Saturday, February 7, 2009 stimulating!

Wow, what an amazing day! It got up to at least 55 degrees here, and an incredible amount of snow has melted. I can see patches of lawn! Ken washed his Mustang! I went out without a jacket! I have one more day of taking care of Shane's kitties, and there's a car wash on the way. I'm going to get Slick washed tomorrow. We know they'll get dirty again soon enough, but it's important to wash all the salt from the roads off of cars as soon as possible. It's rough on cars.

I just got the ribs in the oven, so they can cook for a few hours (we eat late). As I was cutting the slab in half, Ken asked, "What are you having?" Hardy-har. These look pretty meaty, so I think there will be plenty!

Uh oh...looks like A-Rod is A-Roid. Tsk tsk.

Well, it looks like they're getting closer to agreeing on a stimulus package. I know some of you won't agree with me, and that's okay by me, but I believe this is necessary to "prime the pump" and get things flowing again. The downturn is a vicious cycle, a snake that eats its tail: people caught in the crunch spend less on goods and services; businesses losing money cut back on workers and/or hours; people cut back more on goods and services because they have less take-home pay; businesses cut back further. And on and on and on. I'm no economist, but it seems to me that unless we jumpstart things, it's going to cycle down and down until the problem becomes even worse.

Actually, I think it will get considerably worse in the coming months, and I hope no one thinks this stimulus package is going to magically erase our woes overnight. It took years to get into this mess, and it's going to take years to get out. But I believe that if we invest money now in repairs and improvements, it will create desperately needed jobs. I mentioned yesterday that our neighboring county now has a 15% unemployment rate. That is frightening. And I think we need to keep in mind that there are real people behind all these numbers. It's easy to toss around numbers like 15%, or 50,000 more jobs lost...those aren't just jobs, those are people (one of that 15% is my brother-in-law). People who might lose their homes, or be unable to pay for needed medicines and health care, or who can't pay their heating bills.

Would the market eventually correct itself? I would think so. That seems logical. But can we really afford to wait a couple of decades for it to reach an equilibrium? Not when there are people suffering, and I believe some are suffering.

Having said all that, I will say that we, as consumers, definitely need to rethink our crazy behavior. Plenty of people have been living large for quite a while now, and it's time to stop the insanity. I took an Economics class in high school, and a Personal Finance class in college. Is that even taught in high school anymore? And my college class was an elective. Let's make these things mandatory, and maybe our future generations won't make the same bonehead mistakes we've made. I'm not pointing fingers at any particular party, either (although you probably can guess who I would point at the most for deregulation...and with the biggest finger). The blame crosses party lines, and the solution has to as well.

I had no problem with the Republicans wanting to cut some of the stuff out of the bill. Focus on job creation, because that is definitely the most crucial thing here. But keep in mind that what might look like it would squeal if you poked it could very well be something that does create jobs. (For example, Dan said that a friend ridiculed the grass seeding of the Mall in D.C. Dan pointed out that it would mean hiring a local company to put down the seed. Job creation.) Everyone, especially those companies getting money, also needs to keep in mind that this is not a handout, it's a loan that will need to be repaid. That's why I had no problem with the President setting a limit of $500,000 on some executives' salaries, those from the companies who are getting a piece of the pie, until the loan is repaid. That's not enough for managing a company that deals with billions of dollars? They need to pay the big salaries to attract the best people? As Craig Ferguson said, "Cry me a fucking river." Tighten your belt the way so many others are having to do because of your mismanagement. If you budget wisely, I think you can live on half a million a year!

I was telling Ken today that it really is kind of amazing to be living during this time. It's historical, but in such a bad way. My great hope is that we, both personally and collectively, will eventually emerge from this having learned an invaluable lesson. We have to be smart with our own spending and with our finances, and we have to keep an eye on--while doing our best to keep our hands off of--the practices of the financial world. I believe we can get out of this...but as Bette said, fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I'm sure everyone is geared up and ready to enjoy the weekend! It's supposed to be quite balmy here, getting up into the 40's. Yay! If you're working this weekend, I feel your pain. I worked every other weekend for the past ten years, so I know it's not fun.

