April 3, 2006


I'm having a difficult time getting started this month.  Having to say goodbye to Maddie is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and I'm missing her terribly.  She was such a sweet little presence in my home.  Now, when I come home from work, the house seems very empty.  There is no little face in the window watching for me and I so miss the bouncing, dancing, happy little dog who always greeted me.  She has left a huge hole in my heart, though I am so thankful she was with me as long as she was.  Maddie was a blessing in my life and she brought so much joy.  I treasure her memory, even though the pain is very hard to bear right now.

I miss you, little bugger girl!  You were the best!








April 10, 2006

I have just had an incredibly brilliant idea!  Truly I have!!!  It came to me in a flash after I had just spent 2 hours tediously trying to unwrap a couple of new CD's.  It's pure brilliance...I don't know why someone hasn't already thought of it!!!

Have you ever tried to unwrap new CD's?  If you have, you will understand.  It's a PROJECT.  You have to schedule time on your calendar, because it isn't something that is going to be easy or happen quickly.  So, having scheduled 30 minutes - which I foolishly thought was an adequate amount of time - I sat down to begin the task before me.

It took a little longer than expected to get through the first layer of defense because I couldn't find even the smallest gap in the wrapping into which I could insert my Exacto knife tip.  Grrrr!  I finally slashed along the hinge and managed to start tearing the cellophane wrapping away.

The next challenge was, of course, the dreaded adhesive strip across the top of the CD that prevents you from opening the case.  This same adhesive strip is now being considered for use by NASA.  They believe it will provide the required adhesive quality needed to keep any pesky foam from ripping away from the space shuttle during launch.  They also believe it can be used to hold the tiles in place.  If used in this capacity, the shuttle will actually become a bizillion pounds lighter!

It was only after much struggle that I was able to slip the Exacto blade beneath the corner of the seal.  I began working it up and down carefully, hoping to lift the corner enough that I could grasp it with my fingers.  Twenty minutes later, the stupid strip had been shredded into many pieces, but none of them remained ON the CD case!  I would have wept with relief except I knew I still had another CD to unwrap.  But at least I had achieved success with the first one!

Or not.  Can you believe, they had actually sealed the BOTTOM AND THE SIDE with more of those horrid seals!!!!!

One hour later, I was tired, frustrated and decidedly grumpy!  Little pieces of sticky plastic were stuck to my face, arms and hair.  Not to be deterred, I started on the second CD.

It was near the end of that 2nd hour when my brilliant idea came to me as I wrestled the final adhesive seal off the last case.  We need to find the people who are responsible for devising this hideous security plan for CD's and place them in charge of HOMELAND SECURITY!!!!!!!  Can you imagine it?  If these people are capable of so completely security a $12 CD in a case to protect it from theft, what would they come up with to PROTECT OUR COUNTRY!!!!!  We would NEVER have to worry about somebody getting somewhere they weren't supposed to be!  Terrorists would be doomed to fail in all of their attempts to murder innocent people because they WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO GET PAST THE SECURITY!!!!

Think about it.  They could secure our airports and our borders.  No more searching little old ladies with underwire bras!  No more confiscating Bic lighters!  Nobody would be laughing about Homeland Security any more.  They would SHAKE WITH DREAD!!!!!!

Do you happen to know the phone number of the President?  I think I need to give him a call!


April 14, 2006

I would just like to state for the record:  I am no expert on immigration issues.  Don't claim to be; don't want to be.  That said, I do have an opinion on one particular point that is related to the current hoop-la about immigration reform.

First, I do recognize that there are countries where dictators do not allow their citizens to immigrate.  In many cases, these citizens are desperate to escape nightmarish conditions where their lives are often in danger.  I am not writing about these people.  It is important that you understand that I am only talking about people who have choices and who have a modicum of control over their destiny.

That said, perhaps I am old-fashioned or too honest or too logical for my own good.  I don't know what my problem is.  But the one thing that troubles me as our government again considers immigration reform has to do with something I learned a VERY long time ago in my career when I stepped into a management position.  It's this silly little behavior principle...one of the really simple "slap you in the face" basics.  It's called "Don't reinforce negative behavior; reinforce positive behavior instead."

If you are wondering what this has to do with immigration, I will GLADLY explain how I see it.

