Archive for May, 2008

Today’s Word: Perspicacious

May 19, 2008

Now, I’m not some brainiac who knows everything… but I do like words.

Words will catch my eye in a blog or magazine article or whatever. I’ll tuck it away for later use…you know, to impress the boss (because I have to) or scare little children (because I like to).

Sometimes that “tuck it away” gets a little too tucked.

I found myself, one day, with the word ‘perspicacious’ rattling around my head. And it kept coming back to me over and over, throughout the day. I kept thinking, “I should know this. Why don’t I know this?” Finding no chance to hit the dictionary, I was left with continued interruptions on my thinking – – perspicacious… perspicacious… perspicacious…

I finally did get to a dictionary at the end of the day and found:

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per – spi – ca – cious [pur-spi-key-shuhs], adjective

  1. acutely insightful and wise
  2. mentally acute or penetratingly discerning

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Yep, that was sure me all day long, perspicacious… NOT! [shaking my head].

How ironic…

The Morning After

May 18, 2008

How do you get rid of a One Night Stand?  And before anyone asks – – no, this is not me.

I’m sure I should give appropriate credit for the source of this beaut. However, I got it third or fourth hand via an e-mail.  Being totally amused and wanting to share with you, I had to track it down on YouTube to post here. So, to whoever put this together in the first place, my apologies for not crediting you and hearty congratulations on some great marketing.

Notice this lovely device, obviously of some medicinal/health usage…is, per the web site listed at the end of the video, from Australia. Is our delectable NurseMyra at the Gimcrack Hospital to thank?

And again, this is not a video of my morning after… However, I am personally disturbed by the realization that if he/she looked like that, I’m not sure I’d mind. Whoa.

Nursing Home Camp

May 15, 2008

Yeah, yeah…blogs are supposed to be stuff you write. But this was too good not to share—

A friend of mine on the management staff of a Nursing Home sent me this missive on great fun at her Home.

I am many years away from needing a nursing home, but after reading this, I am so ready to go now!

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Hi GnuKid,

We are celebrating Nursing Home Week in our usual over-the-top manner at Friends. This year we’ve taken our residents to Camp Run-A-Muk. Everyone is on a team – Red Rattlers, Dancing Deer, Lil Stinkers, Horny Toads, and Groovy Grizzlies (my team) – and we have bandanas with our team colors. Every other team has a single color, but the Groovy Grizzlies have tie-dyed bandanas (that’s why we’re groovy)! On Monday we had a cookout with sing-along and storytelling around the campfire. Well, not exactly! Due to the rain we moved inside, so there wasn’t really a fire. The fire pit we had dug outside was full of water – more like a little pool!

Yesterday morning the teams participated in a scavenger hunt. Staff paired up with wheelchair-bound residents, and we were racing all over campus in search of our prizes. The residents laughed and laughed, and the staff got some badly needed exercise! In the afternoon we had karaoke and a visit from Elvis. Last night the casino and bingo hall opened so the residents could win Friends Bucks to spend in the gift shop.

Today we had all kinds of camp crafts, as well as a visit by 6 exotic birds and parrots. Tonight we are having an Eastern European dance troupe, followed by a drive-in (wheelchairs, not cars) movie, “Ernest Goes to Camp.” Tomorrow is field day, and the contests include watermelon seed spitting, horseshoes, corn toss, and pin the tie on the administrator. In the evening we are having a luau, complete with REAL pig, and then a talent show featuring Tapcats [Ed. Note: an amateur tap-dancing troupe], residents, and staff. On Friday we have our special brunch in which residents are served made-to-order Belgian waffles, omelettes, and tons of other great breakfast foods – always a highlight of the week!

I’ve been very busy embellishing tote bags for the gift shop. Last week we all picked up lots of tote bags at the OHCA convention, and I covered the company logos (mobile x-ray, pharmacy, etc) with decorative fabrics. The residents love tote bags, and that is an inexpensive way to provide them! Most of my cat bags have already “sold.” I also helped with the decorating and am taking photos (300+ so far) and printing them daily – the residents really get a kick out of seeing them posted so soon. Tonight I’m a car hop for the movie, so I’d better get dressed soon. I’m wearing roller blades – the residents got such a kick out of them the last time I wore them.

Trick Questions

May 14, 2008

As an adventure, I am pursuing my commercial pilot’s license.  Fear not, you won’t be hearing my maniacal laughter from the front of your airline jet.  This is more for me as a deputy-adjacent-assistant-auxiliary-part time career excursion.

 

Aside from the flying and the book knowledge, at this level there are also application questions… given a situation, can I resolve a problem knowing the rules, but thinking beyond them as well.

 

I did great on some and so-so on others.  Here are a couple of the latter.  Just for fun, I’m intrigued to hear how you would reply.  There are no ‘right’ answers, per se.  The instructor’s answers (and mine) are at the end – – –

 

1)              You are the first officer (co-pilot) on a flight crew.  You have a flight with a layover in a distant city and are in your hotel room.  There is a knock at the door of your hotel room.  You open the door… and there stands your Captain in a dress and high heels, asking you out to dinner.  What should you do?

 

2)             [For this one, you need to know the rule—8 hours from bottle to throttle… no alcohol within 8 hours of flying]  You have a long flight with another layover.  You were delayed due to weather and have to do the return flight in just 7 hours.  You call room service from your hotel room only to find they are closed, but they offer that the bar is still serving appetizers.  Scooting down to the bar, you walk in to see your Captain sitting at the bar with a drink in hand.  What should you do?

