Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So Y2Kette and I got to have a little Daddy/Daughter date. We went down to the concierge again and asked about restaurants. We looked over the list and as out-of-towners, we had no idea what they meant or how far they were from this remote golf resort. Then I saw it. The perfect item on the list, a must have for every little girl on a night out. We went to the Cheesecake Factory!!
We have been trying to have a nice meal out at night and we kind of made a rule to try something new. So Y2Kette ordered the Orange Chicken, thinking it would be some exotic French cuisine, only to be served Chinese food. I ordered a Sheppard's Pie, thinking it would be encrusted like a pot pie. It was mashed potatoes over chipped beef. But the good news is the cheese cake was like 80% off!! So we said we would like to order about 8 pieces of cheese cake and were promptly told to fuck off. Seems there is a limit of one slice per person. Fuckers. Y2Kette had the Oreo cheesecake and I have the carrot cake cheesecake. mmmmmmmm I love me some carrot cake.
Then we wandered over to Borders where I bought an old Stephen King book I read about five years ago. Yes it was on clearance. Shut up! Y2Kette appeared with an arm load of book and then wanted a bookmark and $45 later we order the other half of our $50 cab ride. Total cost for the evening around $150 but hopefully the memories will be priceless. Expensive fucking California cabs.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I never saw any of that, and while it probably did happen, I am not aware that it ever happened around here in Palm Springs. No, in fact I was in a conference class that was DAMN interesting about neurobiology when my cell phone went crazy and I got like a half dozen urgent text messages from the home office. I go to my room, take care of business and go back downstairs towards the end of the conference, just before noon. Evidently, in the time it took for me to walk the rat's maze of hallways to get the elevator and thus to the conference room, we hadda whole lotta shakin going on! I am standing around, actually braced against a pillar as I start to bend and stretch out my back, even a small walk gets me hurting, but I feel I am getting better. (Thanks for asking) When the hotel staff come in and are staring at the crystal chandeliers. That's when they tell us we just had an earthquake. A pretty big one. And I freakin missed it!!
They point out the shaking glass on the chandeliers and mention how the building is built on rollers so it will sway when the Earth shakes. Soon all kinds of conference skippers file in the hallways and start their tales of survival. Some say the window shutters shook, some say the whole floor swayed under their feet, some even claimed stuff was rattled off tables. Again, I was clueless. Not even a hint of Spidey sense to enable my survival. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. I mean I was as flat lined as if watching gay porn. (with dudes... chicks are different) So, there I am waiting for Y2Kette to emerge from the session with the new co-worker so I can tell them how they survived the horrifying ordeal they probably never knew happened, like I had no clue, right? Only they ran out of the room laughing and glowing with the joy of having escaped with their lives, or enjoyed a good carnival ride. THEY KNEW!!
"So, did you know we had an Earthquake?" I ask them.
"Yeah!" Y2Kette beamed at me. "We were talking about brain physiology and the room shook and we heard this loud roar and New Co-worker yelled 'It's a Bomb!' and started to dive under the table. But then somebody from California said it was just an Earthquake. That was a good class. Where did you go?"
So as the dust slowly settles and we find some type of refuge in the still standing parts of the Palm Springs Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa, we will find the courage to carry on, to rebuild and maybe, one day, with the grace of God, we will be able to put this terrible day behind us. But I suspect it will take A LOT of flex time from the office and maybe a few days sailing. On good old solid Oklahoma lakes.
OK Turns out Y2Kette forgot to pack the cords for the DVD player. Co-Worker's luggage still hasn't showed up and they wanted to watch 27 Dresses. So I offer the laptop, which has a pretty good sized screen but the speakers are real weak. So we all three huddle side by side at the foot of my bed (Y2Kette in the middle) as we strain to hear the tale of the always a bridesmaid never a bride Catherine Heigel flick. I gotta tell ya dude, I had to shift and move and stretch a few times. Lying like that really strains an old man's back.
