Monday, January 31, 2011

Mindset

I was waiting in line at a locally owned fried chicken and cholesterol restaurant, waiting to let them take my money.  The place was hopping, and the staff could barely keep up.  Through the bustle, you could hear several people grumbling about the wait.

One gentleman turned to me, grinned, and said, "Man, I sure wish I could buy stock in this place!"

Some people look for reasons to complain, others look for opportunities.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quote for the Week

If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.


Paul Newman

Quote for the Week

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Ralph Nader

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Changes

Well, it's been an interesting year, with many changes, emotional highs and lows, and now, the uncertainty of the future.

My wife and I have changed churches, after having spent well over a decade in that church.  As of tomorrow afternoon, my wife will be unemployed, a process that was as painful as it was necessary.

Beginning in a few weeks, the law firm will change to reflect a new partnership, as I take a public ownership role in the firm.  Our girls have transitioned from private school to public school, and are doing well there.

Of course, as I posted here, we've been working through the miscarriage.  For good or bad, several of my wife's friends have recently suffered a miscarraige as well, so there is a sisterhood of sorts there.

New circles have meant new friends, so that part has been fun.  True to form, I have gone overboard in inviting them all to the gun range, so I have stories I'll be posting about that as well.

These appear to be random changes, but it all reflects a turning of the page.  Well. maybe that's not an accurate analogy.  Life will certainly be different, so perhaps it's more of putting the old book on the shelf and starting a new one.

Through this journey I am, however, very thankful for my wife.  I can't imagine this journey without her.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blazing Hot Anger

I love the Sherlock Holmes stories, and will often get lost in the pages of those books.  One of the most intriguing stories in the series is the story of Irene Adler in A Scandal in Bohemia.  During a climactic point, Holmes is able to force Adler to reveal a secret by making her believe that the secret is in jeopardy.

You see, when the chips are down, when the fire is lit, when the walls are coming down, we are drawn to those things that matter most to us.  During times of crisis, we reach out to comfort those we love as soon as they are affected or threatened.

You don't wait for a month and a half, doing nothing in the meantime to mitigate the damage, only making contact when you perceive YOU are in jeopardy.  That's not sincerity.  That's self-serving convenience.

So, I beg your forgiveness that I don't immediately jump to your request to meet.  I'm a little steamed right now and would undoubtedly make for very poor company.

*Sorry, I had to vent.  I'll be ok.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Curses!

To the underemployed, undisciplined, prepubescent miscreants and hooligans that egged all the vehicles (including mine) in our neighborhood last night:

I hope all your children are born naked.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quote for the Week

True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.

George Washington

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One More Time, With Feeling

I posted yesterday about taking responsibility for your own defense.

Jay G makes the same point here.  Go read.

I know this is not a very popular subject.  Many people would rather believe that nothing like this will ever happen.  Well, you can close your eyes and plug your ears all you want, but evil never sleeps.  I'd rather deal with this uncomfortable subject and be prepared.

The choice is yours.

Dating my Daughter

Yes, I know my daughters are not even teens yet, but I'm keeping this one handy:

Dating my Daughter

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just in Time

I've got the scanner running in the background, when I hear of a local store being robbed.  Not that the store has been robbed, but that it is being robbed.

From what I gather, the call is made by a witness in the parking lot.  She is in her car and can see inside the store.  She saw the suspect walk in and herd the employees toward the back.  At that point, she lost sight of them.  She continues to give the call-taker details, which are then relayed to the dispatcher.  The scanner broadcasts the conversation between the dispatcher and the now large group of officers responding.  So, if you're keeping track, I'm getting everything about a beat or two behind.  The witness still has eyes on the front of the store.

Eventually, about four minutes later, the first officer announces arrival on scene.  Shortly thereafter, there's transmission after transmission of other officers arriving at the store.  One of them reaches the witness who called, and continues to update everyone else.  From the radio traffic, I gather that they enter the store and began to clear it aisle by aisle.  They release the K9 and he (she?) bounds for the back.  Police converge on the spot and are able to free the employees.  It sounds like there's two of them. 

The suspect is nowhere to be found.

Now, I'm listening to calls for detectives, more assistance, etc...

Let's review:  The one eyewitness has observed everything from the beginning.  She has seen no one come out the front door.  It has taken police at least four minutes to respond, but note that, first, the call had to be made, then, the call-taker had to take down information, then the call-taker had to notify dispatch, which then notified the officers.  They arrived about four minutes after word came out through dispatch.

Once they got there, the suspect was gone.

Even if the call comes out while the crime is in progress, most of the time, the police will arrive just in time to take names and pictures.  That's not a slam on police, it's the nature of the beast.  They very well  may be on the other side of town when evil comes to visit.

Take responsibility for your own safety.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quote for the Week

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.

Thomas Paine

Friday, January 14, 2011

Random Thoughts

1.  If I give the office manager the day off to consider some career-enhancing education, the main receptionist computer will fry and one of the receptionists will need to go home sick.

2.  The furnace went out last night, again. It’s got this on again off again thing going on. After working fine for a month, it took a break again last night. Good thing it’s not winter or anything. That would be bad.