 

 

Question 1)  My answer:  I’d make sure his shoes matched his dress, compliment him, and politely decline.

 

Instructor’s answer:  Compliment her and grab your coat to go to dinner with her.

 

The Point?:  Think out of the box.  But, don’t be presumptuous.  This also checks to see, can you (candidate pilot) recognize and accept that women can and are in the Captain’s seat nowadays?  Maybe this one is easier for women…or younger men…  But a lady friend I quizzed on this made the same presumption as I.

 

Question 2)  My answer:  Taking to heart not being presumptuous [Ed. Note:  See!?!  I can learn!], I’d say to her, “Having a Pepsi, huh?  I think I’ll have a Ginger Ale.”  Then let her admit otherwise.

 

Instructor’s answer:  Sit down next to the Captain and tell the bartender, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

 

The Point?  I like the instructor’s answer.  Less confrontational than my answer, yet still allows me to find out quickly if there’s alcohol (in which case we both get blasted for the evening, cancel the flight, and likely get canned).

Spell Checker

May 13, 2008

In our society of computer based living, we have come to rely on the honestly impressive breadth and scope of tools and capabilities of those computers. One such tool is the Spell Checker.

Included in most every application involving input of words—from e-mail to word processing—it serves as a virtual 3rd grade teacher, perched over your shoulder as you laboriously scrape your #2 pencil across cheap paper with wood chunks still embedded in the fiber, urging you to correctly spell the words.

It keeps us honest.

It keeps us from making a fool of ourselves.

It is illusion.

Many of you already know this, having experienced…and often suffered from…that illusion. For those who have, take comfort in the misery that company shares. For those lucky few who have not, view this as a cautionary tale. For all, I hope you find the humor in this story and can add a smile to your day.

The backdrop – – – I am an amateur thespian…yes, I love women! Oh…wait…ummm, I’m an actor. My theater group recently moved to a new home, via an expensive reconstruction of an old supermarket. Obviously, a community theater does not have money. So, there were numerous money raising endeavors to garner the needed cash.

Aside from the continuing thanks of this community theater, there was a more permanent reminder of that support in the form of a plaque prominently placed in the foyer of the new theater. To specially thank those who contributed a bit more, there were separate categories to recognize the extent of those donations. Staying in the theater theme, the categories were named with theater nomenclature. So we had categories for – – –

Ensemble Cast

Supporting Cast

Staring Role

Director

Producer

As I input the words on this list, my word processing spell checker happily reviewed my typing and declared it correct. Just as it likely did for whoever sent the request to the plaque maker. The plaque maker, eager to meet customer needs, then built the plaque exactly as the request was typed.

So, for those patrons who contributed enough to qualify for that category, I have no clue if they will forever be known as such. I was not so generous to qualify for that level. But, honestly, I don’t want to be remembered as having a “Staring Role”.

Sew, ewe mite still knead two use Spell Checker. Butt, watt dew ewe half too loose? Yule bee glad ewe due.

Assassin Squirrels

May 12, 2008

I consider myself lucky to have a fun biking partner who keeps me company on rides. Last fall, we encountered a concept which has opened my eyes to a new threat to us humans – – assassin squirrels.

It all started with a ride on the bike path we take, which at the time was covered with fallen autumn leaves. I rode over some of the leaves, creating the expected rustling, crackling noise, subdued some by the morning air. My friend, riding ahead of me, must have thought the noise came from above. She looked upward and asked what the noise was.

I immediately (and nonsensically) replied, “Squirrels!” She countered (equally nonsensically … which is why I so enjoy her company), “Assassin Squirrels?” I added, “…and they’re coming to get us!” And a theme was born.

Thinking this all just grand fun, I was surprised later to find several news stories of just such sinister creatures. To quote just three (of many I found!) – –

— “The squirrel menace … returned with a vengeance on Monday, when a rogue squirrel attacked a postal worker as she delivered letters.”

— “A … Toyota Camry last week suffered a sciurine* kamikaze attack during which a flaming squirrel** fell onto the vehicle, slid into the engine compartment and provoked an explosion which destroyed the parked vehicle…”

And even pets aren’t safe:

— “Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report.”

Citizens of the world, no longer can we turn a blind eye to this threat of Mother Nature’s terrorism! They. Are. Out. There. Please, take immediate precautions —

1) When in wooded areas, always carry a can of Squirrel-Be-Gone®

2) Consider wearing non-flammable clothing

3) There is no “3”

4) Do NOT make eye contact with squirrels

5) Always floss after meals

Notify authorities at once if you are the victim of the dreaded assassin squirrels! Be careful out there…

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* I think “sciurine” is a cool word

** I’d quip that “Flaming Squirrels” would be a great name for a band, but there already is one — http://flamingsquirrel.net/

Cries in the night

May 12, 2008

In general, I like pets. Varied and sundry. From an 18-hand horse to sea monkeys bought from the back of a comic book. But, especially tonight, there are some that annoy me a bit. Hey, I’m only human. My recent example of getting annoyed was caused by the incessant yapping of the neighbor’s two ‘practice’ dogs.

Practice dogs are those pint-sized replicas of man’s best friend who’s sole purpose seems to be to eat, poop, and pee. They pause only (and too often) to loudly decry any perceived imposition on their senses. Why they do so and who they are truly yapping at, only they know. Perhaps it is just their way of acknowledging their lack of true dog-ness. Or they’re responding to some secret signal from their home planet.

Hmmm…Come to think on it, I know people like that at work, too…