Somewhere between hypercompetence & homeownership
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Whatever the hell that means.

Friday, June 29
Just Say No! Yeah, right. Sometimes I am such an idiot. For some reason still unclear to me, I am unable to refuse requests for help on little projects. Then I go and make them into all night events. Currently, on my plate is a t-shirt graphic project and a poster and print piece. Different people, different purposes. In both cases, I intended to just do the minimum. Yeah, good luck with that. I had the t-shirt artwork done but just had to go and tweak it. Then, I agreed to handle the printing of the transfers. At the high quality setting, about 10 minutes per sheet. The other job, I intended to just kibitz on layout and font, etc. Yeah, right. After trying to explain things, I just said, "give me the Word doc and I'll do it".Of course, they need it next week and I am leaving town on Tuesday so it just became a weekend crunch job.

I am such a schmuck.


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Wednesday, June 27
Bad teeth Don't feel bad, Daniela, things could be worse. Someone recommended a dentist to us, we've been to him a few times. After a couple of visits, I noticed that HIS TEETH SUCK! His bottom teeth are totally wacked, they're piled up like a derailed train. To me, it's a graphic designer doing their resume in Times Roman, using Word and their portfolio presentation in Powerpoint, with jaggy graphics and Quark colors. I finally convinced Lara to switch dentists before the next checkup.

Even worse, I had to get a root canal and the guy I was referred to (by bad teeth dentist) was terrible but I was so uncomfortable I had to go against my better judgement. He was so "small time" and cheap, he only had a parttime receptionist and NO assistant. I think he was trying to save on painkillers, too. I had a root canal done once before, in DC and that doc (what do you call people who do root canals?) was WAY better. She warned me that she was expensive (she charged more than the insurance would cover) but she assured me it would be worth it. She was right. She was a class act and didn't skimp on the anesthetic.


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Monday, June 25
Accurate Forecasting and Queue Psychology Yes, Lara and I were "disenchanted" with Bahama Breeze. I will admit that we are old crochety sticks in the mud, we just aren't into the bar scene and BB was very "bar scene" when we were waiting for a table (8pm on a Wed night?!). There was a guy next to us, smoking cheapass thin cigars, wearing tightjeans and the biggest hair I've ever seen on a male in 15 years. If I'd had a digital camera with me, he'd be on Hot or Not right now.

No, my problem with BB was that we were told the wait was approx. 65-90 minutes. Then, 30 min. later, we checked back on our progress, their (slighty snotty) response was that it would not be less than the 90 minutes they previously stated, as if that was a fixed minimum. What happened to the 65 side of the estimate? It's just bad queue psychology. It's much better to overestimate the time and then make people happy to get in early, an old Disney trick. In DisneyWorld, if the sign says "60 minute wait", its likely to be about 45. In actuality, our wait was 105 minutes, a solid 15 past the high side of the early estimate. Not worth it. I didn't complain because we were stupid enough to agree to the wait and actually endure the wait but it's not likely we will choose to go back.


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Friday, June 22
What would you do for a Klondike bar? Not that I think we're really going to win the Aeron chairs, but the prospect of determining the fate of the 3rd, spare chair is quite entertaining in its own right. Thoroughly amusing and reasonably accurate nicknames aside, determining a suitable recipient is a considerable task. Maybe we should hold some sort of contest? Accept tokens of esteem? Cash, no, that wouldn't be right. I suppose we could look at it the other way 'round. We could give it away as a way to suck up to our bosses... it becomes something like winning the reward on Survivor and choosing who to share it with.

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For the record...let's get a few things straight.

First, kitchen shears are cool, I am certain I have owned a pair far longer than Jenny has and I have found many wonderful uses for them. Personal favorite: cutting up a small roasted chicken into the standard parts while it is hot from the oven, fast and easy. Jenny, of course, uses kitchen shears for any task they will fit around. I would agree that most of the uses she suggests are great ideas. Cutting angel food cake is probably the only one that doesn't sound so good to me, I suppose it has something to do with the mental image of the cake being squooshed down to the cutting point. That and the knowledge that the same shears were cutting up meat the day before. I clean them thoroughly but it still seems nasty.

Now about hot glue guns: I remain unimpressed with the holding power of hot glue. Hot glue is neat, fast, sets up quick but its not a serious adhesive. I agree that its a great glue dispenser and the thick glob of glue can be used to attach just about anything to anything, regardless of shape or space between the surfaces. The problem is that they don't stay attached. Not too great of an endorsement, you can basically expect anything you do with it to fail under stress. In contrast, I have superglued things and epoxied things together that have stayed together for years, including coffee cup handles that have endured heat, cold, weight, and repeated trips through the dishwasher (which combines things that kill almost any glue: heat, water pressure, soap, etc.)

Serious jobs require serious tools.

Now about ice cream cake: Personally, as I am sure you know, I really love sushi and I really love chili but I would prefer to eat them separately. Mmm, mmm, yellowtail with beans and onions. Think about it: ice cream: cold, wet, dense. Cake: warm, dry (well, not too dry, but certainly not soggy), delicate texture. Combining them sacrifices the best qualities of both. I also think that the quality of cake and ice cream in an ice cream cake is usually not of the highest quality. As much as we all love CookiePuss, he ain't on the level with Ben & Jerry's.

