Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Apple Household

We are almost a completely Apple household.

I am completely Mac-driven at this point. I have a PC in my office that hasn't worked right in years so it is essentially an enormous paperweight (and no, I did NOT brick it - that is not my style); I have my 2007 PC laptop (a Gateway), but we will be moving all that stuff to the Quad server (so named for the QUAD CPU inside, but I like the name, it's fitting)  and reformat it for Raquel, the woman who takes care of my mother when Ray is out, she has little money and could really use this for school. It is old, outdated and very low on memory and space, even though I bought as much memory as I could fit in it back in 2009. That is me. She won't use it nearly the way that I do, which is heavy image usage, music, etc. And I save tons of things, where she likely doesn't.

Luis has computers... is like saying a die-hard Hummel collector has a a few "nice" pieces. This is a tipping invitation. Don't just walk away, run! He has Quad, of course, and two more running in his office (there may be a third that I am unaware of). We each have our own laptops (at the moment I have two but that will change) and Luis loves his Toshiba (I think it is a Toshiba) and had to show me the rental security on it. This is Luis and his "toys" mentality.

Luis originally got an HP tablet, the one that they had the fire sale on. There were two versions, the 8GB and the 16GB if I'm not mistaken - it may be that I am mistaken. At any rate, HP released these things at a completely ridiculous price point, then realised that at $300 and $600, these things would not sell, period end of sentence. So he waited, heard about the fire sale, debated long enough (less than a day) to lose out on a good size - the 16GB, now $150 - and ended up getting the 8GB for $100. Well, he sort of got it... it took a long bloody time to get its butt here. He ordered it the beginning of August and did not receive it until the end of September. It was an outrage. And for a company that cut out the tablets, it not only got rid of them out there in the sale, it paved the way for HP to make more to keep the sales going. Unbelievable.

When he got this thing, I had to laugh. The iPad two was out and this thing was a doorstop! It was huge, which considering that most people want smaller for less space, this was just too weird. I wondered if the other one would be physically bigger and/or heavier. (Yes, these are the things that go through my mind...)

I have had my iPad since last Christmas (2011) and I love it to pieces. It is beautiful and streamlined and is like artwork. I won't say it again, since I have more than made this clear. Of course, next to Luis' enormous thing, mine looked like a credit card in its thinness and a 5" x 8" piece of writing paper in great colors while Luis just had this massive creature erroneous called a tablet.

And then I got this lovely creature, this gorgeous laptop and I think I am one for a long time with PCs. We both used to always say we'd never live in a Mac household, but our words have come back to haunt us.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Undercover Boss - Diamond Resorts

This is not a show that - like with movies - I would have picked out. Luis did (big surprise there, right?) and got me to watch it one night. I was resistant. I honestly thought that, in the grand vein of reality shows everywhere, that this would only serve to get employees in trouble. It turns out, in case you don't know, that this show puts the CEO into different area stores/hotels/etc, so they can get a direct feel for what their businesses are really doing, what it is like to do basic jobs in the industry, and where improvements can be made to their businesses.

Here we have the owner of Diamond Resorts, who went to the first place as a client staying in a suite; then a maintenance man in the Palm Springs resort, then a dance instructor in another place and now as a hair stylist (yikes). I suspect he may go onto one more job, but maybe not; four is usually the maximum amount of jobs that one person can hold considering the average one-hour show is (now) 38 minutes long. The bigger irony with that tidbit is when I watch old DS9 episodes, they are 45 minutes long. But commercials are so ridiculous, we are down to 38 minutes of telly - that is 22 minutes of adverts! And you wonder why I object so much to adverts.

This poor guy is getting a crash-course in how many issues there are within the structure of the business. He's currently in the Mexico resort )I'm not sure what part of Mexico and how many resorts he has there, but he us unable to contain himself when he encounters a huge no-no and tells the employee who he really is. They are not actually supposed to do that, but I can see why he's out of his head with anger. The training that his staff is getting is shit - it is incorrect, in some cases illegal - and he knows it! And why shouldn't he?

Of course, I have had managers who did not know the various ins and outs of the handbook, but that was why I did annual training. And while I wouldn't expect the average CEO to know the rules like this guy, I had some who did (yes, Kevin, this does mean you!) but most did not - and did not care so long as we in HR did. I try to understand but really can't - a manager should understand hiring and to some degree termination laws and get immediate input on those things that they may not know - but I always expect a CEO to take a huge interest in really, truly understand how these rules work, what is company policy versus legal ruling, either state or federal, and which may take precedence. (In case you are wintering, federal normally trumps state policy except where salary is concerned. Then whoever is more generous trumps the other. So while states like Kentucky still show minimum wage as $2.00/hour, they must suck it up and follow Federal ruling which currentlhy stands at $7.50 - that is still too low, but beats the hell out of $2.00. Damn rednecks... setting up a minimum wage that wouldn't support a 14-year-old living at home!