Once the movie was over and the lights were back on, I noticed the giant 50 inch flat screen TV that is in the room has a box that will accept monitor cables for the laptop. At this point Co-Worker points out there cables in the drawer of the witting desk. Yup, you guessed it. We suffered all scrunched in front of that little screen, straining to hear when a huge TV was available. DUH!
A dude at the conference without luggage has said he started telling American Airlines they would have to buy him a set of clothes for each day he was without luggage at the conference. If we don't get a suitcase by tomorrow, neither Y2Kette OR Co-worker will have any clothes. That's gunna make for a LONGGGGGG plane ride home. AWKWARDDDDDDDD
Monday, July 28, 2008
GET OFF MY DAMN BACK!!!!
See we got up this morning around 5:00 a.m. We showered, drank coffee and left in a frenzy because we needed to meet a co-worker along the way to the airport. We got to Tulsa International just fine, whipped into the private parking garage, abandoned the car was shuttled to the boarding gate, got our ticket, sailed through security and went to a gate only half way down the terminal, as opposed to all the way at the end, as usual. Then we waited and waited and waited. We needed to flight to Dallas because evidently Tulsa International only connects to Dallas, Denver and Atlanta. Fuckers!
So we wait and wait and finally they start boarding the plane. Then they stop. Then they say there is a problem with the engine. It should take an hour. NO PROBLEM!! We had a two hour layover in Dallas, so we will grab an early lunch there at the airport and just keep on traveling.
Only after lunch we found out the flight was delayed about hour and a half IF THEN. So now we have a problem, plus we already wasted a freakin hour. The lines to the service desk are way down the hall and nobody is getting much help. In desperation the airlines starts sending people out handing out cards for the 1-800 Service center. We call them because, lets face it, my back could not stand the strain from standing in that line. So I call and I am given three unattractive options. We pick the one that switched airlines, sends us to LA and then hops us to Palm Springs. We should arrive around 11:30 p.m. The plane leaves Tulsa in 5 hours.
So we visit and play and end up wasting time planning what we might do, but didn't really have time, so we walked out the front of the airport and back to the United ticket booth to start this adventure from the beginning. Only United refused to even talk to us. They said American Air was supposed to confirm, the flight was overbooked and we were screwed. And I can take my pissy attitude down the hall to the American Ticket counter. Fuckers!
So I go to American and start off the conversation with the claim I have a problem, I understand they did not cause it, but they will still need to call the manager. Then I told the situation. There was a good deal of finger pointing but the end result was Y2Kette and I got upgraded to first class tickets! I had told the kid I wanted to take her to some really nice restaurants while here in town. She thought I meant tonight, and refused to eat on the plane. A first class meal and she turned up her freakin nose!!! So now we have been traveling nearly 20 hours for a total of 4 hours in the air. We have eaten two meals at airports and one at the hotel room service. Yes, $30 for a hamburger.
It is so late because once we touch down, miracles happen. Y2Kette and I both have all our luggage. The co-worker... not so much. All her clothes and the office laptop computer were packed away in that bag. We waited and waited and waited before finally taking our $60 cab ride to the hotel.
If you seem to notice a recurring theme about money here... What? Like you don't know who you are reading! Sheesh!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
So when we get right down to it, how do we choose between two people that you never felt were good for the job in the first place? As far as I can tell, the best, most intelligent decisions are going to require some real reflection on the part of the voters. And I really believe that American voters want the right guy in office. Most intelligent people know the shit is about to hit the economic fan. Many of us will be without jobs by Christmas and many will be without homes by Easter. Did you read two more banks have closed? It is going to get real ugly, real soon. As my old friend Cy used to say, it seems like a good time to start buying gold. The US Dollar is going to drop like a rock and we will suffer due to years of mismanagement. Even the Republicans are admitting all of this is a given, and saying we should stop pointing fingers at who is responsible (them) and focus on recovery. The new Alan Greenspan dude said just this week that we are headed into a downturn (depression) that will takes months to recover from, but not years. Of course he never said how many months. Maybe 2, or 36, possibly 48, how about 62?
