Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And, when I retire, I'll live in a town named Shiny Pants.

I got an interesting answer the other day. I learned why I keep getting the round, cardboard hangers with my pants, even though I requested more than once not to. Our uniform driver told me that "executive pants" are cleaned in a different site than "worker pants", and it would be too difficult to bring in regular hangers for just our pants.

I don't consider myself an executive, so I'm surprised (and strangely titillated) to be wearing Executive Pants. It kind of makes me think I'll be wearing "big boy undies" next.

And if any of you send me boxers with a pattern like this, so help me, you'll be cut out of my will.

What? I don't have a will yet? Oh, right then. In that case, I think shiny boxers, maybe silk or satin, would look kind of sexy, especially with my legs. ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Here's some inspiration.

In case you're struggling to come up with a resolution for the new year, maybe this song will give you some ideas.

You're never too old to learn.

Indeed, you can even learn while on an extended weekend from work. Lesson #1: Shut your car door. Even if you think you shut it, shut it again. Otherwise, the snow you're sweeping off the roof will fall onto your seat. Lesson #2: I need an hour more sleep than I'm getting. I slept in some of the days I was off work, and I woke up on my own about an hour after my alarm usually goes off. On my current schedule, I'm in bed for eight hours, but once you include the time it takes me to fall asleep and the times I wake up during the night, that's less than eight hours of actual sleep. However, I'm not going to go to bed at 7:30 p.m. That's just nuts. Maybe it's because I had a cold, so I needed more sleep. Maybe it will get better once I get a bed.

I know I've been talking about this for a while, but I have wembled again. I'm now leaning toward buying this bed (with cherry finish and drawers). I need to get off my duff and order it because, yesterday, I bought a bed set and two sets of sheets for it. I also ordered curtains for my living room and bedroom (can't remember the name, so I can't link to them, but they're a solid, dark green), bought a paperback mystery I hope my mom hasn't already read (Betty, there's another store I need to take you to), and a large, owl picture from Dwight's Swap Shop. (Man, it's fun having Thing One in town, but I've spent a lot of money since she arrived.)

Update: I'm at home, so I could refer to my receipt. Here's the link for my bedroom curtains. If you look at the offering carefully, you'll note that the general public doesn't get the choice of dark green, as I did. Yes, I know I'm special; I'm Cap'n Chlorophyll, after all. :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

While I'm online...

I might as well post this, which has been sitting on my desk for a while now. It's the Life in the Noog column (by Chuck Crowder) from the May 20, 2010 edition of The Pulse, The Noog's free, weekly, alternative/non-traditional newspaper.

A 'Noog by Any Other Name -- Contrary to popular belief, Chattanooga, Tennessee (as famous as it is) isn't the only 'noog in this great country of ours. Nope, we are actually one of four Chattanoogas. In addition to ours, there are also Chattanoogas in Ohio, in Oklahoma, and in Colorado. Obviously, we're the most well-known, thanks to that famous train song, and, because of it, I feel sorry for the other Chattanoogas and the poor folks who have to live there.

Not ony do they have to constantly correct strangers that in fact it's the Tennessee Chattanooga that Glenn Miller so immortalized, but they also have to explain why it's our Chattanooga that continues to win exceptional mid-sized city awards while theirs are stuck in the rut of a perpetual identity crisis.

Take Chattanooga, Ohio. The most famous thing that's happened in that tiny parcel on the Ohio/Indiana border is birth of "household name" major league baseball legend Bruno Betzel, who, as everyone knows, played third base for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1914-1918. Who could forget that arm? This town is so small and sad that the web site ("the online encyclopedia of Ohio history") in fact has a page outlining the Civil War's Battle of Chattanooga as if it actually took place there.

Then there's Chattanooga, Oklahoma -- population 432. It's home to Lawton Speedway Ministock Champion Casey Henning. When the town was being developed around the turn of the century, however, the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railways extended a branch line from Lawton to Chattanooga. This dumb luck became the focus of a major ad campaign for the town in 1906. So, in essence, Glenn might have written about that Chattanooga railroad, if agriculture hadn't taken over. But wheat beat the wheels. And nowadays, the average per capita income in Chattanooga, Oklahoma is $12, 989. So I guess if you wanna make the big bucks, you gotta move to Lawton.