So it turns out that this show provides a great amount of entertainment but also leaves one feeling quite warm and fuzzy. In the end, this CEO paid for the dance instructor to go to the Fashion Institute of Design, got her an LA apartment (unaffordable by almost anyone's standards) so she'd be close to work, and gave her some huge sum of money to get on her feet financially. He gave the hair stylist in Mexico $1,300,000 pesos (only $100,000 in US currency) to buy a house, $2,000USD to get her daughter's double hernia surgery, and I forget how much more so she only has to work her primary job and can spend time with her 2-year-old girl. He gave the electrician in Palm Springs $1,000,000USD to begin his own electrical business and agreed to be a 10% partner - the electrician having the 90%. And for the kid in the first job, in Housekeeping who has repeatedly tried to get management to understand what a poor job the staff of that department did, I don't know what he did, but I'm sure it included going to Hotel Management school (I know a couple of South African employees that we had who did this and I can tell you that this is not just six months of training but a full-time schooling program that is at least two full years if not four), gave him X dollars to get up to a level where he can devote himself to the training and a higher wage for working. This show is really worth seeing - and then feeling envious that your boss hasn't come upon you working your butt off, hearing your personal sob story and then giving you piles of money... undoubtedly many will suddenly be seized by the green monster of envy.

But me, I worked for Baltusrol Golf Club. I worked for a place that put in every possible opportunity for all employees to be a part of and I will never regret that. In the almost two years that I have been gone, who knows what else they have done.

"Safety Not Guaranteed"

Looking for a movie that will not be like any other film you've ever seen? Something that brought a smile to my face in many parts, has great music (even the lead, Mark Duplass, did a bit with a zither - an instrument that looks like a flat, thin guitar, but while stringed, that is as far as it is related to a guitar - that was beautiful. Just beautiful) and has an ending that is totally unexpected? You want this movie. You really, really want this movie.

Luis (naturally) found it on Netflix. I had (naturally) never heard of it. That is usually how we find movies, sad to say. While Luis has greatly widened my tastes in movies, I have brought very little to the table in this particular matter.

Anyway, this magazine writer wants to do an article on a guy who put an ad in the paper that reads: WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

What is the first thing you would think if you read this? Who is this nutter and what is doing broadcasting this bit of weirdness? Why do you need a partner for this insanity? And why would anyone buy into it?

So this writer takes two interns to go find the story on this and the one intern becomes the partner for this. You will have to get the movie just to see this and where it goes. It is completely worth it. And here is the interesting part: this is based on a true story. Some guy really did put that ad in the newspaper (I assume in Oregon or Washington) and still to this day gets responses. How funny is that?

Let me know what you think when you do see it, as I hope you will and get as much as I did out of it.

Living Outside the Hospital

I suppose the doctor lives outside the hospital just fine without any issues. Me, I live with the same issues as in the hospital every day, just on a lesser degree. Well, wondering where I am going with this? Me, too. (Not really, I figured it out...)

The doc was supposed to give me a 14-day Tizanidine script (this drug is the cheap version of Zanaflex). Instead, she gave me a less than two-day script. What a moron. They say doctors are smart but I keep encountering the not so smart ones. Or maybe they are just the distracted ones? Either way, I'm screwed and not loving it. I had multiple issues being released and this one I did not figure out until the wee hours of this morning. That, along with all the other missing pharmaceuticals as well. But those I hope to have today. There is still the issue of getting to the doc's office (in the ice) and the pharmacy to get everything. Great.

I'd best contact the doctor's office to be sure I do get them today. Otherwise it will just be that much worse. If I don't get these, I will end up back in the hospital. But this time I am going to St. Clares. I have to believe that they will do better than Mo'town. But if I do go there and I'm admitted, the crucifix has to come out of the room. That is just the way it has to be.

I can't help but think I will have the chance sometime in the next few months (if I'm lucky) and next few weeks if I'm not.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Approach of The Dreaded Holidays...

20 November 2012

When I worked and was loaded, I looked forward to the holidays, Christmas, really. Thanksgiving has never held any interest for me. I also cannot abide eating turkey, one of the least tasty meals around. If you cook me up a big old spiral-cut ham, that is a completely different story. I'll show for that.

