If you look real hard in the middle of the slit in the clouds you can see Mt. Hood. This is from the edge of the grounds.

Big Daddy looking excited about the tour.

If you look in the branches you will see what looks like an alien but is actually a bronze statue, I think Punkin Head said is really rare, like the Statue of Liberty. It looks much better in person but I think you would have to be a really good photographer to get a great shot of this one.

The flight home was uneventful, this time the tables were reversed and BD got to waltz through security and I had to go through the messy throng of traveling families without my shoes by myself.

And if I hear one more mother to tell her snotty little kid to use his indoor voice/words/whatever the fuck they say---more than 10 times--(because obviously it is not working) I am gonna become unglued and tell that bitch to use her "I am gonna take you out and put you in my suitcase" stare and tell those little shits that the rest of their lives are not be peaches and cream but worms and snails, and nails and puppy dog tails that have been removed from the puppies.

Oh, give me a break, you hate those whiny mothers and ill mannered children too.

Now to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gotta finish my trip report

This is a statue of Joan of Arc, and according to Punkin Head it is exact to the original in Paris. He says the guy in Oregon had a bunch of money and wanted it---and the mold had not been broken so he purchased a statue to exactly match--same mold. Kinda cool, huh.

She is in a round-a-bout and that is her flag flying above the bushes.

That is a window that Punkin Head can look out of while he is being a librarian at his college job. I must say it is a beautiful campus.

This is where the river otter lives and people claim to have seen him catching and eating salmon once in a great while.

Best meal we had was at the Country Cat, I think on the east side across the river from downtown, it was fabulous. And the least expensive meal we had.

Tomorrow we will wrap it up with the Pittock Mansion and homeward bound.

Today Big Daddy Y2K'ed us while I got a pedicure and we are hoping to be okay for the big freeze.  The lake is already iced over and piling up on shore, which most years we never even see. We are predicted to get between 6 to 12 inches, maybe 14 inches. We will be lucky to see 1 degree F. Lows to minus 18.

As Big Daddy says, BRRR Cold.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Big Daddy says it is colder than a witch's tit

I don't know what that means, but it is cold and ugly. No one is plowing the streets, it is very windy and I had to clean off my car when I got to plant one. By the time the car was okay my feet were frozen. By the time I got inside and blew my nose, well, TMI on that one.

I understand we cannot have the same services as we had when the taxes were higher, but one more time of not plowing and I want to see the damn budget. I am sure there is a way to see it.

More on the trip after I thaw out.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The big trip part two

The Christmas tree at the Benson.

For some odd reason we took no pictures on the 26th. Big Daddy got this snap of the tree and thank goodness he did because when we came back from breakfast on the 28th there was a crew tearing down the tree and all the decorations as if it was a challenge on the Amazing Race. They were dragging vacuum cleaners down the street.

Our first foray was down to Chinatown which I did not know was synonymous with the "home" for the homeless. They were a lot better than the Philly homeless, they nicely asked you to buy them things but left quite easily when you refused. There was nothing to see in Chinatown.

Next we went to The Pearl and had lunch and wandered about. Lunch at Deschutes Brewery was fabulous. Very busy on Boxing Day but we only waited about 30 minutes. Food and service were great. We went to the Crystal Hotel to check out the rooms, $85.00 for a room with the bath down the hall on the second floor was the only one we could see. It was scrupulously clean and the bath was nice. The room had a sink in the room. If I was younger and a music nut I would stay there.

We had dinner at the Heathman and that is where we learned that service in Portland trends more to the lackadaisical than the rigid. It is either great or it isn't. Punkin Head said some wonder if it is because the minimum wage in Oregon is the 2nd highest in the nation and the waitstaff must be paid the whole amount, not a portion due to tipping. So maybe people don't tip as much because they make more money or they don't do a good job. Not sure, but we as 20% tippers started tipping per the experience. And yes, I do think the prices reflected that added wage. Never less than 10% but I would never tip that little as a rule.

This is when we began noticing that the staff at the Benson was very unhappy. We knew this because they constantly discussed this in front of us, they were not happy campers. The housekeepers did not speak English and did not show up on a regular basis. How can a place pay the second highest minimum wage and not be able to get or keep good help? I am amazed. We interviewed other hotels and next time we will stay at the Hotel Monaco or the Marriott downtown.