Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More drama

Just to show you that the hypothetical wife's hypothetical place of employement is not the only source of drama in the little world of my brain, there is non-hypothetical drama at my non-hypothetical place of employment! I must warn anyone that actually works with me that if you're reading this, I'm not referring to you. If you think I am, you must have a guilty conscience about something and should immediately seek absolution from your clergy of choice.

As many of you may know, my company merged with another company a while back. Recently, the IT departments reorganized so nearly everyone is reporting to someone new. My original departmental team has been broken up between at least 2 new organizations and people are reporting all over the place right now. It's been a bit chaotic.

So anyway, I was talking with a co-worker and former team-mate about some frutstrations with the new organization. He was really upset about the way he'd been treated in particular, and the way his new team was managed in general. He was genuinely concerned that some of the management styles in practice were hurting the organization. Our new CIO has an open door policy and encourages us to be honest with each other. So my co-worker felt he should email the CIO about the situation, and talked broadly about issues going on, citing some specific examples of positive things going on as well as some of the negative things he felt were hurting the department.

So today, he pulls me aside and tells me he met with the CIO. It appears the CIO was not really buying into what he was saying. His solution was to set up a meeting with himself, the CIO, and the senior manager of the team in question. Of course, my co-worker mentioned that this manager was part of the problem.

You see what's going on, here? Well, what my co-worker tells me is that with all this going on, perhaps now might be a good time for other areas with concerns to voice thier opinions as well so it doesn't appear that it's one voice crying out alone in the wilderness. Immediately I felt a cringing in my neck, they kind you get when you see the axe falling and don't want it to fall on your neck. I got the distinct impression that my co-worker felt he'd stuck his neck out too far. And was asking someone else to stick their neck out a little as well.

You see my dillema? I really respect my co-worker and feel he got shafted in the reorganization. I also agree that there are issues with the team in question that need to be addressed. But I'm not sure it's a good idea to confront the issue in this manner. What to do? Leave my co-worker hanging, or help him out and risk alienating a team I need to work with?

What are your guys thoughts? In a day or two I'll post what I did and how it turned out (that part I'll know more tomorrow). Don't you just love a cliffhanger?

Monday, August 27, 2007

The following is a dramatization

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Let's hypothesize for a moment. Let's pretend you were a "rocker guy" type of person. A married "rocker guy". And let's say for a moment your wife worked in a small office. Let's set up the scene for a moment:

There are about 4 or 5 other women in the office that work in your department. Your boss prefers not to come out of his office, but offer "advise" on how things should be run via email, sometimes all in caps. Your boss isn't really sure who does what and promises to teach you new things but never does. The owner of your company is about your age, inherited the business from dad, and spends more time networking and playing golf than actually running the business.

Recently, the husband of one of your co-workers is diagnosed with cancer. Your co-worker is trying to get by on one paycheck and all the other gals in the office rally around her to support her. After a long battle, your co-worker's husband loses and passes away. The funeral is scheduled for a work day, so most of the office goes and then hangs for a while afterward to chat so everyone gets in somewhere around lunch time.

You then get an email from the owner that goes something like this:

"As we all know, last week was a very sad one with the passing of co-worker's husband. It was good to see the support she received from all of you. Many attended the wake, funeral and the gathering afterward, which resulted in some employees being out of the office for extended periods. As our company policy only addresses funeral/bereavement for the individual employee affected, we have no set policy for other employees whose support involves being out of the office.

I appreciate employees doing some self-assessment as to what you think is an allowable amount of time to be out of the office at the company’s expense regarding leaving early for the wake and the attending the funeral as well as the gathering after. If in your assessment, you feel that the company should not bear the entire expense, please note on your timesheet with a PTO amount that you feel is equitable. If you feel it should be entirely the company’s expense, do not make any PTO notation on your timesheet."

What would you think?

Remember, the following has been a dramatization. It is not intended to reflect actual email notifications or events. Any resemblence to actual people or policies is purely coincidental.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Suffering for your art

Yesterday, the band played at a local church function call the Hot Dog Roast. One of the city parishes put on a hot dog picnic, with free food and drinks. They also had clothing and other items free to take for those that needed them. We thought it was a great event so when we were asked to play (preferably gratis) we quickly accepted. Gratis of course.

Well, during the course of the gig, myself and the other guitar player got up to our usual antics. I move around, pick my guitar up in the air, jump around, etc. Our other guitar player likes to try to toss his guitar over his shoulder ala Yngwie Malmsteen. Well, at one point, I move over to do something, and he decides to do the guitar toss. I saw him do it, but he suddenly moved.

