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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This is a little out of the ordinary for me, but if you are a “House” fan you should be reading the Polite Dissent blog, "HOUSE Medical Reviews". It is a fantastic review of the show’s drama and medical expertise and the comments are just as interesting as the author’s critique. I wish I had stumbled on to this much earlier.

HOUSE Medical Reviews

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It is Christmas Eve - Eve. I’m the only contract person in my section at work today. I’m here with the project manager. We just happen to be the two oldest folks in our respective sections as well. What does that tell you?

One of the more enjoyable aspects of working in the procurement field is that it is predominately women I work with. I’ve always preferred women’s company over men’s. No, I’m not a “Player” or a womanizer even though I do appreciate the female form. I just get bored with the bravado conversations that characterize men’s conversations.

Yesterday, I overheard a group of guys talking about welding on hunting trucks and the best guns for ridding pesky rodents. The conversations were full of “I get away with . . .”, “it’s against the law but . . .”, “this is the best way to . . .” and the characteristic interruptions of agreements/disagreements with personal antidotes that come across in tones of chest pounding.

Sunday at a family Christmas gathering (Emily’s side) I ended up defending the Corps of Engineer Engineers to a couple of good old boys who just love to find fault with professionals overly impressed with their smarts. There is nothing like good old common sense to make the world right, ya know. The fact that they set the setting for their criticism and I have no way of disproving “the facts” they choose to present is why I hate such conversations. They pound their chest and I look like I’m on the looser side of life. My comeback? How many times have you put your $10,000 fishing boat in the water at a Government built boat ramp? Nice to not have to bounce over a tree roots or run your trailer into a muddy bottom creek bed isn’t it.

We men just can’t seem to have a conversation in which we don’t somehow compete on the topic of at hand. Somewhere in that discussion we have to have the “best” answer. That’s not a bad thing unless it is the only thing coming out of the conversation. After all these years, I’m bored to tears by it.

Women, I find, actually exchange ideas. They offer solutions without claiming it to be the “end all” solution. They care that you come away with enough information to be successful. Yes, they talk about shopping and cooking and health aids, etc., but the conversations are pleasant and constructive. These days, I’m beyond getting dirty under the hood or constructing the worlds best carpentry/welding shop in a 8’ by 10 ‘ shed. I like Martha Stewart and find cooking very rewarding as a creative activity. I appreciate a designer that can design with a man’s taste in mind. And yes, I still love power tools but I love them for assisting me in achieving my goals, not as jewelry hung from my ego.
So what does this have to do with being at work on this Christmas Eve – Eve? It’s a guy’s thing and I’m still very much a guy. LOL

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Earth Rotational New Year!!!!

The Northern Hemisphere is now heading back toward longer days and not a moment too soon for me. I just have to survive the Congressional screwing around that will come in March.
I’m an early riser. I’m up at 4:45 AM and on my way to work by 5:20 AM. I’ll get to the office around 6:30 AM. This time of year on the leading edge of the Central Time Zone that is night driving. The predominately cloudy conditions this time of year only makeit a darker time of day. But, when the Sun starts to rise during my trip to work, the drive is a splendid part of my day. The colors of the sky mixed with mist or fog over the fields. The long shadows and rich colors of the flora – even the grays of leafless trees are vivid – are like the robust smells of Mom’s kitchen - intoxicating. But now the sky is black when I pull into the well lit parking lot at the office. Soon the morning sky will greet me and join me on that long trip and when it does, even the bitter cold of Winter will not chase that inner happiness from my smile.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Always looking for that silver lining

I’ve missed so many great photo opportunities this past week. We’ve had a day or two of uncharacteristically cold weather preceded by humid warm weather to include a ton of rain. Two different days I missed some great pictures because 1) I’m a working stiff who has to get his ass to work or else and 2) I didn’t have my camera with me because Tiz the Season to be Jolly and the truck is full of food and gifts. Can’t carry that German Chocolate cake and the office gifts and my big old camera bag.

One morning going to town the thin weeds and small branches were frost covered and the sky was clear letting the sun shine on and through them. It was almost like ice but with the frosty softness in the crisp air. On the way home things warmed up a bit and the frost was going fast but the tall grasses in the fields held the frost a little longer than the other flora and they reflected a purplish blue, like hundreds of fan-headed staffs sticking up from the brown grassy meadows. It was so eye catching and I’ve never seen anything like it before. So I just took a few moments, stopped and enjoyed it.

Not my picture and nowhere near as beautiful as what I saw that morning.

Yesterday we awoke to 13 degree weather and the temp never got above freezing. This is Southern Middle Tennessee I’m talking about not Ashland, Wisconsin. On the way home with the sun setting in the distance, the water that normally drips out of the rocks where the highway cuts through the hills, was making interesting and unique icicles that reflected the golden sun set – and I didn’t have my camera. By the time I got home it was too late. The sun was gone. Today it is above freezing and more warm humid weather is on the way.

Again, not my picture and the icicles I saw were delicate and clear with the Sun shinng on and through them.

As disappointed as I am, I know now that this is possible and what conditions created it and I will be on the lookout for it again. Always looking for that silver lining. It sure beats bitching about things that can’t be undone.