Here's a tip...
Thursday, April 27, 2006 ~ 09:34 a.m.
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...When calling for a job interview, don't be a dick.

As a follow-up to yesterday's rant, I got to work this morning to find a note on my desk from my boss. It turns out that the guy who was so rude to me was calling for a follow-up interview. Apparently, there was a mix-up about what time the interview was set up for and he was pissed off that he hadn't been called yet (when he was really 30 minutes early). So he chewed on me about it.

Talk about your big mistakes. I got pissed. When I delivered the message, I told my boss why I was pissed. My boss called him back and informed him that there really wasn't any reason to continue the interview. Then he sent out a warning email to all the other branch managers with the guy's name. It's very unlikely the caller will ever work for our company.

This, of course, amuses me to no end. I'd just assumed the guy was a client because never would I have thought he'd be trying to get a job. Not with that attitude. I mean, really, how dumb can you get?

Oh, and...I win.

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Why I don't work in Public Relations
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 ~ 05:39 p.m.
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Dear Mr. Foreign Client-Person who just called and bitched me out,

I am not the fucking receptionist. It's not my job to put up with you and it's not my job to apologize for my boss. So, with that in mind, if you ever say ANYTHING to me ever again, anything at all, I swear I will personally come to your office and rip your testicles out through your throat. Capisce?

Sincerely,

- The engineer who answered the phone because the receptionist had already gone home

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Okay, it was funny when the primary wasn't a month away
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 ~ 02:52 p.m.
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I just saw my first "Roy Moore for Governor" bumper sticker.

I admit, I threw up in my mouth a little.

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"Yay, I'm a llama again!"
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 ~ 01:24 p.m.
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I have to wonder why people freak out about the Taser when someone dies after being zapped by police. I mean, yeah, sometimes the Taser kills people, but I'm pretty sure it has a lower fatality rate than, say, GUNS.

So the weekend was definitely productive. Saturday, Todd mowed our jungle of a yard, we trimmed all of the trees and bushes, and I planted a metric crapload of flowers. As a result, our house looks very nice, and the neighbors are no longer giving me the stinkeye when I pull into the driveway.

Sunday, Todd and I rode with Opie and Heather up to Nashville to see the Preds play the Sharks. It was my first NHL game, and I admit I was unprepared for the amount of hockey hate directed at my non-home-team-jersey-wearing husband. I think he was one of maybe a dozen Sharks fans in the entire arena.

My favorite exchange, though, was between Todd and some little punk 9-year-old at the snack bar. It was the end of the first period, Sharks: 3, Preds: 0 (a score that remained unchanged to the end, I might add). This smartass mouthy brat, upon seeing Todd's jersey yelled out, "Sharks suck!" And Todd, without missing a beat, just answered "SCOREBOARD." The "beyotch" remained unspoken (mostly because my mouth was full of Dippin' Dots), but we all heard it anyway. And everyone in line kind of got this look like they were tucking imaginary tails between their legs. Ah, it was beautiful.

In other news, my cat believes herself to be an otter.

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Our weather has Turret's Syndrome
Friday, April 21, 2006 ~ 02:01 p.m.
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This morning it rained enough to flood our entire backyard and a couple of the roads out where we live. The dogs were huddled in the driest corner of the porch when I got out of the shower and saw the waters rising, so I brought them in for the morning. Three hours later, everything was bone dry so I ran home to let them out. Five minutes after I got back to office, the bottom fell out again with such intensity that I imagined the dogs bobbing about the backyard like corks. Now, it's sunny and (mostly) dry again. WTF, Alabama? WTF?

This weekend, Todd and I are going to decide what, exactly, we're going to do with our tax refund. We've considered several options ranging from buying a new digital camera to remodeling our godawful master bathroom to installing cabinetry in the laundry room to blowing the whole lot on a bazillion bags of Hershey's new Special Dark Minatures Assortments. Right now we're leaning towards remodeling the bathroom, so much of this weekend will be spent wandering the aisles of Lowe's and Home Depot. We'll probably come home with all kinds of crazy delusions about our DIY capabilities, but I'm hoping we can maintain at least some semblance of sanity.

And just because, here's a cute picture from last weekend of my dad with my nephew. It's really a shame no one loves that baby.

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Oh no! It's the two-foot suprise!
Thursday, April 20, 2006 ~ 03:41 p.m.
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After spending the last two days in a class in Birmingham, I have to say that I'm pretty thrilled to be back in the office. The class itself was all right, although it definitely wasn't worth the $700 we paid to attend. Also, the Alabama Power building would be an awesome place to work, but as a visitor, I didn't much care for it. The coffee shop was great, but their cafeteria charged us extra for being a visitor. We were explicitly told that although our class was in their building, we weren't allowed to use their parking deck. Nor were we allowed to leave the floor where we were training. Based on their emphasis on security, if you ever forgot your name tag, I imagine you'd be hauled away in chains for a cavity search and "debriefing". We were also told never to look their employees in the eye and shown how to properly grovel when confronted with an official Southern Company badge. I had to learn how to curtsy.