There are thousands upon thousands of honest, hard-working, good, decent people who legally immigrate to the United States each year.  These people are the kind of people I am personally happy to welcome to our land of opportunity.  You see, speaking in general terms, they aren't expecting something for nothing.  They don't expect a handout and they aren't expecting everyone else to take care of them.  They are looking for the chance to build a better future for themselves and their families.  They want to be contributing members of society to the highest degree of their ability.  They want to obtain a reward for their labor and earn a good living so they can experience some of the good life many of us take for granted.  These people have my respect.  I want them to succeed, I want them as my friend and neighbor and co-worker.  These legal immigrants, in my opinion, should be the ones who get those opportunities to realize their dream.  They work to reach their goals and I want them to find the hope, happiness and freedom they have so diligently sought.

Then there are the illegal immigrants.  Even though, from most parts of the world, it isn't extraordinarily difficult to come to this country legally, they choose to take the route of least resistance. They sneak in.  I can't help but wonder, how much integrity do these people have if they think it is O.K. to break the law in this way?  They seem to be the ones screaming about their "rights" as they indignantly demand to be declared legal, even though they haven't taken the responsibility to earn that status.  They require, they take, they declare.  But they don't work for the privileges they so militantly claim.

I can't help but wonder how this makes those people feel who did the right thing and acted responsibly...those who legally immigrated to this country.  And I can't help but ask myself the questions, "Whose behavior should we reinforce?"


April 16, 2006

I'm missing Maddie today.  I keep expecting to see her...laying at my feet, watching for me in the window, playing with a toy, following me.  My house seems empty without her.  She was such a sweet and silly little dog.  Sometimes my heart feels broken.  Today is one of those days...


April 25, 2006

I have been doing a lot of "spring cleaning" lately.  I don't know why I have chosen this particular time to get the cleaning bug.  Maybe it's because I've had the windows open a lot lately and the fresh air is inspiring me.  I assure you, this is NOT something I normally do, nor is it something I particularly enjoy.  I keep things picked up and straightened up, for the most part, but when I start vacuuming baseboards, you know some strange alien presence has overtaken me!  I even mopped the kitchen floor the other day!!!  I will have to say, however, the nose prints on the front window will have to remain for awhile (see picture of Maddie above) because I just don't have the heart to wash them off right now. 

Part of my cleaning initiative has involved dealing with paper.  Paper that need to be filed.  Paper that needs to be sorted.  Paper that has to have something done with it that hasn't been done yet.  Paper, paper, everywhere.  And I HATE to file!!!

I remember hearing years ago that we would soon have a paperless society.  I have come to believe this is one of those "in the future" types of things...you know, the kind that Ray Bradbury has written about where houses talk and fix meals for you and clean themselves up afterwards.  Even so, I have to confess, I can envision my house making my dinner for me long before I can believe we will actually have a paperless society.

The first time I heard the phrase "paperless" was back when I was 19 years old (yes, back in the dark ages).  I worked for Prudential Insurance Company and at that time, they were the 2nd largest paper user in the world.  The largest user of paper was the US government.  Prudential was rather proud of this fact for some reason, though I confess I never quite figured out why.  But they were predicting that a time would come when we would have a "paperless" office.  I don't know who exactly made that "dire" prediction, but I'm sure they were promptly tarred and feathered.  As most of us know, this still hasn't become reality and isn't likely to in the near future, considering the way everything has to be documented 20 ways, cross-referenced and double-filed.  Also, when you realize how bosses screw employees, employees are never going to stop hoarding papers that document instructions and the results of those instructions (as in CYA).  So I just don't see this paperless thing happening in my lifetime.  Maybe by the time we are like the Jetsons, flying our cars around and living in space needle houses in the sky.  But even then, I'm guessing they are still going to be inundated with paper!  I mean, cloning sheep is one thing...but eliminating the paperwork that was required to accomplish that feat is quite another!!!

So I am sorting paper, trying to figure out what I need to keep and where to keep it.  One thing I do know about paper...it has babies faster than rabbits!!  The minute you throw out a piece of paper, 40 more little baby papers are created overnight.  I'm sure this is why my piles of paper never actually get smaller, but rather seem to grow taller with each new day!  Which is yet another reason we will never reach the lofty paperless goal.  And lets face it, at the rate we are sending all of our jobs overseas without so much as a backward glance, the only jobs that will be left in this country will be those that involve filing the stacks of paper the rest of the world doesn't have time to deal with because they are busy earning a good living.  Somebody still has to do the paperwork, right?