Long Time, No Chit-Chat

– Target had 101oz. water bottles on sale for a $1 this past weekend. I have thoroughly enjoyed walking around with one and drinking it obnoxiously, even whilst in the car. I feel like one of those women in the workplace that can’t be without their monster Nalgene bottle of water that helps them “stay thin and have clear skin.” No, they make you look like an egotistical priss.
– Different states have different “idiosyncrasies.” Yes, Wisconsinites ask you if you want cheese on everything – including on things that already have cheese. And, as you might expect, there is a bratwurst kiosk in the fancy mall.
– Listen to me now – making a Chinese food take-out container from metal and plating it does not constitute art! I do not care what the display in the airport calls it. It only affirms my belief that art is a joke. It really is useless. Would the world be any worse for the wear without paintings?
– Lastly, how could prices at the Jersey shore have gone UP this year. I went last year; I remember what they were. But the prices for games and food have significantly risen. I am tempted to start a food stand and charge half of what the other stands do. Marketing blitz at the beginning, word of mouth will take care of the rest.

Happy doing whatever you are doing,

A New Year, Same Persona

I do not fully understand why people always make changes effective January 1st. Ok, I do understand, but it does not make me any the more complicit in their inane pursuits. The examples are everywhere in the workplace. The refrigerator is full of people’s lunches. The new apparel is donned. Overheard conversation center on the new gym regimen. The men are sporting their holiday beards. The last one is not relevant, but why did so many guys go away for break and come back with a full on NHL playoff beard?

Well just because it is January does not mean I am ready for change. So while I am thinking of a normal novel-length entry to bore you with I shall rely on some quick hits in the interim.

– Why does my bottle of water have nutritional information on it? It isn’t flavoured, so there is obviously no sugar on it. Of course it has no nutritional value. And yes, it is NO part of my 2000 calorie daily diet. Also, I bought it at a gas station. The bottle has their logo on it. I really hope they covered a real brand and aren’t just bottling toilet water. Does it really earn them more money in the long run doing this? Can’t they just stock the El Cheapo brand like 7-11 does?

– I was stuck in traffic yesterday when I ended up next to a Prius. It had some obnoxious personalised license plate like “SIP GAS”. I had heard about places where the eco-friendly have really gone overboard and are arrogant about it, but this was truly my first run-in with it. I did my best to ensure that he couldn’t change lanes, but he wasn’t looking to anyway. Hybrids are just another one on the list of vehicles that I reserve the right to drive differently for. I generally try to give some more room to seniors. People with stupid bumper stickers, especially with heavy politicial affiliation? Good luck merging. Texting while driving? Not using a turn signal? Yes that is my fender blocking your progress. Hot girl using turn signal? Please, go ahead. Hot girl who thinks she can merge just because she is hot and got some schmoe to buy her that SUV? I think not. Driving a Camaro? You are always welcome to merge. Try to pass on the right
all the way until the lane ends even though everyone else has been stuck waiting in the proper (left) lane? There is no way in hell I am going to let you in. And if you think for a second that you will win at chicken and I will let you in at the last possible moment, please try again. Remember, I own two clunkers. I will gladly suffer some damage to the side of my beater just to prove a point to you. After all, I have AAA to tow me home, and another clunker in the garage to do it again tomorrow with.

– Speaking of driving, I really enjoy driving in wintry conditions with my big heavy ski gloves on. Even once my hands warm up (the original reason for wearing them), I like to wear them. I am not truly sure why. I would like to say it is because it makes me feel like I am wearing my racing gloves, especially useful when I am sliding around in the snow, but I like to think even I am not that neurotic.
Oh, who am I kidding.

Welcoming you into 2009,

A little lotion would do wonders for your skin

I had a Christmas gathering the other night after work. It was at a reasonably fancy restaurant that has plenty of areas for groups to meet. Besides some side rooms that have doors to close them off, they have the furniture arranged in the various bar areas so that circles may be formed to create some privacy. All of these areas are hidden from the main entrance and hostess table. I tell you all this because it is not possible to know where your group is. It forces interaction with the hostess. Fine. Unfortunately for me, I did not know whose name the reservation was under. I offered multiple of them to her. She non-verbally replied with a quizzical look and then followed it up with “Oh, are you here for the Mary Kay meeting?” I did not even know how to follow this up. Did I look effeminate? Seriously, me, for a Mary Kay meeting? I thought maybe that my group had not told her they were a group, so she was unaware. This theory was
eventually blown out of the water by my groupmates.

That being said, I had a nice ride home to ruminate about this fact. I really do not think that I am of the age or appearance to be lumped in to a Mary Kay gathering. I even thought back to the (male) people that were going into that room. I honestly believe that if you looked at them compared to me, you would choose them first for the good ole Mary Kay soiree. At least God I hope so.

So, I got home and flipped on the TV. There was nothing on so I paged endlessly through the preview guide. It said that Celtic Woman was on PBS. And it was a new special! I settled in and was hypnotised (which is exactly the term the PBS “salesperson” tried to use to get me to purchase an overpriced CD or DVD). I kept trying to leave the TV and I finally did after five songs or so. As I stood up from the TV and the epiphany befell me – Celtic Woman watcher – maybe the hostess was right.

