Friday, November 30, 2007

An abridged list of 50 things to know by 50

There's a list out there of 50 things you need to know by 50. It's emailed from person to person, supposedly on or close to their 50th birthday. The stuff may be copyright protected, but I have chosen to list a select few - with my own comments. (Of course my own comments. It's my blog.)

No matter how many times you bring your mitt to the game, the manager will never gaze out into the stands, land his eyes on you, and say, "Hey, how about that guy?"
  --Dude, I bring my mitt to the game to catch that foul ball and sell it on eBay!!!

Find the Bathroom in Five Languages
  --I'll give you the universal one: Point your toes together, stick your knees together, crouch slightly, put your hands over your abdomen, and look desperate!

What to Do if You Get a Letter From the IRS
  --(These days, confirm that the IRS sent it, not some spammer looking to steal your ID.) In my case, I'll bring my stack of CDs, my laptop and a portable printer. I've scanned *everything*. And a recent court case confirms that scanned documents, under certain conditions, qualify as proof. (Don't ask me the conditions, I don't have that yet.)

How to Navigate the Company Picnic
No good can come of a company picnic.
  --No good can come from missing it, either. They *will* know and remember, come raise time.

If someone says "Smell this," don't.
  --Actually, there's a safe way to do this. You stand back from the item, then use one hand to waft fumes in the direction of your face, gently. Wafting becomes more vigorous as required, but always starts very gently.
The other way to handle this is to say, "Have you?" followed by "show me." Cuts down the exposure to bad smells by a lot without missing the good ones.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How do non-natives ever learn all the nuances of English???

When I was in high school, we had a foreign exchange student from Norway. She did pretty well here, having taken five years of book English before attempting Southern California spanglish-speckled English. She got most idioms fairly well, but was forever stumped on uh-Huh (yes) and Uh-uh (no). She couldn't hear the difference between them. It came to mind when I got the following piece in email. I don't know who wrote this, but if that someone wants to get in touch, I will be more than happy to give credit.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is "UP." It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?

At a meeting, why does a topic come "UP ? Why do we speak UP , and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir up trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this up is confusing:

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP . When i t rains, it wets UP the earth.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , so ....

Time to shut UP .....! more thing:
What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?


Sunday, September 09, 2007

On a Slow Newsday

kijiji (kee-jee-jee or ki-ji-ji?), a new site claiming to be craigslist only better, has a better format, has a better ordering system, is prettier than craistlist. And probably will start charging for stuff within the year, after we've all gotten hooked. Or running mondo advertising, ditto. After all, it's owned by eBay, and eBay is out there to make money, not provide a service for the fun of it. Craigslist is extremely bare bones, and thus does not need a huge support staff. kijiji will "improve" and "add features" so as to take away market share from Craigslist. What I think will happen is that those of us who use stuff like that will use both systems, until one breaks. My bet is on kijiji breaking first. I could be wrong. I've been known to be so.

And I am *shocked*, SHOCKED I tell you, to hear that PROSTITUTION is RAMPANT on Craistlist. I am appalled, truly APPALLED, that those elements of society that disobey laws "in real life" would stoop to doing exactly the same things on the Internet. I ask you, what is the world coming to?

In other words, yeah? so? I can be grateful that it's such a slow news day, for if things were going wrong, that issue would never get such a big write-up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Used According To Directions

Tobacco: The only consumer item, when used according to directions, kills you.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Women are different - and so are their heart attacks

Just something someone sent me, that I feel should be added to my collections of things no one but me reads.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction)

Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack... you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest and dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

"I had a completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 pm with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've brought it on. I was sitting all snugly and warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking,"A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up." A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation---the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

"After that had seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when dministering CPR). This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws.

"AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening--we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, "Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack !" I lowered the foot rest, dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself "If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else....... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment."

"I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts.

She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

"I then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the Cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like "Have you taken any medications?") but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stents to hold open my right coronary artery.

"I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the Paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

"Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand."

1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up.... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a "false alarm" visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said "Call the Paramedics". Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER -- you are a hazard to others on the road and so is your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road. Do NOT call your doctor--he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later.

