December 20, 2006

Why, why, why

Does the end of the year have to occur at Christmas time?

There is way too much work to be done. Documents created, approvals signed.


I'd rather try out a recipe for making cannolis.

I will try it before the weekend - if they are good, I'll make more and bring them with us for our desert on Christmas Eve.

Posted by Beth at 07:31 PM | Comments (2)

December 17, 2006

I can't believe the weekend is nearly over!

Let's see - I got home on Friday night - it was too late to make it to the annual Christmas Holiday Party held by John's employer, so we went to Outback, sat at the bar and had a nice dinner.

Kevin, Sarah and Carrie were our bartenders. We have known Sarah and Carrie for years, so I suspect we had more fun at Outback than if we had attended the party - sometimes there are a few overly anti-Catholic wives of guys who work there around those parties. And I invariably get in trouble for jumping their overly made-up asses when they start slamming Catholicism.

(I guess "overly" is my word of the day!)

Yesterday, I was tres lazy in the morning. I had my tresses coloured and highlighted in the afternoon, and then, because she had a cancellation, Millie, the wonder woman who gives the best massage this side of the Mississippi, gave me a great massage for a full hour! It was unbelievable. My arthritic knees felt so much better, as did my sore shoulders and my neck and lower back.

If any of you ever, ever, ever come to Leavenworth to visit - and you want to have a massage, give me a holler, and I'll see if Millie can work you into her schedule.

Let's see - oh yeah, last night, I was really even lazier and phoned in for pizza for John and I. I was exhausted and was asleep by 10:00.

This morning, we went out to brunch and then I put John on a jet to DC for a couple of days worth of briefings at the Pentagon. He can't tell me about it, though, or he'd have to kill me!

I went to a fabric store after that - Once upon a time I had time to sew things, but that was long, long ago. It doesn't matter to my shopping gene, though. I go into a fabric store and go fricking nuts!!!

My dear Mother-in-law and I were teasing at Thanksgiving, and I told her she was the Queen, and she said, OK, where is my crown, sceptre and robe?

So, I found a gorgeous tiara on EBay for about 10 bucks, and I ordered a beautiful red bathrobe for her, too. Today, I bought some gorgeous fake fur and Velcro - I am going to make her bathrobe look like a royal robe with fake ermine fur trimming the cuffs, the neckline and the hem.

I'm going to just use iron-on Velcro so she can remove the furry stuff and throw the robe into the wash.

If only I could find a sceptre!

And then, I could not stop there, oh no. I am the craftqueen! I have no time, but I have talent and imagination!!!

I spent $99 on this.
It was on sale at Hancock Fabrics. And seeing the UK price of 99 pounds sterling, I got a great deal!!!

Now I have to decide where I want to set that lamp up. Do I put it in the living room, so I can crochet or knit while watching tv? Or in the bedroom, or the kitchen or my office (which needs a serious cleaning/paint job.)

Last weekend, John and I were in Boston, and we were wandering around Faneuil Hall and the shops on either side of it, and there was a lovely Irish shop. I saw a beautiful Irish knit winter scarf there, but it was $120.00. So I found a pattern with a Celtic something or other and some beautiful 'fisherman's yarn" - off-white virgin wool with the lanolin still in it. I got a couple of crochet hooks, and I will be able to make something very similar, or even prettier, for about twenty bucks.

Got home, fed cats, put dogs out, found out that a couple of ex-cotillionites hate the cotillion and all in it, fixed a margarita and now I'm going to go and fix a salad.

So, that was my weekend.

And it's almost gone.

I need 5 day weekends!

Posted by Beth at 06:24 PM | Comments (5)

September 10, 2006

Back on the road again

I have actually been here at home for most of July and August. But I'm back to traveling again. I hate being away from home, but work is a whole lot more fun when I'm working with clients directly. So, I have mixed feelings about the travel.

And, this is the first time I've flown since the British discovered the plot to crash planes with some kind of liquid, so I need to double check that I'm not carrying anything that is not allowed in my laptop backpack. I'll check my suitcase, as usual.

And I guess I will be on the lookout for Middle Eastern Men carrying phone books on board.

I just checked the TSA's guidelines on clothing, etc., and they actually want women to *not* wear underwire bras.

Other Tips Place all liquids, gels and items with similar consistency in your checked baggage. Items sich as lotions, toothpastes, shampoos and conditioners are not allowed in carry-on baggage. For more information on this security procedure, please read our update to the prohibited items list.

Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry or other accessories that contain metal when traveling through the security checkpoints:

Heavy jewelry (including pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyards or bolo ties)
Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
Belt buckles
Under-wire bras
Hidden items such as body piercings may result in your being directed to additional screening for a pat-down inspection. If selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.
Take metal items such as keys, loose change, mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs) out of your pockets.
Place heavy jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage or in plastic bags if they are offered, until you clear security.
Pack all your coats and jackets in your baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. These include, but are not limited to, trench coats, heavy winter coats, suit jackets, sport coats and blazers. If you choose to wear an outer coat or jacket to the checkpoint, you will need to either place it in your carry-on or put it in the bin that is provided for you


That's not a good thing for me! Do I go braless? I don't own a non-underwire bra, because they don't do a thing for me!

I guess I'll just get screened everytime, either that, or I'll take my bra off and put it thru the machine at security and then put it back on. Only that might get me in trouble. :)

Posted by Beth at 07:44 AM

May 24, 2006

Changes again

Well, it looks like I'll be on a new project at work - get to learn some new things - travel a lot (as I do now), but should be able to leave on Monday mornings and come home on Thursday evening, leaving me just a one hour con call on Fridays and a 2 1/2 day weekend.

At least that is my hope - and I was told I will get more money - which is always good!

Posted by Beth at 06:39 PM

March 23, 2006

I'm such a dolt

I have been sooo busy working this week that I barely have time to do anything else! The last night, I was on-line with a client until midnight, fixing an issue that they didn't even notice for 6 months! Of course, they needed reports by today.

And then, the night before, I was working on another issue until 10:00 pm.

And I don't work nights! I usually start between 8 and 9 am. Except, of course, for this morning, I have a call in what - 2 minutes. And it will be a two or three hour call. Then I have to call a different client and then another one - these technical issues can be quite time consuming to correct - and I like to correct them by teaching the client how to do it so that hopefully they will not need me to fix it again.

Now, if only my clients would just keep the same people in that job for more than a year.


Posted by Beth at 07:00 AM

February 06, 2006

oh, gosh darn

It's Monday again. I had to take my laptop into the repair center at work because yet another keyboard screwed up.

Have you ever tried to type when the comma only works when you hit the darn key 3 times in quick succession?

Very annoying!

So, I drove the 40 plus miles into the 'campus' and waited while they gave me a new case for the laptop - this is case # 4 or 5, I think. I'm hard on laptops!

