Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I am NOT an only child!!

I just act like one.

I was the youngest and only girl; hence, I was worse than an only child. I was more spoiled than lunchmeat left on a picnic bench in 100 degree heat.

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.
At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.
When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.
Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.
You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

Oil reserves to be released

This was just posted on The Wall Street Journal On-Line. You need a subscription to view so I'll paste a bit of the article.

"WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said Wednesday the Bush administration has decided to release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina.

'In a word. It is going to be done,' Mr. Bodman said during a CNBC interview."

This, obviously, is in response to Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath. It's bad enough the US is about to face one of the worst energy crises since the 1970's. Katrina rubbed salt into the wound.

However, don't expect gas or heating oil prices to subside anytime soon. The release seems more like a Band-Aid (tm) on a gaping wound over a compound fracture.

That's it!

My co-worker gave me an idea. I'm setting up an oil drill in my backyard!

Heck, if Jed Clampett struck it rich, why not me??

Ha! Take that you evil oil companies!

History is not just in Center City

At one point, this past Saturday, before the skies opened up, we decided to go on a nature walk. And oh me oh my, we have a park in the NE - Pennypack Park! I've lived in the city for over three decades and I have never voluntarily walked through Pennypack (the Northeast uses it for walk-a-thons. Don't know if that still happens). So this was a first for me.

It was a nice little walk; it didn't last long. The skies were looking a bit threatening. The baby was walking on each...and...every...leaf...on...the...ground. I could tell she wasn't as "in to it" as Geo and I. I mean, she can sprint after a squirrel with the best of them, but not this particular morning.

Geo wanted to stop at the Pennypack Environmental Center to enter some photos he had taken of the park in some photography contest. When we got there, it was closed.


As we were leaving, I took note of this old house that was being renovated. I am talking seriously Veree Houseold. It looked like late 18th century old. Geo told me the last time he was there [at the park], he talked to one of the park guides about it. It belonged to Robert Veree; hence, the name of the house is "Veree House". It is a true historic site! It was raided by British troops during the Revolutionary War. The Fairmont Park Commission is renovating the house and, after renovation, opening it to the public.

I stood there dumbfounded. The guy from Baltimore knew more than the gal from the Northeast.

I thought of the possible route the British soldiers took to get to Veree House. They could have gone up the Delaware River to the opening of Pennypack Creek (which could have possibly resembled more of another river back in the 1700's). They would have sailed or rowed through the park and then spotted the house or one of the house's occupants. Or they could have just marched on up the dirt pathway through the woods that ran right in front of the house. That dirt path is now known as Veree Road. It wasn't all that inconceivable.

"You mean Veree Road is actually named after a person?" I felt like a total doofus. And I claim to be a history buff.

As per the park guide, the area was known for many years as Vereeville. When Geo asked where exactly Vereeville was, the guide said, "You're standing on it."

Vereeville was the land owned by Robert Veree and it now makes up a chunk of Pennypack Park and the neighborhood of Pine Valley. I was taken aback. History does that to me.

When someone asks me about the history of Philadelphia, I normally think of Center City and its many historical sites. Now I realize that Philadephia's rich treasure trove of history extends beyond the boundaries of our city's grid. And it's in the direction of the Northeast.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So much for Harvard

The baby is watching Dora while I run the vacuum. In the scene, Dora has to get through the Number Pyramid. She has been told she needs to find the number between two and four.

"I need your help" is Dora's famous tagline. Does this kid EVER do anything on her own?

As I vacuum, I shout over the noise, "Can you tell mommy what number is between two and four?"

"Three!" she yells with arms raised in the air

"Good girl! You're right!"

Now I'm yelling to Geo who is in the back bedroom on his laptop (you'd think by this point I would've shut off the vacuum)

"Hey, babe! Did you hear our genius? She's ivy league bound!" Turning to the baby, "Sweetie, what number is between six and eight?"

She looked at me with a big smile and said, "Round like a circle!"

Then she stuck her Lego bucket on her head and shouted "Ta-Dah!"

*heavy sigh*

Oh well, tuition payments are heck anyway at those over-rated ivy league schools.

My daughter's newest fave: Charlie and Lola

Charlie and Lola
It a lovely little short cartoon on the Disney Channel. It features the lives of a big brother, Charlie, and his little sister, Lola. The cartoon is set in England (at least I am assuming so since they speak with the British accent). The cartoons look hand drawn and the stories are, for lack of a better word, cute.

The part I like is that my daughter now pronounces "Lola" with a slight British accent.

I love it!

Monday, August 29, 2005

I so love commuting in the rain

O.K., folks. Let's get through this little driving lesson quickly, shall we?


There, now wasn't that easy?

Missing Monday - Kimberly Arrington since 10/30/98

Kimberly Arrington
Kimberly Arrington went missing on October 30, 1998 (aka Mischief Night). She was last seen in a parking lot of a pharmacy in Montgomery, AL. She has the nicknames of Kim and Kiwi.

Age enhanced picture of Kimberly Arrington

Anyone with information on Kimberly's whereabouts are to contact their local FBI Office. If she is spotted outside the US, please contact the US Embassy or Consulate.

Another site of interest in reference to Kimberly's and other cases: Missing Black Kids

Say a prayer for those in Katrina's path

Katrina and her fury is hammering the Louisana and surrounding Gulf of Mexico coast. I know this is not a news flash.

As you watch the news, get your Internet updates, and/or listen to the radio, please remember the victims of this disaster in the making.

Whether it be a prayer, a moment of silence, a material donation, or giving to the Red Cross, just remember how lucky you are right now and how unlucky someone else may be.

Practical Advice 101

For those of you who weren't aware, it was extremely foggy this morning. We are talking eerie, rolling through, looking for the ghost pirate ship fog. And it was unusually quiet in my neighborhood. It was classic.

So on the PA Turnpike, between Fort Washington and Norristown heading westbound, there is this big ole flashing board that gives updated road conditions and information. I saw something flashing in the distance but couldn't make it out clearly. I was practically on top of the stupid thing when I saw the message:



Really? Fog? Wow! What a friggin news flash.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Our backyard

Our backyard before Geo attacked with the weedwacker and weed death.

Welcome to the Jungle
Our backyard for now

The hills are alive ...
What I would like to do with a little help from napalm

Look ... no grass

Friday, August 26, 2005

Willow Grove is gone. What about the 111th?

Good news is so short lived here in the Philadelphia area. There's the Eagles, Smarty Jones, and now Willow Grove.

A Federal judge ruled the Pentagon has no authority over the National Guard. Hooray! Willow Grove is saved! The 111th Fighter Wing keeps their home.

The Pentagon is shutting down the base anyway. It's a joint reserve base; hence, the 111th will be homeless.


Great ... now what?

Willow Grove has been saved for now

It looks like the base is off the BRAC list for now. Willow Grove got a much needed reprieve in the form of a Federal judge.

