Wednesday, January 29, 2020

SO True!

This funny mnemonic by poet Brian Bilston has been making the rounds of my Facebook friends:
Thirty days has September,
April, June, and November.
Unless a leap year is its fate,
February has twenty-eight.
All the rest have three days more,
excepting January,
which has six thousand,
one hundred and eighty-four.
In the past few weeks I can count on one hand the times I've seen the sun. We've had a series of storms come through, and although most of them haven't left a lot of precipitation there has been enough snow, sleet, and freezing rain to gum up traffic and disrupt plans.  Except for last Sunday (when it was in the mid-40s) high temperatures have been around freezing. All in all, miserable-enough to make it feel like the month will never end.

Five years ago today: Emergency Zit Zapper

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Permanent Address Finder

Some random web surfing tonight led me to the site Find a Grave, which bills itself as the "world’s largest gravesite collection". The site allows you to search for cemeteries and grave records for regular and famous people or create/add to virtual memorials, if you register.

I input the name, year born, year died, and cemetery location for multiple people and the site quickly returned a record for them, including the exact cemetery plot information. Some married females also had their maiden names listed. (There's also multiple options if you don't know the person's exact birth and death years. I experimented with those, and still got good results.)

Another option is to search through a specific cemetery's page and find out a little about its history and the famous people who are buried there. There's a page of interesting grave monuments, and another for interesting epitaphs. People who register can make requests for photos of their loved one's graves, or can upload photos to fulfill requests.

Five years ago today: San Fran

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Digital Dactylogram

Eleven months ago I applied to be a temporary worker for the 2020 Census Bureau. Since then, I've gotten an email every couple of months assuring me they hadn't forgotten about me and would be hiring down the road.

Last Friday morning I got a call from the local Census office. I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number, so it went into voice mail.  Five minutes later when I called back, the person wasn't at his desk. I left a message for him, then saved the number in my phone.

Five hours later the number popped up on my Caller ID. When I answered I found myself talking to a woman. She asked me if I was still interested in working for the Bureau, and I answered affirmatively. She told me more about the job. At the end of the call we agreed I would be a fine Enumerator. An offer was made and I accepted. Ten minutes later I had an email with information about making an appointment to get fingerprinted and have my photo taken for my badge.

I had seven days to get the job done. But then I had my finger issue, and wondered how that would impact things. The office was closed on Monday for Dr. King day, I called yesterday and explained the situation to the person who answered the phone. He said it shouldn't be a big deal, so I went ahead and made an appointment for today.

It was a bit of a challenge finding the official Proof of Identity papers. Our new condo is still in a bit of a shambles, but I eventually gathered my passport and birth certificate. The office supply store that was authorized to fingerprint was twenty minutes away from my house. I walked in ready to argue about my finger issues if they told me they couldn't complete the task, but there were no issues at all. Everything was done electronically. I had to put my right fingers on the scanner, then my left fingers, then both thumbs (then repeat the process a second time) and smile for the camera. I was finished and out of the store fifteen minutes after I walked in.

This afternoon I received another email telling me I passed the background check. The message included a pile of paper to fill out and sign electronically. I will eventually get more correspondence about job training.

Five years ago today: The Rub-Down

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What A Pain In The (Finger)!

Back when we had our last nice weather I was outside doing yard work and got a tiny thorn stuck in the middle finger of my left hand. That night I used tweezers on it and got out most, but not all the foreign object. I doused the area with hydrogen peroxide and figured that based on my past experience the rest would eventually get expelled or dissolve.

Then I got busy with the holidays and packing to move. Even though my finger occasionally annoyed me I ignored the problem...there wasn't time for it! A couple of days ago I noticed the left side of my finger had a raised callus and was tender to the touch. This morning I decided to take care of myself and go to an urgent care.

At the urgent care I was immediately taken back to a room and didn't even have time to open the book I bought before the doctor came in. After looking at my finger he told me he would numb it, then remove the callus until he found the foreign object. He was hopeful that he would be able to just bandage it up at the end, but cautioned that he might have to use a suture.