Ah, I kid...but not about the cavity search.

Todd is going to down to Birmingham tomorrow to take the PE exam. At this point, it's more a fact-finding expedition than a serious attempt to pass the damn thing. I'm hoping for the best, but he maintains that it would take an act of God to pass the PE without studying.

For those of you who aren't engineers, the PE is the eight hour test you take to get your engineering license. Imagine being anally violated with the first AND second laws of thermodynamics. The first hour is a bit like that. The other seven...well, no one really talks about it much, but I hear it has near the same PTSD rate as 'Nam.

So, please wish Todd luck. While he's off praying for the sweet release of death, I'll be here, thanking my lucky stars that I have another two years before its my turn.

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"The Curse" still stands
Monday, April 17, 2006 ~ 12:40 p.m.
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So the job in Knoxville went great. Coworker J and I got there Thursday evening and found the site pretty easily. It turned out that the owners had finished clearing the trees, so we didn't need the chainsaw or the machetes. Friday morning, we were on site at dawn, and everything went as smoothly as possible. By the time the client showed up, we were done with our first run. By 11:30 central time, we were ready to go home.

So, there we were, cruising down I-75, gloating about how early we got done, and about how great it was that we were going to be back in Hunstville by 3:00....and our radio died.

"Hmm. That sucks."

Then, the air conditioner died.

"No. Oh no no no no."

Then, everything else died. No speedometer, no gas gage, no tach, no nothing. And the truck started to sputter.

We got off at the next exit, pulled into a gas stations, and....pfft. The truck was completely dead.

We called our boss - who didn't believe us. We had to convince him that no, we weren't pulling his leg because of how hard he's been joking on us about The Curse. We really were stranded in East Tennessee with no way home.

Then he told us that rather than coming home, he thought the Nashville office might be hiring.

After a couple hours we were able to get a tow truck to come and take us to a Chevrolet dealership about 12 miles up the interstate. We amused ourselves in the interim, predicting just how many teeth the truck driver would have (it turns out, not many), if the driver would have a mullet (suprisingly, no), and whether or not the tow truck would have air conditioning (it didn't). Once at the dealership, we were able to rent a truck and make it home with all our equipment. You know, only 4 hours late.



This is the third truck we've put out of service. I wonder if we'll get an award or something.



McJesus! "PROCLAIMING A DYNAMIC GOSPEL TO A DYNAMIC INDUSTRY."



And let's not forget the cross made out of running lights.



Po·dunk n. Slang : A small isolated town, region, or place that is regarded as unimportant.

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So that's where we're going...
Thursday, April 13, 2006 ~ 01:09 p.m.
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So now that Todd's back in town, it's my turn to travel. A coworker and I are leaving in about 45 minutes for a resistivity job in Knoxville, Tennessee. It turns out that the job site is only 20 minutes from my grandparents' house. I had no idea until I looked up the directions just now.

Of course, I'm traveling with Coworker J. On top of the 200+ miles of interstate, we also have with us a chainsaw and two machetes. The potential for mayhem is unparalleled. Our boss is very, very worried.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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"But he looks a little hungry..."
Monday, April 10, 2006 ~ 03:56 p.m.
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So about that whole "Maybe Jared will get eaten by a bear" thing...well, we came close. It really could have happened. You know, if horses were carnivorous.

Jessica's surprise birthday trip was a trail ride. Given her obsession with interest in horses, Jeff couldn't have come up with a better idea. Of course, once we got to the stables, the guy in charge, Mr. Ed (I kid you not), set about telling us how we were all going to fall off the horses and die. This was especially funny given that Jared had never ridden before. And the name of Jared’s horse: Bear. Hee!

Anyway, it was a great time. No one lost control of their horse, fell off, and/or died. It'd been at least 12 years since I'd ridden a horse, so I'm feeling it some today, but it was a lot of fun. And most importantly, Jessica enjoyed it, which was the whole point after all.

In other news, Todd is coming home TODAY, a whole week early!

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The weekend so far...
Saturday, April 8, 2006 ~ 03:23 p.m.
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Yesterday, we closed the office at 12:30 and everyone went home. I watched Firefly, cooked a nice dinner, and just relaxed. Up until about 5:00, that is, when I heard about tornadoes hitting Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, and Gallatin. Urk. I called my parents to make sure everything was okay, and it was. Parents, grandparents, and cats are all accounted for. Still, I was very glad that I didn't try to go home.

Then at about 6:00 it was our turn for all the big bad storms. There was some truly spectacular lightning, and more than one "possible tornado" called in for my neighborhood, but in the end nothing happened except a lot of wind. Oh and enough rain to make me wonder if I should have invested in an ark.