So as I am about to fly out to Palm Springs and trying to figure out how to pack for two people for five days in two medium suitcases, I began thinking about my political beliefs. The old saying is, opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Years ago former Raider’s Howie Long added, "...And they all stink." Howie gained even more of my respect that day. Anyway, here is my opinion.
If we went out and loaned money to our friends that we knew couldn't pay it back, who would feel bad for us and give us free tax money for being stupid? If we go out and buy all kinds of crap that we can't afford, including a house that has monthly payments of nearly half the household income, who will bail us out? If we turn out to be a danger to the safety and security of our neighborhood, who would not only turn a blind eye, but start giving us sacks of money to become an even greater pain in the butt?
OK the banks not only loaned money to people they knew were bad investments, they begged then demanded banking deregulation so they could make those bad decisions. Why should my tax money be used to bail them out? Will I benefit from a bailout financed with my tax money? What about the homeowners? I am surrounded by people snapping up the next big prestigious thing. They feel they deserve the lifestyle that includes a huge house and big cars and all the latest gizmos. They have been bragging about how bright they are for years as the rest of us save and live within our income. Why the hell should MY tax money be used to bail them out?
Let's consider the Airline industry. You know when 911 hit we were in a panic. We pointed fingers at the government who then went nuts with Homeland Security. Why didn't we ask about the Airlines? Why didn't we point out they have a level of responsibility to keep passengers and the public safe? This idea of hijacking was not new. Even the idea of flying into buildings wasn't new. But we reacted to 911 by bailing out the airlines because people were justifiably afraid to get on a freakin plane. So... did we just reward them for incompetence?
And how have they thanked us, with reasonable safety check points? With improved service? How about better connections? No way! Because Corporate America has learned the American people like to be treated like cheap street walker. Slap us around, take our money and demand we do a better job of serving you.
Did you know community after community in rural American bid against each other to create the best tax incentives (free money and gifts) that entice corporations to put manufacturing plants in their area? Our own community bought a phone center from some rent-a-car place. The corporation kept it here til the tax money ran out and then it was gone! Kwick-Set Lock Company did the same in a town a few miles away. They took a bag of local and state tax money to open a plant while stepping out the back door to set up a location in Mexico.
OK OK I could go on and on with the examples and then you would need to give your examples and I never would get my suitcase packed. The simple reason for my political beliefs is based on how things affect me. What is my sense of right and wrong. And, as you know, I am all about financial conservation. I have no freakin idea why taxes have to be so high. When I was a kid, local sales tax was about 3-5% Now it is around 10%. And I want to know WHY it needs to be that high? I do not see any more services than I saw back in the 1970s. In fact, I see less! Back when I was a kid you could depend on civil services, the Sheriff came when you needed him, the ambulance responded when called. Today you have to verify a real need and the bill will be passed around for the response, IF they can even find the place.
People have pointed out they have more expensive equipment like major traffic lights, but they use to pay a cop to direct traffic all the time, and they eliminated that job for a more cost effective light. Is the light no longer cost effective? If so, we need to know because we have a butt load of people out here that can waive their arms and blow a whistle for a living!
I hear they have to raise taxes to deal with inflation. But why doesn’t anybody mention that inflation also shows up on income? If you charge 5 cents on every dollar of bread sold you make a nickel a loaf. But then inflation comes along and I just bought a loaf of the best tasting low calorie, Whole Wheat 6g a slice Pepperidge Farm for over $3. That means with inflation the county gets 15 cents just because I want bread with my tuna salad. That’s an increase of three times over the old cost but that wasn’t enough! Now the total in local sales tax is doubled as well for the same essential services.
