Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Can At Least Boil Water

Due to a water main break down the street, we are to boil our water before drinking it. I checked our official city website to find instructions on how to do this. All I saw were notices that we were to boil the water!

Silly question, but for how LONG do we boil it?! Anyone know?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

There's An Angel In My Tree

You know, I do believe in a little relief in life. Whether it be from a $0.99 margarita night or just an evening of good libations. However, you gotta sober up sometime.

There is a couple in Georgetown, IL that had a soft maple tree on their property that needed cut down. They hired a tree service, and had the tree brought down. Then (and I'm guessing this is after a night of $0.99 margaritas!) they see an "image" in the cut edge of one of the limbs. I know, unbelievable, huh?

The image this couple claims is the image of an angel. Hey, I want to believe in miracles, too. I want to see an angel. This angel is said to have two eyes, two legs, two arms, a halo and wings. Sounds pretty good to me.

Um, I don't get it. I don't see anything but a blob. I don't see arms, legs, halos, nothing. A blob. In case this picture isn't clear enough, you can read the article here and get a better picture of the angel.

Personally, I think these people need to stay off of the sauce. Either that or I need a new pair of eyes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Neighborhood Is Going To Pot

Ron called me as soon as he saw this sign! According to him, it says the same thing on both sides. I told him I'd love to have a picture of this to post on the blog. Thanks, honey!

Is this just truth in advertising? Or has the neighborhood really gone to pot?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Auditor On Duty

There are just some people you should just make sure to stay on their good side. Like bartenders, the people that cook your food, housekeeping at the hotel, the policeman that pulls you over. . . you know, the people that have the power to really f* with you.

Today I made an egregious error in messing with the cafeteria lady.

They have a decent cafeteria here on site. There are a few vending machines plus a staff that serves a hot breakfast or bagels and then sandwiches or a hot lunch for reasonable prices. It’s not the Ritz, but it will do in a pinch. This morning, all I needed was a soda. There are soda machines in the cafeteria, but all I had was a $20 and the machines only takes singles. So I went to the cooler to grab a bottle and had to pay for it at the cash register.

There is a gentleman in front of me with a plate full of breakfast. His bill came to $2.20 and he handed Cafeteria Lady $20.25. For those of you trying to do the math in your head, he should have gotten back $18.05 in change. However, I watched her count out $17.05 and hand it to him and he was happy as a lark putting his bills back in his wallet.

Um, I really have a few problems here. Number one, I am nosey. Number two, I am anal retentive. And, number three, I have a bad habit of talking to strangers. So, I actually said out loud, “that should be eighteen”. He kind of looked at me funny and said, “yes, eighteen, nineteen, twenty”. I hope this shirt and tie guy wasn’t from the finance department.

I said, “yes, but you also gave her a quarter, so your change should have been $18.05 and not $17.05”. He pulled his change back out of his wallet and sure enough there was only $17 in there and not $18. Shirt and Tie Guy and Cafeteria Lady looked at each other for a minute and then the light dawned on them. They both realized I was right (geez, I do love when that happens!) and she opened the register to give him another dollar.

Well, he was stupefied that I figured out this error. Then I held up my badge which clearly states, “Visitor – Internal Audit”. I said it’s a good thing I’m an auditor. I’m just doing my job!

Ok, he got the joke and laughed and made a little to-do about welcome to the company and all that. We had our little chuckle and then it was my turn to hand over a $20 for a $1 bottle of Diet Pepsi. Cafeteria Lady told me I should go away because I’m costing her money! Duh! She was a little reluctant about giving me my change and then complained about the fact that too many people are paying with $20s and she should start refusing them. She really was not happy with me once Shirt and Tie Guy left.

Ok, I got it. Yes, ma’am. I understand. I pissed you off; you have every right to take it out on me. Now may I please have my soda?

Yeah, I think it will be awhile before I eat in the cafeteria again. Perhaps going out to lunch every day isn’t such a bad idea.

In Conclusion

Just an addendum to yesterday's post. Today my air conditioner had to be fixed again AND I once again left my freakin' key in the room when I left to go to dinner! Maybe I'm getting that nasty old-timer's disease!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Next?

You know, some days are good, some days are bad, and some days just really feel bad, even though you can't put your finger on just one thing that made it bad. Today was like that. A bunch of little things just all added up to make a not so great day.

It started off early this morning when I woke up. It was very chilly in this room (I do love air conditioning) so I turned the A/C down while I was getting ready for work. Well, after all that getting ready, I realized it's getting very warm in here, so maybe I should turn the A/C back up a little. Guess what? Nothing happened. I think I broke it! I can live without a lot of things, I do NOT want to live without air conditioning.