3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that an cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure.) MI's are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Labor Shortage

Why are "they" saying there's a labor shortage when they won't hire me? Just because I'm over 50, have a tremendous skill set and would like more than just minimum wage for it, and have a great deal of business experience and won't put up with the "It's corporate policy" BS handed out by those who don't want to think or take responsibility for their actions. You'd think I'd be welcome. But I ask too many questions, and talk back to managers who want me to work 60 to 80 hours for 40 hours pay. I guess there is a labor shortage: a shortage of clueless, questionless, witless, helpless wage slaves. They've all gone to work for the federal government.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

President Bush thumbs his nose

When we were small children, we would put our thumbs against our noses and make various gestures with fingers. It was obvious and unmistakable.

President Bush appointed Judge Reggie Walton, because Judge Walton was a tough-on-crime, hard-as-nails, zero-tolerance, no-nonsense judge. President Bush appointed Judge Walton because Judge Walton espoused the philosphies of the right-wing Republican Party.

President Bush appointed Patrick J. Fitzgerald as a U.S. Attorney, because Fitzpatrick was a tough prosecutor with a good conviction record. The Department of Justice, full of Bush appointees, chose Fitzgerald as Special Prosecutor.

These tough-on-crime guys tried and convicted a good buddy of President Bush.

President Bush didn't like what these tough-on-crime guys did, because he didn't like the sentence personally. President Bush didn't like it that they picked on his good buddy.

So President Bush over-ruled it, giving his good buddy a "get out of jail free" card.

This is an authoritarian, autocratic, arrogant, elitist, socially and politically clueless nose-thumbing of a spoiled child of privilege. It is obvious and unmistakable.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

BiPartisan Immigration Bill Dies - Thank Ghods

Headline reads "Despite wide bipartisan support, comprehensive immigration reform has just been derailed in the Senate." To which I say Huzzah!

Having followed that debate, having read part of the bill-thing they were working on, having a cousin who's an immigration lawyer who was on loan from the federal Immigration Dept to work for Senatory Kyl from AZ and whose opinion I value, I have a bit of insight on that bill:

It sucked. It was destined to go down in flames from the day it waswritten. Ammendments to it only mangled it into a more twisted form. It was bipartisan support only because immigration was a hot-button issue with those who vote. (The 2006 elections got thru to the few remaining Republicans who actually think for themselves.) The support was of the
"get on the bandwagon" type. And when the "swift boaters" attached the phrase "amnesty" to it, there was no hope for that bill or any other to make it out of committee. The "amnesty" program was so harsh as to be punitive in nature, and would more likely cause the illegals to stay here and hope for something better in ten to fifteen years. But the sound-biters grabbed "amnesty" and successfully ran with it for all it was worth.

I am personally grateful the thing didn't make it out of committee. It would have required life-support from the get-go, and our current federal government doesn't provide support for bills it likes, much less those it

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We send mixed signals

Why is "smart" used as a negative word when the oft-stated ambition is to send your kids to college?

"You think you're so smart" and "smarty pants" are spoken in a negative, often sarcastic tone. Why, I wonder? If being smart is so bad, why the rush for college? Or are college grads supposed to be as stupid when they come out as they went in? (and do I really want an answer to that last?)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Reading is Doomed!

I read a poll that said people were reading less. It was done by a newspaper, and people were in fact reading newsprint less. They were reading online news websites and blogs far more. The conclusion is that reading was doomed. No, dudes, reading print is fading, but not doomed. There's still the place for bathtub reading because you do NOT want to drop your PDA or e-book reader into the tub. A book so dropped becomes a soggy book. A PDA so dropped becomes loss of your electronic memory unit. Now, when they have a water-proof computer screen on an arm that can swing out over the tub, then I'd worry about the doomedness of print.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gotta read this book

THE BLACK SWAN, The Impact of the Highly Improbable. By Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The hubris of predictions — and our perpetual surprise when the not-predicted happens — are themes of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s engaging new book, "The Black Swan." It concerns the occurrence of the improbable, the power of rare events...

