Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Week

No overheating engine. Heat in the cab. I addressed that issue. Was an inexpensive fix. It's all good.

Was a pretty calm weekend. Puttered around the house, got some work done. Woke up at 4:30 this morning with all intentions of some quality time on the eliptical. Didn't happen. At least I know I can wake up that early. Trainer tonight. Trying to psyche myself for that. Doesn't seem to be happening. Maybe I can find some hockey to watch while I sit and spin.

Picked up some new coffee this weekend from Cup-a-Java. Italian Roast ground into expresso. Alterra Organic whole bean. So tasty, so smooth, so strong with no bitterness. Just plain yummy. And, none of my hard earned $ to starbuck's.

Friday, January 25, 2008


It's been a long, cold week. Toy is still overheating. I'll have to address that issue soon.

Many fires at work.

Sick family.

Wonder if I can froth Bailey's.

Ready for a quiet weekend. I have some issues to address.

CB and JB are talking about Old Pueblo. I'm jealous. I need the escape. Can't do it right now, yet I find motivation in them going. Good luck on the rollers and trainers boys. In a few weeks it will all be worth it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Still Brrrrrrrr

3.8 below zero this morning at 5:40am when I left for work. Toy overheated, no heat in cab. I'll have to address that issue soon. Turned around, limped home, got a different car. What did I do at work today? Made some shuttle runs to our outdoor storage pole barn with with one of my staff members. Spend a good portion of today outside. Sunny, clear skies, dressed properly. I was out of the wind. Felt great to be outside. It even got up to 2 degrees on the positive side. The sun can do wonders for the soul. I needed that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's cold. 1.8 degrees when I left before the crack of dawn. Wonder if the Minnesota hockey moms are grilling out today. Toy didn't overheat, but I had no heat. I'll have to address that issue soon. Told Julie about it when she called. She laughed. She said you certainly don't sound upset about no heat. Told her that if I can't have an old, leaky CJ, the vehicle I have may as well act like one. 20 years old, nearly 218k miles, still runs through just about anything. No heat, windows don't seal. It's all good. Need to add a soft top to it. It'll all be better then.

CB, good news. I've figured out how to froth chocolate 8th Continent in the new 'cino maker. I reckon I'll have me a few of them when I get home tonight.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, Monday

Yes, I know it's Tuesday. But after a three-day weekend (Thank you MLK) and a sick family, Tuesday can turn into a Monday in a hurry. Was it the near foot of snow that fell? No. I can deal with that. Even had the driveway cleared before I left for work at six. Should have left earlier, but as long as I'm there by seven, no problem. Made it by seven. It's normally a 20-25 minute drive, but I expected that. It was even a balmy 14.8 degrees when I left. And, the Toy didn't overheat. Should probably address that issue soon.

Anyway, I'm going to break from the norm and mention work. I don't normally do that because I don't want to incriminate or upset anyone. So I'll withhold the names to protect any parties that may be involved. No matter what point you are in leadership, things are expected of you. One of those things at my level has shown up in employee opinion surveys. It seems that hourly/frontline people expect that management take time out upon arrival to greet each and every employee with a, "Good morning, (insert name here)." And ask them how they are doing. Remember what they had planned for the weekend and ask about that. Etc, etc, etc. Now when doing this, you must remember to be sincere and have a smile on your face that is genuine and not a pasted on Grand Hotel smile. This is fine. I also happen to think that this is a great practice and it truly does build relationships with your staff. Today, I came through the door and had not even made it to my desk - a fifteen foot walk from the door - before I was greeted by people in their own special greeting which was anything but how I described above.

"Walk with me I need to show you something."
Translated - "Someone put something somewhere I don't like and you need to tell them to do something about it."

"You and I need to talk."
Translated - "Someone did something that pi$$ed me off this morning and you need to speak to them about it."

"Just turn around and go home."
Translated - "Something is so FUBAR that you don't even want to know what it is and it's going to have a major impact on production."

"Could you check my time card, I'm not sure that I punched in."
Translated - "I'm an idiot and I cannot perform the simplest of tasks because I was too busy jaw-jacking about the Packer loss to my co-workers."

"Hey, about those parts we needed for the cosmetics, any word on them?"
Translated - "I know I didn't provide you with the information you asked for on the quantities that I need to perform the work I have here, but I was hoping you got tired of waiting for my sorry a$$ to do it and you went ahead and did it for me."

There once was a Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you'd have done unto you." I've now heard it said that with our warmer, fuzzier social environment that we should, "Treat others the way they wish to be treated as they may not want to be treated the same way you wish to be treated." They're both a big ol' pile of steaming Mackinac Island road apples! In the cases above, had I shot back in the same manner that was exhibited I'd be the jacka$$, jag, knob, a-hole, etc. And I know for a fact that I was not treated the way I wish to be treated. Good grief, people. At least let me set down my things and take off my jacket. And by the way, good morning to you as well. Even though my weekend didn't go as planned, all things considered, I can't complain.