It is nice to be able to type quickly again, though.

Oh, I have pictures of my finished Wardian Case - I need to download them from the camera tonight. The moss makes it look great - and I put one of my little porcelain horses in it, and I think it looks pretty okay.

I have to go down to the basement after dinner tonight and drag some clay upstairs - I have an idea for a few things that I can work on that do not require wheel work (my wheel is in the basement, and I just don't like working down there). If I can get started on them, I think that I'll finally fire up my kiln and see what happens!

Posted by Beth at 07:07 PM

December 12, 2005

now I feel like a jet setter

I found out what - an hour ago? that I'm needed in London. So, I'm packed, I think, and Johnlove is on his way home to get me to the airport.
I'll probably get extra security because I just made the reservation.

But I'll come home on Friday!

See ya then.

Posted by Beth at 01:38 PM

November 28, 2005

It's Monday and I have to catch a plane

Let's see - oh, right, I'm on my way to Canton, Ohio this morning. It's for work, not for sightseeing. Gee, it is so hard to get back into the work thing after a nice Thanksgiving!

Posted by Beth at 04:01 AM

November 23, 2005

I can't believe how much I've been working

I think I have to learn to say "NO!" I was hoping this would be an easy, pleasant week working from home, but I have been deluged by requests from clients and boss.

I find myself getting up at 5 am (well, the cats make me get up then, really), making some very strong coffee and then getting on line and working on these requests for my clients.

There is not enough time in the day!

Yesterday, I put in what - 14 hours?

Andy and one of his roommates are coming home tonight, and I still have to get groceries, vaccuum, dust and do laundry.

But I have 3 conference calls today and I have got to figure out how to take a bunch of data I have and create a database for it that I can run reports from.


I am a workaholic.

I need another cup of coffee!

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Posted by Beth at 05:31 AM

November 18, 2005

It's been a week ...

It has been a very long week. Things have not gone as well as they normally do because of some technical difficulties.
I will be so glad to get home tonight!

By the way, I'm all for the mom who had her kid wear a sign in public admitting that she didn't do homework and talked back to teachers. Apparently it worked - the kid is behaving.

Needless to say, child development experts everywhere are screaming that the mom has psychologically harmed the child by humiliating her.

I'm sorry, but sometimes humiliation is necessary to get a kid to behave. I have had psychologist and social worker friends who have been so afraid of messing their kids up by publicly correcting them that the kids are just a mess.

Too bad more parents don't care enough about their kids when they get in trouble at school by disciplining them.

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Posted by Beth at 05:13 AM

It's been a week ...

It has been a very long week. Things have not gone as well as they normally do because of some technical difficulties.
I will be so glad to get home tonight!

By the way, I'm all for the mom who had her kid wear a sign in public admitting that she didn't do homework and talked back to teachers. Apparently it worked - the kid is behaving.

Needless to say, child development experts everywhere are screaming that the mom has psychologically harmed the child by humiliating her.

I'm sorry, but sometimes humiliation is necessary to get a kid to behave. I have had psychologist and social worker friends who have been so afraid of messing their kids up by publicly correcting them that the kids are just a mess.

Too bad more parents don't care enough about their kids when they get in trouble at school by disciplining them.

Posted by Beth at 05:13 AM

November 17, 2005

Is yelling ever acceptable at work?

Currently, I have a nice Team Lead at work and a nice Manager. They are respectful to me and truly listen to me when I have a worry or a suggestion.
My previous Team Lead (who is now in a different part of the company) was a terrible boss. He yelled at me - actually raised his voice (which I find completely unacceptable in business) because I disagreed with him on an issue.

I am a member of Tech Republic because I do techie kinda stuff. Currently, there is a discussion going on there about when it might be appropriate to yell at co-workers or employees.

I cannot believe that these folks are even discussing the possibility of as acceptable business behaviour. I was shocked when my last Team Lead yelled at me.

My feeling is that bosses should always treat people with civility. There is never any reason for raising one's voice in the business world unless you are warning someone of an impending disaster - like a tree is falling over on the employee.

Apparently, many people think it is just fine and dandy to yell at people - in front of other people.

So, tell me - you who are in management - do you yell at people at work?

Posted by Beth at 05:08 AM

October 25, 2005

oh my.

I am sitting here trying to train some people - one is eating her lunch and absolutely makes more noise than a dog or horse or any other animal with no lips.

She has lips.

She doesn't close her mouth when she chews and it is totally grossing me out.

I'm just saying...

Posted by Beth at 12:01 PM

October 10, 2005

Another Monday, another city

I'm off to Grand Rapids, Michigan today. I decided to fly to Chicago and then drive to Grand Rapids and see a part of Michigan I have not seen. I plan to bring my camera and pretty much take my time, as I don't have to be there until late this afternoon.

Andy came home for the weekend - he brought one of his roommates, Ashes, and August with him. They went to the KC Rennaisance Festival. I had planned to go also, but something I ate upset my stomach Saturday night and I stayed in bed all day yesterday.

Actually, I spent the entire weekend doing next to nothing. I think maybe my brain just needed a couple of days of no input or output after working 20 straight days.

No wonder John gets a little annoyed at my work schedule. It is ridiculous.

Too bad I like what I do so much, otherwise, I'd be shopping my resume around for shorter working hours!

Posted by Beth at 06:02 AM

September 25, 2005

work, work, work - that's all I do lately

So I got home from Delaware on Friday and today I leave for England until next Sunday, then one day home and off to Boston until Friday, then two days off and off to Michigan for 3 days, then 4 days home and I go to Florida for a week.

This is the reason that the Carnival of the Recipes is not completed this week.

I have called for reinforcements. perhaps someone will handle it (I thought I could until I realized that I still have to do a few things - like pack, do my expense report from last week, balance the checkbook, send out bills and do laundry.

If not - well, it will be an extra big Carnival next week.

Posted by Beth at 06:08 AM

September 20, 2005

Today is starting out badly!

I managed to blow up my Office XP Pro installation so I can't get to my Outlook stuff or any number of other things I kinda sorta need for work!

I'm in Delaware this week.

There is a chance I'll go to the UK next week - don't know yet.

Hope everyone else has a better morning!

Posted by Beth at 04:53 AM

August 04, 2005

A long day of work!

Even though I am fortunate enough to be able to work from my home office most of the time, things still don't always go very smoothly.

This morning, before John left for work, I decided to run up to our very nice local coffee shop for a mint chocolate frappé. (We don't have a Starbucks here in Leavenworth, but we do have a Barrista's - which is just darling - I need to take a picture - outside fountains and patio and WIFI and pretty good coffee and pastries.)

When I returned home, John had left for work. However, he forgot the one big rule of Castle Argghhh! - Close the door to the kitchen if leaving the dogs in the house!

