Monday, August 31, 2009

ad infinitum...add adventure

ad nauseum...

Kudos to the man or woman who coined that phrase.

This has been an "ad nauseum" sort of day. Just take the level of weirdness that I normally exist at, multiply it by ten, and then spread it evenly over what looks to be at least the next five to six months. Hence, the ad nauseum.

Here is an exact transcript of my conversation with three different persons this morning. This all took place between 10 am and 11 am and will seriously affect my life for AT LEAST the next six months and maybe more. OK, probably more. Uncannily, they all sounded relatively alike:

"Hey, Blah." (Them.)

"Hi! How ya doin?" (Me. I just love being called "Blah.")

"Great, great, you got a second?" (Them.)

"Sure." (One moment of scrambling to silence the phone of death. Another moment reminding myself that I don't really have a moment.)

"Listen, uh, we've been discussing some things and come to a decision regarding X."

(X can be anything your little blog-reading mind chooses to dream up, alligators, money, job future, money, clients, money, cat burglars, money, starvation in Africa, money, or the like, or money).

"Here's what we've decided:______________________." (The length of this blank in no way represents what was actually presented at this point. Be joyful.)

(Swallowing and sucking noises from my direction.)

"Now, nothing at all is going to change." (Them. OK...maybe part of the sucking noise is coming from them. Only a vacuum is responsible for that sort of mathematics.)

I am still listening at this point, but obviously trying to think of how nothing is going to change after that thing they put in the blank takes place. I'm wondering about this so hard that I miss part of the conversation, I'm sure. Not a very important part, though, 'cause at this point, they're sure nothing's changed and I heard the part in the blank so somebody's not done their math. Actually, I know the person who's done the math and that person elected this person to talk to me. Chicken. Go figure.

By the third time, I'm feeling like a star in a really sick episode of "this is your life" Only, the title has changed to "This Is Your Life and It Reeks."

ad infinitum...

As a direct result of one of the three aforementioned conversations, I was passed a white piece of paper by Papa. On the piece of paper was scrawled a monetary amount.

"Make our bank account match this." He thrust it at me and I took it with one eye lid scrunched low and the other raised in an incredulous manner as though he'd asked me to fart fairy dust. Turns out that's easier. I looked at our ledger and all the happy little rows of items that had cleared the bank and made sure that all the months' statements had been entered and that only what represented the time between last month's statement and the upcoming statement was outstanding. Hm. Balance did not match magic piece of paper. Nor could I contort the numbers to match magic piece of paper. Hmm.

First trip to talk to Papa. Have I mentioned just how very much Papa luuuuuuvs to mow? I mean luv here. So I find him out West of the house and stomp out to the tractor and holler at him at the top of my lungs that "THERE'S NO MATCHING BALANCE! COULD YOU GO TO THE BANK AND EITHER AUTHORIZE ONLINE BANKING OR GET A PRINT OUT OF CURRENT TRANSACTIONS?"

He looked at me quizzically and I could tell he made the decision to stay on the mower. "CALL BRANDY! TELL HER WHAT TO DO! SHE KNOWS US AND SHE'LL TAKE CARE OF IT" I assured him she would not and that he would have to be present, but that was promptly pshawed and he revved the engine and peeled out, well, like a lawn tractor peels out.

Immediately, I am cursing in my mind this whole process because I know banking laws! I know what's required! She's not going to do this for me! I still have to make the idiot phone call! In the process I'll probably get to talk to half the church (because half the church works at the bank) and who knows who else and basically say, "Hey! It's Scat! Yeah, we need online banking for the corporate account, and I know Papa has to come sign it, but I do the books so he had me call and try to see what I could do." They all snort and giggle which is what EVERYONE who knows my grandfather does. I get passed about from person to person (gotta have fun in a small town) and then to Brandy's voicemail where I left my now-practiced message and hung up!

Brandy, I am sure she laughed pretty hard first, called me back and told me exactly what I already knew. So. Here I go. Stomp stomp stomp. Papa takes it a little easier and decides he'll just stop by the bank on his way to the Post Office (a whole other story). Which he did.

Upon his return, he stomps up to me where I was innocently sitting at my computer and says "Now you know you can't just call Brandy and ask for online banking or a statement!!! I have to authorize it with my very own signature!" You don't say...


Well, at least around our house it was. Yes, tonight the bluetooth headphones made their debut. Everyone looks like they've stepped out of the Fifth Element or Star Trek and when they get calls, the seemingly randoms "Hello!s" are a little unnerving. But the rockin' bass and the handsfree options are awesome.

Buddy Scat has had the most trouble using his, so we had to have phone call practice. Probably looked like a hotel room at a trekkie convention with us sitting on the bed communicating by voice and by phone....oooooweeeeehhhaaaaaoooooooo.....

OK, so not the adventure I need or crave, but one baby-step closer for mankind :)

Next up on our adventure/agenda....voice calling. That's not MY agenda, but Buddy's.

My agenda is fixing to blow wide open all together. YAY! I am personally planning my exit to the out-of-doors for my own personal hiking season. May take me a while to put it together due to financial constraints and business crapola.

Next, Planning the Attack on Big Thicket!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Scribbles

This blog is a pile of random drivel.

There. You've been warned. I've been bombarded with so very many things to write about that I couldn't possibly get to them. That many of them have moved me so strongly is amazing because I've felt like a flat tire lately. There are things, though, that can fuel your ire no matter what your interest or energy level happens to be.

At last writing, I had a new dog. He was very handsome....nicely trimmed little pup with a ripping sense of humor, but a bad sense of timing. Well, I have it on good authority that he is now a chicken. When last we spoke, all I got was a "Bock, bock, chiiiiii--cken!" several times over. Actually it was more like, "Bot, bot, chichin!" So you have to figure out if he means the bird or the kitchen. Seems Squib is having a livestock identity crisis. Apparently Ex Mr. Scat is NOT impressed by the appearance of SqB the chicken as the appearance of said chicken struck mid-repast at a local restaurant whereupon the chicken began "bocking" loudly while standing in his side of the booth until he soiled his diapers which he then announced at the top of his lungs to the awaiting crowd. That is definitely MY son. I say that only because that's something Attrition would have done as a child. You know uncle-nephew similarities.