I'm not earning much now. Christmas is not nearly so interesting now. But Luis promises to take care of it, which while a very nice gesture, it is not ideal. I don't care for the feeling of being indebted, even though he would not consider me to be so. I am the one feeling that way. It's not a pleasant feeling.

This year has been exceptionally hard. I've been in the hospital far too many times, been sick far too many times. I did change some of my medications and that has taken away the constant vomiting, a symptom I was happy - elated - to say goodbye and farewell to. I will do anything to avoid being physically sick like that and it was so easy to take it away - the muscle relaxant as a capsule made me sick, the tablets did not. Interesting, eh?

26 December 2012


Christmas has come and gone. I managed to pretty much avoid the whole messy thing, just as I'd wanted, and I got the one item I'd wanted most - the big MacBook Air. I've already waxed poetic about it, so there is not much to add to it.

Today is Boxing Day and here I am, still languishing in Mo'town. They are taking me off of the IV meds, which means I get to just suffer with the pain. I'm thinking of asking them to just let me out, since there is no point in just laying here with drugs I have at home. I have two cats who must be missing me like mad and telly shows and other things. Why be here? What purpose is there to it?

I suppose I should make sure that Aetna has straightened out this whole cowardly mess before I demand release. On the other hand, the doctor wants me to do physical therapy and I'd be just as happy not to. That makes me feel more ornery than ever. I don't see the value in it. I've been put through this before and haven't seen any benefits to this.

Someone nearby has visitors and the woman speaking sounds like... uh... well, completely uneducated. She's talking about how she went to college and was able to get a career (I wouldn't want to figure out what career this must be) and she's doing this for her kid(s) and quite frankly I don't want to listen to this overly-loud voice. I also smell someone's cologne or perfume and it is killing me. How much of this crap did the wearer swim in to smell like this?!

This is where my iPod comes in handy. I needn't listen to this garbage while I have music to listen to - at the moment it is Animaniacs. Now it is Thomas Newman's theme to "Six Feet Under", a great show back when it was on HBO. There are three different versions of this song and I like 'em all.

Ray is sick and won't be visiting today. It is a fairly long walk from the front of the building to the Meade section, so I get it. And sick - what fun is that? It is just a head cold, but still - it is amazing how much a head cold can lay one low. Of course, a winter one is not as bad as a summer one, but still, who wants one?

I just looked out the window and it is snow like the dickens! Well! The weather forecast has shown this for today, but every time I looked out, nothing was happening. Finally - a white day after Christmas! I find it disappointing how few white Christmas' we have these days, so getting a white Boxing Day will suffice. According to Ray it is building up on the road very quickly.

Well, they are letting me out today (wahoo) and we will have to stop at the pharmacy tonight to get my Tizanidine for a couple of weeks. By then my benefits should be back up and running. Then I can get loaded up with pain meds and such and order my three-month supplies. Those damn people wouldn't be allowed to do ANYthing to my coverage without speaking to me first. Sloppy.

Well, I guess it will be good that I will be home for the New Year. Not that I ever feel sentimental about the New Year. In fact, I don't care for it at all. Then again, it is a drinking holiday, and I never, ever like those, since I don't care for alcohol in the least. Are you wondering why? It is not because I have something against it, or a religious thing or a cultural thing (shit, I'm Irish - we have nothing against alcohol culturally when we should!): it is because I hate the taste. I really do. It tastes disgusting.

And that is that.

Living in the Hospital, Not Outside of It...

For those of you who read my somewhat forgotten blog, you'll get a chuckle out of the title, as it matches the title of the blog. I haven't actually forgotten it, but it has fallen by the way side thanks to feeling crappy more often than not. However, two things have happened to suddenly bring the sun back out onto my island of writings and musings...

1. I'm in Mo'town (our EMS designation for Morristown Memorial Hospital and there is only so much to do. I have all the telly viewing I could want on my iPad, but since I'm not a telly addict, there is only so much I will watch. And I don't consider playing games to be worthwhile on a computer, so scratch that off the list. Typing extensively on an iPad is not really ideal and so I have never posted anything onto my blog from there.

Which brings me to 2. Luis (how much do I love that man?) got me the one and only thing I really, really wanted for Christmas: a MacBook Air. Oh, yes. And just as I love my iPad to distraction, let me count the ways I love this beautiful piece of artwork in my hands. It weighs nothing; it is as thin as anything could be, it is loaded to the eyeballs with space and fast as the dickens. It is gorgeous. And it is totally silent. It is just magic!

