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I am typing this on June 2nd because yesterday there was something wrong with 100words. I am spending the weekend with my special friend. This is really something wonderful! I had given up on dating sites and then Boom! It happens. He has a great sense of humor; he is caring and compassionate; he loves dogs and enjoys dancing. We never run out of conversation. Everything feels great! We are taking Salsa lessons on Wednesday evenings. We try to practice whenever we get together but so far we always find something else to do! Now life is really looking up.
This year my oldest turns 21. Weíre celebrating her birthday on a SeaEscape cruise. It will be about 6 hours of fun on the sea. Music, food, dancing, karaoke and gambling for those that enjoy it. The birthday girl gets a massage. The ladies are first going to spend the morning at a spa. We'll have manicures and pedicures and who knows what else. Her birthday gift is a new laptop! Iíll also be treating her to lunch, and her dad will take her to dinner. 21 years ago, I had a baby and now she is a full adult.
It's been a great weekend! Yesterday we went to see Emmaís play. As usual she did a great job. Last night we went dancing. This morning we went to the Jazz Brunch at Riverwalk. Johnny's family was all there. Z & P came to listen also. A couple of other work friends stopped by. The music was good; the weather wasn't too hot. Buster had his first outing of this type. There was one moment when he tried to bite little's Tony's pants. That was scary and embarrassing. He is exhausted now. The really hard part is going home again.
www.43things.com is a wonderful web-site for those of us that love lists. Recently I put "update my resume" on my list of things I want to do. Iím not sure exactly why I put this on my list, but I think it shows that the level of BS at work may have finally hit some subconscious threshold. I took this job in 1990 when my oldest started preschool. Not that I was a work-at-home mom, but my job was eleven miles away from the preschool. Until then she had been at a daycare a few blocks away from my job.
Eleven miles may not seem like a lot, but in Miami, it could be an hour to an hour and a half to travel those eleven miles. All it would take is a car accident on the expressway and I wouldnít be able to pick her up at the end of the day. So I took a job close by. I donít regret it. The stress was less, the hours more flexible and the pay about the same. I have very rarely been bored, and there are always new things to learn if I do find myself bored at work.
The last seventeen years have been educational, interesting and never boring, definitely my kind of job. Unfortunately in the last two years or so, management has become somewhat erratic in their decision-making. My position is not hourly and itís not exempt, itís ďjob-basisĒ. Garbage pickup folks are also job-basis. It means you are given a job, and you take however long you need to do it, and then you are done. In garbage pickup, the routes are fairly well established, but in my case, the work is continually piled up whether or not it is more than a normal workload.
I have been a systems programmer since 1980. So I know that there are times that projects require 60 or even 80 hours of work in a week, and there are the support tasks on top of that, as well as, on-call duties. But usually those are scheduled. Now we find ourselves in a position where we have lost three people in the last two years (one was promoted, one position was never filled and subsequently taken away, and the third was fired). The workload has increased by about 300% from the time we had three people in the group.
There are now two of us left in the group. Even working 16 hours a day, we couldnít catch up because management, in all its wisdom, refuses to let us take outages on the servers to perform the necessary work. So basically as the senior person in the ďgroupĒ, I document everything so I can have that piece of paper ready to hold up in the meeting (after something fails because we couldnít do Preventive Maintenance), and attempt to use it to cover my ummÖ donkey. That part of my job is a waste of time, effort and tax-payers money.
Anyway, Iíve thought of moving on, but my kids are still in school. The correct thing is to hold steady until my youngest goes to college in about four years. I can get a job in any municipality that participates in the Florida retirement plan and keep my longevity (at least towards retirement). Homes are much cheaper, and bigger and newer further north. But I see myself putting ďupdate my resumeĒ on my list of things to do right now. Along with a separate goal "get my certifications" this shows a definite shift in attitude towards finding a new job.
Yesterday we went to see the Coral Castle. This ďcastleĒ was built by one love-sick man about almost a century ago. He used the laws of magnetism to move huge heavy blocks of coral. Apparently, the love of his life left him at the altar for a man with more means. All his life Ed thought she would change her mind and come to him here in Florida. It never happened. There is still a magnetic power-generator on the site. The legend says that he moved all the blocks on the two days after the new and the full moon.