As of this moment, I am on day two of a self-imposed semi-vacation. Self imposed is self explanatory. But this is not a true vacation. All I did was refuse T Corp. work yesterday and today. That's right! I did NO "work" on Saturday or Sunday!!! But I am exhausted!!!!

Yesterday, Beanstalk and I went to our standard playgroup. No one there is quite into his flavor of music yet. Maybe never. Andre Rieu and Solti directing Beethoven with Perihana on piano. This is just as Greek to me sometimes as it is to everyone else...except Beanstalk. He's WAY into it. He did get distracted by a little karaoke High School Musical action going on amongst some of the girls and let me tell you...the kid may not be able to form all his words correctly, but he can wail! Sort of odd, though, my seven-year-old BOY hooked on High School Musical. Eh, he's hooked on everything musical, so I'm not going to get crazy about it. He's quite the Wii karaoke fan and that was the first karaoke "game" he encountered. Go figure. There were way too many kids there yesterday and we were going stir crazy. Fortunately, we got to spend a good long time outside! Beanstalk heads straight for the trees past the basketball course waving his arms and shrieking. My kind of kid. We dragged branches and sticks about, ran around in circles, chased each other back and forth, forth and back. We had a little first aid experience when he decided to pull out his g-button (just to feel totally free, I think) and I had to replace it but we were right back out in a jiff. And OMG! The weather was beautiful!!!! Why we weren't outside the entire time I don't know.

I managed a nap yesterday because the chicken was deep in a coma when I returned home. Thank God for small favors.

Last night, I was at an initial meeting for a new not-for-profit organization several friends and I are beginning...more about that MUCH later 'cause there's too much to it to go into at this point and it's too soon. Suffice it to say that we're pretty excited about what we're up to.

Attrition was here when I got home last night...that brought on a Doctor Who fest that lasted until, well, I woke at 12:30 am and realized I'd been dozing. An early 6 a.m. wake-up this morning has left me completely drained and we have been busy enough doing this and that to keep me from napping. Several hours of rehearsal drained what energy Booger and I had left. We formatted the file server (OK, that's work, darn!) and did some prep work there. Watched more Doctor Who.....and now...well, I've gotta chat I'd like to have and am trying to think up ways to stay awake for it!!!!

I even ate a pizza!

P.S. Because they SO fuel my ire, those things that inflame my thoughts have conveniently been saved for another time. You're welcome.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Have Acquired a Dog and am Missing My Green Monkey

The circumstances were entirely normal. I was towelling Squib off after his shower. There was a short scuffle. I won. He screamed.

Nevertheless, in seconds, he was ensconced in his bed. Ensconcing takes TIME. EONS of TIME. I have to kiss everything. All the cars he takes to bed, his stuffed dog Blue, and the bottom (yes, the bottom) of his sippy cup. Then there is placement. Sippy cup goes at the head of the bed and all cars are carefully, painstakingly parked beside it. The Crocs are meticulously parked at the foot of the bed. He then lays down and I pull his red blanket (with the heart pocket facing up) over him and smooth it out. Serious and extreme ritual here. We sing three or so songs--he's the judge of when I'm done and we say a prayer.

It happened in a split second. He said "Jesus loves puppies." I said "Yes, He does." (stupid stupid stupid) At that very second he became a puppy. Puppies sleep on pillows, so I believe my very own pillow has been commandeered for use in the puppy pile where my son used to sleep.

I went back in about thirty minutes ago to find that the (very bad) puppy had chewed up some of my paper work out of my file. So, rule number one should be that the puppy is no longer allowed to sleep in mommy's room and if he's still a dog tomorrow, he'll have to sleep in the living room. No second chances with my files. 'Bout killed that dog!

He hippity-hopped around and decided to switch ends of the bed and I got him a little calmed down which included allowing him to check out the space under his bed where the trundle bed (my bed) usually is. I collected the scraps and put them in their own folder to play puzzles with on my own tomorrow. He was barking and yipping when I went into my office again and Buddy swore he could shut that dog down.

More power to ya, Buddy. I suspect Benedryl and/or duct tape, but didn't stick around to watch the ensuing melee.

Hopefully, in the morning I'll have my green monkey (with feathers and a rainbow-colored bottom) back because he at least eats rather neatly at the table and doesn't yelp or screech, eat on the floor or pee on the carpet (a whole other story).

To Families Who Belong in the Zoo,

That Sinking Feeling

Today is Monday. Ok, ok. Today is Thursday. But I swear that somewhere in this vast universe of inhabitable planets there is a Monday going on that is over-shadowing my Thursday.

So, Monday it is.

Yesterday I wrote that we were on our 6th iteration of horizon calculations for the rubble data. That is, officially, what we call it. "The Rubble." Well, we hit a snag. Here comes plan number seven. The higher ups have seen fit to exclude me from the thought process (thank God) probably because I am all for conserving our efforts and not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Usually, I understand at least reasonably well what it is that my job entails. I am a seismic workstation operator. I stare at black squiggles and attempt to make sense of them in a way that helps our clients know if and where to drill and what to expect to find. Sounds easy. Until....

...well, until it isn't. That would be now. I wouldn't say anyone but Papa knows seismic interpretation better than me, but they know different and today we are going with different.

Then there's my other "skill set" they like to keep alive...Linux file server architecture and accounting on deck for later today. Meanwhile... (duh duh duuuuuuuuh--sinister music) yours truly is looking for another job.

Eeeek, you say. You have a great job! You work at home with your family! What more could you ask for?

Benefits. Dental. Work hours. Weekends. And the opportunity to NOT cohabitate with my co-workers. Perhaps even enough dough to find an apartment with a room for the kids (of their own) and a room for me (of my own). It isn't so much to ask...I'm tiring of the summer camp venue. Really, really, tiring of it. And I'd like my relatives to be my relatives. I'd like to have real conversations instead of running away from them because they don't know how to turn the work valve to "off" at the end of the day (which never really ends).