See this pic? I know that at least one of you out there can name the exact location. Maybe it's time to find some extra funds and get to this area again. Hmmmmmm..... plane ticket or new fork for the dos Niner?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Simple Statement for Friday

There is a difference between different brands of diapers.

All y'all enjoy your weekend. Find some way to stay warm.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sour Milk

Well, it only took two days of day care and Sam got sick. Poor little guy. Spiked a fever, lost his precious food, left sour milk puddles in his chair, dehydrated... that pretty much covers it. I know that his body needs to learn how to fend off viruses, but it just plain sucks. Hopefully he'll get back to his smiling self quickly.

Kick-off is getting closer and the temperatures predicted for the start are getting lower. They're now talking less than 3 degrees. Home field advantage? I'm not sure that anyone really wants to play in those temps, even if it is your yard.

I fully expect flat spots on my tires tomorrow morning for the first part of the drive out to the highway to get to work. I'll make sure that I have a proper lid on my morning triple espresso to keep those bumps from spilling any of that coveted life juice during the twenty-two mile jaunt.

Advice for the upcoming weekend: Layers people, layers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In a Funk

Don't want to eat right. Don't want to hop on the trainer. Don't want to work on home projects. Don't want to work. In a funk? Yes, it would so appear. Welcome to my typical feeling in Whiskey-onsin in the dead of winter. Single digit high temps in the weekend weather forecast. Don't get to see the sun during the week with the hours I work. The weekend is supposed to get me that vitamin I so crave from the sun. But at a measly, lousy, pathetic three degrees above zero Fahrenheit as a high temperature, a nice roaring fire and a book sound much better. Am I whining? Yes, to an extent. But, hey, it could be worse. I could be a Vikings, Lions or Bears fan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Of Sundances and Tires

Was on the way to work and someone was very much in a hurry. Not just using multiple lane changes, but to the point of using exit and acceleration lanes to do the passing. I saw him quickly dart back into the driving lane after passing a fully-loaded dump truck leaving only a few feet of room. Quite the NASCAR move. But, HELLO, IDIOT! You're in a Plymouth Sundance! Do you realize that you're not much more than a bug on a windshield compared to that truck!? Maybe Darwin will strike for this person. Let's hope that it involves no one else at the time.

I've been looking for tires for the Toy for playtime off-road. Funds have been tight so I decided to revisit a retreading company that I had used before and was pretty pleased. Prices are still great, but better still is the environmental impact of this process - or lack thereof if you will - when you compare. To make a truck tire requires the use of 22 gallons of oil. Yes, 22 gallons are used in the process. Most of this is in the casing of the tire. A retreaded tire reuses the casing which does two things: keeps the casing from the landfill and only uses 7 gallons of oil in the process. More than one-third less. I'd say that's substantial. Now I can tread lightly and practice some environmentally-conscious recycling. All the little things add up.

Monday, January 14, 2008

First Day Back

Well, today was my first day back at work in nearly two weeks. I spent time with Sam when Julie first went back to work. Really needed the break. I had taken care of some work and went in a couple of times my first week off to finish year-end reviews for my staff. But then I did something that I haven't done since joining the cable giant nearly four years ago... I actually took a full week off of work. That may not sound like much. But it was. And by full week I mean: no answering the work cell phone, no work email, no thinking about work, no calling work, no going into work to check on things. Was a great, relaxing week. I certainly need more of those. Made for much better time with Sam as well. I did come into work this morning with nearly 450 unread emails. I'll get through them... eventually. Fires couldn't have been that big, my home phone didn't ring. One thing that I'm looking forward to is being able to leave on time at least three days a week. Have to pick up the little man from daycare. I need to learn to just walk out more often. The work will wait and I'll have a better opinion of it in the morning.

Will be on the trainer this evening. Julie will be on her eliptical next to me. It's time. We've decided to lean on each other and make this work for us. Plus it gives us more time to catch up on the day's activities now that we're both back to work.

Still sitting back and watching the candidates. None of them are perfect, but not one of us is. We can't expect that. None of them are really tugging at me yet. Will have to wait and see.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Daddy's Little High Octane Helper

Well, here it is, small but mighty. Sorry about the focus... I was a bit jittery. Had a cheaper version of this a few years back, but it only did espresso. This one is made of much heavier grade aluminum and has a pressure valve inside. It will do espresso, lattes and cappuccinos. It's a little weak on frothing for cinos, but then again I haven't tried it with real milk. Sorry, CB, you're going to have to have to suffer when you're here. Or we'll have to saddle up and head to Cup-a-Java. Picked the stove top version over the electric. This way it can travel with me and work on the camp stove. Nothing like a good jolt in the morning when you're far from civilization.
How's the training going? Sucks! This one day here, one day there thing isn't doing much for me. It will, however, make me very frustrated when I head southwest in a few months. I had contacted Double B a few weeks back. He doesn't always care for his trainer either, but at least it's someone to suffer with. Makes me more accountable as well. That just seems to work better for me. How long does it take to make something a habit?