Friday, September 28, 2007

In The Dark

Wednesday afternoon brought an out of the blue power outage for much of the South Side of Milwaukee. A power outage is never convenient, but this put a damper on my night. I had planned to get everything ready for our weekend camping trip. Instead I watched the battery operated television and lite many candles. Our power was expected back on my 8pm. Apparently the area we live in was the last to go on. From what I can figure it was around 1am. As much as I cursed out my husbands new alarm clock, the battery back-up functioned correctly. Having a power outage is live rough camping but inside your house. We found that the generator we purchased a few years ago served its purpose. We found that we are not prepared for an emergency. The generator is in the garage. I was never issued a garage key. (Man's world out there) and husband could not located the key ring with the garage key on it. We then found out how easy it is (was) to break into our garage. This has not been corrected. Then of course the brand new, never been used generator would not start. I left the area at that time. I'm no dummy.

On to Thursday...I left work to a flooded parking lot and pouring rain most of the way home. I got about a 1/2 mile from home and saw what appeared to be snow on the ground. 27th street going south was flooded, and there were small piles of white stuff all over. We had some accumulation of hail. Of course do you think I could find a camera to snap a picture. One had dead batteries and the other was out of film. The dog was a little skeptical about walking her little princess paws through the pile of hail on the deck.

It's off for the last weekend of camping this year. The weather seems promising. Hopefully the bee's will have left the area already. I seem to have caught my husbands cold so I may just plop my self in a lawn chair and let the sun take over.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Crappy Day

Why does one have to have a bad day? Is it just to off-set the good days you have? I know everything can't always be peaches & cream but come on now, what's wrong with a streak of good luck?

Yesterday for example was a good day. We did the Save the Boob's walk. The weather was good, the company was good and the Packer Game, refreshments and company after the walk was good. My hurting feet were okay after an hour or so and when we got home I did a few things around the house and actually sat down and watched some television.

Today was a different story. It started out okay, until I got to work. It was like I was being tested for just how much I could take before I blew. We all know that it's takes a little to yank my chain, and yank it they did today. I first off remembered that a girl who originally started on 1st and then went to 3rd was coming back to 1st today. I had trained her on 1st and she is hard to train. She kept asking all of us to be patient with her and apparently I was the only one who could be as I kept having to work with her. After a few hours today it hit me...she is not much further along then she was when she left our shift originally. She still asks the same questions and still has to show me every roll that she has a question on. My nerves were frayed within 2 hours.

On our schedule it stated that 1st shift was to do a change-over this morning. When I came in I inquired about this and it was confirmed that the changeover would be taking place. This required about 2 hours of switching materials and dies. Not a big deal when everyone takes a task and does it. Nooo....not today. There were only two of us that knew what had to be done. It was bogged down by having to train others. This is not a bad thing, as people need to learn this equipment. But when you have a higher up questioning your every move it can be a little tense. When you have parts of the equipment that do not function correctly it can be tense. About 3/4 of the way through the change-over the big boss comes in and is pissed that we're changing over (he wants answers as to why) as we didn't make the order we were supposed to. I stood there holding material that I was webbing through the machine, just waiting for him to tell me to change back. He mumbled something about the communication sucking around this place and left. Nothing went good. The entire work day was shit! I need to learn not to take things like that so personal, but when I have a crappy day there it bothers me. I'm constantly thinking of what I could have done differently, to make it better. After much thought today I came up with the answer. I should have stayed home.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Day With Dylan

I was called upon today for Grandma duty. When Dylan was a baby I had him at least 5 times a week for 4 or 5 hours a day. It started to dwindle off as he got older. We had a bond. There were things we did together and memories we made. We stayed very involved in his sports activities and have a "grand kids spend the night" about once a month. Today I was asked to pick him up at his coach's house and my son would meet us back at home to pick him up. As we were having my daughter's birthday tonight I opted to keep him around until then.

I went to pick him up and realized that he's not that little baby anymore. It was around 8 years old that my son stopped giving me a kiss goodbye when I dropped him off at school. It was as we were driving up, but not in front of his friends. I walked into the coach's yard and Dylan came up to me and we walked to the truck. As we were getting into the truck without asking I got my hug and kiss. I had to make a stop at Kohls (big sale STB) and taking Dylan to the store used to entail him asking for something. Nothing...not so much as a book or toy. No complaining that I was taking to long, no heavy sighing..just idle talk. On we went to Culver's. He wanted to know if I minded if he also got a sundae.