I take the quote from the

"As the commission began debating a huge shakeup of the Air National Guard, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled that the Pentagon lacks the authority to close an Air National Guard unit in the state without the governor's approval. The judge declared the decision to close that state's unit "null and void."

In a case that could affect National Guard units nationwide, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said the Pentagon wrongly proposed trimming the state's Air National Guard without his consent. Justice Department lawyers argued that the Base Realignment and Closure Act supersedes a federal law requiring gubernatorial consent.

The part of the Defense Department report "that recommends deactivation of the 111th Fighter Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard is null and void," Judge John R. Padova ruled. It wasn't immediately clear what impact that would have on the commission's deliberations."

Let's just hope the Pentagon doesn't get to ticked at this. The Pentagon may not have authority over the National Guard but they do over the military reserves. It's name is Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB Willow Grove). They could very well say "Well, let's just move the 111th to the next closest full-blown National Guard base." Then Willow Grove will be back on the chopping block.

Don't ask me, I just work here

Lord knows I've used that line about a million times in every job I have had in my life.

And it's true. I'm not the CEO nor am I the Grand Poobah! I don't write the rules or set the prices. If you wish to yell at anyone, it's the one who drives around in the Jaguar or Mercedes or limo and is the majority shareholder. That's the person who needs to get a good swift kick in the backside each time we realize the cost of "getting by" has become ridiculous. It's not the poor clerk who has to work two or three minimum wage crap jobs just to afford the little things in life like food, a roof over their head, and with whatever is left, clothes. And it's not the person who answers the phone who needs to be reminded of how evil the company they represent truly is. It's not their fault.

So I ask you to remember this the next time you go to the gas station or shop the food store or call the bank etc. and you want to voice how sick you are of paying ludicrous prices or fees. Don't berate the innocent victim behind the counter. They're just as ticked as you.

I'm a doof

I went to the bank yesterday. Made a complete doof of myself at the drive-thru.

You'd think I would have remembered to deposit my paycheck (which is still sitting on my desk here at work).


Thursday, August 25, 2005

At least I can still make'm laugh

I had to get to the bank today. I've been putting off for days. I had to deposit some checks including my gracious $9.00 check for a days suffering at the hands of the Philadelphia court system.

I drive up to the bank and as I am turning the corner my tire scrapes the curb. This is why I can not have nice rims on my car. They will look like crap within the first 100 miles. As I hear vulcanized rubber on cement, I loudly blurt out "Bullocks!"

Did I forget to mention I was turning into the drive-through?

And those speakers? At my bank, they're two-way.

I pull up to the window to the sound of laughter. I looked up in the window and saw three tellers staring back at me with big ole grins on their faces. After I completed my transaction, I checked to make sure my tire was nowhere near the curb and drove away.

I swear I could still hear those employess giggling even after I left.

Hawaii to cap gas prices at the pump

Yeah, it sounds like a great idea. Show those greedy little people at the oil companies who's boss. Cap the gas price.

But it's not.

On the short term, of course it looks great. It eases the pain at the pump. But that's it. It only eases the pain in one area. It also forces oil companies to set their prices. If an oil company doesn't like what is in front of them, they don't have to supply it. No one said they had to play by the new rules. Then the pump runs dry. End result in the long term is shortages and long waiting lines.

Besides, other commodities will still go up in price. Hawaii has always had to pay top premium for what they consume. Some of that is due to their remoteness and the expense of importing; some of that is due to companies taking advantage of the situation. It's a frustrating reality. I can understand their wanting to take control but focusing on one problem without taking into account overall matters won't benefit anyone.

You can't put a lid on a portion of the free market and expect all else to remain the same.

Get ready for an expensive winter

Think things at the pump are bad? Just wait until you get your heating bills. Once Old Man Winter gets around to paying Philly his annual visit, we'll be paying dearly.

It's the classic supply and demand scenerio. Crude oil is going up thanks to many factors. The latest is our off-the-chart hurricane season. Tropical Storm Katrina is threatening off-shore oil platforms. Threats mean production problems. Problems mean possible shortages. Shortages mean, you guessed it, higher prices per barrel.

And the fun doesn't stop there! China and India are big players now in the supply/demand market. It's not just crude they are using as much as the US. Natural gas is another resource they are using to no end. So for those of you that are chained to PGW and saying "natty-natty-boo-boo" to your neighbors with oil heat, wait until you get your first real winter bill.

Then everything else falls into line. Gas goes up, heat goes up, food goes up, etc. Looking at my paycheck ... well, why didn't it go up? Oh yeah! Taxes go up, insurance goes up, wages stay the same. Ergo, less for us to spend at the local video store for snow days.

There is no escaping it. We are going to get slammed this winter. And lord help us if it's a deep freeze.

See? This is what happens when I get a subscription to I become a regular ray of sunshine.

Wall Street Journal and me

Wall Street Journal On-Line
I finally did it. I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal On-Line edition.

I opted out of getting the paper edition for a multitude of reasons. For one, I never have time to sit and read at my own leisure. Each time I try, I have a toddler who pulls a "grab and run". After the chase, the paper is mauled beyond belief; hence, I wasted a $1. If I commuted on the train daily, that would be a different story. If a toddler does the "grab and run" there, that child's parent / guardian and I would be having some serious words. Secondly, since I never have time to sit and read, papers will stack. Stacks lead to clutter. I hate clutter. I used to get the Inquirer on the weekends. Mondays because "ditch the clutter" day. If I had a fireplace, again, that's a different story. The Inquirer would then become synonymous with kindling. That Third is the natural resource issue. I do recycle paper (practically the only thing a person recycles in Philly). I would recycle plastic if the dumbasses in City Hall would put a plan in action - but that's another blog topic for another day. Anyway, even with recycling paper, I feel guilty getting a paper and not reading it cover to cover. So, to alleviate my guilty conscience, I opt to read on-line.

With all that being said, I will be even more engrossed in business news. Hey, for me, that's totally rad bananas (thank you FTB for that new catch phrase)!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Orlando NTC is forever gone and New London Sub-Base is spared


Two years ago, Geo and I went on vacation to Orlando with friends. We knew it was going to be our last "just us" vacation for a while. He wanted to show me the Orlando Naval Training Center where he and some friends of mine were once stationed back in the late 80's. It's where all the new navy seamen went for boot camp. "This place is huge!" He told me about the the Orange Blossom Trail (a.k.a. the OBT). He said the base commander was always telling the young recruits to stay away from the OBT because it's filled with hookers and booze and tattoo parlors. Dumbass. These are sailors! Hello? That's their life! So we drove from Kissimee to downtown Orlando. We drove around for fifteen minutes in circles. He kept muttering different street names and looking for landmarks. "I swear the base gate was here!" he kept saying over and over. We drove down a dark street in what looked like a new neighborhood development. He pulled out his trusty map and looked at the street signs. His face went blank. "Well," I asked, "where is it?" He looked around at the staked off sand dunes and said, "We're here."

There was no evidence a base ever existed.

