SnowFace Cody

Just Chatter

Our day started all bright and mild. After some home chores and a little bit of reading, MyJeff and The Boys 2 went to the dog park while Shadow and I walked the neighborhood. We had water running down the channel in the middle of the alley, puddles here and there on low sidewalks, and small ponds at alley ends and corners. This day in late January felt very much like a day in mid-March. I liked it.

Just finished writing out bills. I didn't like that, not one little bit.

Am scheduled to donate platelets at the Red Cross tomorrow morning. I certainly hope my blood pressure has settled down so I can actually do so. Couldn't last month, and I know that a lot of other regular donors have been unable to donate because of illnesses or bad weather this winter, so the supply is--as always, but more so--low.

Did I tell you all about the movie we watched on Netflix earlier this week? "Still Mine" is based on a true story about a modern day tough old farmer (he was in his mid-80s at the start of the film) who wants to build a new house for his beloved wife. Her mental faculties are slipping and he and their offspring are worried about her in the big old 2 story farm house where they raised their 7 kids. The farmer was taught building by his father who was a shipwright, and he is GOOD at it. But the contemporary government has ALL kinds of regulations, rules, specifications, and other red tape. Not to mention an anal-retentive bureaucrat. This is a very touching and affecting film. Especially if you are of my generation with an elder parent or two who are suffering the same memory and physical losses as the lovely lady in this film. Well acted. Well done. I recommend it.

Still waiting for payment on that first eBay sale. I didn't realize buyers can take DAYS to pay up. My expectations need adjusting.
SnowFace Cody

Two Days In ...

After two days on the new job, I'm getting a more thorough feel for the work, the office, the co-workers, and the expectations. I do need more time to be comfortable with remembering things like the phrasing for answering the phone and how to operate the company software. I keep discovering new abilities of the software and am practicing it as much as I can. Naturally they want "cross-selling" which isn't my strong suit, but I'll do what I can. (Yes, huladavid, I know. But, it'll be okay.)

The co-workers are very nice, helpful people who tend to forget that the newbie doesn't automatically understand what all the shortcut terms mean. But they're kind about explaining. So far, everyone seems to be easy to work with--we'll see if anyone gets grumpy when "peak" gets here. Whenever any of the veterans there mentions "peak" (the most busy period of tax season), there's a telling vibration in their voice. I can only imagine how tense the front desk might get with the phone ringing, the waiting area full, the phone ringing, trying to schedule clients with fully booked agents, and the phone ringing.

On my lunch break yesterday, I called the auction house and gave my 2 week notice. I wanted to do so in person, but they didn't have an auction last night and I don't want to wait an extra week. So, my last working auction is on the evening of February 5th. After that, if I'm at an auction, it will be much more fun. Of course, the next 2 Thursdays will be mighty long days. But, I'm feeling a lessening of my tension levels just thinking about the fact that I only have 2 more auction nights to get through.

Even if I don't manage to find a comparable replacement job promptly after tax season, I'm glad I've made this move. If nothing else, I can ramp up flea markets. (Don't tell MyJeff I said that!)
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SnowFace Cody

Buzzzzzz Bzzzzzzzzz Busy Bee

I meant to post yesterday, but I ended up having to drive to the H & R Block District Office (40 mile round trip) to let them make ANOTHER copy of my driver's license since the first one was too blurred for the District Manager to actually read my number and expiration date. Sigh.

However--Just a couple blocks north of the Office I spotted a Savers Thrift store. Since I only had 2 pair of pants that could be considered Office Wear, I'd planned a Savers trip to buy one or two more. And Tuesday is Senior 40% Discount Day!!!! That Savers had much better clothing options for me than the one near me. I was actually able to choose WHICH pair of blue slacks I liked better, rather than take the only one I could find. Same with the brown ones. Then I picked up a few shirts to wear under my unbuttoned blouses. Found a pair of pants for MyJeff. Found a pair of black Not-Tennis shoes nor summer shoes for the office. Found a WONDERFUL blue denim blazer resplendent with "gems" and gold doo-dads on the lapels and pockets. I hope they approve it for Office Wear. I'll post a photo later.

