Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't Malign Swine!

I'm glad the world powers that be finally responded to complaints of swine discrimination and unfairly maligning swine and changed the name of the current plague. Not to brag, but our family has always been swine friendly!

Forgive the look on my face, but I was busted fondling a swine. Actually, Petunia and I look like our oufits coordinated that night!

And here's my mother, proving once again that our family is unequivocally swine friendly!

Think of all the contributions swine have made to our society. Bacon, pigs in a blanket, Spam! Porky the Pig. Porky's! What would the Orwellian classic Animal House be without swine!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blame It on the Bossa Nova

Actually, don't blame it on the bossa nova, just blame everything on the liberal media! Those left-wing subversive communists!

When the housing marking meltdown started in Phoenix, the construction superintendent in our new neighborhood ranted on and on and on about how the real estate meltdown was just an invention of the liberal media (what most people call the mainstream media). Then the mortgage mess was just an exaggeration of the media. As time went on and the dirty words recession (and/or depression) were mentioned, it was still just more media hype. I think most sane people have finally realized that the worldwide economic meltdown was not caused by the media.

And now we have the swine flu. And I'm hearing a repeat of the blame game. Just another exaggeration of the media. People seem to be ignoring recommendations from the experts whose intent would seem to be to minimize or prevent a worldwide pandemic and dangerous mutation of the virus. They seem to be making light of it. I guess it's all just meaningless statistics unless one of your loved ones dies. My uncle died about five years ago from the flu. Yes, he had other health issues, but he got the flu and died. Craig's mom died of the flu in January because a sick healthcare worker at the care home where she was rehabilitating continued to work and exposed patients to it.

The county/state closed a grade school in Phoenix today because of a swine flu case, and they just closed down a vacation spot in Arizona. So it's here. When I went to Costco after work to pick up a few items, some of the employees were wearing masks. And I heard from a woman at work who needed to see her doctor for a new prescription that the receptionist told her to stay away right now because their office is jammed with sick people.

So the news media didn't invent it -- they're just reporting it. Personally, I'm glad I have a week's break from work starting tomorrow at noon. I wish it was a two or three-week break. I have a feeling this will spread through the workplace like wildfire now because people need the money in this horrid economy and will just work sick.

But hey -- just blame it all on the liberal media. Or the bossa nova!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho . . .

It's off to work I go. I am SO excited! The project I'm on is now estimated to end on Thursday. When it ends, it's over! They send you packing whatever the time of day. One group left at about 10 a.m. yesterday when they were complete. I'm hoping it's over Thursday morning so I can make it to my haircutter before she goes home for the day at 3 p.m.!

The good news is I get almost a week's vacation! The bad (or good?) news is that I'm now on another contract project that starts a week from Thursday. The project should only last a little over three weeks, so hopefully I'll be out by the end of May! I guess I could use a little bit more play money, so I'm not complaining about going back so quickly.

I'm planning my 'to do' list!

Plant some more flowers.

Read a book!

Do some swimming in the pool.

Have coffee or lunch with friends.

Get a complete makeover including liposuction, Botox, etc.... (kidding!)


Take morning walks and bike rides!

Two and maybe a half more days!!!! Woo hooooooooooo!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gas Wars

(Classical Gas. See I always have theme music!)

Gas wars. No, I'm not talking about the pot of chili I fixed last week. I just heard on the local news that Phoenix has the lowest gas prices in the nation. The newscaster listed the average as $1.80 a gallon.

Well, have I got news for that guy! He didn't do his homework! Sam's and Costco over by us are having their own personal gas war. It's been going on for weeks. On Saturday, regular unleaded at Sam's was $1.54 a gallon. And people weren't even lined up at the pump! All that and a bag of chips, because they were also giving away free grilled hotdogs and bottles of water in front of the store. So cheap gas and a free lunch. You can't beat that with a stick! : ) Not to mention I scored a great pair of $13 crop pants and four containers of the mix I use to make frozen coffee frappes at $2.80 apiece (regularly priced around $7.00).

