Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's Goin' On...

Remember those overtime hours that were supposed to be for a week or two? Well, they're now mandatory until the end of the year! So many things are wrong with the new license registration and upgrade portal I can't even begin to tell you...and the fixes are slow in coming, but the new problems seem to spring up every day. I feel like we are trying to bail out the sinking "Orca", Quint's ill-fated fishing boat in "Jaws", while the shark keeps ramming us...and all we have are Dixie cups! Maybe I should start singing: "Farewell and adieu, ye fair Spanish ladies..."

Did I tell you Ric bought a 37" Philips "Ambilight" LCD flat panel HDTV? Well he did and it looks fabulous. Built-in speakers seem a little under-dramatic, so he is looking into getting a BOSE sound system for it.

The weird guy that lives in the condo next door seems to have finally left for (let's hope) the season. Last year he was gone all summer and the holidays only to show up around January...but then he stayed thru this summer and fall up until just before T-Day. Odd for what appears to be a snowbirder...

Less then one month now until "L-Day", the day I get my license back. Funny, I just noticed it right now, but since I work in licensing for our company's software, I must type, read and say the word license a gazillion times a day...and in remarking about "L-Day"...that is what I am ultimately working so hard for. True, a different kind of license, but the same word nonetheless.

BTW, I'm at the $5,000 mark in my savings towards a car. Looking at spending around that too, so from here on out, all further savings will be allocated to insurance and anticipated related expenses. Plus, with all these OT dollars, I should still have enough leftover to splurge on that cruise Ric wants to go on.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Channel Surfing Can Be Quite A Journey Sometimes

Tonight while flipping through channels I happened upon a channel I would never normally turn to...The Soap Network.

But to my surprise, they were rebroadcasting a now 25 year old episode...the wedding of Luke and Laura on General Hospital.

This brought back such memories.

Back then, even folks not into soap operas were somehow caught up in the phenomenon of Luke and Laura Fever.

It was especially strong among college students...classes would be vacant because they had the misfortune of being scheduled at the same time as the afternoon bradcast of GH. I was still a high school student at the time but my friends were older and very much caught up in the mania.

I still remember the pop/proto-rap song of the time "General Hospi-tale", raping the lyrics with my friends and the fact that you were socially outcast if you didn't know what was going on on GH.

The broadcast I saw tonight looked so dated; so '80's. There was a scene with a very young and probably much unknown then, Rick Springfield. What a trip.

The '80's seemed filled with several of those momentous "TV Moments"..."Who Shot J.R.?", "The Battlestar Galactica Finds Earth", "The Final Episode of M*A*S*H*", "The Alexis and Crystal Cat Fight", "The Broadcast of 'The Day After' Movie", "The 'Where's The Beef' Vice-Presidential Debate", "The Single and Only Broadcast of the '1984-esque' Apple Macintosh Commercial"...and the list goes on.

Funny how technology has made special "TV Moments" more ubiquitous and easily taped, the moments themselves seemed to become less socially "important".

As Archie and Edith sang..."Those Were The Days!"...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Billy, Don't Be A Hero

I'm listening to one of my favorite CD's, the soundtrack to "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". Fabulous Movie, Super-Fabulous Soundtrack!

But the 3rd song on the track has me thinking about the current state of events.

The song is a remake of the early 70's "Vietnam-Era" song, "Billy, Don't Be A Hero".

Besides being a great melody and entirely appropriate to the movie where traditional "masculine" values are challenged, the song has personal meaning to me.

In the early seventies I was in elementary school, but, as I'm certainly no slouch, in the mental capacities realm, I was certainly and sadly aware of the state of affairs then. I vividly remember the nightly newscasts and the "roll call" of fallen soldiers announced by Walter Cronkite.

So many dead...and even at the age of 8, I knew that 19 was way too young to die.

This song touched me then and still, today, brings more then a couple of tears to my eyes when I think of the lyrics.

The wife of a young man called up for duty in Vietnam, admonishes him, Billy, to not volunteer for anything...just do your duty and come home safe to me...

But Billy, ever wanting to do "the right thing", does, in fact, volunteer for a mission...and is killed in action.

The wife is notified in a letter of her husbands demise.

It makes me think of how many young wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends are left without thier loved ones as we come up to the Holiday season in the present situation.

But don't feel uncomfortable about me, an aging fat ol' queen bringing this up...

Vote with your Heart, America!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Calm Before The Storm

This weekend it will be essential to rest and relax in preparation for next week...

Starting Monday, our department at work is going to be doing 12 hour mandatory overtime shifts each day.

The reasons:

1. Major release of our newest anchor product...we handle the requests for updates from previous versions that have current technical support....so, basically, 90% of the customers we deal with.

2. The "dawning of a new age" (my own phrase, not the company's)...the merging of the up-until-now separate databases maintaining our customers records...availability products and security, together. (Over a year and a half after the merger of the 2 companies that make up our present-day company.)

3. The new customer-facing websites, certificate formats, sku numbers, buying programs...basically, everything, is different. (Should I say "better"? Well, it looks like it, but we'll see, won't we?)

4. Our new tools and case management protocols...all new starting Monday...

This company likes to do things with DRAMA! No soft phases, no trial periods...it's like we're playing Texas Hold 'Em and we know we have the winning hand (or think we do)...so, IT"S ALL IN, BABY!

On the positive note though...lookin' at some real boost to the booty for my "Gettin' Me Some Wheels" fund...

A few weeks of this OT, if it pans out as predicted...lookin' at a quick spike of the ol' income graph in my MS Money! Can you say Lexus? (No...unfortunately not THAT much of a bounty! LOL!)

Well Ric made his one year anniversary of sobriety goal mark and got a "gold" token from his recent AA meeting to honor this. I am amazed at how effortless this has been for him but having done the same for a good 5 years over a decade ago, I know that if your head is in the right place, it is really easy. I now know though, that if your head ISN'T there...it's hard as hell.

Bought Civilization 4 last week. I love the graphics, music and animations, but frankly, though it's early yet to fairly judge, the AI, interface and gameplay seem pale compared to Civ 3. What's more, I tend to like enormous epic games played out on a vast world...In Civ 3, you had a huge world to explore and conquer when you chose the "HUGE" world size option...in Civ 4, "Huge" is about the scale of "Large" with Civ 3...I thought with the higher system requirements that 4 would allow for even LARGER scale worlds than 3, but that is certainly NOT the case. Example: With some of my most epic games in 3 I had conquered the world and possessed maybe 70 or 80 cities on average...with Civ 4, in my current game, I so far own one-third the world but have only about 15 cities...and I'm playing on a "Huge" world.

My dental insurance card came in last week...yeah! And one of the best things about that: as I look out my bedroom window across Greenwood Avenue...I can see the building housing my dentist! How convienient is that?!

Well, dinner is waiting and my tummy is growling so, 'till next time...