Friday, August 08, 2014

The Trifecta of Stupidity

I solve problems.  It's what I do.  At home, at work, on my free time.  It's my gift.  I like solving problems.  It's fun to find workable solutions to seemingly impossible problems (That's my tagline by the way...).  Today was no different, but sometimes the universe (i.e. God) just does not cooperate.  I had the trifecta of stupidity today.

Case 1:

The first person I tried to help is a repeat customer.  I will call him Sal.  Sal should just give it up.  No matter how hard he tries, he just is not going to get it.  I could draw pictures, restate things multiple times.... heck I have even considered finger puppets, but it just is not happening.   Sal does not get it.  Sal is clueless.  Sal is a lost cause.  I try, and have tried in the past to help, but there comes a point where you have to tell someone they are just too stupid to use your technology (or wish you could say that...).

Case 2:

The second person I tried to help is a somewhat new customer.  I get a call from Louis yesterday.  Louis told me he had a solution to his problem and wanted to know if I could help him get it done.  "Wait, wait... time out Louis, you are telling me to do X but I don't know anything about X and if your proposed solution really fixes X."  So look Louie, please submit this through the regular channels and I'll help you out, K?  Anywho, Louis calls me today and asks if I had a solution to his issue he talked to me about yesterday.  So I asked Louis if he submitted a case, he said "No, but can you figure it now on the phone?"  Well let's see....   I have no case, no details, no idea where he is located, but yet this Jerkstore expects me to use my psychic powers of clairvoyance to ascertain the crux of his issue...

Case 3:

Sara submitted a case and could not do something she should be able to do.  I took a look at her issue and then was able to reproduce her problem, which to a problem solving guy is money in the bank!  I came up with a solution and gave it to Sara.  The reply I get...  "It didn't work."  Wow!!  The Czar has spoken!  If there's nothing else better I like than THAT answer.  It really says it all and nothing all at once doesn't it folks?  You basically have told me what I sent did not work, but did not provide any details at all. 

It's Friday and I'm just done...  Time to crawl up with a Deschutes Obsidian Stout and D-E-C-O-M-P-R-E-S-S!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Vegas Baby!

Went to Vegas today with Sharkey.  She is working and I am PLAYING!  Going to take in some sun, hang by the pool at the Bellagio and play some golf.  It is about 3:00pm in Vegas and I am sitting in my cool hotel room typing this blog out and it is about 106 degrees outside.  Sharkey and I went down and sat by the pool, went into the water to cool off and then came back up to our room to get cleaned up:

Our room overlooks the pools at the Bellagio and I can see the people baking themselves down there still....No thank you! 

I am playing golf at Bali Hai tomorrow and Royal Links on Monday.  Looking forward to both.  I brought my own sticks and rented a car, so I don't have to pay an arm and a leg in cab fees.  I almost had a hole in one playing in my golf league back home this past Thursday.  Missed it by a foot!!  So close....

I know Las Vegas incredibly well.  Sharkey and I met here some 16 years ago.  She was a showgirl, I was a high roller....  <LOL NOT!!!!!>  The true story was she was doing some stand up training in software and I was sitting in back of the room making sure she was saying the right stuff.  I think that may be the last time I was able to correct her as the Subject Matter Expert.  How times have changed....  :)

I picked up the Mags ashes yesterday from the ER Vet's office.  Everything came rushing back when I waited for them to give her to me and I was only in the waiting room for 5 minutes.  Had a good cry on the way home.  I still miss the Mags very much.  But she is now finally home where she belongs. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Maggie the Best Dog Ever

We rescued Maggie in 2005.  Actually that is not totally correct, because in a lot of ways Maggie rescued us.  We had just lost Penny our last dog to cancer and were dealing with that loss.  We had not planned it at the time, but the rescue we volunteered with brought in a 9 month old, female, buff Cocker Spaniel the weekend after Penny passed away.  We decided to "meet her" just to see, and were not really ready to take a new dog.  But it was all over after that meeting.   She was meant to be ours. From the start, there's only one word to describe Maggie (whose name was Olivia when we first met her), SWEET...

God had made this one dog to be a lover and to be loved.  And I truly believe he crossed our paths to be ours.  Her disposition was always wanting to please.  A lot of people may say this about their dogs, but enough outside people have met and interacted with Maggie and given me the input that she was truly sweet.  She did not know how to do anything when we adopted her.  She wasn't house broken, had no idea how to play, she did not know what treats, kibble, or toys were.

