Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Coming To Kansas City

For the next season of American Idol, auditions will take place Aug. 8 right here in Kansas City. If you have have someone planning to try out, give me a holler and I'll be sure to take them some water while they are waiting in line. It likely very well will be very hot.

Click here for details on this season's audition locations. It'll be super cool if the next winner comes from the Kansas City round of auditions. Other locations are San Francisco, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Louisville, East Rutherford, Jacksonville and in Puerto Rico.

Good luck!

Just So Very

Gabrielle snoozing on my bedHave I mentioned lately how absolutely very sweet Gabby is? She really is. My Eponine was loving and loyal. Gabby is endearing and gracious. Does that make sense? Neither is necessarily better or worse than the other. It's just interesting to note their differences.

We didn't make it by Saturday morning for the weigh in. It'll be on the to-do list for this weekend. Gabby for sure wants to win the bet, so she's anxious to know the result. She mentioned her preference is to be weighed wearing her collar and bandana. Hmmmm. Just like "Calvin Ball." Making up the rules as she goes along.

She has her own place to sleep, but somehow often thinks my pillows are open for snoozing. "Sorry," I tell her. "Those are reserved for my noggin." Ep never did that. And I don't really like it. But have I told you how very sweet Gabby is?

We greatly appreciate your comments regarding the Gotchaversary. It's really been a fun year. I love how she responds to her name. Her fur is so soft and silky. She actively plays with her cat toys and has no problem interacting with Daphne. She runs to hide when the doorbell rings or other guests come to the door. And for sure hides when younger children are around. But generally very social.

She talks. Have I told you that? Talks, talks, talks. When I say her name, she returns with a muffled "mrrrow". It's not a whole meow. When I'm grinding coffee beans, she watches my back. Each time I turn to look at her she meows. But since the beans are grinding her effort is more hollered just to make sure it's recognized.

The kneading and pawing. That's what I love most. The kneading is just before curling up and cuddling. The pawing usually is while I am sitting at my desk working, putting on socks or watching tv. She just reaches and paws, begging for a kneck scratch or head rub. Usually both are preferred.

My little angel. It really is us who are the lucky ones.

Random Thoughts On July 29, 2008

It is pouring rain Tuesday night in Kansas City. I can hear it pounding on the roof. A roof that I haven't replaced yet but am starting to get quotes. The weather dudes on TV indicate the storm is the remnants of Hurricane Dolly. Oh ... need to get the home painted too.

Attended a work for-fun event last Friday. I was invited to display my beach volleyball prowess. Won't be invited to the Olympic trials anytime soon, but I did have fun. A new co-worker sent a pic she snapped of me as I prepared for a serve. Besides looking 500 pounds, it is obvious I was having a good time. It was super hot, though.

Afterward enjoyed a drink with co-workers in the Power & Light District downtown. We had fun. In spite of the $6 "happy hour" drinks. I think my regular haunts are more my style. The new entertainment district downtown is all fun and fancy, but artificial and not what I search for looking for fun spots. It'll appeal to the masses, I'm sure.

Daphne is here this week. She and Gabby are side-by-side napping on the sofa as I type this message.

Monday, after a work meeting, stopped by Three Dog Bakery on The Plaza. My change included an Arizona quarter. No. 48! Very, very cool. I gave the cashier a dollar for four more. Possibly moved by my enthusiasm, she gave me two additional Arizona quarters on her nickel. Made my day. Only Alaska and Hawaii left.

Along with the quarters, my return change included a new five-dollar bill. The colorful ones that look like play money. July 1 I made myself a promise that I would save - not spend - every new five-dollar bill I receive. So far I'm at $30. :)

08/08/08 -- the Olympics are just around the corner. I can't wait! I likely will be television obsessed the entire time.

Filled up at $3.74 the other day. That's a welcome sign. Although I am still dreaming of the days of $1.87.

For years now, I have tracked the number of miles I travel each week. Over the last year or so, the average is right around 400 a week. With meetings at the downtown office, last week I traveled 173.8. Very nice! Once I move to the new office there may be weeks that I won't even top 100. That's awesome.

Have we had enough of political commercials yet?

An Important Date For Us

The little monster known as Gabrielle has been hanging out with me an entire year! That's right. July 24 is when I got picked. I can't believe an entire year has passed. And she doesn't at all act like she has any desire to leave me any time soon.

GabrielleShe's ever more loving, affectionate and gracious. Her talking hasn't slowed down at all either. We've stuck to the gluten-free food and all-natural treats. So all those initial problems have gone away, with the lone exception being an occasional regurgitated plant leaf.

The weekend's agenda includes stopping by the vet to check on her weight. We have bet on it. She thinks she's about 9.6 pounds. I think she's about 8.5. I win, she has to sleep at the foot of the bed for a week. If she wins, a half can of moist food and six treats are the prize. Oh, and getting to sleep on my head for a week.

Here's a link to one of my first posts about Gabby. While this is a link to a few more details from a year ago. We're a testament to answered prayers.

Silver Lining

Speaking of the evolved company ... eventually I'll relocate to a new office location. Went to the new office Monday and Tuesday. My commute is 5.2 miles. That's sweet! The last three years it has been 26 miles each way. I can even ride the bus, which I did Friday morning. The stop is about five blocks from the office.