All-in-all, I spent $39. That's roughly $2.50 per item. I think I done good. Took me something like 2 hours, what with trying on all the options and wandering around the nice, clean store. (Again, much better than the Savers near me.)

Then I stopped at the Credit Union on my way to the food shelf. At the food shelf, I picked up some very nice cinnamon swirl breads by Pepperidge Farms and 2 gallons of TruMoo chocolate milk in addition to the prepared bags of food and stuff that they hand out. It's interesting what high quality breads are available at the two different food shelves I've used over the last several years. I'd never spend what those loaves cost at the store, and I guess a lot of people feel the same. But it's generally Really Good Bread.

Anyway ... busy day yesterday getting things done before (and for) today.

Think "smart and efficient" thoughts my way today, will you?
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SnowFace Cody

What a Glorious Day in the Neighborhood!

We have lovely sunshine, a relatively light breeze, and 36 F (2 C) ABOVE ZERO!!!!! There is some melting going on. Shadow and I just returned from our walk around the neighborhood, while MyJeff takes Vinnie and Arrow to the off leash dog park. Shadow behaved pretty well through most of the walk, getting over-excited when he saw and exchanged barks with a couple of other dogs. After that, we took a couple of steps and stopped to calm him and stop the leash-pulling. Then two or three steps and stop, and so on and so forth. My arms are almost as tired as my bad leg. ;~)

**Please imagine a drum roll ...**

I've accepted a receptionist position at an H & R Block tax preparer office. I'm for sure working 3 days a week, maybe 4. I officially start on Wednesday morning. And it is all days, during the week. Even though this is a seasonal job (only about 3 1/2 months), I'm using it as a springboard for quitting at the auction house, and will have to call in my notice this week. I'd planned to tell them face-to-face at this week's auction, only to discover at the auction last Thursday that there won't be one this week. Again.

My intention is to land something more by the end of this receptionist job.

I'm both excited and nervous about the new job. That's pretty normal, I suppose. I'll have to take a break from volunteering at the VA Hospital during the tax season which I'm sorry for, but... Gotta do what I gotta do. And--will need to figure out just how I'm going to handle this receptionist job as well as scavenging, when that comes around in April. Don't worry, I'll manage something.

Things are happening. Changes will occur. Adventures are on the horizon.
SnowFace Cody

Speaking of "National XYZ Day"...

Next Saturday, January 24, is the first ever National Readathon Day in the U.S. The plan is that participants will sit down with their chosen book (any book) from noon until 4 pm (each in their own time zone) and read. Businesses and libraries are encouraged to host Readathon Day events.

The point is that each reader will have created a Firstgiving Fundraising page and will ask everyone they know, and some folks they don't perhaps, to donate on the Fundraiser page. Money raised will be used by the National Book Foundation (among others) to promote reading in America. They aim to support literacy and the appreciation of reading by celebrating the power and enjoyment derived from reading. "Make #timetoread" appears to be the slogan/hashtag.

Sounds kind of fun. Certainly a goal I applaud, and an activity I enjoy.
SnowFace Cody

Dress Up Your Pet Day

Today, January 14, is National Dress Up Your Pet Day in the U.S.

I can't help but smile and shake my head at the same time, when I find something like this. It's cute, but ... REALLY? ... a "National" day set aside for this? I gotta wonder about a "National" day to adopt &/or rescue a pet. So I looked it up.

April 11th is National Pet Day. Aimed at celebrating the joy our pets bring us, the promoters of this day loudly encourage the adoption of shelter animals, as well as skipping personal purchases to donate that money to shelters. Their tag line is: Adopt, Don't Shop! (Oh, and they remind people to leave exotic pets in the wild where they belong and find a traditional pet to adopt.

April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Pretty self-explanatory, as far as I researched it.

Then we come to OCTOBER! The month of one of my favorite holidays (Halloween, in case you wonder) is also Adopt a Dog MONTH! An entire month devoted to highlighting the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue. I wonder how much the adoption rate rises during October?

So ... there you have it. Two days and an entire month officially established to bring attention to the plight of pets in shelters and rescues. Not bad. It's a start!

Have you seen our good boys? Rescue boys.

Shadow Muddy

Shadow, after a play chase through the swamp.