The problem is the country has adopted the corporate system. We have managers of managers of managers who tell a few people how to do a job. So you have levels of beau racy of people creating unnecessary work to justify their existence. You hear the world of business is different than the world of Government, but I have never seen it. So what we end up with is a country being run by guys like Bush that reward incompetence like the Airlines who harass people like you and me while we pay excessive taxes at places like Wal-Mart as more and more jobs go to Mexico.
Ha! You probably thought I was just rambling and didn’t have a point didn’t you?!! Mismanagement leads to a buttload of real problems. This is just job security for me, as I work with community groups to try to deal with the crap created by the people who win our twice a decade popularity contest. But from where I sit spaced out on Hydrocodone and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool to drunk dial up that girl I used to sit next to in Algebra 35 years ago?”, neither of the two parties represent me. Increased taxes are not the answer. If you can’t run a Government on 15% of the total GNP you are one hell of a loser! But on the other hand, the other guys, the ones who want lower taxes, keep running up the biggest bills!
You know what I wish? I wish we didn’t vote by secrete ballot. Then the guys who kept voting for this freakin loser could pay all the tax increases it will take to pay for their mistakes. Maybe THAT’S why they are so insistent ballots are kept in secrete. I wanna go back to a simple show of hands!!!
Friday, July 25, 2008
A bulging disk is a condition related to the spine, usually the lumbar, or lower back, that occurs when a disk bulges through a crevice in the spine. Disks are the soft, gelatinous material that cushions the vertebrae of the spine. A bulging disk occurs when the disk shifts out of its normal radius and most often occurs simply as a result of age.
A bulging disk is different from a herniated disk in that a bulging disk typically occurs gradually over time rather than suddenly. A herniated disk is often the result of an injury or trauma to the spine. In the majority of patients who experience a bulging disk, there is no pain unless the disk becomes herniated or protrudes into a nerve.
In many cases, a bulging disk may be diagnosed as a condition secondary to another problem. Because a bulging disk does not always cause pain, it may only be found during a routine or diagnostic imaging test such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Typically, a bulging disk is not a problem unless it begins to cause pain, becomes herniated or ruptures.
Treatment for a bulging disk or even a herniated disk is relatively conservative in most cases. Rest and lifting restrictions are common, and a doctor may recommend a combination of heat and ice therapy and anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections. Medication may be prescribed to deal with any associated pain.Long story short: I am either too freakin old or too freakin fat. The bastard might as well have called me short and bald and cover all the freakin bases. Pay the lady $75 on the way out the door.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Can you believe I got resistance on this suggestion?!! Can you believe some people in the college took issue with me wanting to take MY daughter on an all expense paid trip to Hollywood's Playground? Some thought it was me being greedy and trying to bilk the school and even a tax supported grant by slipping her into a trip.
But here are the facts. Y2Kette has been a part of every youth activity my office has participated in for the past 6 years. She has been in all the youth groups, gone to state conventions, giving up time with friends, and performed almost every tobacco vendor check we have done in the last two years. Plus she is just now finishing a two month summer internship where she was doing the work of a much higher paid professional and doing it damn well. In fact, we would not have had most of our youth participation if it was not for Y2Kette dragging her friends and classmates to the meetings with her. So yeah, as far as youth leadership goes, she is the best we have.
So we leave next week. It will be her first airplane ride. We are going to try to get her a private room, if the hotel is not already full. The room will have to be close to mine... not gunna allow any drunken sex parties with those darn kids and their rock and roll music, you understand. She will participate in the youth leadership track and the new girl and I will do the more boring professional line of classes. We agree her classes look way more interesting than ours. Some kids have all the luck, great trips, her own car, the coolest dad ever, and now Palm Springs. And do you know the main claim to fame of today's Desert Resort?
Let's just say it ain't your father's Palm Springs any more. Check out the LGBT stats. Yes, Palm Springs, once famed party town for horny drunken chicks is now the gayest place on Earth.
Today the WSJ is claiming that not only are Dodd and Frank the ones who called for all the deregulation of banks, but are now acting like terrorists and making demands of the poor, hard working Bush administration. Those cold hearted Democrat bastards are saying if the banks are bailed out with tax money then there should be extra money that is spent on community block grants.
