Friday, December 15, 2017

Getting Motivated...At The Post Office

Fridays, as well as being a day off for me, turns into a day to run errands. I don't mind--it's nice to emerge from work and feel the sun on my face. One of my stops today--the Farmington Post Office. What caught my attention as the pleasant postal worker calculated costs and affixed proper postage to our boxes, were all the signs hanging on the wall.

Since I didn't want to be too obvious, I secretly snapped a picture of the wall. Luckily, I am able to blow up the shot to see what all the little sayings say.

Here's a few:

WARNING: You have entered the Twilight Zone

The Limit to you Ability is Where you Place It!!

Tough times don't last...Tough people do!!

KARMA has no deadline.

The Statistics on SANITY are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from one form of MENTAL ILLNESS. Think of your three best friends, and if they're okay, then it's you.

No to Bullies and Mean People.

"Can't we all just get along?" Rodney King

I dream of a better tomorrow where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned!

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water!!

Everyone drives somebody crazy. Some of us just have a bigger car!

"My Religion is Kindness." Dalai Lama

Everyone Deserves to be treated with Respect.

"May we meet again in the light of understanding." Malcolm X

Old timer crossing.

I have some personal favorites--the Karma one, the fire one, and Dalai Lama's quote. Of course, they're all good to keep in mind, especially when working in an undersized building dealing with thousands of people during the busiest time of the year. I'm glad I took the time to take the picture. Hopefully, the sayings with help not just the people in their office, but everyone who takes the time to read them as they wait to be served.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Best Part Of "Stranger Things 2"...Is The Dance At The Very End

Much has been written about Netflix's original series Stranger Things 2, and it's predecessor, Stranger Things. And for good reason--they're impressive on many levels. Most of the reviews and comments about both seasons have been positive. Of course, there's always a few who disagree. They think the stories are weak, and the effects are just okay.


I loved them both! 

The main reason I loved them is not because of the effects, or the stories lines between the adults--for me the draw was always the four friends, jr. high-aged kids facing unimaginable adventures while trying to understand the crazy world they're growing into--with or without the monsters. I relate to them because in real life, I was them, only for me I was their age not in the mid 1980s, but a few years earlier. Back then I hung out with my friends at arcades, I played D & D with those same friends in the basements of our homes, all while trying to understand life as soon-to-be-adults.

That's why, out of all the cool parts of Season One and Season Two, the part I liked the best was the last ten minutes or so of Season Two, Chapter Nine: The Gate. In the episode all the baddies were sent back to Hell, or wherever they came from, and the kids let their hair down (or up...) at the school dance, the Hawkins Middle School Snow Dance '84.

The set up is fantastic. We see the kids preparing for the big event, getting ready, trying out lines in front of the mirror. We see the nerves, the anxiety, the anticipation. We cheer for their successes and our hearts hurt to experience their failures. It was all too real, too many memories. Let's just say it struck really close to home.

When my friends and I roamed the mean streets of Farmington, Utah on our Schwinns, we did the things those kids did, albeit with less profanity, and without the monsters, portals into other dimensions, evils scientists, government cover-ups, and telekinetic-powered girls. But if we could, we would have had the courage to fight evil as they did. Or even enjoy a jr. high school dance. That's why I liked it so much, especially, the very very end.

All photos taken without permission from Netflix

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Proven Wrong...By The Worker At Wendys

On Mondays things are a tad hectic at the Taylor household. Actually, the hectic-ness extends to beyond the walls of our home--extends to the theater and to where we decide to pick up dinner.

My daughter and I are currently in a local production of A Christmas Carol. We do the shows Monday/Wednesday/Friday nights. My daughter has dance rehearsal until 6pm on Mondays. Call time for us to be at the theater is 6pm. So, on our first show of the week I leave earlier than normal, stop by a fast food establishment, and order my daughter dinner. For the past two weeks, I've stopped at a local Wendys restaurant.

Funny, how you learn things in the strangest places.

Two Mondays ago I got us food--to go--then picked up my daughter. Thinking I would eat a little healthier than normal, I ordered a side salad to offset the ill effects of the spicy chicken sandwich I also ordered for myself. I took the food, jumped in the car, and when time came to eat, I found no fork in the bag.

Ever tried to eat a salad sans fork?

My son had to do it on our return trip from Seattle back in September. My daughter, son, and I laughed as he told us he forgot to get a fork and we watched him eat each lettuce leaf with his fingers. When it happened to me, it wasn't as funny. As I looked down at my fork-less salad, I wondered if the worker forgot to give me a fork. That must have been it.

This last Monday I found myself at the same Wendys. Once again I ordered a salad. This time I took a picture of the drink counter. I took the picture because I didn't see any forks, spoons, knives, or anything other than stuff for drinks. I had proof the worker failed to give me a fork. The order came, I checked before I left and once again--no fork.

"Um, can I get a fork?" I asked, thinking the worker had once again forgotten an essential tool I needed to enjoy my tasty food.

That's when he casually pointed to his right.

"You can get a fork right there."

Duh! I said to myself. I had not noticed either the week before or this time the other table loaded with everything I'd need to eat my food. Forks, spoons, knives, napkins, straws, ketchup--it was all there.

Funny, how you learn things in the strangest places.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

At Work Just How Cold...Is Cold?

I've written about being cold at work before. It's not a big deal. I could appeal to HR to get a portable heater, but that requires seeing a doctor and having to be diagnosed with an actual medical condition that requires me to have a heater. I do a fleece jacket that I keep at work for just such circumstances. I've been wearing it for the past couple of months. Our autumn was mild, as autumns in Utah go. But this week it's turned cold. 

