Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The sky is falling!

Actually, it's the ceiling above my shower that's coming down again, but I wouldn't get as much attention if I shouted, "The ceiling is falling!"  (I'd sound less like Chicken Little and more like a big chicken.)

Oh, and this chicken talk reminds me how ashamed I am that I didn't think to include this video in my post about Tulsa penguins.

(I wonder how the costume department found women's shoes big enough for John Cleese and Graham Chapman.)

I look better in low light, too.

I took a walk around my neighborhood after I woke up this morning.  It was the first time I have done so, and I was pleased to see how certain streets connected, so I have alternate ways in and out of the area, in case my primary route is blocked.  (I also discovered a back way for pedestrians into a nearby "big box" village.)  It was the most I have walked since I got to Tulsa, and I felt invigorated afterward, so I hope to have the opportunity to do it again.

It was a pleasant morning (end of night, for some of you), and I found a few nice looking places to live, should I ever get tired of here.  There is a street of duplexes which impressed me with how clean the area was and how neat the buildings appeared.  Then I recalled that it was dark and that they might not look the same after sunrise.  (I haven't walked around during the day because it gets too hot and humid.)  One apartment complex had a section where the patios made me think of a streetfront cafe.  All that was missing were some tiny, white lights and large umbrellas.  (What were in their places were, at most, a pair of those cheap, plastic patio chairs.)

Yesterday morning, I laundered a load of towels and made a batch of my shortbread cookies, to take in to work.  (The ones that didn't get overcooked, that is.)  I know I have to do laundry next weekend, but maybe I can load the washer, start my walk, return to transfer my clothes to the dryer, and continue walking until the dryer is done.  (I like to do laundry early, too, since I know few people will be up then to compete for machines.)  Plus, I'll have Thursday (Independence Day) through Sunday off, so that's more time for both laundry and walking.

I flattened and bundled much of the newspaper I had used to pack my owl figurines (still have a few boxes to unpack) and hung many of my bathroom pictures, so the apartment is (a little) less cluttered and appears more homey than homely.  I think today (if I stay in the mood), I'll finish the newspaper bundling and then store my computer and stationery stuff in and around my computer desk, so I can get those boxes off my coffee table.  Then, of course, there are the boxes still occupying part of the sectional (so what's the point of clearing off the coffee table?)...  But, no, I don't want to overexert myself, do I?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

You can't judge a book by its contents.

I recently reread one (Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich, St.  Martin's Press, 2004) of a series of "wacky" novels I like.  I noticed that I laughed at something in nearly every chapter, and I pondered if I could determine the best "line of the chapter" and further pondered if it would tell the story at all.

You can judge for yourself, but I'm not sure my experiment proved my hypothesis.  In some chapters, I was stretching to find a good line.  In others, I thought that other jokes were better than the one I chose, but it took a setup of two or more lines to make the joke work, and my experiment was conducted with just one line per chapter.  Some of what I selected are humorous but not necessarily funny.  I thought of putting the name of the character who said each line in parentheses at the end, but it wouldn't really add anything to your understanding (or not), and you probably can tell, from the type of humor, which are said by the same character, anyway.

Read it through.  Do you think it works?  Do you think I should've gone with the multi-line jokes?  Do you want to read the book?  Do you want to avoid the book?  Do you think I should try this again?  What else do you think?

Chapter 1:  "You don't want to go through your period without Fritos."

Chapter 2:  "You don't even hardly notice his chest hair when he's got that bustier thing on."

Chapter 3:  "You read those adult magazines and they're always talking about sex fantasies, but I say chip fantasies are where it's at."

Chapter 4:  "I could learn how to cook a chicken or a cow or something."

Chapter 5:  "Soon as you stop talking to Mr. Stiffy, he turns into Mr. Softy."

Chapter 6:  "Here these poor creatures travel through space to get to us, all those light years and galaxies away, and then they die from heat stroke in a van."  (Note:  wrong kind of aliens.)

Chapter 7:  "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a sneaky felon."

Bonus 7:  If you buy chocolate with loose change the calories don't count.

Chapter 8:  The car was about the same size as Sally's bus and took two lanes to make a corner, but the ride was smooth.