Hey, I think we're in the midst of a deflationary cycle! It's about time! Woo hooooooo!

Let's just hope they have those blue face masks and Tamiflu at reduced rates in a couple of weeks. I bet we'll be in the midst of that very soon here in Arizona! Ugh.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Run Through the Jungle

Just a little tale of some Saturday morning gardening. Despite the fact that I whacked back everything in my backyard just a few days before I started the job, I looked out Friday evening and thought -- this cannot wait another weekend. Everything had gone absolutely wild! This song came to mind and I couldn't get it out of my head!

We spent at least three hours chopping and our entire trash bin is full! I didn't take any before pics because it was just too gruesome, but here's the after photos!

A lot of the plants had actually grown together! The shrubs were huge!

The pink oleander trees are blooming like crazy right now!

The woodrose vine has taken over the extra trellis we added.

The torchglow bougainvillea back against the wall has gone nuts, and flowers have filled in the area around the ash tree.

The little birds love this area! I might add, the weather today was perfection with a high in the low 80's.

I took charge of grooming all the palms. They have the worst thorns on the fronds. OUCH!

I had to whack back this radiation lantana. It was wild!

I'm not sure if you can see this, but the yucca in the foreground presented a little surprise this week. You can literally slice off a finger on the sharp edge of a yucca, so it's amazing that they shoot up these plumes of soft bell-like white flowers.

It's a relief to have the backyard trimmed again. It's nice having the tropical type plants, but I never realized the amount of labor I'd have to donate to the cause!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Love Bubba

Friday! Friday! Friday! Friday! Woo hooooo!

I admit to being a person who makes quick judgments. I sometimes judge books by their cover only to find out I was so wrong! I saw a group of people walking down Hidalgo last May with these gigantic miniature beer keg thermal cups and thought -- how tacky! I think I made a crack something to the effect that they could tie them around their necks and they'd look like St. Bernard's? Okay -- I can be such a silly snob!

When I started working, I went looking for a covered thermal beverage container since that's the only thing allowed in the computer rooms. Everywhere I looked, I saw a sea of Big Bubba's! Here's my Bubba! Not quite as hefty as the large beer keg variety I saw cruising down Hidalgo.

The other day, mine fell over on the table. There was a collective gasp up and down the row. But no spill! Bubba did the job! I suppose I could load it with any beverage of my choice and no one at work would really notice. Well, maybe the fumes might drift around, and I could end up acting like Whacko Girl!

Here's one other tip that I haven't had time to purchase. The woman next to me uses a peppermint oil she purchased at Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) to fight off drowsiness. She's letting me whiff hers until I can find my own little navy blue bottle of it. It REALLY works. It's an immediate wake-up call, and I've noticed my mind's clearer and I work like a little hamster on the wheel for about a half hour after I inhale. I guess it's a form of huffing! : ) I checked the natural remedy section of another natural foods store on the way home last night, but they didn't have it. So I'll find some over the weekend. Even if I'm not working after next week, it'd be great for those times when you need to get stuff done and you're dragging. Or when you're traveling and miserably tired!

Woo hoooooo! It's the weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Almost Paroled!

It's pizza pizza day, so I know my sentence in computer prison is almost up! When a group nears the end of a project, the company orders pizza for all at noon! Woo hoooo! Only four or five more days. I'm already making my to-do list to accomplish once I'm back home. Exciting things like going back to the gym, getting a pedicure, going to the dentist, planting flowers, etc.... Can't wait!

And speaking of Johnny Cash, I've noticed more strange rangers at work. They call one guy Johnny Cash because he dresses totally in black. Black pants, black shirt, black jacket, black shoes -- black SUV! And I noticed the Black Widow yesterday on my way to the bathroom. She wears a huge floppy black hat at the computer -- literally, you cannot see a head or face. And she's cloacked in a black outfit. I expected to see a large red spot on her stomach!