And so that which really wasn't possible on my iPad is now completely possible in my hands - and anywhere I go.

I came to Mo'town around 03:35 Saturday morning, thanks to Don, Brian, Sandra and a newbie who is very nice but I was not in any shape to remember her name (I do apologise, but I am sure she understands utterly). The short story is that I ran out of Tizanidine thanks to a mix-up with Aetna (and we will leave it there) and bad things happen without it - extreme vomiting, pain that is off the charts, etc. And since this is my... what... 12th trip here this calendar year, my veins are for shit. That is the polite version. They did get a line in after six failed attempts, which is miraculous, considering just how bad my veins really are. And then they began loading me up with fluids, the anti-nausial drug which suddenly has escaped my memory and of course, dilaudid for pain. And hte pain would go from ten to maybe an 8 if I was lucky, and after X number of 2-milligram injections, they went from ER to admittance, and here I am.

While I wasn't much to celebrate Christmas this year, this was NOT what I had in mind...

I'm still here, unfortunately, because despite putting back on my own meds orally AND giving me Dilaudid every four hours, I'm still in too much pain. It would be easy for them to send me home like this, but until I'm down to a pain level of 2 to 4, my baseline pain level, there is no point - I'll just end up inconveniencing my crew again and driving the ER people to distraction, only to be admitted. Then I can ring in the new year here as well. What fun.

Every new years, I wish for the new year to be better than the old one. Every time I do this, it bombs - fast. I think this year I will ask for it to be a total shit year and have a wonderful one in which a cure will be found, I will become healthy, strong, beautiful (well, why knot? Might as well ask for the Moon, right?), start working as an HR Manager again and start riding as an EMT too! Shouldn't that work? And maybe then I will get my dream of truly getting a call from NASA who wants to invigte me to the next Moon mission.

If wishes were horses...

Since they are not, however, something tells me that this will not work. So I suppose I will hope for some miraculous event to make 2013 a damn sight better than 2012 and see what doesn't happen. And at the end of January I will be 45. Another moment to ask for the unreasonable.

At least there are some plusses to the who Mo'town experience. The staff are super-pleasant and they are great people - mostly. At night I have problems with the median - no one wants to wake me up at the right time to give me the meds I need and so I wake up later suffering. What a treat. During the day this is much less an issue. But the dilaudid has ceased working, and that is an issue of unreal proportions, as it means I will be here until the cows come home. In New Jersey, there hardly any cows TO have come home, which means I'm stuffed (as the British say).

The other plus is a woman - a nursing technician - named Alberta who is so sweet and wonderful it is like the sun shines when she enters the room. I could talk to her all day. Good thing, because there is a patient across the hall who needs to meet an untimely (or maybe timely) end. I suspect from the sound of the voice that this is one very old patient. And last night, at some hideous hour, I could hear the patient yelling "HELP!" every time a person walked by. I heard one nurse go in and ask what was needed and the patient screamed, "I need to go to the bathroom!" THe nurse told the patient that there is a catheter and no need to go anywhere. THis argument went on for some time. GGGGRRRRRRRR! A catheter just works - there is no need to feel anything or need to "go" as it just does its job without any work on the part of the patient. I've never been catheterised but I certainly understand the theory and the practise, having had patients, friends and family who have been at some time or other. It may not be fun (less for men than for women, for reasons I'm sure I needn't explain) but it is easy and makes urinating a non issue. As for defecating, there is no outside solution, but that was not the patient's issue last night.

Apparently the person had foot surgery. On Christmas. Who knew? I didn't think an elective surgery would be done on a major holiday...

(I'm in the Meade section of Mo'town, which is orthopedic. Isn't that weird? I find it so as well, but I'm just as happy not to be in the Gagnon Cardiac section, with those damn heart monitors on. I haven't any cardiac problems, so it is clearly wrong to have me there. And this week there is almost no one in this part of the hospital. I guess there wouldn't be, but still... on Christmas Eve, there were seven patients here including me. That is some level of care, let me tell you!

Still, given the opportunity, I'd rather be home than here.

The food, at least, is okay. Not great, but okay. OK is better than total shit. I never could understand my mother's constant complaining about the food... but then, she did get the "cardiac" diet as well as the diabetic diet, and so there was no sugar AND no salt. She used to gripe at us to bring sugar and salt and of course we didn't, which made her pissy as all get-out. But Ray and I were less likely to piss off the hospital than her, much to her disappointment.