Weíve been working hard to clean-up and fix-up my house. Aside from a loss of sleep and my asthma acting up from the dust and cleansers, things are going well. I hate doing it and it wouldnít be getting done if Johnny wasnít providing the inertia. I can see the floor in my utility room again, but thereís still plenty to do there. My upstairs toilet is usable again; itís great to not have to come downstairs in the middle of the night. The kitchen is really shaping up! I will be inviting the movie club over later this year!
After living on my own for years, itís proving difficult accustoming myself to sharing a house, and he hasnít actually moved in. He has his own house but during the work-week, on the nights when my daughter isnít with me, he stays here. Itís wonderful, but Iím just not a morning person; he is very much so. If I donít move through my morning routine, my whole day is in shambles. Also he needs a lot less sleep than I do. I was sleeping 10:00 to 6:00 and sometimes it wasnít enough. With him Iím sleeping 1:00 to 6:00. Ouch!
Tonight is our weekly salsa class in Miami Lakes. Weíve practiced a few times this week but some of those turns are proving difficult. Lately my balance isnít what it could be and itís affecting my dancing. Sunday is Fatherís Day; Iím taking Johnny to dinner and salsa dancing afterwards. Yesterday at work I finally figured out what was keeping me from seeing the new HSV. Iíve been working on that since Thursday. Apparently for the first LUN it has to be numbered less than 16. Only after the server sees the HSV can we increase the maximum LUN number.
Our first salsa class took place a few weeks ago at a tavern named Gabyís. Johnny had been to previous classes there but it was my first. I cannot seem to count and step at the same time. Dancing is a right-brained activity for me, and counting is left-brained. The two do not mesh! Once the music is on, I can follow pretty well (if you politely ignore the odd foot out of place). Since then we have been taking weekly classes, one night a week. Weíre making progress but it is slow going. It is a lot of fun.
I need to sleep! I'm having a very difficult time sleeping with another person in my bed. I guess Iíve gotten used to doing things my way without having to consider another person. This is a great relationship; itís scary how compatible we are, so I have to get used to this. Last night my daughter was home so he didnít stay. I slept like a log; eight full hours with only one bathroom break. Also my morning routine gets disrupted when he is here. Taking two hours to wake up slowly and take care of chores is a excessive.
Preventative medical procedures, are they worth it? Is it better to let nature take itís course, or to allow a doctor to prod, probe and puncture in order to determine if something is wrong? Personally Iíd rather take my chances on nature. My dad lived to 87 without ever having a check-up. He did have with an enlarged prostate towards the end, and it became very painful for him. But the Alzheimerís that made his last year on earth a nightmare wouldnít have been prevented by going to the doctor. Tomorrow we will discuss doctorís inclination to over-medicate their patients.
Today is Fatherís Day. My dad passed away after a very bad nine months that he spent in bed, screaming and in pain. Itís sad to think of him like that. I do miss him, but that is the ďhimĒ I knew before he became ill of course. Since I donít have a dad and Johnnyís kids are out-of-town, I am taking him out to dinner and then over to Lincoln Road this evening. Heís never been, so it should be interesting. Dinner will be at the Charthouse which is my favorite fancy restaurant at the moment. Happy Fatherís Day!
My supervisor decided that the women in the group were too loud. He went as far as to put it in our annual review. To offer some perspective, our floor was renovated using a new philosophy called ďopen areaĒ cubicles. This is supposed to foster cross training and team-work. Because of the low cubicle walls and lack of an aisle separation panel, the voices flow out into the open areas. We had an independent sound technician come over and measure the noise levels. Apparently the materials used in the ceiling, floor and cubicle walls are noise reflective, not noise absorbing.
The ambient noise level on our floor is ten decibels above the ambient noise on the third floor. It has the higher cubicle walls, separation panels and noise absorbing materials. The higher the ambient noise, the louder people tend to speak, so the floor design fosters a higher level of noise. We were also informed that womenís voices are at a higher frequency then menís voices. Women would be heard over the ambient noise level much easier than their male counterparts. Add to this situation the fact that the ambient noise around the supervisorís cubicle is lower than around ours.
So when we speak above the ambient noise, the people in the next cubicle have more trouble hearing us than our supervisor does. The sound bounces off the cubicle wall, to the ceiling and back down to the supervisorís cubicle in the next aisle in the same way that AM radio bounces their signals off the atmosphere. So how loud were we? We acquired a decibel meter that would allow us to measure the amount of noise we are generating. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration a normal office space speaking level would be 70 decibels at three meters.
