Sunday, October 25, 2009

One of these days I'll get another post up here, but for now I'm adjusting to the new job that is still kicking my ass. I am in much better shape now than I was two weeks ago, but it's still exhausting. And it's exhuasting enough to cause me to lose 10 pounds over the last two weeks. I'm glad for the weight loss, but that's taking it off a bit too fast for my liking. For one thing, my pants won't stay up and I can't afford to buy new pants every two weeks... maybe I'll increase the beer and pizza consumption to slow things down a bit.

Monday, October 19, 2009


It is then it sucks balls.yesterday was a whirlwind of real time and on the web.Had several chats with friends and newly discovered friends / relatives of varying degrees of intensity.Saw my kids and grandkids.
I was so drained quote the dark crystal "My essence" was gone.
I will be 50 at the end of next month...and frankly I surprised I made it to this milestone...god knows I stared death in the face many times and prevailed. I have so much to be grateful for.
I don't want a shiny red corvette or a trophy wife /girlfriend...none of that thank you very much.I would be happy with settled.Restless gets old.
But 50...motherfucker.
how did that happen?
I remember thinking 50 was old...haha.
One more time to the well of deep thoughts courtesy of the Who...
"Schizophrenic?I'm fucking Quadrophenic"!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I can still walk...
Last week I was a bit concerned how I was going to do today at work. I was so sore at the end of the day last Wednesday that I couldn't imagine being able to scan a third store on Thursday this week. But my muscles have adjusted somewhat and while I'm still feeling pretty sore today at the end of the workday, it's not near as bad after scanning for three days this week as it was after just two days last week. And to top things off, I tripped over a dog and stubbed a toe on a chair this morning before I went to work. It hurt like hell, but stubbed toes first thing in the morning usually do. I went to work and stood/walked/squatted for 6 hours straight, not giving it too much thought, but when I got home from work and took my shoe off I discovered my toe is purple/black, twice the size it should be and a bit more crooked than usual. Looks broken. Of course, it doesn't really matter if it's broken or not since there's nothing you can really do for a broken toe except stick some ice on it. Maybe tape it to a neighboring toe if that makes walking on it easier.

Well, that's enough blogging for now - I should probably go prop my foot up and put some ice on this toe - but later I want to talk about how amazed I am at the variety of products in the stores. Yeah, I've been shopping at these same stores that I scan for years, but shopping is not something I like to do and I never really paid much attention to just how much different stuff there is out there on those shelves. I'm the kind of person that goes in to get just what I need, do a little price comparison while I'm at it and then get the hell out of there as fast as possible. Now that it's my job to notice all the different things... well, it's been a real eye opener.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Neil has always been a very important influence on my music and really, my life.I heard my first NY album when I was 12...Harvest...that was 37 years ago and he has been a constant in my life ever since.I can say that if he goes before I do I will weep uncontrollably.
This song was on the CSNY record Deja Vu when I first heard it...also around 12 years old and it still has the same effect on me.Chills down my spine and a lump in my throat.
It takes me back in time...every time I hear it.
When Buddy and I trekked to Colorado in 81 I played Decade the whole way there...singing my heart out and not caring who saw me.
Neil really nails it here...enjoy. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Potato Soup Again
We are pretty low on cash these days so a few days ago I picked up a bag of potatoes, a large yellow onion, a can of beef broth and some milk to make potato soup. We already had garlic at the house and I think I also added a bit of Italian seasoning in addition to the salt and pepper, not sure, but either way, it was tasty, cheap and perfect for the cool, rainy weather we've been having.

It was rainy and cool again today and we were still broke. I still had potatoes, but I had to make the soup a little different this time since we had no broth or milk so I created "Creamy Bacon Potato Soup".

3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced into small pieces
1/2 large yellow onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
6 slices of uncooked bacon
2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Roux to thicken

Cover potatoes with water and cook on a slow boil until soft. In a separate pan, melt some butter. Chop the onion, garlic and raw bacon into small pieces. Cook these in the butter over very low heat until the onions are translucent and the bacon is done (it will not be crispy.) Turn down the heat on the potatoes to a simmer, mash them up a bit with a fork (but not too much) and add the onion/garlic/bacon mixture. Add Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer about 30 minutes while you make your roux. Add the roux and simmer another 15 or so before serving.