Now the pill ... Monday I left the place certain the majority of the folks were evil, not accepting of new ideas, and that there was no way I would ever assimilate. Tuesday I received an unsolicited apology. That made things a bit better.

A little more pink stuff ... or sugar for those who prefer it ... but I am still believing a corner will turn. My gut feeling is that all will be fine in the long run. Until then, it's the typical battle of who has a better parking spot or the larger office. Corporate life! I remember nonprofit days when we were thrilled to have a stapler.

No Blogging

It's a blocked site. Can you believe it?

At the new, evolved workplace, I attempted today to check "Wild Life" just to see if anyone had left a comment. And I received the oh-so-hated screen indicating that it had been indentified as a blocked site. I tried a couple other blogspot sites and they all came up blocked too. Damn those darn spam filters and web blockers.

Sometimes I think employers really make it difficult for an employee to goof off while at work. Who do they think they are?

Sleepy Time

Had to dash out of town over the weekend. Left Friday afternoon, returning late Sunday night. It was a last-minute trip. Spent about 20 hours in a car over about a 60-hour period. Always fun.

The first week at the evolved company was interesting. My feelings are mixed. It was much more tough than I thought it would be. However, I'm keeping positive and will go one day at a time. I am certain there's much I can learn, contribute, and accomplish. It's just making sure those opportunities will exist and making sure I don't rock the boat too early. A tone can be set so early!

The roof dude came by today. The claims adjuster ... Scott. Very cordial and helpful. He didn't require me or invite me to climb on the roof, but he did explain much to me. Always wanting to learn, I appreciated that. I told him I'd wait outside in case he fell, in order to dial 9-1-1. He said if he fell I'd hear it even if I was inside.

He says I have a valid claim. The roof is jacked. Also needs window screens and gutters. He even showed me specific damage. It was interesting. Although good news that insurance will cover, it stressed me out a bit trying to process all the next steps. It's never easy and usually means trying to manage time off from work. I hate that.

Recently received a new Ipod Nano. We'll see if I will ever figure out how to use it. Turning on the radio and listening to NPR is my style. It's very cool, though, to be part of the Ipod generation. Right now it's next to that digital photo frame I received for Christmas that I've never used. :)

The Gabster was so excited to have me home Sunday night. I got home after midnight, so it actually was Monday morning. We were sleeping by 2 a.m. She has her own pillow on my bed. I had my arm/hand out last night scratching her neck as I dozed off. Monday morning as I woke I found her little head resting in my palm. That's a great start to any day, I think.

Fully exhausted as I write this, my next tasks are to gather the trash for Tuesday's pickup, brush my teeth and start snoring.

Random Thoughts On July 14, 2008

On Monday, gasoline topped $4 all over in Kansas City. The Missouri side, that is. $4.09. I still can't believe it. It's always about 6-cents or 7-cents more on the Kansas side of the metro.

People always talk about how it's the humidity they can't stand about summer. I agree. But the humanity can be pretty bad too. :) Last week was fairly steamy in KC. I enjoy summer, but I do hate sweating when walking across the parking lot.

You know, who talks like that? I still can't believe Jesse Jackson said that. Who cares that he didn't know the microphone was live and that he was sitting in front of a camera? Does he really talk like that? He's really misguided.

I am disappointed that Anheuser-Busch was sold to InBev. The day it was announced, though, I knew the deal would go through. There would have been shareholder lawsuits and all kinds of other nonesense if the deal wasn't considered. The almight buck (albeit trading low against other currencies) always speaks.

Happy Bastille Day! July 14.

Mowed my lawn Sunday. With the rain we've had so far this season, my front lawn looks really nice. The back is a different story. Weeds. Yuck. The deer already have eaten all my day lillies.

My Noah's Ark guest room has a leak in the ceiling. A dude came out and patched the small leak around a vent pipe, but he suggests I file a claim because of hail damage. A new roof, I hope, could be around the corner.

The Day The Music

For all practical purposes, my company died July 11. It wasn't the official ending, but it sure felt like it. I hadn't felt sad, but Thursday I did. E-mails and sentiment were rampant. I wanted to hug everyone I saw.

Crazy thing ... earlier in the week it was announced that all the plants were free for the taking. Every plant in the building. None to be spared. Little to huge. Just first-come, first-served. Put your name on it and have the plant out of the building by 5 p.m. on Friday.

It was a mad, free-for-all event. People were snagging everything. I heard reports that folks who had been given plants as birthday gifts or from others came back to their desk and found their plants gone or with a name slapped on it. Total madness.

It's interesting that if those plants had been offered as a free door-prize drawing or something like that, employees would have bickered and moaned. "All I got was a plant." Who cares that it is valued at $100. Make it a competition, tackle-your-coworkers event for a free plant and professionals become lunatics. I label it the "Suvivor mindset."

I found one plant in a locked conference room. I asked for a key but was told I had to wait for the CEO to visit the room. Later I was told that the plant was given to a woman that took home eight others. Greedy is what I call it. My friend Lana shared one of hers with me.

I know I will keep in touch with folks. I'll miss the place, many co-workers and friends.