Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two things are better than none

Received this meme from the ever lovely Patti, and am intrigued. I am happy to reveal a bit more about myself. It's called the Two Things Meme, and Quacks received this from tired mama Lynn. Steubenville figures into this somewhat (and Kid1, the place is real). Here goes:
Two names I go by: Daddums and Ralphie

Two things you are wearing right now: A ratty but oh-so-comfortable cotton sweater and a Pride 1103 Jazzy wheelchair

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship: love and intelligent conversations
Two of your favorite things to do: Cook and Travel

Two things you want badly now: A source of steady income as the unemployment ends and a better writing job for Patti

Two pets you have or have had: Dog when I was a kid named Boris and our late kitty Sir Humphrey

Two people you think hope will fill this out: Moosie and anyone else who wishes to reveal more of themselves
Two things you did last night: Made baked chicken and slept

Two things you ate today: Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal with strawberries and lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
Two things you're doing tomorrow: Preparing for my interview with an air-freight company on Thursday and blogging
Two longest car rides: Each in a 24 hour period…East Hartford, CT to Plattsburgh, NY (only 60 miles from Montreal) to Steubenville, OH - 969 miles, and Steubenville to Cincinnati to Cleveland to Erie to Buffalo to Syracuse, NY - 820 miles.
Two favorite holidays: Christmas and Easter
Two favorite beverages: Wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir) and Beer (German is nice)
Two people no longer alive who you'd like to talk to: Grandpa (Ralph I) and my sister Claudia

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to relax

It is a given that we staff members live solely for the benefit of our pets.

And it doesn't matter if it is cats or dogs - both species are equally adept at pushing our collective buttons to get and keep us attentive to their needs wants. And we all comply.

You might think that we purchased this queen bed with a soft comforter just for them. And Rigby is on Patti's pillow. At least we have a couple of layers over the pillow to prevent our sleeping in the dander.

And really, Patti and I do not mind being the combined maître d'hôtel for this pair of (you call it...)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm back in the (writing) saddle again

Well, I didn't really go anywhere since last week. However, I ought to blog more. It should be second nature, y'know, like breathing or eating. Well, not quite up there with breathing and eating, but more of a pursuit I enjoy doing.

I hope that I can be just a little more consistent about my posting - everyday wold be an ideal. NaBloPoMo? I couldn't say if I could, although many of those I read regularly such as Lynn, Joan, and Sari did. So that is an idea I ought to consider...

Yet, to blog should not feel like work. And it is not like there is a dearth of subjects to write about: That I need to find a more enticing source of income; That I miss our daughter Kid1 who went back to college yesterday; That our Kid2 will be in college as well later this year; And of course we have a new pair of felinus obnoxious named Linus and Rigby.

Okay, there is plenty to write about. And I can always find the time to write. I will not be flogging myself for a paucity of posts, but I expect to write more often...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Workin' for a living

I’m at a career crossroads these days. It is time to determine a new direction not just for reasons of a fiscal nature, but also for a sense of accomplishment. To allow me to enjoy the result of my efforts and maybe even the process that leads to the result.

Of course the practical has a way of intruding in these things. It’s not like I hadn’t considered a different vocation, but some consideration regarding income has some validity at this point in time. The unemployment compensation is over in about three weeks, so something has to change in a bit. To be precise, we need a real income, yet I would like to enjoy the best outlet for my talents that will allow that.

Well, there is the sub teaching I have been doing. At the best, I have been offsetting some of the unemployment income by working as a sub part-time. And really, thy pay for this stinks. But this never was a career choice, and I do not really enjoy it. And this is not for the reasons you might think. It has nothing to do with unruly students (although behavior issues have their own unique charms, as you might guess). No, it's that as a sub, you are there but not really, you are involved with the process, But you are never a part of the process. You are there for the money…


My background has been in a manufacturing, and I did enjoy being part of that. There is satisfaction, perhaps even pride in watching the finished product moving out the door. You do know inside that you made a contribution. I started working in manufacturing in jet engines, radar, janitorial equipment, airline seats and defense electronics. I was in purchasing, inventory control, production control and sales/estimating.

After so many years I do not care for it anymore. Not in the sense of hating my jobs, because many of them were okay, but in that the challenges requiring talent were not there. In many places I’ve been, the workplace dynamics too often centered solely on the internal politics – and for the worse in every family owned company.

But what to do? Honestly, I wish I could live by writing, or anything that involves thinking. Could I write? Well, I suppose that I would answer that with another question: Is writing talent hereditary? Well, my father was a writer when he worked in public relations for a large aerospace company, and at a variety of newspapers and news services before that. And he was good. And he was a very good one as well. His sister is one as well. Moi?