So first came the house breaking.  Her previous owner kept her on a concrete patio all day, because she was having too many accidents in the house.  We crate trained Maggie and would go out with her in the back yard after she ate and/or drank and then walked around until she went potty and then said the word "potty" and would give her a treat and bring her back in.  She quickly was house broken.  One of the things she injected herself was to tell us when she needed to go out.  One night Sharkey and I were sitting at home and Maggie just sat on the fireplace hearth and just stared at us.  We were wondering what she wanted, but once we said "potty" she stood up.  That became her trigger to us that she needed to go out and she came up with it all by herself.

Along with training her we also needed to change her name.  She was given "Olivia" but she was destined to be "Maggie" or as I liked to call her "The Mags."  When we would call her or talk to her on walks we would say, "Olivia-Maggie" repeatedly for a few weeks.  After that we dropped "Olivia" and just called her "Maggie."  And after about a month "Maggie" took.

I had a lot of fun showing Maggie new things.  Everything was brand new to her.  Running water was fascinating, going for car rides was a joy (something our previous dog Penny hated). Teaching Maggie to tug of war and fetch was fantastic.   I taught Maggie to shake, roll over, lie down, sit up, sing, and hold a Greenie on her nose until given the "Release" command.  She was also smart enough to know the word "Release."  You could say similar words to her, "Repent, Re-piece, Reject, Resent, Re-leak, Recent..." but she knew the difference and would not budge until she heard "Release."  Giving Maggie toys to chew up, Booda keys to romp around with, and teaching her how to play like a dog with small hand bites and her mouthing back were some of the best memories I have playing with my sweet girl.  We would go for mile long walks around the neighborhood and she pulled me around every time, although I did try to work on her "walking like a lady."  She loved being at the local dog park, interacting with other families and their dogs and running free and by the water.

Maggie was my shadow.  When I woke up she would wait for me to come out of the bathroom, go to the closet and always wanted to be petted when I reached for my shoes and I would always oblige her.  She was so very happy in the morning and would sing several times before going downstairs to be let out and have her breakfast.  And she would also wait for me to go down the stairs, sit down to put on my shoes and then come down and stick her head under my arm for some more loving.  It was my morning routine for 9 years and while I did not think too much about it, it was our morning together.

Sharkey also had a special bond with the Mags.  Like I said before, the Mags was a lover and she had a nightly routine of cuddling up with Sharkey:

Sharkey would close the lid on her laptop and that was her queue to lean into Sharkey for some belly rubbing.  Sharkey works from home and also had her daily routines with Maggie as well like giving her bites of cereal and having her sit outside of the office often finding a sunbeam to lay in.

Maggie was a great traveler, loved road trips, and made several trips to Minnesota to visit Sharkey's family.  One of our winter crossings we had to buy her a coat because it was so frigid (holding a paw up to go potty at a rest stop) and she really liked wearing it:

Maggie could be found laying on our front stairs to keep watch over the house and our cul de sac.

She also loved watching things go by through the glass windows on both sides of our front door:

If I were to sum it up, I can say honestly Maggie was our baby and was always close by to the pack:

I had thought that she would be part of my life for another 5-6 years, but God had other plans.  Maggie became very ill over the weekend of June 27th.  We took her to the ER Vet and placed her in 24 hour care, expecting she'd be home shortly thereafter.  After three days, the ER Vets let us know she was not getting better, her liver was shutting down and she was unable to maintain her blood sugar.  So instead of watching her suffer and continue to decline, we decided to let her go.  She went to be with God on June 30th at the young age of 9.  We stood by her until the end giving her hugs, kisses, and whispering to her how much we loved her and how we wish she could stay with us.  Both Sharkey and I were such a mess after our baby was gone.  We will miss her very, very much, because she was our family, our sweet girl, and there really will not be another like her.  Someday, maybe in a short time or maybe in a while we'll look at getting another girl to be part of our family, and while she may not be the same as the Moo, we look forward to the journey we will have with her.



Saturday, April 30, 2011

What is wrong with "Truth, Justice, and the American Way...."???

