Showing posts from November, 2005

Bald Men, Unite!

Already this week, and it is only Wednesday, remember, I have had three separate incidences of people making a comment about my “follicly challenged” head. Now, I know I’m balding, I usually shave my head so that it is truly bald, and I have a good sense of humor about these things, but a few things stood out to me about these three incidents:The people who made the comments barely know me and have no idea how I will receive such comments. I have grown my hair some, enough that it is visible all over my head (well, where I have hair). At the moment I am definitely not “bald.”Why is it still alright to make off the cuff remarks to bald men about something over which they have little to no control?I am no prude. And I am anything but Politically Correct. I will not complain about their comments and I will give back as good as I get most days, as I did in each of these situations. It just seems strange to me that people I hardly know would feel it is perfectly okay to make a comment abou…

Fear The Future

In my job, I have direct accountability. If I don’t do a good job, if I don’t make a deadline, if I have a poor or sour disposition, my boss and the HR department get involved and the repercussions can be as mild as an informal talking to or as severe as being fired and having an official demarcation entered into my work history for that company and could follow me to the next job when that company’s HR department calls for a background check.

I’ve only had three “Talking to’s” in my career. First, at XXXXXXX’s Photography where the owner wasn’t sure I was “invested” in the company. When I explained that I didn’t feel he was invested in me or cared what my opinions were, he agreed and our relationship improved.

At XXX, I got into an argument with my boss at the time, David, that ended up with a snotty email from me and a reprisal email from him that had the words “and possible termination” in it as a threat. I had already decided to leave at that point, since that man was (and still is)…

Life, or Something Like It

The linked article is about Lorenzo Neal, a fullback in the NFL. I was struck by the simplicity of this man. He understands what it takes to do his job, strives to be the best there is at that position, and seems to understand that he is blessed to do what he does.

I am often struck by people who just seem to "fit" into their lives. So many of us are struggling against something-- our work, our personal time, the clock, those significant in our lives. Whenever I see someone who just sort of "gets it," I take a moment. Most often, these characters are fictional (for example, Doc "Moonlight" Graham, from Field of Dreams-- "If I hadn't been a doctor. Ah, that would be the tragedy."). But occasionally I stumble on an article that shows that there are some people who can "fit" in the real world.

It strikes me that those who seek out the limelight, need to make the statement, are the ones who have something missing in their lives. A Terr…

Things I have been wondering lately

Why is a Milky Way bar sold as a Mars bar in Canada? Are there other versions of a Milky Way sold to other countries?
Why do they make you take your laptop out of the case and then x-ray it at the airport?
Why does the President think Americans are so stupid as to still believe his lies? Isn’t his huge drop in the polls indicting we are getting wise to him? (don’t actually answer that—I know we’re stupid)
Why are stores already putting up Christmas decorations when it is not even Thanksgiving yet? We’ve skipped Thanksgiving and are having Halloween followed by Christmas this year.
Why does Matt Millen still have a job in Detroit? He has the worst record of any GM in the league during his tenure.
When will Susan Cooper’s incredible series, or at least the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, but turned into a live-action movie? Incredible tale, and the first book is perfect for the “tween” audience.
If copper wires have a hard limit of 9600 baud, then how do DSL and higher-speed modems work? A…

Bowling Update (11/16/05)

Well, as a team we bowled well, with Tai getting two 160 games and Arvin coming alive in the middle game with a 170 game and finished strong in the 150s. I managed a 248, my second highest score ever (and only my second 240 ever), and also managed back to back 600 series for the first time in league play. Jean was absent, and we couldn’t find a substitute for her, so we had to use a blind score.

But -- (and you could feel that coming) -- we went against a team that bowled out of their minds. In the first game, every member of the team bowled about 30 pins above their average. They cruised in the second, and we only just managed to beat them in the third game. We lost total pins by 50.

Oh, and we had an 84 pin handicap lead on the team that they very easily made up every game.

So, we went 1-3 tonight. At worst, we should be tied for first place in the league.

Still, I’m proud of how our team is doing. Tai got down on himself a bit in the second game, when he threw a gutter ball and then 4 …

Is This Maturity?

I left to see M on Thursday, September 15. Because of this, I did not buy comic books that day (Thursday is my usual comic book day). When I returned from Tucson, I had a lot going on and did not buy comics that week, either (September 22).

I fully expected to jump back on my comic buying the following week (September 29). It would be easy to catch up on the two weeks I missed, get back into the swing of things, and continue the neverending soap opera that is the world of comic book heroes.

But I did not.

It is now November 16, and I look at the calendar and realize that tomorrow is “comic book day” and, instead, I have scheduled an evening of online game time with two friends, for which they would like me to get home as promptly as I can.

For those not initiated into the world of comic books, the companies publish most comic books monthly. They stagger the release of their titles so that something is released every week. So, for example, one week I might pick up Iron Man, Hulk, Batman, J…


I can understand why, throughout history, people thought of fog as an evil thing with a mind of its own. Fog has its own rules that sometimes seem to contradict physics and our knowledge of the natural world.

Irvine has a few areas where the fog creeps in on its little cat feet and then stays well after when it should be slinking back out to sea. Both mornings this week, driving into work at a little after 8 am, I ran through a fog bank so thick that I could not see more than about 100-200 feet ahead. The only reason I could see that far is because the sun was already up, the temperature was already heading toward 70, and the fog was fighting a losing battle against dehydration.

