Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Day, Another Nickel

Another day, slogging through paperwork, posting things to the company intranet, planning some special events. Locked in a cube. (Actually, I stay in it as much as possible, better to keep a low profile so when the axes fly, I can duck my head and keep working.)

On the good side though, I got my truck back from the body shop last night, good as new! It looks GREAT. You'd never know someone had clipped me, and it's a black truck, so you know everything shows. They do custom work too. They are good! I've been using the same body shop for about 20 years now. The funny thing is that I haven't been in there for at least 10 years, and the boss remembered me as soon as I mentioned my old muscle car. Dang, wish I still had that car...

Got rear ended in that one too, three different times, the insurance wouldn't pay for it to be fixed the last time. I was SO upset, I loved that car. But let me tell you, never, ever buy an orange car. I'm serious, don't buy an orange car.

Question: How can you miss an orange car?

Answer: You can't, it's a drunk magnet. Might as well paint a big bulls eye on the back of it! They just home in and KA-BLOUW!! Rear ended again.

I've been told many times I had a nice rear end, but that had nothing to do with cars, LOL.

Well, it's past my bedtime, time for the anti-inflamatory for my knees so I can still walk in the morning...

See ya!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hit and Run (Not for fun)!!

Ah man, got ran into on Monday night on the blasted freeway. Had already merged completely onto the freeway, easing along in the slow lane. Slow and go traffic. All of a sudden, squeal of tires and BANG, dude hits me on the back corner of my truck, drivers side.

So I'm kinda like DANG!! He'd swerved, I assume trying to miss me, so was in the next lane over, I'm still rolling, waiting for him to pull in front of me and over to the shoulder. That's when I saw him change to next lane to the left and I realize he's taking off.


So I pull over to the shoulder. There was already a clean up on a previous accident back on the shoulder next to the merge lane, tow truck, cars, CHP. As always, no one is answering 911 on the cell, lines are hecka busy. So I get out, check my bumper. Tail light assembly all smashed, bumper squashed a bit on that side, rumpled back corner to the wheel well. Then started walking back to where the CHP was.

Local yokel sees me and pulls over. I tell him what happened, he radios it in. So I go back to truck to wait. Call insurance. By the time the CHP gets to me, I have the report to insurance made, claim number, telephone number to adjusters, and found out that my favorite body shop is a preferred vendor, so there won't be any problem using them.

Doctor gave me a slip, I can go back to work on Monday.

But a hit and run? And get this, I recognized the truck, I've seen it on the freeway before. Black older model pickup, with a big decal in the back window, big white letters "STREET SMART". With luck, they'll be stupid enough to keep driving it with front end damage and all, and I'll eventually be able to get the plate number. I WILL be watching! And my friends are watching too, when I described the truck, more than one person said, "hey, that sounds familiiar!"

But what really sucks, is that because I didn't get the plate number, I have to pay my $500 deductible. At least I was smart enough to have a fairly small deductible and really good insurance. And rental car coverage. (Another $100 gone from my budget for the deposit on the car.)

Sigh. It could be worse. I drive a truck so damage is relatively minor, initital estimate is only $2600. It was slow and go traffic, so was going less than 30mph. I leave room in front of me, so plenty of room to get popped and not hit anyone else. I sit pretty straight up in the seat, so didn't have a lot of room to get slammed forward and then back into the seat and headrest. With only a little bit of stiff neck and shoulder, I should be fine by the end of the weekend. Truck is in shop already, should have it back in a week or so. And that PT Cruiser that I'm driving right now is a pretty cool little ride. I need to check the miles per gallon on it, I like it, drives well, feels more solid than the last rental I had.

But anyway, as always, the good Lord was watching over me and keeping me safe from any real harm.

Thank you Lord!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Woman's Work Is Never Done...

It's a beautiful Saturday morning. I should be working on my eBay. If I could find any of the stuff I had intended to sell... I still have a room full of boxes to go through.

Or maybe I should be cleaning house. Or weeding my front flower garden. Or painting the outside of the house. Or finishing the painting on the inside (I didn't paint the hall yet, I knew when they moved my stuff back in, I'd have to fix the bumps and bruises anyway).

Or maybe I should build that new shed. Or unpack some boxes. Or get some of that furniture that's supposed to be inside, wiped down and inside.

Or put those shelves up over my bedroom windows, so I can unpack my collection of California Raisins, they'll have a place of honor above my bed. And finish unpacking the M&M toys, they go in the living room on the very top shelves.

Well, I do have some laundry in the washer.

LOL, a woman's work is never done.

Instead of all the things I SHOULD be doing, I think I'll spend a little time and hook up my whole stereo system. Find some of my jazzy CDs and fill my house with music. Fill the hummingbird feeder so I can enjoy the antics of the little darlings. Plant some bulbs before the Chihuahua succeeds in stealing them and chewing them up. Take a little time for myself before my son wakes up and we get busy with the day.

Then I'll be busy, have to go to the recycling plant and drop off a load of cans and bottles. Go to Play It Again Sports for some inline skates for roller hockey. Maybe make it to Home Depot, I need a 1x10 cut to short pieces for some extra supports for my new shelving unit, just to be safe. (Books are HEAVY.) Put some free stuff on Craigslist. Plan the Labor Day BBQ, make a menu and a guest list.

Sigh, a woman's work is never done...

So I think I'll have another cup of coffee first.

Friday, August 10, 2007

On The Road Again

Well, getting ready to leave on a mini-vacation.