Next, there's Chattanooga, Colorado. In the 1870's, Chattanooga made money three ways: silver, transportation, and gold, in that order. Nestled at the foot of Red Mountain Pass, Chattanooga was the primary pit stop on the wagon route from Silverton to Ouray. By the time gold was discovered in the area, hundreds of miners had staked out just about every square inch of available land. Buildings and homes were constructed in hopes that Chattanooga would rival nearby Cripple Creek (made famous, of course, in that song by The Band). But, as fate would have it, fire swept through the city, destroying nearly everything. Most buildings were never rebuilt, and only a few, scattered ones remain today.

And then there's our beloved national treasure: Chattanooga, Tennessee. Geez, I feel so sorry for the other three that I think we could win the grand prize if all we put up for comparison was St. Elmo. But despite the shortcomings of the "others", I'm sure there are some inconveniences they cause us that are just as annoying as the ones we rub their face in every day (well, probably not). Take the U.S. mail for example.

I'm sure there are packages, letters, greeting cards, magazines, catalogs, Publisher's Clearing House offers, and other posted parcels that "accidentally" get rerouted to a Chattanooga other than the one for which they were intended. There's probably a Main Street, Market Street, and Broad Street in every one of those towns, let alone the numbered streets and other ambiguous roadway names such as Maple, Elm, and Oak. So it could be a problem, theoretically. And if so, what happens then?

My thinking is that there has to be some sort of Postmaster Tribunal of Chattanooga's finest that meets each year in one of the Chattanoogas to catch up on current events, party, and, of course, exchange misrouted letters.

I can see it now. The four, old, weathered postal buddies hooking up at T-Bone's for a few beers to laugh about the good old days of hand stamping and curse the new-fangled bar code readers. Then it's off to City Cafe to tie the old feedbag on. It may not be the fanciest place in town, but there are more than 400 menu items available 24 hours a day -- and not a one is more than $9.95. As everyone knows, there's nothing a postman appreciates more than a good deal.

Afterwards, it's off to some back room of the main branch of the post office to sort through the misdirected mail. After a few tugs off a left-handed cigarette, the boys start going through their mailbags like it's Christmas morning. "Who's got a Winder Binder on Frazier Avenue?" "Anyone have an Applebee's on 4th Street?" "What about a Hiroshi's on Main?" Of course, nearly every parcel is intended for our Chattanooga, so the night is generally one-sided. But our guy never lets on that his comrades live in the shadow of greatness. No, he just sits back, knowing that, as long as the cards and letters keep coming, there's no place like home.

What's in Santa's Sack?

I don't want to turn this into a whose-is-bigger/better contest, but I do want to mention some of the gifts I received yesterday.

Thing One gave me a desk lamp for my computer desk. I should've guessed this one was coming, since she came over to use my computer the other night and said, "You need a desk lamp!" She also made me two, king size pillowcases with owls in the pattern. I can't possibly find any sheets that will match them (and if you know of yellow, pink, and lime green sheets, there ain't no way you're putting them on my bed!)

Skippy and the St. Bernard each gave me a generic (can be used anywhere) gift card. I only mention these because J.C. Penney's curtains and drapes are 50% off today and tomorrow, and I might like some of the patterns I've seen on their website, so I might actually venture to a store tomorrow, regardless of the traffic. (I'm thinking of the Hixson site, rather than Idiotville. Then, I can take Thing One with me and introduce her to Nana's frozen custard.)

Miss Kitty and her husband gave me a bottle of Georgia On My Mind peach-flavored Muscadine wine by Georgia Wines, Inc. The label comes complete with a regional alcohol warning, on top of the standard, federal warning. "As with any food product, caution concerning abuse is advised. (Ephesians 5:18)" For those of you without access to a Christian Bible, the citation reads thus. "Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit." Mind you, the next several verses of Ephesians urge wives to "submit" to their husbands, so you might not be all that chuffed to obey the anti-drunkenness warning.

Still, if you want to play it safe, why not buy me a bottle of spirits next year? Some 12-year old Scotch might be nice.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

White Christmas

Of all times for the weather forecast to be correct, we're getting snow. The campus is utterly closed this weekend, except the school's founding family always has their Christmas party in the dining hall. So help me, if I get called to shovel for a bunch of spoiled, rich people....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guess which I've been this year.

I came down with a cold, so I hardly slept last night because of my throbbing sinuses. Well, that and "Frosty the Snowman" and "Here Comes Santa Claus" were stuck on endless repeat in my brain.

He knows if you are sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,

How does he know that? Has he seen the videos?

I mean... What videos? There aren't any videos. (Because I quashed their release.)

So be good, for goodness sake.

I was good, though, wasn't I? I mean, if there were any videos. Which there aren't.