So, on my way out the door, I stopped by the front desk and put in a maintenance request. She kinda looked at me funny when I asked maintenance to fix my air conditioning. She said "now??" Um, ok, maybe not right now but before 5:30 pm would be good! She seemed surprised that I wanted maintenance in my room when I'm not planning on being in it. Hmmm. I don't know what I should have thought about that. I guess if he went through my underwear, I'm going to have to be ok with it, since my A/C is now working!

My company I work for changed cell phone providers. So, we all got new cell phones. Y'all know I am not technologically savvy. Two days with this phone and here is what I can do with it: answer it. I can't find the phone book to look up any numbers, and I can't figure out how to change the sound of the ring or even to make it ring at all. Like I said, I can answer it. Call me, I'll prove it to you!

Work was one of them days too. I won't even go there now, let's just say I was never so happy to see beer o'clock!

Dinner went ok, but when I got back to the hotel I realized that I left my key to my door right on the bed. So, I'm stuck! Back downstairs to the front desk for new keys. Luckily after five weeks, they recognize me. When I finally got into my room, I thought a nice shower, and I'll be in and relaxed for an evening of chilling out and forgetting about everything.

I seem to be shedding lately as hair is coming out in handfuls. One of the times I really notice that is when I'm putting conditioner in my hair in the shower. I end up with a lot of hair in my hands as I'm rubbing in the conditioner. I'm afraid of all that hair going down the drain, so I generally rub my hands together so that all the hair in them clumps together. Then I take the hairball and put it on the edge of the tub so when I get out I can throw it out. (Too much information yet??!!)

All that just for this punchline. I put the hair ball on the edge of the tub then finished my shower. I know I've posted before that I can't see a thing when I don't have my contacts in, so everything is a little blurry. I shut the water off, whipped the curtain back, and the hair ball must have been touching the curtain because when I whipped it back, the hairball fell into the tub. Well....

Me with my bad eyesight, all I see is this big dark thing jumping into the tub with me! You know I think it's a huge spider and I did what I do best. I screamed!

Good news/bad news is that no one came running. I'm still not sure if that's good or bad. But, needless to say as soon as I got done screaming I remembered putting the hair ball there and then felt like an idiot.

So, before I cause any more problems in this hotel today, I've got the lights shut off, the tv is down low, and I'm going to sit here in my corner very quietly and try not to cause any more problems! I don't think I could take one more little bad thing happening!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Come For Dinner And Stay For The Show

The title of this blog beat out this title by a hair:

With Friends Like This I Don't Need Enemies

Since we've been here at this audit site, we found a great restaurant called Mi Tequila. It's not just the fact that the margaritas are $.99 on Mondays, we also go there because they have good food. Tonight we had a show with dinner.

We were about half through with dinner when from behind me there was a bit of a "thud". My boss who was facing me started a bit of a laugh, so I knew whatever happened behind me was not good.

Before I knew it, I saw one of the waiters walking this girl that looked to me to be about 18 through the restaurant towards the bathroom. Suddenly, what little power the girl had was gone and she was down on the floor. She half fell onto our table before hitting the floor so we had ring side seats. The poor waiter who spoke no English didn't know what to do with this girl. He tried to get her back to her feet but he probably weighed as much as she did at maybe 110 pounds.

Finally a couple of waiters went running to her as well as one of the patrons in the restaurant that had some kind of medical training. Between all of them, they got her to a chair but couldn't bring her around at all.

The restaurant has an outdoor patio that you get to from inside the restaurant. Finally, a few of her friends came in to check on her, but then would go back outside. This went on for quite awhile! The patron that ran to her when she was on the floor was still with her trying to bring her around but the girl's friends kept going back outside to continue their party.

I think management finally stepped in and two of her male friends from outside came inside and each of them grabbed her under one of her arms and more or less carried her happy ass outside.

We talked about the show we saw for awhile, then we realized that her friends were all back on the patio, so how did the drunk girl get home? We HOPED these morons had enough sense not to give her car keys and let her drive herself home! She couldn't even say her own name for crying out loud, let alone drive herself home!

It was maybe 30 minutes later by the time we finished up and headed out the door. In line ahead of us to pay are her friends from the patio. I guess finishing up their $.99 margaritas was much more important that worrying too much about their friend.

We paid our bill and headed out to the parking lot and who did we see?? Drunk girl! These people actually dragged her out of the restaurant and propped her ass in a car to wait for them until they got done with their party. I just couldn't believe it. It's 90 degrees outside and humid as all get out and she's sitting in a car in the sun.