And the headstock of his guitar, the POINTY headstock of his guitar, crashes into my left elbow. Yes people, that's my neck hand required to actually PLAY any notes or chords. All feeling immediately left my hand and it went all pins and needles. Luckily we were neer the end of the song because I couldn't play for a few minutes until the feeling came back. Today, I've got a nice bruise on the elbow, and if I set it down just right, it hurts like hell. I don't think anything is broken, but dammit it can hurt!

I've now decided that the two of us need "safety circles" to stand in when we play. If we place the circles properly and both of us stay in our safety circles, we can both go crazy go nuts as much as we want without killing each other with our instruments. I think.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Annoying Commercials

I could rant about what's going on at work both for me and the Wife, but I got aggrevated about it enough yesterday. So I'll rant about something different instead, more stupid commercials (hereby designated MSC because we don't refer to enough things by initials these days).

So, MSC number one is any Cialis commercial. Have you seen these? You must since the play like 10 times an hour. For the most part, it's no big deal, other than how many couples like the Wife and I get to have sex in the middle of the day? That's what I thought. Just once I'd like to see the commercial where the empty nest couple is actually having sex when the doorbell rings and it's the kids and grandchildren. THAT would be funny. But I digress.

The thing that annoys me about these commercials is the end. Each one ends with the couple taking a long walk in a deserted place and finding 2 claw foot bathtubs. WITH RUNNING PLUMBING! If you look carefully, you'll see the faucets on the tubs! So, first of all, who the fuck in their right mind would actually get naked and hop in a tub in the middle of nowhere? Next to the ocean? And then how is it romantic for each person to be in their own tub? Oooo, honey, you look hot all naked soaking in the water. I think I lie here in my tub and admire you! You would think at least it would be one BIIIIG bathtub and the two would share. THAT has possibilities.

MSC number two is the commericals for the herpes medication. I forget what it is, but they show a couple and one of them says they have herpes and the other says they do not and they want to keep it that way. First of all, I got to throw the bullshit flag. Maybe I'm just not understanding enough or crazy in love enough, but if my girlfriend tells me she has herpes, I'm thinking the relationship is done. If the Wife told me she had herpes, we'd have an whole other issue. But again, maybe I'm just shallow.

The real kicker on this commercial is the disclaimer: only approved for use with heterosexual couples. What? This drug somehow recognizes some sort of gay gene and selectively ignores it? Or are heterosexual couples somehow more responsible than gay couples which would make the medication more effective? What am I missing here? Does this drug do what it says so you can have sex and not infect the person you're having sex with or not?

I'm sure there's more MSC's out there, but I can't think of any right now. Except for commercials with Jessica Simpson in them. But anything with Jessica Simpson in it would be stupid by definition, so that doesn't count.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Not what I thought this was going to be

I was going to post another rant on commercials that annoy me. But I decided to post something else instead. I'll save the rant for later this week.

Our weekend looked to be incredibly hectic as of Friday morning. Grasshopper had weapons class at 5 and a sleepover Friday night. The Wife got caught in traffic after work Friday so we started out running a little late. I had plans with Maverick most of the day Saturday, but more on that in a minute.

Grasshopper and the Wife went to a sleepover at a place called Rock Ventures. It's a place full of rock climbing walls. According to the Wife, the had a great time. The kids got to climb rock walls basically as long as they wanted. The Wife got qualified as a belayer so she got to hold the ropes. She even got up and climbed a wall! There are pictures to prove it, but I don't have a copy yet. I'll definately put that up as soon as I have it. Once the rock climbing was done, the kids got a chance to do rapelling and go on the "high ropes", which is basically an obstacle course 30 feet above the floor. Grasshopper was going to do it, but once he got up that high, changed his mind.

The Wife was pretty impressed with one of the staff there. There was this cave you could climb the walls and the ceiling. I guess this guy was doing a Spiderman impression effortlessly climbing around this cave. She and our den leader (also a mom) agreed that said young man had some "nice upper body strength". I beleive they were both smitten.

Saturday the plan was for Maverick and I to go white water rafting. The river has been running low so it looked like we would be canoeing instead. Right afterward I then needed to get Maverick to gold, followed immediately by a graduation party for the daughter of the Wife's co-worker. Well, we drove all the way out to the park to go rafting and found out it was cancelled. It appears they tried to go canoeing Friday afternoon, but the water level was so low they spent more time pushing the canoes than paddling. The outfit had tried to call the dad that set it up, but called his work number after he'd left. Oh well. Maverick and I went out to breakfast instead and it made getting to golf easier.

