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January 30, 2009

Notes from the brain pan

First of all, to all the good folks, including both mom and mom-in-law, who are concerned about the posts related to my troubles at work, thank you for being concerned. This week has turned out a bit better.

Also, I got paid today, and that always helps improve the outlook.

I imagine I'll survive this. Or I won't. Either way, the sun will come up again tomorrow and I'll have to face another day. And I'll have to face myself in the mirror. The way I do that is by knowing I did my best, worked my hardest and did so with humility.



Next...thanks to the gentleman driving the Explorer in the lane next to me on Wednesday morning. I was running late for work (overslept the alarm, snarf!) and I was, yes, speeding. But so were you. Thanks to your slower response time, I was able to take my foot off the gas first, you shot past me, and that nice CHP officer paid you a visit instead of me.

Whew. I have two months left on the eighteen months since my last ticket (you can only mask one traffic violation every 18 months), so you really saved me there!


Don't know if you are experiencing the same thing where you're at, but to me, it's like everyone in society is moving along in a fog. Making bonehead moves on the road. Bumping into me at the grocery. Looking at me blankly when I ask a question.

So, a nod to The Good Man for best summing up society's recent weirdness:


"We had the buildup from the campaign, then the excitement of the election, anticipation of the new president and then finally the climax of the inauguration. It's like the whole country just needs a cigarette."

And a salty snack.



Speaking of salty snacks...am I going to be the only person in the US not watching the Superbowl this weekend?

Because, really, Pittsburgh vs Arizona?

Sure, I know that AZ is the Cinderella story. Whatever. I could care less.

And Pittsburgh. Do we really need to see them win again?

I might whip up a batch of salty snacks, however, and watch Season 2 of The Muppet Show. I found it at the library and it's providing much singing along and childish giggles from TGM and me.

Best thing to watch after a rough day at work, I'll tell you THAT.


Or maybe I should just have a cheese sandwich.

Been watching cheese sandwich-gate in the ABQjournal with interest. Oh Fair New Mexico, you still do scandal in a fun way.

Love it. And from what I'm reading, the press coverage has brought in quite a bit of the delinquent money! Nice.


Lastly, the weather is messin' with my head. Sunny and 70's. Rainy and cold. Then just clear and cold. And today, back to the 70's.

Mother Nature, you are FREAKING me out, maaahn.

But I'm not complaining about the sun. I'll take it.

That is all.

Happy Weekend!

January 28, 2009

Perspective is a beautiful thing.

So, really, this new job is blowing my mind. I knew that changing jobs after almost ten years at a rather quirky company would be difficult. Challenging. Would test my bounds.

It's been all of that and more.

I've been here two months and I'm still struggling. They promised the learning curve here is at least six months, but me, being both impatient and a chronic overachiever, feel like I should be up and running fast. Contributing to the work. Being useful and value added.

So far I've been mostly a bump on a log that asks a LOT of questions and says, "Are you sure?" upon hearing the mind-blowing responses. Oh, yes, this is a very backwards organization.

Last week I sort of had a breaking point. I wasn't feeling great physically and I had my second "called into the principal's office" to be told "what you did wasn't *wrong*, it just wasn't The Company way."

You know the drill, you are right but you are still wrong. Won the battle but lost the war. And other platitudes.

I went home demoralized, a new hole punched in my self-esteem. I cried on The Good Man's shoulder. Considered packing it in. Wondered how I could have had a successful fifteen year career in my chosen field and still can't get it right in this two-bit flea circus.

So the weekend came and went. I got some sleep. My immune system kicked in, and I started feeling better, physically at least.

I made my way to work Monday, and it wasn't so bad. Tuesday came and went. That brings us to today, Wednesday.

Starting my day, I was reading the headlines and saw the latest report on the doings of our new President. The story was about Obama needling the Washingtonians for shutting down schools due to ice. Said that his Chicago daughters play outside in that kind of weather.

It was a fun, humanizing story. But it also made me think.

This guy's got a new job, too.

And if he makes a misstep, it's not only reported to the world, it impacts the world.

He doesn't just get called into the boss lady's office for a talking to, he's got real issues.

So maybe, for as freaked out and demoralized I am about this new gig, it could, definitely be worse.

I mean my coworkers both in my own organization and across the board, including my predecessor, want me to succeed. Everyone is trying to help me get acclimated. I don't have to take the slings and arrows of Congress, snotty media and opposing party's interests. I don't have to remember what I promised last year during the interview and then deliver.