So, little girl, if you're reading this, here is a life's lesson from someone that's been there, done that and got the t-shirt:

1 - learn how much alcohol you can hold. It ain't for everyone.

Friday, June 15, 2007

But Can Ya Fry An Egg?

Most people know I’m a reality TV junkie. My favorite reality show changes from time to time, but I really do love most of them!

One of them playing now that is on the top of my list at the moment is Hell’s Kitchen on Monday nights on Fox. Hell’s Kitchen has chef Gordon Ramsay taking a bunch of wanna be high end chefs that range from executive chefs to short order cooks and putting them through the paces on the race to see who gets to run a multi-million dollar restaurant on their own along with a nice salary of $250k per year plus a portion of the profits of said restaurant. Who cares about the prizes though! It’s the journey getting there that sucks me in every week!

Chef Ramsay is a task master. There are various challenges that the contestants must go through every episode, and then there is one contestant kicked off the show every week. This, in my opinion, is the best part of reality TV! This guy, Chef Ramsay, is unbelievable. He swears like a marine and every week will make at least two chefs cry in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s freakin’ awesome.

The best part of Hell’s Kitchen is the perfection that Chef Ramsay demands. If a dish is not perfect, he will throw it out (or at the chefs in training!) and make them start again. Granted, I’m sure that my specialty of orange spaghetti would never pass his scrutiny, but I appreciate his demanding perfection.

All that background just to tell a story. We went to dinner the other night and the experience was horrible. It was a local place that we had been to before. While it’s not a Gordon Ramsay five star restaurant, when we had been there previously, the food was good and the service was ok.

This time, service was awful as was the food. My chicken was passable, but the pasta side dish that came with it was all clumped into one big clump and cold. The service was downright horrible. Again, this isn’t a five star restaurant, but my $20 meal should be a little better than it was. Who’s the kitchen manager? Where is quality control? How could a dish that looked as badly as it did make it out of the kitchen and onto my table? Why can’t life be more like reality TV? Where is Gordon Ramsay when I need him?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Straight Poop From The State Police

In some ways, my boss is kind of like one of my brothers. Not that my brothers are soul-less, evil, amoral, racist, sexist pieces of crap. However, in the sense that we do our share of arguing on certain subjects, he is like my brothers. Mostly I just let him spew his crap and I just shut up, but when I know I can prove him wrong, I do it with gusto! I love to be right in an argument.

He has been picking me up and driving me to this out of town audit we are currently working. That gives us a good four hours a week in a car to fill up with inane conversation.

On Fridays when we leave for home, we do leave a little bit early since we have travel time to get home. From this audit, we are usually on the road just after 3:30 p.m. That’s good that I’m not getting home at 8:00 at night, but the last few weeks we’ve had to deal with school buses taking kids home in the afternoon because of leaving at 3:30 p.m.

We were on a non-divided four lane road with a school bus in the oncoming traffic lane, stopped with lights flashing letting off children. Three out of the four lanes were stopped for the bus. My boss, who has absolutely NO patience, moves over to the outside lane and blows right on through.

Of course, I have a smart aleck comment such as “nice going; so much for stopping for a stopped school bus”. He replied that in the state of Ohio, you do not have to stop on a four lane road if you are in the opposing traffic lane. I called shenanigans on that statement. I would have bet my paycheck that he was wrong.

Insert a little background info here. My dad was an elementary school bus driver for many years. When we learned how to drive, the safety instructions for when to stop for a school bus were one of the first things learned. Had my Dad ever seen me blow by a school bus, I know he’d have taken my keys away. He was that serious about this subject. I really thought if I don’t know nothing about nothing else, I know school bus law.

Instead of arguing with him all the way back to my house, I decided to let it drop and then just prove it to him! Some time that Friday night, I did a little web surfing on the Ohio Department of Transportation web site. Here is what I found regarding passing a stopped school bus:

If driving on a 4-lane roadway, the driver need not stop if on the other roadway.

This made absolutely no sense to me. So, I followed a link to e-mail in a question. I explained the situation and asked for clarification as I did not understand the website.

Last Friday, I received a very nice reply from Lieutenant Tony Bradshaw of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He replied:

Thank you for your question about stopping for a stopped school bus. Ihave highlighted the portion of the law that will answer your question.Yes, according to Ohio law, in a four lane roadway, the opposite trafficdoes not need to stop when the school bus is stopped to let passengersoff the bus. They must stop if they are traveling in the same directionas the bus. If traffic is on a two lane road, all traffic in bothdirections must stop.

Wow. Who’d have thought.

I do so hate losing an argument to him.

