Sunday, August 30, 2009

Things Which Bug Me

It's really not a long list and most of it boils down to one simple thing: double standards.

People tell me that they are who they are and they cannot change so they get to do whatever they want. It bugs me when these same people bash others for being who they are.

It bugs me when people expect me to let them know when I'm running late (which I am happy to do as soon as I know about it), but never get around to mentioning that they are running late. These people seem to just expect that I have nothing else going on in my life so my schedule can be tromped on at will.

It bugs me that when (usually famous) people die, there is a subset of the population that takes it upon themselves to broadcast all the bad, unfortunate and negative things they can find about the deceased.  Apparently once you are dead, none of the positive things you ever attempted or accomplished in your life matter any more.  Unless you're dead a couple hundred years and get written into a history book and even that's a crapshoot depending upon who writes the book.

It bugs me when people let generalizations and stereotypes make their decisions for them rather than looking at the individuals in front of them and evaluating the person for themselves, rather than as a clone of whatever group they were lumped into.  People complain about being treated like a number by big business. It's really not that different to pass judgements based upon stereotypes.  What makes this particularly irritating thing even more irritating is that the persons who set such great store in stereotypes and defend the use of them to all comers complain bitterly when they are applied to them although anybody else who complains is just wrong.

Now I'm going off to the angry corner.  I hope you had a better weekend than I!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Genius Moment for August

Well, it was probably in July when I did it. I apparently filed my power bill in the paid bills drawer last month without having actually paid it. DOH! Fortunately the power company is giving me three more days to pay the bill before they disconnect my power. *sigh* Here's hoping this won't result in the super secret clearance job coming through and then having them decide to not hire me because last month's power bill last month got paid late.

On the other hand, in the grand scheme of genius moments, this was a pretty minor one.

Now I'm going to laze about on the sofa and have a mindless, relaxing evening. My brain is tired.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Check That Off the List!

I was going to water the recently transplanted irises this evening after work since it appeared that the predicted rain was not going to actually arrive. Well, it's arrived in spades now. I'm hoping the deluge slackens off a bit and we get a nice steady, soaking rain for a couple hours.

Speaking of Deluges....
Somebody needs to turn off the firehose directed at my desk. I really dislike the new salmonella case report form. It's SEVEN freaking pages long and takes half an hour to interview the patient. That's not such a big deal unless you consistently get 4-5 of them a week and a stack of other stuff to interview/investigate/research in reportable disease land, not to mention H1N1 influenza, indoor mold and herding a medical resident. None of this stuff by itself is particularly onerous, just the accumulated volume is a bit too much to get done during normal working hours. This shouldn't be surprising. I am, afterall, now doing most of two people's jobs. It shouldn't be terribly surprising that I'm having to put in an extra 5 hours a week, on average, to keep pace with the influx. I'm fine with that too. It's been fun. I've learned a lot too, which is even more fun.

Tomorrow brings more interviews/investigations, plus a couple of outbreaks to write up. I'm going to ask the resident to help me track down discharge dates on a stack of MRSA inpatient reports. The boss said the resident could actually do patient interviews/case reports too so there may be some of that as well. I've got a sizeable stack of stuff to enter into the reporting system but the resident doesn't have access to the system for that stuff.

Speaking of Lists....
I need to get cracking on the de-cluttering tasks again. I haven't emptied a box a week in a long time now. Heck, I don't think I've done any of that stuff since before relatives visited in May. It's high time I got back at it, don't you think? It would be nice if the guest bedroom became usable again, just in case people decided to visit for an overnight stay.

My list of things to do around the house got a spruce up over the weekend. I had written a repair/update list a couple years ago, but got nearly everything crossed off of it. Now I have a fresh list. It's a nice mix of smaller and larger jobs. Oddly (or perhaps not oddly), the larger jobs aren't the hardest or least fun ones. I don't mind painting the fence or the baseboards. I'm not looking forward to replacing the tub faucet or drains.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Productivity Booster...

FlyLady suggests that you set a timer for 15 minutes and work at various tasks for that period of time, taking occasional breaks to do something fun for a period of time. The idea is that you can do anything for 15 minutes. The periodic break for something fun helps keep you from getting burned out and serves as a reward for doing the no-so-fun thing. I adapted this method to baking cookies today. The timer got set to 12 minutes for the cookies and then I worked at cleaning out the inboxes on my desk while cookies baked. The top inbox ("Act") needs to be weeded out, but the rest of them are either empty or as empty as they can be. I even threw out some of the stuff in the "To Read" box since it had been there for several months without being read. I do still have a stack of magazines from the past four months to read. (I am coming to the conclusion that I don't ever need to subscribe to magazines since I don't do a very good job of reading them with any regularity.)