Now, for a lot of people, that means the dogs have to stay in the kitchen. Not here, though - our dogs can open every cabinet, get into the trash and make one hell of a mess within minutes.

And that is what they did this morning.

After that, I tried to work on a development project, but it seems that someone unloaded the software from the server at work and put other stuff on it, so I couldn't even begin my project.

Then I did some support stuff with our new guys (telecommuting is a wonderful thing) to help them learn.

Before I knew it, it was 4:30, and I had to run up to the Commissary to get healthy food for dinner. But I forgot the charcoal for our steaks.

Currently, John is on an excursion for charcoal. I hope he doesn't buy any food, though - we are both doing exceedingly well on our competition, and I don't want to blow the weight we have lost so far this week - and for those who are keeping track, so far, we have lost exactly the same amount!

Posted by Beth at 05:41 PM

July 25, 2005

Damn, I have to study!

I expected to go to some seminars this week. I did not know that I have to pass a certification test, though! When I was in high school and college, tests were easy. I never worried about them.

Now, 30 years after graduating from college, I'm getting nervous!!

Posted by Beth at 10:31 PM

July 19, 2005

Traveling again

I'm in Southern California this week. My flight here was interesting. A mom and dad and their three year old girl sat next to me. They had purchased a ticket for the little girl, and there was one empty seat in the plane, but they decided to put the little girl on their lap and crowd in on two seats.

Now, I know some of you are thinking - why didn't you offer your window seat up to these people so they could all sit together instead of bitching.

Well, I'll tell you why - this family was late. They were the very last people on board. The guy who was originally sitting next to me gave up his seat for them.
(I was in the first group on board, and I went for my favored seat, the window seat in the last row).

I can be comfortable in a window seat or an aisle seat, but not in a middle seat - and that was all that was left.

I don't get to the airport in time so I can have the worst seat in the plane. 3+ hours of sitting next to 3 people with crayons, books, dolls, etc., getting thrown on me was not fun.

So people, if you are flying with your children, get to the airport early and preboard, so you can get comfortable without making some other poor soul miserable.

Posted by Beth at 08:23 AM

July 15, 2005


Because I travel so much, work has decided that I must carry a cell phone. It was delivered today. It is very complex. It has some kind of windows mobile on it. Apparently it is a PDA too. I used to have one of those, but I never used it so I gave it to John.

I'm supposed to load software on my computer to use the phone. I can't find the software.

I don't really want to spend all weekend figuring this thing out.

I think I'll just go have a drink instead.

Posted by Beth at 05:06 PM

June 30, 2005

Best 100 Companies

I can't say what companies John and I work for ( and they are two different, totally unrelated corporations), but both of them are listed on Computerworld's list of 100 Best Places to work in IT.

I wonder how many other couples work for two of the best 100?

Posted by Beth at 07:05 AM

June 10, 2005


We were supposed to have a conference call yesterday - 180 people were supposed to dial in to hear some kind of announcement or other.

Whoever set up the call forgot to turn off the option where you state your name and the electronic voice says - now entering - and then the name.

Imagine - 180 people stating their name. It was funny.

The meeting was rescheduled for this morning.

Posted by Beth at 07:04 AM

May 12, 2005

I get to go to London for work!

There are certain perks that go with my job - a lot of times, travel is kind of a pain, but getting to go to places like London on occasion make it a lot more exciting.

Just got my tickets - I'll arrive in London on May 22nd, and go to work the 23rd. Then, I will work thru Wed, take Thursday off and come home on Friday.

Good thing it is a long weekend when I come home!

Only drawback is that I can't find a rate where John can come with me or meet me there for a couple of days. ):

Posted by Beth at 01:35 PM

May 11, 2005


Thank God I work at home now. I have bronchitis and a sinus infection and I'm pretty much a mess. But I can work from bed since I'm now a virtual associate!

I've been sick for 3 weeks now - I swear, I will never, never, ever travel for work when I'm sick again. Last week, I could barely make it to the office and then back to the hotel. Because I was in LA, I thought maybe I could drive down to San Diego to see DaGoddess, but I was too sick to drive for two hours.

I am on all kinds of drugs - and an inhaler. ugh. I'm turning into my mother with all these pills.

Needless to say, I've not been doing much of anything in the way of blogging. It's all I can do to make sure the Carnival of the Recipes gets passed to the correct person each week, and I've not been very great at that lately, either.

Andy comes home from college on Friday - I'll drive out to Manhattan and get him and all his junk. Then he is going back out there the first of June- he is getting an apartment there with a couple of girls.

It's time for Andy to be more independent - he has a job at McDonalds if he can't find anything else, and he is trying to get on at FedEx.

It does look like I'll be travelling to Banbury, Great Britain a little later this month. I don't have the final ok yet - should get that tomorrow so I can get a flight and a hotel room. I would love for John to come with me, but I found that there are no great deals on flights when there is only about a week's notice.

I will take the camera with me. Which reminds me. I have all kinds of great pictures from my travels of the last couple of months. I suppose I should post some of them - some good stories go with some.

Anyway, I will try to be a little more steady here. I'm feeling a bit better, and I have a little more time.

Posted by Beth at 08:25 PM

May 02, 2005

more travel

Here I thought I'd be working from home this week, and I have to fly out to L.A. today.
I really would not mind so much except that I still have this dang cold or whatever it is. I don't have to actually 'work' until tomorrow morning, so I think if I take it easy today and just go straight to the hotel, I'll be okay.

This is the first year in many that I did not get a flu shot - and this is the first time I've been sick (with the exception of shingles a few years ago - that sucked!) in as many years.

From now on - it is flu shot!

Posted by Beth at 06:07 AM

April 29, 2005

I am now a Virtual Associate!

As of 6:00 pm today, I work out of our home - well, anyway, when I am not traveling, I'll get to work at home!

I have been begging my bosses for this for several years. Finally, I get to do this.

I am so happy - maybe now I'll be able to keep the house in better shape - I'll save 2 hours a day that I spend commuting now.

Posted by Beth at 08:57 PM

April 19, 2005

This has not been my best week!

Yesterday, I cracked my laptop case. This morning I got up, went out to the car and there is a huge dent in it. It's a rental car. Fortunately, Diner's Club covers any damage, but I'm so irritated that someone would hit it (probably when pulling out of a parking space) and not even leave a note.

And, if John didn't mention it, yesterday, not only did I break my laptop, but when I went to Barnes and Noble to buy another book to read, it ends up that I bought a book I had already read.

And then, Andy sends me an email - he is going to get an apartment or house with two girls for the summer - if he can find a job. He said the way things look, we may have to call him McAndy.

Well, he is 20, after all.


Posted by Beth at 08:07 PM

I need a tougher laptop

I also need a new laptop backpack. Because the backpack can't close, the laptop flew out onto the parking lot last night.

I cracked the case.

