Saturday, December 06, 2008

Internet Christmas Shopping

Men Slackards (Male & Female) No Longer Have An Excuse...

It's a wonder to me that anyone even bothers to go into a store any more at Christmas, unless you're just into pain and enjoy putting up with the rudeness of the general public.

I've gone online over the past week and taken care of all of my out of town family's gifts and only paid something less than $10 in total shipping fees because most everything has free shipping since I didn't wait until the last minute.

I just noticed that it's lightly snowing outside, and now it's time to cook Brunch and hang some more lights on the front of the house and in various shrubbery before heading off to torture a bunch of chicken, beef, and fish.

Hope y'all have a lovely Saturday.

(Remember tomorrow's the aniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack sixty seven years ago. Think about how things could be if the US hadn't had the balls to stand up to the fascist/socialist/imperialistic idiots of THAT time, then try cutting our current president a little slack because it's easy to play armchair quarterback from the perspective of hindsight...)

We're Cooking For a Crowd

Success = Preparation meeting Opportunity

As most everyone probably already knows, things are more than a bit slow in the economy these days.

The same goes for the injuneering engineering business here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

In fact, I think that we sink faster than many of the rest of the professional service businesses out there, but due to the amount of time it takes to bring the kind of projects we do on line we're also the first firms to recover once the economy starts firing on all cylinders again.

Regardless of the details of the circumstances, the decision was made in the past couple of weeks to move our Company Christmas Party from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in downtown Knoxville to the beautiful home of our HR director in a nearby suburb.

I was one of the first persons to know about the decision because we were invited to share the cooking duties for tonight's event.

I jumped all over the opportunity because I find that it's hard to find a large captive crowd on which to force your culinary efforts on.

Pat's already made 28 servings of Creme Brulee which are comfortably resting in the basement fridge awaiting transport to the scene of the crime festivities, and I'll be donning my Knot buttoned Chef's Jacket about 4:30 PM in preparation for producing giant portions of baked Salmon, Chateaubriand and a few covers of Chicken Piccata.

I haven't seen the kitchen yet but I hear that the house is impressive and features dual ovens and lots of workspace. The accouterments will include baked potatoes, Green beans almondine, and steamed asparagus with Bearnaise sauce.

It's really cool to have worked my way up from being a guy that could barely manage to scramble some eggs and cooked on the grill once and a while fifteen years ago to being able to comfortably produce five star meals for giant crowds of hungry friends, family , and now co-workers.

Wish us luck...if you will...

Bon Appetite!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

Operating At 99%

Can I say something here this morning?

Oh yeah...that's right...this is my blog so I can write something for others to read while I say it out loud to myself.

Here goes...

I just finished a marathon three day business trip involving spending time in four states and flying over parts of others, and miraculously I arrived back home here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River in a condition such that I feel like going into the office at 7:30 in order to get back up to speed on the California Project.

You see, I'm celebrating and thanking the Good Lord because six months ago I probably couldn't have made it through a day of what I just went through without having to come home and lay down for at least 24 hours.

Instead I managed to cover a thousand miles in airplanes and another hundred miles in cars, spend two nights in three hotels, AND work 15 hours and arrive back home in condition to just keep on going like it was another normal workday.

All this, without needing some kind of Government economic bailout or public provided counseling.

Sorry that the blogging has suffered, but give me 24 hours and I'll catch up on the news and most likely have a couple of insensitive observations to offer for your consideration and/or disdain.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Packing Her Own Luggage

Here's A Look At What I'm probably Gonna See Next Time I Leave Town...

(click on the photo and try not to laugh)

Regional Unreasonabilities

You Want Fries Free Internet With Your One Cup Coffee maker?

Oh...I don't know...Where do I start this morning...give me a minute.

OK, I'm back at the keyboard while I wait on my cup of coffee to brew.

That's right...I said CUP of coffee.

Not "little annoying hotel room sized POT of coffee" mind you.

I'm now officially brewing an entire CUP of coffee. At least the process will be fast I hope.

In other news, at least the Internet is free here--even though I'm forced to operate while tied to a CAT5 cable instead of using wireless-- in this slightly worn and dated Holiday Inn in East Indianapolis.

The Crown Plaza near the Detroit airport tossed me a curve ball by charging a teaser room rate, then demanding an extra $9.99 for less than 8 hours of room occupancy.

