Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So, for my last day at work I worked the choices down to Hawkeye from MASH or James Bond. Now, there is no doubt that Bond has class, but I decided that Hawkeye's got style.

My bathrobe, so long that people thought it was a duster, and my cowboy hat fit the bill. Everyone thought it was perfect, but to tell you the truth, a little bit of me wanted the Bond look. Just tell everyone that my next career is classified.

I confess that it was hard to do any work at all until they let me leave 4 hours early. That's the story of my life. I left all the women with tears in their eyes. I thought I might shed a few myself, but nary a drop.

I came home, watched I am Legend, took a dip in the hot tub, and it's still not yet 5pm. I could get used to this...at least till the money ran out. I'll start the job search soon, but for now, I think I need a nap.



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I have 1 full day and 1 day of who knwos how long left at work this week. I will leave work Tuesday at whatever time they let me go to retire after 25 years at work. Mind you, I'm not going to quit working, just going to quit working there. I'm on the brink of trying to start another career, but we'll have to wait and see just what.

Since I have been there so long I have accumulated quite a pile of junk and decorations for my cubicle. Rather than depress my co-workers....and have them laugh at my pile of stuff, I decided to clean out my cubicle on Saturday. Helen and I went in and started cleaning out and boxing up. There was quite a lot of memories amidst the dust, but we finally got everything I could in the van. I had 5 copier paper boxes, two paintings and 3 picture frames to take home. The boxes included many miscellaneous items such as: M & M Hotrod candy dispenser, mugs, junk food, a zen garden, bamboo plant, a wide array of junk food and medicines for the office.

I shredded 2 trashcans full of old papers and will still have a desk full of office supplies, my roll-o-dex, an under-cabinet stereo, and a number of other items to let my co-workers fight over once I'm gone. I'm totally good with that. I went through other retirees' desks the day after they left. I waited a week to go through the desk of a friend that died, so I whole-heartedly hope they don't just trash the left overs.

I'm trying to decide now what to wear for my last day at work. Pajamas and a bathrobe, a tux and ruffled shirt, coveralls and cowboy hat. So many options.

I knew I should have bought a full pair of spurs,


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Living with the Wolves

My son and his wife sold their party train and had to take it to Houston. They decided to make a trip of it and visit the coast and her dad in Austin, extending the trip through the weekend. They took their sheltie with them, but left their two half-wolves and mutt with us. The wolves each have a dog crate the size of a minivan where they sleep. Since the younger wolf is still a puppy, of about 50 lbs, she shares her crate with the mutt.

They get fed once a day. The papa bowl for Avalanche, the older wolf; the mama bowl for Maya, the young wolf, and the baby bowl for the mutt. Avalanche used to literally wolf down his food. He grabbed mouthfuls as fast as possible and swallowed without chewing. He’s calmed down now and eats more calmly, but can still wolf down food if he thinks someone will take it away from him. (That someone will not be me between a wolf and his food.)

At 5am, the wolf pack began a howling, barking riot that I’m sure could wake the dead, after all, it did wake me from a dead sleep. It turns out that there is something that smells worse than a wolf. I left them outside, praying that that won’t wake (or eat) the neighbors, while I cleaned up the mess and sprayed the room with liberal amounts of air freshener.

After living with the wolf pack for 3 days, I have determined the method in their plan of attack. First, they make their prey sleep deprived, so as not to suspect an attack is coming. It is also possible that they make their prey sleep deprived in order to cause the prey to think in irrational ways. Second, whenever the wolves are wandering free in the yard, the oldest will sneak up behind you and nose you, spreading wolf snot and slobber on you. If you have just gotten out of the hot tub, the oozing slime can literally be strategically placed anywhere on you. This is not merely random snot. This snot is for tracking you later when you least suspect it.

I haven’t worried about this for 2 days because the motor home sized crates are comparatively secure. That was when I noticed that the springs are gone from one of the crates. In that wolfish mind, I can see them plotting now. The young wolf will open her cage first with the help of the mutt. The two of them will then free the pack leader. All of this will happen in the dead of night. Their keen sense of smell will then lead them to the snotty smell they placed on you, no matter where you sleep or hide.

I decided that tonight is the night they will strike as the sleep deprivation will be at its peak. I think I can move the book case in front of the door, but I don’t know how much snot marking has been done with the kids. I may just have to stay up all night in the living room with the lights on and the garlic spread around the room. Oh, wait, would that smell like seasoning too much?
What’s that snuffling sound?


Monday, March 9, 2009

A Bit o' the Emerald Isle

I know it's not quite St. Patrick's Day, but it's never too early to celebrate the wearin' o' the green. This is in honor of Nene.

Irish Marriage Blessing
May God be with you and bless you.May you see your children's children.May you be poor in misfortunesand rich in blessings.May you know nothing but happinessfrom this day forward.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.May the wind always be at your back.May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields.And until we meet again,May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

A Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbowFor sunlight after showers—Miles and miles of Irish smilesFor golden happy hours—Shamrocks at your doorwayFor luck and laughter too,And a host of friends that never endsEach day your whole life through!