Nothing fancy, but cheap and tasty.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For
I've never really liked the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." It seems to put a negative spin on wishing and I've always felt that one should wish or dream for as many wonderful things as possible. Remember how crappy it felt when you were a kid dreaming up something like being a ballerina or kick-ass soldier and some adult came along and messed it up with their comments? Well, maybe it didn't happen to you, but it certainly happened to me. And it wasn't just in the area of "what do you want to be when you grow up," but also happened to all sorts of wishes and wants. I went back and forth quite a bit as a kid between listening to what people had to say or ignoring them and doing what I wanted to do anyway. Of course, the "doing what I wanted to do" usually got me in a fair amount of trouble, but it was almost always worth it.

I had a fairly good handle on doing what I wanted during my teenage years, but once I became an adult, I got sucked in a bit by that "responsible adult" concept. That kept me pretty stuck until I had a major breakthrough in my thirties which caused me to hook up with Rob and start having fun again. But these last several years... not so much fun, mostly due to a job that sucked the life right out of me. Sure, financial woes played their part too, but it doesn't cost much money to have fun if you can just get past fretting about things you can't change. Or, in the case of my crappy job, thinking you can't change it because of this, that or the other.

Anyway, back to that old saying... when I was sending out reams of resumes each week, I was thinking a lot about what I wanted in a new job and wishing for certain things. I wanted a job that was close to the house. I wanted something part-time. I wanted something that paid at least $10/hour. I wanted something that would involve some physical activity so I wasn't sitting at a desk all day. I wanted a job with no phone calls to answer. I wanted something that didn't require me to be somewhere at a specific time or I'd get in trouble for being "tardy". I wanted something that used technology/computers in some way. I wanted something that didn't involve multi-tasking. I wanted a job that had clear-cut tasks with reasonable deadlines. I wanted a job that didn't require me to work every weekend. Now that's not a short list so imagine my surprise when the only job offer I received matched each and every one of those things.

Let's see, what can I tell you about my job? I signed a long confidentiality agreement, but I can tell you that I have a small laptop computer that has a touch screen and a barcode scanner which I take to various stores where I scan the products that are on the shelves. I do not work for the stores or the product vendors; it's an independent company that has been in business for a very long time, in fact, long before there were such things as portable computers and barcode scanners to make this job easier. Basically, I gather data and send it off to be sorted and analyzed. It's not as simple as it sounds and I've been told it takes 42 weeks to be fully trained. From what I've had to learn over the last two weeks for this one specific type of data gathering (and I'm still not fully trained on it) then I think that 42 weeks is probably an accurate statement. I've also met several of my coworkers, some of whom have been with the company for 4 or more years and were still enjoying their job. Imagine that.

At first, I didn't understand why they limit new hires to just 10 hours a week of in-store training, but now I definately know the reasoning behind it and it's not the large amount of training material that I need to memorize. It's because of the physical requirements of the job. My thigh muscles were so sore after working Tuesday and Wednesday that I could barely walk. Why the thighs? Well, picture a shelf at your local grocery or drugstore. Now imagine scanning all the different products on that shelf, reaching up to get the ones above your head, then squatting down to get the lower shelves. The reaching up, that's not so bad. But the squatting down at shelf after shelf is like doing squats at the gym, except I'm doing it for six hours instead of just 30 minutes. Some people bend over at the waist to reach those products, but with my back I can't do that. Between the squats and all the walking that I now do, I suspect I'm going to get my legs in shape like they were during my teenage years, back in the day when I used to piss the guys off because I could leg press way more weight than they could. Also, I should be able to keep up with Rob on the greenbelt in another month or so which happens to be one of the other things I was wishing for.

So, instead of "Be careful what you wish for," let's change that to "Be specific as possible about what you wish for." Because in retrospect, I should have set my wage requirements a bit higher.