I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wacka, Wacka, Wacka from here to Indiana

Well, this morning they stuck needles in my legs, both of them.  And also some sort of little radio thingy which lets them hear the sound your nerve signals make as they traveled down my legs.  There was some static, which the tech said indicated some type of neuropathy...  Right.  Anyway, after the tests were completed he it looked as though were something wrong with L4 and possibly L5, the nerves that run into the quads on my right leg.  I asked him what they did to fix this he said "sometimes surgery."

Well, I must have looked at him as though he'd turned into Fozzie Bear saying "Wacka, wacka, wacka," because he suddenly added "and a lot of times Physical Therapy helps."

Wacka, wacka, wacka
And then he said he likes to keep his patients informed.  That's nice.  I think he probably just needs to edit what he says and leave the scalpel imagery to the doctors.

Anyway, I came home and saw that the bonehead Governor of Indiana was still trying to mumble, fumble his way out of the shit pile he put himself in when he signed that bill into law.  He's trying to turn it into Oops paint, change the color a little bit so people will buy it.  Some will buy it but most will shake their heads and say "that is one ugly can of paint."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wrong joint

One of the things I do on my job is sell 5 gallon buckets of paint which can weigh anywhere from 40 lbs to 75 lbs.  As a result, sometimes I strain the muscles of my back, never anything serious, maybe a day or two off from work.  Two weeks ago Tuesday I went to see my primary physician for such a problem.  She's new.  Dr. Tock, who I'd seen for years retired last June.  Anyway, she gave me prescriptions for Neproxen and 5 mg of Diazepam, which I found out later was generic Valium.  She said the Diazepam might make me drowsy.  It didn't.  It did, however, make me fall down a lot.  I fell out the back door, I fell out the front door, I ripped a bunch of skin off of my knee sliding down the staircase; I fell down 6 times in one day.  Oops.  Oh, and not only did I still have the back pain, I lost the strength in my right leg, double oops.  When I went back to see her she said the problem was with my knees and I needed to see an Orthopedic Specialist.  So, I made an appointment for the next day and they took 8 x-rays of my knees.

My right knee
Well, my specialist looked at my x-rays before he came into see me.  When I explained what was happening he said, "it's not your knees, it's you lower back," and sent me down for more x-rays.  Two days later I went for an MRI on my... you guessed it, lower back.  He also put me on a 6 day regime of Prednisone.  Tomorrow I'm going for a test where they're going to stick me with little needles to test my nerve synapse.  I also went on Leave of Absence from my job - it was either that or burn up all my vacation time.  One can only wonder if she got the wrong joint, what else could she have gotten wrong.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Setting fire to cable TV

I did something to my back last week and have been off work, and, since it's my lower back have found my time at home severely limited.  My IP is Fios and, as some of you know, I am not overly impressed with them.  It's not only them, it's the standard fare offered on TV.  There are so many crap channels and so many repeats.  When you see an air date of 2008 on a show's info, you know it's been repeated from here to there and back again.  And never, ever watch a movie on a cable channel, unless you don't mind commercials.  Here's an example:  "Men in Black III" is playing on FX HD.  The actual movie has a running time of 78 minutes... however it's taking the FX HD channel used 3 hours to broadcast it. So what do you think they used to fill up over 100 minutes (that's like an hour and a half)?

Which is why I'm seriously considering purchasing an Amazon Fire and dumping the Fios TV.  It is, I'm fairly certain, the wave of the future.  A future in which you can actually chose the channels and shows you want to watch.  Roku 3 is out there too, but if you do an online comparison it's quite apparent Amazon is planning on setting fire to the cable TV industry.  I mean face, who in their right mind would want to subscribe to FX HD?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Will the real male Office Assistant please speak up

I own a Galaxy S4 phone.  I like it a lot because it can do some amazing things.  What I would like, however, is to install an 'office assistant' with a voice I liked.  There are quite a number of office apps out there, however the vast majority of them seem to have female voices.  Wouldn't it be nice to have an office assistant who sounded like Sean Connery?  Well, that may be too Scottish for some people, but it would be a lot better then having to listen to Ivona, or Susie, or Mary, or Siri...  And what's up with that?  Apple named its office assistant after Tom Cruise's daughter.  If you think about it, isn't rather sexist to have an office assistant on your phone with a female voice?  You would think that women around the world would like a male assistant.  Couldn't Apple have given you a choice of Siri or Sonny?  or Sammy?