An Irish Prayer
May God give you...For every storm, a rainbow,For every tear, a smile,For every care, a promise,And a blessing in each trial.For every problem life sends,A faithful friend to share,For every sigh, a sweet song,And an answer for each prayer.

An Old Cradle Song
Sleep, my babe, lie still and slumber,All through the nightGuardian angels God will lend thee,All through the nightSoft and drowsy hours are creeping,Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,Mother dear her watch is keeping,All through the nightGod is here, you'll not be lonely,All through the night'Tis not I who guards thee only,All through the nightNight's dark shades will soon be over,Still my watchful care shall hover,God with me His watch is keeping,All through the night

Remembered Joy
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free!I follow the plan God laid for me.I saw His face, I heard His call,I took His hand and left it all...I could not stay another day,To love, to laugh, to work or play;Tasks left undone must stay that way.And if my parting has left a void,Then fill it with remembered joy.A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss...Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.My life's been full, I've savoured much:Good times, good friends, a loved-one's touch.Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—Don't shorten yours with undue grief.Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.

An Old Celtic Blessing
May the blessing of light be on you—light without and light within.May the blessed sunlight shine on youand warm your hearttill it glows like a great peat fire.

Bless This House
Bless this house, o Lord, we pray.Make it safe by night and day.Bless these walls so firm and stout,Keeping want and trouble out.Bless the roof and chimney tall,Let thy peace lie over all.Bless the doors that they may proveEver open to joy and love.Bless the windows shining bright,Letting in God's heavenly light.Bless the hearth a-blazing there,With smoke ascending like a prayer.Bless the people here within...Keep them pure and free from sin.Bless us all, that one day, weMay be fit, O lord, to dwell with Thee.

In Time of Sorrow...
May you see God's light on the path aheadWhen the road you walk is dark.May you always hear,Even in your hour of sorrow,The gentle singing of the lark.When times are hard may hardnessNever turn your heart to stone,May you always rememberwhen the shadows fall—You do not walk alone.

A Blessing for Fair Day
God be with them now, and bring them home with their fair share of stock or money.

An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,and warm your heart and home.May good and faithful friends be yours,wherever you may roam.May peace and plenty bless your worldwith joy that long endures.May all life's passing seasonsbring the best to you and yours!

My Favorite
May those that love us, love us;and those that don't love us,may God turn their hearts;And if He doesn't turn their hearts,may He turn their anklesso we'll know them by their limping.

I think I just found a four leaf clover,


Friday, March 6, 2009

It's My Car

I got a call today from my youngest daughter. She was at work at the bank and said, "Do you know a Carlos Pando?"
"No, I've never heard of him, why?"
"Because there's a tow truck here to take my car away because it's behind on car payments. "
I had her had the cell phone to the tow truck operator and told them, "DO NOT TAKE THAT CAR! I HAVE A CLEAR TITLE!"
She said that the Ford company had a lien against the title. I told her again, "no I have a clear title."
The lady said she was just doing her job, but I told her she was not to take the car. Meanwhile she was on the phone with the Ford people and gave me the guy's number to call and said that she would not take Samm's car.
I had to wait another hour or so to get home and find the title to the car. Now I couldn't remember looking at it or not to see if it was clear. Fortunately it showed no lien.
I called Ford and talked to the guy and said, "You tried to tow my daughter's car today." He knew right who we were and said there had been a huge mistake on their part, that they had corrected the error and it wouldn't happen again. He appologized appropriately, so I magnanimously accepted and that was the end of that.
I'm pretty sure I spiked my blood pressure for the year, though. I got to spend some time at the Temple in a meeting, so I'm mellow again.
Well, maybe I need to go spend a little time out in the hot tub....just to be sure.


Monday, March 2, 2009

End of an Era

After taking disastrous exams in college, you could usually hear someone say, "Well, it's not the end of the world, just the end of a career." While I haven't taken any disastrous exams, I am at the end of a career. I'm off today due to Texas Independence Day, but tomorrow I will officially tender my letter of resignation with my intent to retire on March 31st. I haven't shed any tears typing up the letter, though I'm sure some will come before I leave, but it's a scary, exciting thing to do, especially in this economy.

25 years ago, my wife and I left our jobs, home and her family in Kentucky to move to Texas and hopefully find a job. We had no prospects or opportunities except to move in with my parents in Odessa, Texas. They were kind enough to let us stay with them for 4 months until I got the job I had hoped I would get with the State of Texas. Though I've had disagreements and disappointments with my time, it's been good, or maybe better to say it's been good for me.

Now, at 53 years old, I find myself facing unemployment while I endeavor to start over again, yet, as Joseph Smith said, "I am calm as a summer's morn." Sure, I know that John D. Lee spoke those word before he was executed, but I feel the same peace I did 25 years ago as I faced the then unknown. I am confident as I trust in the Lord, that He knows exactly what I will be doing in the future, just as He always has, and will watch over me.