I get the normal diet, although this visit I've been getting my blood sugar tested before every meal. My fingers are running out of unpricked places and my temper where this is concerned is getting short. Why this? I'm not diabetic. And all the blood tests have corroborated this, so why keep beating the dead horse?

In one post I've gone from riding the horse to beating it after it is deceased... Maybe it is time for me to crawl back into bed and hope for deliverance. Well. I'll hope for lunch - I have a much better chance of seeing that than deliverance, I suspect.

See you all soon, my faithful readers.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Saturday Six - Episode #402

As difficult as it may be to believe, this is Christmas Eve.

The week before Christmas, it hit 75° in Charleston. People were walking on the beach as if it were May. This as every business in the area reminded procrastinating shoppers that we were down to the wire in terms of picking those gifts!

I hope you’ve finished and survived the hustle and bustle and that if not, you can at least take a few moments to ponder some happy and amusing Christmas memories from your past.

That’s the topic of this week’s set. Merry Christmas to you!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. What is your favorite Christmas memory: where did you spend that Christmas and how old were you (or when was it)? Wow. One favourite Christmas memory? Can you narrow it down to one memory? I don't know if I can... Hmmm.

2. Of the Christmas decorations you put up each year, which single one means the most to you and why is it so special? Just the lights. I love them.

3. What food or drink that you only really consume during the Christmas season is your favorite and why? Hot tea, decaf, the same thing I drink all year around. I don't imbibe in alcohol (I just hate the taste) and I'm not the type to miss a drink that I love all year around except on a holiday.

4. If you could bring back any deceased relative to spend one Christmas with, who would you pick and why? My paternal grandfather. I love and miss him and need to talk a few things over with him.

5. What is the greatest single Christmas present you remember receiving and why did it mean so much to you? Oh, my... one single gift? I've loved almost every one i've gotten from my family and from my husband... Actually, there is one. Luis gave me a ring in 2001, a beautiful garnet with diamond chips on either side and white gold ring. I love it to pieces.

6. What was the worst Christmas present you ever remember receiving and what was so bad about it? Oh, my. See ANY gift from Luis' father. The man has no clue about my taste and no clue that I hate what he gives me. I'm trying to train him to buy things off of a list of items that I give him. He'd b happier if I'm happier.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Saturday Six #441

Continuing with the alphabet theme, I present a set of questions related to the letter C.

To play, just leave a comment with either your answers or the link to the post on your own blog if you choose to post the answers there! Each week, you can find other interesting blogs by checking the comments others leave.

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. C is for COLOR: Which color is most represented in your wardrobe? There are two colours most represented - burgundy and hunter green. Lately, dark purple and teal are popular, so they are catching up. For years, it has been black that was most common, but I don't want to wear black all the time.

2. C is for COMEDY: What’s your all-time favorite television comedy? There is only one: M*A*S*H. I know it is not necessarily a comedy but I am a snob and hate sitcoms.

3. C is for CHANNEL: What single TV channel do you tend to watch the most? Hmmm. There isn't any one channel that I watch primarily.

4. C is for CAT: What is your favorite kind of cat? One that is alive. I love all cats. One of my two cats died in August - only three years old - and I was heartbroken. I got another kitten a week later - both myself and the other cat, Siobhan, were depressed and the new cat has really made things better.

5. C is for COMMUTE: What’s the longest distance you drive as part of your normal routine? Now? Practically nothing. When I worked, I drove 18 miles one way, or 36 miles round trip. But it was completely worth it.

6. C is for CREDIT: How many credit cards do you own? One, with a very low ceiling. Credit cards are trouble.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Saturday Six #440

This week, all of the questions center on topics that begin with the letter B. (If you missed last week’s set, they were all A-questions, so be sure to check that out, too.)
To play, just leave a comment with either your answers or the link to the post on your own blog if you choose to post the answers there! Each week, you can find other interesting blogs by checking the comments others leave.
Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. B is for BUG: Which insect is your favorite? The stick bug - I saw one when I was really young and just loved it. It is one of the most unique insects around. I would classify a dragonfly as the second, and butterflies as the third.

2. B is for BONE: Have you ever broken a bone? If so, how many have you broken? I have only fractured one bone and never experienced a broken one. I fractured the bone behind my big toe in Palm Springs, California. Don't all serious injuries occur while on vacation? I twisted my foot when I came out of the pool at the hotel. I didn't know I'd fractured it so I wrapped it up and jammed the foot into my hiking boots and continued hiking through the deserts as I'd been doing before. It was a month after I'd returned that I went to the doctor because the foot still hurt and was still bruised and swollen. That's when I found out it was fractured. That was in 1999 - I went to a podiatrist earlier this year, and he could only see a very thin line.