No one is watching my first 100 days, other than my immediate manager.

I don't live under the hot fire of the magnifying glass.

Then again, Obama's also got a horde of advisors. Maybe I need more advisors.


January 27, 2009

What is this strange ritualistic dance?

This morning, driving to work, I saw many of my fellow Californians doing something odd...strange...weird....and yet, it felt vaguely familiar.

Yes, I passed the residential roads of my neighborhood and saw my fellow citizens by their cars...behaving oddly.

Some were using credit cards.

Others slapping with a newspaper.

One using just his bare hands.

All looked out of place.

Seems we had some low temps last night and these poor Californians were having to actually scrape the frost off their windshields.

I was never so happy for being able to park my car in the garage!

Oh I have scraped many a windshield in my day. Oh yes indeed.

I *hate* it.

Living in mile high Albuquerque, it was even worse when it snowed. So you'd brush off the snow, and THEN have to tackle the frost. Usually in my nice work clothes and high heels...in the wet and the mud. Boo!

Here, I don't even own an ice scraper. I threw it away somewhere around year 2 post move. Don't need it.

Clearly, no one else around here owns one either. The guy slapping his window with a newspaper gave me the most giggles. Beating the ice into submission? That is SO not going to work.

Thankfully it was a light frost and really, just starting up the car and getting the defroster going for several minutes would probably clear it up.

But the perplexed looks and utter consternation. That was good comedy as I sailed by in my warm, garage parked Jeep.

January 26, 2009

President Pryor

Via YouTube. Runs about six and a half minutes.

From the short lived Richard Pryor Show.

A gaze into the crystal ball, from back in the '70's.

Some parts are eerily spot on.

Thanks for the link via The Good Man.


Yanno, I'm really ticked at the economy. Sure, I have a good job and a paycheck, but I'm finding that saving a few more of my shekels is a grand idea.

"Cash is King!" or so shouts all of the financial hacks who think they know better. Those same ones who told us all to invest in real estate.


The problem with this financial austerity is that there are still lovely things in the retail world that entice me. Sing to me. Make me want to break out my paid off credit card and charge, baby, charge!

The latest little gem that's got my eye is this:

(click photo for specs)

This is Polaroid's latest entre into the world of photography.

It's called a PoGo and is a digital camera. But it also has built in an inkless photo printer so you can instantly print photos of your choosing, when you want.

Now...this baby is only 5.0 megapixels, so it's not wowing the photographic world.

But I love me a Polaroid camera. And by love, I mean LOVE. I had one as a kid. I own several now.

I was a *fool* for Polaroid's I-zone that made these teeny sticky photos. I carried that thing everywhere.

I have tiny photos ALL over my journals from around the early 2000's.

Don't get me wrong, I love my high end camera and the gloriousness of the photos I can take. The depth of detail is amazing.

That said, I want the PoGo bad, because it's FUN and *boop*, there's a photo print.


Here's the ouchie part.

It's not available until March and I think will have a price point of $200.

I feel like two hundy is a little high for a Polaroid, but maybe if I'm very good and save my pennies, by this summer I can be shooting and printing and generally giggling over my new Polaroid cam.

My folks taught me that if you want a big ticket item, you gotta work a little for it.

So ok. Back to work. I get paid this week. After rent, end of month bills and credit card payments, there won't be much left. But maybe I can put away a few.

Damn, I'm so fiscally conservative it makes my teeth hurt.

When really, I just want to be like Animal from The Muppet Show.

"CAM-ER-A!!! CAM-ER-A!!!! ME WANT!!!"

January 22, 2009

Public Service Announcement, a deux.

Weirdly, I'm not seeing a lot of big news about the peanut butter crisis.

In case you haven't heard, salmonella in peanut butter. Not good.

Here's a link to the FDA recall site. Click here.

Albuquerque Public Schools has pulled all peanut butter off their school menus. ABQjournal article here.

I guess not enough people have been sickened or died for this to be big news.

For you, my friends. Head's up. Take precautions as you deem necessary.

And best news ever? Girl Scout Cookies are safe.

Whew. I already ordered a box of Tagalongs. Yeah, baby!

P.S. I find this photo mildly food pornish. No?

January 21, 2009

A public service announcement.

From eHow.com, the appropriate way to handle a four way stop. Emphasis added is mine.