Here's my mantra -- four (or five) more days! Four more days! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! The whistle's blowin'!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Another day, another dollar! That little map on my blog will probably light up like a Christmas tree with the title on this post! But y'all know what I'm talking about! It's Wednesday -- Hump Day. Halfway through that work week! Woo hooooo!

I like these European commercials set in the rail stations. I'm assuming this one is for a cell/camera phone provider, but don't really know since I don't read the language!

I'm nearing the end of this project at work. My supervisor estimated today that we'll be finished by next Tuesday or Wednesday! She also suggested that I may be put onto another project in mid-May, but I won't know until the beginning of the month. Anyway, I may have a nice little vacation coming by the middle of next week! Too bad I can't just hop a plane down to Isla! :) And if the vacation turns out to be extended, I won't be crying in my beer! I'll retire my mouse hand until next March!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Summer of '69!

Truthfully, I don't think I know anyone who actually went to Woodstock. I knew kids in college in the 70's who claimed they did, but I highly doubt their parents let them out of the house at age 15 or 16 to drive cross-country from Kansas to upstate New York. A friend sent me a little joke clip of Joe Cocker at Woodstock with the translated verses, but I couldn't find an embedding code for it. I like the real thing anyway despite the marbles in his mouth! Here's Joe at Woodstock in 1969.

Where were you in the summer of '69? (I was in Oswego, Kansas working at McClelland's Drugstore as a soda jerk!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Craig!

He's the little guy in the far right corner of the sofa. I think it's his first birthday!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Orange Juice Anyone?

Unfortunately, this isn't my orange tree! I took this picture at a friend's club out by the pool. She said they're actually ornamental oranges -- so not really edible. They were almost the size of hedge apples! I bet they're kind of pithy (no pun intended)!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Woo hooooo! Friday! We don't really have an eventful weekend planned, but Sunday is Craig's birthday, so we'll celebrate that and his landing with friends! I'd also like to get some flowers planted and some more window shades ordered. Everything in the garden is going nuts, so it's time for a haircut back there! We'll have to choose a lunch place to celebrate Craig's birthday on Sunday! Let's just say he's 55. On a local radio station, they just say everyone's 55 if they don't list their age!

Speaking of the drive time radio station, they had a guy named Jeric on yesterday morning. Unusual name. It was a combo of his mother and father's names (Eric and Joan). So it suddenly hit me that I could have been Kean or Jirwin. I think I'll take Kean. That's not a bad name! Poor Craig. He would have been Borval or Ouelah. Borval reminds me of Borat! Ha! So what would your name have been?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Future's So Bright

he's got to wear shades!

The Eagle has landed! Craig starts his new job this morning at an educational software firm in Scottsdale! He's really excited about the new position, the products, and the company. Woo hoooooo! Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is! And for all you other searchers out there -- hang in there! Your day will come!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Humpty Dumpty

Well . . . I wasn't sitting on the wall, but I had a great fall! Fortunately Craig was there to pick me up and whisk me away! LOL We were headed into Fry's grocery store Easter afternoon. I decided to swing through their nursery on the way into the store to check and see if they had any vinca yet. I stepped onto some crushed rock in one of those curbed bump out areas. We'd had a lot of rain Saturday, so evidently the ground was saturated (very RARE in Phoenix). When my sandal sunk into the saturated ground, I pitched forward up on the high curb and wasn't able to right myself. And I went airborne and splattered onto the asphalt. Fortunately, I had my purse over my shoulder, so it broke some of the fall. And fortunately, my cellphone was not in my purse because the impact broke almost everything in there. When Craig opened it up after we got home, my glasses case was completely mangled and we feared the worst! But I took my no-line bifocals out and they made it through the crash!

We skipped the trip through the store and rushed home to get ice on my shoulder, arm, and both hands. Not to mention my hip. And my mouse hand! Oh nooooooooooo. I feel like the crooked woman and my neck is killing me!