Chapter 9:  It seemed to me a breaking-up kiss would have had less tongue.

Chapter 10:  "Then I sort of fell off the wagon and gained all the weight back, but it was still my favorite diet, except for the time I ate two pounds of bacon and threw up."

Chapter 11:  "We had a lady judge who weighed about two hundred pounds and was real sympathetic."

Chapter 12:  Tasteful in an upper-end whorehouse sort of way.

Chapter 13:  "I only get caught when I need dental."

Chapter 14:  "I thought I was gonna lose a thumb this afternoon, but here I am in the middle of cuddle umpkins' pumpkin patch."

Chapter 15:  "I don't know why anybody'd want to smoke weeds, but that's what they said."

Chapter 16:  "My heroes," I said to Sally, "upstaged by a guy in a red dress and heels."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

They should call it No-klahoma.

Whether you count my experience getting my new driver's license and car registration as a record for the world's longest wait depends if you count only the time I spent in line or total time from beginning to end.

You see, the state of Oklahoma has a brilliant idea called In Line Online, where you can reserve an appointment time at the driver's license center.  You don't have to take a number.  You don't stand there for two hours or more (even to take a number, like the one time I did in NM).  I could quibble and say that the In Line Online window wasn't occupied either time I went for my appointment, but one of the other clerks helped me each time.

The main delay in the process was the fact that the state of Oklahoma wouldn't accept my birth certificate.  All my employers have accepted it.  All other driving agencies have accepted it.  Even the U.S. government accepted it as proof of identity for my passport (which was the other document Oklahoma would've accepted, even though it was based on my not-birth certificate).  Instead, they demand a certified copy issued by the state.  Naturally, this costs money to order and time to receive.  Thankfully, I had ordered several certified copies some years ago for another reason, so I had my mom send one of them to me.

So, do you say that I waited just ten minutes, or a week and ten minutes?  Say, maybe I could win the record for the world's shortest time in line at the DMV!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I haven't seen Chilly Willy yet.

I thought it was odd when I drove by this fella (or sheila, for all I know).  I drove by another one -- or the same one, since I was learning my way around the city and might've passed the same penguin twice, for all I knew.  Then I saw this one and knew that one is an accident, two might be a coincidence, but three is definitely something going on.

I kept forgetting to ask coworkers, "What's with all the penguins around town?", but I finally searched online and quickly found this blog, which gives the answer.  Kind of cool, don't you think?

I must have overlooked the idea.

Here's a follow-up to yesterday's post.  I e-mailed my boss these questions.

What will our duties be?  When's the next meeting?

My boss replied to my e-mail today, exactly as follows.

Sit in and give your input, next meeting will be announced soon.  Thanks

Oh, that clears up everything, doesn't it?

Monday, June 17, 2013

This comes from my overseer.

My boss sent me an e-mail today, saying that he wants me and a coworker to represent Grounds on the "Oversight Committee".  However, he neglected to tell me what this committee does, what my responsibility will be, or even when and where the committee is to meet next.  I guess it was an oversight.  ;)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'm cheap but not easy.

I went to the grocery store this morning.  I bought three bags of frozen vegetables, a bag of frozen raspberries, frozen meatballs, lettuce, a package of chicken breasts, cheese, salsa, spaghetti sauce, yogurt, two boxes of instant oatmeal, a box of waffles, tortilla chips, bananas, and two loaves of bread.  I wasn't keeping track of the total as I selected the items, but I figured it would run up a higher bill than I expected.  I was completely wrong.

The total was just $30.49.  "Is that right?" I asked the cashier.  She didn't miss any items in my cart, so my best guess is that either the wrong prices had been programmed into the computer, or else dealing with the families of yelling or crying (or both) children was worth it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Time flies when you're getting old.

I was shocked when I heard on the radio the other day that Bob McGrath turned 81.  Icons from Sesame Street should stay young forever.  *pouts*

If you're not measuring, you're not managing.

That's the latest catchphrase at work.  When I heard the big boss say it in a meeting this week, I could tell it had just the right amount of hooey to be the new method of operation.  When she repeated it during the meeting, I knew.  (I wonder if it's a slogan the company paid too much money for, or if she got it from a fortune cooky.)  "Do you think she really believes this?" I asked a coworker.  "Oh, yeah," the coworker responded.  Fun.