For encouragement, there is Patti, the writer extraordinaire. The best I know and perhaps a coach.

The practical in me wants to acquire income to pay the bills, and the time is short. If a job in purchasing et al was offered and the compensation was right, I’d take it. But I would prefer not. I want to do something different and get paid for it. Gotta figure it out…

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sideshow attraction

I would expect the carnival barker might put it something like this: "Step right up folks and see the the world's only two-headed cat!".

And to think that many would pay the additional $10 for the privilege of viewing this monstrosity. That is, if it was a truly gruesome attraction.

Of course these are our newest family additions, that pair known as Rigby and Linus. And they are cuddling under the bed of Kid2. Sir Rigby seems to be out of sorts due to his time living amongst the plumbing in that space between the walls the other day (see here) and was the more gregarious of the pair at first, but seems to have withdrawn after his bout with the pipe inspection lunacy. Being brothers, they do look comfortable bunched up on the floor. We do know this, they seem to come out at night, because in the morning, all their food is eaten and the litter box has been used. So perhaps they are not as reclusive as they seem. However, being on the floor they are the cutest dust magnets I have ever known...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy tails to you, until we meet again

Well, I'm already a daddy (daddums?), but two furry fellows have invaded our domicile. We actually invaded their space, by adopting them. Happily, we provide a home for them. These fellows are pensive and nervous and haven't moved much since they arrived here at 7:00 last night. The white/black one, aka Rigby, is on the window sill while the white/orange is ensconced under the futon, wayyy under. I hope they warm up to us soon, although I expect they will to Patti first...Sir Humphrey liked her best, but we got along. I have to think that the thaw will place Patti in the role of the alpha cat of this pride. What about me? They have to figure out this 'wheel' thing:


Linus: "Is he going to run us over?"
Rigby: "I don't think so, but watch your tail!"


I do have to remind myself that they aren't deep thinkers...they aren't that deep. Still, I wonder what they discussed while we all slept: Red Sox vs. Yankees? The sub-prime mortgage mess? Whatever they did, we are encouraged by a few things, such as the water bowl was dry this morning, they ate something, the litter box was used. Just like a baby, the mundane is better than the surprises. I hope to skritch both under the chin as soon as I can...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blazing new trails

Patti mentioned in a recent post about taking her mom with the fractured pelvis to the orthopedic doctor last week in her rental wheelchair. It was the proverbial Blind leading the blind (might as well use a disability related cliché here). Think of the guy in the wheelchair leading an expedition.

Well, it is not as if we were scaling Everest, but this trip required some planning if not the sherpas guiding us up the mount. However, I do have the vehicle that is capable (able-bodied?) of carrying two wheelchairs to the doctor. Being the wonderful son-in-law that I am, of course I was more than happy to comply. And I enjoy that offbeat sense of adventure (right).

After some efforts by Patti, we made it to the doctor only one-half hour late. It was sooo nice of the builders to put the entrance of the office at the top of a ramp. I’d have asked for a level landing at least before the door to make it easier to enter. Most of the patients are going to an orthopedist because something is fractured, broken, or torn. Therefore, they might be using a device to help them to get to the doctor like canes, crutches, or wheelchairs. Since that ramp had a slope of 7-8 degrees, if you forgot to set the brakes on the ’chair, you will roll back into the parking lot full of hobbling people, parkers, wheelchairs and FedEx. Gravity can be your friend, but not in a parking lot…

The worst thing is that a group of doctors probably owns these buildings as an investment. Almost as ironic as the me leading this mission. Now that we know it works, we should take Patti’s mom out to a restaurant soon so she can get out and have a little fun. No wine for Gooma, though, until she finishes the painkillers…

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Birthday belles redux

The latest holidays in this house this week were celebrated in style, sort of.

We celebrated my ladies' birthday with a cake. The lovelies were treated to a fine layered gâteau with strawberries on top. Mom and daughter look great, as always. I didn't query them as to what they were wishing for before they extinguished the candles. Hopefully they wished big!


New year's Eve was hardly celebrated in the traditional way. As I noted the other day, we made turkey and black bean chili nachos as pictured here. Turned out to be a filling meal. not just carbs, but plenty of fiber (bell pepper, onion, celery, black and kidney beans) and fat (cheese, sour cream). A Fred Astaire movie marathon on TCM was part of our December 31 routine. Even made it to 12:30, saw the ball drop on TV. It seemed far more impressive when I was small and watching the ball drop on a black and white TV (yipee it's 1965, 1966, 1967, etc).

I think the lack of excitement is what made it a fine evening.