Good news is coming! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Somethings Never Change

Take, for instance, this interminably insufferable pile of rubble we call "data" that I have been working on lately. It came to us pieced together from 3D studies done in the, well, not in this millennium. Then it was processed outside our shop by a third party known only to our client. We're in our fifth iteration of seismic interpretation "methods" and yours truly is getting worn down.

Burnout would be more accurate.

I'm ready to go jump off the pier. Wander into the Sam Houston forest. Put on a pack and start walkin'. Climb a tree and live there.

You get my drift, I think.

I would show you pictures, but they're sort of like Vogon poetry. Anyone who sees them will die on the spot. They're used for torturous killings in other countries. Why I haven't died yet is an excellent question. The fact that I might already be dead and in some sick sort of limbo is terrifying considering what I believe!

So, as always happens, I go off for a day or two to work on other company business and return to find that the second-guessers have erased everything in lieu of, WAIT! In lieu of NOTHING! Not only that, they've erased it all and THEN come to the conclusion that we just need to find ANY interpretation and run with it. Which means, if they hadn't deleted everything---we'd be DONE! Or, more correctly, I would be done.

So...yesterday, Buddy decides he's had an idea. My light bulb's burnt out, so I just stared at him and decided to go with whatever he said. Now, mind you, we've done our calculations. They aren't going to change. They'll be here, but now he's so darned excited that he's made us late for everything, and we keep having to chase him down!!!! Like something's gonna move?

And here I sit. During my "shift" blogging instead of slogging (thank God) and wondering exactly how many times is a charm. We're on our tenth charm or so....and our 6th "do over." By playground rules, we're outta there!!!! We've had this junk AGAIN since, well, February, but for this go-round since June. It is August. Deep August.

Wondering What the Client Will think,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday...not much to report...

Fortunately, Friday is here!

I really don't have any reason for that to excite or relax me because I really don't get weekends off! I work all day Saturday and I work Sunday afternoons, too. I may work slower and with more breaks, but nonetheless, still work. No real TGIF feelings or parties. No bar hopping, no staying up any later than usual, and no change in plans.

Friday is just another day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday...the moth in the toilet...

I just have to say that there is NOTHING in this world like a good night's sleep.

Or, in my case, a good morning's sleep. I made it to the sack at about 12:45 am and was out like a light...only to awaken at 5 am with Squib. After the standard bathroom trip, milk, reassurances that he's ok to play alone 10 feet from my door, I was back in bed soaking up the sleep. Bed gravity was strong today and I must be living right because the remaining Scats gave him breakfast and his bath and let me sleep! I am very grateful!

Once I realized they had taken over, I set up the necessary sound barrier (iPod) to isolate myself from the wandering hoards. There was a clothing stampede somewhere around 8 am, but yours truly made it to 10 am!!!! Unheard of!

Then the cat fights began.

I'm still convinced SqB is a girl despite the obvious package. An adolescent or pre-teen girl, at that. Drama, drama, drama. And when he started chucking heavy objects at myself AND my laptop, OOOOOOOOO did I feel like duct-taping him to the time-out chair. Forever. Instead, I started confiscating every thrown object and am now the proud owner of over 50% of all his toys (yes I know this is my option at any time, but they're his things, I don't renege on gifts).

Lunch went down smoothly more knife-throwing and a lot less vegetable eating which is odd because the veggies were rather tame (no turnip greens--gag me). And at the end of the meal, psycho tot looks at me and says, "Wut time id it, Momma?" I give the usual expected answer, "I don't know, honey, what time is it (it's becoming like a knock knock joke or something)?" To which my tot replies for the second day in a row:

"It's nap time!"

There was actual glee in his voice. There is hope for me yet!!!!!!! Wahoo! I practically levitated as we gathered the appropriate sleeping implements (sippy cup, Blue dog, Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel), parked his shoes in the correct spot (his idea), spread his blanket out (another tot preference), kissed everything--and I do mean everything, sang, and he gave me SIX kisses!!! Count 'em! Six! WOW! And off to sleep he went.

Ever since then, I've been looking for my Squash Blossom 'cause some other kid came out of that room at 3 pm. This perky, 4yo look-alike has been sitting in my lap, helping clean up for the housekeeper who comes each Thursday, hasn't freaked out in two hours, made it to the bank and the store and back without a melt-down, and is happily playing while I work and occasionally add a paragraph to my blog.

The rest of the evening went calmly as well. No usual ground-zero freak-out when the vacuum turned on. No non-linear apoplexy over menu choices on his movie. No outbursts regarding dinner. I put him right back where I found him after his nap so that the person who actually took my son can return him and take theirs back. Poor dears may never make it back :D.

The only REALLY disturbing part of the day is the peppered moth that has taken up residence in the office toilet. It doesn't spook easily and it doesn't announce itself, so upon doing my business, I FELT A FLUTTER!!!!!!!

Yes, I leapt into the air high enough to take residence in the rafters. So did the moth or he'd be dead. I was ready to smash him into oblivion where he belongs!

Since then I've gotten a little green and try to announce myself and poke at him a little, but he (and he really must be a man) must really like it in there (yes, in the bowl) 'cause he DOES NOT want to move at all! I hate to break it to him (no he doesn't deserve a name and I refuse to anthropomorphize about this), but he just cannot live there no matter how many littler insects he's picking off. Don't care. Parts of me are private--especially to moths! My strategy is to set him free after dark some time so he can see the world outside the bowl and hopefully take up residence in a little less risque part of...somewhere...

Death to skanky bugs,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday...Quit Throwing Knives Around!!!

Wednesday at the Scat household.

Hump Day. And I really do wonder where that term originates from. 'nough on that.

By as early as 8:30 this morning the arguments were already breaking out....Squib and Mimi were arguing about exactly how and where a toddler should be when he is being dried off and dressed. I am happy to report that she won via sheer force of will and muscle. Buddy was kinda like me, ducking under the bullets of "wheuhr my sots?!" and "I wan dis, no dat, no dis, no dat!" Step through to the kitchen and Papa was being stared down to the bone by Baba who was waving a turquoise piece of paper at him and emphasizing very heavily that "this time she REALLY wanted him to send in the warranty information and NOT LOSE IT!" That she's about three inches taller than him commands a lot of presence when she chooses to use that. (BTW, he NEVER sent this in and the fridge made an epic fail not three days after the warranty lapsed. Which is probably why he has me do "this" now...whatever "this" happens to be.)