After golf, we headed out to the graduation party. We'd intended a short stay just to make an appearance, but we were having way too good a time! There were plenty of kids the boys' age and they were having a blast. As it turns out, the Wife's co-worker lived on my street when I lived in the city. Though I don't remember it (since I was 5 at the time), her brother and I were the best of pals! He was there and I vaguely recall him. But he had a copy of our Kindergarden class picture! And the riot of the whole thing was that his boy is the same age as Maverick. And both our kids look just like we did at 5. The Wife's co-worker got a picture of myself and her brother with both our boys. It was just hysterical! It can be such a small community at times.

We spent a lot of time just talking to people. It was great just getting out and hanging with people. Thankfully, today we really had nothing going so we could chill out a little. Of course, we've spent most of the day doing housework, but we got to watch Liverpool play Chelsea today so that was a nice break. Too bad the game ended a tie. I'm looking forward to putting the boys to bed so I can just chill on the couch. Hope your weekend was fun!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


First of all, just a reminder that if you would like to donate to Autism Research and support Team Grasshopper in this year's Autism Walk, please click on the link to the right. It will be up there until the walk.

I'd probably have posted sooner, but I've been in Schenectady since yesterday and by the time I've had on line time, I'm too damn tired. Even over the weekend, I just didn't feel like getting on line with everything going on. However, I've used my few quiet moments out here as a sort of mini-retreat.

You see, I think I had a revelation on Sunday. This weekend was the weekend we play at Sunday evening Mass for one of a group of churches. Something the priest said during the homily really hit me.

Just to give a little background, I've probably been a real snot around the house for the last few months. I won't give too much detail, but suffice it to say the Wife has had many reasons to hit me over the head. At one point, she said something to me, probably in frustration, but basically saying to get my shit together. But she said something very specific that I recall that had been rolling around in my brain for weeks now.

Well, during Sunday's homily, one of the points the priest was making concerned how if we always think about what we want, you end up miserable and only when you think of other's first are you truely happy and blessing start being heaped upon you. It was like that proverbial lightning bolt. I'd realized all the stuff I'd been stressing about and being annoyed and surly about all centered around me.

So I've been meditating on this the last few days. I need to let go of all the "me" stuff. Sounds easy in theory, I know, but I know it's the right thing to do. Every good thing I've recieved over the years have come when I let go of whatever the thing is that's stressing me and leaving it to the Lord to work out for me. EVERY TIME, things have turned out far above anything I could have expected. So that's what I need to do. Let it all go, and stop thinking of me first. I don't think it will be easy, but what choice is there. The Wife told me to do A, B, or figure something out. Unfortunately, A and B were not options, and I couldn't figure something out. So I won't. I'll let the Lord figure it out.

So pray for me that the Lord shows me the way. Because I'm really tired of being pissy and difficult at home all the time. And I think the Wife is sick of me being a pain in the ass.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's That Time Again

Ok everyone, we're coming up on September, which in the Franco household means another Autism Walk to support Autism research. We will be participating again this year and are hoping to raise $500. If any of you would care to donate to the cause, you can use the below link. Or if you would like to send the donation to us via snail mail, please email me for instructions. I would like to thank everyone in advance for helping out. As you can imagine, this is a charity near and dear to us. Grasshopper and his doggy Tyler would be most happy if you helped out. How can you refuse that face?

UPDATE: I forgot to say that the walk is September 29. Contributions can be made right up to that day. Thanks!

Click here to donate!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

These Guys Rock!!!!!!!

No lie, while waiting for the kids to get ready for bed tonight, I saw a Kohl's commercial with what looked like a teen band and the song was catchy. I caught the chorus and it went "because I'm awesome" and I thought, that is a totally cool lyric and a great hook of a song. I wonder if it's real? So I googled it. And I think I've found a new kick ass band. I'm pretty sure I shall be purchasing their album shortly. Check out this video and you can find more by them on YouTube. They're called the Dollyrots and the song is called Because I'm Awesome. And I'm pretty sure they wrote the song about me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Deep Thoughts

I've had a few small things bouncing around in my head, so I thought I'd throw then all down in one post.

