Thursday, June 28, 2007

Things J.J. will get sick of hearing from me when he's older...

When I was a little girl, the two telephones in our house were connected to the wall with a cord. If one of the phones stopped working, a man came to the house and repaired it, because it belonged to the telephone company. And not only was there no such thing as caller ID, there was no call waiting. So if you were on the phone and someone else tried to call, the person calling got a busy signal and had to try again later. And answering machines were a business machine, not something people had in their homes. If someone called when we weren't home (or while we were eating dinner), the phone went unanswered. And we actually had to pay by the minute to call someone who lived more than a few miles away from us.

I didn't have a cell phone until I was a working adult and could pay for the service myself. At first, I was limited to the number of minutes I could talk each month without paying enormous overage fees, and there was no such thing as texting.

I can remember when there were only a handful of television stations. And we always found something worth watching. Late at night, the stations would sign off until the next morning. And once cable was available, there were still less than 20 stations to watch. MTV played music videos. Yes, the "M" stands for music.

If I wanted to watch a movie at home, the family would watch whatever was being shown on network television, with commercial breaks and edited content. Later, when I was in junior high, we had HBO. One HBO, not 8, and no other movie channels. Some people paid a lot more money every month to get one or two other movie channels. When I was in 8th grade, our family got a VCR and we were able to tape television shows and rent movies at the store. we had to rewind the tapes when they were over and return them to the store.

If we needed to check the weather, we had to either call a weather line or wait for the weather report on the local news. It was normal to see people to carrying a jacket and or an umbrella with them, as sometimes, you weren't sure what the forecast was.

My first computer had a cassette drive and really neat games like pong. Actually, pong may have been the only game. I had to share the computer with my brother and sister and it hooked up to the television set.

The Internet wasn't around when I was a kid. By the time I was in college, I had an email account through my school and was able to connect to a BBS in Mississippi. When I got my first job, I shared a computer with a couple of other people in my office and we used it for word processing and graphics programs. We didn't have email at work, and would print documents and fax or mail them and save files to disks and overnight them when necessary.

My first internet connection at home was through the telephone company. The monthly fee gave us a limited number of minutes of connectivity, and I had to use my home telephone line to dial up and manually sync up my email to see if I had new messages. Sometimes it took several minutes for a page to render or a file to download, and I sat there and waited. I would usually connect to the internet, download my email messages, go off line to read them and reply, then reconnect to send my replies. There was no such thing as spam, and I would only check my email a few times each week.

I'm sure I could go on, but I can already see those big green eyes rolling at me. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Let's do lunch

When I accepted a job in Brentwood a couple of months ago, I immediately began looking forward to lunch.

After seven years in Donelson, with 1 & 1/2 decent lunch spots (the "half" is a buffet really good food, really bad format) plus a Royal Thai in neighboring Hermitage, I was more than ready for the variety that Brentwood has to offer. Phillip's, Maggie's (now Sweetpea), Joey's, The Front Porch Cafe, Peter's, Pei Wei, Pargo's Brentwood Grill, Mere Bulle's, Cross Corner, and a whole bunch of chains (yes, I know Pei Wei is a chain, but it's the only one around).

I just wish it were possible to get myself to any of them, in and out, and back to my office within an hour.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Beach baby


Yes, we're back. It was the first vacation I was not ready to come home from. I'm still mentally at the beach.

It's too bad the luggage to be unpacked, the house to clean, and the groceries to buy are all physically here in Nashville with me. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

And we're off...

To make things fun for our trip to Florida, J.J. has decided it's time to walk.

Well, when he feels like it, that is...



See ya next week!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

And don't even get me started about the parking lot...

The office space my company inhabits is quite labyrinthine. But unlike a labyrinth, you usually don't end up hitting a wall if you take a wrong turn. I had to edit that last sentence as I was writing it, because it is entirely possible to come out of one of the training rooms, take a right and an immediate left and run smack dab into a window. And I know this to be a fact; I speak from experience.

Anyway, the point (yes, I have one) I'm trying to make is that there are more than the usual number of hallways in our office. There's the external hallway that gets you from the main lobby where the elevators are to one of four (possibly 5 - there's one I haven't tried) doors into our space. Of the 4 I'm familiar with, 3 dump you out into the main office space, the fourth is at the end of a long hallway. This is the one that gets crazy and (of course) this is the way to my department.

Go to the end of that hallway; turn left and you'll find a door. That door leads back into the main office space. Turn right, and there's another long hallway. You can either make an immediate right and go through a door that leads to a row of cubicles and offices (my department), or continue straight down the hallway.

About halfway down the hallway, there's a door on the left the leads to a short hallway. At the end of that hallway, you can go left to take a hallway to the main office space (this is also the way to the closest coffee pot) or go right and take another right and end up in my department (and pass the copy room on the way).

If you choose not to go through that door on the left and instead go straight down the hall, you can go to the end, take a left and another left to get back to the hallway that leads to the main office space (and to the copy and break rooms) or take a right to get to my department. Now that I think about it, you can take a left and a right and end up in a dead end, but it's no where near as dangerous as the training room window dead end. At least, it hasn't yet been to me. There are also three more doors on the left in that hallway - one is a stairwell that dumps you outside on the south end of our building, and I have no clue where the other two doors lead -- I've not been so disoriented or brave as to open one of them. Yet.

And that stairwell - the one that ends up on the south side of our building? I know this because that's the stairwell I took when we had our fire drill a few weeks ago. There's also a door at the bottom of the stairwell that leads into the main lobby on the ground floor. And if I ever decide to take the stairs again, that's the stairwell I'll take. Because the main stairwell DOESN'T have a door that leads to the lobby on the ground floor. No, the main stairwell dumps you out through a fire door in the back of the building in the middle of a flower bed.