This past week something historic happened.  I am not talking about Will and Kate getting married.  Although, yeah it was historic and the hats were just spectacular....   But I digress...  Political correctness changed the DC Universe.  Not that you know or may even care, but if you've read my stuff before you know I am a HUGE fan of Superman.  He is my hero.  Always has been, always will be.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, we need heroes in this world.  They give us something to try to strive for.  They provide a compass for right vs. wrong.  They fight for people who cannot fight for themselves.  Heroes are necessary.  The world needs heroes.  Superman is an American icon and has been largely integrated into our culture.  Case in point, you cannot go to any mall without seeing the "S" in various clothing stores, on hats, in print at book stores, in music lyrics, on cups, etc.  The "S" is recognizable everywhere and I think around the world in the same manner that Mickey Mouse is recognized, Superman is also well known.  But this week, the writers at DC decided Superman renounce his US Citizenship:

NY Times: Superman Renounces his U.S. Citizenship

And so I ask the question.  Why????  I get he is a fictional character, but I just feel that this is pure and total crap!  I sort of saw it coming with the last Superman movie that came out, when they said, "Does he still stand for truth, justice, and all that other stuff?"  "All that other stuff?"  seriously???  The reason it bothers me is that it seems to say there's something wrong with being an American and identifying with the USA.  The writers try to spin it that Superman's actions are not an off branch of U.S. policy, but encompass a broader purpose.  Well, I would argue that you can still be a hero, still be American, and still have a broader purpose.     One thing does not preclude the other.  I think in the name of political correctness and not wanting to offend anyone, DC took their most recognized, most iconic character and made him the opposite of what he's always stood for.  The stupid thing is, they never even had to take this story line.  And the story line makes no sense.  Why would a farm boy from Kansas renounce his citizenship (keeping in mind Superman was raised in Smallville on a farm)?  It's absurd.  From Superman #24, association with the USA was pretty.....  apparent....


Comics allow an escape into a world where you could imagine, dream and be inspired.  Now DC made this twist to make a statement.   And as for me I think their statement sucks! 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trying to Learn Something New

I woke up one day and felt like I needed to do something new.  I wanted to try something creative, fun, and well just ......  different.  The problem was not sure what that new something was.   Now that Graduate school is over and golf is just five, maybe six months out of the year if the weather cooperates, I have a lot of free time.  What to do?  What to do?  One day I got home, went out to get the mail and thumbed through the little booklet for adult night school classes and came across a beginner guitar class.  I thought, hummmm.... it fits the bill, so why not give it a try?  I went out and found a starter Yamaha guitar:

I had one class so far and I like it!  I've been practicing every day to try to build some finger strength, dexterity and try to learn how to properly use this thing....
My hope is that by summer I can just sit out on my deck, strum my guitar and be able to play something that sounds similar to a song.  Maybe eventually I can do some good, acoustic tunes as well that I listen to on Pandora.  My goal is not to be in a band or play in front of people.  This is just something I thought would be something fun to learn and help me to understand that music thing that Sharkey can do and tries to explain to me from time to time, while I blink a few times and blankly stare back at her.  One of the other things I found is that there are some cool tech accessories you can get for this guitar thing.  The starter guitar I bought came with this electronic tuner, but it is not that great (rather crappy in fact... and did I tell you I know how to replace a string because I snapped one while trying to tune it with this thing...).  I came across a SNARK chromatic tuner.  It is the bomb!!!  Unlike the electronic tuner, it works off of vibrations, so you clip it to the head of the guitar, play a string and you can zero in on the right tone easily, even with a lot of background noise.  And it was $10...

Who knows, with a few thousand hours of practice, a few sets of strings, and some quality lessons, maybe Sharkey and I can sing "Lucky" together!  =)  

Now that would be something!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Come on Spring!

I walked out to go to lunch today and felt that wonderful, warm breeze hit me in the face!  I love that feeling!  It made me outstretch both of my arms to give the warm air a hug back.  As soon as that breeze hit me, my thoughts turned to golf, breaking out my polo shirts, getting rid of all that wretched snow and riding with my moon roof back and the music blasting!  I am hoping that little groundhog was right and spring will arrive early.  If the 50+ degree day today was any indication, I hope Spring is right around the corner!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Favorite, Special Place Closed!!!

Do you have one of those "special occasion" places that you go to once in a blue moon? You know, it is not your "everyday" place where you'd go and have dinner, it is one of those special occasion places for when you have a special milestone birthday (30, 40, 50...) or you have a milestone anniversary (5, 10, 20,...). My special occasion place is Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Sharkey and I first went to Roy's when we were vacationing in Hawaii on Kauai. It was in a word....WONDERFUL!!! They have Asian Fusion food. It is Asian with French influences, so funky Asian. And they have the most awesome dessert.

It is a molten chocolate souffle that is absolutely to die for!! We were happy to find that Philadelphia had a Roy's location. We went there a few times for our "special occasions." So this year my Mom is turning 75, so I thought it was the perfect time for Roy's so I went online to make a reservation only to find out they closed back in July 2010!! A big "OH NO!!!!" was heard for miles when I read about the location closing. I guess that means I will need to hoof it to Baltimore or Hawaii now for special occasions!!!!