Okay, I'm checking horoscopes now and planning my escape to the office.

Which isn't such a huge elopement because the office is at the end of the driveway. And I got things squared away there and by the time I went back in to see if SqB had done away with the human race, everyone had retreated to their corners and were all quietly stewing in their own juices.

Things are tense, though. So I checked the weather and the phase of the moon before I got to work on the workstation that I single-handedly cratered the night before. I had managed to get it back to where I was at 9:30 pm last night by 12:30 am the night before, but that's a three hour loss and I'm feelin' it. Am I going to mention it? Not amongst this lot!
This morning was a repeat of yesterday, almost ("ohmost" is Squib's favorite word). He, I think, is suffering from terminal PMS. No, I am not stupid. Yes, I know that stands for pre-menstrual syndrome. And terminal refers to death. I mean what I say...the child can't make a decision and commit to it for more than one second. The second, no the millisecond, I start one movie, he wants to watch another....I'd still be there switching movies (which he can do himself but has decided I'm "just bettuh add it."). I stopped that business after our third choice and now NO ONE is watching ANYTHING. You'd think I'd killed him with all the animated and repentant weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"Oh momma, Oh momma. dust fwow me in da twash."
(That last line is his most recent quip).

My Aunt Fanny. Bite me kid. Bring it on. I brought you into this world and I sure will take away your "memote" and your "wovies," too! GO and READ a BOOK. If you've got a problem with that, call CPS! Tell them I'm teaching you to read and I need to go to jail! Music is next, so they'll need reinforcements...that's right! There will be singing and dancing and maybe a craft. Holy cow!

The drama continued through lunch and seemed to always center around the knives people kept handing him. Squib is four. He can learn to use a butter knife or any other kind of knife, but the absolute key is SUPERVISION! And, on the whole, he doesn't really use them (yet), so once the knife-throwing begins there is NO reason to give the knife back to him and I really have no compunction to feel badly for the person who rearms my son when they know for a fact he is in a knife-throwing mood. It was bad today. Like a little chimpanzee at the lunch table and finally Baba could take it no longer and screamed:


I would have added a good solid expletive to the end, but my child was present and I'm controlling myself. Instead I just ducked the out-going knife which (butter-loaded) hit her square in the pants. I stifled myself and made a REALLY feeble try at disciplining young Knife-Thrower. I think I said something like "It's not nice to throw knives AT people" which sparked a lot of questions about what you COULD throw knives at.....Scorpions are definitely at the top of the Knife 'Em List.

Then, as if in a dream, SqB pops up and says "Momma, wut time id it?"

NAP TIME!!!!!! And off he went. See? Mood swings. Definitely PMS!

It was a really short nap. Need I say more?

I was rudely interrupted while trying to make a pit stop in the front bathroom because, "You need to hurry up and help me with the TB NOW, Momma. NOW!" Can't you see I'm bare-a@@ to the wind here? Obviously not, because he waltzed right in to hand me toilet paper, shove me off the stool and flush while pushing me out the door. GEEZ! Like we're saving the world every time we turn on the DVD player!? Glad I was finished doing my business!

Which brings me to another topic...the video babysitter. Yes, I have a confession to make. The TV? Yes, it pretty much runs from the time Squib gets up to the time he goes to bed with few exceptions. Now, we don't have cable or mainstream TV. He may only watch DVDs that we select and purchase for him. So that's only a slight advantage over the completely committed TV-sitter, but he's really always doing something else, too....trains, cars, coloring, spelling, reading (which he insists on doing from one of my novels and does turn off the TV for = scary), and most recently writing. And he sorta "minds the farm."

He's the social director. Knows where everyone is. Greets everyone as they come and go. Gets the low down on the incoming purchases and outgoing shipments. Goes to the mailbox with Buddy. Helps dole things out and distributes TP and mail to their rightful owners (Does TP have an "owner?" Apparently it does. It is always kept in...balance). He'll even gladly tell you when it is you should make your bed--though he neglects to mention this to me :) He knows where his bread gets buttered. Sort of. Well, he at least knows who will feed him "real" Doritos.

But all is not gloom, doom, and arguments around here. I will admit to you, my ether audience, that there are friends and loved ones that make my existence quite wonderful! My weekend with Attrition here was great as usual. I had an awesome dinner with friends Sunday evening. I am actively messaging with a couple friends that keep my heart full and my mind fresh. They challenge me to be a better friend, mom, or whatever-I-am.

Both Squash Blossom and Beanstalk have their great moments, too--more often than not. I love that Squib insists on "fwee (3) kisses" each time we part ( nap, bedtime, Sunday School, going to dad's, moving three feet to the left) one on each cheek and one on the forehead. Beanstalk is growing by leaps and bounds and his love for me is abundant. Full body hugs from Beanstalk are a little hard 'cause he's just gettin' heavier, but I'm gonna give and receive until I just cain't walk no more! My quiver is full so-to-speak and though there are areas that are empty, the emptiness is not so noticeable some of the time because other things overflow and fill it. I can see the day when the holes are full and I believe God will make good on His promises to me. It's so awesome to be loved.

Love covers a multitude of sins,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday...and our anthropomorphic side

Yup, Tuesday...boy did it ever come earlier than my body could stand (4:30 a.m)! I was up until midnight or so babysitting Ren, our newest workstation and trying to get him up and running reliably enough for me to work on him remotely while I stayed in the main house to be with Squash Blossom (human child) today.

I was also up waiting to hear the blow-by-blow of my friend LKB who went to the hospital experiencing horrible chest pains and was experiencing life as the housed one and nervous out of her britches. She's in much better spirits today, though not feeling better and does have some water around her heart. Something to be prayerful about. And something to put you in a rather sobered funk.

Yes, I realize I'm anthropomorphizing my computers! Ren is a young male which we have assembled from parts but that's not unusual. All our little ones are assembled by either Attrition or myself or both. It's cheaper that way and then we have complete control over all the "pieces parts" as my ex calls them.