How do I know this for sure? That's the stairwell I took at the end of my first day.

Yep - rather than wait for what has to be the SLOWEST bank of three elevators in Brentwood, I thought I'd dash down the stairs and get the heck outta there. Instead, I ended up taking the stairs back up to the second floor, and took the elevator down from there, hoping no one from my floor was on the elevator when I stepped in.

I can't understand why there isn't a sign in the stairwell. One at each floor that clearly states there is no access to the ground floor lobby. Then again, it's really not that much of a concern for me - it's not like I'd make that mistake twice, right? I'll just consider it my building initiation. And I'll have to decide before there's a new employee in our department if that's the kind of information I need to share. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just call me Miss Tuffett...

Don't tell my husband, because he's terrified of all things crawly, but we had our own small-scale version of Arachnophobia today...

This morning, when I was brushing my teeth, there were 3 "baby" spiders in the sink. Teeny tiny little things. I turned on the faucet, and washed them down the drain ("...down came the rain and WASHED the spider out..."). I looked up to see if there was a web somewhere above, saw nothing, shrugged it off and went about my way.

End of story? Not so much.

This evening, I was back in our bathroom and there was a BIG fat black spider in the sink. Faucet went on, spider tried to swim, faucet came on stronger.

Then... more babies! They literally started popping out everywhere. I witnessed the birth of at least a dozen, maybe twice as many.

I'm (not so) sad to report there were no survivors. After they were washed out to their watery grave, I came back with a can of Raid (that may or may not kill spiders, but according to the can, it will keep any ants and roaches away) and rinsed down the scene. I even sprayed in the overflow drain (where I suspect they were living). I'm sure if Joe ever hears about this, he'll use at least three cans of air freshener to make sure they're done for.

Here's the creepier crawlier part: Even though I'm not the least bit afraid of spiders (my sister got enough of that fear for our entire family), right now, I can feel their surviving family members crawling all over me, seeking revenge... Let's hope there's not a sequel to this...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Three-fer

I could easily spend a few hours writing a series of posts on tips for writing functional requirements, documenting use cases and building mock ups of user interfaces. It's what I spend the majority of my time doing between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, you know.

But considering there are maybe 2 of you that would find the information helpful (and I may doubling my audience), I'll spare you.

You're welcome.

But if you ARE interested, we could have lunch. :)

-----

Has anyone played around on weather.com lately? After lunch, when the skies to the north of Brentwood got dark and filled with lightning, a few of us at work pulled up the site.

If you're on the site looking at a radar map, click the link for "Interactive Weather Map" and prepared to be awed. The maps are built on Microsoft's Virtual Earth Platform (Microsoft's "Google Earth"). I'd like to see them in Google, though, so I could look at the big picture... my personalized maps and directions, the local traffic, radar, and how close the next Walgreen's is. Well, the next closest one, at least, because there's always one in sight.

-----

It's a busy busy weekend for us. That means the opportunities for great pictures, stories & videos of our "Little Joe on the go" will be plentiful. As they were on Memorial Day weekend. And you've seen all the great wrap-ups, photos and videos I've shared about our Memorial Day weekend, right?

You didn't see any?

Yeah. Neither did I.

I'll try to be better this weekend...

Enjoy it! :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

None for me, thanks -- I'm allergic.

My allergies fired back up yesterday. I grabbed my Sudafed, which worked, sort of. By bedtime last night, I felt like my face was about to explode and breathing through my nose was not an option. I choked a couple more Sudafed down this morning and went to work, where I sat at my desk and sneezed for an hour before I called my doctor, who -- miraculously -- had an appointment open right then.

He also had a couple samples of (and a prescription for) Astelin, which, in the time it took to drive from his office to my office, cleared my nasal passages, got rid of all that pressure, and even eliminated that tingly sensation that felt like some microscopic critter was crawling around inside my face and ears. I'm going to monitor their "pollen check" for a couple weeks and see if I can figure out just what that critter was...

Monday, June 04, 2007

100 words

About a week or so ago, I found a list of 100 words every high school graduate should know.

As a self-declared logophile, I had to star it in my reader so I could find it later when I had time to check it out. I finally had time to review it.

And? There were 18 words that I did not know. As in, if you asked me what any of the words meant, I would most likely reply, "I don't know", and look them up when I could. Words like hegemony and moiety. Words I know now. Will I know them next week? Probably not, although I guess they could be inculcated (that's another one I didn't know) into my brain...

Here's the bad part: There were 7 words that I thought I knew, but the meaning in my head did not match the meaning(s) in the dictionary. These are the ones that bother me. These are the words that might slip into a sentence and come tumbling out of my mouth and make me look like a complete idiot.

It's not that I'm afraid to admit I don't know something; ignorance is bliss, right? But thinking I know something and then finding out I'm wrong not right, that's a little hard to swallow. As a child, I pored over my Childcraft dictionary and read my way through the entire Encyclopedia mom got at the grocery store. As an adult, I try to keep a dictionary handy, and am constantly researching words online.

But these 7 words would never have triggered me to look them up, as I already "knew" them. Guess I found my beach book!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

16,000 minutes of fame?

Months ago, I confided to Kathy T. that my biggest fear was to become "known" for this video.

Now that it's up to over 16,000 views, my greatest fear just might have become reality.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hint: The answer is "D."

In two weeks, we're heading south for a week on the beach. So, I bought a bathing suit. Unlike every bathing suit I've owned in the past ten years, it's:

A. A one-piece
B. A Floral print
C. Skirted
D. All of the above