Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Anti-teenager device

A fellow in Wales has invented a device that emits a high-pitched noise to stop teenagers from loitering in front of stores. Since our hearing deteriorates with age, few shoppers over 30 can even hear the sound at all. I have to admit it is a clever concept, but given how much high-pitched noises can bother me, I can't really say I would be in favor of it coming into common use. Besides, small children out with their parents would probably hear the noise even better than teenagers. Think of the children, man!

My eyes are blurring...

Staring at a diagram of database tables filled with cryptic acronyms is about to make me go bonkers. Why on earth did they feel the name to abbreviate everything? I'll be glad when I finish writing the script to extract the information I need and can leave this all behind me.

On the no soda front, I was still good today, so it has been a full week since I had any caffeine. Yay! This week off broke a long trend of never going for more than a day without caffeine, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. As for tomorrow, I have a department meeting first thing in the morning, so I think I'll allow myself a little pick-me-up without feeling guilty. Of course, if I manage to get up and moving without any, all the better.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Still doing without

Maybe it is just that the days are getting shorter and I feel out of it from lack of light, but I'm missing my caffeine! At least I'm not getting a killer headache or anything, I just miss the habit. I had juice this morning, that seemed to help with the craving for a sweet beverage.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I forgot to mention in my earlier entry, I was talking to my husband yesterday and commented that the lack of caffeine was making me feel a bit groggy. His response? "Oh, you mean you feel normal?" Ah yes, I spend so much of my time hopped up on caffeine and sugar that I don't even recognize normal anymore.

In my defense, I was probably a bit tired from the previous day's travel and we were just having a lazy Sunday, so it isn't as if I had a reason to be alert. Today, on the other hand, had been a little more difficult. I think I'm craving the sugar more than the caffeine, actually. I've been good so far, and am drinking water.

Going cold turkey

So, over the holiday break I didn't have any caffeine at all. I'm trying to hold off again now that the work week has started, but I'm getting twitchy. I'm not suffering from a big headache or anything, I'm just accustomed to having my can of Citrus Drop every morning as I head to work. I think I'd like to go a week without it, just to prove to myself that I'm not horribly addicted. I'll let myself have some Thursday, since I have a morning meeting then.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Countdown to Turkey Day

This year we are going to spend Thanksgiving with my father-in-law and his family. I don't really know them all that well, but they seem nice enough. What I am not looking forward to is six straight hours on a plane tomorrow. Why six hours? We're flying to Boston via Phoenix. Phoenix? Isn't that to the west? Shouldn't we be going east?

I'm working on some gloves for my husband, using my nice Brittany birch needles, so those should be non-threatening on the plane. I'd like to come up with some sort of case for them so they don't get broken in my luggage. Oh, and I'd better pack some warm clothing, since they seem to be having "winter" over in the east. I've gotten spoiled living here.

I still need to mail a package of knitted items to my sister. At least the baby socks are large enough that my niece shouldn't outgrow them while I procrastinate about finding a box for this stuff. Since we leave town tomorrow, it looks like I'll be unlikely to send the package in time for my sibling's birthday. Alas!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Darn cold!

Last weekend, my husband was suffering from a cold bad enough to cause him to spend most of the time resting in his comfy clothes and take Monday off. Now, I've got it. It was just a bit of a sniffle and a scratchy throat during the week, but now that it is Saturday, it is hitting me harder.

Taking a nice steamy shower this morning helped somewhat, as did taking a nap for a couple of hours around noon. Now that I'm feeling well enough to sit at the computer, I'm just websurfing while waiting for my husband to bring me a breakfast burrito. Green chile helps colds, right?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take a Turkey to Work Day

There was a notice in my company's daily email newsletter that Monday is Take-a-Turkey-to-Work Day. It is part of a Thanksgiving food drive, but I'm just picturing something like Take-Your-Daughter/Son-to-Work Day, with live turkeys shadowing people in their jobs. Can't you just picture a turkey with a little hard hat watching the construction guys? A turkey with a lab coat tagging along with the scientists? A turkey pecking on my keyboard, trying to help me code?

Well, I found it amusing, anyway.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Geek Gorgeous Calendar

Have you heard about this calendar of women in technology? I'm having some mixed feelings about it. I liked the idea of showing technical people as something other than the stereotypical socially inept nerd with glasses and poor hygiene habits, but these pictures aren't giving a realistic image of geeky women, either. I think I would be rather offended to see one of these scantily clad ladies as the desktop wallpaper of a coworker, even if she is a rocket scientist or computer programmer. On the other hand, I've never really seen the appeal of these sort of photos. I find proper clothing to be much more attractive. It is possible that at some point during the month the calendar's owner will stop looking at the model's breasts for a few minutes, read the information about her, and begin to form a different opinion of women in the sciences. I'm not counting on it though.

While some of the models are undeniably technical, others seemed a little lightweight. Photoshop expert? What? Maybe I've been in the academic and technical world too long, but I don't really think just using a computer really makes you geeky.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You can call me...

...but that doesn't mean I'll be able to help you with your Benefits question. I'm still getting a lot of misdirected phone calls, as described in an earlier entry. I've tried to be as nice about it as I can, since it isn't like a single individual is actually flaking out and calling me over and over. However, that is how it feels from my end of things. The phone rings, I answer with my name, a slightly confused voice on the other end asks me to repeat what I said since I didn't give some sort of canned "Welcome to the Benefits Department. How may I help you?" greeting. After clarifying just who they have managed to call, the confused soul on the other end of the line does one of two things:
  • They realize they have a wrong number, and say something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I was trying to reach benefits". I like these people. They actually listen.
  • They decide that I must be a very unhelpful member of the benefits staff (what with not mentioning that I work in that department and all) and charge ahead with some sort of insurance question. I've had to actually interrupt this type to inform them that they have dialed the wrong number.
I then proceed to describe their mistake in what I like to think is a kindly, it-could-happen-to-anyone sort of way in an attempt to get them to actually dial the number as it was written. I am rather surprised by how many people don't seem to believe that it will work. I actually have a note on my desk where I have written out the numeric form of the correct phone number so I can prevent them from calling me back. This is a sign that giving out a telephone number to thousands of people without all the numbers is just asking for trouble.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Baby, baby, baby! Battery!

My sister had her baby yesterday, after three days of labor. Dude! Three days!

My new niece is very cute. My parents emailed me pictures this morning, so I've changed my desktop wallpaper to a picture of my sister and the baby. I was surprised to see how alert the baby looked in most of the pictures, with her eyes wide open.

I won't actually get to see this kid in person until sometime after Christmas. *sigh* I'm just glad for digital cameras and email.

In non-baby news, my car's battery decided to die completely on me this morning, refusing to take a charge. It was the original battery, so I guess now isn't that odd of a time for it to give up the volts. Better now than in the middle of winter, eh? My husband and I spent several hours buying, installing, and charging a new battery. Bleh! On the plus side, I got to have lunch with my husband on a workday. On the extra plus side, my sister had a baby! (My little niece makes everything better. It's her superpower.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

National Drunken Writing Night

For those who feel that NaNoWriMo is a bit much, perhaps NaDruWriNi would be more your style. I am amused. I also doubt I shall be participating, although I might drink a bottle of hard cider while attempting to make progress on my novel. I only have about 600 words so far, but I'm hoping to make up for it this weekend. I have tomorrow off and my husband won't be getting home until suppertime, so I'll have all day to write, provided I don't get distracted by daytime television.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blog Stock Market

If you think that markets are a good way to discover information, BlogShares may be a good way to locate interesting blogs. Apparently, this blog is currently undervalued. I'd better buy! *grin*