Those money grubbing bastards! After lining their pockets as... eh... Senators in the minority party, they now expect to line their pockets with pork that will only benefit ...eh... every state that has suffered from Bush cuts to federal programs like rebuilding Levies, flood water dams, roads, schools, hospitals, housing, mental health, and aid to mothers with children. Damn those evil Democrats and their stupid desire to invest in America when we could be fighting a war that has no purpose and that our own army as well as the occupied nation's government wants us to withdraw from ASAP.
You know my job is part of a federal block grant. Like most states, we do not have enough money to meet the needs. IN this state that has high levels of addiction problems, which like a ripple in still waters, will radiate out and affect the entire surrounding environment. In this state where there are so many people that are out of control with substance abuse, we lead the nation for putting people in prison. Most are there because of drugs. As prisons were privatized under the old Republican Governor Frank Keating, we seem to have more and more prison beds for the next druggie that comes along while a hefty chunk of change goes into corporate pockets.
Yet what these people need is treatment. They need in-patient treatment for 6 months to a year so they can gain the skills needed to get in control of their lives. Currently, while there are plenty of prison beds awaiting the next druggie, there is a waiting list for treatment beds. A waiting list that averages 900 standing in line, hoping to get the help that may save their lives, and provide positive support for their family for the next generation. 900 people that are not in control of their lives waiting for help that will not come because of budget cuts. 900 people that will most likely end up in prison because the help was not there when they needed it. 900 people whose children will grow up with the stigma of a parent in prison, rather than a parent in recovery. 900 people with children who are genetically designed to model the behavior of their parents. And when those 900 people get processed, there are 900 more already lined up and needing treatment. And this is how just ONE of the Federal Block Grant cuts have effected ONE state out of 50.
Do you suppose the Wall Street Journal might be, oh I don't know..... BIASED? Kind of makes you wonder who their general readership is mostly made of, maybe, ...oh I don't know... Bankers?
But, in spite of all of that, from time to time I will hit upon a tune, usually during a rare phase of the moon where the sinus cavities and phlegm level all coincide to allow a fairly descent, almost on-tune rendition of a song or two. Not often, so it seems to require the notice of my wife who will let me know it sounded "nice."
Now this is a seasonal thing. See, usually, I grow a bit mental in the Oklahoma heat and try to speed up fall by setting out decorations. I mean it dude! I have fall pictures on my computers, and I set up screen savers and put out fall leaf garland and try to create a fall like aura as air conditioners are running full tilt after 80-90 days of 100+ degree heat. And the hotter it gets, the Scotsman in me sees the Electric meter spinning every time the air conditioner kicks on, and sometimes it never seems to stop. I mean it man, out here it gets so hot in the summer, you walk out of a building and just get pissed off because heat is not supposed to be this freakin hot. The day might start off at 85 degrees and be 98 by 10:00 a.m. So now I hot, miserable and sinking into deep depression as I can't stop visualizing the electric meter spinning into the hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Seasonal Affect Disorder usually happens when the days grow shorter and active lifestyle people can't be outside enjoying nature. In my house, it's when the days grow too hot and you can't go outside.
So each day the radiant heat builds and it grows hotter. And each day I grow a little more pissed off. Each day I go a little more crazy until the calendar turns. Pre-Season football starts in August. Football is a fall/winter sport, right? That means there's hope, right? Then School starts, and school always starts in the fall, right? Only it's probably over 100 degrees the first six weeks of school in this state. But still, school always means fall and cooler temperatures, right?
Without much else to do at this time of year, I always start playing the guitar again. I play the oldies, then in desperation I look for Christmas songs and believe me there will be some "Let it Snow" chanting going on around the Dog Days of August and into September. And I wont be the only one singing. Sure we all say it is to practice for the upcoming holidays, but we all know, it is a wish, a plea... turn off the damn heat!!!