Unfortunately, I left the office with no foreign object, but one stitch in my finger. For the next ten days I get to baby the area. Since my left hand is my dominant one the process will be interesting.

Sporting a stylish purple wrap

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Little Old Lady

A little old lady went to the grocery store and put the most expensive cat food in her basket. She then went to the check out counter where she told the check out girl, "Nothing but the best for my little kitten."

The girl at the cash register said, "I'm sorry, but we cannot sell you cat food without proof that you have a cat. A lot of old people buy cat food to eat, and the management wants proof that you are buying the cat food for your cat."

The little old lady went home, picked up her cat and brought it back to the store, and they sold her the cat food.

The next day, the old lady went to the store and bought 12 of the most expensive dog cookies-one for each day of Christmas. The cashier this time demanded proof that she now had a dog, claiming that old people sometimes eat dog food. Frustrated she went home, came back and brought in her dog. She was then given the dog cookies to purchase.

The next day she brought in a box with a hole in the lid. The little old lady asked the cashier to stick her finger in the hole. The cashier said, "No, you might have a snake in there."The little old lady assured her that there was nothing in the box that would bite her.

The cashier put her finger into the box and pulled it out and exclaimed, "What is this?!? It smells like crap!" The little old lady grinned from ear to ear, "Now, my dear, can I please buy three rolls of toilet paper?"

Never mess around with a little old lady.

Five years ago today: No Snickering Allowed

Monday, January 13, 2020

Home Sweet (New) Home

Since the beginning of this year Hubby Tony and I have been busy delivering boxes and small things to our new condo. Yesterday we borrowed a small moving truck our realtor provides to clients and transferred the furniture we could easily carry. Today the official moving truck came to take our big furniture.

When the large truck pulled up to the house, I grabbed Jackson the cat and locked him in a bedroom, so he wouldn't run outside. We had done such a good job of transporting things on our own it only took the crew of three movers a half hour to put everything in their truck. Tony followed the truck to the condo. I stayed behind with Jackson until the movers were finished. While I waited for Tony's text to say the coast was clear I wandered around the empty house where I spent 27 years of my life. It was bittersweet.

After I heard from Tony I caught Jackson (which was surprisingly hard, since there was absolutely no furniture for him to hide under), put him in the carrier, put the carrier into my loaded car, and drove to my new home.  When I pulled into the garage I saw Tony talking with some of our new neighbors, and was able to introduce myself too.

For the rest of the day I didn't stop working. I carried things in and started putting them away. Found the sheets and comforter and made my bed. Tried to find the box I put my socks and underwear in. Encouraged shell-shocked Jackson to come out from under the couch (and later in the day out from under the bed).

Tony was as busy as I was. He got the internet, TV, and printer set up. He moved furniture and boxes to the correct rooms, and found some important papers I needed to complete a project. After dinner, he drove back to the old house to put out the trash and grab a couple of things I couldn't fit in the car, then went to a meeting.

I'd like to say that everything is now shipshape, but that wouldn't be true. There are still boxes in every room; I suspect it will take weeks until the last of them are put away, but overall I'm excited.

Five years ago today: Not So Fun-gi

Saturday, January 11, 2020

I Get It Now

For more than a decade I have been working my way through a daily meditation reader. Each year when I get to the January 11th page I read a vignette about a disagreeable woman who wears a "lugubrious" expression. I didn't know the exact definition of the word (but could figure it out through context) and had no idea of how to pronounce it.

Today, instead of just skipping over it, I decided to look the word up. told me the word was an adjective that meant mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner. It also offered the pronunciation lu·gu·bri·ous, and told me that similar words would be mournful, sorrowful, bleak, gloomy, pensive, sad, depressing, dismal, doleful, dour, funeral, morose, woebegone, woeful.

Five years ago today: Take Note

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Sleep Habits And Work Life

I read an interesting article called How To Design Your Ideal Workday Based On Your Sleep Habits. Michael Breus, the author, says there are four chronotypes that describe a body’s natural sleep habits and energy patterns. His theory is that if you know your chronotype you can take advantage of your body’s natural energy flows.