Do you suppose that anyone would notice if I duct tape it together?

Posted by Beth at 07:06 AM

March 28, 2005

I'm in the DC area this week

I flew into BWI yesterday afternoon and drove to Silver Spring and checked into my hotel - then I got in the car to find a place to eat dinner. I swear, I drove around for 90 minutes, gave up, when to the hotel and asked for some suggestions - all I saw was McDonalds - anywhere! It ends up I have to drive all the way to Laurel to eat at a sit down restaurant - that's probably 10 to 15 or more miles, or so it seemed to me!

Then, I get here, and I realize that I do not have my client's address- I checked all email, etc., and no one ever sent it to me! So, I had to call the client and sheepishly ask where the heck they are!

Things must get better as the week goes on - they must!

Posted by Beth at 07:12 AM

March 20, 2005

Another week of travel

This week it is Baltimore. I'm trying to get ready so that John and I can catch a movie and early dinner before I have to fly away again.

I will be working on the carnival calendar while I'm on the plane. Try to post it tomorrow or maybe even tonight!

Posted by Beth at 11:42 AM

March 11, 2005

I have no life

I love what I do - this cool technical stuff I get to do.

However, we have lost a few co-workers of late, and I have found that when I get back to the hotel after 10 or so hours of work, other clients want me to call them and work with them remotely. So I do what I can.

But then, I realize I'm mentally exhausted. I don't want to write anything, I don't want to do anything but escape into a book. My schedule for the next few weeks is exhausting just to look at. Many weeks, I'll get home on Friday, only to leave again on Sunday - on Saturday, it's try to spend some time with John and do laundry.

I have no life anymore.

I'm pooped.

I don't want answer the phone or check my email.

Damn, I guess I'm a little burnt out.

Anyway, that's why I have not been doing much in the way of posting anything. No time.

I have no idea how all the lawyer-bloggers can post a zillion times a day. Where do they find the time? Or maybe lawyers are not as busy as technical geeks who travel are?

Posted by Beth at 07:20 AM

March 07, 2005

I'm off to Reno

I'll probably be able to blog more there than here at home- our cable modem has been very flaky lately. I have lost at least 4 really good posts when I tried to save them and we lost connectivity.

I hate that when it happens, and by then, I usually don't have the time to rewrite a post, so I just forget about it.

I know it has caused John great frustration, too.

Posted by Beth at 05:12 AM

March 03, 2005

Must go out to dinner tonight!!

Stress, stress, stress, stress, stress!!!

Need Margarita at Outback!!!

Can't find John to ask him to meet me there!

My hope is he will see this soon and call me at work!


Posted by Beth at 05:47 PM

Work has been ... weird

There have been some personnel changes at work in the past 6 months or so- mostly for good, I think, but as of today, we are down to two people who do what I do (we used to have about 6) and a new guy who is great and very eager to learn, but has about 6 months worth of learning to do before he will be able to do much at all to help us.

Until he can get a handle on stuff, I'll probably be doing double or triple duty, so my posting may be a bit sparse for a bit.

I have been working late every night this week to try to catch up and to make sure our clients are taken care of. I was going to move into a different position in the summer, but now, because of my team's situation, I think I will stay - there is a chance I could get promoted sooner by staying, and I may end up being more of a technical architect, developing solutions for clients instead of being a techinical consultant, implementing solutions. So, the future will be very busy, and I hope interesting and fun.

Posted by Beth at 06:20 AM

February 23, 2005

I'm so tired

I worked yesterday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and I am worn out. What a week. This client keeps stretching the scope of what I'm supposed to do here, and it is easier to just do it then argue with them. Sigh.

Can't wait to have dinner with Tammi tomorrow night!

Posted by Beth at 05:38 AM

February 17, 2005

Not enough time

I have so much yet to do this week, and I leave here tomorrow morning!

I have not even had time to remind everyone to get their Recipes in to the recipe.carnival - at - mailbox so that Allan can put them all together for the Carnival of the Recipes!

I have to get more work done now - later!

Posted by Beth at 04:41 AM

January 28, 2005

I love Fridays

If I'm traveling, I get to go home!
I have a five hour drive to Detroit this morning, then I am going to go see Rosemary Esmay and the her baby, Draco!

Then I'll fly home to John.( :

Posted by Beth at 04:48 AM

January 12, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

I have felt totally swamped at work so far this week. And I had Monday off!
We are short staffed and I'm trying to prepare for two trips out of town - next week, Denver, the week after, Connecticut, and everytime I turn around someone is asking me to do this that or the other. I'm also trying to update and rearrange a training manual that I use with clients. I didn't write it in the first place, and it's order is very awkward to use.

On top of that, Houdini is becoming a bulemic dog or something. He completely bullied his way through the cat door into the kitchen yesterday while we were at work. The little shit pulled the cannister of dog treats off the shelf and ate each and every treat by himself. He also ate the cat food. Then he went into the mudroom and ate the cat poop.

When John got home from work, the kitchen was a mess. Thank God John cleaned it up!

Houdini is much wider then he should be. I have to remove him from doggie breakfast or he will take Shadow and Whiskey's food from them - even they are many times his size.

This morning, around 4:00 am, I smelled that icky doggie poopie smell. Houdini could not hold all the stuff he had eaten any longer. Fortunately, if he has an accident, he uses puppy training pads that I keep on the bathroom floor, but I have to tell you - this dog had a poop that was the size of a Great Dane's poop, and Houdini is a small dog - must have been 1/3 of his body weight!

Thankfully, John cleaned that up for me, too.

So, I'm working like crazy and our little dog is being poopy.

Oh, and one of the cats got her collar for the cat door caught around a tooth - we had to cut the collar, and she has a sore mouth and was pissed and scratched the hell out of my finger. She is on canned food until she is better. Poor Cleo.

Andy is back at Kansas State - classes start today. Hopefully, he will love all his classes and still have some fun.

Oh, and one more thing -

OT: Greg Hammonds, whose wife died of breast cancer, is hosting a comment fundraiser with the money raised to go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s programs for education and low-cost or free mammograms for low-income women. For every comment made, he or another of the sponsors will donate $1. So, if you have the time to simply comment or even better to provide a link to direct traffic there, it would be super :D

Got it? All you have to do is visit that site by clicking this link - leave a comment, and *other people* will donate money to the cause.

Not you, but other people. How can you turn that offer down? Why are you still here? We'll be here when you get done. But if you wait too long, you won't be able to score the Karma points.

Go. Comment.

Hat tip to Rae,

Posted by Beth at 06:07 AM

December 16, 2004

Good work news

Last October, I had to go through a couple of interviews to see if I would be accepted into a program at work. I had to be nominated for it and get recommendations. Yesterday I found out I made it! I was surprised, really, because this is a kind of fast track program for future leaders of the company and I am 51 years old, which is kinda funny, I think.