Any book that contains this quote is worth reading:

...and the author’s lament that "in spite of the empirical record we continue to project into the future as if we were good at it."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How IS this going to turn out

One of three ways, with infinite variations in between:

Worst) We get the *bleep* out. Iran, Syria and the Saudis duke it out for the territory. Iraq didn't exist until the Brits divvied up the Middle East after WW1. Iraq by all rights belongs to Iran, with tidbits to Turkey and Syria. If it goes to all all-out slugfest, Turkey may get sucked in. Good side of this: the fundamentalist Suni/Shia/Shitheads spend all their energy shooting each other, instead of mucking around with our buildings.

Best) We hang in long enough for the next Adminisration to get its shit together. The next Prez thumps heads and gets Iran, Syria, Turkey (which would be a feat, as Turkey wants no part of this mess), the Saudis and maybe a couple of others to sit down at an awkwardly shaped table (everyone has a side) and works something out. Iraq still runs the risk of getting divvied up between the various parties, see above.

Middlin' ground) We stay, we get somebody in the Administration to talk with Iran and Syria who doesn't look like a sulky five-year old (did you see that picture? OY!) and who is willing to discuss reality rather than what they'd like it to be, and get middle eastern leaders to realize they are in as much trouble with these fundies as we are. Actually more so, since the suni/shia/shitheads are local, and only need walk over to blow it up. Whatever "it" is popular at the time. All of us, them, us, Europe, possibly some help from that other HYOOJ Muslim country, Indonesia, go in and kick butt, declare martial law for five years, and then spend the next twenty getting an education system in place that teaches more than just the Q'uoran.

Where will it go? Who the *bleep* knows, as it could tip to really hideous really fast, at which point nuking it back to the stone age is a really good thought. The only thing keeping me from being that blood-thirsty is my cousin the archeologist would ... I can't think of a thing bad enough that she wouldn't do if we nuked all that archeology out of existance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rush Limbaugh nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

An acquaintance I unfortunately had to overhear, was mightily impressed with the fact that Rush Limbaugh had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Price. I told this person that to be nominated for the Peace Prize, you can either get a petition signed by lots o'people, or you can pay a fee. The Nobel Prize committee is perfectly happy collecting $$$ from fools with enough money to support that ego trip. There's a list somewhere, and I'm not going to hunt it down, of all the people who nominated themselves for the NPP, or were nominated by $$$, so their little egos can gloat.

I told this acquaintance to please turn the input cycles on his brain to a visual length longer than three words/one headline and an auditory length longer than 30 seconds. Real information comes in larger chunks than headlines and soundbites. It also comes from multiple sources, not just one. (If he thinks all websites tell the truth, go here:

I don't think this acquaintance was really interested in the truth, in any flavor, but he avoided me like the plague after that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Global Warming and Changing Course

In a letter from a friend, who said, "Am trying to be a better citizen and pay attention to the daily things I CAN do - but in reality, it's the guys in charge of the rudder who can change course."

My reply: The guy in charge of the rudder will change course when he finds there's no one in his boat any more. Every person who "pays attention to the daily things" will convince one other person by behavior to change boats. "Silent Spring" wasn't popular, or well-known, shortly after it was written. But it has handed person to person, and look where we are now. "Environmentalist" may be a dirty word to some people, but it is a word that no longer gets a "Huh? What's that?" Global warming may have ijits like Inhofe nay-saying it, but nobody (with any connection to news) asks "what's global warming" any more.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
  -- Albert Einstein

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fear itself

Of all the liers in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears.
     --  Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, January 18, 2007

An interesting list of things to remember

Friends send me various humorous lists in email. Sometimes I find them worth sharing.

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"
(don't even go there with me - Lin)

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.
(explain this one to certain computer game companies - Lin)

6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
(yes, I can, see below - Lin)

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
(My boyfriend made a big deal out of my 21st birthday; he could now take me to places that were formerly off limits. This was not an improvement. This may be why he became an ex. - Lin)

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person who is nice to you but rude to a waiter is not a nice person.
(This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

Daylight Savings Time conundrum. -- If the clock time stays the same, as the sun rises earlier and earlier, you're now sleeping thru one or more hours of sunlight. If the clock time is pushed back, you are now not sleeping through at least one hour of that sunlight. It's now tucked in at the end of the day, when you're awake and can use it for something productive.

This is, of course, for those whose normal hours are daytime hours. For swingshift or graveyard, your mileage will vary. Or for those who think sleeping is productive. But now you know.