Even then, it's highly subjective. One person's naughty might be another's nice. Santa might even like naughty videos.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't judge a book by its cover.

I took Thing One to Tubby's on Friday, and she enjoyed her cheesesteak. I told her we'd have to go back through/to downtown sometime when the sun is up, so she can really see what's there.

Saturday morning, I took her down to Ft. O. We went to a thrift store, grocery shopping at Aldi, and then to Big Lots. In the afternoon, I drove her down the main drag in East Ridge, where we ate lunch, visited two thrift stores, and a used bookstore.

I picked up most of the Inspector Lynley series by Elizabeth George. They had one of the Capital Crimes series by Margaret Truman, and it looked in far better condition than the other books around it. Then I wondered why I hadn't snapped it up because it looked a little familiar. I opened the cover, looked at the price, and saw "as is" written below. "Why is it... Oh," I realized, when I saw the crayon scribbles on the inside of the cover and the flyleaf. It had looked familiar. I had seen it before and passed it up for the very same reason. If it were going into my personal collection, I might buy it anyway, but since I intend to donate it to a library, I know they won't accept a damaged book. Thus, an otherwise good book will languish on the shelf, unloved, through no fault of its own.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finally Friday

I've enjoyed having Thing One in town, not to mention as a neighbor. Tonight, I'm taking her to Tubby's (although she isn't required to order a cheesesteak) and Greenlife Grocery (her request). To get there, we have to drive through downtown. She'll have an idea of what's there, but we'll have to mosey there sometime when the sun is up, so she can see everything better.

Naturally, that destination makes me think of this smash hit. (I mean, I want to smash the record.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And now for something completely different...

This old (from 1992) commercial popped into my head this morning. I was lucky enough to be working in NY state that summer and see it. I don't know if any of the other "Baby Bells" aired similar ads.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Playing Hooky

Well, sure I'm posting this while sitting in my office, but I'm not "at work" per se. I'm taking a "Personal Day" to run errands, but I got my crew started this morning, I'll be attending the daily managers meeting, and I'll be carrying my two-way radio, so I'm not exactly on vacation. (I suppose you could say that I'm not all there.)

First off, I'm going to have blood drawn before my annual physical. It's screwed up, though, because I phoned my doctor back in NM to schedule an appointment while I'm in the state next month, and I was told that they won't schedule me until my blood work is done. Now what happens if they get the blood work but don't have any openings on the one day I'll be able to make it?

Second, I'm going to pick up a floral arrangement. Why? Well, that's the big news that I haven't been able to tell you yet.

An administrative assistant position opened up where I work, so I tossed Thing One's resume into the mix. (She has been unemployed since the unfortunate circumstances that caused me to find a happier job in The Noog, 17 1/2 months ago.) Skippy then asked all managers to select interview-worthy candidates out of the more-than-a-dozen applications he received. I selected Thing One's (naturally) and four others. (Not only was I being fair, but I truly thought they all were worth considering for interviews.) It turns out that the other three managers agreed with me on three candidates, including Thing One. (I recused myself from any other involvement in the process, to avoid conflict of interest.) Skippy interviewed three candidates (all by phone). He wasn't happy after speaking to the first candidate who, as it turned out, had someone else create the resume for her. He was utterly blown away by Thing One's interview and unhappily told me I "didn't do a good enough job of selling her". The third candidate said she was looking for a "more executive" administrative position. So...

Thing One got the job and is moving to The Noog! I'm so excited on many fronts. She now is employed. I'll have a good friend in town. I know she'll steamroll over her predecessor.

So that's why I'm buying flowers today. Thing One should arrive this afternoon. She's bringing one of her dogs, and she'll be temporarily housed in the apartment next door to me. Her mother and other dog are staying in NM to sell the houses (the one they live in, and the mobile home her daughter's family recently moved out of), and she won't see her daughter and grandchildren very often any more, so that's pretty bittersweet, but... she is now employed!

I think that's why, even after "Woeful Wednesday", I've been in a darned good mood.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Woeful Wednesday

Wednesday started with an employee mouthing off at me in my daily crew meeting because he misinterpreted an instruction I gave everyone. (He did it again in the afternoon, when I presented him with his "constructive counseling notice".) Thursday started with me learning that one of our toilets was (probably deliberately) clogged at just about quitting time on Wednesday. Thursday ended with me learning that one of my crew's vehicles ran into one of the posts supporting the electronic gate at the school's secondary entrance, on Wednesday -- and now I need to learn who was driving and prepare to write up not just the driver but every passenger as well for not reporting an accident.