  1. Slow your vehicle when approaching a 4-way stop. As you stop at the stop sign or red light, notice if there are any cars at any of the other stops, or if there are any approaching at the same time.

  2. Stop your vehicle completely. This means that your tires are completely stopped and not rolling at all. If there are cross walk lines or painted indicators on the road, stop at the appropriate lines. If it is a stop sign and there are no lines on the road, stop when the front of your car is even with the stop sign. If there is something blocking your view of the other stops signs, you may move forward only after stopping completely at your own stop sign.

  3. Look at the other stops to see if there are any other vehicles stopped or moving. The vehicles leave the stop signs in the same order in which they arrived. The first vehicle to arrive at a complete stop is the first vehicle allowed to leave the stop sign.

  4. Know that if there is more than one vehicle arriving at the same time at the 4-way stop, the vehicle furthest to the right is allowed to leave first. Always allow at least a few seconds to make sure no one else takes off even if it is your turn to leave first. Many people do not follow this rule, even though it is the legal way to leave a 4-way stop.

Note that nowhere in that discussion does it say that if you drive a big Mercedes SUV, that means you get ahead of anyone, anytime.

It also doesn't say that if you come screaming up to the four-way stop at an excessive speed, barely touch the brakes, and then hit the gas, you get to go first.

I don't care how busy you are. Or rich. Or good-looking. Or that your car is nicer than mine. Mine is paid off. And I don't mind rolling that hoopty patched up with bailing wire and duct tape. Bite me.

This message brought to you by my frustrating morning commute.

(no, I didn't get in an accident, but it was close. Thank goodness for that brake job I got last week.)

January 20, 2009

Oh those wry San Franciscans

Turns out that venerable Bush street in SF got a new name for a day from a band of merry tricksters.


Oh what a day.

Started out full of optimism.

A brand new president.

Aretha got a new hat.

Speechifying...and stuff.

But ended with pessimism. Oh is the learning curve on this new job bending me in new directions. But it's a good job and the new President said we all have to work harder.


No choice but to end the day with the fruit of Napa Valley.

Then go to bed, and try again tomorrow.

January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day!

I am grateful to Dr. King for many, many things.

I am also grateful for my new employer because they give employees the day off. This is the first employer I've worked for that honors this day.

So Happy Birthday to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is, indeed, a happy day. I wish Dr. King would have been able to see the historic even that happens tomorrow. The realization of much of his dream.

2009 is filled with lots of possibilities. And that's the first time I've felt that way in a long time.

January 16, 2009

Whoa, I didn't know...

The upcoming film "Hotel for Dogs" was a book penned by none other than New Mexico's own Lois Duncan. As a kid, I loved many of Ms. Duncan's books.

I understand that the hype from the film has given new life to her writing career that went a bit off track after the brutal unsolved killing of her 20 year old daughter.

Back in the day, my mom used to take us kids swimming on a hot summer day to the Coronado Club on Kirtland Air Force base. Occasionally we'd see Ms. Duncan there (I believe her husband worked for Sandia Labs).

That was back in the days when mommies stayed at home and would take the kiddies to the pool and we would meet daddies after work for dinner. It may do my mom's heart good to know that I have incredibly fond memories of those days.

And that fondness includes Lois Duncan. I'm happy to see her back in the show.

This was all brought to the front of my mind by a great article written by Joline Gutierrez Krueger for the ABQjournal:

"Real-Life Tragedy Almost Derails 'Hotel for Dogs' Author's Career"


Evidently...the beard is back.

On the public stage looking to have a big job = No Beard

Slinking back home to New Mexico in defeat = Beard

Or something like that.

That's our Bill.


January 15, 2009

They never promised life would be fair

Today was a particularly tough day for me to roll out of bed with the alarm and come to work.

I didn't sleep well last night due mainly to the crazed feline. I have a friend who has a theory that occasionally the cat brain will release some hormone that is akin to kitty crack, which then is the reason for the dilated eyes and tendency to gallop around the house making crazed movements.

If that is true, then my personal feline got deep into the kitty crack at about 3:30 in the ayem, and is, today, my least favorite person in the world.

Sleepy eyed, I ventured out onto the highway to make my way into my place of employment. I was heartened to see the sun slanting over the hills with the promise of a really warm day. This never fails to cheer me.

But that smile turned into a snarl when I made the merge and found myself rolling behind this.

Click for full size if you can't make it out. If you can make it out, what you see there is a Forerunner with two surfboards sticking out the back.

