Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Job Time Over My Time

I've worked 20 of the last 35 hours, not including travel time and lunch breaks.  I know some people do more, and I did, too, when I was younger.  Overtime sucks now.  I can't complain about the money, although we'd get by just fine, thank you.  There is a serious management problem when your department is on overtime as much as mine.  Overtime should be a stopgap solution, not a long term business plan.  And, yes, it has been happening for years - over a decade in this department.  There is more I'd like to say, but it would not be appropriate here.  I hope it doesn't come to this because I would hate to start over again, but it may be time to look for work elsewhere...

I am not a 'happy camper' with my bosses or my job right now, and I foresee no changes coming.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beeholed, The Opening.

20140919 006 This is where our bee swarm from a few weeks ago lived.  I killed some chemically and the rest, I believe, moved.  The dead grass is from the wood I placed there for about a week.

We may not have them living in our back yard anymore, but there are plenty about.  Their numbers seemed to increase but they also seem more sluggish.  Perhaps this is their last big party time before they die or hibernate?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staycation Jolly Good Fun Time

Once again I have taken some time off work around my birthday, last week.  I didn't say much about it here because I try not to advertise what I plan to do as much as like to write about what I've done.  Plans can change and it's no one's business when our home is unattended for a few days.  This isn't facebook but the thought of security is the same.

My time off started a week ago Friday as we left for this year's weekend at a rented cabin with my in-laws after I came home from work.  For the most part it was relaxing time for all - unless you wanted a full night's sleep.  I didn't write much about that weekend a few posts ago.  There is a reason, but I still better leave it alone.  In fact, bury it.  Remember it, but bury it deep.  The end.

Monday was to be a relaxing first day off at home.  The weather was nice, I got a few things done but mostly I rested, reading and watching the internet.  I did take myself out to lunch at Brothers Three.  Tuesday, of course, was my trip to see Grandma L.  It is nice to see her, I just wish it wasn't so far.   (Almost 2 hours each way.  That might not be a whole lot to some of you, but I am a homebody who really doesn't like to travel much.  For the most part, I don't mind driving as much as I just hate traffic.  Get everybody else off the road and I'll drive you wherever you'd like.  Maybe, if it's not too far.)  Still, I am glad I went and hopefully I can make the trip again next year.  I did get back to town in time to meet up with a buddy for a couple drinks up the road at the Malt House, but I was tired from traveling much of the day so that was just a nice, short meeting for a couple of drinks and some catching up.

Then the weather changed.

On Wednesday, if I remember right, it rained in the late morning and when it finished the already humid day got downright sticky and uncomfortable.  Never fear, however.  Soon the humidity fell to reasonable levels and by evening it was 'close the windows' cool.  Wednesday was wet, gray and cool and I did a whole lot of nothing but surfing the internet - in 3 layers of clothing.  Thursday, on the other hand, was not much different.  Not wet, but even cooler, still gray.  I managed to get dressed to go out to a steak dinner (again, Brothers Three), otherwise I had much the same as the day before.  Now, Friday was totally different.  Friday I said to hell with it and turned on the heat for a time.  In the middle of September.  I hoped the neighbors didn't notice, but I know some of them had theirs on, too.   There was more sun than the last couple days but highs in the mid 50's and lows in the upper 30's does not help a house keep its heat, especially on the gray days.   Contrary to my griping, these were not bad vacation days for me.  I did not have a big project lined up like I usually do, so the weather did not affect me much.  I just stayed inside and lounged, and was thankful for the opportunity to do so.

*I wrote the above two days ago, so I guess I'd just better finish this up and get it posted.

Saturday morning I spent working on the garden.  Kate wanted support posts for the raspberry plants.  I still haven't taken pictures to post on the garden blog, but there is more work to be done back there this weekend.  Then that afternoon we went out to Mazonet Marina for their customer appreciation day.  It was still cool, but the sun was out.  Next to the water with a band playing, grilled polish sausages and beer.  It would have been almost perfect but the bees were out in force, attracted by all the food and drink I'm sure.  I don't think anyone got stung but they were sure a nuisance - and cover your drink at all times so they don't get in!

Overall, I did not think about work more than a couple times last week.  Very good, I thought, surprising, but it was very nice.

As a reminder to myself, I have yet to write about getting my first ever cell phone.  I got it about 3 weeks ago.  Also, I quit smoking (again) a month ago.  These are topics for when I don't know what to write about later.  PTFO

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy 9/11 Day

via Bits & Pieces

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grandma Trip

GL 09092014
Yesterday I made a road trip to Grant county to see my 95-year-old paternal grandmother.  (My maternal grandmother passed last year at 88, I think.)  It was nice, I met my mom there and we visited and took her out to lunch.  I was glad to have my mom there, she's a talker and I'm not really so she kept the conversations going. 