My little jacket no longer keeps me warm.

A few years back the building where I worked had their heater die in the winter. It got so bad I had to wear gloves in order get my work done. It hasn't gotten that bad where I'm working now, but this morning I wondered just how cold it was in my cubicle. On my way back from lunch, I stopped by a local hardware store and for a few dollars picked up a thermometer.

The question I now have is, how cold is cold?

The temperature at my cubicle for most of the day was 70º Fahrenheit. Usually the mornings are worse and I got the thermometer at noon. I'll have to see what tomorrow brings. Since I've never had a thermometer at work before, I can't tell if 70º is warm enough or should I feel slighted that my cubicle is colder than other places in the building?

Truth is, this whole experiment is mostly for fun. I've put up with it being a little chilly for years. And I hardly expect the company to make massive changes just to raise the temperature in my area a few degrees warmer. Tomorrow I'm going to also take the thermometer to areas I know are warmer to see just how much warmer they are. Again, it's for fun. Maybe after doing more amateur sleuthing, I will know just how cold at cold at work.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Frosted Beauty...In The Haze

I know many people who hate the weather we had in Northern Utah today. They hate the cold. They hate the smog. They hate the inversion. They hate the frost.

I love it!

I don't know when exactly I came to love this kind of weather, but I remember one time back when I was in high school. For some reason I noticed everything around me on that cold morning. I noticed everything because everything I could see was covered in frost.

It looked amazing!

Trees, cars, grass, nothing was spared. This morning I didn't know if we'd get the same effect. I drove to work in a thick fog--sometimes the sun comes out and burns off the fog and frost. Not today. Today everything stayed covered in ice. I went out on my lunch break and snapped a few pictures. They weren't the best subjects, but I loved seeing how everything looked.

The trees made me think of a childhood memory, too. When I was young, we had a basement full of incredible things. My dad was sort of a hoarder and most of what he collected I didn't have the understanding or experience to know what they were. I did come across two boxes--maybe a foot square--that contained flock. I asked my mom what they were and she told me my dad bought these boxes in case he wanted to flock a Christmas tree. Since it was most likely a product of the 1960s, I have no idea what kind of poisons those boxes contained. We never did use it--probably for the best. And as I walked around the business offices, I thought back on those boxes...strange memory recall.

Yes, many people will take to social media and complain about the cold and the fog, but on days like this, I think outside becomes absolutely beautiful.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

We're Invited To A Christmas Party...And Those Doing The Inviting Have No Idea Who We Are

The first e-mail came yesterday around 2:30 in the afternoon. We were being invited to a Taylor Family Christmas party. At first, I was glad. I mean, who doesn't like getting an invite to a party, especially a Christmas party surrounded by family, loved ones, and good food?

The only problem with this one is, I have no idea who these people are.

I don't know a Jamie or a Jason Taylor. I thought maybe it was one of my father's extended family--since he had eleven siblings, there might be a Jamie and/or Jason Taylor out there who are family and who might be inviting us to a get-together, a slight chance, but a chance nonetheless.

Next, I checked the other eight e-mail addresses to see if I recognized any of them. None looked familiar. It was obvious, they sent this invite to the wrong Taylors.

I thought it necessary to e-mail Jason back letting him know that they had made a mistake inviting us. I'd hate for them to think an invitation they they thought they'd sent was not delivered. So, I responded, thanking them, letting them know the food and fun sounded great, but unfortunately, their e-mail went to the wrong place.

I thought the whole thing was over. 

Until last night.

That's when the first of the response e-mails came in. It basically said they couldn't wait for the party. Today we got another response. This time Natalie will have out-of-town guest and may not be able to make it.

After I got the latest response, I did some investigating. I went on Facebook and after some investigating, I found Jamie and Jason. They live halfway across the country. The seem like nice people. It would be fun to show up at 1pm on Saturday, December 30th and crash their party. Technically, it wouldn't be crashing--we were invited, after all.

If I only knew where Jamie and Jason live...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Star Wars Space Punch...Yeah

After a long Saturday of laundry, grocery runs, and putting up outdoor Christmas lights, I needed something to drink. And I was enticed by the "impulse buy" display at the local Chevron. The product: Star Wars Space Punch.

Yeah, it's a thing.

And when you think Star Wars, you'd better think collectable, too. I guess they would like all Star Wars fans to collect all the different editions of their vitamin drink. I'm not a collector so I'll not be participating in collecting part.

I did, however, choose the Mellenium Falcon can. I thought it fitting because the Falcon, a ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, surely added a lot of space punch in its many adventures.

So, serious question for all you collectors out there. Are you supposed to collect and keep unopened cans of this stuff, or drink it and keep the cans? I honestly don't know.

You may be wondering what the stuff tastes like. It's fruity, was my first impression. I read the ingredients before buying. Most of it looked pretty good. The only drawback was the 20 Calories note on the side of the can. 



And I was right. It tastes good, but there's a "missing real sugar sweetener" issue for me. Why didn't they load it up with 100% cane sugar from Hawaii? Even though real sugar isn't the best thing, it's much better than artificial stuff imo.

My conclusion: I won't be buying it again. It's not my thing. But if you like carbonated fruity Star Wars-themed diet drinks, I say go for it. And if you're collecting post-drank scifi-labeled aluminum cans, let me know. I'll keep it for you instead of just tossing it into the recycle bin.