A couple more thank yous are in order. Katie at Turning the Page included me in an award that is supposed to be for blogs that display great attitude and gratitude. I don't think this award has a name, but I would guess that the little lemonade stand signifies making the best of things, i.e., making lemonade out of lemons. Thank you, Katie! And Rose of Roses are Read has passed on two friendship awards to me. Wow, when it rains it pours! A big thanks to you, too, Rose. As with the award from a couple of days ago, if I read you, there's a reason, so feel free to snag these awards for yourself!

Hey, the President is going to be in Elkhart on Monday! (Elkhart is about 20 miles east of here, and where my sisters live.) Elkhart County has been hit very hard by the recession, because they are big in RV manufacturing. I believe their unemployment rate of about 15% is the worst in the nation, so it's one of the places the President has chosen to visit in order to highlight the need for a stimulus package. I believe he'll also be visiting Florida. I suppose at some point I'll write more about the whole stimulus thing, but not today.

This morning I headed over to take care of Shane's cats while he's in New York. Boris and Peanut are so cute, and really good girls. They're doing fine, but I'm sure they miss their Dad! I decided to stop at Kohl's before I went to the grocery store. I was looking through my closets and trying to decided what to wear to the concert next weekend. I seem to have gotten into the mode where I have fairly dressy things like sweaters or blouses, or really casual things like T-shirts and tank tops. I'm not wearing a dressy sweater to a Godfathers concert, and I wouldn't mind wearing a T-shirt or tank top, but it's Chicago and it' know...February. Kinda chilly! So I found a couple of things, and you guys can tell me what you think. I also found a pair of $50 black suede Keds for $10, so that was cool!

First up is a black rayon shirt, loose, casual. It looks kind of glittery in this picture, but it's not. Sheeba is playing game show model and assisting me in the display of the shirt. Thank you, Sheeba!

Next is a shirt and vest combo. A white shirt with black lace on the...what do you call that, where the buttons are? Placket? The vest has zippered pockets which would come in handy for keeping my driver's license safe. Sheeba is also helping show off this one. What a great kitty!

I will wear either one with jeans, and not tuck it in. What do you think?

Amok Time

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A surveillance picture released by police Wednesday afternoon shows a man armed with what appears to be a small Klingon sword, holding up a 7-Eleven convenience store.

Okay...this cracked me up.

You all know how much I love "Star Trek." But even I don't have a Klingon sword laying around! (Although I do have a cute little tribble.) I suppose the guy was just sitting around, thinking...

How am I going to get my next score? That little prick Eddie owes me money, but I know he ain't got it, either. Hell, I guess I'll have to rob some joint. That 7-11 down the street will work. No gun, though...maybe I can carve one...or just hold my fingers in my pocket and pretend...HEY! I forgot about my Klingon sword! That thing is AWESOME, and really mean-lookin', y'know? Yeah, that's what I'll use!

Wow. Now what I'd really like to see is someone rob a place using a phaser. "This baby ain't set on STUN, y'know! Now hand over the cash!"

Thanks for the tip, Joann! It started my day off with a smile!

Also a big thanks to Milwaukee Dan #2, the chief cook and bottle washer at The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind. He asked me to make a guest entry, and considering that I think he's one of the finest writers I've come across here, I was very flattered. Thank you, Dan...thank you verra much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A call to arms!

My pal Lucy mentioned Sarah Palin in a comment on my entry yesterday, and just like Beetlejuice, she has conjured up the woman. AAGGGHHH! O the humanity!

Way back during the election (doesn't that seem like a lifetime ago?) I sent an email out to some of my compadres about the Defenders of Wildlife video that showed how the Governor has allowed aerial killing of wolves in Alaska. The video was so horrid it made me cry and shake with anger. There wasn't a whole lot about it on the news, but that has now changed. The Defenders of Wildlife has enlisted Ashley Judd to be the face of a national campaign to put a stop to this brutal practice, and there is a website dedicated to this campaign called Eye on Palin.

