Apr 29, 2009

Bad Sheeba Poetry - Hide And Go Seek :o)

Although I am only a lowly Kitty,

Hanging here under the Laundry,

I love to play a game,

At times it drives Mom insane,

I pretend I am not here,

Stupid humans walk by, oh dear,

What I really want is to take a peek,

As my humans, for me they pretend to seek.

Apr 24, 2009

Paperless Billing - Go Green :o)

We are trying our best to go more and more to on-line billing. We currently send out less than six regular payments through the USPS every month. It is just part of what we do to lessen our carbon footprint. What follows is a recent campaign by my company to encourage paperless billing. I hope each and every one of you will strive to make your payments electronically :o)

American Electric Power customers who enroll in the paperless billing program over the next two months will help the environment while saving time and money. I am pleased to announce that AEP and our paperless billing partner, Fiserv, will contribute $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation for every customer who enrolls during April and May. The funds will be used for reforestation projects in AEP’s service territory. Our customers who choose paperless billing find they save time and money, in addition to making a positive environmental contribution. Those who enroll in April and May will make an even greater impact with the planting of trees in our service territory.

Our customers who receive paperless bills saved approximately 89 tons of paper, 2,072 trees, 200,000 pounds of solid waste, 500,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and 1.6 million gallons of wastewater in 2008, based on the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator. I encourage those employees and contractors served by AEP who have not signed up for paperless billing to consider doing so during this campaign.

We have been paying electonically for years, so we have done our part. How about you?

Happy Arbor Day :o)

Happy Arbor Day! Happy Arbor Day? Sadly overshadowed now by Earth Day, Arbor Day (celebrated in the United States on the last Friday in April) is almost forgotten in the green blogosphere today. Still, why not plant a tree and connect with one of the original American ways of making Earth a little greener?

Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska [who would have thunk?] and is celebrated in a number of countries.

We buy trees from our County Soil and Water Conservation District, this year getting five each of Black Walnut, River Birch, and White Pine. Today will be a great day to plant them, and that is exactly what we plan on doing.

Hope your slide into the weekend is a good one :o)

Apr 23, 2009

Life Back To Normal :o)

Today was my last day of crazy hours, and I now get a three day weekend.

It will be so nice to get back to a normal routine, and to start enjoying the spring weather and do some things around the homestead :o)

Apr 22, 2009

The Peter Principle Lives :o)

All right folks, get your minds out of the gutter :o)

Now 40, The Peter Principle resonates even more today, when a lust for accomplishment has led an unprecedented level of incompetence. The Peter Principle, about to be reissued in a 40th anniversary edition, was a best seller when it was first published. A satiric treatise on workplace incompetence, it touched a nerve with readers because it was so funny. And so true.

Much like the film Office Space, NBC's The Office, and Scott Adams' Dilbert comic strips, this book by Laurence J. Peter (a former teacher) and Raymond Hull (a playwright) captured the twisted logic of workplaces—tapping into how ridiculous they feel to insiders. It gleefully emitted a cloud of jargon monoxide and absurd advice as it reached its famous main conclusion: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

The Peter Principle made us laugh, but it also made us aware of the importance of simple competence—and of how elusive it could be. When people do their jobs well, Dr. Peter argued, society can't leave well enough alone. We ask for more and more until we ask too much. Then these individuals—promoted to positions in which they are doomed to fail—start using a bag of tricks to mask their incompetence. They distract us from their crummy work with giant desks, replace action with incomprehensible acronyms, blame others for failure, cheat to create the illusion of progress. How many times have we seen folks in positions of power, who we used to work with/for, and say "How did they get so out of touch, we used to joke about executives [guys] like him?"

In our current environment of failed financial institutions, exorbitant salaries, rising health care costs, rising unemployment, lowered housing equity, rising governmental deficits, and especially after the last ten years of looking the other way, how can we stomach the current pundits that we hear on TV, read in papers, and flit through on the web?

The cure for our malady? We should return to what Dr. Peter wanted: rewarding ordinary competence and being wary of feats that come too easily. Perhaps the late Ray Kroc is the right role model here. One of his first steps in building the McDonald's empire was to run his own outlet—he cooked, cleaned bathrooms, picked up the trash. The focus on doing ordinary things well was, he believed, key to McDonald's success.

