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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat? No more tricks, please.

I received a Halloween card this week from my best friend's mom.

It said "Happy Halloween!" and "No more tricks at your house!", referencing the recent theft of my tires & wheel rims off my very old little pickup truck.
I agree, but I have to admit - but if this is as bad as it gets...I'm doing pretty well.

Halloween Treats: 

"What Just Scared this Cat"courtesy of CuteOveload.com and here's a picture of Oscar the office cat in his Halloween duds.
(By the way, this is the last of Oscar's holiday outfits to be posted on the blog unless I figure out how to add more pieces to his wardrobe.)

Happy Halloween. 
May you have many treats and no tricks this All Hallows Eve.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Tire Mis-adventures continue

Remember this picture from the February 19th blog "This week's adventure - A Tire in Pieces"?

As noted in that blog, the DH and I purchased new tires for my little Izuzu Pickup truck because it was time (and because I'd pretty much driven out of one of the tires...).

I drove the Izuzu to work on Saturday two weeks ago to check for fallout on a major install and I remember thinking the tires still looked "new" even though we'd had them on the truck for 8 months.

Apparently someone else thought so too.
The Monday following...our neighbors rang the doorbell not long after sunrise to ask if we were aware that the tires and wheel rims on the little truck were gone.

Yep, gone.
The little truck was sitting on top of two jacks and it's bare, naked wheels and brake pads.

It appears the jack under the front of the truck fell over while the {insert applicable derogatory term here} were stealing the tires.
The driveway has some chips gouged out of it from the collapse and the truck shifted to the right significantly.

They left most of the lug nuts and the two jacks and took the 8-month old tires on the original, small, very plain, 20+ year old stock rims that had come with the truck.
The 911 operator said the tire/rim theft issue is Very common now-a-days. As is syphoning gas.
The police officer who came to document the theft was very kind and helped me put the little truck up on bricks so he could take the jacks as evidence.

When he drove away, I looked at my little truck - wheel-less, a bit more beat up, and up on bricks in my driveway and I thought...there's probably a "You might be a redneck" joke in this somewhere.

Some of the neighbors stopped by to commiserate. One told me someone had stolen the bumper off her truck years before. (Who steals bumpers?!? Jeez. Ok, probably the same schmoes that steal the wheels off an ancient little truck).

I'm generally creeped out and feeling less safe in my home and pondering what it would take in my life for me to find it acceptable to steal the tires and wheels off someone's car?

We couldn't find used plain rims like the ones stolen off the truck (I guess I'm a bit glad I didn't buy my own rims back from somewhere). But basic, functional rims were hard to find . Seems tire "bling" is more prevalent than I realized. Rims had to be ordered.

So - just in very basic tires and the plainest rims we could find, we've spent more on the little truck this year than it is technically worth.
{Sigh times 3}

We picked up the new tires and rims yesterday and put them on the little truck and she rolls well on them but now something is funny with the break pressure so we have to look into that.

Don't get me wrong, I love my little 4-banger, standard transmission Pickup truck.
The rims are nice, but it makes me think of "Lipstick on a Pig" to have these semi-plain but shiny-new rims on my little "beater" truck:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mildly excited at the prospect of unemployment

(**Disclaimer - life and work pondering is today's blog content. Craft & Kitty blogging will appear in a future blog.) 

I believe I've mentioned before - I am a recovering work-aholic.
Ok, I have not done much "recovering" of late.

I just came off a jag of working nearly 4 weeks straight with only 1.75 days off and many (many) over 10-hour days. The last few weeks were preceded by several months of projects/prep/planning/regulation releases...very "exciting" and time consuming. Granted I'm not just living at work for fun...we were dealing with some major installs required by the regulators of our industry. Pretty much everyone in our industry that I've talked to in the last few weeks is exhausted. Which means I'm in good company.
But I'm also questioning my current vocation.

And last week, coming off weeks of non-stop work...we were told there is a possibility that our part of the company will be closing it's doors or that the system/programming code we write/maintain will be sold. Whether or not we, the employees, will be part of the deal or if moving to another state is a requirement of continuing employment remains to be seen.

It's happened a few times in the last 20+ years I've worked with this system.

Sometimes the new owners make me wonder "What the h...?" right off the bat.
Sometimes I think, "This is it, now we can grow and get the things done we need to do.".
The latest owners impressed me with their integrity and long-term planning. Except it now appears we may not have ever quite made it into the long-term plan. Not without some additional investors.
Anyway...we might be sold again in the next four months - or we might be closing the doors.

It would be inappropriate for me to be more specific about the job I do and the industry in which I work. I know that my blog is not mainstream and is quite unlikely to become mainstream. And that's OK. That's not why I blog. But I do still need to be circumspect in my work-related comments.
I also think it's polite. 

I would like to think that the powers-that-be did everything they could to find us a secure position within their company. If they didn't...it wasn't because of maliciousness. 

Our reputation in the industry is actually very good and I understand there are 3 interested parties looking at buying us.
My employment could continue. But do I want to continue?

I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the years and of my contributions to battles we've won, the challenges we've overcome, and I've met and worked with some amazing people. The regulatory companies of our industry know of me personally and on a regular basis they have made complimentary noises about me and my work. 

But I'm very tired and I truly wouldn't mind if I never have to go through another 3 work months like the ones I've just been through. 

Even in these very scary economic times - starting over with a new job in another industry sounds...rather attractive.
I'm a bit loony, huh?

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I had a treat tonight - I got to see Pilobolus perform at Centennial Hall.

If you haven't seen or heard of Pilobolus before, follow the links in this blog.
They are amazing and essentially indescribable. They remind me a bit of Moebius Knitting.

My best (and feeble) attempt at describing their dance/art would be: Mesmerizing, charming, strength, clever, graceful, phenomenal, creative, thought-provoking, perfection, inspiring...stuff lika dat.

In this case, videos will do a much better job: 

Ok Go + Pilobolus

"Shadowland The Transformation" (This was included in tonight's performance.)

TED - Pilobolus

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grasshopper day

Whilst leaving work the other day, I had two unexpected Grasshopper interactions.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I couldn't miss the large and stocky Horse Lubber Grasshopper...walking across the parking lot entryway to toward the sidewalk. He caught my eye because he was quite large (about 3 inches long) and because he was walking. Not hopping. Just kind of ambling along.
Sorry, there's no pictures but he looked pretty much like the first gigantor Horse Lubber Grasshopper I encountered a couple of years ago, although a little smaller and of wider girth.

I became a bit alarmed for him as someone happened to drive up and turn into the parking lot before he had reached the curb/sidewalk. However, he was not inadvertently squashed by the person driving in. Since I felt guilty about hogging the driveway ogling a colorful hopper, I did move on; leaving him to continue walking out of the street towards safety. I'm still wondering why no hopping/flying was involved in his crossing.

I turned out of the parking lot, drove through the complex, and as I was waiting to pull out onto the city street, I realized I had a stow-away.

This little gent rode with me across town and then out of town to a friend's house for an evening of crafting.

He stayed right there on the passenger side window through left turns, right turns, 40 miles per hour straight-aways (with his antennae flattened against his head), a construction zone, and a short stint at 50 MPH approaching and going over the freeway. He was still with me over a cattle guard and when I checked again he had disappeared before I stopped at the entryway of my friend's neighborhood.

Yep. Nothing earth-shattering in the blog today...just observance of a mildly strange dual happenstance involving Grasshoppers.