So I'll be placed in a couple of different positions in the next two years which will give me a wider view of the company - I'll probably do a lot more project management type stuff, and it should end in a nice promotion in a year or so.

I have been getting a bit burnt out on my current duties. I have been doing these system management implementations and support for over 3 years, and though I know it pretty darn well by now, I'm ready for a new challenge.

Posted by Beth at 06:40 AM

November 16, 2004

This n That

I think the interview went well. If I get into this program, I will likely be doing something that is very process oriented (at least the interviewers seemed to think I'd be a good fit for that kind of thing). The very smart young people who interviewed didn't hold it against me that I'm old - and they thought it was kinda funny that I've done so many things in my life - from social work to managing a small appliance repair shop (yes, I can fix that vaccuum cleaner, toaster, electric razor, blender, etc.) to managing an engraving shop to having the coolest title ever, Knowledge Engineer, when I was at Sprint.

I have had some awful jobs, and some great ones. My current is by far the best.

If I get it, I'll be pleased. If not, I'll still be fine - my boss has promised me some training on some really cool techie things if I don't make it. So either way, I win.

Posted by Beth at 06:02 AM

November 15, 2004

Wish me luck

I have an interview this afternoon to see if I will be accepted into a special program at work that would let me rotate through several different positions over the course of a year or two in totally different parts of the company.

This would increase my knowledge of how everything works, and hopefully make me more likely to be promoted.

But, the call this program something along the lines of the next generation - and I am not the typical nominee since I'm over 50. So I will not hold my breath.

I had at least one project manager tell me that it might not be good for me (but he had an ulterior motive to keep me in the position I'm in).

I have absolutely nothing to wear for this damn interview, it is raining out, so my hair will be as flat and as straight as it can be and the people interviewing me are in their twenties.


Hope they have a sense of humor!

Posted by Beth at 06:11 AM

November 09, 2004

Some days ....

I gotta tell ya, sometimes no matter how well prepared you are to do everything right at a client site, everything goes kaka. One of my deliveries this week was to get this client, a wonderful client, up to date on the software they are using for monitoring stuff. I have upgraded this same software at least 3 times (remotely even) without one problem.

Damn. Today, of the 5 upgrades we did, 3 of them were problems - big problems! We got all the upgrades to finally work, but only after about 4 re-installs. Thank God my client is such a patient guy!

I hope tomorrow goes a lot better! I have a lot to do between now and Friday at noon!

Posted by Beth at 08:05 PM

Traveling again

Flew into Detroit yesterday. It was a very busy day, so didn't have time to write anything, not that I had anything much to say, really.

Imsomnia struck hard last night. Seems I tossed and turned all night long, so I finally just gave up at 4:00 am and turned on the light and did some work.

I'll be back later, hopefully with something interesting to day. (:

Posted by Beth at 04:17 AM

October 11, 2004

"National" Holidays

I had to take today off as a vacation day - the company I work for, just like thousands of companies around the country, does not give us days off on all national holidays.

I don't get off on Columbus Day, Veterans' Day, or Martin Luther King Day.

I can understand why public utilities, phone companies and hospitals don't give people these days off - but most companies make us work because they can.

I am a Capitalist, please don't mistake me, but we work more hours in this country, quite willingly, than the people of any other country on earth. We have less vacation, too So why must so many corporations be so damned cheap and stingy as to ignore national holidays?

Damned stockholders.

Posted by Beth at 11:06 AM

October 09, 2004

Last week's trip

Pennsylvania is one of the prettier states I've visited. It is definitely a land of contrasts - there will be a big industrial factory with steam spewing out of towers in one place, and a three minute drive down the highway puts you smack dab in the middle of beautiful dairy farms.

The people I worked with were great guys. They were all pretty outspoken conservatives - the one liberal who works there was on vacation, or at least, that's what they told me.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Hershey, PA area, go and enjoy the pretty countryside and really nice people.

Oh, and the chocolate is good too.

Posted by Beth at 07:22 AM

October 03, 2004

Travelling again

I'm getting ready to fly to Pennsylvania this morning. I'll be working in the Hershey area this week. It's a very pretty part of the country, so I decided to stay in Lancaster so I can have a nice drive every day to enjoy the scenery. If any of you live in that area and want to meet to have a drink, let me know, I'd love to meet more bloggers.

I'll put up my Rennaissance Festival pictures this evening, once I get settled in my hotel. We had a fine time, and John was picked on by one of the juggling acts and hammed it up quite well.

The critters have noticed my suitcase and won't leave me alone, even to go to the bathroom. They don't like it when someone in the family has to go away for a few days. When I return on Friday, they will all be quite pissy with me

Posted by Beth at 05:50 AM

September 26, 2004

Update on the guy who sheds

I had to go up there again on Friday, and I thought that i'd get away without running into the incredible shedding man, because I was to just go and train the operators in the operations room.
But he caught me on my way out, and I spent a couple of hours trying to get him to pay attention to what he is doing.
Friday he had cleaned up a little and talked a lot about movies, etc., but didn't seem to want to keep his mind on work!
I was very happy to get home.
I'm seriously thinking about putting a resume together and looking for another job. This guy just creeps me out.

Posted by Beth at 01:22 PM

September 20, 2004

Just gotta vent

For the past couple of weeks I've been helping out one of our customers in another town that is within driving distance. They have been having some problems with a system that my group installed, and I went to go fix it for them and try to train the guy they have assigned to be responsible for it.

Folks, this guy is weird. He gives me the creeps and the willies. Ugh, yuck ick.
First off, he has a a skin problem on his face - his forehead flakes. It flakes a lot.

One day last week, the flakes had yellowed and stuck in the creases of his skin (he's about my age and has some wrinkles). There are flakes on his glasses - I don't even know how he sees through the fog of flakes.

Yuck, ick owwiee. Gag.

He also seem to have problems shaving. I don't know why he just doesn't grow a beard and be done with it - but he misses lots of spots - and it looks kinda icky, but it's not just that.

He has boogers in his nose. Visible boogers. He doesn't seem to be aware of them.

And he sweats. This is a little skinny guy who is about my height, with overly long grey hair and a bald spot who sweats, flakes and has visible snot.

The guy has an awful work ethic. He comes and goes and leaves *his* office a good hour before I do every time I'm there.

So here is this little skinny guy who has greasy grey hair with a bald spot, sweats, flakes, has snot and a terrible work ethic.

He also hates his wife. But they stay together for the kids.

So I'm trying to train a guy who hates his wife, has greasy hair with a bald spot, sweats, flakes, has visible snot and a terrible work ethic.

I'm trying to teach this guy something he has never learned before. I try very hard not to cringe when making eye contact. I have had to have lunch with the guy 4 times. I don't even watch him eat.

