Alarm Cats

There is noting more reliable in my house than my personal alarm cats. I can guarantee that I will be up by 6 am, even on days I can sleep in. This is not to say that I don’t go back to sleep, but I do get up by 6 am the latest. This is a little rough on weekends when I want to sleep till 8, but the cats come first.

And how they wake me up isn’t always the same. Some mornings I get the morning catupuncture and back massage. Some mornings I get the cold cat nose in the face. The worst way to wake up however is the hairball/cat puke alarm. This isn’t timed, it happens on the cat schedule, and I am pretty sure that the cats would prefer not to wake me up that way either.

And the hairball was how I was awoken this morning. At 5:30 am, I woke up to Loki having a minor hairball issue. And after hearing a cat hack up a hairball, I cannot go right back to sleep. I have to get up, clean up the hairball, and lug the blanket down to the washing machine. And this is actually more convenient than if the cat had his issues on the carpet. So, I am a little tired this morning, and probably a little cranky.

Oh, and these damn alarm cats need a snooze button installed. Some days, I just want to sleep in. Damn cat’s have me trained too well.

Three Thing Friday

1. Weird Weather – I hate heat. I am uncomfortable from late May till October, for the most part. Sure, there may be a few cool days and some very comfortable nights, but for the most part, I am miserable. I would say that at least for the most part, I am indoors, but even the office seems muggy. There is no relief on the horizon, at least till I get home and I can run the air conditioner. Now, since I did not complain about the winter weather, I reserve the right to state “I ALREADY MISS WINTER!” But, as much as I am unhappy with this weather, at least it opens up the ability to kayak and SCUBA dive. Now, if I can only get motivated to go.

And at least I am not in a full fur coat like the cat lying at my side.

2. Throw Back Thursdays – I don’t get them, what is the big deal? Of course, I am not a person who should really talk. I hardly keep any photographs of my past. In fact, the only pictures I have around my house are pictures that I took of sharks. I don’t really keep pictures of my past. And the ones on facebook, I really don’t look at. I don’t have the videos or pictures from old band competitions, from my high school days, or even from my college days.

And honestly, the only thing I think about when I hear about Throw Back Thursday is throwing back a beer. Mmmm…. Beer.

3. Cable Wires – I am so tired of the new Direct TV commercials. Really, going to have a family of puppets sell the fact that your “boxes” are wireless? It’s not really that funny, it actually pretty creepy. The commercial with the “wife” just weirds me out, and the one commercial with the son isn’t any better. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am the only one who is weirded out.

Of course, I won’t be going to direct TV any time soon, and it has nothing to do with those commercials.

Homework

The problem with having two to three blogs is keeping up with topics. I have been able to keep up with my personal blog almost daily. And thanks to fellow gamers, the warhammer blog has had daily posts as well.

That being said, the other day one of my fellow bloggers gave me some homework, and I have yet to really start it. I feel like I am letting the team down. I need to get motivated, keep my head in the game, and just write a blog.

So, while today’s personal blog is short, rest assured that I am going to take some time and write up a blog for the gaming blog. I shall sit here and start it. I am not saying I will finish it, but that is my goal.

Oh look, A squirrel.

Survey Says!

Today I completed a survey at work. It is a standard survey that comes out every now and then, usually when we get a new commander. They want to get a feeling for the work climate, the atmosphere of the workplace. It is supposed to be anonymous, but you usually have to sign in, telling the person taking it that it is not as anonymous as one would hope. I usually don’t fill these out for that reason, and the fact that my complaints about work are usually not that bad. This year though, I took the time to fill out the survey and express my true feelings, not that I expect anything to come of this survey, but I did feel a little better when I clicked the submit button.

You can tell where the Army’s concerns lie through the questions that were asked in the survey. A very large portion of the questions asked was about sexual harassment, I would say about half of them were about sexual harassment. Do you feel comfortable going to management? Do you believe management takes sexual harassment seriously? Would someone be afraid to report harassment? Would someone who reported harassment to management be punished? Army has a serious sexual harassment problem, as reported in the news, and their solution is training, training, and more training. In fact, I have to go to mandated training in the next few weeks.

However, answering these questions was not what made my day. Being able to express “anonymously” how I feel about current management was a pleasure. I took the time, wrote what I wanted to say, and submitted it. Again, I really don’t believe that this was actually anonymously, but I think I needed the ability to think I can express myself without punishment. Which, funny enough, was one of the questions asked. Of course I responded with the greatly disagree option.

So, I am curious to know what the survey results will be. I know a few others who filled it out, and who filled it out honestly. Could be interesting at work in the next few days.

But probably not.

Welcome Back

Like a good portion of American workers, today was my first day back after a “long” weekend. However, in my case, it is not uncommon for me to have a long weekend, in fact, every other weekend is a three day weekend for me. Thanks to one of the few benefits of where I work, I get to work an extra hour each day to get one day off every other week. That being said, today was one of the roughest days I have had in a while. I do not know why, but I struggled to make it into work, I struggled at work, and my motivation was at record lows. Try as I might, I cannot explain why, it’s not like coming back from three-day weekends is unusual for me.