The governor's office issued a statement a statement from the Governor in response saying that Defenders of Wildlife is an "extreme fringe group" and that they are "twisting the truth." She said that the practice is scientifically based, and important to sustain the game population for Alaska's hunters. Palin continued in her statement, "It is reprehensible and hypocritical that the Defenders of Wildlife would use Alaska and my administration as a fundraising tool to deceive Americans into parting with their hard-earned money."

Y'all might want to step back.

First: To call the Defenders of Wildlife an "extreme fringe group" is ludicrous and insulting. They have been a leading group in conservation and protection of our wildlife and their habitats since 1947, and they are a nonprofit group that has been a staunch defender of the Endangered Species Act. Ken and I are proud supporters. I hardly think anyone would consider us "extreme" or some sort of "fringe" element. Her vilification of an established conservation group tells me a lot about her.

Second: Everything I read about aerial hunting from Alaska and national conservationists said that it was unnecessary and brutal, and not based on sound science. There are copious quantities of moose and elk for the hunting and consumption by native peoples. Most of us here in the lower 48 states understand (or should understand) that the absence of natural predators has resulted in an overrun of the deer population, so much so that they can devastate an ecosystem. State parks usually open to hunters for deer hunting at some point during the season because the population has to be controlled. The logic that aerial hunting somehow preserves and protects the game population is some of the faultiest, most illogical, stupidest conservation science I've ever heard. But then that shouldn't surprise me.

Third: The Defenders of Wildlife isn't twisting anyone's arm for contributions. You won't answer a knock on the door to see a Forest Ranger telling you to pony up or you might meet with a "little accident." Contributions are voluntary, and I don't blame them for highlighting such a reprehensible practice as aerial hunting. They aren't "deceiving" anyone. They are telling the truth about Palin's policies as Governor, and there is nothing hypocritical about that. Her statement that Defenders are deceiving Americans "into parting with their hard-earned money" is laughable. Charitable contributions are down across the board, and we're smart enough to choose wisely as to what we contribute to, if we can contribute.

Finally: Eye on Palin has a spot where you can click to "take action now." You can send a letter to the Governor's office AND you can do it without making a contribution. Imagine that! (They will ask for a contribution, but you don't need to make one to send a letter.) Their goal is a mere 100,000 letters, and I think it will be no problem whatsoever to reach that goal. If this horrible practice bothers you as much as it does me, I hope you'll take a moment to swing by and make your voice heard. Alaska is not a foreign country, and this practice is an embarrassment to America.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A few short items (one of them ME!)

First on the list is our friend Marty of Heard at Starbucks. His father has had a heart attack, and Marty has flown to the East coast to be with him and their family. Marty is a great guy, so I'm guessing that his Dad is all that and a bag of chips. Please say a prayer for him, and if you like, stop by and give Marty some positive thoughts.

A big thank you to Hollie of Life in a Small Town, who has given me a "Friends" award. The award states "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight more and include the cleverly written text into the body of your awards." I don't think my blog has ever been called "exceedingly charming" before, but I kinda like it! Thank you very much, Hollie. I'm going to break with tradition and not award this to any blog in particular. If I read you, you know I'm doing so for a reason, so grab this award for yourself.

I've written before about our lake effect snow in our area. It can sometimes be an extremely narrow band of snow, and we saw a prime example of that last night. Although we got a little snow at Nutwood, it wasn't anything major, and I was able to get out and about today. But not too far to the west of us, they were getting dumped on, and the Doppler picture was one of the most dramatic examples of lake effect I've seen. If the winds have shifted just a bit to the east, we would have been the "dumpees!"