I did download an office assistant once that did have a male voice.

Believe me, it was horrendous. Every syllable of every word was enunciated.  The poor chap lasted about a week.  I would like an office assistant that sounds like a human being, not a robot.  There is an app out there called Andy, but I don't know if I want to pay for something that might actually sound like Andee.  Do you know what I mean?  I think office assistant app companies are missing the boat on this one.  Let's be honest, who's voice would rather hear as your office assistant?  Thelma... or Thor?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fleas and ticks and worms, oh my

When I took Sig to the Vet for his first visit they loaded me up with brochures just to make me aware of all of the options out there for pet owners.  Some, like the one on Lyme disease, I tossed as soon as I got home.  Others I read through.  Since Sig is my 3rd puppy, most of the info is mere repetition. Others, like the one for Home Again, a micro-chip service for dogs and cats, I read through and then tossed.  My yard is fenced in with two gates, both of which are padlocked.  In the state of Pennsylvania, Rabies is a required vaccine, so he'll get his Rabies shots.

The Parvo vaccine isn't mandatory, but it does pop up from time to time in the area, and it's pretty much a puppy vaccine.  The Bordatella vaccine?  Again that's a nope.  For those who don't know, it's also known as Kennel Cough.  If my dogs are ever going to be kenneled, then they'll get the shot.  The last brochure on the right, the one that's half out of the picture?  That's for Sentinel, a soft, chewable which protects your dog from heart worms, roundworms, hookworms, whip worms, tape worms, and fleas... fleas?  My dogs are already on Frontline Plus, a topical which protects them from fleas and ticks (including the dreaded deer tick which spreads Lyme disease).  So why would I want to give them a chewable that does what the Frontline Plus does?  Heartgard takes care of the worms, so does Iverheart, the generic form of Heartgard, both of which are less expensive then Sentinel.  I will probably go with one of them.  For those interested, Heartgard and Frontline Plus are both made by Merial, which hasn't done bad by me yet.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Taxi this

I truly did enjoy this article, especially the second one listed, the one concerning automobiles.  Cars are, after all, nothing more then vehicles, they get you from one place to another.  Do you need a stylish ride to get you from your house to the supermarket where you can fill the trunk with bags of groceries?

As someone who manages a paint department for a large home improvement retailer, I can tell you we also sell the 2 part epoxies you can put down on your garage floor (with or without the speckles) to give it that showroom luster.  About a year ago I dealt with a middle-aged gentleman who stopped in to do some research.  What he really wanted to know was how long the process took and just what was the drying time.  When I told him it would take between 24 hours and 48 hours before he could park his car on it he became more then a little flabbergasted.  "My car has never been outside of the garage over night," he said, "ever.  I've worked long and hard to get this," he said, waving a Mercedes key fob in front of me.  So, I repeated myself, "it's going to take between 24 and 48 hours before you can put your car in the garage."

It was obvious to me that, in spite of his pretentiousness, this gentleman had never been to Europe.  How do I know this?  While I was waiting for my shuttle on the first time I went to Paris, what was most surprising were the number of taxi drivers who were using Mercedes.  They were nice, and shiny, and black, and they were... taxi cabs.  And I wanted to ask this gentleman if he would be just as concerned if he owned something yellow with a checkered flag stenciled down the side.

What would probably be even more disheartening to him would be for me to take him to some of the poorer districts in Harrisburg.  People there do not make a lot of money, but it's quite common to see high end vehicles parked in front of houses.  Volvos are very popular, so are BMW's as well as Mercedes.  None of these vehicles are parked in garages because for these people they are considered status symbols.  Their Mercedes puts them in the same league as the gentleman who's Mercedes has never spent a night outside of a garage.