3. B is for BOOGIE: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your own dancing ability? I would say an eight - the disability has diminished my better dancing.

4. B is for BAKING: What was the last pastry you remember buying? Oh, my, I don't know. It's been a long time.

5. B is for BORROW: What was the last thing you borrowed from someone else? I don't honestly recall.

6. B is for BED: What size is your bed? We have a California king waterbed. The biggest bed one can buy! We both love it.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Saturday Six #439

Posted by in Saturday Six

This week, all of the questions regard things that begin with the letter A. If it goes well, we may spend the following 25 weeks with the alphabetical theme, but we’ll definitely be continuing with the random nature of questions.

To play, just leave a comment with either your answers or the link to the post on your own blog if you choose to post the answers there! Each week, you can find other interesting blogs by checking the comments others leave.

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. A is for APPLE: What Apple Computer product are you most likely to buy or most pleased that you have purchased? I have an iPad II, a Christmas gift from my husband. I love it to distraction! It is just delightful.

2. A is for ANATOMY: What part of your body do you feel is your best feature? Um, that I feel is my best feature? I'm harder on myself than anyone. But others compliment me on my smile, so I guess that is it.

3. A is for ACADEMICS: What single class gave you the most trouble in school? Oh, that is too easy. Mathematics. Always.

4. A is for ACE: What card game is your favorite? My father is teaching me Texas Hold 'Em. So that is it at the moment.

5. A is for AUTOMOBILE: What car or vehicle are you most likely to buy as your next ride? An Acura, just like my current vehicle. I love my Acura, though, even though it is 11 years old. They haven't made this body type in years, and I love it too much to trade it in right now.

6. A is for ARGUMENT: What is the last thing you remembered arguing about? Hmmm... the kitten - I usually stick up for her because she is a kitten, only 17 weeks old, but Luis is still bent out of shape because she accidentally scratches him. This behaviour will end with maturity, but she is still very young.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Saturday Six #442

Posted by in Saturday Six

This week, we’re continuing the alphabetical theme with the letter D.

To play, just leave a comment with either your answers or the link to the post on your own blog if you choose to post the answers there! Each week, you can find other interesting blogs by checking the comments others leave.

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. D is for DAY: Which day of the week would you most like to have two of every week? I know almost everyone would say Saturday, but I always loved Monday the most when I was working. Now that I'm retired, every day is the same, so it is hard to name one that I'd like doubled. In fact, I can't think of one.

2. D is for DRAMA: What’s your all-time favorite television drama? Oh, my... um... well... I guess it would still be CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. There are many dramas I like, but I've been very attached to this one for the many seasons it has aired.

3. D is for DOG: What breed of dog that you’ve never owned would you most like to? I've never owned a dog. I suppose if I did, I would get a miniature dachshund. But I'm a cat owner, so it is unlikely I'll get a dog.

4. D is for DRINK: What single drink do you drink most often? Water with Crystal Light flavours, mostly raspberry lemonade.

5. D is for DESSERT: What is your single favorite dessert? Fresh berries in cream -- mmmmmm!

6. D is for DIME: What is the last thing you remember being able to buy for a 10¢ or less? Um... um... a gumball? It's been a long, long time since I've seen a 10¢ dispenser of any kind!

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Hell's Kitchen 2012

July 2012

Oh, yes, it is that time of the year: the weather is hot, thunderstorms (with hail - woohoo!) abound (a phenomenon that I love and revel in), people have cookouts...

...and a slew of new victims find themselves in Hell's Kitchen.

Now, this is Season TEN of this show. I have to believe that all of these contestants have seen the show - at least one season! I'd be shocked if they hadn't. And yet they come to the show and consistently make the same errors that all the "victims" make. And this group... yikes... they are by far the most non-cohesive, ego-driven, moronic group there is. The only cook I find at all likeable is Patrick and now he is beginning to run into issues. I'm not sure what is happening with him. He started out as the potential leader in the blue kitchen, but last week and this week he is having problems.

The women... well, they really give all women a bad name. They are bickering, nasty, bitchy, sneaky and catty. The large woman, Kimmie, was best friends with Robyn. Now they are fighting to the point where it looks as though they will come to fisticuffs. Then there is Tiffany... she is a total nutter. She seems normal enough, but then the second personality who is much like...