On a similar note, Craig had a big fall Saturday morning at an animal shelter where he volunteers. He sat down in one of those green plastic patio chairs and it collapsed underneath him. He landed flat on his a$$ and now his shoulder hurts. And I'm sure his a$$ hurts too!

We're quite a pair. Craig said he's going to make me wear a helmet because next time I might not get those arms out in time to break the fall! And he reminded me that in another ten years, I may not bounce!

I'm such a klutz!

P.S. Monday was a beastly day at work. My whole right side is killing me, and unfortunately, I use that hand, arm, and shoulder all day. Ugh.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blue Wadda!

I need a little tranquility from the blue waters of my favorite island. I can't get there, so thought I'd post a few photos. Sorry if there may be some repeats in here, but I did tweak them a little!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Male Bimbo

Since I had Chippendale's on video yesterday, I thought I'd feature my favorite Male Bimbo today. (I've been waiting years for the opportunity to feature this photo.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Whacko Update

Oh, how I wish I was allowed a camera phone at work! I see so many sights that I'd love to photograph. Like the Naughty Librarian. There's a woman who dresses in short pleated pastel plaid skirts, white hose, tight crewneck cashmere sweaters, and oversized cat-eye glasses. Then there's the skinny Pippi Longstocking look-alike with the bright pink sweatshirt, goofy shorts, striped knee socks, and long reddish pigtails. There's actually something very quirky about Pippi, but she must be a 'brain' because she's on one of the math projects.

But back to Whacko. She got called into a room with the Head Fred on Monday morning and emerged with a slightly different attitude. She still didn't work, but she did sit at her desk quietly for the first few hours. But by afternoon, she was back in her usual mode, wandering the room and taunting all of us with her cellphone. She'd flip it open and look at her messages to make sure we all knew she had it on. Cellphones are a huge no-no in the building. But other than that, no weird shenanigans. Early Tuesday morning, they moved her to a vacant table at the back of the room -- all by her lonesome. And she got a new supervisor -- her fourth one. A big brawny guy who looks like an ex-school principal. She made a huge show when she was leaving our area, yelling Fresh Air, Fresh Air as she rolled her chair and personal items away. We all largely ignored her.

In her new digs, she started the same stuff all over again. But being at the back of the room just sucked all the joy out of her main aim in life -- to disrupt and be the center of attention. She was a no-show on Wednesday and Thursday. Rumor has it that H.R. may have axed her by phone, but her little prayer card still sits there on her keyboard. I have a feeling that today, it might land on someone else's keyboard as a prank. We're not celebrating yet because she's like a pesky cockroach. You think you're rid of it and then it pops back up again!

Thank God It's Friday!!! Wish I could have found a better video of this, but Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend!

P.S. Wish I could stay home today and get caught up on blogging! Our group is working way ahead and they predict we'll be done by April 23. Unfortunately, they lost a lot of contracts this summer, so that may be it for the job this year. So maybe I'm just working for April 23?!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tumbling Tumbleweeds!

It's been W-I-N-D-Y around here lately! When I got off work on Friday, we were in the midst of a big windstorm. As I got closer to home (out in the boonies), there were loads of tumbleweeds blowing across the road. Some of them seemed half the size of my VW Bug! YIKES! So I was dodging tumbleweed battalions. It felt like I was playing a video game. Too bad I didn't have a video cam mounted on my hood! If you're in an SUV and you hit the tumbleweeds at 60 mph on the interstate, you're fine because they literally explode. But if you're going 40 mph in a VW Bug, they tend to get caught under the car and drag, etc.... So I don't like hitting them! After the storm, we noticed loads of tumbleweeds piled up against walls in the area. I took the photos below over in the park.