Last night during all the uproar over the storms, I noticed that Lilo was acting sick, so this morning I got up and took her to the vet first thing. Turns out she has a bladder infection, so they gave me some antibiotics. While I was there, I asked them to test her for FIV, and her test turned out negative. Whew. Now the only thing I have to worry about is getting that damned antibiotic down her throat without, you know, bleeding out.

After getting home from the vet, I took the time to make myself a nice homemade breakfast. Biscuits and everything. Then 11 AM, just as I was finishing my last biscuit, the power went out. It stayed on through all that crap last night, and then, in the middle of one of my favorite Firefly episodes, poof. WTF, people? And it's still out. I'm at work now.

On my way in to the office, I passed by the most interesting wreck I've ever seen. AND I DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA! No one was hurt, so I wouldn't have felt bad about snapping a shot, and trust me, it would have been worth it. It involved one vehicle (a old beat up white land yacht) and the 5-foot high retaining wall in front of what used to be Hunt Club Apartments. Somehow, the driver managed to veer off the road and jump the curb hard enough to send the front end of this giant car so far into the air that it snagged the right front tire on the edge of this retaining wall. When I drove by, there it was, caught by one tire, resting on its back bumper. I wish you could have seen it.

Anyway, I reckon that's all the excitement so far. Tomorrow we're throwing Jessica a birthday party, and there's potential for many shenanigans. Jeff, Jared, Jessica, and I plus the Great Outdoors. Maybe Jared will get eaten by a bear.

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Dooooooom!
Friday, April 7, 2006 ~ 12:09 p.m.
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WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

At 6:30 this morning old Jeff Castle was already frothing at the mouth. Now, schools are closed, business are closing, and everyone in Northern Alabama is going absolutely batshit loco.

(Of course, in Cullman, it's justified, because they get waxed every time someone thinks the word "tornado".)

They say the storms should be here sometime after lunch, so I guess I have about two more hours to make peace with my dear and fluffy lord.

For the record, Pepperidge Farm apple turnovers? THE BEST.

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Wacky Fun
Wednesday, April 5, 2006 ~ 10:58 a.m.
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Day 3 of my terribly exciting single lifestyle.

Pounds of pet hair vacuumed off the floor :: 3
Approximate depth of unmowed yard :: nearing 1 foot
Number of bathrooms cleaned :: 2
Average bedtime :: 9 PM
Currently on Firefly episode :: 2
Number of times legs have been shaved :: 0 (très sexy!)
Item(s) destroyed by the dogs so far :: 1 pizza box
Days until Todd comes home :: 13

In other news, if I’m not out of town on Saturday, does anyone want to go swing dancing? I promise I’ll shave.

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Whew
Monday, April 3, 2006 ~ 12:19 p.m.
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It was an interesting weekend.

The UAH ASCE won first place at the Southeast Regional Concrete Canoe Competition, and will be attending the National Competition in Stillwater, Oklahoma in June. They pretty much trounced the other schools, winning 1st place in the Design Paper, 1st place in the Final Product, 2nd place in the Presentation, 1st place in both the Women's Distance and Sprint, 1st place in the Men's Sprint, 3rd place in the Men's Distance, and 3rd place in the Co-ed Sprint. They couldn't have done it without Todd and I helping, and they almost dropped the ball in the weeks before, but in the end they pulled up their socks and won. I'm telling you, this group has such a talent for salvaging things at the last minute, it's amazing. But I'm proud of them, I really am, especially the women's paddling team.

My mom called me Saturday morning to let me know that my dad's mother fell down and broke her hip on Thursday night. She said it's a weird break and they were thinking surgery, but now they're holding off to see how she does with therapy. I'm just glad it's not as bad as it could have been. When I got my mom's message telling me to call her ASAP and on her cell phone, I went through every horrible scenario one can imagine with every family member. As things go, a broken hip can be mended, although it's going to really suck for a while. I'll probably head home this weekend to visit.

Yesterday, the weather was awesome, so Todd and I (and the rest of Northern Alabama, apparently) decided to do some much needed yard work. After weeding and raking and trimming and shoveling, we decided to plant a couple flowers in some unused pots, just to dress things up a little. I couldn't reach the potting soil on the top shelf in the shed, so I asked Todd to get it down for me. And, here's what he found in the box under the bag of potting soil:



Surprise!

I'm no Jeff Corwin, but I don't mind snakes so much and I didn't want Todd to whack its head off if it wasn't poisonous. I didn't think it was, but again, not Jeff Corwin here. So, we consulted our neighbor, Mike. He seemed pretty confident that our friend was, in fact, relatively harmless (although somewhat pissed at being woken so rudely) and released the snake under his shed where it'd be safe from our dogs. Then Mike gave us some daffodils he'd dug up from a construction site.

So we planted flowers and everything was happy. Until, that is, I had to get up this morning at an hour that my clock said was right, but that my body insisted was too damn early. Ugh, Daylight Savings Time.

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