Orlando NTC was a relatively new base (commissioned in 1968) and was ordered to be closed by the 1993 BRAC commission. The last class graduated from the NTC on December 17, 1998. The base was around for only thirty years. Orlando has been utilizing the 1,100 acres that NTC once occupied to boost the local economy.

Feeling depressed, he said, "Well, at least I can take you to the OBT. That place is crawling with sleaze." He kept mentioning two particular bars he haunted back in the day. One had a plane looking like it crashed into the wall. We drove down to OBT and made a left turn. Ever been to a ghost town? Almost every building down the trail was either boarded up or closed. We saw at best two topless bars, one tattoo parlor, and a few corner bars. Geo's face told me everything. This was not what he was expecting to see. We did find his one haunt - the one with the plane. The building was there but the establishment was now defunct. It looked like a car wash was being built in what was the parking lot. We drove for about five miles before we found signs of civilization again.

"Let's just go." he said in disgust.

I felt bad for him. He was in the military for ten years. Almost every base he was ever on was now closed and converted to business centers. The only base still alive was the submarine base in Groton / New London, CT. A whole decade of his existence was being erased one closure at a time.


I read about the 2005 BRAC recommendations when they came out back in May. I kind of knew NAS Willow Grove was not going to be spared this time around. It is a lot of land and developers are just chomping at the bit. I also figured the state was going to fight like a cornored badger to keep it open. I also noticed the New London base was slated for the chop block. Geo couldn't believe it. "Christ. Well, there goes my whole [expletive] military career." I feared the worse with that closing. New London / Groton was hurting economically. Closing the base would cripple the local economy to the point of life support. Connecticut doesn't have much but at least they had the sub base.

I was actually elated to hear the sub base was going to stay open. The base-closing review board now considers it strategically vital in defending our country. I could feel the breeze from the collective "Whew" as everyone let go of the breath they had been holding since May in New London / Groton.

I only hope our area may be so lucky.

The Lighter Side of Rising Gas Cost

I pulled into the Sunoco this morning after dropping off the baby at school. As I got out of the car, I looked at the prices and said, half to myself, half out loud, "Hmmm, pay mortgage or fill the tank?" I heard a few snickers from other motorists. One who wasn't chuckling was filling their Escalade. Ouch.

It is no joke. Fuel for our cars, our heating, and other transportation is going through the roof. That is not a laughing matter. Yet everyone still has smiles on their faces behind the wheel.

The scary part is we Americans are driving more than ever. We are sacrificing other daily living costs to keep our tanks filled to the brim. Brown bagging lunches, eating at home rather than out (or just cooking as opposed to take out), doing one stop shopping (i.e., Wal-Mart) for our consumables, watching DVDs instead of driving to the theatre, etc. The list can continue indefinitely with what we will do. Is this why no one is really screaming about the rising cost?

The Washington Post has an amusing article in reference to the ever growing price of gasoline here in America.

Another good reference in the world of petroleum is here: The Official Energy Statistics from the US Government. If you look at the sidebar on the right, there is a link to Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Updates.

He's on the road again

Geo, my loving other half, has yet another new employer. I already blogged about his parting of ways with the last bozo company. Thankfully, he is in an industry that is always looking for new hires. That has its good points (constant pool of companies hiring) and its bad points (constant pool of companies hiring).

Good thing about the newest job is he is home everyday. For a trucker with a family, that's Heaven. And he is home before me so he has dinner ready. In all fairness, I do the dishes.

My gosh. It all seems so ... normal. Yikes!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dammit! Forgot the cell phone

How is it fifteen years ago, when I purchased my first cell phone, I could leave it at home or in the car and not go into a panic? I would actually leave it home on purpose so as not be tempted to use it. Remember fifteen years ago when airtime was like $1 a minute or something ludicrous like that? Hell, you were better off using a payphone.

So, I left the stupid thing on the breakfast counter this morning and discovered it not on me ten miles into the journey. Forget turning back that far into the drive.

And now I'm having visions of being stuck in a ditch with nothing more than windshield washer fluid to sustain me until rescue dogs track down my location.

Darn my mom and her envisioning me all the time in a ditch if I don't call her! Now I got myself in that ditch!

For the love of pickled beets, I live in friggin Philadelphia! We have WaWa's every thirty feet and pizza shops next door to each! It's not like I live in the darn Yukon. But oh no, I'm doomed, doomed, doomed I tell ya without my cell!

A Tagless Musical MeMe Post

I've seen this post just about everywhere. It's a music MeMe.

The Rules:

List five songs that you are currently digging - it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words...or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions and the five songs (with artist) in your blog. Then tag five people to see what they're listening to.


Five Songs I am Currently Digging

1. Zardo Zap performed by the Wiggles - Should this be a shock to anyone out there with a toddler? Catchy little tune with a cute dance number. I guess I'm not really digging this song as much as it is an earworm. O.K., so it's an earworm I dig. Sheesh.

2. Please Forgive Me performed by David Gray - My song to Geo. He is my true north.

3. It's A Miracle (1974) performed by Barry Manilow - Heard this little gem from the 70's on the way into work this morning on Sirius. Scary part is I knew all the words. Even scarier - I was singing. If you don't think that's scary, tell the poor guy who was in the car next to me who just might need a therapy session after witnessing that "true blue spectacle".

4. You and Me Against the World performed by Helen Reddy - My song for my baby. I think all parents want to dedicate this one to their children (especially mommys to daughters). It makes me cry not because it's sappy but because it's true.

5. Grave Digger performed by Dave Matthews - Such a haunting song. We all have this beautiful gift called life. In death, we become a grave marker with a date. It's the storytellers and their words that let us live forever.

O.K., your turn

Monday, August 22, 2005

Missing Monday - Cherryl Lamont Pearson since 01/05/02

Cherryl Lamont Pearson
Cherryl Lamont Pearson of TN was last seen by friends on 01/05/02 at approx 1AM. Her vehicle was later located at an apartment complex near her residence on 01/07/02. She suffers from extreme diabetes and must take medication regularly. She works as a pediatrician in Memphis TN.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Cherryl, please contact your local FBI office. If she is sighted outside of the US, please contact the nearest US Embassy or consulate.

We Rode the Ducks and walked through history

Yes, we had Tourist Day on Friday. Going to Center City this time was so different from the Friday prior. It was refreshing to just walk around like every other tourist in the city and pretend I didn't come from Philly. I let the city be our guide.

That was one the best decisions I have made all year.

First, after parking the family jalopy, we had to Ride the Ducks! All these years of hearing those annoying "quackers" made me say, "O.K., it's time for the ultimate in tourist cheese." Bust on those quacking tourists if you will, it was worth it! Not only did we have someone else tell our guest about all the history flourishing in Center City, but we also got to be public spectacles and it was EXPECTED! How cool is that? We rode down South Street where a bunch of people cruising in an amphibious vehicle making duck noises was actually quite normal in comparison to some of the surroundings. And the yummy smells coming from Jim's Steaks was positively intoxicating! Geo was going crazy - "Mmmm, fried onions!" Of course, we drove past the obligatory Philly historic hotspots (i.e, Elfreth's Alley, Betsy's home, Ben's grave, etc.) We ignored the rain which fell and took in the whole tourist scene. Getting around Center City isn't so bad ... when someone else is driving.