I have traveled the same route as early as 6 am. The early fog can be so thick you cannot see the white dashed line separating your lane from the lane right next to yours. I have experience it so thick in this area that I was stopped at an intersection and could only just make out the stop light across from me. …

One Week

I've been home from visiting her for a week-- one week!-- and it feels like a month. I miss her.

I can honestly say I've never felt like this before. It seems like forever until December 20th, when I return to her.

How hard is it going to be after Christmas? Two full weeks together this time. And I won't need to work (even if she does).

This is hard.


She's worth it.

Bowling Update (11/9/05)

Well, our team is doing well. We are now 27-13 on the season and in first place by at least 2 games (depending on how the other teams did this week).

Tonight we went 4-0 primarily on Tai, Arvin, and Jean's bowling well. Everyone was over their average in at least 2 of the 3 games we played. Arvin also had a particular chance to shine as our Anchor by throwing well enough in the 10th frame to secure a victory (by 3 pins!) in the first game. And Jean, normally a 110-120 bowler, had two games above 150. With her 80 pin handicap, that turns into a nice gain!

My own bowling was pretty good, too. I got my first 600 series (scratch) of the season by going 209, 213, 184. I'm disappointed in the 184, as I left a 10 pin on the first throw of the 10th frame and was unable to convert it. I used to be Mr. Automatic on 10 pins, and lately I'm less than 50% on picking them up. Need to practice more specifically on those. Of course, that throw was also a very strong strike ball; not sure wh…

My One New Thing for Today

During my visit to Canada, I got a straight-razor head shave. It was fabulous! Someone else shaving your head feels great, and I look forward to going back.

During the shave, I chatted a bit with Dom, the man performing the service. He recommended that I get a bottle of American Crew oil to help me with my own head shaving. He explained that it was designed to be put on the head first, before the shaving foam, to help the razor glide over the head.

This morning, while in the shower, I thought of that bit of advice as I was preparing to shave my head with my typical safety razor (currently a Gillette Mach3). As I keep some baby oil in the shower, I thought I would try that first, and then apply the shaving cream following Dom’s advice.

Wow! The difference in the shave I managed to give myself is incredible. Fewer nicks and cuts, closer shave, and it took much less time than usual.

So, here’s a thank you to Dom. He certainly didn’t need to impart to me that bit of vital knowledge, but it wi…

Update 5b

M succinctly summarized our last day and the morning I left. All I can add is that there was equal emotion from my side of things and that the first plane flight became a "red-eye" due to the emotions I was feeling.

I'm not sure what happened, but the first flight landed at about the time that my connecting flight was supposed to start boarding... so the clock was ticking. Having never been through Montreal, I was a little concerned with finding my way and I found fewer happy, helpful Canadians to help point the way. Finally found the very small, dank room in which I needed to pick up my luggage prior to customs, then had to wait quite awhile for that. It was shortly after exiting here with all my luggage that I heard the first page over the loudspeakers looking for me (my last name often gets pronounced like a certain wine). I made it to the front of the customs line, declared what I needed to, and then moved on to the huge line for the metal detectors and searches.

This …

Update 5a

First flight: Ok, but ran a little slow.

Customs: Ok, but ran a little slow. I was 3rd to last to board the plane out of Montreal and actually was paged over the intercom. At least the woman with the metal detector wand was gentle. I expected to see some KY and gloves come out!

Second flight: BUMPY! But otherwise ok.

Drive home: Smooth. Judith was there on time and got me home safe and sound.

Now, to unwind, unpack, catch up, and put my kitty cat, who is "hiding" under the covers to my bed.

I'll provide a more detailed description when I'm more mentally stable and able to. Let me sum it up this way: I have never been so simultaneous happy to be home and sad to have left where I was before. I cannot wait to go back.

Update 4

Dinner with Family

I think it went well. There was some obvious tension at first, as Dad and Brother both got comfortable with me, and I with them. Initially they discussed their work, as Brother works for Dad. But soon some topics came up in which I could state an opinion and start getting into the conversations.

Dinner was great, even if Dad was constantly downgrading his cooking skills. He cooks a mean prime rib, folks. I also met Step-sister (Dad is remarried) at dinner.

During dinner, the awkward pauses seemed to grow a little less frequent and the conversations seemed to veer into more territories that everyone could share. I soon was commenting on how incredible Dad’s house was and he offered me a tour of the place. It is a wonderful home; 4500 square feet of living space when you include the completely finished “basement” areas (really more of just a lower level). Hardwoods everywhere, which you know I like! There are many picture windows that overlook the Saint John River (whic…

Update 3

Digression about work:
It is hard to get used to working from home from so far away. When I'm home sick, or waiting for a package, or whatever, it is different. You know you're going to be back in the office shortly. You know that you can go in if all hell breaks loose.

Renee, my boss, has been having a hell of a time with me out. Everyone is going to her, of course, even though my Out of Office note mentions that I am actually working from my present location. But, as always, everyone wants it NOW, so they go to her for immediate assistance. Also, while I am getting stuff done, it isn't the same. I can't just get up and walk to the office and talk with the right person.

Of course, this current set up isn't exactly an "at-home office" situation. M has a comfortable new desk, a nice new chair, and everything else I could want handy. However, I understand that most of the 'work from home' people at my company have dedicated phone lines and internet. Mo…