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15 entries from November 2007

Links for 2007-11-30

On my last day at this contract gig

Cleaned out the file cabinet, evidence of a year too quickly passed:

  • Six doses of store-brand DayQuil
  • Various random print-outs from the different support problems I worked over the last year
  • Four Sunkist fruit-snack pouches. The little fruity bits inside are shriveled into blocks of coal, yuk
  • 21 cents (dime, nickel, six pennies)
  • Flattened raspberry Zinger, thankfully still in its individual wrap—photo to come
  • Four styrofoam plates, unused (I think)
  • Stack of take-out menus I somehow inherited but never used

Because I know you are just DYING to be kept up to date

So! The cold.

I spent all day yesterday with just the tiniest hint of a throat irritation, the first sign of a twinge of a possibility that my immune-system front line was about to be engaged in a battle of wills with an Evile Invader. Stopped at the drugstore for daytime cold meds on my way home from work, started snorking them like candy yesterday afternoon.

When I went to bed last night, I still had the minor throat irritation, and that was the only sign. I was pleased: Maybe this would be a low-key experience!

Then I woke up this morning at 03:57, a full three minutes before my 04:00 alarm, to the charming experience of my left nostril heavily congested, the mucous membranes obviously determining that a full decade’s worth of mucus production in just six hours was The Way To Go.

The human body is a mystery and a wonder and oh so irritating at times.

I stood up to turn off my alarm and begin anew the cold-meds snork routine and like an anvil falling, the congestion immediately dropped to my toes. Instantly clear nasal passages, the ton-of-bricks feeling dissipated like a cloud of cigarette smoke in a light breeze.

The audible CLANG of the congestion clearing scared the hell out of my cats.

Quickly, people, give me your cold preventives/cures, proven or otherwise

I feel the first twinges of a mild sore throat which could be a precursor to a cold. Worst possible time—I leave on a 10-day vacation Friday night!

What do you recommend for nipping this thing in the bud before it evolves to a full-blown respiratory germfest?

Update: Got many IMs, emails, a few Twitter replies with suggestions including (in no particular order):

Massive list, eh wot?

Links for 2007-11-21

Maybe time to turn on the heat

Woke up this morning to indoor temperature of 52°F, which I had not perceived because I was snuggled so deeply into my blankets that I could no longer feel my feet in the tangle of bedclothes.

First indicator that it was a bit colder than I might have liked, however, was not the thermometer on the bedside table. It was the two cats huddled closely against me, slurping what body heat made it through the blankets like some sort of energy worms.

Second indicator: Annie, who normally flees the bathroom area when the shower is running, camped out at the base of the tub so she could enjoy the steamy mist from the hot water.

Third indicator: When I opened the bathroom door after my shower, the air-temp difference was noticeable enough that I actually caught my breath briefly. Shivered a bit, sprinted into the bedroom to get dressed quickly.

Poor cats. I hope they spend the day on their little heated bed, or lying in the sun as it warms up the living room and bedroom through the midday.

Dear The Talented and Vastly Underappreciated Janitorial Staff:

I get it.

I understand that you don’t want to have to replenish the paper towels in the restrooms more than once every, well, ever.

But please, I beg of you, don’t attempt to stuff an entire year’s supply of paper towels into a dispenser meant to hold perhaps a supply of a day or two at most.

Totally know where you’re coming from there, even though I have never done that as part of my employment duties except one time back in the early 1990s when I worked at Kmart in Salt Lake City and there was an unfortunate incident of explosive diarrhea in one of the public restrooms which, because it occurred in the middle of the business day and the cleaning folks worked overnight, I ended up designated to control.

This incident of lower-G.I. pyrotechnics somehow resulted in what I can only describe as staggeringly impressive coverage of the floor, five walls (three in the affected stall, one across the restroom, and the opposite side of the next stall), and several paper-product dispensers with a substance that in this day and age would elicit a full FEMA hazmat response, complete to city-wide mandatory evacuations* and presidential declarations of disaster with Air Force One flyovers and the like.

So there was mopping, and disinfecting, and replacement of the paper-products dispensers which then had to be filled. I stuffed those damned things so full, apparently I was determined they wouldn’t need replenishing for five years or so. I never used these dispensers, mind, but I didn’t want some unfortunate customer to wash his hands and have to resort to the flick-dry method or to the wet-legs method because the towel dispensers were empty.

Flash forward to today:

Washed my hands after I used the restroom, tried to pull out a paper towel. Instead I ended up with wet paper-towel confetti because the towels were packed in so tightly, I’m pretty sure you could extract a diamond from the center of that dispenser.

Half-inch-square pieces of paper towel are laughably ineffective hand-drying mechanisms. In such circumstances, however, jeans make perfectly acceptable hand dryers.

My pants had handprints on them the entire way back to my desk.

* Hideously unfortunate pun. But, grand-scheme-of-things-wise, I’m okay with it.

His popcorn-popping impression

We’ve all experienced it.

Just about to doze off, and a vivid dream of falling or tripping over a rock or something similar results in a full-body convulsion accompanied by immediate release of a year’s worth of adrenalin. You go from comfort and relaxation to full fight-or-flight mode in the space between heartbeats, suddenly wide awake but utterly confused.

I’ve seen dogs do this before. The dogs we’ve had over the years, the Boxers and yellow lab, all did this a few times. But I had never seen a cat experience this phenomenon until about 20 minutes ago:

Flex was lying curled up on the ottoman when out of nowhere he sprung straight up, a foot into the air. How cats do this from a prone start is beyond me. He came down fully puffed up, an inflated sphere of feline indignation with claws extended. Landed on his feet in the traditional cat manner, took a minute or so to un-puff and quell his state of alarm.

Another time I wished I had 24-hour video surveillance in the house.

Two big northwest craft brewers merging

I remember hearing sniffs about a merger, or at least a stronger marketing alliance, between Redhook Ale Brewery and Widmer Brothers, back in... what, maybe March? April? Earlier this year, anyway. Now it’s definitely in the works, with Redhook paying about $50 million in stock and the combined concern to operate under the name Craft Brewers Alliance with offices in Woodinville, WA, and Portland, OR.

Story text after the jump.

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