Friday, April 22, 2011

Lesson of Day: Read the directions.

When I received my Juror Summons in the mail last month, after the initial groaning I sat down and read what was basically a large post card. It very clearly stated that the attached questionnaire had to be returned (by mail or complete online). The attached questionnaire had a postage paid envelope. 10 yes/no questions that were things like: are you in the active military, are you 18 or older, can you read? Things you don't really need to think about. I completed mine online. It took less than 2 minutes, start to finish-and that probably included walking over to my "To do" pile, rifling through it for the Summons, turning on my computer, logging in and navigating to the website-it was that quick. It might have even been quicker to check off the boxes, seal it and mail it.
So imagine my surprise when the head of Jurors (I am sure she has a better title than that) looked around the room and announced that there were far too many people present. There were 100 of us present. A full 40% had not followed directions on the Juror summons and filled out and returned the questionnaire. They were dismissed immediately as "unqualified" with no credit for the day, no documentation for employers and a curt-you WILL be back here very soon-you are deferred only until they draw the next lot.
Did they do this on purpose?
If they did it on purpose. Why? They showed up. They didn't request deferrals ahead of time (which you could do). They had to come to the courthouse at an hour that meant they were up before dawn. They had to take off work and not get paid (since they get no credit). They have to come back. Why go through that.
On the other hand, if it wasn't on purpose-how did they miss the directions to finish the questionnaire. I mean, I had to search on the paper for the reporting room number for awhile because THAT was written in small print-while the Directions to return the questionnaire were in a larger, bold font. Not to mention that envelope. Didn't that peak their curiosity?

Maybe it's because I am a rule-follower at heart that I just don't get it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It all started with a treat

It all started with a treat. When we acquired our long-haired dachshund, Chloe, she was a tiny puppy someone had the bright idea to house-train her using treats. I suppose I read it somewhere since I was until that moment a cat-only person. Being the "responsible" pet owner I promptly bought a different type of food to use as treats (versus the fatty 'regular' treats.) and counted them in her daily diet.

To my husbands surprise (he who had multiple dogs and never thought the treat idea would work) Chloe was house trained in 4 days. Actually, it was more like 2-but she had puppy worms and had a few accidents beyond her control.

Then came day 5-and on that day or beautiful smart puppy trotted out happily to "GO bathroom", squatted down...and popped back up without doing anything...and demanded her treat. We were amused-but didn't fall for it. Chloe decided to test this for several days before finally admitting defeat. Or did she-since she suddenly decided to go #1, come in-get her treat...then want back out for #2 and ANOTHER treat. And, we allowed this because, hey, she followed the rules.

Fast forward 11+ years. Chloe (well within the preferred weight set by Vet I might add) continues to milk treats from us for every 'excursion' outside. By now, it is an ingrained instinct. She hunts us down and makes us remember to give her a treat if we dare forget.

At some too-early time this morning I took her highness out to the bathroom. Gave her her treat and we went back to bed. I got resettled on bed and was dropping back to sleep when Chloe insisted she needed to go out again. SO I made The husband take her out. He came back shaking his head saying she went out and came back in-but no business. We settled down again and once again, she insisted she needed to go out. Annoyed, I grabbed her up and went downstairs muttering something about The husband.

At the bottom of the steps it hit me. The little Sh*t didn't want to go out the the bathroom. She wanted a treat. Not her BATHROOM treat...but her (perceived) BEDTIME treat. You see, for the last few days I have taken a red Twizzler to bed and we have shared it. Chloe loves red Twizzlers. Loves them. She can smell them a mile away. She gets a (small) bite or two when either of us is eating one. Its one of her rare sinful treats.

She was 'confused'. She thought that since we were downstairs...and went up to bed that she should get a Twizzler treat.

Uh-uh. No way. She's too smart to be 'confused'. She was playing us. At some mind numbing minute of the way-too-early morning.

Someone furry ended up sleeping the rest of the night on the floor. Sans Twizzler.

So cute

Monday, April 18, 2011


I was given a Flip camera for work months ago. I used it with my students (GREAT for tracking progress for some kids!) and, when I got my new position, tossed it in my camera bag during the move from office to office so it wouldn't get lost or crushed in my 7+ boxes of stuff plus the bonanza of stuff in my new office. Fast forward to yesterday, when I remembered that I had tossed it into the camera bag and it really should be at work. So I dug it out and, just for fun, I turned it on. Of course, it didn't work. I spent 10 minutes rummaging around in 2 camera bags and 2 drawers looking for the charger. I concluded the charger must be at work. Today-I spent 10 minutes looking in various boxes and cabinets and drawers for the charger.
Finally, I found the box. Inside-NO charger.
10 more minutes spent looking for the charger. 10 minutes panicking that I lost the charger, wondering if I could buy a new one and how much it would be.

I was out of options, I looked in every single place it should be-and some it shouldn't. I was about to conclude I overlooked the charger at home-necessitating another search party at home...when it finally dawned on me.

It takes (nonrechargable) batteries.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It's Spring on the calendar...but not outside...and not inside either.
The days are cloudy and cold here still. That's just not right.
Last year, after Snowmageddon, we were blessed with a summer-like spring. I clearly remember being in shorts, eating ice cream and marveling at the HUGE snowpile still melting in a mall parking lot.

This year, my mood matches the weather--dreary.
I am trying to shake it....but not really succeeding.

I am tired and, while I have energy, I have no desire to move. My couch sucks me in. I have always, I am beyond procrastinating into blatant having no desire to do what needs done until there is motivation (like no clothes left to wear before doing laundry...or, case-in-point-taxes-which sit there staring at me.)

I want to walk...and run...and I can't. Oh-not from the drearyness...but from some mild ache in my hip-sciatica we think. It makes my inner thigh on one side tight. I am pretty sure I have the cause of it pinned down (new job-long drive + sitting all day in small chairs with no break) for resolving the issue.

When I don't have pain, I walk...sometimes. Others I talk myself out of it...enjoy the ache-free day I tell myself...but regret it later.

The tiredness is partially from my new position. I enjoy it...but I am playing catch-up in a position that has more work daily...

Of course, I know the real reason for my mood. The weather is just not helping matters.

When it is sunny-I go outside. I feel better. I really do.
It's the only thing that helps shake this right now...