Simple competence was central, too, for former U.S. Marine Lieutenant Donovan Campbell, who led a platoon in bloody street battles in Iraq. As Campbell's account, Joker One, tells us, he earned his men's respect and protected them through simple acts: training them to get in and out of a Humvee quickly, reminding them to eat, and arguing with superiors when those under his command were unnecessarily put in harm's way.

Finally, consider how Captain Chesley Sullenberger III explained his astounding emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River in January. "I know I speak for the entire crew when I tell you we were simply doing the jobs we were trained to do," he said. As Dr. Peter might have observed, there were no pretenders, blowhards, or shared delusions that day, just the deftly coordinated actions of people who had not reached their level of incompetence.

After the recent Navy Seals excellent demonstration of protecting one of our own, and the sacrifices our military has silently made over the last seven years, I say, look to our true role models, the military, our parents, our teachers, our quiet engineers and medical workers, and return to the roots of what has made our country what it is today.

Apr 19, 2009

Sunday Silliness - Disservice

It takes months to find a customer, but only seconds to lose one... the good news is that we should run out of them in no time.

Apr 15, 2009

Lets Make Lemonade :o)

Thank you, Joann for the Lemonade Award!!

The icon symbolizes the old saying 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!' I'm honored, because this award is for blogs that show Great Attitude or Gratitude.

I do think I have a unique, if not warped, sense of humor, so to get a lemonade award seems very fitting :o) I could not think of a better day to post this award than Tax day, since I am still here, I hope this brings you a quiet chuckle.

The rules for this blog award are simple:

1. Put the logo on your post or blog.

2. Nominate at least 4 blogs (rules say 10, but hey, my blog, my rules) that show great attitude or gratitude.

3. Link your nominees within your post.

4. Let the nominees know they have received the award by leaving a comment on their blog.
If you read me, then you know you got the award, otherwise, ???

5. Share the love by linking back to the person you received the award from.

Wildcats Lair: To me, one of the funniest blogs I have come across, I am constantly amazed that he does not have more readers and commenter's. I will continue to plug him on a regular basis. One day, when he is filthy rich and in the stratosphere, maybe he will make me his publicist.

The Stupidsheet: Reading Jimmy gives you alternating moments of humor and things to think about. I have truly enjoyed his stories, antics, and series.

The Wisdom of the Distracted Mind: Dan is the master of the mundane struggles of life, with a definitely distracted view. Be warned, Dan tells it like he sees it, and is not for the touchy-feely crowd.

An Animal Rescuers Life: Jamie has a sweet soul, with a particular soft spot for animals. She is a mother of two, with her son being a very recent addition. I enjoy reading about her very down to earth challenges and observations, and hope you will also.

Apr 12, 2009

Sunday Silliness - Disloyalty

There comes a time when every team must learn to make individual sacrifices.

Apr 8, 2009

Second Chances :o)

The lyrics to this song made me think of my friend Mark in Detroit. The title is especially appropriate.

I know that my second chance, with my wonderful wife Beth, over at Nutwood Junction, brings the ring of truth to these lyrics.

I hope that if you get a second chance, you make the most of it.

Lyrics version provided below for Indigo :o)

Apr 5, 2009

Sunday Silliness - Discovery

A company that will go to the ends of the Earth for its people will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans.

Apr 2, 2009

Cuy: It's what was not our dinner :o)

So, based on some of the comments received, I felt the need for a follow-up entry. First, did I get you, a little LOL :o)

It was an April Fools for us, we did not really BBQ one of those cute little fellows - we stick with cow, pig, and chicken parts :o)

However, this really is cuisine in South America. To follow the link to the original Nature Conservancy post, click here.

Apr 1, 2009

First BBQ of the Season :o)

So last night, since I did not have to work today, I decided to give Beth a break and fire up the grill for our first BBQ of the season.

On several occasions, she has called me KennyPig over on her place, Nutwood Junction, so I decided to live up to that name by making Cuy.

Native to South America, Cuy, otherwise know as Guinea Pigs, are replacing chicken as a staple, they are much more environmentally friendly, and can help supplement small farmer incomes.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, roast cuy is delicious, with rich, dark, slightly stringy meat. (And no, it tastes nothing like chicken.)