We have a couple non-gender machines: Raptor (a desktop on it's last leg) and Taplin (a lappie now run with a 22" monitor and remote kbrd/mouse). There are two males: Pokey and RocketDog who are both laptops. Our single female is our botttom-of-the-barrell laptop and she also happens to now be the lone female: Sarah. My first workstation is now a transexual: Stimpy (who was Monica). And YES, I do believe that Stimpy has some "tendencies" that keep us having to request permission for access to "his" printers, plotters and other resources. He likes having a certain amount of control and isn't hip on sharing. Ren (who was Thor) is our second workstation. He is currently being rebrained.

The new file server has yet to be christened and Attrition and I have been thinking long and hard about it's name and can only converge on Beavis. Mostly because we have a small network server who DEFINITELY deserves the name Butthead, but is only generically named at present. Umpteen other devices need names...printers, plotters, scanners, Gig sticks, iGo drives, and Terabyte drives.

It's a problem to refer to something that has no name. And, when you get as many computers as we have you can't call them so-and-so's computer, etc. or it all runs together (cause every so-and-so uses at least three computers) and soon you're fixing things that aren't broken or moving data you shouldn't or, well...much, much worse things. Plus, the computers out number the people--and that has obvious and menacing overtones.

What's really strange is how they seem to react and/or behave according to their name??! Go ahead and call me a strange on this count. When Monica became Stimpy, things got hinky. When they named the second workstation "Thor" it couldn't keep up. Not gonna make much more comment than that. Raptor just isn't one. RocketDog, however, has been a workhorse from day one and has never disappointed me in the least. There's a lot to the name.

And anthropomorphize I will if it helps me keep all the arrays, machines, printers, and storage devices organized in my mind. Otherwise there is no hope for me.

LKB is out of the hospital, SqB is asleep (after much drama all afternoon....MUCH drama...he's gonna get his own blog for that in the a.m).

Wanna make your comp love you for life?
Name him/her!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog to Survive...a Monday in the Life of the Scats.

I don’t really need a jungle urban or otherwise. I have an office full of men. And, though we have more computers and accompanying paraphernalia than we could all use at one time, this is truly the wilderness. Workstations, laptops, file servers, speakers, printers, plotters, drafting tables…you name it, we’ve probably got it. Then there are all the disks…..blank, written on, music, movies, drivers. Documents, well logs, maps of every sort imaginable. Somewhere under all this paper is even a queen sized bed!!!

But what are the two wise men guffawing over this a.m? Microsoft “find and replace.” God himself only knows what sordid thing they have learned to do, but HEY!, it’s keeping them busy. There is a lot of merit to keeping Buddy and PaPa busy. Believe me.

Baba left about an hour ago to apply for a job. Yes, she’s 83…I know that. But the Senior Citizen’s Center has asked her to come out of retirement and teach exercise classes again. She agreed and so had to go officially apply. Not to be outdone, she decided to fall outside the Center when returning to her car. Came home with a giant goose egg on the back of her head and a gouge out of it. I just got finished mopping up the back of her head and cleaning the wound.

Got to LOVE Mondays!

Back to the office where the two wise men are hollering unintelligible strings of numbers back and forth (this usually means an upcoming mapping session). And here I sit, blogging to survive the insanity and staring at seismic on the computer wondering where the rest of the day will take us…hang on…keep reading!

The joy of starting a business is that there is never a finish. You are always starting it. So all those neat little goals that you have of finishing thus-and-such-a-task on thus-a-such-a-day and then feeling relieved or maybe just mildly happy no longer appeal to you as goals. They’re merely points at which you recognized just how much MORE you have to get done. I have been slaving for some time over a particular task, we’ll call it “A,” and finally announced not minutes ago that I had finished it. Not even a “yeah!” There was just one resounding immediate question to tamp down any feeling of accomplishment I could ever have had: “So, what else is left on project B that you could get done today?”

Wumph. Task A immediately scrapped as important in lieu of tasks B-infinity. YOU CAN NEVER DO ENOUGH! It makes accomplishment feel like a failure. Why on earth did I even mention it? Such a silly girl. Perhaps I should have held off on the whole thing and gone to Facebook and played on my much-neglected farm. What I SHOULD have done is put on my boots and hauled off into the woods. I’m still itchy enough to have a healthy respect (ok, paranoia) for what’s out there, though.

So, here I sit admittedly stewing in my own juices and thoroughly hating this particularly 3D seismic survey with an unbelievable passion.

So I took a nap!!!! It was lovely and then my ex called. Which was fine, just no longer the person I want to wake up to. Great news, though, Squash Blossom is coming home early! Tonight rather than Thursday. Apparently the ex Mr. Scat doesn’t relish the thought of waiting until Thursday to relinquish SqB. Ha! Gotta love that. He said (and I love to quote) “He won’t have had a nap, it’ll be late, and he’ll be pissy, but I'll get ‘im there.”

Just guessing that Sqb’s dad is a WEE BIT tired….hee hee. He couldn’t even be sarcastic about it. And for once I didn’t get the litany of days off from him. He’s wearing down. It’s getting to him. The four-year-old drama king has worked his magic and is trampling the earth in one wide swath from Radiator Springs on south to his dad’s house. Ha!

Poor widdle four-year-old. More power to him!!!!! That kid will own the world one day! It thrills my soul to hear his little matter-of-fact voice and authoritative manner cut through the day like a hot knife through butter. The little dictator will be with us for some time and I just love it. Every day you not only get to prepare and participate in everything he does, but you get the blow-by-blow afterward because he just loves to rehash the events THAT MUCH. And he doesn’t really breathe when he does this.

“Momma (huff) I loved breakfast because I really like cheerios and I got to (huff) have two whole bowls!!!!!! of them and then ONE piece of toast with butter and jelly and Papa fixed (huff) it for me and I ate-ed it on my stool at the counter and now I’m watching my favorite movie (not listed here because he has at least 20 favorites) and playing (huff) trains wanna come see? oh and I’m poopy.”

Gotta love that. Especially that last sentence.