-Emasculatedly yours,

Brown Cow – Moo

My dad enjoyed entertaining youngsters by using “nonsense” expressions. One of them was “brown cow – moo!” I imagine it was a derivative of some sort, originating from the “how now brown cow” phrase that is used in elocution teaching (if I believe what Wikipedia tells me). Regardless, I cannot help but think of him as I shake my head while looking at this monstrosity of an outfit I put together today.

As I look down I notice that I am wearing what appears to be 5 separate shades of brown. It is not the first time I have faced this dilemma. It appears to occur every time a certain shirt comes up in the cycle to be worn. It is just above the “sunshine yellow” shirt from Express that is fancy but also see through and does not allow me to wear a racing t-shirt underneath like normal. Anyway, this brown shirt is a nice soft material. I tried to see what material it is, but I can’t crane my neck that far and I am not exactly about to take my shirt off to find out. It is brown, but not as brown as when it was brand new. Many washings have started to take its toll. I usually couple it with a pair of light khakis. No harm no foul, except the fact that the khakis really have seen better days. Besides fraying at the pockets and cuffs, it has shrunk and constantly pulls up exposing my ankles when my old socks that are sans elastic fall down. I have
vowed not to wear them again, at least not until I am out of clean clothes, especially now that it is cold and I despise the “ankle-breeze.” That leaves me with my two pair of “brown” pants (both between khaki and brown) and a pair of green. I hate the green. I can never figure out a shirt that matches. It seemed like a great idea when I got them, but then I never wear them. You think I would have learned from the last pair that I threw out, for the very reason that they never got worn. Thus, the light brown got the nod.

They are fine pants themselves, but are basically the same colour as the faded brown shirt. But they are not close enough, in my opinion. Throw in my belt (kind of a reddish brown), my socks (they are the dark brown my shirt used to be), and my shoes (used to be brown akin to my belt, but now are the colour “scuffed”) and I just look like a freakin’ fudgesicle. The Italian brown hair and eyes are not helping. All in all, I try to tell myself that I do not really care. It bugs me during the day, and then I still put on the same outfit weeks later. I think I am just dwelling on it today because fudgesicles were on sale at the store this week and I did not buy any. What the hell was I thinking?

Burnt sienna and proud,

Leave the cologne at home

Us enginerds are a sturdy lot. We can make the most out of the shoes for a long time. We can work the polo shirt we first debuted in 1996. And, with few exceptions, we eschew the need to odoriferise with anything other than fresh soap. This leaves the building generally smelling neutral. It does not have the rampant funk that might exist in our garage (nor in our rental car after 10 hours, an Arby-Q, and a bag of Teriyaki beef jerky). However, it does not smell artificially enhanced by colognes and the like. It used to be that way throughout the whole building. The first floor is now free of this odor-neutrality.

You see, Purchasing moved in. The folks in Purchasing both know how to, and choose to, dress better. The men are overt metrosexuals. The women exhibit fashions from years that begin with the number 2. It is a different dynamic. It truly reminds me of when we had Engineering classes in the Business building while in college. I would go in wearing whatever grungy outfit was available. It wasn’t always clean either, depending on when I had last departed the machine shop. My compatriots were not much better. But the Business students, they had on button-down shirts, their hair was coiffed by something other than their pillowcase or the arm of the couch. I digress. Purchasing splits the Engineering area from the CAD area. The CAD area is another bastion of simple smells and thus provides comfort.

Well, initially when Purchasing settled in I was unnerved. I hesitated to cut through the centre of their cubicle fortress. I would retreat to the periphery and walk further to get to the CAD department. One day I finally caved. You see, due to the floor layout and previous building expansions, one wall of the Purchasing area is an actual wall despite the fact there are merely cubicles on the other side. I ducked in out of the main hallway through one of the doorways in an effort to shave some steps off my trip. I was immediately bombarded by odors I had not encountered in the building. I steadied myself against a cubicle wall and diverted the schnozz upwards while sniffing heartily. It smelled like a Bath and Body Works! There is no way that this could be near Engineering. I held my breath and hurried out of there, hoping that none of the Buyers would smell me as an infiltrator.

Over time I more often cut through there. It was not to save my feet, but so much as to encounter the smells. I found that I smiled every time I went through there. It was that pervasive. The description of this cloister can only be one thing – Engineeromatherapy. It is nothing in particular, but an aggregate smell that causes left-brained lugs to become placid. Now if you excuse me, it is time for my Exacto knife manicure (hey – a boy can’t let all of himself disappear).

Smellin’ the dream,

2008 Season Comes to a Close for Half-Baked Schemes Racing

It seemed like the season had barely begun, but the 2nd week of October indicated that the offseason was upon us. This was the second Super Dirt Week that we had participated in. SDW last year was aggressive, with three races in three days. This year was a bit more tame, with only two on the docket. Much like last year, it was Brewerton Speedway on Thursday night, and Cayuga County Fair Speedway on Friday night.
Read More »