Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Off the Road Again

Today is day #2 of my confinement.  Some vacation this is turning out to be!  On the other hand, I'm doing nothing different in my apartment than I would be doing at my mom's (i.e. sitting around and reading), and it's much better that I do nothing in good health and physical condition than to be injured in a wreck on the way.  I ventured outside my apartment today to check out the local conditions.  Here are some more pics I took.

Here's the "Winter Wonderland", which certainly looks attractive from a distance.

Then again, it looks attractive up close, too.

More natural beauty.

On the other hand, here's some of the damage caused.

I have to walk under/around this shrub to get to the parking lot... find reason #1 why I can't leave town.  (You'll notice that the license plate isn't even visible.)

How am I supposed to use my mirrors if they look like this?

Presuming I can see out the windows in the first place!

I was able to chop much of the ice off my car, while running the engine and defrosters (it was surprisingly easy to open the driver's door to reach the ignition, and the tailgate to get the ice scraper), but I couldn't get all of it.  I think I'll try the rest this afternoon, when the temperature is supposed to reach freezing (or, hopefully, thawing).  I checked weather forecasts for cities from Tulsa to Albuquerque (inclusive) and determined that there might be some melting in all locations today.  I also checked state highway department websites and learned that some of the interstate highway through the Texas panhandle is closed (the rest is just snowy and icy), so I couldn't get through for the time being, anyway.

Thus, I've pushed off my departure until tomorrow morning -- weather permitting.  All forecasts call for Tuesday to be downright warm (in the 40's).  Even though I don't want to wait until Christmas Eve to head out, that might happen.

Stay tuned for further weather updates from Inaction News.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stuck Is Better than Stranded

I'm still in Tulsa.  The rain that came down stayed as puddles on the sidewalk but icicles on the trees and buildings (see picture).  I didn't want to risk the roads or, especially, the bridges.  I'm not sure I'll be able to leave tomorrow, either, since it's supposed to drop below freezing tonight.  I'm glad I didn't have any hard and fast travel plans.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Vinter Wariations

Following up my post from early this week, I've heard more rearrangements of seasonal songs, which I like more than the originals.  (Or do I like them merely because I haven't heard the new arrangements hundreds of times?)  Unlike my previous post, though, I did find one recording on Youtube.

Alas, I couldn't find the Canadian Brass playing "Skating" (like the above song, from the Peanuts Christmas program).  In fact, when I first heard it on the radio, I didn't hear the announcer say the name of the song, so though I thought it was familiar, I liked it by its own merits, not because it harkened back to childhood.  Now I want to find the Canadian Brass CD, and I probably ought to check out more of the Vince Guaraldi Trio (the original performers).

Steel-Toed Sneakers

In preparation for my trip home for Christmas, I visited the library today.  I dropped off my last batch of books and checked out some more audiobooks and hardcovers to take with me on the trip (plus three other books of my own, which I have been reading).  It was a nice walk, although dodging traffic was a problem.  Add people off work and shopping, students leaving the high school down the road, and a lack of pedestrian crossing signals (which have been removed as part of a four-months-yet-unfinished project at the intersection), and I was glad to get home.

I didn't stay home for long, though, as I also had to visit a "big box" electronics store to buy minutes for my mobile phone.  Sure, I could've waited until it was closer to my monthly renewal date, but I much preferred walking a couple blocks than waiting to visit a store in Albuquerque and having to deal with traffic and parking during shopping season.

I've been on my feet most of the week.  My crew was assigned to remove all the weedy trees and clear the fenceline for part of the facilities complex.  It was too close for me to consider wasting gas, so I walked back and forth from the work site to my office -- up to half a dozen round trips a day.  It's good that I'm getting exercise, but one pair of my work shoes is heavier and sturdier than the others, which is what I'm blaming the twinge in my left knee on.  (I'm darn sure not getting old!)

Now I just have to hope that the warmer forecasts I've seen are more accurate than the colder ones.  Just like at Thanksgiving, we're due some precipitation on my departure date.  This time, the forecasters can't decide if it will be rain or freezing rain.  Naturally, I'm hoping for the former.  You'd think that, being a Weather Wizard, I could make it rain (or sleet or snow) after I'm safely away from town.  I know!  I'll blame the poor weather on my employee who has gone hunting on the same weekends I intend to leave town!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Variations

As much as I like listening to my local, classical music station, I get tired of hearing nothing but string music.  It's a delight to listen to Wind & Rhythm, an hour-long, band-only program, every Sunday evening.

Last night, they played numerous Christmas and holiday songs.  I have heard most of them before, but the following two were presented in a different way.  The recordings I heard last night weren't on Youtube, but the examples below are similar enough.  I'm sure you'll recognize the songs, and I hope you'll enjoy the brass band renditions.