Now, with that said, if you want to eat Chef Boyardee mixed with Cap'n Crunch, be my guest.


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Thursday, June 21
Glad that's over. Whew.. While the whole flamingo deal was wildly successful, it took way too much of my time and I wish I was happier with the results. It's not that I am unhappy with the results, I just didn't get nearly as much done as I should have for the time I spent.


Where's my Chair?! Well, finally, the
Herman miller BRIGHT RED office supply creation contest site has been updated. I discovered the contest on May 13th. The original deadline was May 15th. Not enough time to do anything. We scrambled and submitted the floppydisc curtain. Truly cool and grand enough in scale but I would have rather had time to go wilder and really pilfer a vast quantity of office supplies in the process. Then, they extend the deadline. Then, they say nothing, indicate nothing. Finally, they've updated the site and indicated that they will announce the winners July 2nd. I leave for vacation July 3rd. Putting reminder notice in my Palm. Winner gets 3 (yes 3) Aeron chairs and three Spider tables. Yes. Nice prize. I have already ordered an Aeron for home but another for the office would be sweet.


Decisions, decisions... On a somewhat related note, the Doughboy store is finally reopened. Lots of useless doughboy trinkets to choose from. I am leaning towards the Doughboy dry erase planning calendar to dress up our new digs.

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Tuesday, June 19
Poltergeist???
I have never heard of
soap bottles bubbling over due to heat stroke. I have experienced similar events when taking bottles, etc. to high altitude. I've learned to put the toothpaste and shampoo into ziploc baggies before packing for a ski trip. In Daniela's instance, I am betting on a restless spirits of the undead.

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Monday, June 18
Tell me about it... Not only is Jenny caught in the gravitational pull of JoAnnes, she has to pull others down with her. She sent us there in search of super cheap sand shovels. We left with 5 shovels, a jumprope, a frosty mug and a little suitcase for H. And yes, the sale was only 50%.

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Tuesday, June 12
Flaming-Dough Lara actually came up with that one. It's not perfect but it's better than anything I came up with.


Matt B. overheard my plans for Flamin'Go! which is a good thing, because I would hate to have seen two identical themed birds on the unveiling day. Since I was already working away on my bird, and he was debating between a couple different ideas, he graciously agreed to take a different direction. I went to the hobby shop today looking for the model engine parts I needed. I found what I was looking for, but the scale is wrong. The parts are too small. I think it might be silly looking. I'll need to invest the effort and start building the model and then assess the situation. If I can attach various parts of the dragster in the right positions on the bird, it might work. I need to be sure before I go too far, I had intended to cut some holes in the bird (obviously irreparable steps) but I may not need to, now. A suitable model, in the right scale would have cost $75-$100 and I wasn't going there so we'll have to see if this will work at all. I can always leave off the model bits. If nothing else, some of the decals will add a nice touch.

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Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Going back to work is hard. Having been away for so long (three solid weeks) I find it difficult to concentrate and stick to a task. It's more like I am browsing through things. Partially it's because Jenny has done such a great job and there's virtually not a single fire to put out. Short-term, it feels like I don't have a job anymore. Long-term, it's a great development, Jenny's running the show and I can focus more on the bigger strategic goals for the store. I figure by the move, I hope I can get back in the groove.


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Sunday, June 10
Slicker than owl s*** The money-bird that is. I finished glueing down the money and put on the first coat of gloss varnish. I think it looks good. Gotta get working on the other one now. Moneybird also needs a name.

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Friday, June 8
Health Update I am headed back to work, half days on Monday. Its a done deal, approved by all concerned parties. Lara pooped out halfway through mowing the lawn this afternoon so I tenatively took up the slack. It wasn't too tough and I was okay the rest of the day. I got ahead on the ibuprophen score just in case. We went down to Pittsford (like we do most Friday evenings) and my back was not happy about sitting on the ground for the concert. I am due for more IB now. I am thinking strongly about a short bike ride tomorrow, a test run as it were. I am really getting obsessed about getting onto the roadbike before too long.

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Flamingo, v.2.0
The e-commerce flamingo is going well, I am actually working more on it now than my first. Not sure why but I always stall and procrastinate like this. I am at the stage where I need to commit to the linework and that's got me nervous. The application of the artwork to the ecommerce flamingo is less "final", I have a clear starting point and I can work my way through, piece at a time. The other bird requires a giant leap at this stage. I'll work up to it slowly and then plow through.I am also waffling about the added parts. I don't want to spend the $ but I really want the effect. I need to find a cheaper alternative source.


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Thursday, June 7
It's a sign... but I am not sure of what.

Today, on my way home from work, I saw basically the entire Porsche product line. Just outside the door of the office, I saw a 924, then on my way to the highway, I saw a 914. Once I got on the highway, I saw not one, but two, a 944 and an older 911SC. I got off the highway at Monroe and promptly pulled up alongside a brand spankin' new black 911 Cabrio, top down, a blond chatting on the cellphone. Trying not to stare, I look the other way and see a Boxster, also top down, blond chattin on the cell. I swear. Then, the coup de grace, I am about a block from the house and I see an absolutely perfect, mint, sweet, deep blue 356 Speedster. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

Actually, I know what the sign was, it was a really nice day here, finally. Everyone felt good and took out the nice ride for a change.