16 September 2012
This is as far as I'd gottenwith this particular posting. Luis and Ray and I honestly thought we weren't going to find anyone acceptable for the position that Chef Ramsey had. By the time we were down to five candidates left, we were rooting for Dana. By the time we were down to Justin and Christina, we were either unsure or went for Christina. (Well, Luis and I did.) Christina won. We were happy, and we did feel for Justin - he was crushed that he didn't get it.

We were all unhappy with Clemenza and how he did [not] work for Justin - he unfortunately chose Barbie (a terrible choice) and was stuck with Clemenza, whom no one wanted. He might have been better off and the first choice had he not had those two. But we won't know, and for now, I'd think Christina won it on her own merits, not because of the team she had. (Although Dana certainly was not a good choice - she argued with Christina even after the chef that works for Chef Ramsey told her to do what she was told!)

And then there was Master Chef...

We were completely delighted that Christine won! YAY!

For Love of Coldplay

By all rights, I should call this "For Love of Music", but I'm listening to Coldplay, and so they get the kudos at this moment. At this very moment, I am listening to the album A Rush of Blood to the Head, the song is Track 2, God Put a Smile on Your Face. I smile more than anything else, big, happy, genuine smiles, and people respond so well to this. I don't use it as a ploy often - it just works out that most things in life make me happy.

Someone the other day (well, maybe two weeks ago) flirted with me endlessly and what can make anyone glow like that? I love that man, flirting or not. It was flattering and fun and I loved it. I don't often get that attention from others than Luis - and Luis dishes it so much that I can honestly say I am not feeling deprived - but there is still something sweet and wonderful to hear it from another. And this comes from someone I truly feel great affection for, so that just makes it that much better. And he knows he can say anything to me and I'll never take offense. I'm very hard to offend.

Today I feel great... I don't know why, considering the multitude of health issues I have, but some days I just operate on a natural high and don't come down. I mean, sure, I miss things - I miss Baltusrol so much, it is an ache in my chest and leaves a shadow in my eyes that will never go away. But at the same time, I look at my images of it and I recall all the great times I had there and I feel so good, I could cry from joy. It was mine to love and cherish for five and a half years.

But there is a lot in life to feel good about. I make my cleaning ladies happy. Go figure, but I do. I speak to them when home (which is more often than not, although I make sure to keep out of their way for the most part, of course; I don't want them to feel like I'm looking over them or keeping tabs on them. But then once in a while, there is something to show them or the lead woman. I was showing her the solar panels and system (it run our electric and hot water heater) and she was very interested. Then the chicken-kitty, Sorcha, came up the steps to see me, and I introduced her to the cat. She loved it. They see Siobhan often enough, but she's not afraid of anyone.

Now I'm on Green Eyes, and Luis is home, so I'm singing it to him. He has dark green eyes and I think of him anytime I play this song.

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand
And I came here to talk
I hope you understand
The green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
And how could, anybody, deny you
I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter now I met you
And honey you should know
That I could never go on without you
Green eyes

Honey you are the sea
Upon which I float
And I came here to talk
I think you should know

The green eyes, you're the one that I wanted to find
And anyone who tried to deny you, must be out of their mind
Because I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter since I met you
Honey you should know
That I could never go on without you
Green eyes, green eyes
Oh oh oh oh

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand

It's true, he is my rock. I love the man more than he will ever know, no matter how often I tell him, show him, love him. He is my soul mate. I used to think that there was no such thing, but I've come to realise how much this man means to me. He knows it, too - at least to a high degree. I post images of him, I spend every night curled up with him. And we usually eat together, unless he comes home too late (I'm on a more rigid eating schedule, to take my meds. Not great times, but it is the life I'm getting accustomed to).

I'm almost on A Rush of Blood to the Head, a song that puts me in mind of USII, a company once prosperous and family-owned but it was not that way once I got there (wait, that doesn't sound right... it had nothing to do with my arrival!). For some years - I think ten or twelve - it was bought by a company in Winston-Salem, South Carolina. The company, run by an idiot of the -nth degree, was slowly run into the ground, bought by Steri-Cycle in late 2005 (after I left), and closed. But USII did all the damage. They laid me off in early 2005, the day I returned from a severe back injury sustained on their property when a thick layer of ice covered the parking lot. I slipped, fell, right onto my lower back, injured a disc (which is still screwed up) and they had the balls - the BRASS BALLS - to lay me off a day after I returned. Cindy and Jon O'Neill did it (although it was painfully obvious that John was not okay with this). We had lunch a couple of times after this and he admitted as much. He returned to American Cyanamid (which became another drug company that is on Route 10 and I cannot recall the name, although I know exactly where it is).