3.  Our dog was on a “beef” kick. That’s all she wanted. So, I bought beef flavored food. Well, that kick is over. Won’t touch the stuff now. She won’t tell me what she wants either. It’s like having a 15 pound, four legged, hairy teenager.

4.  Well, tomorrow morning, I will officially be out of the running in the Longest Lasting Christmas Display Contest.  I must be a lightweight, because just about every other house has half-removed lights, deflated snowmen, and shiny garland flapping in the wind.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lunch

Every Tuesday, the firm buys lunch for the staff.  It's sort of our combination meeting/lunch.  I try to keep heavy stuff out of the lunch meeting because, for me, I want it to be more of a morale booster than an actual meeting.

Today, the office manager comes in asking for money to pay for the lunch so he can pick it up.

After reviewing my particular order, he looks at me and chuckles while saying. "You know, it wouldn't hurt to eat a vegetable every now and then."

I looked up for a moment.  "I did!  I had one over Christmas break."

He just shook his head and walked away.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quote for the Week

Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins.

Sammy "The Bull" Gravano (convicted felon, mobster).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More

I was reminded by a fellow attorney that decades ago, some of us were taught that the hole in the ozone, combined with our pollution, was going to cause the next ice age.  We were not far away from being human popsicles on a refrigerated planet.

Lately, of course, the smart ones have discovered that those same numbers and data actually mean we're going to bake instead.  A whole planet of crispy critters.

And yet, that white stuff is still falling down around here.  Already, the snowfall totals for this year are breaking records.  Last year was no picnic either.

I guess I'm just not smart enough to get all that.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nail Grinding

We recently took Mia to the groomer.  This was her second visit since she got her.  This time, though, I asked them to grind her nails (for an extra few bucks), since they were getting a bit too long for our comfort.

Best. Decision. Evarrrr.

I wrote here about our floors and Mia's difficulties.  Hardwood and tile meet dust mop (as K called her).

Mia has now lost what little grip she had.  And, remember, she loves to play catch with a rubber ball. 

I throw the ball down the hall.  She jumps up, and hits the floor running.  Her hind legs are churning as fast as they can, with her front paws trying to find a place to grab.  She looks momentarily confused, since she's not really going anywhere now.  Finally, her hind end gets a grip and begans to wrap around.  Now, with her engines at full steam, the front paws do what they're supposed to and she bolts after the ball.  Suddenly, her face changes.  She's completely surprised at the speed at which the wall is approaching.  Her head pulls back, her legs lock stiff and splay out as she tries to overcome the laws of physics.  Her head turns to watch the ball bouncing back to where she was.  Her body just about folds in half as her front end tries to make the u-turn before the back end meets the wall.  There's lots of sliding and backpedaling as everything starts to change direction and she starts heading back after the ball.

Sometimes, the ball continues to bounce around the living room, leaving Mia just one step behind at each turn. 

Best money I've ever spent.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apparently, They Talk

I think my house was built by the three blind mice.  After they got their tails cut off and truly hated mankind.  Every project is like an infomercial.  But wait!  There's more.

Nothing is labeled correctly.  Most things are not where they should be.  Water shut off valves are installed facing the wall or stud, making them close to impossible to shut off.  Hot water runs through pipes labeled for cold water and vice versa.  For the previous owners, duct tape and spackle are high quality building materials.

This past weekend, we decided to replace the bathroom sink and vanity, something I've done too many times to count.  My dad is a handyman, so, growing up, while my friends were out playing basketball and football, I was with my dad fixing up houses.  I may not have been thrilled then, but I'm now liking the skills I picked up.

Anyways, I remove the old vanity and sink, and things go relatively smoothly.  I'm feeling good, because this should not take long.  I put in the new vanity and sink, install the new faucet, make all the plumbing connections and check the supply lines for leaks.  All well.  Cool.

I turn on the water, let the sink fill up, and then open the drain stopper.  I look under the sink.  Niagara Falls.  There's five places it could possibly leak.  It's pouring from three of them.

Grumble, soak up, wipe, take apart, reseat the gaskets, new plumbers putty, lather, rinse, repeat.

Turn on faucets, let sink fill, pull plug.  Two leaks.  Uggghhhhh!  Now, I'm getting frustrated.

Grumble, soak up, wipe, take apart, reseat the gaskets, new plumbers putty, lather, rinse, repeat.  Still leaking, though not as much.  By now, this simple job has gone well into the first quarter of the football game.

I need a break to clear my thoughts, so I head off to repair the trim around one of the doors.   That's simple, right?  I get the trim cut to size, and start to nail it in.  This wood is a bit dense, so I'm taking big swings with the hammer to make sure I hit the nail solidly.  I do.  My thumbnail.  I'm putting in the last nail when I smash my finger.  Now, I'm dancing around the room, red-faced, bent over, with my thumb between my legs, trying hard not to curse.

Clearly, the bathroom sent word ahead to the trim to make sure it did not cooperate either.

Yesterday afternoon, I get a call from my wife that the kitchen sink is now backed up and there's water all over the kitchen counters and running down to the floor.

?!?!?

I guess the house is now revolting against me.

Cover me, I'm going back in.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quote for the Week

New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.


Mark Twain