Thursday, August 27, 2015

Well howdy!

I have not posted anything in almost 2 months?   What the heck is going on?  It's not like I've been:

  • Travelling the world (the farthest I've gone is Virginia.  No wait!  Michigan!)
  • Being all tied up inventing something the whole entire world needs (but I did finalize an SOP)
  • Learning a new skill (though does 'renting cars' count?)
  • Holed up writing the next great American novel (not even YA stuff)
  • Reinvigorating my health with vigorous daily exercise (and why is it spelled that way, 'exercise'?  It should be exersize, right?)

My life has been kind of boring, if you want to know the truth.  I gave up on both the vegetable and flower gardens, even.  I think the only thing I've been doing a real good job on lately is spending money.  Like, to the point that I'm having to move it out of savings (ouch) to pay for the stuff that needs buying.  I suppose when one is purchasing a good deal of items not on the budget (plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, new brakes, anyone?), when one doesn't use credit cards the ol' bank account will be taking a hit.  But hey, tomorrow comes with a paycheck, so that's a silver lining.  AND, all that travel stuff was for a good cause, because it's not every day that a family member gets married AND decides to spend the first week of their honeymoon in little old Raleigh, NC.  It was nice having Biff's daughter and her new husband around for the week - we just don't get to see them all that much (Michigan is kind of far away.  I just looked at the map to confirm).

Dang, the last time I posted we hadn't even gone to Lake Week yet, and now it seems so far away.  Side note regarding the top news of yesterday: I was shocked at the senseless murders of a TV reported and her cameraman by a disgruntled former colleague, even MORE shocked to find out that it happened right at the Lake.  The same lake my family has been gong to for vacation for over 30 years!!  Bridgewater Plaza is as familiar to us as anything, and next year when we are there something will have changed about it, because murder in broad daylight is so horribly sad and such a waste of life that something will, in some way, have necessarily to be different.  It's terrible and wrong and disappointing that those two were killed by someone who subsequently took the coward's way out and shot himself.  Why didn't he just shoot himself first and let those two young people live?  Why did that selfish waste of skin feel like killing someone is just recompense for the slights it seems that he imagined she flung at him?  What kind of lunatic believe that murder is justifies because someone (perhaps) called you a bad word?  Right, a LUNATIC.  Way to ruin their lives, their families lives, and my vacation, you dickhead.

Changing topic now.

Thing 2 has been away at college now for nearly 2 weeks.  He has asked to come home for the weekend tomorrow, which I am happy to have him do.  At first I was going to stand firm that he should hang out there for at least a month, but as soon as he asked to come home I was all like 'ABSOLUTELY!!!' and so I will be picking him up tomorrow at 4:45 and try to not suffocate him with that first hug.  He's in near-constant contact with his brother, but does he call his mother?  Well, yes.  He does.  He also sent his brother a picture of 'The Pit' outside the student union last Saturday, and apparently everyone left campus because what is normally a very bustling area on campus was EMPTY (see picture above of what it looked like on move-in day this year).  Like, nobody there.  Can it be true that kids want to go home after their first WEEK in school?  Seems way too soon to me.  Of course my experience was different, because of Ye Olde Marschiernekapelle, which started a week before school did and kept us occupied many weekends.  I guess everyone needs to find their own way.

I'll leave it there, so as to retain some kind of material for the next time I feel like posting.  Until then, please keep us in your thoughts because we are likely going to be hosting Tiffowe'en this year and that's always a ton of planning and preparation.

Tiff out.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Need a playmate

Hi, I'm a very handsome (so I'm told) young adult male with sleek black hair, a noble nose, good taste in the finer things in life (like snacks and naps), and a love of all living creatures.

I have 2 cats, but only one of them likes me.  The other one gets mad when I'm around, but I've been working on her slowly and she now lets me kiss her, gently, from time to time.  She's touchy though, so I prefer to hang out with the other one, who can sleep anyplace or time, and often does.  He's sort of like a big orange rug, which is a lifestyle I can get behind, totally.

My house is solid and smells good most of the time.  Wednesday nights are the best nights because they're trash night.  However, because most dinners are home-cooked (wink!) pretty much every day there's something new going on that is pleasant and homey.