I looked around for someone to give the remaining 16 hours of Internet to, but after the second person threatened to call the police I just placed my luggage on the complementary shuttle and moved on toward the airport.

Then the airport shuttle driver tried to toss me off at the wrong terminal along with a couple of airline flight crews. Fortunately I read the overhead roadsigns and when I pointed out my need for the Northwest/Delta terminal he remembered that Detroit had opened a new dedicated terminal in the past WEEK and duhhhhhh....I'd have missed my flight hiking the three miles across the tarmac or boarding a cab to get me where I needed to be.

Yet another travel disaster averted.

...excuse me, but I just heard a strange coughing sound emanating from the bathroom where my new one cup coffee maker is dutifully brewing java...

false alarm...although I may have a coffee flavored toothbrush and hair brush as a result of that last burst spewing out of the combustion chamber on the little device.

Off topic, but anyone but me ever wondered why you use a toothbrush to brush your teeth?

Why not "teethbrush?"

Oh...I have a set of teeth, not a set of tooth.

(Octipus...Octopi..Goose..Geese...Moose...Meese...someone shoot the people making the rules for writing in English...)

Now back to my point...In my case--while I still need a "teethbrush", every day I get closer and closer to needing a "hairbrush" to brush the last hair still attached to my ever greying, ever balding head.

So any way, it's back to the lab over at the Super Duper Electro-Pneumatic Valve and Waffle Iron Company this morning for another seven or eight hours of yawning while a bunch of lawyers present poker faces at the nerds found holding the screwdrivers and tap dance around the absurd, the obvious, and the absurdly obvious.

We got started at noon yesterday and didn't finish the proceedings until 9:45 last night--thus the lack of words here on the Internet.

...oops...time to go set up a second cup 'o Joe...

Back at the keys...I guess a trip summary after not flying anywhere for almost a year--coming from an old road/sky warrior--is my observation that the airlines have lost their freaking minds annoying people with "checked baggage" charges and "second baggage" charges and "last minute frequent flyer mile redemption fees".

Pat and I were subjected to both in the past week in our travels and pretty much have given up our allegiance to any airline--having flown Delta almost exclusively for the past 100 years (OK--20 years each) because of their frequent flyer program.

When you charge someone a $10 "FEE" to redeem what was originally promoted to be "FREE miles", and when you charge someone a $150 "FEE" in order to redeem said miles 48 hours in advance of traveling to a funeral to bury a nephew shot and killed by his own cousin, and then when you get to the gate and you charge yet another $50 "FEE" for a second checked bag (when the first bag is a small cosmetics bag about the size of most women's summer purses filled with toiletries exceeding the FAA/TSA's stupid three ounce liquid in checked baggage rule) then...

your stupid freaking airline deserves to sink in a single decade from being the most successful air carrier operation in the entire known world, with cash running out your ears, into being yet another blithering, blubbering corporate entity teetering within months if not weeks of insolvency.

...hang on...I hear my giant coffee maker coffeeingcoughing...

So any way, that should about cover things this morning. I have virtually no idea what's going on in the news other than I'm getting out of town in front of another global warming induced snow storm.

I'm ready to get back to the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River and see how Pat and little Missy the Turbo Pup have fared in my absence.

I guess you could say that this old road warrior is becoming a home body in is advancing middle age.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Two Hotels In One Night?

OK...One 12 hour period...


Late Flight

Missed connection

Crown Plaza Detroit

Bed at Midnight

Up at 4:15

6:15 flight

$60 cab ride

Indianapolis Hotel bought night before


Meeting at Noon

(I hope you'll understand why posting is light...more later...)

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm Off To See Be The Wizard...

Is Indianapolis Anywhere Near Oz?

Well, by 5 PM today I should be standing somewhere in the Knoxville International Airport, Hair Salon, and Tire Service Center (we'll call it KIAHAST for short.)

Between now and then I have to finish packing my bags and get through a hectic workday, then it's off to Indiana.

I have to also somehow manage to keep Missy the Turbo Pup from climbing in one of the suitcases and trying to sneak away with me.

She's gonna be one lonely puppy without me, because she already hates and doesn't understand why her Mom is away for the first time in almost two years.

Come to think of it...

I'm feeling a bit lonely myself...