Dude driving and his long-haired blond lady in the passenger seat are headed, I assume, to Pacifica for a nice day of surfing.

While I drive to work to sit under florescent lights all day and literally watch my muscles lose their elasticity. In a building located in what is considered one of the most foggy and windy areas of the Bay Area.

And this is fair how?

January 14, 2009

The yawning generation gap

I remember as a kid, and especially a teenager, being really, really into music. I still am, but it was something most vital to me back then. An escape, a place to speak emotions and thoughts I didn't have the words or maturity to say. It spoke to my soul.

And I remember my grandmother or mother or some adult making a comment about the music that mattered to me, and thinking, "they just don't get it."

I recall swearing to myself, SWEARING that I wouldn't let there be that generation gap as I got older.

And I've fought it. Hard. I listen to current music. I do my best to stay up to date, so I'm at least conversant.

Yesterday, I was listening to my iPod on the way home from work, and the shuffle landed on a Rihanna song.

I like Rihanna. I like her a lot, actually. I think she's not only stunningly beautiful, but she's talented.

The song that came on is entitled "Unfaithful."

In the song, the story goes that the woman is with a guy, and that it's more than love, he is "The reason that the sky is blue."

But gosh darn it all, she just can't seem to stay true to him.

She cries out, "And I know that he knows I'm unfaithful/And it kills him inside/To know that I am happy with some other guy/I can see him dying."

She then wraps up the chorus with, "I don't wanna be.../A murderer."

Ok, ok, this is all very emotional. Her cheating is "killing" him. He's "dying inside" and she is the "murderer" for doing this to him.

And this is when the yawning chasm that is the generational gap became oh so apparent and the years of my experience in this thing called life kicked in.

I found myself, listening closely to the words, and then *yelling* at my stereo:




Sure, I know that, "He's a nice guy but I just can't be true to him and so I did the mature thing and broke up with him so I could go sow my wild oats, knocking boots with everything that walks so that one day I can be a sad, bitter old hag wondering whatever happened to my life and why I never found a nice guy," doesn’t really make for fun, emo deep pop songs.

And I'm fairly certain that the young twentysomethings that work for me would roll their eyes and think, "she just doesn't get it."

I think I just grew a new gray hair.

"Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!!"

January 13, 2009

That which is taboo

Yup, I'm in love again. Painful, lustful, forbidden love with a steely, powerful object.

My new employer is a lot behind the times when it comes to IT expertise, but they are hip as hip can be with the portable crowd.

When I started work, I was asked "Would you like a PC or a Mac?"

Why, the answer was simple. Mac, please!

In fact, that was one of the go-no go requirements of changing jobs. Having used nothing but a Mac for the past twelve years, I would say I was reluctant to slip back to the Windows based environment.

So, my previous employer provided Macs, but they were refurb and a step or two behind the technology curve.

Not so with fascinating new employer.

No, I got to work and was greeted with a sleek, sexy, top of the line MacBook Pro. The 15-inch variety, 2.53GHz. Four beefy GB of memory. A roomy 300GB hard drive.


It has this utterly awe inspiring, new crystal clear glass screen, the cool backlit black keys, and the glass trackpad with NO button. Nope, it's all in one. You can scroll on that bad boy, click anywhere and whoa does it work nice.

The unibody design is light and compact and feels solid and well built.

This thing beats the crap out of my last work machine, an old style MacBook pro, that poor dented aluminum thing.

Then yesterday, I had occasion to work from home, and as I sat on the couch, caressing the keys of this hot young MacBook Pro, I looked at my VERY old, personally owned 17" PowerBook (it dates back to, I believe, 2004) and then at my new work speedster and yes...I fell in love.

I mentioned later to The Good Man that I was in love, and that I may have to save our pennies (a LOT of pennies) to buy one of these. This might ensure that my writing projects are no longer in peril of going to the great bit bucket in the sky when my PowerBook fails...and it will. Soon.

He couldn't hear me. He was too busy caressing his own brand new MacBook Air (well, new to us...he bought it refurb on a smoking good deal).

The family that computes together (on the same platform) stays together.

We'll call this: Still life with Macsexy Beast. Taken with my company provided 3G iPhone.


Oh, a small bit of irony. My beautiful, glorious MacBook Pro machine......well my IT organization got a hold of it first to set it up. They also turned it over and used an old fashioned electric engraver to scratch the company name and identifying information into the unibody metal case in a shaky script.