I am sort of sporty too, if you like that kind of thing.  Not like marathon sporty, more like 'playing catch in the backyard' sporty, or 'taking long walks in the woods' sporty.  I'm not picky, really, as long as there's about 30 minutes a day of running around.  Young males like me need to get their ya-yas out, you know.  I hope that doesn't offend anyone, because it's the truth and I only tell the truth..

ANYHOW, what I'm looking for is a friend.  A buddy to hang out with, you know?  I'm pretty new here and feel like it's time to branch out, maybe, to find some new faces to hang out with.  It's OK if it's just online or whatever, but if you live close by and want to hang out that'd be cool to.

This just feels like the right thing to do, so if you're interested, leave a comment below with your contact info and I'll get back to you.  Or my Mom will.  She's typing this for me, for reasons that will now appear obvious.


My name is Wernstrom, but you can call me Wern.  Or Buddy.  Or Budder.

So, yeah!  Hit me up with the digits ('cuz I ain't got any!  Hee!)!

Wern.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Please stop doing this

Folks, we need to talk about a few things. 

Things you need to stop doing.  Like, NOW.

---

Using these two phrases, for starters:

'Took a turn for the worst'

'All the sudden'

Because, really, it's presumed that (unless you're a non-native English speaker) you have come into contact with a variant of these turns of phrase before, and at that contact it's likely the phrase was being used correctly.  Perhaps I am wrong in this, but I'll bet not.  The use of these phrases MUST be stopped.

They are, in correct form, as follows:

'Took a turn for the worse'

'All of a sudden'

Please take note and endeavor to use them in their proper form from this point on.

Thanks much!

---

Also, if you would be so good as to cease being exclusionary, purposely ignorant, hateful, judgemental, violent, manipulative, and/or close-minded.

Instead, try being these things:

curious
welcoming
loving
accepting
peaceful
straightforward

It might seem weird at first, but once you get some practice in I'll bet you find that you're a lot less angry and defensive.

Good luck!

---

One last thing (this is for anyone who works in a cube farm): if you are having a conversation in your cube with someone, either on the phone or in person, please, for the sanity of all around you, do NOT drop your voice to a whisper just as you're getting to the juicy parts of what you're sharing.  It's really super-annoying and makes some of us get a little stabby. 

If you KNOW you're going to 'go there' in a conversation, either take it to a meeting room or save it  for instant messaging.  Because that would be the kind and least distracting thing to do, and might save you from being impaled by a plastic cafeteria knife.

---

These message brought to you by someone who clearly has some 'issues' with people lately.

What are yours?

Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thanks for that

Part of why I don't love my job is that there's a LOT of training involved.  Like, a lot.

I also don't like having to follow the rules, like ever, but must adhere to The System where training is concerned or the folks in the Upper Offices get notified and I would get called on the carpet, which I like even less than following the rules, so follow them I do.

Therefore, I do the damned training.

This morning's offering was along the lines of 'How we made your job easier by introducing new steps in the process and multiple new forms to fill out, plus make you do more of the work other people should be doing.  Amen.'

What, that doesn't make sense to you?  Welcome to Corporate America, my friend.

Oh sure, it's padded with little items like 'we now provide a fully hyperlinked document for you to check, so now YOU check it instead of that dude in India,' which isn't as fun as it sounds (!) because the type of document we're talking about can have thousands of pages and multiple thousands of links to check, and did I mention I'm not all that hot on detail work either?  Of all the things I don't care for at my job though, detail work, especially QC work, is my least least favorite, and sometimes I enjoy it, but THIS kind of detail work is mind-numbing.  Oh, and then we need to complete a form that says 'I checked it, it's FINE,' which if it turns out things are NOT actually fine when it comes time to submit the thing, will bounce back at the sign-ee like an angry toddler on a trampoline.

But I digress.  Back to the training - -

Normally, intructor-led training is more entertaining than the canned slide decks or recorded sessions in which the same smiling lady is used to present a wide variety of topics (eg, 'Marcy' in one training is 'Lucy' in another and she wears the same clothes and holds the same poses, because why pay for another set of stock photos when you already have The World's Stiffest Spokesmodel on hand?).  Instructors can do that little interaction thing, and sometimes can inject a little humor, right?