When we got home I started thinking about how bored I used to get at my grandparents house. My Grandpa would always take us for a walk to the park, but if he wasn't home Grandma was not very entertaining. He pretty much amuses himself. We played a few games on the computer and a card game or two. Around the time my daughter and family were scheduled to arrive he went outside and sat on the front steps. This got to me as I remember when he would sit on the steps and wait for Arnie to come home from work. I went outside and sat with him and told him about how he'd wait for Grandpa to come home. As we were sitting there he leaned his head on my arm and simply said " I love you Grandma". Not to much could have made my day any better.

Tomorrow is the Race for The Cure walk. Ms. Gambino informed me tonight that she intends to sprint the last 3 blocks. I'll be the one trying to catch up to her. There's still time to donate to this cause!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What Is A Friend?

A few times a week I will receive emails with all this stuff about being friends. At the end of these email is always the message "If you are my friend I will get this back". They're all cute and say meaningful things but chances are if you send me one you will get my standard reply. "I do not have to prove I'm you're friend by sending this back to you". That to me proves I put more effort into the friendship then just clicking and forwarding back. I received one today which really got me thinking. What is a friend? Am I a worthy friend? I came up with some thoughts about the friends I have and why I care for them:

I'll do the mushy ones first. You hurt when your friends hurt. You can talk to your friends about anything. You can laugh and cry with your friends. You care enough about your friends to inquire as to the state of their spouse, children and parents. You can joke about misfortunes but yet realize the seriousness of them. You can be a sounding board and a listener. You will go out of your way to hook up with them. You will fill their Ti Ki torches. You will give it your all on you first pudgy pie cooking experience. You will make sure your friends are warm and have enough to drink. You do not lie to your friends. You will not let harm come to your friends or someone will be in the doghouse. You will accept phone calls at any time and under any conditions from your friends. Even though you don't care for their favorite team you find joy in their celebration of victory. You don't have to talk to them everyday to know your friendship in intact. You don't hurt them. You can tell when your friend has had a bad day and can usually talk them through it. You appreciate the friend that talks you through it. You all like the same drunken songs( or at least you pretend to). You have similar morals. You pick out the same clothes from catalogs. You can pass on shopping tips.

And that my friends is all I got!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Woke Up...Fell Out Of Bed

This song was in my head all day (no points for the artist as I'm on it). The story is simple...Around 1am this morning I heard a loud thud and a groan. Yes folks, once again my husband took a tumble. As I try not to laugh while writing this, I remember rolling over and seeing him on the floor flat on his face. I did not laugh!. I had concern as he didn't move for a moment. He then made a hasty run to the bathroom. He came out moments later with a nice gash right on his eyebrow line. The man was injured. I still did not laugh ( I was a bit groggy which could explain that). I inquired as to whether or not the ER was in need. He said he'd let me know in the morning. There wasn't really any blood, just a nice gash. Morning rolled around and at first I didn't remember it. That is until I was in the shower and immediately started chuckling to myself. When I got out and woke him up I could tell he was in a little bit of pain, so I had to compose myself. I also expressed my concern in him going and having this checked out, which I knew was falling on deaf ears. Upon my arrival home tonight I noticed that it was not taken care of. Some Neosporin was blobbed on it. This is a good thing. I was told that no doctor visit was in order...."It will heal". I then noticed a large rip in his pants. He had a bad day!

My drive to work found me switching radio stations as usual. I held up through the long commercial break only to be amused by the Beatles much fitting for the day song. I haven't figured out how to tell him that yet. Not sure he's in that kind of mood. I'm also not real sure how to pad the floor and night stand next to the bed to prevent this from happening again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Who Turned The Heat Off?

Yes folks, it was cold. We've camped in mid-September before but this was late October weather. On the way out there I discovered that I had brought along the wrong tennis shoes. Hey we were meeting up at Cousins and how convenient that Kohls was a few doors down. I sent the hubbie in for the subs and made a bee-line for the store. I got a great deal on the shoes and while walking to the check-out saw an entire rack of thermal shirts on sale also. Picked up two which totally came in handy for the frigid weekend. A bargain was had.

Friday night was nippy, but with good company and a nice roaring fire I managed to stay warm. The heat was turned on in the camper and I had my crocheted blanket from my mommy. I'm sure I looked like a mummy as my hood from my sweatshirt was up and the blanket was covering my face. I sleep the furthest from the heater on the outside wall of the camper so I'm always the coldest. Sometime you gotta take one for the team.