No matter how much you spend on it, no matter how much of a boost it gives your ego, in the end your car will never be anything more then a car.  Just because you're not using it for taxi service in Paris doesn't make it any different.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The first day of spring

Yes, here it is, the first day of spring and we in Central Pennsylvania can look out our windows and see, not crocuses nor daffodils, just more snow.

Here's a shot looking our of my bathroom window of the homes on the hill behind mine.  Excuse the house with the ratty fence, the owner bought it, moved in, put up the fence, and then sold it.  It's a bit of an eyesore for a fairly expensive middle-class neighborhood.

Actually, everything back to the fence belongs to me.  I'd use it but it's at the top of a hill which has a 60 degree grade.  As I'd said, the picture is from my bathroom window, which is on the 2nd floor.  One of these days I'll pay a landscaper to put in a long diagonal ramp so I can get the lawnmower up there and turn it into livable space, most likely after I retire.  In fact, there's more then enough room up there to put in a swimming pool if I like.

Anyway, it is snowing, and it's my day off, and, sadly enough, I did something to my back while at work so I'm spending the day taking meds, using the heating pad, and playing games.  Oh, and I have 2 more reviews to write so I'll probably knock those out of the way.  What a way to celebrate the first day of spring.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Can you color match this?

As with most paint departments ours can color match.  For those of you who don't know, that means a customer can bring in something and we can approximate the same color in paint.  Notice I say 'approximate.'  Color matching is not a 100% guarantee, most of the times it's close, practically spot on, and other times it's a completely different color.  What's even more amazing are the things people bring into have color matched, quite often without understanding there are limitations.  We don't color match cloth because most fabric has different colored threads.  You may not see them, but the machine we use to color match does.  People don't always understand this.  Sometimes they demand that you color match the red curtain they brought in... and the end result is purple paint, and they get angry and leave the paint at the desk.

I find it interesting that many people fail to realize that the spectro-photometer doesn't read through dirt.  They bring in all sorts of crap that hasn't been cleaned in years.  You have no idea how often I want to ask "shall I color match that stain?" or "should I use this smudgy gray spot, it looks to be the cleanest."

We're heading into exterior paint season which means they'll be bringing in boards, and planks, and pieces of rotted wood.  That's right, rotted wood which hasn't been painted in 15 years.

Or they'll say "I need that color blue."  In fact, it's already begun.  Yesterday I had a burly gentleman with little red rubber bands in his beard come to the desk with a piece of fencing.  At one point it had been painted white, but that was a long time ago, before it became covered with green algae.  And of course he asked "can you color match this?"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Even managed Vets make money

I've had a busy day - cleaning, cooking, going to the store.. and napping.  I had time to write up two reviews - average associates who are really just satisfied to be average, one is part-time and the other full time.  Both are extremely reliable.

Ordered some Frontline for Sig; only 6 months worth since he's going to be growing for some time and he's almost already out of the small dog grade.  What I ordered should keep him in Frontline until he hits 44 lbs.  I usually don't use it in the winter.  True, some ticks can come out of hibernation when the temperature rises to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but this past February our average daily temp was 22 and the year before that it only managed to get up 38.  January has pretty much the same temps.  December's a bit warmer, but still cold.

Of course this new Vet Group advocates using the Frontline year round, but then I manage my Vet.  They also recommend using Sentinel year round, that's for heart worms and round worms and hook worms and fleas...  Fleas?  That's one of the reasons I use Frontline.

Sig sleeping on some pillows he pulled from the sofa.

I've used Heartguard for years, it does everything Sentinel does, except for the fleas, and is a little less expense.  I plan on continuing to use it.  And, again, I only use it seasonally.  The cold, you know, is not very kind to worms.  They freeze.  Which is why, even though the new Vet group wants me to use it year round, I won't.

When I told them I purchase almost everything online they informed me that they 'price match,' even online orders.  So I wonder if their mark-up is between 75% and 100%, that tends to be the norm.  Anytime someone mentions 'price match' you know they're still making money.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Purpose this

I opened up the box with the canopic jar I purchased for Gertie's ashes and had a look at it.  Very nice, though I won't be using it for its intended purpose, I'm keeping her ashes in the really, really nice cedar urn the pet cremation people put her in.  It's probably cost a bit more then what I paid for the urn.