Call me a bad Philadelphian but there were a few sites we drove by I never even knew existed. One was the Irish Memorial Monument located at Front and Chestnut, Penn's Landing. The large bronze piece not only memorializes the thousands of men, women, and children who died of starvation between 1845 and 1850, but it also honors those who braved poverty and loathing to start a new life here in America. Surrounding the memorial is stone that actually came from Ireland. I looked at it as one of those "many other things" that makes our city so alive with history and teeming with culture.

Another little tidbit of Philly history I never knew was the story behind the stones along Dock Street. All of central Philly is laid out in grid pattern except for this street which winds through the Society Hill district. Dock Street was actually a creek that drained into the river back in William Penn's days. Commerce and residents used the creek as a disposal ditch for waste. After years of pollutants and human sewage being thrown in the creek, it became stagnant and disease ridden. Rumor has it that the yellowfever epidemic originated from the creek's filthy condition. So Ben Franklin got an idea. He decided to fill the creek with discarded stones from ships found along the Delaware River. The stones filled in the creek, the creek became a street, and those same stones are still used today. Yes, those evil cobblestones that play heck on the front end of many cars is actually the original ballast material discarded hundreds of years ago.

As I mentioned, and as some of you may already know, Ride the Ducks tours are in amphibious vehicles. When our vehicle got to the ramp underneath the Ben Franklin bridge, we went right into the Delaware River and toured the waterfront up close and personal for about ten or so minutes (I'm guessing ... I didn't time it). It was interesting to see what was on the river side of the piers along I-95 without the use of a rental boat.

Though we didn't go too far downriver, we did see in the distance the smokestacks of the SS United States. That ancient cruise ship used to always give me the hoo-boo-jeebees. I'm not to keen on large behemoth objects in vast amounts of water. Then I read the history of the SS United States. My perspective took a different view. I read how it has been sitting there since the 60's basically rotting away. I felt sad. Now, thanks to the Duck tour, I have found out that the ship was recently purchased by and will be back on the seas in about a decade.

Out of the river and back on dry land, we passed a few more historic pinpoints and we wound up back to start at Independence Hall. We kept our quackers (the baby had fun with that all over Center City) and gave thanks to our lovely driver, Veronica.

I highly, highly recommend to anyone who may found themselves with guests from out of town to treat them to a Ride the Ducks tour. In my opinion, you will not regret it.

Since it was only 2:30, we figured on walking around a bit more before heading home. From the Duck launch we made our way down to South Street We looked at a few shops, ate some lunch, and walked even more. South Street didn't hold our interest so we walked on down to the river. From the river, we walked across the I-95 Dock Street bridge into Society Hill. We wandered on through back to the historic district. As we strolled up to Independence hall, the clock shown 5:30. Holy chowder! With the esception of lunch, we had walked for over three hours. We were exhausted except for the two year old - she still had energy to burn. We slowly made our way back to the parking garage which housed our auto and headed on back to the Northeast.

It was fun to play tourist. I learned a lot about a city of which I claim to be a resident my entire life. It was an experience that I urge all Philadelphians, who think they know their own hometown, to do. You might surprise yourself in what you really don't know.

The pictures are courtesy of my camera (except for South Street - that's Geo's SLR).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Now, LaToyia may Rest In Peace

It seems LaToyia Figueroa's remains have been found. An arrest in connection with her death has been made. One more Philly case of a missing person can now be closed off the books.

No one wants this kind of a conclusion. Everyone wants a Disney ending. All hoped and prayed the young woman would be found alive. Realists knew, more than likely, that would not be the case.

As heartbreaking and as horrible as this story has come to a close, we must all remember one thing - she was found. Her family can lay her to rest.

Sometime during your day, I ask everyone to not only give a moment of silence in LaToyia's memory, but to also pause for those whose families still have no end in sight for their missing loved ones.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Break

It seems like an August trend with me. Fridays are "no work" days. It doesn't bother me but I think my company might get cranky if I do this again next week. Sheesh, you'd think I work or something.

We, meaning Geo and I, have our "nephew" here from Baltimore. Today will be the Philly tourist thing.

WIll blog later on the details.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

And you thought just Super Sizing was bad?

U.S researchers are now reporting that children who eat french fries at a very young age have a higher chance as having breast cancer in their adult life.

Terrific! Now the disgruntled American public have another reason to run Ronald McDonald out of town. First, he was making them overweight. Now he's killing them ... literally!

Jury Duty Hell - Part. 4

Jury duty was zapping the life out of me. That, and a headcold with a wicked disposition. I couldn't stand the waiting in mind-numbing boredom any longer. I decided to take up new residence on the floor in the back of the court room and passed out. It was a blank sleep. No dreams. No colors. No nothing.

Suddenly, my body jerked out of sleepmode. That creepy feeling of "oh crap I over slept and now I am late for work" wisked through me like ice. I shot up and stared wide eyed all around me. The "school" group looked at me. They smiled and said, "Don't worry. We know you're 26. If they call you, we'll wake you up." I got up and walked over to the cooler. I didn't feel to reassured that I would get a wake-up call. I poured yet another itty bitty cone cup of water. I looked around the back of the room and noticed I had started a trend. There was about five other people all curled up in fetal positions, snoozing, waiting to be released. I smiled. I never saw myself as a trend setter. Go figure. No sooner did I take a sip of water than did the court room door open and I heard "Juror 26". The group gave a few "there ya go" and a couple of "just in time"s. I smiled sheepishly. I must have looked wretched by now. I grabbed my gear and walked across the hall to the "other" room.

The interview was quite painless. They asked me a few questions about my knowledge of cardio whatever and past malpractice lawsuits of which I was involved. I told them over and over I had a two year old and no, I had no one to watch her, and yes, it would be a major hardship. I was informed again the trial was going to take approximately two weeks. I chuckled and said I could not do it. No way. I must have sounded like David Spade with the various forms of "no" I was throwing around. I didn't mean to sound sarcastic. I realized the defendants, the prosecution, and all others involved have been stuck just as long as I had been. But I was at the end of my tether and I wanted out. So with seemingly satisfied looks, I was dismissed.

Back to the giant chamber I go.

I wanted to resume my sleep pattern, but the door opened and it was the court guy followed by the lawyers and finally the judge. They sat themselves down and had a look of "Thank God it's over". This was it! The moment we had all been wating for! It ... was ... going ... to ... finally ... end!

The judge began with a short but eloquent apology for the day we had. She thanked all of us for persevering under such conditions.

And the winning numbers were ... oh, I can't remember all that. All I remember hearing was 22 followed by 29. Wa-hoo!! I wasn't one of the 14! I made the cut! I wanted to do an Irish tap dance! I wanted to Lambada! I wanted to go the hell home!!