That means that if a person standing three meters away from me, for example, measures my voice at 70 decibels then Iím speaking normally. Even in my own cubicle, my voice never reaches 60 decibels, according to the meter. Even when I sneezed it only jumped to 68 decibels. Which means that either my voice is being amplified somehow, which I doubt, or my supervisor is expecting us to be quieter than what the department of OSHA considers normal. In a follow-up meeting, my supervisor stated that all non-work-related conversations need to take place in the break room, fair enough.
He also stated that all work-related conversations must take place in meeting rooms. Since there are only two meeting rooms on the floor that is problematic; especially since there are no computers in the meeting rooms. About 50% of our job is supporting co-workers and customers. Now when someone comes to my cubicle to discuss a problem, we have to schedule a meeting room in order to have our discussion. That isnít a feasible way to conduct business. Also, we often schedule meetings in the break-room for lack of facilities and according to my supervisor that is no longer allowed.
Iíve finally gotten used to sleeping with another person. It has been ten years since I did that. We still need to find activities for him on weekend mornings because I need some extra sleep when I can. Six hours of sleep a night is not enough for me. I need those extra four hours on Saturday and Sunday whenever I can get them. My youngest asked him to help her clean her room today. I think it might actually get done this time. And we may even get to paint the room after years of planning to do it.
We watched ďMust Love DogsĒ last night. Each time I watch this movie I react differently. In the past, when I was dating on the web, sometimes Iíd laugh, sometimes Iíd cry. Last night the movie seemed hilarious. I guess thatís a sign that I feel safe and confident in my current relationship. I always wonder why she decides to contact the incorrigible father instead of the guy she really wants to be with. Is it because that is the safer choice? Her heart is just not in that relationship. The fatherís behavior is a bit far fetched I think.
I survived the dentist visit! Dentists are a major phobia for me. Not just a neurosis; a full-fledged phobia. I had not been to a dentist since removing my braces in 1979. Twice I had X-rays done. The first time I got the chicken pox; the second time I got pregnant. Iíve been scared to try again. Today I went. I have no gum disease, no new cavities. My old fillings need replacement, and my upper wisdom teeth need extracting.. Overall it was an excellent visit. My gums did bleed but thanks to the nitrous-oxide, I felt very little pain.
I intensely dislike doctorís visits. Iíve been trying to get a GY checkup for three years now. Every time I make an appointment they give me one three months in the future. Then they call at the last minute to cancel because the doctor has an emergency. I still need to get a regular check-up also. That one will be a new patient visit. Do I have so many problems with appointments because I dislike doctors, or do I dislike doctors because I have so many problems with them? My inclination is to not bother, but everyone says I should.
Iíve used Attglobal since they were Ibmglobal. Last year I moved to Peoplepc. I moved most of my ďstuffĒ over to my new peoplepc.com email address but there were a few stragglers that either didnít have a nice email change page, or humans who couldnít quite get their address book updated. So now Iíve moved to Bellsouth DSL. I have three ISPs so Iím really interested in consolidating, and decided to cut the cord on the Attglobal address (if anyone canít email me, theyíll just have to break down and phone!). Iím busily changing all the Peoplepc subscriptions to Bellsouth.
I did a lot of fishing when I was in High School. I havenít fished once since. Iíve never done any fly fishing. As a kid I fished using a ďyo-yoĒ; that is the local name given to a reel. No rod, just a reel. I found it much easier, and more hands-on. I knew within seconds of the hook entering the water whether or not there were fish and if the bottom was rocking or had a lot of plants. I doubt Iíd be able to do that now due to my arthritis. So Iíll learn with a rod-n-reel.
Iím not sure if Iíll be posting to 100words during the month of July. Iíll be on vacation and then in training for the first two weeks. I wonít have my computer with me during these two weeks. So it may be August before I start again. This year has been a series of ups-and-downs so far. January to March was dreadfully exhausting; full of work and a waste of time. April through June has been exhausting but in a very positive manner. What will July to December bring? I have a lot of plans for those months. Weíll see!
My daughters and I had a spa morning. We all had manicures and pedicures; then the girls had their eyebrows done. Major trauma that was! I chose a wine red that really stands out. It was either that or black and I felt like red today. This evening is the birthday cruise for my daughterís 21st birthday. We board at six and leave at six thirty, returning at one thirty. I was up until two thirty last night, so hopefully I will survive the evening. A nap would have been nice but thereís no time for that. Bon Voyage yíall!
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