I believe, when the tip of the engraver touched the silky nickel aluminum blend unibody, somewhere in Infinite Loop, Steve Jobs shuddered.

Who engraves stuff anymore? My *dad* used to do that!?!!?!?

January 12, 2009

It never gets old

This weekend, The Good Man and I met some friends up in Sausalito for fun and merriment.

Getting to Sausalito means traversing the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.

I believe this year makes twelve years for me living here in the Bay Area and driving across that big orange bridge is still as exciting as it was the first time I ever did it.

I have about a zillion photos I've taken of the Golden Gate Bridge, because no matter how many times I see it, I always find something more interesting I need to try to capture.

Then sometimes, like yesterday, I decide to come out from behind the camera and just watch as we drive by. The art deco uprights are still so endlessly fascinating to me, the way the light plays off of them, the subtle texturing. The stout cables that hold it all in place still look like dental floss in perspective of all the iron and steel and concrete that make up the bridge.

I wondered, as we drove across, if the men who finished the bridge back in 1937 could ever fathom what it this bridge would become. Could they have ever imagined the magnitude of traffic that rolls over it every day?

And how freaking cool that something built 72 years ago still stands tall and proud and virtually unrevised (but for some retrofitting and upgrading) since then.

I got to thinking, was there anything from my life in New Mexico that could even come close to this? Something that in driving by with some frequency, I still have the sense of awe and wonder every time I see it?

The closest I got was not a man made item. First thought in my head was Tijeras Canyon. Similar in that it is a roadway to transport people from one side of a great geological obstacle to another.

It still fills me with awe at the beauty and wonder at the too fast development growing in that gap between the Sandias and the Manzanos.

I tried to think if there was something like this, something man made and yet so enduring. Of course, the Indian ruins are far older than the Golden Gate, but not something that one drives by with frequency, as they tend to be back in the hills.

I suppose the most awe inspiring bit of human engineering and transportation in New Mexico is the Sandia Peak Tramway.

I don't know, to my New Mexico friends, do you have any ideas? I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Photo by Karen Fayeth

January 8, 2009

Found it!

New job. New company. New Year.

Learning curve. I'm on it. The steep part.


Well that's one way to go about it

An Albuquerque man was arrested after he allegedly tried to bite his fiance's engagement ring off her finger this week.

I'm assuming she didn't actually end the argument with "bite me." But then again, maybe she did.

Source: ABQjournal

January 7, 2009

Just one little thing...

Last night, after coming home late, and looking for something to accompany my dinner of hot soup, I watched some throwaway episode of some throwaway show in syndication.

The premise of the episode was that just one little thing can change the outcome of your whole day. It was a riff on the Butterfly Effect complete with a CG butterfly.

I actually thought it was a clever bit of television writing, and it was highly satisfying, along with my chicken soup.

This morning, I had occasion to revisit this bit of chaos theory as I made my way into work.

I left the house a skosh later than I'd wanted to, and when I fired up the Jeep, the gas indicator began making noises at me. I had to stop for gas, making me run even later.

The closest gas station is located on a road out of town that I don't usually take, because along that road there are three schools. The parents dropping off their kids always backs up traffic, so I avoid it.

But that wasn't the worst of it. In addition to running later than usual, and running into school traffic by taking a road I normally don't take, it turns out there was a traffic light blinking at the most critical intersection (right before the highway entrance). So traffic on that road was backed up for about five miles.

And because I sat for an hour on a road that should normally take ten minutes to traverse, I got to work much later than usual, meaning I had a hard time finding a parking spot. The one I did find was a tight squeeze by a wall in the parking garage, and so I dinged my own door on the way out.

It also means the work cafeteria was out of orange juice by the time I got there.

And my staff gave me an arched eyebrow when I did finally roll into my office.

All this really bodes for a great day, right? Ugh.

So as I sit here at my desk drinking coffee instead of OJ, I got to thinking about how just one little thing had ruined my whole good day.

At first I blamed the traffic light. That damn light! If not for the flapping butterfly wing of that stupid busted stoplight I would have made it to work on time!

But that's not really true, is it?

It's that I rolled out of the house late. Had I had my you-know-what together and left earlier, there would have been less traffic.

But that's also not really true, is it? Because even leaving late, I would have taken a different road and been fine...if I had a full tank of gas.

The crux of this whole thing was my empty gas tank.

See, last night when I was driving home, my near empty gas tank was already beeping at me. I could have stopped for gas on the route home, but feeling lazy and tired, I chose not to.