Tumbleweeds must be a Western thing because I never remember seeing them where I grew up in eastern Kansas. I never even knew what they were until my husband took me to see his family in western Kansas the first time!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cactus in Bloom

Aren't these prickly pears just amazing right now! The blooms are beautiful! But a note of warning! They don't call them prickly pears for nothing! We bought one at the nursery a few years ago. It had the little nubs on it that signaled it was putting on new growth. I bent over it when I was placing it in the back of the SUV. Oh my God! I suddenly realized I had the little stickers all over my shirt, chest, and upper arm. By the time I was a block down the street, I realized they were in my bra and you can guess where else! I was screaming all the way home wanting to rip my clothes off. I spent hours with the tweezers trying to pull the stickers out of me. I think it took a week for all the embedded ones to work their way out. Ouch!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saby's Got a Brand New Bag!




Saby's got a brand new bag! Of stuff! We went over to our favorite Chinese place for lunch on Saturday and the new vet next door was having a grand opening and giving away a bunch of stuff! So here's Saby in her new buff!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!

Guess what! Remember the photos of those houses I posted awhile back that were in foreclosure? They were across the main road from our neighborhood. I hadn't been over that way for a week. We rode our bikes past this afternoon and here's what we saw. This is ALL that's left. The remainder's being loaded onto dump trucks and hauled away.


All three houses are totally demolished and that pile is it. What a gigantic waste!


One of the houses in February.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Variety is the Spice of Life?

I've suddenly grown an affection for watching The Office on Thursday nights. I get it now! I guess there's a Dwight in every office. There's one in front of me at work, only she's a female Whack Job. And I mean we are talking n-u-t-s NUTS!

She was fairly benign at first. Asking stupid questions like what's the minimum you have to do a day in order to keep your job? She also spent a lot of time railing against the system with the guy who sat beside me. (He left the first week because he had philosophical differences. He was also a nut job). She also spent a lot of time bending, stretching, and preening to try and flirt with the younger guy who sat on the other side of me. He was fairly amused -- but wouldn't have touched IT with a ten-foot pole.

But now she's no longer benign. Whacko started erupting this last week. Her goal in life is to work the system. She's always on her way to H.R. to file a complaint about this, that, or the other. She's on her third supervisor because she files a complaint and they switch her. Unfortunately, they don't MOVE her. Her latest obsession is a grievance she filed against two men who smoke outdoors on their breaks. They sit at least 15 feet away from her (slightly closer to me) and she claims she's allergic and can't stand their 'body odor'. There's just a faint whiff of cigarette smoke in the air that lasts for a few minutes after they come back indoors from a break. I'm fairly sensitive to cigarette smoke and it doesn't bother me at all. And they're both really nice respectful older guys.

Before I go on, I need to mention that the Nut Case doesn't bother to comb her hair down, bathe, put on makeup, etc.... She told me last week (believe me -- it was unsolicited) that she wouldn't bother getting all dolled up to come in HERE because it would be a total waste of time. She sits at her desk in a down jacket (remember -- this is PHOENIX!) and a large trucker style hat. The cigarette guys (they're really funny!) have nicknamed her the Unibomber. When she removes her hat, she spends hours running her fingers through her short red matted hair trying to make it stand on end (which isn't a real feat since she never bothers to comb the bedhead down). When she rolls in late (anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours), she's usually dressed like she just rolled out of someone else's bed and didn't bother to go home and change. Ugh.

Anyway, her goal in life is to do as little work as possible and still get paid. And she's doing a GREAT job of it. When she's in residence, she spends a lot of time wandering the building. The main problem is that she's extremely disruptive to anyone around her. And you may have guessed -- I'm the lucky winner at the desk right behind her. Craig's always said I'm a 'weirdo magnet.' She sits in her chair with her feet up on the desk -- logged OUT -- for a good portion of the day. When the spreadsheet comes around 3 times a day to let all of us know exactly how we're doing (rate, accuracy, validity, etc...), she laughs and proclaims -- I guess I just blew my bonus! And she spends a lot of her time turned around making comments to me. But the comments fall on deaf ears because I started wearing ear plugs to tune her out.