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to imagine actually driving that much money around on the street. My first house cost less than some of those cars. I used to covet those really rich rides but now I have simpler tastes, a well restored '68 912 would do just fine, it'd be cheaper to maintain and insure and just as much fun from 0-60. I'd really be happy with the 4 cylinder TT coupe, I don't need the 6 or the ragtop, I actually prefer the lines of the coupe and the 6 would just get me into trouble. Now, I just need to find a spare 30K.


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Tuesday, June 5
Six Feet Under

Oh, man, did anyone else see this show? It was so weird and bizarre and funny and tragic, all at the same time. It was great! It was like an car accident, I couldn't look away. The show was created, writted, directed, baasically everything, by Alan Ball, the guy who wrote American Beauty. I'm sure that little gold statue helped pave the way for this thing that probably scared the crap out of some HBO execs. If you enjoyed American Beauty, you've got to see this. if you're interested, I taped it. The link above leads to the video clips on the HBO site. The clip from the show is too serious, too heavy. Parts of the show are like that, but its also funny. The "commercials" are great, campy takeoff of real commercials for embalming fluid, hearses, etc.

Its hard to imagine how they can stretch this past a season but... it was thoroughly entertaining. If you can't tell, I liked it.

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New and improved! I forgot to mention WHY I wanted to post a picture of the flamingo in progress. I made a new base that I think may be an improvement. Not to criticize Jenny or Aaron, they did a great job creating bases for a whopping pile o' flamingo but I think stumbled across an improvement. Instead of 2 separate blocks, I made a base from a single block, approx. 12" long. The legs are somewhat "tensioned" into the holes but that makes the whole thing that much more stable. Don't ask why, but I have a whole bunch of 2x4 chunks just the right size. I think I need to paint them green, or better yet, cover them in astroturf!

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See Hannah's pics! Last night I decided to finally get these things posted. No captions yet but the pics are there. I made a cool link to the picture pages from the homepage.

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Sorry, no pics I wanted to post a picture of the flamingo in progress (along with some other things) but I have no digital camera right now. I was going to use Hannah's, but it seems the battery has died. It uses some funky battery, not a standard AA so it will have to wait until I return to the office (maybe tomorrow!)

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Progress My flamingo is progressing. Not rapidly but its heading in the right direction. I have been reading and researching paint techniques needed for my creation. Actually working on the surface of the flamingo may be challenging. I hate to "wing" some like this (bad pun, not intentional I assure you). I don't think I can effectively develop and transfer a design so I will have to work out the actual linework right on the bird. Then there's the isse of masking or overpainting, I am sure I am overanalyzing and overdoing the whole thing but that's my nature.

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But its fast....Wow, I retract all "crappier" comments. That was the fastest post I've seen since this thing started!


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blogger goes back in time???
I suppose we can't really complain, it's free and we all love the concept. If we were paying for it, however, it'd be crappier than anything from AOL or Microsoft.


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Monday, June 4



I just finished reading this really good book, The Amazing Adventures of
Kavalier & Clay
. Normally, I am not big on fiction but this book was
sent to me to read during my recovery so I gave it a look. It's fiction but
its written closely to factual events and the writer even included footnotes
and other details that appear factual but are not. The story involved two young
men and their partnership in the early days of comic books. NYC, before during
and after WWII. As a Jewish male with a family association with Brooklyn and
comic books, I was already predisposed to an interest in the subject matter.
The reality is that the comic book component acts as a reflection of the personal
lives of the two men.


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I guess I got away easy...

Before my surgery, Jenny and Tina thought I was nuts for wanting to go under the knife. Jenny didn't know that I had been walking around with the problems for weeks before I started griping out loud in the office. Tina was referencing previous personal experience and the
ongoing horror story of her brother's experience. Compared to that, I really got away easy.

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Friday, June 1
The fun is done Well, almost anyway.

For those of you who didn't know, I have been out of the office (I almost said "out of work") for 2 weeks now, post-surgery. Despite Jenny's belief that I was looking forward to the whole process, it's hasn't been much fun.
The first 24 hours were really, really unpleasant, even the most insignificant actions were painful. Since then, however, it's been a steady improvement. I actually checked email the next day, ironically, sitting at the desk for a short time was actually more comfortable than it had been before the surgery. Only in the last couple of days have I been able to sit at the desk for more than a few minutes. The laptop has been better but I haven't had too much need/desire to use it. The time has passed pretty quickly, with good books, magazines, puzzles and TV (thank God for cable!)

Next week is still up in the air at this point. My current guess is that I will start the return to work process on Monday and do some half-days later in the week.


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I'm baaa-aaack.... For various reasons, it's time to resume this tirade. Too much good stuff passing by without comment. Ideas, thoughts, comments that aren't really appropriate to relate on the Hannah page. More importantly, the need for a space to defend myself against the slanderous comments from all of you out there ;-)

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