So the flapping wing, really, was my decision not to stop and get petrol last night.

That one decision has blown my whole Wednesday morning.

And unlike the television show, I can't do a second act on this day and show what would have happened if the decisions had gone differently.

I have to, as The Good Man says, "just play through".

That there is chaos theory, Karen style.

January 6, 2009

Help a New Mexico Brotha out

Drop over to Avelino Maestas' blog and cast your vote among his beautiful photographs.

You could win a free print!

Thanks to NewMexiKen for the tip!

Conflicted emotions

The times, they certainly are a'changing.

One place this is perfectly evident is in the world of newspapers and reporting.

A number of key dailies have either gone out of business or gone to internet only publication to cut printing costs. As these papers scale back, they must also downsize their staff.

Just last week, I was referring to something that Gene Grant had written about in his column (published in the Albuquerque Journal). I'd said that I had always liked Gene's work, whether or not I always agreed with him.

I find him to be both eloquent and articulate. Something lacking in so many of today's so-called journalists.

Just two days after I had been extolling Gene's virtues, I read his last column for the ABQjournal.

Said Gene: "A small story in the historic and difficult choices newspaper owners and editors are facing. It's tough out there."

Gene and his opinion column have fallen victim to the world of the internet and the ever present blog-ready online world.

I love my blog and the forum to be able to openly express my opinions on a variety of topics, but I realize that the blogosphere has taken down talented journalists like Gene.

And I have conflicted feelings on that subject.

On the one hand, I lament the lack of real journalism with integrity and reporting "just the facts." This is, I know, an antiquated notion. Opinion has made its way into the media, as each paper has its own axe to grind. My own local rag, the San Francisco Chronicle, is one of the worst.

So although I wish for strong, precise journalism, it just doesn't exist anymore.

Then again, on the other hand, I think the rise of blogging is a good thing. No longer am I subjected to only the forced opinions of my local paper or other media outlets. I can seek out a variety of dissenting opinions, take them all in, and then make up my own mind. Knowledge is power.

I wonder if blogging wouldn't be quite the force it is if our journalistic outlets gave us the unbiased news we desire? Or perhaps it would be popular, but in a different way.

So while I'm sad to see the demise of newspapers and the downsizing of talented writers like Gene Grant, I think it was inevitable.

The newspaper world is a stodgy old industry and it's high time for that old dog to learn some new tricks.

Change or die is the motto these days. Newspapers aren't immune.

Something tells me 2009 is going to be a wild ride.

January 5, 2009

Infomercial Wow

Over the holiday break, my lazy hind-end had the opportunity to watch a LOT more television than I usually do.

And since I watch sans a TiVo or similar device, I am subjected to all manner of commercials. The retail onslaught has been hard and heavy this year.

But sometimes, there is a commercial that rises above the rest.

It began with the repeated ads for a product called ShamWow.

A very enthusiastic guy with a wireless microphone headset (mildly reminiscent of Madonna in the Vogue years, image here) and an east coast New York/New Jersey blend accent extolled the virtues of this fabulous new absorbent product.

Okay. Well, good. Very spongy.

But the commercial stood out more for the oddball guy making the pitch than for the product itself. I admit, it was, as they say in the marketing world, "sticky". I can remember the product name off the top of my head, so it's working.

Then a couple days ago, the ShamWow guy showed up in a new ad for something called a SlapChop. This product is a new and improved version of a good ol' kitchen chopper.

Same guy, same accent, but he's got a schtick working now. There he is, chopping away at a variety of items, telling us that the SlapChop is going to transform our lives.

Then he said something in the ad that caused The Good Man and I to stop all activity and look at each other.

"Did he really say that," I asked, and TGM nodded.

What my new television pal Vince Offer said was:

"You're going to love my nuts."

He then showed how the SlapChop can decimate the nut of your choice to tiny bits.

Then later he also said, "Stop having a boring tuna."

Well yeah! Who wants a boring tuna!

At first I was kind of put off by this Vince guy, but the more he shows up on my television screen (which is a LOT lately), the more I'm in this guy's corner.

A quick Wikipedia glance makes for some good reading. (you've made it when you have a Wiki about you...right?)

I found a Slate article, and below is the best quote that sums up exactly what I wanted to say:

"Vince...conveys a street-smart persona—with his headset microphone, rat-a-tat phrasing and fuhgeddaboutit confidence—that's intended to get the viewer thinking, "Hey, this guy's sharp. He knows a good deal." (It may also get us thinking, "Hey, this guy's a douche. He needs a better haircut." But that's a secondary issue.)"