Saturday we were joined by P & K and we hit the picnic area. Sweatshirts came off as the sun was warm and boche ball was played. R & I took the win. I must again apologize to K for the bobbled throwing of the Palino. Hope she's healing well! Somehow I managed to get a little sunburn on my face despite the cold. It wasn't as chilly Saturday night due to no wind and again a roaring fire. We must have all had our share of fresh air as everyone pooped out early. The mosquitoes were out for awhile but the bees were annoying. Once again, good friends, good food and a good time.

Next camping trip is planned for the last weekend in September. Hopefully it won't be snowing by then. The only thing that could have made this one bad would have been rain. Cold and rain don't mix well when camping. You just get the "never can get warm again" feeling.

Don't forget the run/walk Race for the Cure this weekend. A group of us are walking with my sister-in-law Gambino and in support of many others. You can donate to this cause by visiting

Komen Milwaukee Race for the Cure® . We registered and picked up our shirts today. I chuckled when the woman asked me if I wanted to be timed. I shall walk with my friend and try to keep the pace. There's a Packer Game to be watched by noon so that will get me
motivated to keep my ass moving.

Other than that it's back to work tomorrow. I'm still wondering how weekends can go by so fast.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Possum Has Left The Yard

I'm pretty much thinking that the trap can be returned. It's pretty obvious that the possum has either left, is way to damn smart for that trap or different bait needs to be used. There in my driveway sits one big old empty lonely trap.

Had a pretty busy weekend. I just know that when my alarm went off at 5am this morning I wanted to throw it. My drunken Omega dinner did not sit well. Someone neglected to hang the phone up on the charger all the way and it kept beeping every 1/2 hour or so. Rather than reach over and fix it, someone just moaned every time it beeped.

I think we need to train Sadie to handle a few things around this house. Kind of like earning her keep. This laying around all day long crap has got to end. She needs a purpose in life, a goal, something to do all day. I seriously thought about setting up a video camera just to see what she does. She is in the same spot when I get home that she was when I left in the morning. There's nothing chewed or out of place and she'd pretty much penned in the same three rooms everyday. Our bedroom is off limits as she thinks she owns the bed. What cracks me up is when she gets up and moves from one area to another, lays down and lets out this huge sigh. Is it boredom, is she depressed? I also can't figure out how they say that a dog will forget what they did within a few minutes, but yet she will sit by the basement door and cry until we open it. Down she goes and retrieves the bone she left down there the day before.

Good weekend in sports except for Dylan's game. They lost 31-20. The coaches forfeited in the 4th quarter as three of the players were injured. Not seriously, but enough that they didn't want them to play. All that matters is that the kids had fun. I'm not quite sure I'm going to make it through the season listening to the step-grandfather trying to call all the shots from the sidelines. I'll just have to do a lot of walking up and down the sidelines so as not to hear his big dumb ass mouth. He is the equal of the annoying fan in the stands minus the beer.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Lean & the 5 S's

We are going through some changes in our manufacturing practices at work. At first, I was a little doubting that this would work. I still am. Don't get me wrong, I am all for finding a way to make things run smoother because Lord knows I am getting tired of the overtime. When I started my working career it was as a papergirl. My own boss I was. If I didn't get my ass out to collect I didn't have money. If I didn't treat my customers nicely, I didn't get tips. Things were good for a short time until I wanted more money and all my friends worked at the local Arthur Treacher's. I joined the team. For 1 1/2 years I was the smiling girl behind the counter. I reeked of fried fish and found that my life would not be in the fast food industry. I then went on to work at a Hardware Store. That was short lived as the manager of the store was a fucking pig and hit on everyone that worked there. I don't think there were many laws supporting sexual harassment back then or I know my dad would have had this guys ass in jail. I took a little break , graduated High School and went to work full time the day after my graduation as a secretary. Seven years. I did like that job but the company was going downhill. Had second child and went on to work in the manufacturing industry.

I can't say I don't like this industry as I do. I more so enjoy the R&D part of it. I'm into wanting to know how things work and trying to get them to run more smoothly and efficiently. I have learned that this is not possible without the support of everyone involved. When I worked at ET they would constantly implement new programs only to have them wash away within a month or so. As Production Leaders we were constantly required to attend self-improvement meetings/class's only to have that all wash away also. So at times I may go into something with not such a positive attitude. Yesterday I saw this negative attitude from one of my co-worker/friends.

