Showing posts from June, 2006

A Trip to DC Part II

Well, it is Day Four in this wonderful place, and the weather is pretty much the same. Well, I should not say that. I haven't seen so much as a peek of the sun at any point since the conference started. It was pouring this morning when I went in - fortunately, the trains were largely on time and running as they should. No flooding, no issues. The walk in was non-existent as the train took me right to the convention center. All of today's sessions were excellent for me - all four of them - but Vana went to the Wage & Hours Laws one and apparently that was a major yawner - although what else could it be? There really aren't too many ways to dress up that subject. But I got lucky.

The first class I went to was "Please Sue Me 2006". It was excellent and a riot. The speaker was quite animated, really funny and had a lot of excellent information. I loved it. I really enjoy speakers who are funny and informative at the same time.

Then I went to "Building a Better…

A Trip To DC Part I

Washington DC is wonderful!

I've always loved DC. The history is amazing. New Jersey has a lot of history but is not the seat of it. New York had a lot of history, but rebuilt most of it so that the wonderful obvious history is not there anymore. Boston was a sheer delight for the same reason as DC - most of its history has been preserved.

We took the train down yesterday, after getting a ride from my father. We had a 1022 train but it was delayed out of Springfield, MA and did not get in until 1400 instead of 1325. Still, that's not awful. I did pick a regional train, though, instead of the Metroliner, which would have shaved maybe 20 minutes off of the trip. I did see tickets for the Acela train, which I've never been on, but it was a chunk more - $280 round trip instead of $147. I realise work is paying for this but there is no reason to do that to them.

We arrived in Union Station to sunny skies and some humidity but nothing too awful. DC can be beastly, but it was just a…

Globe Trekking!

I love this show. When I am not deeply immersed in a book, I will often watch shows like "Globe Trekker", which tend to look at just one country, or several countries, or just a small portion of a very large counrty. Last night, it was Moscow, St. Petersburg and Murmansk. These were all once part of the Soviet Socialist Republic, but now they are in Russia, Moscow, now Moskva, being the southernmost city there and not too far east of Belarus. St. Petersburg (once Leningrad but voted back to St. Petersburg) is quite a bit north and located just between the Gulf of Finland directly east, Estonia to the south and Finland itself to the north. And finally, there is Murmansk, right by the Polyarnyy Inlet into the Barents Sea.

Moscow is a gorgeous city with all kinds of onion-domed buildings and beautiful squares and a lot of well-preserved history. It was apparently cool, if not outright cold, but it was not full-blown winter or it would have been totally dark, not merely winter we…

Ringing in the Ears - An Update

It is entirely too soon to really get excited about this, but... it seems that this condition may be improving dramatically! I certainly hope so!

The doctor, as you may have read in the posting "How Well Do You Know Anyone?" dated 10 June 2006, prescribed some Allegra (the super unbelievable not over-the-counter version that will kick your allergies' butts) and NasaCourt (nasal spray) this Monday and I went right to the pharmacy to get it and take it. I take the Allegra in the morning and then use the nasal spray at night. I find that the Allergra made me little wired the first day but is not so bad now. The nasal spray is the pits in terms of the experience (no matter how much to the outside of my nasal passage I aim the damn thing, the stuff still hurts the throat and is not fun to use) but it seems to be effective in solving the issue - so far.

So today, Day 3 of no ringing, it was there a little bit this morning but then diminished into the day... it never did that. It…

The Complete Idiot's Guide to...

...European History

That's what I'm reading right now. I haven't been reading many novels of late, just educational stuff. Sometimes that happens, although this is an admittedly long phase of all-educational reading. But I love learning new things, or brushing up on things I knew and I certainly don't mind being addicted to this line of reading.
Anyway, I'm nearly at the end. I'm about to begin Chapter 22, The Cold War Era. I just finished Chapter 21, World War: Second Verse, Worse Than the First. That covered World War II, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler and all the atrocities Stalin and Hitler committed. Mussolini, while no great prize, wasn't the wholesale mass murderer that both Stalin (between 7 and 10 million Russians killed or "purged") and Hitler (between 6 and 12 million Jews and non-Aryans systematically killed) were. These people were monsters. And their timing was perfect for them to make a permanent blood-stained mark on history in a really b…

How Well Do You Know Anyone?

[Started Saturday, 10 June]

My colleague at work spent a rather considerable amount of time asking me what was up, wrong, bothering me, etc. It was both very gratifying and somewhat annoying - it certainly started out well, but after several reassurances that nothing was unduly wrong in life (for me at this moment in time), it was more annoying and less "isn't-that-sweet-how-much-you-care-about-my-well-being".

And it is making me wonder what the concern really is... call it my suspicious, what-are-you-up-to HR nature, but that much asking makes the incident stand out in my mind and so I cogitate on it and go through several theories, some of which stick and others that end up on the scrap heap, thoroughly thought through and easily discarded. But the only true answer is in my colleague's head and I strongly suspect that even this individual could not verbalise what the real reasoning is behind it.

This has happened more than once, so as time clicks on and the instances …

Purring is the Best Medicine

Oh, how funny was that?

I came home from a call, a fairly alarming one at that. Looked like an incipient heart attack - never a good sign. I was feeling pretty drained, but still managed to drag myself downstairs for the Thursday night chore... cleaning the two kitty litter boxes. Oh, yes, that exciting life I lead when not running around in the rig, looking for some street that doesn't show on the Parsippany map...

Well, I changed the litter boxes after stopping to pet and scratch Chelsea, happily napping on the outlaw's couch. I got them done fairly quickly and decided to reward myself for a job well done by stopping to stroke the cat some more. And then I had my idea.
After all, I'm sitting there with my "ears" hanging 'round my neck...

I put on my nice expensive Littman stethoscope and put the other end on Chelsea's side. It was purring on steroids! The moise was like a really nice deep jet engine! It was amazing and struck me as quite funny. But I was de…

When Do We Fire the Catholic Church?

Speaking for myself, I'm not (big surprise) a Christian and certainly not a Catholic! I'm also missing the mommy gene, having no kids and not even an iota of interest in having one! But as much as I don't get the whole Catholic thing and the wanting kids thing, I realise and accept that other people are and do... I'm a huge proponent of freedom and as long as your Catholicism and parentism (not a word, I know) is not harming anyone, well, then, have at it!
As usual, I received my issue of People (dated 12 June) with an article entitled "The Good News: You're Pregnant; The Bad News: YOU'RE FIRED!" on page 83. And once again, I am feeling the ire and rage that can only be brought on by religious idiots, in this case the Catholic Church.
A couple in Appleton, Wisconsin tried for five heart-breaking years to have children and after 30 failed pregnancy tests and trying hormones and other methods to have kids, they finally went for broke (literally! - IVF is …