Thursday was D-Day. Thursday afternoon, her new 'passive' supervisor had left early. Nut Case was spending her afternoon dancing in front of her computer rocking out with headphones on (no devices like that allowed in the building). Need I mention she hadn't even bothered to log on. My supervisor happened to come by and was fed up with her disruptive behavior. She asked Whacko if she was listening to music on those headphones. That's all it took to light her fuse. "You wish lady. If it bothers you, I WILL listen to music." On and on and on. It ended with Nutzoid yelling, "I take that as a personal threat lady!" And off she stomped to H.R. again to file another grievance.

On Friday, she intensified her efforts to disrupt and draw attention. She sat in defiant mode with feet up on the desk leaning back in the chair (when she was actually IN her chair). After lunch, she took a face mask out of her bag and put in on. She also sprayed a mass amount of perfume aimed at the guys who smoke on their breaks. And you guessed it -- I got the brunt of that. She talked and laughed to herself into her face mask most of the afternoon. When she wasn't standing up, gyrating to the music in her head, she spent a lot of time staring at me trying to make sure I'd noticed her new headgear. Actually, everyone in the large room on our project has now noticed how truly insane she is -- in the down jacket, hair sticking up straight, mask covering her nose and mouth, dancing around, talking and laughing to herself.

I think I would have loved the amusement if the distraction hadn't probably blown my weekly performance bonus. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Variety might be the spice of life, but it certainly doesn't do much for productivity.

And now 'variety' has gotten downright SCAREY!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'll Fly Away

It's a time for celebration! The Bumpuses have flown the coop! Those pesky snowbirds have disappeared, not to return until next November. Well, maybe that's a tad optimistic. Gone is the old pickup from the street in front of our house. No more 5:00 a.m. wakeup calls from Mr. Bumpus talking loudly on his cellphone outside my window. And the driveway mechanic shop is officially closed for the season! Even Saby's breathing a sigh of relief because that little hussy, the Bumpus kitty, will no longer be lurking outside our windows to taunt! Woo hoooo! Block party time! : )


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What's in a Name?

Sorry I've missed a day or so posting, but I'm struggling with 'mouse arm' from sitting at a computer all day clicking. I'm hooked on this song. They play it everyday on my commute home. Once I looked at the video, I'm almost sure there are glimpses of Kauai's Napali coastline and the Hanalei Pier in there. So now I know why I like that song so much! : )

But back to work. I'm starting to notice all the little bizarre details around me. I won't even talk about the whacko chick who sits in front of me (when she actually shows up!). But I will talk about names. There's actually a woman in my 'pod' with the last name Beer Wagon! I won't spell it correctly because I don't want her googling her name and finding it on my blog! Truthfully, I think if my son could find a woman named Beer Wagon in his approximate age range (this one's definitely too old!), he'd marry her just so he could hyphenate her name! Beer Wagon-McHugh. Tee hee. It'd fit him since he loves brewing beer!

I also have an acquaintance from work who invented her own last name. She said she never felt like her real name fit, so she legally changed it to one she chose. Let's just say it's something like Morning Flower. Craig and I have been racking our brains trying to come up with a new last name for me. He thinks Desert Flower. (And I think he's just sucking up with that one because it's so not me! Truthfully, he probably wanted to suggest Nut Case, but was afraid of the retribution.) Candy Lover is just too mundane. Hazelnut Frappe? Jelly Belly? (Maybe that one hits too close to home!) Anyway, I'm still mulling it. My maiden name was actually Bow Man, but I'm not into archery. And my married name is of Irish descent, and that really doesn't fit either. Frankly, I find it kind of amusing around St. Paddy's Day when people automatically assume I'll be talking like a leprechaun and BIG into the celebration. It's not really MY name!

So I'm still deciding who I want to be when I grow up. Any suggestions? And what would your new last name be?

By the way, I just heard that song on a Verizon commercial!