Today, I made the mistake of letting him use my laptop as I walked him through some processes (I make people go through the steps, that way they learn them better).

At 4:00 pm, he said it was time for him to go home, so he left.

I looked at my laptop keyboard.

He shed on it.

Flakes, flakes and more flakes. I didn't want to look too closely in case there was dried booger there, too.

Oh, I am sooooo grossed out!

So I shook it out, brought it home, and my wonderful husband, John, vacuumed it and sprayed lysol on it.

I have washed my hands at least 6 times since 4:00 pm this afternoon - it is now 6:20.

I am not a neatnick. I am hardly anal when it comes to personal appearance - but this guy has me so squeamed out I could cry.

Thank God I don't have to go back there until maybe one day next month.

Posted by Beth at 06:22 PM

September 14, 2004


Have to run off to work now. The company I work for does reward me for all the time and travel I put in. I got promoted up another rung on the ladder.

Don't know what kind of raise I'll get with it yet, but past raises have been ... generous.

Of course, when you go up a level, they expect more from you, naturally. So I am going to try to work smarter, not longer.

Posted by Beth at 07:28 AM

July 23, 2004


The company I work for, which must remain nameless, is so pleased with all of our hard work that they are giving eveyone in the company a free day off - a Friday in August, yet. We don't have to use a personal day or vacation - it's just a thank you.

How cool.

They expect a lot from us, and they pay us well, and apparently, they really appreciate us.

I wish everyone could work for a company that demands much but gives much in return.

Posted by Beth at 06:49 PM

July 21, 2004

What a day

I have been training a very nice gentleman here in Pennsylvania this week.
We have worked very had at figuring out some capacity planning stuff.

A group of us walked to a really nice deli-type restaurant for lunch today. As we were leaving, the power went out. We walked back to the data center and noted that the very large generator on the roof was running - power must have gone out there, too.

We went in and started back to work. Suddenly, the fire alarms started going off, and everyone was saying - get out! Get out of the building!

So I grabbed my laptop and purse and went outside.

The generator had caused a fire on the roof. Wow. Scary. The volunteer fire department here appeared within one minute - they put out the fire, checked everything - they fixed something so the generator would not exhaust out onto the roof after about 3 hours, we were allowed back in.

I have some great fire engine and fireman pictures, but I don't have our picture software on this laptop, so I can't put them up for you.

Anyway, it was a very interesting day. And I am totally amazed at how quickly a volunteer fire department can show up and do their job - thanks, guys! We were all very impressed!

Posted by Beth at 06:59 PM

June 16, 2004

Sometimes, things don't quite go the way you plan.

I had it all planned out so well. Everything was going so smoothly. Then, last night, someone decided they should do failover testing. In doing so, they shut down both servers and more importantly, my data collectors.

I spent a few hours this morning fixing it all, and was ready to train the man who will be handling this stuff. He walked in, and was obviously exhausted - seems he was up all night babysitting the servers that were being tested for failover stuff. He asked me if I could please stay another day, because he could not stay awake long enough to learn something, so I am staying until Friday.

Posted by Beth at 07:19 PM

May 11, 2004

Already Tuesday

It's been a tough couple of days. I am here to complete the last week of a three week implentation. I did not do the first two weeks- a golden boy in our group was here. And guess what. He did everything. Wrong.

So, I had to strip out all of his work and start from scratch. He also failed to train the client - so I am trying to fit 3 weeks of work into one week - again.

I am not a member of the National Organization for Women, and I am pro-life, and I think that if a mom can stay home with the kids, that's the best thing possible for the children - much better than daycare or just letting the guvmint take over all our childcare tasks.

However, the technical field is full of men. It is an old boy network. Everywhere. No one can convince me that there is a technical company in the entire universe that treats women on an equal basis with men.

Men expect us to clean up their fricking messes in this business - and they except you to not rat them out to the bosses as to who is really doing the work.

Sorry - I'm just pissed. I'm really pissed. I am more billable than anyone else in our group - but an award goes to golden boy because he worked harder than he used to work (that's the reasoning I was given). So WTF. Why should I work my ass off when I'm not going to get awarded more than a couple of movie tickets.


Posted by Beth at 07:13 PM

May 09, 2004

Getting ready to travel again

Tomorrow, I fly to Detroit. I will be working in Dearborn, Michigan all week.
I'm excited, because I will get to meet Rosemary and Dean Esmay - two of my very favorite bloggers.

Normally, traveling to yet another city, is just kind of blah - I don't really like to go out and about by myself much, I tend to stay in the hotel. But this week, I'll get to meet two famous bloggers who are also really nice people.

The first time I found Dean's World, I was probably a bit of an annoying commentor. It was the first time I had ever commented on a blog. Dean didn't care for my comments one bit. I'm afraid that if I link to that rant of well over a year ago, Dean will change his mind and not want to meet me at all.

So, please Rosemary, if you read this, say nothing! Nothing at all. I don't think he knows, and I don't particularly want him to - even though I was right. :-)

Posted by Beth at 09:37 PM

April 29, 2004

Studying a bit tonight

I take a certification test tomorrow morning - and chances are that I will flunk it the first time around. There is a 45 minute oral test and a 90 minute written test with 145 questions on it.

Fortunately, I am able to take this test at no cost, so if I don't pass, I won't feel too guilty!

I did learn a lot more about this particular software. I can now do some fairly reliable capacity planning and more fun things like that (ha!).

I will be extremely happy to get back home tomorrow night. I miss John, and I want to reward him (if you get my drift) for working so hard on the Spirit of America drive.

Hopefully, life will be a little bit more normal in the next few days. At least until Monday, when I fly off to Orlando.

Posted by Beth at 09:04 PM

April 20, 2004

Darn, I'll be traveling a lot in the next month.

Yeah, I know, I know -what else is new? Houston for 7 days (kinda neat, though, it's a conference and I get to learn new stuff), then Orlando for one week, Dearborn, MI for a week, a week home and then another week in Dearborn.

Oh, the laundry I need to do beforehand. I think I'll work from home on Thursday and take Friday off just to get my laundry ready!!!!!

Posted by Beth at 02:23 PM

April 19, 2004

Work was Fun today!

I got a new laptop today. It has everything and then some. Woo hoo! I've been whining about my old one for ages - only had 256 mg RAM. Now I have a gigabyte of RAM!!!

It smokes!

Posted by Beth at 06:41 PM

April 17, 2004

Being home is so wonderful!

I have a bit of a dilemma. I really love what I do for a living, and I love the interaction with clients and making them happy. Unfortunately, I have to travel all around the country to do this. You see, I also really love John and Andy and all the critters, and I love being home.

However, I despise going into the office - that is where I have to go when I am home. I start to hyperventilate the minute I walk into the building. Seems strange - I can travel to clients all over the country - total strangers, and I feel relaxed and calm and knowledgeable. But when I have to go to my actual cubicle in KC, I am tense and defensive and I hate it.