Forget Female Intuiton: A friend sent me this link concerning the male intuition. As soon as I read I read it, I knew it to be true. After all, it explains why so many women at work keep calling me with thier "technology" problems which could be easily handled by anyone else on my team. You be the judge.

Sally Say It Ain't So: Have you seen these Boniva commercials with Sally Field? She's trying to say that taking this one pill a month is so much easier than taking one pill a week. Excuse me, if you're not smart enough to remember to take a pill once a week, what makes you think you'll remember it once a month? How is that easier? If you have so many medications to take that you can't remember what to take when, you got a MAJOR problem. And in the latest commercial, she says something about keeping up with family and they show kids running around my kids age. Like those are HER kids. I could believe grandkids, but not kids. Let's get real people!

Supermarket Math: Is it just me or do supermarkets think we're mathmatically challenged or even just plain stupid? It used to be that math at the grocery store was easy. 2/$1. 50 cents each. Pretty easy. THEN they start with this 3/$5 bullshit. Dammit, had to get out my calculator to figure out the first two were $1.66 each and the third was $1.67. How about some easy math? So what do they do? They start with 2/$2 and 5/$5. Now, that's easy to figure out, but why not just say $1 each? NOW they're putting up signs that say 10/$10. Are they really trying to see how gullible I am? Do they really think I'm so naive to think that if I don't by 10 I don't get them for the $1 each? Or do they thing I'm so stupid that I can't divide 10 by 10 and get 1, so I'll just get all 10 anyway? I'm sorry, if the stupid item is $1 then just put that fucking price on it. If I want to by 10 or even 20, then I'll put that many in my fucking shopping cart! Don't try to tell me how many I need to buy!

Am I a Parent?: We've had a couple of cases of people leaving their kids in cars here and "forgeting" about them. In one case, a woman left her baby in the car all day while at work with the windows closed and the temperature at 90 degrees. Yup, baby's gone. Her excuse? She FORGOT her baby was in the car. Another case a babysitter left the kid unattended in the car outside a convenience store with the windows cracked in the same temperature with the car locked. A clerk called 911 and they got the kid out. Babysitter had lots of lame excuses. In the first case, you don't FORGET you have the kid in the car. I'm sorry. There's no excuse. I've been carting my kids around for over 10 years and I NEVER ONCE didn't know they were in the car with me. I might check to see if they're still alive if they were to quiet, but I ALWAYS knew they were there. And I NEVER left the car with them in it while I did ANYTHING. Even now, if I do leave the kids in the car (which is rare), it's for less than a minute. Pop into the day care building and drop off a payment. Go up to a mailbox and drop in a letter. That sort of thing. The children have my sympathy but the parents do not.

Eat a Sandwich: Is it just me, or is anyone else sick of hearing about the woes of celebrities? Lindsay's in rehab. Big damn deal. Nicole is pregnant and will she be afraid of losing weight? Go eat some candy bars for Christ's sake. Free Paris! Free me from having to see her on TV again! Maybe I'm just getting old, but all these so called celebrities just make me shake my head. Most of them have no talent other than being beautiful. And people actually CARE what they have to say. You know, millions are going hungry and have no health care. It's a tragedy and we should do something about it. What does Brittney think we should do? We need her scholarly opinion to guide us through the crisis! How sad is your life if what these people have to say in any way shapes your thoughts. Go read a book instead!

Ok, that's probably enough for now. I keep going and I'll probably get to politics and REALLY start ranting. And we should save that for another time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Poor Doggie

When we woke up this morning and our dog, Buddy did not seem himself. He was wiggling around and whining. When I took him for his walk, he puked up all his food, which he doesn't normally do. And he wasn't his usual jumpy self. Last night, he managed to swallow a marble, so we had a feeling that might be causing him a problem.

So in to the vet the Wife goes, and lo and behold, the marble is definately in there and isn't sitting well in his tummy. The vet moved it around in his tummy a little, and he's been better today, but he's been lying down mostly. Of course, we've spend most of the day babysitting the dog so we haven't got a lot done. Most of the housework we normally do didn't get done. I did manage to get the grocery shopping done and wash the Wife's car. As of 8 pm, he's starting to act more himself. The vet told us not to feed him and I think he's getting hungry. He was crying to the Wife when she was eating some grapes.

Not much planned for the rest of the weekend. I'll probably head to my mom's tomorrow for dinner (that's your standard dinner meal at 1 pm, it's an Italian thing). After that, maybe mow the lawn and chill out. As you can see, life can be really exciting around here.