It was the funniest rush I had seen since my high school days. We looked a bunch of kids racing to catch the bus after school. The elevators were going so slow. I looked to my left at the stairs. Then to the right to the elevators.

Left. Right. Left. Right. I went left. Good choice!

Stairs going down are much easier to handle. I wanted to skip but I was afraid due to my raging disease. A few people followed my lead this time. Cowards. Couldn't handle it this morning, could ya?

When we got to the Criminal justice building, we were met with a couple of Criminal Justice Buildingpieces of not so happy news. First, the jury duty area had closed around noon time. They were done for the day so they left. What did that mean for us? No checks. It's not the money (a whole $9) that was the problem. It was we needed the checks for proof that we were at jury duty for our employers. Also, for those who drove, no validation of parking tickets for a reduced rate. That last one did not sit well with one woman. She got rather loud and demanded that someone validate her ticket. She was pissed. I couldn't blame her, but I was in selfish mode. I had a train ticket and I was waiting in line to get my cell phone. I happily collected my phone and turned it on. The time read 4:58. Holy cats! My train was due in at 5:11 and I had a ten minute walk.

I rustled ever ounce of energy my little body had left and bolted for the door. It was hot and I was still sick. Didn't matter .. had to move. I crossed streets with groups of more than two. It must be an unwritten rule for driving in Center City. Cars will aim for groups of less than three. I was on pure auto-pilot. My phone beeped. I had a voicemail. I reached 16th and JFK Blvd. I started down the steps. The phone rang. I reached the doors at the bottom and lost my signal completely. Oh well. I supposed if it was a huge emergency whoever it was would leave another message. I scrambled to find my train platform. They are doing renovations at Suburban Station underground; hence, everything is all topsy-turvy. I darted all over checking signs. I was, to the daily train traveler, a novice. Everyone avoided me. Good move. I found my platform. I had two minutes to spare.


The ride was just as pleasant as it was in the morning. I checked the messages - they were from mom and dad. They were worried since they had not heard from me all day. They were afraid I was the next LaToyia Figueroa. I assured all was fine and I was on my way home. My dad told me he'd pick me up after he picked up the pizza for dinner; I told him the train was due in at 5:37. I tried calling Geo but it was no use. I couldn't hear a word he was saying. I just said I'd call him later and snapped the phone shut. Little did I know what was in store for me on the return call. I rolled my head to the side and watched the images of North Philly sweep into Northeast Philly. Funny. At times, it all looked the same.

The train rolled in at exactly 5:37 (gosh I love the train). I walked down the platform steps in time to see my dad's Buick Park Avenue turn the corner. I barely let the man stop. He slowed down, I grabbed the handle, opened the door, and slumped into the seat. Even though I could barely breathe, I could still smell the pizza sitting the backseat. I closed my eyes. I felt safe.

My dad was listening to sports talk on the AM. He loves driving on his own time. He doesn't have to be tortured with easy listening music that my mom so adores. Yuck.

"So," he asked "how'd it go today?"

I opened my eyes and proceeded to go over my wonderful day at jury duty.

Jury Duty Hell - Part. 3

Philadelphia City Hall I am now stuck in a giant room in City Hall. Fifteen other potential jurors, numbered 31 to 45, have been dismissed for their mandatory hour lunch break. Not me! Oh no, I'm lucky number 26. At least the cavernous room had three monster A/C wall units going at one time. It may have been hot as a blazes outside but the temperature was bearable from where I stood.

Boredom soon settled in throughout the room. People were edgy. Some created small group conversations. One particular one talked about the current school system situation. Participants were a teacher, a mom, a dad, and a psychotherapist. I listened but didn't interject. Another talked about the Harry Potter series. They were talking about HBP (Half Blood Prince). Since I was only on GOF (Goblet of Fire), I steered clear. I don't mind spoilers when playing video games; I hate knowing a book before I have read it. I kept to myself, blowing my nose and trying to concentrate on reading GOF. occasionally, I excused myself to the facilities. I was taking toilet tissue and using it as facial tissues (trying to conserve my personal stock of Puffs). My mind was growing numb.

The legal group was calling on people in random order for the interviews. One was followed by five who was followed by two. WTF! And the people would disappear. No one knew if they were being excused for lunch or just immediately sequestered. People from the original lunch crowd were starting to return. I could feel my headcold from Hades growing worse by the minute. I was starting to feel ill from lack of food; I was O.K. on drinking (there was a water cooler). I would casually glance at someone's watch for the time. The time was ticking so slow and the gaps between interviews was growing.

At about 2:15, the court officer came in our court room. He apologized profusely at the pace the pre-trial stuff was taking. It seems that there was another trial going on at the same time in the court room across the hall. Purportedly, a decision had been rendered and somehow the judge from our case was involved and that was causing a delay in our interviews. He said there was talk of postponing but since it was so late in the day, they decided to press on. Well, yip-yip-yipee.

The good news - we can go to lunch for an hour. I wanted to do the Aretha Franklin freedom dance but I was too out of it plus I have all the coordination of a bull elephant.

A gaggle of people headed over to Reading Terminal. One guy suggested an amish vendor there to me. "They have good soup. It might help your head feel better." I thanked him, but thought to myself the prospect of eating soup in 100 degree weather didn't sound too appetizing. But i headed there with the crowd anyway.

The multitude of smells smacked me right in the face when I walked in the side entrance. Under any other condiotion, I would have had my wallet out and hit each and every stand for the entire hour. But when one feels as crappy as I did, my olfactories were telling my brain to tell my feet to get the heck out of there before my stomach did something my eyes did not want to see.

And I retreated to the only hint of civilization that I can tolerate when I am this sick - McDonald's. Honest, I could have bacterial pneumonia, unable to keep ice chips in my system, but I will be able to eat a Mickey D's cheeseburger and a Coca-Cola. It's a weird thing, I know. So I got my double cheeseburger, medium fries, and medium Coke for a shade over $3. I ate, felt relatively satisfied, took about ten napkins for nasal clearing later, and trudged back to City Hall with a refilled Coke in hand.

I ignored the "no food or beverage" sign on the door and walked back into my prison the court room. I am sure the cold air felt refreshing to everyone, but for me, after about ten minutes, my body was starting to feel the shivers. Damn. A fever must be brewing. That's all I needed. Finally, after having enough of sitting and standing and pacing, I grabbed my HP GOF and my pocket book, curled up like the homeless guy in the church doorway this morning, and passed out in the back of the room.

to be cont'd

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Former Power Ranger star to stand trial for murder

Skylar Deleon O.K., so Skylar Deleon really wasn't a "star" in the Mighty Morphin series. He was actually an extra. That doesn't excuse him from what looks like a classic case of first-degree greed and murder.

Former Child Star to Stand Trial for Murder

Detective testifies on Alleged plot to Kill Couple

The whole thing has the makings of a really bad tv script. I hope the prosecutors prevent the little creep from selling the rights.