Don’t even get me started on toilet training. Beanstalk is well on the way to toilet training. He pretty much is, he just gets interested in the day and it’s events. Typical stuff, but really he’s trained. SqB believes that toilet training is a diabolical terrorists’ plan to rob him of his very life. We have the regular toilet, the little ring to put on the regular toilet, a step stool, AND a little toddler-sized potty that even plays music when you do your thing—though I have not personally tested that one.

We’ve bribed him with candy, parties, toys, big-boy underwear, privileges, etc. He goes in the bathroom when we all go to see how it’s done. He loves to flush….but that is now something he must sit on the potty to get to do, so he could care less now. When he goes in his diaper he has to get his own diaper and wipes and rash cream and bring it to me. He’s also learned how to dispose of his own nuclear waste and all he has left to learn is how to wipe his own bottom and he’d be self-sufficient in the diaper department.
That’s just ludicrous! So I’ve quit asking him if he needs to go, or if he wants to sit on the potty ‘cause I already know the answer….. “N-O!”

I’ve backed down to my original theory. His high school girlfriend will eventually find out and relay the message to him that diapers on a 15 or 16 year old are very “uncool.” Grammi has told him unequivocally that he’s got to learn to change his own pants ‘cause she’s too tired of it. I’m all in there for that method as well. I just don’t want to be the one doing the changing. But I’d be SUPER happy if I didn’t have to pay for the diapers any more!!!!

And if you have any doubts that Squib arrived in rare form, well, doubt no more!! He fell asleep about five minutes into the trip and then woke straight up (it's his signature move) as he hit my driveway wanting something that was left at the ex's house. A sticker book this time. So he was non-linear by the time I made it out the door to the car. Poor little guy. Just beside himself. He let me hold him, but he was NOT to be consoled. Once ex left, we fit SqB into our regular routine and there he is, now in the bed talking to his stuffed Blue and flopping about and I expect that his day (and consequently mine) will end here in about 5 min.

Not mine, really, because, ya now, I lead a really exciting life (HA!), but when he sleeps, so does my last responsibility for the day and I can exhale and take it all in.

A Bang-Up Day!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Trumpet Vine

Always thought it wasd rather pretty for such an advantageous viney looking thing...and usually (until the whole garden thingy) being of the brown-thumbed variety of human, anything that dares show it's face, turn green for the most part and trail over my fences and sport some sort of bloom is somewhat welcome. Trumpet vine even sounds nice. At least it did.

How would I know?

Then I let things go and the side entrance to the deck became blockaded in a frenzy of uncontrolled trumpet vine and what I stupidly call "brambles" but probably have some other innocent and beautiful name. And then I acquired more books...another disease I have in spades. And I then "needed" the armoire.

I really did scour the place for all the "poisons" ivy, oak, and sumac. I know them well and they actually seek me out by name. I've taken my required botany class and I'm pretty much ok when I KNOW a plant is gonna take me hook, line, and sinker for a ride down the itchy highway of dermatographic hell.

An innocent voice perked up out of the dead silence that usually accompanies my blogs and said "Any Trumpet Vine?" to which I replied "Of course!" OF COURSE!!!!!!!!

I proceeded to stomp out the deck door to the pile of near-compost that was the arching vine over my walkway and could see, even in crispy, black death, the trumpet vine laying there in dead, euphoric triumph (get it?.....triumph! just...never mind).

I "arrrrgh"-ed at the pile loudly and stomped back inside the house to nurse my wounds which are actually copious. There will be some scars on my fore arm and definitely on my psyche. Every trumpet vine alive should live in fear of my presence. I'm aware of ecosystems and all that rot, but this is one link in the chain that I'm ready to eliminate. Completely.

And just to make life weirder...guess what has helped the most? A friend brought me some Claraderm. In addition to frankincense and myrrh (very aromatic) it contains other essential plant oils!!!! Kinda like fighting fire with fire.....or fire with other fire, I don't know. But this stuff works and I slept more in one night last night than I have in the last three nights put together. And, boy, was that ever nice!!! Ya'll know me, I'll probably update this and let you know what kinda gunk I'm soakin' in, but it's awesome!
Attrition has the nerve to say maybe I should retake botany or go to Merriwether's edible plant class....

.....whhaa.... I'm gonna stick a plant in my mouth after these last two weeks if it doesn't come from the store labeled "Spinach?"

Give it some time, Attrition,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Translation: Itching all over due to something that you have so thoroughly thrashed in that it's coming out your pores.

Obviously the medical definition left something to be desired, so I wrote a first-hand-experience definition. Poison Sumac being the probable culprit, I am now suffering first-hand from the plague.

Not bubonic or anything, but I'm wondering whether itching to death is worse?

If you read Totally Itchified, then you know all about this junk I STILL HAVE. And you'll apppreciate the fact that I STILL DON'T HAVE my armoire!

And today, I cancelled plans and shuffled kids off to their dads' 'cause I'm not supposed to touch them. "No, really, they can stay with you!" said the doc who obviously did NONE of the childrearing in the house. "Just don't touch their skin directly, bathe them, change them, or use your hands when preparing their food." I went ahead and let my eyes bug out and shook my head.

Squib said, "Just throw me in the trash mom." right at that second and then everyone in the room had an excellent concept of just exactly how things proceed at my house. There was no laughter even when I put my face in my hands and made mental note to do exactly as Squib had suggested.

The remaining instructions were just as ludacrous and included not sweating or going out in the heat/sun, no warm showers/baths......unbelievable!!!! Follow that up with a shot, pills, and MORE cream....

To heck with that armoire.

Function Over Form,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yup, blogging from the iPhone store...

Monday is, as usual, followed by Tuesday. This Tuesday finds me parked in the Apple store. Yep, parked here long enough to read my fave blog intake and to start one of my own.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but, on-the-whole I'm feeling right now like everything including the toaster belongs in the deep end of the swimming pool. Computers to toasters....take it all. You can even have the pump that keeps our 85 gallon reservoir pumped full from the well we get our water from. YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!! I'm ready for a mud hut, good company and the absence of that clickety-clack sound that seems to always be the background music for my life these days.

All I want is an iPhone, well, three to be exact... and I wish every one could be as accommodating as the iPhone man at the Apple store...AT&T is giving him the runaround and he's doing his darnedest to at least give me the one that we've owed Attrition for over a month now...YES, I have been trying to add at the bare minimum one line so that Attrition can do our diagnostics via iPhone. And living in Radiator Springs means you have to travel to Timbuktu if you actually want to go into a cell phone store. So, we order over the phone or Internet.