Anyway, my house is once again clean, including the kitchen and bathrooms. This required just a bit of extra tidying up and a quick swipe of the toilet and bathtub. It's amazing how little time keeping a house can take if you put things away after you use them and if you take a little time each day to keep the high traffic areas in good shape. Folks at work talk about having to spend a whole day cleaning their houses. Granted some of these people have kids, but all of the kids are old enough to clean up their own rooms and to put things away after they are done using them. They're also old enough to have household duties, like vacuuming or emptying the dishwasher. I will never understand the belief that only the mom/wife can do the household chores in a house. I guess it gives her something to complain or be a victim about. That's just not for me. I'd rather think and say positive things about my family members and I certainly don't want to set myself up as a victim.

Weedy
I weeded nearly all the flower beds on Saturday. I still need to figure out thinning the plantings in front of the house. I don't want to dig up and throw out gladiolus bulbs, but they're clearly planted too densely and they aren't producing well. It doesn't help that I caught the neighbor's lab wading through them one day a few weeks ago, but they still need work. Frankly I'm not all that fond of glads, but the thrifty frugal person in me doesn't like throwing things away. I'll give that some thought this week. I do think I will move nearly all of the calla lilies to the backyard. They aren't terribly visible planted among the irises. The irises might need a bit of dividing too. I know I'll have to dig out some of the daisies that self-seeded.

The yard is in good shape too. It doesn't take that much extra effort to whack the weeds and rake up grass clippings, but it does make a tremendous difference in appearances. While mowing this weekend, I have started to identify more low areas that need to be filled in. I wonder what half a load of topsoil would cost me. The ditch between my house and the neighbor's house needs to be re-graded. There's no reason for it to be steep like a canyon. Several other drainage routes are also in need of adjustment. They're far too steep to mow across. Beyond that, there are a couple dozen low or uneven spots that I bounce over with the mower. The bouncing around is really starting to bug me, particularly since it results in a very uneven mowing job.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I Must Have Recovered

I got up at 7am, started laundry, had breakfast, set the crockpot up with a batch of Moroccan Lentil Stew and headed out for a full day of yard work. The primary task of the day was to divide the irises by the garage door and to move the surplus out to the former poison ivy corner. The rest of the list of things to get done includes burning the burn pile, weed whacking the edges of the lawn, weeding the front flower bed, transplanting calla lilies, dividing the irises in the front flower beds and along the side of the house and moving volunteer tree seedlings to better locations. All I managed to get done was moving irises (and some volunteer coreopsis) and burning the burn pile.

I had made a point of pacing myself this time. About every two hours I stopped for 30-60 minutes and sat inside with a cold bottle of water and something to eat. This seemed to work pretty well. I got the digging up of the irises done first thing in the morning. I had to weed quite a bit of the poison ivy corner before I could do the planting, but it needed to be done anyway. I did step on a toad I think. I put my foot down in some tall grass and there was a loud squeak. I hope I didn't hurt him very badly. I felt pretty awful about squishing him and the squeak sounded very pained and scared. I cut back the overgrown grass in that area a little while later and didn't find any flattened toads, so perhaps he was ok after all. (Actually, now that I think about it a bit more, perhaps I stepped on a mouse. I'm not sure that toads can actually squeak like a squeak toy. Either way, I hope the critter didn't suffer any serious damage beyond a terrible fright.)

Now I'm watching The Man Who Came to Dinner (with Montey Woolley, Bette Davis and Ann Sheridan) and eating a bowl of stew while I knit my sis' striped socks. It's a madcap comedy with plenty of insanity that is quite reminiscent of the Marx Brothers. (There's already been a live octopus delivered and soon a small flock of penguins will arrive.) That shouldn't be much of a surprise given that George S. Kaufman co-wrote both this movie and many of the Marx Brothers films. And as an added bit of trivia, the secretary (the furniture one, not Bette Davis) looks quite a bit like the secretary I have in my living room.

Tomorrow I think I'll start with some weeding and then I might tackle moving callas and irises. I think the callas will go in the lower, wetter and shadier end of the poison ivy corner. Hopefully I don't step on and traumatize any more toads.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Still No Fever

I'm thinking I have the normal garden variety cold. Since this morning, my cough has worsened and become more frequent, culminating in a protracted coughing fit after I got home. I get about 10 minutes between coughing attacks and my chest and ab muscles are now starting to hurt. I sincerely hope my cough goes to sleep when I do. I need to get some sleep tonight. I've got a site visit to do tomorrow at work. I'd rather not dump that on my co-workers since there will only be one person besides me who isn't either seeing patients or already out in the counties. If I'm out sick, the other person will have to do the site visit (which she'll gladly do) and I would feel a mite bit guilty about that (yes, even if I did cough up a lobe of my lung).

Good-Bye BravoTV
I have officially removed BravoTV from my television's memory. Once upon a time, this channel had decent programming, including, but not limited to "In the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton. Alas, those days are long gone. BravoTV is nothing but "reality" shows 24/7. I don't care to watch hours and hours of shallow irritating people wailing about how awful it is that they didn't get the handbag they wanted or that someone's party wasn't cool enough. I don't understand why the network executives feel the need to glorify so many examples of incredibly shallow overconsumption with few redeeming values, but they do. But I don't have to watch it. So I deleted it. Now I won't accidentally surf past it and be irritated by it. I feel better already.