When I was out today, I stocked up on bird food. Yikes! Ken just might have a cow (if not a cowbird)! Well, I haven't bought any for a while, and I'm getting ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count next weekend. I'll write more about it next week. I bought a bag of thistle seed to put in the feeder that Ken got me for Christmas (what's the point of having a feeder if you don't fill it, right?), and MAN, that stuff is expensive. I did get a deal on suet cakes, though--if you can find a 10-pack, it's worth it, because they were about 75 cents as opposed to $1.25 or thereabouts.

Did anyone see Rod Blagojevich on Letterman last night? Ken even stayed up for it. As Dave put it, and asked Blago, "Really...why ARE you here?" Blagojevich was smarmy, seemed a little arrogant (he said that a joke Dave had just made wasn't all that funny), and ultimately, clueless. He really seems to think that he's going to get people on his side by doing all these shows, and did not seem to pick up on the bad vibes coming from Dave and from the audience. Hell, I could feel it sitting here at home! I think that for much of the interview, I was sitting here with my mouth hanging open. I've said it before...the guy has got some brass balls. He's in for a rude awakening when he goes up on federal charges.

I was pretty disappointed to hear that Tom Daschle took himself out of the HHS cabinet position, but I was more disappointed that he was stupid enough to not pay taxes. What is up with these people? I was happy to see that Pres. Obama said in an interview "I screwed up" and took responsibility for it, although he wasn't the one who wasn't paying his taxes. I hope this sends a message to all politicians out there, that such behavior will not be tolerated. As the President said, there are not separate standards for politicians and for working people. Daschle had a chance for a Cabinet position, but he screwed it up, and he can just think on that for a while.

I'm certainly not condoning such behavior, and I really hope Pres. Obama can clean things up. If any of you are thinking that all these damn libby Dems are corrupt and don't pay their taxes, your logic is faulty. Obviously, Pres. Obama is nominating more Democrats, so there is going to be a greater chance that a Democrat will be tagged, simply due to numbers. Bad behavior is not a partisan domain. Spiro Agnew had to resign as Vice-President because of tax evasion, and let's not forget those stellar examples of Republican rectitude, Ted Stevens and Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I got your management right here

Ed Truck, yuck, Ed Truck was the manager before me. Horrible. He hated fun. It was like, oh Ed Truck is walking toward us, stop having fun. Start pretending to do work. What a jerk. He's... you know what... I swore to myself that if I ever got to walk around the room as manager people would laugh when they saw me coming, and would applaud as I walked away.

If I can get them depressed, then I'll have done my job.

~~Michael Scott

My friend Dan (AKA Milwaukee Dan #1, AKA KatManDude) is a journalist, and he recently posted some articles on Facebook about a memo that was sent out recently at his paper. Apparently, reporters are to write a memo at the end of the day about how they spent their time during the workday. (You can read about it here.) These memos will be read by several editors, and will supposedly assist in communication, tracking productivity, and making meetings more efficient. This memo has apparently gone viral, and is now making national news in the publishing world. I told Dan that I suspect that's not the kind of national publicity the paper wants to get!

I told him that it's amazing to me that such divergent professions as ours--journalism and microbiology--can still utilize some of the same lame, demoralizing management tactics! This sort of productivity tracking came up a few times in my career in the lab, and it was usually because of the same old story--there are one or two people who have problems with time management and productivity, so instead of addressing the individual, they punish the entire group by making them all do things like keeping track of what they do during their day. In the case of Dan's paper, I got the impression from reading some of the comments that something more may be afoot, and these memos may be used for the next round of layoffs that everyone believes will come. How's that for inspiring the troops and motivating people?

What really kind of tickled me about this whole thing (I can usually find the humor in just about anything) was the example that the editor who wrote the memo gave of what a typical daily memo might look like. I'm including the whole thing, because it's just plain funny!