Maybe it was because instead of returning to work on a Monday, I had to return on a Tuesday. Maybe it was because instead of it just being a long weekend, it was because it was a Holiday weekend. Maybe it was because I couldn’t get anything accomplished at work since we didn’t have reliable Internet access for most of the day. Whatever the reason, my motivation level was pretty damn close to zero. Nil. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Naught.
On the plus side, it is official that some of my co-workers have been approved for telework, despite the director’s wishes. I guess it doesn’t pay to against what CECOM leadership says and push your own agenda. Maybe the G3 director will respect the decision of higher management, but that is unlikely. He is now probably going to try and make the teleworkers lives miserable. That’s a shame too; it only makes him look bad. Maybe he will take his loss in good grace, but for some reason, I highly doubt it.

Red Neck Smile

Four or Five years ago, on Memorial Day, I decided to go ocean kayaking. When I was up in New Jersey, ocean kayaking is something I did about once every other week. The routine would be to load up the kayak early in the morning and drive over to Seaside Park. Once I was parked near my parent’s street, I would wetsuit up, grab everything I needed, and haul it all onto the beach. I had, and still have, no issues with kayaking alone. I would tell my mother my plan and when I expect to be done so someone would know if something went wrong. I really enjoy kayaking with company, but I also enjoy being out on the water by myself. And ocean kayaking is something that I would not bring a novice kayaker to go and do. It’s a different type of animal.

This particular morning was amazing. The waves were not massive, the sky was clear, and the water was bloody cold. It was the perfect morning for kayaking. So I dragged the kayak into the water, climbed on board, and started paddling out into the ocean. There is nothing like being in a wetsuit, sweating because of how warm the air is, and having a cold ocean wave slam into you. It is both exhilarating and comforting.

Well, after about 45 minutes, I decided that I had enough. It was still early in the season, and I was not in kayaking shape yet. It wasn’t the first time I was out in the ocean that year, but I haven’t been out all that often. So, I started heading back into shore. While I was out, the waves breaking near the shore got bigger, but nothing I haven’t seen before. However, I was caught by surprise by one wave and was knocked out of the kayak. It was actually fun, but then I did something stupid. I knew better, but I still did something stupid.

I decided I was going to get back into the kayak and continue paddling in. So I swam up to the kayak, and placed the kayak between the oncoming waves and me. When ocean kayaking, you want to see when the waves are coming, and I could not see past the kayak because my head was at sea level. This was the ocean after all; I wasn’t tall enough to touch the bottom. So, as I pushed my self up to climb back into the kayak, a wave came, and lifted up the paddle, and smacked me in the face with it.

The force of the wave hit me so hard with the paddle that it knocked out one of my teeth. It didn’t hurt all the much, although the cold water may have helped. The subsequent waves dragged the kayak and paddle (they were attached to each other) away from me and I had to swim after them. By the time I caught up to them, I could touch land. I walked back to the car, lugging the kayak that assaulted me. As soon as I got to my car, I called my mom, told her what happened, and asked her to start calling dentists (remember, this was Memorial Day).  Lucky for me, her Dentist said she would come into her office and take a look. So, after a quick shower, and washing down my kayaking equipment, I headed over so that she could mend my mouth.

It was one memorable Memorial Day.

Red Neck

Sugar Coma

Today I made the mistake of agreeing to a friend’s suggestion to get some ice cream. It has been a long time since I have had some, and after a long game of Warhammer, which I lost, I thought that it couldn’t hurt. So, after we packed up are stuff, we walked to the Rita’s down the street and I ordered a milkshake. It was a big mistake on my part.

I haven’t had ice cream or a milkshake in a very long time. Well, maybe not all that long, I am sure I had a slice of ice cream cake at the family Easter get together, but ice cream is not a common food item I get. And yes, it is vegetarian friendly, for the most part. I did learn a couple of things from today’s consumption of a dessert.

First, getting a specialty milkshake may not be the best way to go. Today I ordered an Oreo Cookies and Cream shake. It was good (great) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it did have its flaws. The cookie bits kept clogging up the straw. And when one suddenly gets unstuck, I would almost choke on it. Second, I become a whiney bitch when I get to the sugar coma point. I am suddenly exhausted, and all I want to do is take a nap. But if I take a nap now, I might as well just go to sleep. Sugar has always had that affect on me, for as long as I can remember at least.

I must remember all of this next time I think it is a good idea for me to go and have some ice cream, or any kind of dessert. I was never very big on eating desserts, except for pumpkin pie, and every time I do, I end up in biggest sugar coma of my life, at least it feels that way with every sugar induced coma. I never really crave any desserts, and even thinking about them makes me feel unhealthy and fatter than I really am.