Only to find out after THREE WEEKS that the order had been cancelled.

So, as usual, Thor died his third or fourth death yesterday and I had to carry him part and parcel with myself to Attrition and Mystery's for a laying on of hands. Disgustingly enough, he booted right up. There were some problems but none reproducible. Crazy.

With the phone store right there and all, we decided to kill as many birds as possible with one stone (or maybe half a stone). Anyway, we hit the AT&T kiosk in the Mall....they directed us to the Apple store in the mall. The Apple store could help us with the addition of the extra phone, but they referred us to the AT&T store a little further south on the feeder (where Ninfa's used to be--I was hungry). After Chris (very nice and quick) salesperson got us set up a third of the way at the Apple store, we shuffled off to torture Rene at the Ninfa's location of AT&T.

Just so happened they were out of the iPhone we wanted....

I was ready to hurl.
I mean that.
And I don't hurl easily or often.

It takes us a minimum of an hour to get to an AT&T store and they're not gonna have what they advertise?! EEEK (again with the scrunchy stress face and unintelligible noises).

It's at times like these that I think, "Julia Roberts would not be having this problem."

Of course, she probably didn't go to buy her own phone..

Poor Rene got the brunt of Buddy's wrath over the cancellation of the order (that we had already corrected at the Apple store). We were there to upgrade our own phones...totally different story, so I sent him to the car to commune with his Kleenex box (bad sinus probs. = major grouch) while I spent at least an hour-and-a-half getting things square on our account.

And kudos to Rene at the 303 Sawdust, The Woodlands, TX 77380 store and his manager for accommodating us b/c you guys made my life SO much easier (Sort of. You also make it look like I have magical powers, so Buddy now makes me do all the dealing around here). Also to the FedEx man who, for whatever reason, came early! I walked out with EXACTLY what I needed and wanted!

Nevertheless, the grouch awaited.

Fortunately, we finally made it back to Radiation Springs by way of Squib's dad's house, Attrition and Mystery's (to drop off phone #1), a Citgo station (to peel the sheetrock off the underside of the car that we "had" to run over, the Jack-in-the-Box in Willis (cause I had consumed a Route 44 DP earlier), and the church for sheet music. hour round trip......geesh.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Typical Monday...Still Itchy

First of all, right off the bat, the bionic earphone alarm clock did go off...I think I remember that...and then there was pounding on my door at 9 a.m. Drat!

So, I pack up all my techno-gear and head for the office to finish the never-ending project whose deadline is now no longer looming over us, but chasing after us with large, hairy, razor-sharp claws extended and sharp scissor-like jaws gnashing.

Only I found that said president of said company thought mowing a higher priority. That and cleaning the kiddie pool (my job). Thus endeth the rational part of the day.

Did I mention I'm itchy?

Yeah, well, run around in the heat and sweat your keester off and the itchies come back with a vengeance and they come up in areas that weren't even itchy before. Ever. I didn't know I had those parts and I'm a scientist.

So, now I'm itchiER. So, I jump in the shower with my itchy-wash and have at it......and it works sorta.

THEN I go to the office and fire up the primary workstation....and it won't boot up!! This is becoming a regular occurance. So, off to Attrition's I go and here I am. I want you to know that this stupid, ingrate of a workstation booted straight up in spite of everything, so here I sit now enjoying a movie and biting my toungue because I want to curse this machine to you-know-where.

Instead, 24 hours to R&R I guess... R&R are just NOT in my vocab!!!!!

Broken computers definitely are....


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Totally Itchified

This all started with an armoire.

Or maybe it started with all the books I have that I want to put in the armoire. Egg, chicken, you decide.

Nevertheless, last Monday, Buddy and I decided to go get the armoire out of storage, clean it up, and put it back into circulation. But the house (being designed by a certain member of the Scat family who shall remain NAMELESS) is a logistical nightmare when it comes to maneuvering furniture through it. So, we decided it was best to take it in the "back way" which entailed getting through this twist of vines, brambles (seriously, not just because that's my name), nettles, and what-have-you. Then, past the sand box (and across the Sahara my kids have made) and through the back entrance to the West Wing as I jokingly call it. Easy, right? Just need to trim back the vegetation. No problem.

I didn't think it mattered what color my thumb was or anything like that. I had shears and I was on a decorative mission! So, in the interest of interior design, I grabbed some garden shears and went postal on the foliage blockade. I chopped a nice armoire-sized passage and went about my way. I had a few scratches, but that was nothing compared to what I'd done to those plants, ha-ha-ha!!!!

So, Dad and I hopped in the truck and sped off to the storage building only to find one of those "ha ha you didn't pay your bill" locks on it. Sped home only to hear from NAMELESS that "Oh, yeah, I haven't paid that in months!"

I think I made some scrunched up face with a little eeked out noise, but I can't be sure. It just sounded like waterfalls pounding in my ears and I lost contact with the real world (it had been a VERY long two weeks) for a second or two and came to very quickly when it was suggested that I call the storage owner and "try to work something out." Me??! No-no. I organize, type, count, balance, and general provide a good target for poop-flinging. I don't bargain with the local flora and fauna. NAMELESS pull the deaf card on me. *ooooy*

So I tried. And the whole time, my right arm was a little itchy at the elbow. Found out two things: 1) We were, in fact, several months late on our rent, and 2) The owner was out of town and his 2nd "in charge" would go ahead and unlock the locker when he could get around to it. Translation: Pay me my money and I'll let you in on my own sweet time. In his shoes, I'd probably have said that very thing, but he was, to his credit, in fact, very accommodating, polite, and helpful.

Nevertheless, I was and am and probably will be without armoire until.....well....until I am no longer capable of making these decisions. But I was getting itchier by the minute.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed in a minimally itchy state, but I was goin' Thursday, all the scratches from all the work I did outside and under the house had (and STILL have) raised, clear blisters with pink around the base and this stuff gets anywhere that arm touches. It's not like poisons ivy, oak, or sumac and I found nothing in the remaining vegetation that resembled either of the three. Thus exhausteth my knowledge of poisonous or irritating Texas plant life.