Grandma seems well - old and frail, but well.  She doesn't hear very well and she is very slow moving about but she was interesting and would liven up when she would start telling us stories of the farm where she was raised.  I, rather unstealthily (isn't that a word?), made a couple videos of her talking, trying to catch one of those stories.  After all, each time I see her I fear it will be the last.

Cabin Weekend

We spent last weekend with my wife's family at a log cabin, above, as we did last year and the year before - different cabins each time.  Food, campfire, games, etc.  Well, that's that, then.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sting - Stang - Stung

Yesterday I was under the impression that August had only 30 days.  I had nothing to really write about, thus the quick post in the few minutes I had after my nap and before going to the neighbor's party.  Today, what was something little turned out to be a bigger deal.  Now I have something to write about.

I think it was August 14, about two and a half weeks ago, I got home from work and was mowing the lawn when it felt like I was getting poked with a needle on my foot.  I shook it and then looked down and saw a bee in between the leather on my (toe covered) sandals.  I let go of the mower and ripped my sandal off my foot.  I didn't see where the bee went, but the immediate threat was gone and I had a lawn to mow so I put the sandal back on and continued.

A few minutes later and on the other side of the yard I started to feel like I was getting poked again, same as before.  This time it was at the very top of my left ass cheek.  Again I let go of the mower, then I ran to the garage while grabbing at various parts of my shorts.  I got to the side door - locked.  I ran around the corner and in the open garage door but there was one problem - it was daytime and the open garage faces the street (and neighbors).  Quickly, I hit the button to shut the garage and turned on the light.  I continued dancing around until the door was mostly down then dropped everything right there in the middle of the garage.  By then the poking had stopped and no bee was found.  Back to mowing the lawn. 

At least two stings, minutes apart.  They itched like crazy - and continued to itch for about a week and a half - but no swelling whatsoever.  None.

I kept my eyes open as I finished mowing but saw no bees flying around at all.  It was a few days later we found their 'nest'.  They were coming in and out on the edge of the lawn under the wood that separates the tree area.  I sprayed their entrance several times and eventually saw no signs of bees and thought that was that.  I was wrong.

Yesterday morning I mowed the lawn before the rain came.  I wasn't even thinking of bees, but I should have been.  Not long after passing their area with the mower I felt that same sting, this time on the back of my right arm just above the elbow.  The perfect spot that I couldn't reach on the first try and he got me good.  I saw activity in that same area that I had sprayed before so I sprayed it again.  That quieted them down for the moment and allowed me to finish the lawn.  When I was done mowing I sprayed it again and put some spare wood over it.  I doubt it was a good enough fit to trap them inside, but maybe making them burrow through grass would make them leave.  I had one more shot at spraying left in the can, in fact I still need to get more to try to finish the job.

Not too long after I noticed that I was developing a welt, red and puffy and itchy.  I put some Afterbite on and tried to forget about it.  Just a couple hours later it was getting hard to ignore.  The swelling had spread, it was red and hot to the touch.  I put a compression sleeve on to hopefully keep the swelling down and carried on with my day.  By the evening my whole arm was swollen.  Not too grotesquely, mostly the back and inside of my arm from just below the elbow to below my armpit, but even my hand was a tiny bit puffier than the other.  It was uncomfortable because my skin was taut around my elbow and bicep and it itched - oh, the itching!

Today the redness has spread almost to my wrist but thankfully has not moved up to my shoulder.  The skin is still tight and the red areas are still itchy and hot to the touch.  I've tried ice packs yesterday and they really don't do anything.  It has not been painful, really, just very uncomfortable and has made me a bit grumpy.  I guess I am allergic to bee stings now.  I'm not sure how that works, but if it happens again anytime soon I may make a beeline for the urgent care, pun intended.

Some way to spend a holiday weekend, huh?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Weekend 2014

I noticed that I have never posted less than seven times a month, and that's not going to change now.

Happy holiday weekend to all!  I got my three day weekend started by mowing the lawn before the rain came today.  After putzing around for a while, we went out for lunch before I laid down for a nap.  See, tonight we have a party to go to over at the neighbor's and at 8:00 the Wisconsin Badgers open their college football season!  Finally.  The Packers start next weekend.  Tomorrow, weather permitting, we're supposed to go out on a friend's pontoon boat, and we'll probably do some chores so we can be restful (lazy) on Labor Day.

Goodbye August, I hardly got to know you.