Actually, I need to go pick up my son from Grandma and Grandpa's house. He's been having a BALL with his grandparent, aunts, uncle, cousins. They've got him playing ice hockey and he loves it. When he gets home, luckily, while the ice hockey rink is a little far, there's a roller hockey within 15 minutes of the house and the league is on Saturdays. Yayyyy! Perfect for this working mom!

He's been having so much fun, I'm sure he's going to be asking again when we're moving up to Oregon. Hey, can't retire from this job for five more years, so by then he may feel differently. I hope not.

I also hope the housing market is back and rising in five years. My experience here in Cali is that it adjusts every 10 years or so, there's a bad time of about two or three years, then rebounds higher than before. So we'll hope for the best. Otherwise, well, then I guess I'll be renting the house out, since I really won't be able to afford to retire and stay here. Or if the child doesn't want to leave yet, then work for a couple more years until he graduates from high school.

Of course, the plan is to retire from this job, then just move on back into my career of writing and art. But you never know, if I see a good little job up that way with a bit of a retirement plan and medical benies, I may work "for the man" long enough to be vested, ie, get that retirement too. Nothing like double-dipping!

Anyway, I'm not really planning on doing any more work-for-hire books, the next ones will be my projects. I may even self publish, there's some very interesting things going on these days in the self publishing world. It's changing so quickly, with the Internet. Of course, that's not all good, there's a lot of really bad "design" work being done. And I'm being charitable by calling it "design". People have NO clue of what good design is, I know I make it look easy, but I've been doing this for a long time. After 20+ years, it should look easy!

Well, finished my cup of coffee, time to get up, pour another, and start getting ready for the six or seven hour drive. Still have to pack, fill all the feeders, load the cooler, etc... Oh, and get the teen out of bed!

See you all next week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ayyyy, Teenagers!

Oh, man, what is it with teens?

Mine went and downloaded a program the other day. Does she ask? No. Is it her computer? No.

But oh my, did I get the attitude just now when I was removing the program. She acts like I did something wrong by taking her program off the computer. And, on top of that, when I told her for the upteenth time, "DO NOT load programs on my computer," she's trying to tell me that I've never told her that. Huh.


Teens! Really, they're not deaf, they just have selective hearing.

Now she's invited her friend, a boy, to go to Oregon with us. Ayyyyy! And she's saying his mom said yes, he could go.

I didn't say yes, but I didn't say no either, so apparently there's an implied OK in this scenario. Well, guess what, the boy is NOT going with us on my tiny bit of a vacation! I'm not going to be responsible for someone else's son while I'm trying to have 3-4 days off. It's bad enough that I can't even stay the full week because of the plumbing disaster earlier this year, so I don't have enough vacation time to take a proper vacation. But to have to be responsible for another teen? One that I just met today? No, I think NOT.

The girl is totally a DIVA too. OMG, the drama that never ends. Once her cousin said, "When she comes into the room, it's like a light switch is turned on." That is so true of my beautiful girl.

And you know, when she does finally grow up and leave home, I will miss her terribly...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Books, Books, Books

Sigh, some days I really, really miss the publishing business. I miss designing the pages, making the pictures and text and captions all fit together. The thrill of finding JUST the right picture to go with that page of text.

I miss the thrill of the hunt, of going out and buying pictures in Hollywood for the books about movie stars. It was so much fun. Work, yes, but fun.

The smell of freshly printed books, when we'd rip open the boxes, open the books and see the culmination of all our hard work, it was like Christmas all over again.

So many kids don't seem to like books anymore. My kids complain about all my books. I have literally walls of books in my house. It's the feel, the smell, the texture. The look of the words on the page. And a book is portable. We can go off to the dog park or the skate park and I can post up with a book, escape the bills, my little skateboarder (OK, he's almost as tall as I am), my teenage diva, the job, the housework for just a little while.

For a little while, I'm lost in a strange new world, exploring Forerunner ruins, hearing the hissing speech of a Zacathan or the trill of a Trystian, or hiding from a Dark Rider. Alas, all too soon the kids, the house, work call and back I come to the "real" world.

I put the bookmark where I leave off, and put the book back on the shelf.

Soon, soon, I'll be back....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

So Here I Am

Well, it's about darn time I started a blog.

Been a graphic artist and writer for a long time. But since the book publishing business took a fat dump in the mid-90s, I went and got a gov't job. It's ok. It's a living and I'll be able to retire in 5 more years.

So what will I do?

Well, depending on the housing market in 2012, I'll sell and move closer to my parents and sisters. It's cheaper to live there, I'll have family close by, there's a lot of art stuff going on in the area, and so on.

Of course, I'll be another of those blasted Californians moving north, driving up the cost of real estate, contaminating the area with my "liberal" views. LOL, hey, I'm totally a moderate, with major swings on some topics. Like we have too many laws and don't enforce what we already have. Layer upon layer of laws, like the transluscent layers of acrylics I use in my paintings. I do it to intensify the colors, the depth.

But why do we need so many laws about things that, to be brutally honest, are no one's business but our own? What's the deal with that? We don't need laws, we need to butt out of people's medical decisions. We need to butt out of people's bedrooms. And we sure need to butt out of the marriage business.

If you ask me (and no, I know you didn't), we should eliminate marriage as a legal term. EVERYBODY gets a civil union with all the privileges and responsibilities, tax write-offs and so on, and then you can go over to your church and get your religious ceremony if that's what you choose to do.

Oh, man, my first blog post and I'm already ranting. Well, guess it's that artist in me. Or maybe it's the Welsh and Cherokee combination, stubborn, hard-headed, opinionated, outspoken.

So here we go.....