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Saturday seemed to be our day for good deeds.

We started out with driving to my nephew’s house in Pennsylvania to help them move. We had beautiful weather for it and a decent sized crew to work, so all went extremely well. We got most of the stuff out of the old house and into the new house. Hey, putting stuff away was not in my contract, so once the moving vans were unloaded, we boogied on home.

Perhaps the word “boogied” is too much of a stretch of the imagination. Actually, I collapsed into the van and Ron started the drive home.

Some time when we were still in Pennsylvania, Ron woke me from my nap to tell me that the van in front of us was having a lot of trouble. That’s all I needed to hear, I was now wide awake!

It was some kind of Jeep minivan/small SUV type vehicle, pulling what looked like an empty boat trailer. The road we were on was a four lane divided highway, so two lanes in each direction. This was not enough real estate for this crazy woman in front of us. We watched for awhile as she went from the guard rail on the right over into her proper lane, then into the left lane and then back to her lane.

I was terrified of Ron trying to pass her, so he stayed back and we watched. The more we watched, the worse it got. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I actually called 911. I explained that it was a dark colored, green or black, mini van pulling an empty boat trailer. I stated the mile marker we were at as well as the direction of travel. The State Police asked a few questions to verify, and then said they’d post a car up ahead to pull her over. It couldn’t happen soon enough for us, I’ll tell you.

We stayed behind her for almost another 10 miles. It was harrowing just watching her weave all over the road. Finally, Ron couldn’t take it anymore and when she zigged to the right, Ron zagged to the left and went around her and hopefully out of harm’s way.

It was almost 15 miles from where I made the 911 call until we saw a State Trooper on the left side of the road, in the shoulder, waiting for her to go by. We were now a good mile or so ahead of her, so we missed the excitement of any action while pulling her over, but hopefully it turned out to be a good deed after all. Otherwise all we did was really piss off a driver with Indiana plates trying to head home.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Meet Me On The Moon

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, my sister Cathie and I used to live in the same time zone. Heck, not only the same time zone, but the same state, city, and zip code even!

Cathie is older than me by seven years. That is a huge difference when growing up. That means as the baby sister, I absolutely idolized her. She was blond, skinny, beautiful, independent, strong and in my fourteen year old eyes, everything I ever wanted to be. She was perfection.

And then she left. She loaded up the truck in a move to Beverly. Ok, maybe not Beverly Hills, but she did go to California. Do you realize that California is 3,000 miles away from Pennsylvania? That was definitely the worst thing that I had gone through so far in my first fourteen years of life. How do I say good bye to my sister? My idol?

Back in these olden days before cell phones, long distance calls were not so easy to come by in my house. They cost a lot of money to call that far. Phone calls were few and far between. No internet yet, so it was only snail mail. They never came fast enough or often enough.

I did have a hard time adjusting to the separation. So, Cathie came up with a corny solution. Yes, I know it's corny, but it helped.

At a predetermined time, Cathie and I would both walk outside and look up at the moon. It wouldn't matter if it was a full moon, or a sliver of a moon. As long as we could see any part of the moon, and we were standing outside at the same time, looking at the same moon, it was like being magically together even for a short time. Looking at the moon with Cathie would be like a hug from far away. I could go out there and cry a little, but knowing Cathie was doing the same thing as I was, it made it a little easier to cope with her being so far away.

As the years have gone by, we have changed a little. For one, I grew up. I still think Cathie is awesome, and still miss her like crazy, but contact is easier now. If I have a secret I need to tell someone, I call Cathie. If I have a concern I want to talk about, I call Cathie. We still call each other if we see an awesome full moon. That always makes us think of the other! But other than that, there haven't been any planned dates on the moon in a long time.

Until last week.

Last Thursday night was a blue moon. That's what happens about once every three years when there are two full moons in a month. For this auspicious occasion, Cathie and I decided to meet on the moon at a certain time Thursday evening. I waited all week, counting down to the big moment. When the appointed time came, I walked out of the hotel a few minutes early so maybe I could find a nice piece of grass around here with a great view of the moon and then Cathie and I could have a nice long chat looking at the blue moon together!

And, horrors of horrors, the town I'm in was extremely overcast that night. There was not a moon nor a star to be seen. I called Cathie at the appointed time to give her the bad news. I could see nothing. I'm in tears over here with the disappointment, but Cathie worked her magic and made me feel better anyway. We chatted until way past my bedtime but that was ok! We had a great time.

After our phone call, Cathie took the picture above in her driveway so I could see what I missed.

Thanks, Sissy! I still miss you. I'll meet you on the moon any time.