I pondered the other week, when a temp. experienced a minor injury, a full-timer backed his truck into a citizen's vehicle, and another full-timer sprained his knee and fractured his elbow.  I count three experiences.  Counting is a form of measuring.  Ergo, I am managing, right?

That's not managing.  That's coping.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fife, Spork, and Noon

I've finally recovered from my "lost weekend" and can tell you what I did to celebrate my birthday.  (Actually, this week is turning into the second five-day Monday in a row, so I haven't really been in the mood to do anything but laze once I get home.)

I was unable to start my weekend early, as work on Friday turned into a 14-hour day.  I won't criticize the lack of planning for the project, which ended up with us staying super late, but I will say how I suffered.  1) I left the office at 7:45 a.m.  That's the last time I had anything to drink until 2:45 p.m., when my boss called his boss and asked her to bring some water and [brand-name sports drink] to the job site.  2) I worked through lunch and dinner.  I didn't get home until almost my usual bedtime, so all I did was guzzle some more water, take a shower, and collapse into bed.  3) I helped carry and lay sod for hours, so I was sore that night and on my birthday.  :(

My birthday started early, as I didn't sleep well that night.  I woke up and discovered I was two quarters short to do a load of laundry, so that was out.  I don't remember what I did until I redeemed my first birthday coupon for a free breakfast (plus juice and tip) at a national restaurant chain.  After that, I went to the bank (for quarters) and grocery store and goofed off some more (probably reading or playing computer games; I definitely did not unpack any moving boxes, as it was my birthday and I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to) before redeeming my second birthday coupon for a free sandwich (plus chips and drink) at a national sandwich chain.  (These two coupons had to be used on my birthday.  All other coupons have a window during which I can redeem them.)

I treated myself to dinner at The White Owl.  The beer (they have a selection of bottles and on-tap from various breweries) and food were okay, if a little pricy.  The lights were dim, so it was tough to see my charming dining companion (a book), but we enjoyed each other's company.  Alas, the waitress answered my query by saying they did not have any T-shirts I could buy.  :(  However, they did sell me two (in case I break one) beer glasses, with the restaurant logo on them.  [Insert joke about "beer goggles" here.]  On the way home from dinner, I treated myself to a rather disappointing hot fudge sundae at a regional ice cream/restaurant chain.

I got three loads of laundry done on Sunday morning.  (Note to self:  do laundry before it piles up that much, as the duffle bag was quite heavy.)  Breakfast was an identical offering from a competing restaurant chain, and lunch was a free burger at a national chain which is very proud of their decor and sandwiches, judging from the prices, so I'm very glad I didn't have to pay for anything but my soda (and tip, to the friendly waitress whose birthday was just three days – and many years – after mine).  That meal filled me up, so I didn't have dinner.

I still have some birthday coupons left to use:  two for a free entree, one for a free-if-you-buy-another, and two for free dessert (if you pay for one of their overpriced entrees).  Guess which ones I plan on using.  ;)

On Sunday, since it wasn't my birthday any more, I did unpack some more boxes.  I found the cutlery tray to divide all my silverware in the utensil drawer!  When I told people that I couldn't imagine having packed it (and my napkins, tablecloth, dish towels, and aprons) in one of the "fragile" boxes, which is all that I hadn't opened yet, I didn't realize that there were three non-fragile boxes on the very bottom of the piles in the coat closet.  (This, naturally, meant removing every other box in the closet, so I could get to them.)  My jigsaw puzzles, which I had completely forgotten about, were in another box.  (Now I just have to clear off the coffee table or dining table if I want to assemble one.)

Then I decided that I might as well unpack the unfavorably shaped "fragile" boxes, so I could recycle them.  (I'm still in the process of that, as I have to flatten each piece of newspaper I used for wrapping and packing, so I can stack and bundle the paper to recycle.)  Then, since I've already unpacked some of the owl figurines from the "fragile" boxes, I might as well unpack the rest, so...

Actually, that makes me feel more productive than most of what I accomplished at work today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You'll probably want me "shod" for this pun.