Will Wednesday please end already?!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I'm beginning to feel like a certain sperm whale.

Last night, as I was rolling over, I registered the sound of sirens. Normally, I'd fall back asleep, but I also registered them cutting off and that they sounded a lot closer than usual.

"Oh, no! Not again!" was what I thought as I climbed out of my warm bed into the cold room and ventured toward the living room to look out the window. I was right, but not in the way you'd expect. A fire engine was there, all right, but it was parked two houses down, not at the Nougats' across the street.

This is still an "again" moment, since I haven't yet mentioned the other night. Someone's burglar alarm went off at 2:52 a.m. on Sunday, blasted for ten minutes, was off for a minute, blasted for another minute, then was silent the rest of the night -- er, morning. I think it was the same house, since I've heard their alarm before (only not at night). I know it wasn't mine, and Officer Krupke says it wasn't any of the school's houses. (Interestingly, no police cars showed up to investigate.)

Not only am I getting cranky (crankier?) from interrupted sleep, but if I keep missing my "beauty sleep" I'm liable to look older than I am, and I'll be darned if I let that happen!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I'll leave the light on for you.

I hung Christmas lights outside my apartment this weekend. Elmer Fudd showed me two large tubs of lights (big and little, colored and clear) in the storage room under the stairs, back from before they contracted out the annual decoration of the official campus Christmas tree. Elmer said I could make my apartment look like the Griswold house.

I settled on less than that: a simple string of C9, colored bulbs along the edge of the porch. (Some people call it "less is more" or "keep it simple, stupid"; I prefer to say, "More is not always better.")

Okay, there was another reason. I think decorating my apartment would be like using makeup to conceal a pimple. The place would be much more unpleasantly noticeable than normal.

I was pleasantly surprised, though. Instead of looking like a upper-lower class house on the fringe of a questionable neighborhood (which it is), the Christmas lights make it look more like a cheap motel. Plus, Pinocchio told me yesterday that he had been having a bad day but seeing the lights cheered him up when he got home.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Et tu, Brute?

You may have noticed how certain TV channels deviate from their original format. The Sci-Fi Channel started showing horror movies and wrestling (and changed its name to something stupid). Cartoon Network now shows live-action shows. TV Land now has original programming. I discovered yesterday (after programming my VCR to record Are You Being Served? while I was getting a haircut at eating dinner at Sugar's Ribs) that The Noog's PBS affiliate, instead of that wonderful Britcom, aired a football game.

The American South never ceases to amaze (or is that appall?) me.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Okay, one more.

Sorry about another Muppets post, but as I walked to the gym this morning, this song got stuck in my head.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


That stands for "Thank goodness it's not Monday."

It finally stopped raining sometime overnight, and the sun is out this morning. (But I'll be darned if I can find my tinted safety glasses now.)

Even brighter news is that someone found my cell. phone yesterday and anonymously left it on a secretary's desk. She was bright enough (definitely brighter than I) to remove the battery and let both parts dry overnight. She turned it in to the campus purchasing director (who unfortunately had acted rapidly on my e-mail this morning and already ordered me a new phone), and he got it back to me.

I was able to receive a test call and check my saved numbers, but I'm still going to borrow some rice, just in case.

Oh, that's because the food service director says that putting the phone and battery into a container of rice allows the rice to absorb whatever residual moisture may be inside the components. (I'll have to ask her if one can cook the rice afterward.)

Daylight not come yet. Me still wan' go home.

I lost my cell phone yesterday, somewhere between the gate to the retention pond and (or in) the dining hall. Considering that I bent over to clear the leaves off of three storm drains on the way, it's likely that the phone fell off my belt as I bent over. I walked the route three times (even getting on my knees in the dining hall to see if someone kicked it under the steam tables) but couldn't find it.

A couple hours later, Skippy radioed me to have a crew clear out another drain -- one that my crew had already cleared out in the morning. They got deeper this time, using posthole diggers to clear sand and leaves from the bottom. "But why don't I see stormwater from the stadium running through it?" the St. Bernard asked.

And that's why I spent 1.5 hours yesterday, in water halfway up to my knees, trying to cut holes in the fake grass over the drains in the stadium.

I never should've told Robomarkov, "If that's the worst that happens to me today, I'm doing all right," after I lost my cell phone.

Fozzie cracks me up in that one. And, now that I've finished, I can reveal that I have successfully achieved what I had pondered: if I could post a "favorite" clip from The Muppet Show each day for a week.