The four types are:
  • Bears, which are 50%–55% of the population, and are the ‘get it done’ group. They have normal sleep schedules, but may not get quite enough sleep.
  • Lions, around 15% of the population. They wake up early and without an alarm, and are Type-A personalities.
  • Wolves represent 15–20% of the population. They hate mornings and usually hit the snooze button multiple times. They are late to work, and usually drink a lot of coffee in the mornings.
  • Dolphins, about 10% of the population. They are anxious people who have irregular sleep schedules, and often self-diagnose as insomniacs.
After reading the article it was clear to me that I am a Bear. I go to bed at the same time every night. However, sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep, and some nights wake up in the middle of the night and I lay awake for an extended period for no particular reason. (Which makes it really hard to get enough shut-eye.) Hubby Tony is definitely a Lion. He pops out of bed somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours before I do, and even when he sets his alarm he usually gets up and turns it off before it goes off.

I was pretty sure which categories my boys fit into, and I sent the link to everyone on our family chat group to see what they said. Out of the people who responded I had guessed completely right!

Five years ago today: Save Or Not?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Late, But Still Right On

Did you know that moving is one of the top 20 life stressors? After the past couple of weeks, I can confirm it's true. I'm trying to coordinate so many details that last night (right before I fell into bed) I told Hubby Tony that I had so many balls in the air I was afraid I was going to forget something really important. He graciously volunteered to make a couple of phone calls for me.

Today I finally got around to looking at the puzzle page from yesterday's newspaper. When I read my Sunday horoscope, I had to laugh. It described my life so perfectly!

Five years ago today: Word Of My Year

Saturday, January 4, 2020

THERE'S A Chunk Of My Life I Won't Get Back

Yesterday my To-Do list told me it was time to contact the utilities to have the service discontinued at our current house as of our closing date.

For both the electric and gas companies I through navigated a short menu, which led me to be immediately connected with a friendly, easy to understand person. In both cases in just a couple of minutes they had things set up for me.

Next was the water company. I started by telling the virtual automated receptionist I wanted to cancel service. 'She' verified the address I was calling about, then told me that the next available appointment wasn't until two days after the closing date and asked if that worked for me. I didn't think I needed an appointment to close out my account, so I said it didn't.

The automated receptionist transferred me into the queue to talk to a representative. I was told the wait time would be 12 minutes, but they offered the option of receiving a call back when it was my turn. I selected the option. Sure enough, right on time the phone rang. However, all I heard was background noise on the phone. After several seconds, the call was disconnected.

I tried again, and had to navigate through the automated receptionist again to get to the representative. Once again I learned there was a lengthy wait time (now 15 minutes), so I asked for a call back. However, 15 minutes later I was on another call and my Call Waiting failed to work. Ultimately I received a voice mail from the water company telling me "they were sorry they missed me" and to "please call back".

The third time, after my interaction with the same automated receptionist I decided to stay on the line until I could actually talk to a person. For the next 13 minutes I amused myself online until a representative answered the phone. Unlike the other utility company employees this one was hard to understand, and seemed to be less familiar with her job. However, she was able to do what I needed her to, and I was able to cross cancel the utilities off my list.

Five years ago today: Gimme A Cup

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Anyone Else Have The Same Problem?

Thanks to both Christmas and New Year's falling on Wednesday this year I've been confused by what day of the week it is for quite some time.  Just about the time I got in the swing of the week it was time to take a two day holiday break. Then I barely had time to get back in the swing of things in time for it to be the weekend. Then the whole confusing thing happened a second time!

This week has been especially bad. In the Catholic Church, New Year's Day is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a Holy Day of Obligation. Hubby Tony and I chose to go to Mass on Tuesday night. Then we went out to dinner. (We usually do both activities on our Saturday nights, so other than staying up later to celebrate the new year the evening felt pretty typical.)

On New Year's Day we slept in, then spent the day doing things around the house in preparation for moving. The flow of the day certainly made it feel like a Sunday. This morning I woke up and looked for some emails that always show up in my Inbox on Monday morning. It took me several minutes to figure out why they weren't there.