Posted by Beth at 03:18 PM

April 04, 2004

Well, traveling again, naturally

Tomorrow morning, I'm off to Columbia, South Carolina for one last week (unless they love me so much they buy more of my services- technical services, o ye with dirty minds!).

I have spent a total of 10 week there since last September, and I have made a couple of new friends there.

One of them, Yvonne, is originally from Nigeria. She has been here in the USA for over 30 years, and is a citizen - for those of you who may wonder.

Yvonne is one of the most joyful women I have ever met. She is always smiling and cheerful.

One day, we talked about Nigeria. Her mother and several of her brothers and sisters still live there (she is from a family of 12 children). Yvonne says that Nigeria has completely lost its middle class - there are only the political rich and the poor. Even in Lago, there can be weeks with no electricity in most homes. Yvonne visited Nigeria last month, to visit her very ill mother. There is so much crime and corruption there, that her brothers and cousins would not let her rent a car - it would make her stand out in the crowd and she would risk being victimized. She had a whole series of places she was to take cabs to and buses to before she could meet one of her brothers to go visit her mother.

Hearing of countries where people are afraid to travel because of the real presence of highwaymen is quite startling to me. As Yvonne told me, the government of Nigeria has become very corrupt, and only the very rich are safe. Nigeria once had a large middle class and the streets were once safe - but in the past 30 years, things have gone terribly wrong.

I'll be happy to see Yvonne tomorrow. I'm quite relieved she made it back here safely.

Another new friend from South Carolina is Shannon. She has an absolutely remarkable background that I'll tell you about someday - if she says it is okay.

Shannon and I can sit and drink sweet tea and talk for hours. I feel like she could be a younger sister. We have as many differences as we do things in common, but our personalities click quite well. I'll be happy to see Shannon again tomorrow, too.

I suspect that I could be good friends with some of my favorite female bloggers out there - Theresa, Pam, Kate, Key, Joanie, Beth, Juliette , DC, Helen and LeeAnn - I hope someday I get to meet you all. I think you are all great, and I feel like I could be an older sister to all of you. (yeah, I am pretty damn sure I'm older than the whole bunch of ya!)

Posted by Beth at 10:00 PM

March 04, 2004

Looks like I'm not going to finish

my project on time. I'll have to come back to South Carolina at the end of March, most likely. There were many sudden last minute demands to train an endless parade of people, so not all the technical stuff is beautiful quite yet, just pretty.

I will be very happy to get home tomorrow. A whole week! Whoopee!!!

Posted by Beth at 03:55 PM

February 24, 2004


This is a busy, busy week, and I'm trying to do about 10 things at once here. Doesn't leave much time for blogging, much less nekkid blogging. I don' t think I want to sit nekkid in a hotel room, anyway - especially after last week's experience.


I hope I can half-assed catch up tomorrow. Then maybe I'll have time to think and write and stuff like that.

Posted by Beth at 06:49 PM

January 23, 2004

I may be working from home today

But I'm working just as hard or harder than when I'm in the office. Systems can be so different. One week, I do an install and everything works perfectly - another week, I do one somewhere else, and nothing works. Go figure.
I'm trying to make work what I did in LA - Last week sucked. This week was heaven in Detroit. My only regret about this week was that I missed a chance to meet Dean and Rosemary Esmay.

Posted by Beth at 02:56 PM

January 18, 2004

Tomorrow I fly again

This time to Detroit - it will be very cold, I'm afraid! This trip is with a great client - oddly enough, most of my clients are great clients - so I look forward to it. But, I do get a bit worn out at my old age - got home Friday night, barely had a chance to say hi to my lovely spouse, and I have to leave again.

And I still have a lot of paperwork to do from last week. And more conference calls. Time goes by quickly when I"m this busy, but my stress level goes way up, too.

Posted by Beth at 07:04 PM

January 12, 2004

Made it to LA

Naturally, I got lost driving from LAX to the hotel last night. The damned instructions Hertz printed out for me were terrible. For some reason, it says bear left when you need to make a left turn - or bear right, bear right again without telling me the damn exit I'm supposed to bear right on.
I finally stopped and asked a guy trying to make money cleaning windshields at a gas station how the heck to get to where the hotel was, and he kindly gave me good directions.

I didn't get to the hotel until about 9:20 pm and I was surprised when they gave put me on the concierge floor - you know, where you have to put your card into the slot in the elevator to even get to the floor. It seems that I have stayed at Marriott's so much that they have decided to treat me like a queen.

Nice room! Fluffy towels, terrycloth robe, really poofy pillows - wow, now I know how the rich people live!

I get free appetizers in the evening and free breakfast in the morning, it is definitely nice. I will start staying at more Marriott's!

This may sound like silly stuff, but when you have to travel as much as I have lately, it's heaven to be this comfy.

Posted by Beth at 09:34 PM

January 05, 2004

Just Another Manic Monday

This is the first chance I have had all day to even glance at the Internet. After 2 weeks of work a couple of days, take off a couple of days, the business world has returned in full force.
Here is my tentative travel schedule (that I discovered today!)
Next week - Los Angeles
week after - Reno
Week after - maybe Springfield, Mass.
Week after that - probably get to be home, but might fly to Bangor, Maine for 3 days.
Week after that, Columbia, SC.
Week after that, Columbia, SC.
Week after that, Columbia, SC.
Week after that, Columbia, SC.
Week after that, Columbia, SC.
Week after that, Columbia, SC. (this is only if everything else is not finished.)
Week after that - committed to nut house.

Fortunately, the company I work for lets us fly home every weekend, or they will fly one's spouse to you for a weekend if you choose to stay where you are.

Maybe I'll fly Delta enough to get to be a Medallion member - then I can get free upgrades to First Class.

There are some bad things about travelling. Number 1 is that I really miss John a lot - it takes me one or two nights to be able to sleep every week when I'm travelling because I miss him so much!

Number 2 - I miss the cats and dogs and the horses (who have been terribly neglected by me of late - John does everything for them!)

Number 3 - Evenings are really boring, so I tend to eat too much food and go to sleep too early - bad for diet.

Number 4 - laundry becomes the only priority on weekends when I'm home.

I really do like to travel, because I love what I do - I feel like I make a difference for our company and for our clients. I love the techie stuff, and I really love working with the techie people I work with.

And I really and truly love the pay.

I have been trying to decide if it makes sense for me to try to bring parts of some of my stained glass projects with me when I travel. I could spend those evenings foiling the glass that I have cut here at home - but I do have a bit of fear about packing my glass pieces and copper foil in my suitcase - will the TSA have a heart attach when they see it, if they don't know what it is?

I don't know. One of my co-workers suggested I take up knitting, but I fear my hands will hurt even more if I try that. Naturally, I read a lot of books, but I feel a little more productive if I am actually making something!