Fun memories...

Not that I didn't have plenty of good times there as well. I was just as nice and vicious there as anywhere. I know Wayne still - still - hates me for changing his last review to an honest one, instead of a glowing one that gave no criticism (no one is THAT good - and no one should have a job with no goals!). Can you imagine that? That is a talent for holding a grudge. That was not my fault. It was another's fault. False reviews are just so wrong. So wrong.

I would never allow that. And Kevin would agree that for the most part, I wrote reviews with excellence and accuracy. And I stuck to my guns with every fiber of my being when I was right.

I may not have done everything perfectly and I certainly had my flaws. But I did many things right. Ah, well. No regrets - not for me. (OK, one or two... but I prefer to see my time as a joyous adventure. It was!)

Play on, Chris Martin and Coldplay!

Part Four of 88 Questions

Today we ripped off a blogger named ChibiNatsumi21 from the blog  The Unfulfiller of Expectation. It’s 88 questions, we will do it in parts. She does not state where she found the memeBut, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing

69. Song you're thinking of right now? I'm thinking of tons of music at any given time. Right now? Coldplay's Don't Panic.

70. Want someone back in your life? Yes.

71. Will tomorrow be better than today? Probably the same.

72. What's the color of the underwear you are wearing? I'm not. I never do.

73. Who was the first best friend that you ever had? Harry Rainbow.

74. How do you react when someone disappoints you? It really depends on the situation and the person. Do you react the same to that? I certainly hope not.

75. Is there anyone who understands your sexuality? Well, yes, a huge percentage of the world does.

76. Are you a naturally happy person? Or is your happiness forced? No, I'm naturally a happy person. That doesn't mean there aren't ANY times that I need to force happiness. It means that my default state is happy.

77. Is there anyone you wish would fall in love with you? He is in love with me. I'm very happy with him!

78. What do you wear when you sleep? My skin. The same outfit I was born with!

79. Are you obsessed with something right now? Almost always. Usually - but no one at this moment other than the usual handful of actors whom it would be nice to have one night with for the fun.

80. The first person you loved is? My parents.

81. Something terrible happened with you? Sure. You can't get to the age of 44 without having had something[s] bad happen.

82. You are locked up with your celebrity crush for days, what happens? Hopefully some really amazing sex!

83. If you could wish something, what would it be? Oh, the first would be to be normal, healthy. I'd like to dump the Muscular Dystrophy.
84. Ever try to force someone to do something? Sure. Who hasn't?

85. When you are alone, what do you think about? All kinds of things, although thinking can be done anytime, not just when alone. The only person who can easily read what I'm thinking at any given time is Luis.

86. How was your first sex? It was great. So was he.

87. What's your favorite music genre? Alternative.

88. Are you happy I only wrote 88 questions? You could write 200, I'd still be happy.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sharks and the Japanese

Ray was very upset after watching a show about sharks. The main concept of the show was about tagging sharks off the Horn of Good Plenty, slightly south of Cape Town. There's a ship with special rigging that allows the scientists to lift the sharks in a Reeves-like device. They put a hose into the mouth of the shark that allows it to get the water it needs to stay oxygenated. They tag the dorsal fin with a tiny device that allows them to track the sharks all over: feeding areas, "mating grounds", birthing areas, etc.. They really want to know everything about sharks.

Unfortunately, part of the show got into the nations that hunt sharks for varying reasons, and there was a 20 second bit that showed the Japanese doing something particularly cruel to sharks. He wouldn't tell me and I didn't want to know. And if any of you, my dear readers, know what it is that is done to sharks, DON'T tell me! I hate hearing about cruelty to animals. I can't handle it. I know exactly how Ray feels. I have seen upsetting things, such as the Japanese and what they do to dolphins when hunting tuna and of course the depredations of whale hunting - done by the Japanese (what the hell is it with them and cruelty to animals?!), who are running around in a ship that is meant to slay and chop up whales but has the appearance of a science vessel and under that guise, patrols the waters of South Africa, hunting whales. Disgusting. Whale hunting is illegal everywhere and these despicable people are killing them anyway. There is nothing that can't be made without killing whales.

It makes me sick.

Whatever they are doing to the sharks, however, is far worse than what they do to sharks... I really, really don't want to know at all what they are doing to them. Other than to say I hope someone does to the hunters the same thing the hunters do to the sharks. That'd be a hell of a learning lesson. But it seems unlikely that this will happen.

This is proof... that people suck.