Jury Duty Hell - Part. 2

Of course the trial was on the sixth floor in City Hall. Of course we had to be herded outside in Satan's oven to get there. Of course, thanks to my sinuses draining like mad, I started the day with about 50 tissues and napkins and was quickly dwindling my supply. Of course I was as sick as a dog and I wanted to curl up in the doorway of the church on the corner. A homeless guy beat me to it.

We walked into the northwest entrance. I looked at the elevators and saw we were going to try and cram 45 people onto four working elevators. I looked at the circular flight of stairs to my right, then the elevators to my left.

Right. Left. Right. Left.

I went to the right. Dumb move.

I began climbing the stairs. It didn't look that difficult. I started off in a slow gingerly pace. However, the lack of me ever exercising caught up to me by level 4. Oh crap - two more levels. The heat was getting to me and my head wanted to split apart. I threw away my half-drunk coffee (that broke my heart) and walked up the rest of the stairs. My legs were rubber by the time I reached my goal and my heart was pounding like a double-bass drum beat in a Metallica song.

Everyone was gathered outside the door to room 676. As I approached the crowd, I got a few looks. They probably saw me forgo the elevator and are now witnessing me in pre-asthma attack mode. I wasn't a pretty sight.

We were ushered into the court room. It was friggin huge. The ceilings were at least forty foot tall with gold accented designs. I'm using the picture on the right as reference - that was not the actual room.

On the walls were paintings of past judges. The one that struck me most interesting was one of an African-American judge (or so I presumed). He just looked so dignified in his painting wearing a taylored suit with an actual patch pocket as opposed to a slit pocket over his left breast. I never got the judge's name and I'm not in a hurry to go back to get it.

On either side of the room were these pseudo-columns half in the walls. In the middle of the columns were chubby cherubs. The cherubs were positioned so it looked like they were supporting the upper half of the columns in mid sit-up position and their little legs were spread eagle. These cherubs disturbed the friggin hell out of me for the duration of the day.

We sat in chairs with our designated juror numbers. Chairs were wooden but comfy. I figured the lawyers will do the inteviewing in sequential order. By the time they reach juror 22, they'll be done, we'll be dismissed, and we can all celebrate by getting the frack out of there.

The whole process started at 9:15AM. The judge came in - we all stood. She seemed like a nice woman. She started to talk about the four duties an American can give to their country. The first was military service. I could tell by her tone she did not support the war but was supportive of our military. She scored points there. I forget what the second was because my mind just wandered away. When it decided to return, she spoke of the third duty which was jury duty. You could hear the groans from her "captive" audience. She informed us the trial which we were chosen for was going to take approximately two weeks. More groaning and few eyes widen with fear. Lovely. The final was voting. She stressed the priviledge we, as Americans, have in being able to get rid of someone in office we feel is not doing the right thing. And then she slipped in her reelection bid this November - of course. I checked my neighbors watch. It was almost 10.

Now came the series of questions the judge asks to weed out who will serve and who will get the golden ticket home. First question was hardship. Me, me, me!! Then came the ones which dealt specifically with the case. It was a medical malpractice suit involving the death of an 11 year old boy. After her questions came the lawyers questions - from both sides! The lawyer for the prosecution had, I swear, thirty five questions. And they were long, drawn out, technical questions. The defense was much more merciful with his les than ten queries. I checked the neighbor again - the little hand was on the eleven and the big hand was near the ten. Good grief.

And then they left the room. I presumed it was to get ready for the one on one questioning. I tried to settle my head and began reading my book.

By now I had gone through almost all of the tissues I had with me and was thinking of place I could get more. My tummy started to rumble. I was afraid to eat because of how I felt, but I knew not eating was stupid. The left side of my face was throbbing in pain. Reading was futile so I stopped. All I wanted to do was lie down and get rest.

We were in the room until almost noon time when the officer who lead us to City Hall informed us they were starting the questioning phase. He asked all jurors numbered 30 to 45 to go to lunch. All others were to stay until our numbers were called. Just my friggin luck.

And the lottery began.

to be cont'd

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm prehyper- WHAT?

I have prehypertension! My blood pressure is 135 over 85; hence, prehypertension. That's crap!

O.K., my BMI is 21.6 so that's not the problem. I don't smoke at all. I drink maybe once a month on a good month. And that would consist of the alcoholic equivalent of three pints max. I hate using salt on my food (though I do love McD's and Jimmy Dean SEC biscuits). I am a slug. I admit it. I exercise about as much as a paperweight.

I bet it's the baby. She has always been out to get me.

Honestly, how do we REALLY feel about TO?

I've tried no to blog on this rather inflamed Philly subject. It's been talked about, written about, etc. It gets beaten into the ground twice a day only to be resurrected the next day. Everytime I turn around, there are those two initials staring at me in the face - T.O.

Now, I like T.O. Yeah, he's a showboat big mouth with a cockier attitude than a supermodel. But, no one can not deny the man is talented and good at his game. Granted, there have been other players that were just as good at the game and weren't as obnoxious. Fine. I still like him. If he weren't cocky, he wouldn't be T.O.

But this whole contract dispute thing is getting old. Eagles management is digging in their heels saying, "Neener, neener, neeeee-ner" T.O. is using what he knows best ... the media. It's become a circus and I hate circuses.

And then there the E-A-G-L-E-S fans. Talk about the biggest group of fickle twits I have ever witnessed in my life. Last year, it was all "T.O. is the man!", "Waaaaa-hooo! We are SuperBowl bound, baby!", "Let's go T.O." Now, it's "T.O. is a jerk", "Waaaaa-hooo! We are Super Bowl bound, baby!" (that one is a perennial shout - it never changes), "Just go T.O." Mind you, these are the same jade/green and white/silver/black encrusted shirtless goofballs who run around the Linc in sub-zero temperatures while drunkingly attempting to do the wave with a foam cheesteak on thier head. I can't take people like that seriously.

So whan I got an e-mail today from my pal, Midget, it was called "For You T.O.". I thought, "Christ, not another 'Hey T.O. you suck. Get out of Philly ya bum' e-mails." To my surprise, it was kinda cute. So I am "forwarding" it to my readers. Enjoy.

For you, T.O.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Why you should NEVER let your mom get rid of your toys from childhood

Remember I told you about Shelley's Pharmacy closing and the Batman toy from there? Remember I said one that is MOC (mint on card) would be worth a few bucks? O.K., these toys weren't on cards. They were in BOXES. And I found one on E-Bay and I bid on it. I bid $80.02 max.
It went for $471.61! A TOY!!!!!!

My head hurts.

That's all he can stands when he can stands no more

Geo quit his job.

Yes, he quit. He told his employer to jam the truck keys up where the sun does not shine. He told them to bugger off. After what happened to him, I used much more colourful words than I will type. You get the picture.

Before I get to the happenings that lead to this decision, let me give you a brief education on the trucking industry.