How about a shoe store named John Wilkes' Boots?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Answer can be found in Tulsa

As of today, my age is the same as The Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  (I'll still claim to be 29, though.)

I nearly didn't make it to today.  I was caught in a fit of last-minute physical labor (laying sod), and when the crew arrived to deliver more sod, I pondered asking the front-end loader driver to run me over.  I didn't, however, as I didn't want to die just before my birthday, especially since we could be just that close to discovering The Ultimate Question.

The job then began displaying some disturbing characteristics.  First off (and here's photographic proof),

there was the Vogon Constructor Fleet, disguised as a concrete crew cleaning up their mess.  (If you know anything about construction, this is a flawed disguise, as concrete contractors never clean up after themselves.)

Then, Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz himself came to inspect the work his crew had done.  (I didn't take his photo because I was afraid he'd read some of his poetry at me.)

I just kept carrying sod for, as you well know, "Resistance is useless!"  (Strange, that goes for aging, too.)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Pardon me, do you have a light?

On my trip back from ABQ for Memorial Day weekend, I stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Amarillo, Texas.  The waitress asked, "Smoking or non-smoking?"  Man, how many years has it been that someone asked me that question?!

A Waggish Wink

Quoted in The Waste Makers by Vance Packard:  "A sales official of the British Motors Corporation, Ltd., was heard to complain, 'All you've got to do is drive out on a Sunday and have a look.  You'll find people out washing and polishing cars that are twenty years old.  Why, the blighters think more of their old cars than they do of their wives!'"

I say, give a man a twenty-year-old wife, and he'll pay attention to her.  ;)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Can't trust that day!

If I didn't already know it, I would've figured out that today is Monday.  One of our temps got something in his eye (yes, he was wearing his safety glasses, but small particles can come up from below anyway), and even though he got it flushed out, I had to take him to the clinic to get checked out, anyway.  Just before I took him back to his crew, I got a call that an employee had backed his vehicle into another vehicle at a gas station.  Yeah.  What ten o'clock meeting?  What checking on the crews?

(I've already posted it before, so go here for the song.)

Sunday, June 02, 2013

She's finally stifled.

In the past, I've seen people blog tributes to personalities who recently passed away.  I've just heard about Jean Stapleton, who played Edith in All in the Family.  I can't say she's a favorite actress of mine, but I thought of the perfect way to remember her.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

No one has ever complimented me for having a handy nature.

When I put the legs back on my dining table, it was still a bit wobbly, even after I used the socket driver to tighten the bolts.  Oh well, I figured, it's probably a result of the move.

Then, as I was sitting by my computer and looking toward the dining area, I pondered, "Gee, it's awfully odd that they'd design a table so that the bolts are so obvious."  Then it hit me:  I had put the legs on the inside corners of the frame instead of the outside!

Gee, but the table is sturdy with the legs in the right place.

Made it!

There appeared to be no problems last night, at least in Tulsa.  The last tornado warning I heard was for counties north of us and due to expire at 8:45 p.m.  I stayed up late (until 9:00), and the radio didn't say anything else, so I went to bed (a bit uneasy, but I went to bed).  My phones didn't go off at all with warnings last night.

I woke up frequently through the night and occasionally saw lightning, but the length of time it took me to hear the thunder indicated the storms were miles away.  When I ventured out this morning for razor blades and aftershave, the sidewalks and streets were wet, but not under trees, so I guess we were only skimmed by whatever storm passed by.

A coworker gave me this map yesterday.  It is immensely helpful with figuring out where the counties in each weather alert are located.  (You have to click on the right-arrow to see the map.)  That's how I knew the storm was north of us, but I was uneasy because it could've dipped a bit south and reached Tulsa County.  The map, however, does not explain why people like living somewhere they could get killed in a natural disaster at any time.  Would I have taken the job if they had warned me in the interview that I'd arrive just in time for tornado season?

Here's a map of where tornadoes have occurred in the U.S.  (It's a Canadian website, but Canada is excluded from the map, for some reason.)  Do you see that bottom part of the map, just west of where all the tornadoes stop?  Yep, it's a good time to move back to New Mexico!