My Dirty Mind

Goodness knows how I got to thinking of this at work this morning....

I know that "adult entertainment" videos often have titles which are puns of popular, mainstream TV shows or movies (e.g. Genital Hospital or Shaving Ryan's Privates).  I came up with one this morning, based on the title of an old (in this case, "old" means before I was born) movie.  What do you think of the name Pretty Titty Gangbang?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

That's a rhetorical question, of course.  All you scientific types who read my blog understand that beings and their reproductive methods almost certainly evolved at the same time.  My case is a bit different.  I'm more interested in knowing which came first:  my hatred of computers, or their hatred of me?  (For the record, computers in general came first, but I predate the first personal home/office versions.)

I am semi-computerless this week.  How so?  Because my new computer, less than two months old, up and...  Well, it didn't exactly die, like its predecessor.  It's more like it had a stroke and couldn't do anything afterward.  I phoned the manufacturer's help line and spent two hours trying to see if a "system restore" would work (all right, 1.5 hours trying to fix the computer and a half hour trying to get me to buy an extended warranty).  Well, it got the computer functioning again, but all my installed programs were lost.  (I'm glad I didn't take my installation CD's back to NM.)  After hanging up and eating dinner, I tried seeing if my files were lost, too.  For some reason, I "[didn't] have permission" to view the file directory on my own computer.  I gave that up and tried to download my preferred web browser from the internet.  That didn't work either, after several tries.  The rest of the evening (what little was left), I enjoyed a couple of books and pondered how nice life might be without computers or TV.  (I might even give up radio, if I could have my mom's record collection.)

Today, I called the help desk again.  They took over my computer and discovered that I wasn't lying to them (i.e. they couldn't download the web browser either).  Over the next two hours (I wonder if it's mandatory for a help call to take that long) they talked me through a "reformatting" of the computer to its factory settings.  Then, they still couldn't download my browser!

Yes, at this point I was pondering if it wouldn't be easier to take my computer back to the store and get a replacement.  However (I'm guessing), there's no way the manufacturer would agree to that, or else it might look like they admit to making faulty computers (or even the occasional anomaly).  In this case, he gave the vague reason that my hard drive was "corrupted".  So, the guy said that he'd send me a free recovery disk -- for just $25 to $30 shipping and handling.  "For one disk?!" I exclaimed.  "No, for five disks," he responded.

Oh, of course.  Doesn't $5 to $6 per disk (for five disks) sound better than $25 to $30 (for one)?

His "supervisor" (someone authorized to obtain my credit card information, most likely) came on the line and said, "since this is a fairly new computer" she'd waive the $27.03 shipping charge.  Oh, how too, too nice of her!  (Bleah!)  They'll e-mail me the instructions and call after the disks arrive, to see if they worked.

I don't have a clue how to set odds or place bets, but I'll take your money just the same.

Monday, December 09, 2013

First Day

Today was the first day back at work after the snowfall and my first time driving on unplowed roads.  (The highways and main roads were plowed, but neighborhood roads are not.)  It was also the first chance I had to visit the apartment office and say, "Give me a shovel, and I will be able to clear the sidewalks before the dog-walkers tromp all the snow into ice."  (The apartment manager said she would do that.)

After work, I made it to the grocery store.  I had been all right for the weekend, except I didn't have any milk.  I was afraid the store would be out, but they had plenty.  I also restocked eggs, yogurt, and fruit.  The only item on my list they didn't have was...  I should've guessed.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Every Snow Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Most of you who read my blog already know that I took an extended Thanksgiving vacation to visit my mother, not to mention that I returned safely, but here's my first blog post after the holiday, making it official.

I have become more unsure of living and working in Tulsa.  When I was in NM, snow was something I heard about on the news, which other people had to deal with.  Now, it's something that might keep me from hitting the interstate to visit my mum or friends back home.  I nearly delayed my departure because of a forecast of freezing rain.  It's just as well that I didn't, because the weather got worse after I made it to my mom's house, and I would've wasted two or three days if I had waited.  Similarly, I moved up my return a day to beat the snow.

I can't find my ruler, but I estimate we got 2 - 3" in under 24 hours.  The footyprints are from my upstairs neighbor and other residents who have dogs (walking and picking up droppings in the snow is definitely a "con" of dog ownership).

The bright side to this cloudy day is that we didn't have to report to work (even those of us who have to shovel snow).  That gave me a four-day weekend (my last vacation day, plus a snow day, plus the weekend)!  Also, my furnace works.  The two bright sides...

Forget it.  I just hope the roads are cleared by the time I have to leave for work on Monday morning.