Here is the difference between a trucker and their dispatcher: A trucker depends on the dispatcher for high mile runs (if they get paid per mile) or decent weighted trailers (if they are paid per 1,000 pounds). A trucker depends on a dispatcher to get their ass home. A dispatcher needs to move freight and could give a snot less if it's beneficial for the driver. A dispatcher works an eight hour shift and knows they will go home after the eight are up.

Drivers hate dispatchers and dispatchers are sissy little cowards that hide behind locked dooors so disgruntled truckers won't beat the piss out of them.

With that being said, the whole day he kept telling his dispatchers "I will be out of hours by 2:00. Get me home." None of the asses even gave a damn. When two o'clock rolled around, he sent a message "Out of hours. In CT." His message back - "Shut down til midnight and then come on in."

You do not tell a man who hasn't seen his family all week to sit in another state so he can roll in all nice and tired on Saturday morning. I've seen his paycheck - he doesn't make enough to warrant those hours. Oh, and don't think he gets paid for working on Saturday. He's just driving - not picking up a load ergo not working; therefore, he is on his time.

The rat bastards had Geo stranded, literally, at the Connecticut/New York border at 2:00PM on a Friday. And he couldn't get in contact with me since I didn't have my MOBILE thanks to JURY DUTY.

When he finally got to talk to me at 5:40PM to tell me what happened, he had just one thing to say and ask.

"I got the other job. Can I tell these f*ckers I quit?"

He wasn't asking for "permission", mind you. He wanted my opinion. He just did it in question form to make me feel like part of the process.

I gave him my reply. You know the rest.

Missing Monday - Tracey Leigh Tetso since 03/6/05

Tracey Leigh Tetso
Tracey Leigh Tetso aka Tracey Leigh Gardner has been missing since March 6, 2005. She was last seen at her residence in Rosedale MD. She was to attend a rock concert with friends but never showed up at the concert. Her vehicle was found March 17, 2005 - there was no trace of Tracey.Reportedly, the rock band, Motley Crue, has pledged a $10,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Any person with information on the case should contact their local FBI Office. If Tracey is sighted outside the USA, please contact the closet US Embassy or Consulate.

Ref. Links:

News Article on Tracey's case

It must have been a shocking experience

This guy either has a high content of conductive metals in his body, or he just has some pretty crappy luck.

I like his co-workers attitude when an brewing storm was about to hit.

Lightning Hits Man for the 4th Time

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Jury Duty Hell - Part. 1

Suburban Station
Let me preface this tale by saying my headcold from Hades had turned into a full blown evil bout of acute sinusitis. And when did the bulk of the pain decide to start? You guessed it, Thursday night - the night before jury duty.

If it were any other normal day (normal for my world), I would have called out of work. And you can't call out of jury duty, right?

For those of you who serve jury duty in Philly County, your summons has a phone number on it. If you call the number the night before you have to go, there is a possibility you can be excused. It seems Philly is notorious for overbooking and then cancelling court dates. If I would have called Thursday night, I would have been excused.

So here I go on the R7 train at 7:03 heading for Suburban Station. The left side of my face is
hypersensitive - I can't even chew without having tears roll down my face. I had no coffee. I only had my HP Goblet of Fire book for entertainment. Not a good choice when you eyes want to roll out of your head. I have an iPod - forgot it. I have a Nintendo DS - forgot it. At least the train ride was pleasant and comfortable and quick (I was on the express).

I arrived at 16th and JFK Blvd at 7:39 - the exact time I was supposed to arrive. Thank goodness there was a Dunkin Donuts at the top of the steps from the platform. One large high octane coffee with cream later and I was above ground staring at all the tall buildings like a country mouse visiting the city for the first time. I just had to keep my bearings and walk down JFK to the Criminal Court building. I was so damn out of it I almost got squished a few times by cars who I swear were aiming at anyone who resembled a possible tourist. I don't recall how I made it but I did. And I was fifteen minutes. Ya-friggin-hoo.

I had to surrender the mobile. Stupid thing about electronic devices like mobiles and laptops not permitted in the building. Dumbass rule.

Went through a metal detector, walked around the corner and there was my destination - the room with a couple hundred chairs and free refreshments. It was there that they announced all the smart people who called the night before were excused. But since we were there, we couldn't leave. Bastards. I filled out my questionaire and thought "Light day means I might get out early. Yes!"

The first case was up. They needed 45 potential jurors. They called out names and assigned numbers. I watche dthe person to my left get called at number 16 and the one to my right at 20. Then I head my name at 26. Dammit!

Here we go, two by two, out of the building into the nasty sweltering city heat to City Hall. My head was killing me and there was no way out. I was swaying between fainting and getting sick. Something in me just said hold on and it will all be over. I figured another two hours, they'll pick who they need and we'll be dismissed for the day. I had a hardship to prevent me from serving on any jury. She's two and a half. Up to the 6th floor we went and into the room that was to be my prison for the afternoon.

to be cont'd

The "What Candy Are You?" Quiz

I thought for sure I'd be a pack of original Trident or a Yorkie Bar (though I am girl). My bad.

discover what candy you are @ quiz me

Friday, August 12, 2005

Quick post until tomorrow

I had the worst jury duty day of my life. It was pure hell. I'll comment more tomorrow.

Trust me when I saw it right royally sucked.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Jury Duty Tomorrow

Yes, it's that time. I will be out of the office and away from the computer. In other words, no posts until either late tomorrow or early Saturday.

Think of me as I sit in a room full of strangers armed with only Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. I hope the docket is light and I don't get picked.

Gasoline in the US set to jump again!

I just read an article on warning the US about more pain at the pump coming this weekend. The article states that gasoline prices could soar as much as an extra $.05 per US gallon this coming weekend. It sites the ever increasing price of crude oil and a "flurry of recent refinery problems" as major contributors to the increase.

The latest price for a barrel of crude was $66.00. And the current hurricane season isn't going to help. Hurricanes love oil platforms in much the manner tornadoes love trailer parks.

I remember when gasoline was getting ready to hit the $2 per US gallon mark. The whole country was up in arms and shaking their fists at the evil oil companies. I saw tons of e-mails about boycotting certain gas stations on certain days of the week for the sake of protest. Where are all the protest e-mails now?

A year ago, GM was saying it was all just a phase, that people will pay whatever the cost to run their cars, and they kept pushing their SUVs. Then GM darn near went bankrupt this past spring. It took clever campaigning to get them out a dire situation. Now they're slightly shifting their focus to fuel efficiency. Nothing like being reactive than proactive.

I purchased gasoline on Tuesday at $2.399 a gallon. That same station this morning is at $2.479 - an $.08 jump in two days. And the prices are reportedly going to increase even more this weekend? Cheese and crackers!!!