Checked e-mail; Checked logs at Mishawaka, county and South Bend; Responded to accident at Ironwood and bypass; Called Mishawaka Detective Bureau about child neglect case (records would not provide narrative since it is under investigation by CPS); Called Mishawaka woman struck Monday by hit-and-run driver while she was getting into her car; Wrote story on woman struck by hit-and-run driver; Placed call to Trent about two rape cases that were on log (he was not in this morning); left message. Called Humane Society of St. Joseph County to see if any animals were taken out of home in Mishawaka where elderly lady was livign in filth surrounded by several full litter boxes; was told someone would be in contact. Updated productivity report; Spoke briefly with Trent about rape cases on log - appears to be teenage girl covering up for sexual escapades; Spoke with John Pavlekovich about concerns regard retirement story - presumably ironed everything out; Pow-wowed with Dave about year-end crime stories - I get homicides! -- start working on lead smelter reporting, call health dept. again, talk to lead director, no idea what I'm talking about; -- call IDEM local office, am transferred to regional office, leave message for public relations people; -- am asked to work on Goshen beating story; -- call Goshen PIO, discuss YouTube video beating; -- try to find number for YouTube mom, search phone books, internet; -- do web update; -- call Goshen schools superindendent, leave message; -- go to video bootcamp lunch; -- research YouTube beating posted by teens, leave message for national anti-Internet abuse lady; -- reach other woman affilated with anti-Internet abuse, talk to about story; -- call super Intendant again, leave second message; -- go to 2 p.m. interview with judge Scopelitis, wait forever in rotunda because he's in hearing, finally leave and reschedule; -- call back superindendant, finally reach for story; -- find address for YouTube mom; -- write YouTube video story, file story; -- give graph to john stump for lead smelter story; -- Drive out to Goshen to try and find YouTube mom, get lost, turn around, find trailer park, can't find address, finally find address, family no longer lives there, drive back. Planning to come in around 9 tomorrow.

My favorite parts are "pow-wowing with Dave" and "drive to Goshen, get lost, turn around...."

You've GOT to be kidding me. Unfortunately for Dan and his colleagues, it's not a joke. But you can leave it to me to make it one! So here's what my memo of a day at the lab might look like. If I were asked to do that kind of memo, I would make it very detailed. And don't despair, Dan. I bet this will eventually fade away, like most bad ideas do.

How I Spent My Day

Clocked in a little early, put on my lab coat, and started work. When everyone else arrived, spent some time, about 15 minutes or so, discussing the new daily memo policy. I told everyone that if this is what management needs in order to do their jobs, we should give them what they're asking for.

Took racks out of the incubator, assessed my workload for the day. Three full racks of Hospital cultures will mean a busy day. Begin to scan cultures, take a phone call from Dr. H. wondering about evening shift culture. Go pull out the PM racks, look through them to find the culture he's asking about, give him the results. Put PM racks back in incubator. Resume scanning my cultures, take phone call from K. in Client Services wondering if we received a culture. Check on the computer, no record of the culture or of the patient. Tell K., she says she doesn't believe me, I tell her I'll get back to her. Look in problem book; no record of culture. Look through 3 boxes of yesterday's specimens, no specimen found. Call K. back, she asks to speak to my supervisor. I tell her they aren't in yet but I'll leave them a message. Write note, place on manager's door. Resume scanning cultures.

Take a phone call from Dr. P. asking about a urine culture. E. is doing urine cultures that day, so we look through all five racks of urine cultures before finding the one Dr. P. wants. I relay the results, enter a preliminary report on the culture. Stain and read a stat Gram stain. Resume scanning cultures.

Take a phone call from a patient (still not sure how they get the direct number to Micro--does Client Services forward them to us?) and explain that I cannot give out their results over the phone. They spend 10 minutes explaining their symptoms to me and I tell them that I cannot give out their results and they will have to contact their doctor.

Take coat off, wash hands, go pee. Resume scanning cultures. Decide to skip morning break due to workload.

Take another phone call from Dr. H. about whether or not a Staph is an MRSA. Go find plates in incubator, relay results. Stain and read a stat Gram stain.