Arrow & Vinnie Await Dad on LandingArrow and Vinnie wait for Dad on the landing.
SnowFace Cody

Okay, Am I Paranoid, Or Just Less Computer Literate Than I Thought?

I just received an 800 phone call from "David" (from the Asian accent I HIGHLY doubt that's his homeboy name) who said he was calling from Microsoft because my computer was sending error messages and there is a problem with the "MacKeeper".  Understand that he was not able to rattle all of that off at once, because I kept interrupting with things like: "I don't have a Microsoft machine" and "I don't use MacKeeper".

According to this David, he was talking about my Mac (why would my MacIntosh send error codes to Microsoft instead of Apple???). Also, according to David "every computer has a MacKeeper". I asked again if he'd said "MacKeeper" and told him I was quite sure that that is some outside software. He insisted my computer has a "MacKeeper" and that I needed to be at the computer while he told me how to fix the problem.

I told him I wasn't comfortable following the instructions of a stranger who called me up out of the blue. He started some bull**** about how every baby is born not knowing its parents but the baby is told "these are your parents" etc. I told him to stop getting smart mouth with me. He hung up on me.

The nasty little shit.

Okay--for all I know he may be a 6 foot tall shit. But he's still rude and nasty.

The real question is: What the HELL was that all about? Any thoughts from someone more knowledgeable than I?

BTW: I searched on my System Preferences and Applications for anything like "MacKeeper". As expected--zilch.
SnowFace Cody

Natter and Catch-Up

Last night, we attended a party thrown for the people who worked last July's SF Convention CONvergence by the Co-Heads of the Registration department. I was a Sub-Head in that department for the last 2 years so, although we won't be attending the con this year, we went to the party. Had a nice time doing some reconnecting with folks we haven't seen in months, watching a goofy card game called "Zombie Flux", holding a baby and her slightly older sister, and eating splendid food made by the hostess. We had a very nice time. Actually relaxed, smiled, and laughed, and came home in a good mood.

One of the attendees suggested I apply for a job at her company, and promised to mention me to the hiring manager. The only thing currently open, that she knew of, is a few receptionist spots with low pay; but there is potential and definitely more hours than I'm getting now at the higher pay. I filled out their online application this morning.

Of course, the same woman pointed out that--although we can't afford to attend that big convention--I could still volunteer in the Registration room. Ya give and ya take.

While in North Dakota, MyJeff took this photo of sun dogs from the patio outside Mom's apartment.

ND SunDogs December 2014

Mom is currently in the "Dementia Wing" at the Nursing Home, instead of in her apartment. As expected, she is extremely unhappy with the tiny room and lack of privacy. One of my sisters told me that, while she was there the other day, a confused elderly man wandered into Mom's room a couple of times. Apparently, this is a regular occurrence with that man. The social worker believes Mom doesn't belong in that wing, since she doesn't need the majority of the services provided there. Mom MAY be able to go back to her apartment. She MAY go to one of the other wings with more care than the apartment, but less than the Dementia Wing. I doubt there would be much more privacy in those other wings, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her apartment. The decision is pending for a few more days.

Of course, there are problems and dangers with the apartment option. But, I'm thinking: if Mom is that close to passing on, she should be given as much opportunity to be comfortable and as happy as possible as we can provide for her. As long as we can.

Time will tell.

I'm hoping to get my little fake Christmas tree and other decorations put away today. There's not that much, but I always hate letting go of the Season. Taking things down just isn't as much fun as putting them up. Now is it?

The Boys 3 received the "Divide and Manage" treatment yesterday and we're planning on repeating it today. This means that MyJeff takes Arrow and Vinnie to the dog park where they can run loose and have fun with other dogs; while I take Shadow on a leashed walk around the neighborhood where he can't get into any altercations with other dogs. It always starts as play, but then Shadow's prey drive seems to kick in and he gets aggressive, sometimes very aggressive. The last time was with a young husky who ended up battling all three boys and even bit MyJeff's thigh. That was the deciding factor in NOT taking Shadow to the dog park any more. Yesterday he was quite good about other dogs while on the leash, so that's an improvement. We'll see how he does today. I hear that Arrow and Vinnie had a great time at the park yesterday.