Well, notsomuch today.  Sure, there were humorous things that happened, like that long space of dead air while the nice fellow swooped around a long document looking for his one example of a broken link (so he could show us what one looks like), a time during which I may have hoped that the connection to the meeting was irretrievably broken, and that awkward giggle when the other instructor fished around for a way to say "I don't know" to a good question, but otherwise this one was pretty dry.

It had to be, because they rip-raced through absolute PILES of material, barely mentioning stuff that's pretty important. THEN they had the nerve to tell us that the meeting would end 25 minutes short of the scheduled hour, and I had to wonder why they glossed over so much if they KNEW the presentation only goes 35 minutes.  Seriously.  If  I'm going to not do actual work and instead go to a training, I want that training to last the full allotment of time instead of 'giving me back' 25 minutes of my day to, ostensibly, DO WORK. That's just a terrible trick to play on someone, wouldn't you agree.

So, yes.  Thanks for that trainers for all that "time back" hooey, but I played a trick on you.  I didn't work at all.  I wrote this post instead.

---

Oh, and my kid graduated on 06 June.  GPA of 4.875, 18th in his class of 500+ kids.  He seems to think that's pretty normal.  I seem to think it's pretty awesome.  He worked HARD for those grades, but didn't want to celebrate it.  Weirdo.

So I'm putting his picture on the internet instead.

:)
Yes, he's still in braces.  We got started late...
One proud mama, out. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Oh for F*(&s sake

Years from now it is likely that the furore being experienced in the hearts and (I guess they are) minds of some folks is going to seem quaint and adorable by most of the people who are still around to remember this one earth-shattering thing that has happened that can now never unhappen:

BRUCE JENNER IS TRANS.

OMGOMGOMGOMG!  Where's the bomb shelter?  How do I protect my children?  What has this world come to that a man's man like Bruce is now a lady named Caitlyn?  It's an outrage!!  He can't be a she!  He's a he and he needs to be a he because if he is now a she then all my teenage broodings over how great a 'he' he was are now in vain because he was living a lie and liars are sinners and sinners go to hell and in my Heaven Bruce Jenner should be there gleaming like the god he is, medals around his burly neck and his glorious hair blowing in the celestial breeze!  Damn! 

Who wants to be a LADY, for crying out loud?

Well, me.

I am a lady, who never really felt all that 'girly.'  Don't think that makes me less of a lady because I tend to not think like one.  Does that make me a boy?  No.

I have a sound mind, a strong one, even, and while I don't tip around in girly acroutrements and preen over hair and makeup or get tall worked up over the newest fashions and manicure styles and Who Has The Biggest Diamond, I can be as much of a lady as the next man.  Or female.  I don't think it's about the outside as much as the inside, in other words.

I am a lady, who often feels much more like a guy.  I'm basic, simple, and now that I'm old I have much less drama and hormones to flood my physical being with what was chromosomally determined at conception, I have pared back to what I believe I really am, which is a PERSON.

Whoa.

Imagine.  Wanting to be the person you are.  What nerve.

Well, Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner has been trying to be what she isn't for well over 30 years.  THIRTY.  Let her have a moment when she feels just right in who she is, even if the plumbing might not match the rest of the remodel.  Who gives a tiny crap about something as insignificant as that, when someone can finally say something as banal (to me) as 'hey, I like jeans and a tee just fine, no need for pantyhose and perfume here,' or, more likely, 'I like me in a dress and heels and big hair like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias.' 

Word: It's not the end of the world.  This transitioning doesn't reflect on YOUR gender situation (unless it does, and then I hope in some way what is happening right now helps you).  It's not as though this sort of thing has never happened before.  This is not the first time.  It's HER first time, though, and I think that while it might be confusing and strange and really uncomfortable for some folks, in the end it's about finding what make a person comfortable and at  peace that matters, and not what they wear or who they are becoming, or have become.


It's just not that huge a deal, except for him.  A little support would be great instead of a heaping helping of obnoxious bullying and creepy innuendo (Mike Huckablech!).

God.  Give me a spirit of graciousness and understanding in this moment.  Remind me to be civil and not fan flames of hatred and discomfort.  Let me be the open arms, the understanding heart, the sought-for peace.

Rant over.