Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Musical Offices

Across the street from my office building BP is building a child care facility. A small crew of men was out yesterday with their backhoe and ditch witch laying the phone and data cables for the building. Someone got a little overzealous with the backhoe and cut through the underground conduit and completely severed the fiber cables we, ConocoPhillips and BP, use for our internet and phones. Thankfully it happened late in the afternoon. My co-worker and I made a quick tour of our floors to let folks know what was going on and then left for the day. Nothing much you can do when most of the software applications we use only work if there is network (intranet and internet) connectivity.

As I drove in this morning, the "small" crew from yesterday had swelled to a small army of men and trucks with more backhoe's, ditch witch's and cable pullers blocking most of the road. I would hate to be the guy operating the backhoe yesterday. You don't cut off internet and phone service to the #4 (BP) and #10 (COP) companies on the Fortune 500 list and not have any backlash. Poor guy! Hopefully he already got his yearly bonus, cuz I doubt there's going to be one next year.

Anyway, network was still out this morning so after helping a few people out here at my office, my boss told me to go over to the main complex across the highway and work from there until all was fixed. No sooner had I fired up my laptop than I got an email saying network connectivity had been restored.

Murphy's Law!! Had I stayed here and waited it out, the network would still be down!

It wasn't a completely wasted trip. I spoke with a few co-workers and got some interesting information.

One of my co-workers also does credit counseling and he's been helping me for a while get my credit rating up. I want to be able to buy a house in the next 12-18 months while housing prices are down. So we were able to get some business done in that area. Not related to work, but still useful!

I also found out good news regarding my job. A few months ago management was telling us we were going to have to downsize our department by two positions. They were trying their hardest to find internal jobs that two of us could transfer into. No one ever said "layoffs", but in these economic times, the writing was definitely on the wall. Anyway, through the genius of a co-worker, we now (at this point) don't need to downsize. He manages all the printers and plotters in the Houston area and economised our use of them. It would be a bunch of blah blah blah to you to explain exactly what he did, but suffice it to say it's saving the company around 200k. More than enough to cover 2 employee salaries for a year!

Thank you Heavenly Father for inspiring this man to do what he did!!! The stress of possible layoffs can be postponed for at little while longer!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Tale of Despereaux (movie)

My friend Kathie and I went to see The Tale of Despereaux this afternoon. Can you really like a movie and be seriously disappointed in it at the same time? Had I not read the book, I probably would have come out of the theater with a huge smile on my face. As it was, I came out wishing desperately that the film makers had been truer to the book.

I'm no good at reviewing books or movies, so for a really good one of the book, check out Stacey's old book review blog.

A few notes I will make:

- The artwork is absolutely beautiful and in my mind, that alone made it worth seeing.
- I think the actors they chose to voice each character were superb.
- It's rated G, but I would be hesitant about bringing really young children or children who are sensitive to intense images/sequences. This is part of why I'm disappointed. (Scarey cat and skeleton of soldier in the dungeon).
- Over all the story in the movie is wonderful, but doesn't hold a candle to the book.

If you've read the book, watch at your own risk! :)

If you haven't read the book, go watch the movie and enjoy, but on your way home, stop and buy this book!! If the post Christmas cash flow is down to a trickle, I'll loan you my copy.

This is a book you and your kids will want to read over and over again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Am I Speaking English?

I think EVERYONE needs to take a course on how to listen.

Twice today at work I asked a question about processes and procedures on how to do something. BOTH times I got a 15 minute "answer" that didn't answer my question.

Basically I wanted to know what I should do if X happens. Both times the answer I was given was how to not let X happen. DUH!! That's all well and good in hindsight, but what do I do now that it has happened???

Am I speaking in some unknown dialect of English? Did I lapse into some female language that males find hard to understand?


And then to add insult to injury, they chuckled at me when I got frustrated trying to explain exactly what it was I was needing to figure out.

Few things in this world *&$% me off more than to be laughed at because I'm upset or frustrated. Something about it brings out this primal urge to poke the person with a sharp stick!

Thankfully I resisted the urge (no sharp sticks available) and instead grumbled to you about it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snide Remarks by Eric D. Snider

I came across a new (to me) website today while reading other peoples blogs instead of trying to write an entry of my own (or working, which is what I should be doing between 7:30 and 4:30 M-F). The owner of the site is Eric D. Snider and it's a veritable smorgasbord of highly entertaining "stuff." He has a blog, he reviews movies and has a column called "Snide Remarks."

Some of you may have heard of Eric. For the rest of you, let me introduce you.

My Rejected 'Twilight' Screenplay
Clash of the Titanic
A Message From Claus Inc.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Two Latest Projects

I think a lot of you know this about me, but some may not; I love to do cross stitch. Next to reading, it's my most favorite thing to do. If there was a way to read and cross stitch at the same time, I'd be all over that!

Both of the projects below are presents for friends. I love to cross stitch for no reason at all, but it's way more enjoyable when I'm doing it for someone in particular.

The Sampler below is for my friend Kathie. In times past samplers were used as teaching devices. Kathie, to me, is the best example of teaching and learning. I can't wait 'til she gets here for Christmas and we can go pick out a frame.

Kathie hasn't seen it yet, so I guess I'll see if she likes it or not by the comment she leaves! :)

Some of you will remember Nicki Shores who lived in the ward a little while ago. I saw this and HAD to do it for her!! LOL I tried my darndest to get it done for Halloween, but it proved to be a bit more time consuming than the three weeks I allotted.

Nicki - That's Ghetto Kitty riding on the broom!! ROFL

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Passes Away

Elder Wirthlin was a favorite of mine. There was something about his way of speaking that always kept my attention. I loved the stories he told of when he was young and played sports. I understood his analogies and was better able to understand the gospel because of it.

One of my favorite talks is Come What May, and Love It.

Further information:
LDS Newsroom

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Moon, Venus and Jupiter

The picture isn't all that great, but you can see the Moon, Venus (L) and Jupiter (R). If you get a chance, go outside tonight and take a look. It's much brighter and easier to see than what can be made out in my pic.

Here's a couple of links to explain the phenomenon better.

Houston Chronical

In Australia, the configuration is flip flopped and it looks like a smiley face. Pretty stinkin' cool!