Finish scanning cultures, do all rapid tests, get plates over to Vitek setup for susceptibility testing. Check negative broth rack; pull negative culture racks out of incubator, enter final reports. Enter preliminary negative results.

Take a phone call from a sales rep asking for manager. Walk phone back to manager's office to see if they're in yet. Leave phone with manager, return to bench. Enter previous evening's susceptibility results, walk back to manager's office to retrieve phone. Send requests to phone 12 MRSA's, fill out cards for all, file.

Take coat off, wash hands, attend half-hour mandatory fire extinguisher training.

Return to bench, enter new positive results. Stain and read two stat Gram stains. Take phone call about delayed Parasitology results. Walk back to Parasitology to see if anyone is in there, no one scheduled till evening shift. Leave note asking them to read that one ASAP.

1:45 PM, everyone else is back from lunch, take off my coat, wash my hands, go to lunch. Drop my spoon on the floor, have to go get another one. Eat my yogurt, granola bar, and 4 Hershey's Kisses. Visit the bathroom, brush my teeth, pee. (Took an extra couple of minutes to change my tampon, because it's that time of the month.) Return to bench. Take a phone call about a flu test result, walk to back, staining is in progress, relay to caller that results will be available by 5 PM.

Pull 4 racks of cleanup out of incubator. Begin entering final results if possible. Stain and read stat Gram stain. Take off coat, wash hands, go pee. Return to bench.

Stop to attend staff meeting. Upper management there, says we're doing a great job, but we need to work smarter, asks for ideas. Someone makes a suggestion, discussion ensues, no decision made, deferred till next meeting.

Return to bench, continue final reports. Finish bench, spend half hour writing productivity memo. Clean and disinfect bench.

Only one and a half hours of overtime.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Post-game show!

Does anyone have Super Bowl flu today? I hope everyone enjoyed the game! Wow, that was a good one, huh? I love seeing a good game like that, rather than a blowout. Although as Ken said, blowouts are good if it's your team doing the blowing out! I really enjoyed it, and congratulations to the Steelers. And congratulations to the Cardinals for doing what a lot of people didn't think they could do: making a great game of it and really making it a Super Bowl game to remember. I thought Bruce's half-time show was fantastic--wouldn't it be cool to have that much fun at your job?

All the food turned out great, but oh my God, I had so much of it! We didn't even put out some of the cheese or summer sausage, and ended up putting some of the crackers back in the cupboard and the bar cheese back in the fridge. Ken has a few lunches for this week, that's for sure! Myra's stuffed bolillo rolls were excellent, full of gooey cheese goodness. Thanks for the recipe, Myra! I made four, and we only ate two. The thing I was probably most pleased with was the guacamole I made. It sounds silly, but I've never made it before--that Wholly Guacamole stuff is very good, so I've never bothered making my own. I thought I'd give it a try, and I just loved it! The avocados tasted so fresh and green. I don't like things really spicy, so it wasn't hot enough for Ken, but he put some Tabasco on it to spice it up. I would definitely make it again, and now that I'm thinking about it, I might have to have a little bit this afternoon!

I don't know if you caught "The Office" episode afterwards, but it was one of their funniest ones (in my opinion). Dwight Shrute is certifiable. For some reason, the part that cracked me up the most was when they were doing the CPR training and started singing and dancing to "Stayin' Alive." I had recently heard that the new recommendations for CPR are to skip the mouth-to-mouth and do compressions to the beat of that song, so I thought it was hilarious to see what they did with that. Love that show!

