Thursday, December 30, 2004
  Brain super-warp
I wonder what people thought during World War II, when the deaths of millions of people were uncovered? With the death toll now well over 100,000 in Asia, and still climbing, it's getting that much more difficult to comprehend. Unimaginable, and so very sad. Nature is the world's sole superpower.

The generosity of the American people is legendary. Network for Good has a list of NGOs that are working hard to rescue, reunite and assist survivors, while finding and identifying the dead for their families. Find out first if your employer will match your contributions for maximum benefit (my husband's does), and give now. Your karma probably needs it.

Network for Good Tsunami Disaster page

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
  Brain warp
It's very hard to wrap my brain around the number 52,000. This already, and "tens of thousands" still missing?

Unbelievable. God bless the victims and their families.

  Mice? Did I say mice?
So the partying in the attic may not be mice after all, unless they are mutated super mice with droppings to match (sorry! TMI, I know). Seems we might have rats. Lovely! And last night, one of the snap traps woke Jim up. After the initial snap, he heard ~ka-thunk~ka-thunk~ka-thunk~ across the attic. Needless to say, one of the traps was missing this morning. More impending doom if Mr. Rat didn't make it outside with his attached trap. We may have to sleep downstairs for a couple of weeks.

This all makes me want to puke.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
  Holiday cheer
From JibJab

Happy Holidays!

  Super Dog
The dog, miraculously, had no ill effects from his chocolate treat. The only evidence of his crime was some... uh.... expelled.... green colored foil. Nothing else. Whew!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  The week that was
The past eight days here in the abode have been interesting, and very long. A week ago yesterday my employer was gobbled up by a big, bad, mean competitor run by the biggest ego in business. I won't name names, but unless you haven't read any news in the past week, you can probably guess who I'm talking about. The mood in the halls started with complete shock ("hey, we weren't done fighting!!"), followed by a numb feeling ("what do we do next"), followed by a lot of sadness. Every day it gets sadder.

On Monday, when the acquisition was announced, our executive team held a conference call for employees to explain the decision and the course of action moving forward. Our co-founder and CEO started off the call and had to choke back tears. Our co-President/CFO then spoke, mostly about the financial part of the deal, as well as how it will affect each of us. He broke down and couldn't finish. Our CEO took over again and tried to read the rest of his statement. He broke down. Then our other co-President/VP of Sales took over and broke down. Two more executives made statements and they both broke down. Nothing like a series of grown men (executives at a large corporation, no less) crying to lift the mood in a conference room. It was painful, and that's putting it mildly.

My employer is very large by most standards, but there is a warm, family kind of culture here. I've been here for just 18 months, but it seems like I've known these people for years. This is a very smart and very fun group of people. Many of them have been here for ten years, give or take a couple-- most have gone through their major life changes and milestones here. Last night we had what was supposed to be our Christmas dinner, but it turned into a stroll down memory lane instead. It felt a bit like a memorial service, but it was fun nonetheless. This place will never be the same, and this company will cease to exist in a few weeks, including the name. Many of us will lose our jobs and we'll go our separate ways, but I believe that we'll end up crossing paths again soon and often.

On Friday I had just gotten off a conference call with a customer, and I was talking to my manager and a co-worker. We heard singing, so we followed the sound through the halls to the elevator area. A group of employees had decided to try to lift the mood and spontaneously went Christmas carolling in the building, bringing many onlookers to tears. It brought the week to a fitting end-- we all know that this kind of thing doesn't happen within the walls of the titan that just bought us. It was just a small anecdote of the type of place this is. This is a special place, and it took our impending "end" to make me fully realize it.

  Add to it...
As if the work situation wasn't enough for the week (in chronological order, not order of importance):
  • My baseball team has dealt two of its ace pitchers. Every year it's the same ol' song and dance-- bring up some players through the farm system, watch them excel, go to the playoffs, lose in the first round, cut the great players in the off season. It's getting really, really old, but that's what you get when your favorite team is a small market team with no money to play with.
  • There are mice partying in our attic again. The dear husband, bless his heart, removed eight dead and rotting ones on Sunday. We have 12 traps to set and an exterminator to call. Trapping them is not good enough for me-- I want them blocked from my house!
  • And our dog ate a small box of chocolates last night in the hour between my departure for my holiday party and my husband getting home from work. So far he's doing well, but the effects should start appearing soon. Thankfully he's hefty at 85 pounds, and the box had only 4oz of candy, of which I had already eaten a few pieces. Right now there is a sense of impending doom.... poor Marleau.

Even so, there are people who have it really bad right now, so I can't complain. All of this is just making December a little interesting, and it'll all be great when life is boring again.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  And Bono does, too.
Why didn't anybody tell Bono that "uno, dos, tres, catorce" doesn't make sense??? FOURTEEN DOES NOT COME AFTER THREE!!! Every time I see the iPod commercials or hear that Vertigo song I want to tear the hair out of my head.

A few Saturdays ago we managed to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live, and the musical guest was U2. Before the show, two commercials featuring the band aired: one for the Apple iPod, the other for their new album. Both spots featured that song, and they sang it on the show. That night I wanted to throw a brick at the tv. GRRRRRR!

  These guys drive me crazy...
The local news tonight might drive me to throw a rock at my TV. The anchorman starts off the news from Iraq with (paraphrasing) "we have a steady diet of bad news from Iraq." Okay...

What really annoys me? He says (paraphrasing again) "a bleak milestone was reached today. One thousand soldiers have now been killed in combat..." Then, "President Bush visited Camp Pendleton today to speak with soldiers...."

It's hard to believe that only the Army has suffered casualties in Iraq. And, wow! Who knew that the Marines moved out of Camp Pendleton and it's now an Army base? I had no idea.

Why can't these talking heads learn the difference between our service branches? Marines don't want to be called Soldiers, and Sailors and Airmen probably don't, either. If you must use a general term, why not "troop", or "serviceman"? You'd think that after three steady years of combat, they'd figure it out by now. That's just too much to expect of the media.