Can Vince become the next Billy Mays (of OxiClean and OrangeGlo fame)?

Time will tell.

For now, let me just say this. You're gonna love his nuts.

Image from SlapChop website.

Well, crap

The real world came up and grabbed me today.

Back to work.

6:30am was extraordinarily *painful* this morning.

January 4, 2009

Oh Snap!

Richardson drops bid for commerce secretary post

Yeah...Oh Fair New Mexico...you were thisclose to having one of ours seated firmly in the cabinet of our new president.

The presidency that will certainly be historic. The one that promised change.

But instead, you sit on the sidelines, dress torn, makeup smeared, hair all a mess, not yet ready for the Miss America contest.

C'mon you crazy mixed up state! Let me take you out for a nice plate of enchiladas and a pitcher of margaritas.

You can even have the extra sopapilla.

We'll get 'em next time, tiger!

January 2, 2009

Near and Dear to my Heart

Sit back, I'm about to go on a bit of a rant, inspired by a story I read today in the SFGate.

About six or eight years ago, I was living in a small apartment in the South Bay, in a small eight unit building. The building dated back to at least the 1930's, if not earlier, and featured this breathing dragon of a wall heater as its only source to take the chill of cold rainy evenings.

I had gone home to New Mexico for Christmas, and my mom, ever the practical one, had given me a carbon monoxide alarm as a gift.

Fine. Whatever. I took it back to California with me where it sat, unused, in the box for quite a while. A year or more, if truth be told.

One day, I was cleaning up the place when I found that thing and figured, "oh well". I put in the batteries and hung it from my ceiling. Fine. Look at me. Miss Practical.

A couple months later, the damn thing started going off.

I was frustrated. Surely this was defective. Busted. Whatever.

I unscrewed it from the ceiling and moved it farther back.

And the damn thing kept going off.


Fine. So after dealing with the piercing noise for, again, if I’m telling the truth here, several months, I finally called PG&E. I knew it would take them *forever* to fit me in, but whatever.

I told them that my carbon monoxide alarm kept going off and could I get an appointment for someone to come out check.

Anticipating at least 30 days before I got an appointment, I was surprised when, instead, the call dispatcher said, "someone will be there immediately" and further, "open all the doors and windows until someone arrives."

Uh. Ok. Much ado about nothing, right? But at least I'd get quick attention.

Good for their word, a guy showed up within about ten minutes.

He took a reading in the center of the room and said, "I'm going to cap off your gas, you have fatal levels of carbon monoxide in here."

Well blow me over.

Turns out there was a center tube of metal inside the heater that had slid down when the house settled or from age, and it left a crack about an inch wide that was venting the heater right into my apartment.

The next day, I absentmindedly told this story to a friend at work, and she started crying. One of her dearest friends had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her life could have been saved with the simple installation of a carbon monoxide alarm, but it was, instead, lost.

When The Good Man moved into our place, I told him this story and said I will never live in a place that does not have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

I refuse.

I was reminded about all of this today when I saw the headline in the local paper say:

Two Bay Area families survive carbon monoxide poisoning

"The mother said the family started feeling sick around midnight...When their symptoms failed to improve in the morning, they headed for the emergency room."

That woman's good thinking saved her family, her kids, her own life.

It scares the crap out of me. Apartments are required to have a smoke alarm, but not a carbon monoxide alarm. They even make dual alarms these days, both fire and carbon monoxide. Easy peasy!

So please, anyone who is reading this, don't hesitate, don't call it "some remote possibility". Don't put it off.

Get thee to a Wal-Mart or a Target or a Home Depot and BUY a carbon monoxide alarm and install it where you will spend most of your time.

Buy two, one for the living room and one for your bedroom. Just do it, okay?

Thanks. Your life matters to me.

January 1, 2009

Oh and...

The Feline would like you to know it's cold, so if you could crank up the heater then sit down and allow me to suck all the warmth from your human body, that would be great.

Oh, and more kibble in the bowl too...


2009 has been designated as the:

International Year of Astronomy.

International Year of Natural Fibres.

International Year of Reconciliation.

and the

Year of the Ox (by the Chinese calendar)

And, to quote my friend over at Rancho de Perro:

Please, dear MMIX, try not to suck.

Source: Wikipedia

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.