Then, of course, there were the commercials. Although not everyone cares about football, almost everyone enjoys the commercials. I thought they were pretty disappointing this year. Not a cat herder in the bunch. There were some that stood out for me, though, and I'm putting up a few of the more offbeat and/or notable ones here. Before that, honorable mentions go to:

The Clydesdales, who are always decent, and a Super Bowl tradition. The Coke picnic commercial was really well-done, with great graphics. I really liked the Cheetos one, where Chester Cheetah urges a woman to throw Cheetos under a snobby woman's chair at an outdoor cafe, and pigeons descend on the annoying woman. (Chester Cheetah is always cool.) I liked the one for Denny's, where some mobster-type guys are having a serious talk about "taking care" of a situation, and the waitress drowns out their conversation by spraying a whipped cream beard on the head mobster's pancakes. Just a funny juxtaposition. Now here are the ones that probably made us laugh the most, with a little commentary.

One of my favorites from last year was Tide's Talking Stain. We still laugh about it, and Ken can do the stain voice! The rude flowers made us both go, "Awww, that's mean!" but it was funny, and reminded me of the Talking Stain.

I'm not quite sure why the Bridgestone tire commercial made us laugh so much...I just liked the music, the way they're having fun in their cruiser, dancing while they're picking up moon rocks, only to come back to the cruiser and find....

Not much commentary necessary for this one. We laughed out loud!

Great Coke Zero ad harking back to the classic Mean Joe Greene Coke commercial, this time with Troy Polamalu. I love the way he chases down the guy and flattens him...and just as in the original commercial, the kid gets his shirt.

I missed this one during the game, because I was in the kitchen, but when I watched it online, I loved it! Alec Baldwin is perfect as the "man" touting the greatness of Hulu, and as an extra-added bonus, you get to see a snippet of one of the funniest episodes of "30 Rock," in which Jack roleplays as Tracy's father.

What was your favorite? Was it one I mentioned here, or was it another one? I sure hope the economy picks up in time for next year's Super Bowl, because although there were some enjoyable ones, I think the overall quality of the ads was lower than previous years. The marketing departments need to get on the ball!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit!

Happy February, everyone! It's a new month, and the evil spirits have been banished from Nutwood for the month. I hope they leave you alone, too!

It's in the mid-40's today, and although I know we'll have more cold weather before all is said and done, I'm feeling decidedly springy. Springish? Anyhoo, I feel like we're on the downside of this winter, and now we just have to be patient. Even though it seems like it's been a rough winter, it also seems to have gone by quickly, so I hope we'll speed through February, too. Not that I'm anxious for my life to speed by, but I'm definitely anxious for spring to arrive!

I'm ready for things to get green. I'm ready to see how many of the bulbs I planted last fall come up. I'm ready to have a cookout and have Milwaukee Dan #1 and his wife over. I'm ready to wear the skorts I bought at the end of last season and I'm ready to go barefoot! Spring fever has hit me early this year, and I need to chill. We've got a ways to go yet!

In the meantime, we've got one more football game to go this season. I always dread this time of year, because I really do miss football. There were no games on last week, and I felt sort of...bereft. Just shuffling through the house, clutching my Nerf football to my chest, wearing my Peyton Manning jersey and crying quietly to myself. Okay, I'm not that bad...I don't really have a Nerf football. But I know that when things start gearing up in August and they start talking about ND practices and the Colts training camp, I'll be as happy as a little girl. It's kind of a tossup for me which I like or basketball. I love both, and they both have a different feel to them. I guess the one I like the best is whichever season it is at the time!

I'm starting to get things together for our Super Bowl snack food fest. I decided to make bean dip instead of cheese dip, and I've got my little mini-crockpot out and ready to go. We'll have the usual cheese and crackers, that kind of stuff, including my baked brie with caramel and almonds on top. (It's yummy!) The shrimp is thawed (the tray is in the shape of a football--how cute is that?) and the champagne is chilled.

Someone asked if all that food is for just me and Ken. Yeah--kind of crazy, isn't it? It's just fun to do, and eat all this munchie food. I'm getting hungry, too. We're a little disappointed we didn't get invited to the White House for the President's Super Bowl party, but we'll make do here. Would that be a fun party, or what?

No offense to my Pennsylvania friends, but I'll be cheering for the Cardinals. Since I don't follow either team, I'm going for the underdog. Everyone have fun!