I barely made it through the Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday...this speaks to T's awesome plant oils that she hauls around and the excellence of the summit. But now? Now I'm considering amputation and chuggin' Benedryl like it's sugar an oatmeal wash that helps for about 20-30 min after a wash (and I think it's helpful in preventing the spread), topical Benedryl, and hydrocortisone....thinking of crawling my little itchy self over to T's for a Claraderm spray (whatever the heck that is). AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

I WANT TO SCRATCH AND I WANT TO SCRATCH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and I want my armoire)

You can look, but you can't touch,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet the Scats

This is Squash Blossom as a newborn. He was just shy of four months old when his ticker needed fixing. Two days later, he was the happiest kid on earth. Just like he had been from day one.One thing both my boys have in spades is 100% committment to whatever they are doing. They get excited! In his early days, he and Mystery (my SIL) spent a lot of time together...that pseudo-maniacal face would come over him every time he saw her! I picked the next photo for the half-crazed look.
And then it EX-PLO-DED!!!!!
It describes the air of wildness, creativity, wonder, awe, gung-ho-ness, and excited experimentation that permeates every Scat household and has done so for over a century. We're way past do-it-yourself here. We're into do it yourself in the most unique, but complicated way you can. Why? Because if you possess the knowledge to, oh let's say calculate the equal spacing of each and every christmas light mathematically, then you should do it!!!! Sneezing can be made complicated! I don't necessarily subscribe to the familial theory of complication, but I do adhere to the experimentation part. And wildness, and my two favorites: wonder and awe. Now that crazed look comes over him when he thinks we're gonna eat as a "westauwant?!!" or if we drive by a "scoop!" or a "lofty!" There are other occasions, but those are just a few.

For those of you who don't know or haven't realized by now what Squib went through in his early life, just look at the size of his head v. her finger (below)! That's a skinny, 5'4" woman with thin fingers...and a three-month-old head. He was a tiny little bugger. Maybe 10-11 pounds at three months when he had one whopper of an open-heart surgery. This is post-surgical, 'cause he actually looks plump and meaty to me and noticeably pink instead of and alien-like grey. To Michelle Grenier and David Morales we are indebted for using their God-given talents to save my kiddo's life. And what a life it is, too!!

After an early bath (not the first, I assure you, but early enough in his days) my young Padawan Learner (below) emerged into his Yoda-style bath robe and I am sure he believes this is a once in a life-time experience every time is happens---to this day!. He always emerges with this same shocked disbelief that anyone would ever shower voluntarily! There's more to come, boy!! Squib learned much on the day of this picture....

Below, Beanstalk and Auntie Scat read a book so Beanstalk doesn't feel so alone while his brother is around. She's one awesome, beautiful woman!!! Beanstalk has a short list of favorite people. A VERY short list. I'm on it. His poppa and Oma and Opa are on it. A selected few others are on it and this wonderful friend of mine, S, is on it as well. She has unabashedly spoiled this child (in all the right ways) since his birth. She's a registered massage therapist and has done wonders to relax him when there was nothing else to do. She kept us company on many, many sleepless nights when we were battling Beanstalk's health problems. And most of all, her prayers and her gentle hands have been with us through thick and thin. What I DON'T understand is why Mr. Wonderful is not knocking down her door!!!! It's something she dreams of and let me tell you, guys, S is AWESOME!!!!! You goobers are SO missing out. Thus endeth my rant :).

P.S. World, with the exception of one, of course, you turkeys just lost out. I warned you. Don't ever say any different. I warned you ALL on 8/5/2009. Guess there is one smart man left on the planet.

Beanstalk also likes to take pics from interesting angles. This is one of many!!!!!! We were introducing a new dog to the apartment and Squash Blossom was still and idea in my belly that made me puke and Beanstalk was King of the Pond and here came Ranger...the dog. Ranger was no dummy. He took one look at the room, settled in on my floor cushion (what a dog) and Beanstalk proceeded to ham it up for the camera. Hanging upside down like this is one of many ways he chooses to view the world from his own perspective.

And below, we have Sprite head! You would or would not like to know that of all the 12-paks, Sprite works best as a hat. Yes, this is a theory that has been put to the test. It makes no sense that Sprite surpasses Dr. P, Coke, or Pepsi in the hat contest, but it does. Be careful, though, because this sort of hat will engulf an entire 10 lb infant, so if you must try the hat on one, please be careful and whatever you do, don't say you heard the idea here!

Here are various an sundry odds 'n' ends photos. Good times!
Wiggin' Out at the Scats Old House
Scat, Beanstalk, and Mimi

We love dress up and Mystery (Attrition's wife) found her wigs. Yeah Mystery! Squib was a little Ringo Star for me, but definitely we were rockin!!!

Here's Attrition Filming the 60th wedding Anniversary of Baba and Papa.
One cool day with a ball....more soccer!!!!!!

After a stint in the E.R. Poor baby SqB sacked out the minute I put him in the seat!
For a while, Squib decided it was fashionable to wear t-shirts around the waist. Just like a long skirt.
It was his own little Hawaiian look....or...something. Like most children he could not be persuaded otherwise.
Beanstalk is my own personal shredder. CD's are his faves! One boring morning waiting for school to start, he layed into my CD collection in the backseat before I realized where the silence was coming from.
What my car will look like after the kids are in college!
And, yes, if they want to go to college, I'll probably be living in it, too.

At 4.5 weeks, this "little" girl came to live with us along with her twin bro and older bro. They were 4 and 5 lbs, respectively, but no longer! I was 15 at the time. They've all grown, gotten fabulous jobs, married well.....eveythiing I've wanted for the Scribble family!! But a teeny bit disturbing that the little 4.5 week preemie was there for Alex's birth. Fabulous, but WOW! Mind-blowing!

The t-shirt as skirt concept works only as long as you have another t-shirt to keep your top half warm. I tried to convince him. Tried and lost.
Beanstalk and the ever-present sucker!!!!
Sweet, sweet, sweet green-eyed boy.
And here are both these little monkies today!