The hell with it all. Me and the family are getting a horse and buggy. Let's just hope the cost of hay isn't the next to increase.

note: Yes, I do realize our prices are no where near the insane prices of England and other European countries. So now it's our turn to look at diesel cars and say, "It gets how many miles per gallon? Ooooooo ..."

yes, I am a mean mommy

I have been awake since 4 this morning. Since I normally wake up at 5, I figured to get an early jump on things. The plan went well until I had to wake the princess. I'm waiting for the day she starts saying "Five more minutes". It took almost an hour to get her motivated out of the crib. She did her normal routine while I had everything ready to go. When I finished brushing her hair (the final part of getting her ready), I said "O.K., let's go to school!"

"No, mommy. Doodlebops."

That darn show. Fine, she watched the rest of the show. The second it was done, I tried again.

"No, mommy. Charlie n Lola."

I drew the line there. They weren't on for another fifteen minutes. I used the bribe technique.

"Let's go now and we see Nana and PopPop tonight."

It worked. TV was shut off and we were out the door. Of course she was a bit ticked when she realized we weren't going to Nana and PopPop's now. I suffered through the screams until she quieted down. I figured we'd be about a half hour early.

All was going smooth until .... it looked like a damn Christmas tree in front of me. All tail lights were a glow. An accident seven miles ahead. It took twenty-five minutes to go 1.5 miles. I was livid.

And there is the baby. She was nice and calm watching Blue's Clues on her Video Now Jr. when the batteries decided to tank. First it was the panicky whine then it was the "Mommy! Mommy! My TV! My TV!"

i tried to ignore it but it got worse. We were stuck in traffic, not moving, and she was wigging. I lost it.

I turned and yelled, "Mommy is trying to drive! Your TV will have to wait."

She cried harder. I flipped.

Again, I yelled, this time to her reflection in the mirror, "Knock it off and quit your damn whining!"

She held out her TV, sucking in breaths of air in between sobs. I grabbed it and, while drving, changed the batteries - grumbling and bitching the entire time about the ungratefulness of children. I handed it back to her. She grabbed it. I looked in the mirror and saw her little teared streaked face stare at her TV while it played once more. To her, that was important.

"You can at least say thank you."

She looked at me through the mirror with those big eyes and said, "Thank you, Mommy."

I got the big bear hug and itty bitty kisses from her when I dropped her off at school, just like normal. I apologized to her for being an ogress. She hugged me really hard and said "I love you, Mommy." Ah, the healing power of a two year old.

I know she'll more than likely forget all these moments as she gets older.

That still doesn't make me feel any better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I work in one weird place

So my boss comes in our office and leans against the filing cabinet complaining of how tired he is. My officemate asks why.

boss: because I've been here since 5 this morning.


officemate: Why? Do you not like your home?

boss: No, it's not that. I have work to finish before Friday

note: after Friday he's on holiday for a week

boss: It's great drving, though, at that time in the morning. There is hardly anyone on the road. It's me, a few truckers, ...

officmate: ... other heathens who don't want to be home, and dangerous suicidal squirrels.

(I'm just shaking my head laughing to myself)

officemate: I'm serious. You drive home and the streets are empty. You get up, go to work the next day, and it's wall-to-wall road kill.

I think we just stumbled upon Limp Bizkit's next album title - "Heathens and Dangerous Squirrels".

Truth in advertising ... kind of

O.K., my officemate showed me this advert for a house for sale in Philly. It was just begging to be blogged.

You tell me, after looking at the picture of said home and then reading the description, your reaction.

Long and Foster property for sale in zip 19143

Whirlpool ups the ante to US$1.79B for Maytag

Whirlpool must be pretty determined to put the Maytag Repair Man out to permanent pasture. They have raised, for the third time, the amount they are willing to pay to buyout Maytag. The amount of US$1.79 billion consists of cash and stock purchases.

Points if you can name one movie the original Maytag Repair Man actor was in.

The headcold that wouldn't die!

It sounds like a great title for a really awful "B" horror movie.

This cold will not quit! My hearing, which is poor to start off, has darn near bottomed out. Even though I can't taste anything, I insist that chicken soup and all sorts of carbs will make me feel much better (that and a good cup of tea). I sound like a damn coke addict with all my constant sniffling. I now carry around a box of tissues everywhere. I'm starting to consider them part of my wardrobe.

And don't let those advert magnates of the paper product companies fool you. Not all tissues are made alike. When it comes to quality, take it from me and spend the extra cents in buying the higher end. Inexpensive tissues suck. You need three cheap Kleenex to make up for one decent Puffs. You'd be better off using aluminum foil to blow your nose than with some low-grade tissues.

As a side note, I love watching horror and sci-fi films. Alas, I haven't watched too many lately. The last was "Shaun of the Dead". My good blogfriend, Pax, likend the movie to Monty Python and the Marx Brothers. I saw the movie more as the Young Ones meet Dawn of the Dead.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why Mondays should be outlawed

Did you ever have on eof those days where the things just pile one after the other? You think to yourself that it just couldn't get any worse and it does.

Welcome to this past Monday in my world.

You all know I was sick over the weekend. I wasn't in work Friday, nor did I go last Wednesday because the baby was sick, and I took a half day last Tuesday for her doctor's appointment. So out of five days, I was in work for half.

I still felt sick Monday but I couldn't afford another day off from work. It wasn't a financial thing but a workload thing. If I'm not in, the work waits til I get there. I knew I was going to face Mount Backlog and I didn't want to delay it any longer than I have.

I could not even move Monday morning. I stayed in bed for an extra hour and a half after the alarm went off. I figured on "better late than never". So now I am late for work and I am sick.

I couldn't find my only set of car keys. Twenty minutes later, I found them ... on the hook ... where they belong. Ah.

After getting me and the baby ready for the day, we start to pull out of the driveway. I hear the familiar thump-thump-thump.


Rear passenger tire is as flat as ... well ... a really flat tire.

Called AAA for service. Now I'm sick and late and I have to get a tire repaired.

It was a nail (damn road construction). My mechanic, who is expensive but good, fixed it with a plug for under $20. O.K., we're on the road. I'm back to being sick and late.

I drop off the baby at school. No big to do there.

I get to work. I work in my office and look at my desk. My in basket was cracked and sagging under the weight of work waiting for me. I had twentysome e-mails and, for the first time in a while, most were important. My immediate boss tells me that I have to prepare verification of account letters for our auditors. It sounds simple but it's really a pain in the keester. Top that littel morsel off with us switching banks at work. Again, sounds like a "whatever". It's a big deal to me. That's two banks I have to get daily info from and put into our system. Add to that the fact I hadn't received any bank info on the new bank and we opened the account in July. And when did i fianlly get the info? That's right ... the day I was out. That was a backlog from Hades. I was depositing receipts in the wrong bank ledger, putting credit cards in the old ledger, etc. I turned a posting that normally takes twenty minutes into an hour and half chore. And I had two days worth to catch up.

I finally caught up this afternoon at, no lie, 4:54PM. I was lucky I could blog yesterday. Blogging was out today (bastards). I'm lucky I got out of work on time.

Back to normal tomorrow. Well, my version of normal anyway.