Posted by Beth at 07:53 PM

November 30, 2003

I'll be traveling

for the next week. I'm off to Reno, Nevada tonight, and I'll be there until next Sunday, when I'll come home, repack my suitcase, sleep a few hours and then fly to Durham, North Carolina - that week I get to come home on Thursday night.
I will be blogging when I can, so I'll see you then.

I have to get packed and go buy some damned pantyhose. (they never last more than one trip).

I hope that some kind Christmas Fairy will come and decorate our house while I'm gone, but chances are, he or she will go to the wrong house.

Posted by Beth at 11:37 AM

November 17, 2003

okay, monday for real

Today, one of my co-workers quit. Last week, I shadowed him when he installed and configured Perform/Predict (a BMC product that lets you gather information on system usage and then extract performance data from it - it also let's you predict what will happen with your system if you add certain loads to it). He has been the only person in our group to do this for the past 2 years.

He leaves Friday, and I will be taking on what he did - wish I had known this a couple of months ago, I would have been trying to learn more and more from him. Anyway, I will still do what I do now, but I'm adding what he does to it.

Wonder if I'll get a raise?

Actually, it's a good thing - another thing to add to the resume and I much prefer learning new things than being stuck with the same old stuff day after day after day!

Posted by Beth at 07:44 PM

Monday, Monday

Anyone old enough to remember the Mama's and the Papa's? I mean, anyone alive when Monday, Monday was a big hit?!

When I was in high school (all girl Catholic school), my friends and I would take turns going to each other's homes on the weekends. We would each sing a different part - I was generally the Mama Cass voice (more of an alto than a soprano). We would sing all the Mama's and Pappa's songs, and then we would sing Motown - Supremes, Temptations, and we would end with the Turtles.

Must have been 8th and 9th grade, none of us were old enough to date yet, so we just did girl things. And way before karioke was ever thought of, we were singing and dancing in Mimi's or Marianne's or Laurie's or my basement. That was about the most fun we ever had together - no bickering - too young to be stealing each other's boyfriends, and too naive to notice the difference in our parents' incomes.

Wow, I meant to talk about my Monday at work - Just goes to show how scattered I can be.

Posted by Beth at 07:33 PM

November 15, 2003

words in business

Why is it suddenly correct to ask someone, "What are you wanting?" What is wrong with, "What do you want?"?

Every bit of documentation I read anymore has a verb with an 'ing' following it. When I look at a problem ticket, the analyst writes - "she is wanting to fix her Excel Spreadsheet."

Does anyone else notice this? Does it drive anyone else crazy?

I'm all for short and sweet.

Yesterday, I got an email from a co-worker that said, "You can dialog with Joanie Smith". What is this bullshit? The note went on to say, "I have dialogued with her and found her to be reasonable."

It's enough to make me want to scream.

Posted by Beth at 04:15 PM

November 12, 2003

working in the technical world

By a strange accident of fate, I am a technical consultant. I implement Enterprise System Management tools for my company's clients. I train them how to use them and I also support them. It seems that every year, I have to get recertified, so I am always learning upgrades, new architectures, etc. This is a far cry from my psychology degree, let me tell you! I got a liberal arts degree because I hated math, and now math is an integral part of my worklife.

I enjoy what I do, but it is getting harder and harder to support 4 or 5 versions of the same software - especially when there are huge changes between one version and another. And to make it harder, we have our own software that we use with the 3rd party software, and we have just as many versions of that.

Sigh. Anytime a client calls and has problems, if their install is more than 2 years old, I tell them they will not be happy until they upgrade. I give them all the reasons why - the main reason being that it just plain works a lot better now than it did 2 or 3 or 4 years ago.

But they never want to pay for services. They want me for free. And a lot of times, they get me for free because the higher ups want the clients to be happy.

Now, I would not mind this at all, I get paid either which way, but part of my annual review is based on my billable hours. So if upper management gives me away for weeks at a time for new projects or to make a client happy who is not happy (I kinda specialize in those cases, most of the time), I don't get any billable hours out of it.

Which brings me to my next worry - maybe I won't get a decent raise!

Ok. No more work talk.

Posted by Beth at 06:08 PM

October 21, 2003


John flew off to England yesterday, and was kind enough to call me when he landed at Heathrow (1:30 am Central Time). Yes, I wanted to know he was safe, but darn, I sure as heck woulda liked to sleep. Once I got up to answer the phone, the Spare Dog was up and found his rawhide bone, which he then proceeded to loudly chew. Took me an hour to get the damned thing hidden away from him. Anyway, didn't fall back to sleep until 3:30, and I woke up about 90 minutes later than usual.
Suppose I should go to work now. well, at least after I dress.

Posted by Beth at 07:41 AM

October 15, 2003

Wow, a 90 year old teacher

This is amazing, a 4'10" 90 year old teacher in the Los Angelos Unified School District: L.A. Daily News - News.

Aside from her age and energy, she is amazing because

" She also touches on five ways to maturity and the value of the Serenity Prayer -- "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change ..." -- which she expects her students memorize... "

and the ACLU hasn't sued her as yet!

If you read through to the end, you will find that she is on a teacher's pension and is not paid for her work at the school - she is a teachers union member, and the union does not insist that this woman be paid for all she does - which is a crime, really - but then, maybe that's why the ACLU hasn't thrown a fit about her teaching the Serenity Prayer to her students.

Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for the story.

Posted by Beth at 06:32 AM

October 09, 2003

It's tough to blog...

when I'm out of town working. I normally get up around 5:00 am, try to make sense of where the hell I am, shower, realize that I forgot the blouse that goes with the skirt I planned to wear today, and try to put something together that doesn't look too shitty.

I am hardly a fashion maven (*snort*, hack, snort again). But I am supposed to look 'professional'. Ha. It doesn't matter how hard I try, no matter what size I am at the time- small or large, I am never 'put together'.

I wore uniforms all through grade school and high school - maybe that's the problem, I never had a chance to gain any 'fashion sense'. I am a tomboy at heart, but I still like pretty dresses, if they look decent on me!

Anyway, clients seem to put up with the fact that I never look put together. I think it's because I'm pretty good at my job and I'm really good at making clients like me. It's a good thing I decided not to go to law school back when I got divorced from Andy's dad (the lawyer). I would never look good in court!

When I have finally done enough to leave work and head for the hotel, it is at least 6 pm. If I decide to find a restaurant, I won't be back until 8. Then I always have some documentation to do - I can't even read any other blogs, not even John's!

I talk to John after that, and then I'm pooped, and I need to go to sleep! So, consider this an apology for not being interesting or entertaining or anything this week. I'll be home tomorrow. I'll catch up on what's going on on earth, and I'll be back.

Posted by Beth at 08:00 PM