SO there I am in the other room, going at it with "Annie's Song" when Mrs. Y2K comes in the room and offers her gentle encouragement as she hugs me. She says that song sounds "real nice." She squeezes me tighter. She did this the day before on this very song. Only she "Hugged" me by wrapping her arm around my neck, BOTH TIMES! And when she squeezed, in the middle of my attempt to hit the highest of John Denver notes, which cuts off all the air in my throat and I gag. BOTH DAYS!! And she maintains her "HUG" while whispering "how nice it sounds" until all singing has been throttled quiet. Then she kisses the top of my bald head and goes back in the other room, saying absently, "That sounded really nice."
OK, so there are days when she just scares the hell out of me!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I just don't understand how this is conservative fiscal responsibility. So the new American philosophy is spend what you don't have and pass the bill on to the losers that actually pay their debts. Wonderful.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
So to be honest this is my third attempt. I did not like the looks of the others, but this one, I think I can work with. So I am excited to try this little experiment in self gratification.... eh publishing.
I started Y2K Survivor on AOL Journals back in October/November 2006 as a way to introduce my daughter into a new format of writing. Only I got to where I enjoyed creating this stream of thoughts, or thoughtlessness. So, after about the first year I have made an attempt to post every day. I hope you save me to your favorite list and come back. Maybe we can have some fun together.
So this weekend is the big Blogher Convention. I looked and I was not nominated for best blog ever, which was a disappointment. On the other hand, I was not nominated for worst blog ever. Seems Dooce and Perez Hilton have those slots sewed up pretty tight. This means this could mean many many things, but probably it means I am not doing it right.
So I go to other blogs and I read the one thing readers NEVER want to hear about is HOW you blog. Blogging about blogging sucks ass. Then all these sights that tell me to never blog about blogging proceed to tell me how they blog, or how they recommend others to blog.
NOTE: None of them were nominated for Blogher awards either.
Now I don't know if I have a style of writing other than fire up the laptop, stare a blank screen and mentally scream to myself, "Oh fuck!! What the hell am I going to do now?!!" But usually after staring for a few minutes, something clicks and I am off on a tale that unfolds for me about the same as it does for you. Very seldom to I do much tinkering, changing or consulting. I just pour out what is running through my mind at the time.
Which is probably why I was not nominated for the Blogher Convention. I don't plan, strategize or program. I had a three day post on how I did not become famous after blogging about not masturbating. But that was not planned ahead. Each post was a completely original thought process at the time of writing.
Now I will admit I tend to think during the day if something might make a good post. But generally I am way too busy looking at porn or taking a nap to give this site much thought during the day. There have been times I have even created two or three posts on a weekend with the thought of posting them when time was short in the workweek. I believe, to date, I have lost ever single one of those fuckers.
So mostly I sit at a blank screen and slowly build up a nervous energy that demands I put something on the screen. In time, this self inflicted pressure cooker ends up in the sterling prose that you see before you now. And maybe that is the secrete to a really hot successful blog. Post less, post quality over quantity and do a polish or two before posting.
Then there is my Floridian friends Adam and Britt who have started a whisper campaign to improve my readership. An improvement initiative that seems to know no bounds if I will only do one thing. GET A REAL BLOG!!!!
These guys seem to think AOL Journals is not a real platform for blogging, and to be fair, I didn't see many on the list of best at Blogher. I have tried Wordpress and frankly was not happy with the look. I like the way this site looks. It feels like me. Scattered yet thrown together in a last minute frenzy that somehow feels comfortable and inviting. Maybe I can get that at Google. I hear Gmail is really good. I also hear Time/Warner is trying to sell off AOL. Worse, the program will barely run, it won't load it's own pages or Email and they informed me they were raising their price for a service that is free everywhere else... even with them!
Which all seems to suggest that maybe sometime in the future, when there is time and I feel comfortable making the change that I might somehow, someday, consider making a real fucking blog! And I will, one day. Honest!