Anyway, right now the urn is sitting on a small table in the bathroom.  Several people have been giving me suggestions as to a possible use, from a cookie jar (too small) to a decorative vase.  I'll probably end up using for storage of some type, I don't know.  It's nice looking.  It's Egyptian.

There was a bit of literature in the box about what canopic jars were used for during the mummification process.  What is interesting, however, is that it's listed as being a jackals's head canopic jar.  There's no mention of it being designed for pet ashes.  So I'm thinking someone looked at it and said to themselves "gee, that would make a great urn."  What ever, I bought, and I'm not one to make a return simply because it's not something I'm going to use.  I shall just have to find some purpose for it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

First Vet visitc

Off today, but back to work tomorrow, and a busy day it has been.  To the store first thing this morning, and then off to Good Hope Animal Hospital - Sig's first visit.  First of all, I have to say I like the Vet, her name is Sara and she's very personable.  He got dewormed for a 2nd time, and a vaccination.  He goes back in 4 weeks for his first rabies shot - there are 2 of them.  Probably around the same time as he's getting his rabies booster, his little nuts will go.  That's right, he's being neutered.  The AKC doesn't like this, it reduces the breeding stock, but I've never planned on using him for stud service.  Oh, and at 11 weeks of age he weighs in at 22.1 pounds.  He's gonna be a big one.

In other news, our inventory was on Tuesday.  It's been a long 3 weeks of prep.  As a whole, the store didn't do too well.  My paint department, however, kicked ass!  My shrink was .0551 on inventory sales of 3.4 million, I was budgeted for .086.  My inventory sales would have been higher, but they moved the date up from last year.  So yesterday, while everybody was walking around wearing a 'woe-is-me grimace,' I was perky and bouncy, but not overly so, at least not on the outside.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Unreview

One of the things that went through my mind while I was making the arrangements for Gertie's cremation was the need to by an urn.  This was in spite of the fact that an urn was part of the cremation package.  What can I say?  Sometimes we don't think clearly.  Anyway, what I did was to go to Amazon and look at pet urns.  After some time I chose an Egyptian Coptic urn.  It looked nice in the pictures.  However, when I picked up Gertie's ashes they were already in a very nice cedar chest, much nicer then I was expecting.  So, that's where they'll probably end up staying.  This means I have an extra urn on my hands, which is still in the box.  I joked around with an associate saying I could always use it as a cookie jar.  There would be nothing wrong with that, would there?

Anyway, not more then a day after it was delivered I began receiving emails from the seller asking me to leave a review...  And these emails showed up daily.

Still in the box
Anyway, after 4 days of emails I went into Amazon and left a 3 star review which read:
"I haven't actually looked at it yet.  I'm still dealing with the fact that my 5 and a half year old Boxer died in my arms because of a blood clot.  I do think sellers need to understand that not all buyers can pop in a review the minute their product arrives."  Normally with Amazon you receive either one or two responses when you leave a review, either it's been published, or they can publish it because of problems with the review.  On this review I received nothing.  Nor have I received any more emails from Sharon at the Misty Moor.  I suspect this was not the response she was expecting.  At some time down the road I will most likely change my comments.  For the time being, however, all they're going to get is an "unreview."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The very good thing.

I'm off today, which is good, there is so much I need to get done.

On Tuesday I picked up Gertie's ashes from the crematorium.  I had purchased a nice Egyptian urn for them, however I will probably not use it.  The pet cemetery had provided an urn which is a really nice cedar chest, so I'll probably use that.

About 2 hours later I picked up the new puppy.

After spending some time thinking of a name, I ended up not going with a family name after all, well I did, sort of.  I sent a text to my brother asking for the original spelling of our last name.  On my father's side, my heritage is pure German, however, once they emigrated to the United States back in the 1800's they began Americanizing.  One of the first things that got changed was the last name.  So, for the AKC registry, the puppy now has our original spelling.  Say "hello" to Siegfried von Schneider.

You can see Lilly's head in the foreground.  I can tell you, they are always playing.  This was a very good thing.