Well, that is not exactly 100% true; I love pumpkin pie and tiramisu, and I do crave them every now and then. And I believe I gained three pounds just writing this blog…

Pets 101

Hello, my name is Brian, and I have a problem. Growing up as a kid my parents allowed us to have many pets, although not all at the same time. Of course we have Cats; Cloudy, Bentley, Trixie, Rusty are just a few of the cats we had.  I can even remember having one cat that was an attack cat. My sister actually slept on a rocking chair because she was afraid to put her feet on the floor. We also had hamsters, tons of fish (both tropical freshwater and goldfish), an Iguana, and even a bird. Damn I miss that Iguana. I got him when I was in college. I wanted a snake till I learned I would have to feed it mice (plus mom said no), and I couldn’t get a bearded dragon because I would have to feed it crickets. Iguanas only eat fruits and vegetables, and I had no issues feeding an animal plants.

However, I sit here now watching Pets 101 waiting to get my day of gaming started, and I realize that I want cool and different pets. Every time something new shows up, I want it (except for an ant farm or any spider). Someone owns a sloth as a pet? I would love that. I want one. Someone adopted a fox? That would be awesome. I want one. Someone has her own pet owl? Where do I sign up? I want one. Someone actually turned an opossum into a family member? How do I do that? I want one.

Then reality sets in. Much like the iguana, I am sure it is expensive to keep up with some of these rare pets. The iguana ate fresh food that I (or more likely my mother) would prepare every couple of days. I also had to keep him warm, so the electricity used to keep the heat lamps going had to be expensive.

Not to mention that I go away a lot. I know my mom has no issues coming down here to cat-sit Loki, but I am not sure she would want to come down here and take care of my pet chickens. Yes, she did grow fond of Cornholio (yea, I name the iguana after Beavis and Butthead). However, I don’t think she would really want to care for some odd and strange creature like a cavy.

So, once I run through my “I wants,” I’ll move on, take a shower, hug Loki, and get on with my day.

Three Thing Friday

1. Today was an expensive day. Not only did I go and see Godzilla for the second time in the theater, I also donated to my favorite charity, The Cheetah Conservation Fund. I love those speedy cats and I think they should be saved from extinction. Then there was my trip to the local game store. When I got there the owner pulled out a model for the Star Wars game. Of course I wanted this new model, and of course I bought it and opened it up right away. I would be super excited to play it in a game, but the new rulebook for Warhammer also arrived. I am on geek overload; I can barely focus on this blog.

2. So, after watching Godzilla for the second time, I can honestly say that I still enjoyed it. It does have it’s issues, it is a little slow in the beginning and (the rest of this sentence has been deleted due to spoilers). Other than those, it was a fantastic Godzilla movie. I am not saying it was a fantastic movie, but it was a fantastic Godzilla movie. If had to list the three worst Godzilla movies I would list them as #3 The NY Godzilla from 1998, #2 would be All Monsters Attack as that kid just annoyed the hell out of me, and the number one, all time worst Godzilla movie ever made would have to be Godzilla vs. Megalon… Godzilla talked in the movie.

This movie would have to be in my top 5 Godzilla movies. So, if you see Godzilla, please remember what type of movie you are seeing. It is still a Godzilla movie, and enjoy it as such.

3. Distraction. I get so easily distracted, which is why this blog took me hours. Between an old Godzilla, a new rulebook, a chat, and models that must be painted, I had too many distractions. Maybe I should find a writing room, less distractions, more writing.

Yea, that’s not likely.

There is no business like slow business.

Apparently the government’s internet has decided that it was not going to work before the long holiday weekend. I shouldn’t say that nothing was working today,, some things were. but what was working was either working slow, or doesn’t help me accomplish my job.

Since our “cloud” was moved to the new and improved server, our connections have been much slower, but the last few days redefined the definition of slow for me. A perfect example would be when a co-worker tried to load a file onto this cloud.  The file wasn’t all that large and would normally have taken only a few moments. He started loading it to the cloud; I got up, went to the bathroom, talked to a different coworker, and still got back to my desk before his file completed the upload. There is no reason that it should take that long to load a file, and he had to load a few more files after that. Productivity has crashed since we went to the new servers.

Now, on top of that, the last few days we had other issues. We couldn’t connect to any of the government websites or any of the basic civilian websites, like Google or Yahoo for example. However, and this is odd, I was able to get to one of my gaming websites with no issues. And that really should have been blocked. But I cannot complain, looking at warhammer models did allow the day to pass a little easier. Email functions sporadically, if we are lucky. We are the Communication and Electronics command, but we Cannot Electronically Communicate. I’m thinking carrier pigeons would be quicker and more reliable.

Of course, today was also PMT, or Pointless Meeting Thursday, so over half an hour of my day was already wasted. And it was my briefing day, I tried to keep my briefing to less than 30 seconds, but I failed. It took me 45 second to get through my whole briefing chart. I feel like I let down my coworkers.