We have a fairly new Process Engineer who was given the job of trying to make some sense of our new line. I like the guy, but he needs to assert his authority rather than shrink back. I like the fact that he is all for input from the operators and does listen to us. He has his butt out on the line and is known to help out. We run several different products on this line and yesterday we were changing products. He had a plan. His plan came from a book. I was also given this book to read and read it I did (Lean Manufacturing & the 5 S'S). My co-worker was also given the book, claims she read it but I have my doubts. I could see what he was attempting to do and I went along with it. She fought it tooth and nail. He came to me a little upset and expressed his anger toward her not wanting to cooperate. No one else but her had a problem with his plan. I told him that if he could get this change over more organized and down to 1/2 half the time it was taking us that he should consider it a success for now. My attempt to explain to her to just go along with it and if it does not work it's not our fault, fell on deaf ears. I'm thinking that she may has just been having some major PMS issues or that this was a power struggle. At any rate I was out of there at 3pm yesterday and things were still moving slowly. I guess on Monday at the changeover process meeting I will be filled in on all the details.

Speaking of mosquittos...I think had I stood in the Applebee's parking lot for one more minute they may have carried me away. Holy Crap! Next weekend is a camping weekend. I'm hoping for a frost before that. The weather is supposed to cool down a bit and stay dry. I was told today that the requirements of each camper is one can of Yard Guard. The little bastards are so hungry that I doubt it'll help.

Dylan has his first football game of the season today, grandma must go cheer.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Trap Is Set

I had some crappy hours today. 9am to 7pm. The day went by fast as we're short-handed and a little busy. Actually the last hour dragged by. That's the point when we're all stocked up and just waiting for the next shift to come in at 6:59. Then of course you have to go through the events of the day and hear some boring chit-chat before you can leave. I got myself a little extra ot by not actually punching out until 7:20. I was immediately attacked when I walked out the door by the giant blood thirsty mosquito's. That's pretty much the topic around Milwaukee and outlying areas this past few days.
I managed to get myself behind a sheriff pretty much the entire way home. I was fine with that as he was cruising between 65-70 most of the way. I just chuckle at the brake lights when people see a cop. It just says "I was speeding" all over it.
I was informed when I got home tonight that the "trap has been set". I need to "stay away from it" when I got out in the morning. If I hear hissing or squealing I should just ignore it. Between us...I have not intention of messing with the trap or what's in it. It's baited with the neighbors tomato's as they figure that the possum is the creature eating all their tomato's. Duh..why should he go to the trap for them when they're right out in the open. I'm not sure what's to become of the ugly rat but I'm sure it will make it's way back eventually. It's probably out there right now sitting on top of the trap, legs crossed and munching down some delicious tomato's fresh from the garden.
It appears that we have vandals in the hood. Two cars on our street had their windshields smashed last night. This isn't the first time. It seems every couple years someone goes on a little window smashing spree. They don't take anything, just cause you the inconvience of shattered glass, calling the travling glass man to fix it, and your loss of work or $$. Some people have to get their rocks off in different ways!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Booing the Boys

Does a die-hard baseball fan boo at their team? Do we boo because of a bad decision a manager made or is it at the actual players? I could see if they were standing in the outfield counting the blades of grass or staring at the girls ta-ta's in the stands( that job is for STB and his friend) but these guys seem pretty intent in winning a game. While watching the game Monday I was a little angered at the booing after the game. What kind of fans does Milwaukee have? It's actually disrespectful and down right rude. I'll admit I booed in the past for players on other teams, but I've never stood with my hands around my mouth booing my own team. How rude! Good game tonight.

So who wants to wager on how long the possum will take to get back to our house once it is trapped and let loose elsewhere? I was chatting with someone at work today that told me that they had trapped a raccoon once and first took it 1 mile away, then about 2 1/2 and the third and final time took it over 5 miles away. He claims he knew it was the same one. They all look the same to me. (no pun intended) So maybe this weekend when the great possum hunter sets out the trap and then wonders what the mess to do with the hissing animal the next morning I should just stand back and not say I told you so. Somehow I picture him running past the window several times with this thing stuck to his body. Here's to you Mr. Excuse Me But Can You Get This Possum Off My Back Man.