Sunday, August 27, 2006

Okay, So I Lied...

I am evidently not going to be taking a break from worrying, and I couldn't resist posting this lovely picture...

If you look at the projected position for Thursday at 8:00 a.m., I live on that little finger of land right under it. I sure hope the projected path changes over the next few days. They are already evacuating the tourists from the Florida Keys.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Taking A Break

I am taking a break from...

hunting for a new place to live
packing boxes

but I will be back soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This 'N That Again

Tonight I am watching the Buccaneers and the Dolphins play as I am packing boxes. I am thrilled to have the Bucs back to watch on TV! I do however, need to put a short post up so that my blogger friends know I am still alive.

I did make it through mediation on Thursday afternoon. The mediator was very professional and things went very smoothly for the first half of mediation. Then things got complicated with some petty little details. Rather than give you all of the details, I am going to post a few pictures that portray the various emotions and thoughts that occurred during the afternoon of negotiating...

So that was it. No particular order for the pictures... use your imagination for what they portray. I think that overall, things went well. It was not easy, but it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Just hope you can avoid the pleasure.

Last night a friend and neighbor and her two children invited me over to their house to watch a movie. It was a "pajama party" as we were all dressed for bed. I slipped some shoes on and a bathrobe and headed down the street. We watched "failure To Launch" which was quite amusing. Terry Bradshaw was in it. He doesn't have to act. All he has to do is be his normal self. He was hilarious. He even had a nude seen. Sheesh! Anyway, we sipped some wine and laughed and then I trotted back home.

Tomorrow, the same neighbor and her kids and a next-door neighbor on the other side are coming over for a dip in the pool. We are serving frozen margaritas in plastic glasses so that we can stay cool as the pool water temperature is now 92 degrees. It is like bathwater!

It may be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get the chance to post again. Things will be hectic for the next couple of days and I need to finish up the many projects around the house so we can get the house put on the market. Since we are both stuck living here until the house sells, we are both anxious to get the house sold!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Containing Terror

I was relieved the other day to hear that another terrorist plot had been discovered and stopped. Somehow though, that does not help me feel safe. It just seems to refocus my mind towards contemplating the potential for further trouble. There are probably many more plots being brewed around the world.

While I am grateful for the elimination of the captured terrorists, I am reminded of how much of the world seems bent on destruction of what they perceive the USA to be. Representatives of our country doing business and traveling overseas do not always shed the most flattering of lights on the rest of us. I cringe at the thought of what so many people around the world think of us. Some of the terrorists don't need the excuse, some see our greedy image as justification for their handiwork, and some become terrorists because of unfortunate business and government policies.

Don't get me wrong. I love this country. What I don't love is the waste and greed that seems to overshadow the good intentions of many Americans... including many of those serving overseas. But the facts still remain that there should be enough food produced around the world to prevent the widespread hunger that exists, that the US uses far more resources than most of the world, and that we have failed to produce and use new technology to reduce our dependence on resources that pay for the perpetuation of governments that suppress their own people.

The greed and corruption in foreign governments is something that we have little control over. We have failed to eliminate it in our own government. However, what exists in the US is minor compared to what exists in some countries around the world. We donate money to organizations to help fight starvation and to aid in disasters, but too often the money gets funneled into other uses. Some of the things we can do are to elect those officials who promote sound policies locally, nationally, and internationally, to support those elected officials as well as keep them accountable, and to educate ourselves about current conditions in our country and around the world.

Maybe through wiser national and international policies, if we are gradually able to eliminate the conditions that are the seeds of terrorism, it will cease to be the problem that it has become. So, when you have the chance, support education-- not only do we need to improve it here in the US, but we need to support the programs that provide for education around the world. Continue to support responsible agencies that provide aid around the world. Support US companies that have good track records overseas. Vote wisely. Do what you can. Just don't put your head in the sand while proclaiming that we are the best. We need to stop proclaiming our former glories while failing to see the needs that now exist in our own country.

We have the ability to be the best, but we are failing in too many areas. Americans have always been able to meet their challenges. How much longer will we be able to do so if we do not take a realistic look at the problems that exist in our own country and around the world, and if we continue to become more and more dependent on our federal government to take care of our every need. What has happened to the American spirit that took pride in being self-sufficient? Have we given up the dream that our country allows those who put forth the effort to excel and do great things?

I believe we still hold onto that fierce compassion for others as evidenced by our aid in disasters around the world. What we lack is a perception of our world as it really is today. We are failing to see those festering disasters that exist and don't necessarily make the daily headlines. And we are failing to educate ourselves and our children to become world-wise.

Okay, I'm done now. It has been a while since I have done a "Rhodent Rant" and I think I have rambled on enough for now. I just needed to get it out of my system tonight!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Things Are Still A Bit Fuzzy Today

I have not slept very soundly for the past two nights and am a bit groggy today. While sipping my first cup of tea, and then my second cup of tea, I began to ponder the concept of the morning person.

It seems that some people seem to sleep in a toaster and just "pop" up each day ready to go full speed ahead. I am not one of those people.

Or perhaps they get up sleepy-eyed and suddenly seem to have put their finger in some sort of electric socket and are then fully charged and set to meet their day. I am not one of those people either.

Some people start slowly, but once they have had their cup of morning brew they seem to be jumping up to meet their day.

Nope, I am definitely not one of them! No one has ever accused me of being hyper in the morning.

I am familiar with the snooze alarm. I require at least two cups of tea. I require a hot then cool shower. I need to spend a few minutes focusing. Then, I need a few more minutes of contemplation. I need to misplace something at least once each weekday morning which requires at least 10 minutes to locate before I can finish getting ready for my day. On the weekend I may spend some time in my pjs putzing around until I get going. I will say however, that once I get to work on a weekday, I am very productive. After work, if I am going out somewhere, I am usually raring to go. I am more of a night person, I guess. Is that really such a bad thing?

Time for another cup of tea.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Girls' Thursday

Tonight was a successful Girls' Night Out. We went to a seafood restaurant and I had a yummy jumbo shrimp cocktail and salad. Oh, yes... I also had a delicious Top Shelf Margarita. Next to Mimosas they are currently my favorite drink.

After the mealtime crunching and chatter, we headed for the mall as usual. However, tonight I was the princess of key buys. I found a very cool skirt marked down several times until it was priced at $11.00. Such a deal. At the cash register they took off additional moolah and it ended up being a whopping $7.00!

By the way, the previous post was really a mistake. The mousie picture was not supposed to post... it was only a picture for a draft I had intended to write later. By the time I figured out that it had been left up, there were a few comments, so I left it up! I loved the comments!

Monday, August 07, 2006


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Just Another Monday

As Mondays go, today was not that bad or unusual. I only locked myself out of my office once, I got payroll ready to run for tomorrow, I "misplaced" the timesheets for about one hour, the storage closet sprung a leak all over the copier paper and supplies cabinet, more bills arrived in the mail to pay, I finished the fiscal year end financial report, only one person teased me about the new lighting in my office, and the power only went off twice during the afternoon thunderstorm. Oh yes, Fr. Tommy, our Irish ice cream man, brought in a new flavor for us to enjoy for an afternoon snack. It was quite yummy.

I have collected some more boxes, which means that I now have to fill them. Tomorrow.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season

I regret to inform you that I am one of those people who get a bit stressed out during hurricane season. The past few seasons have not helped at all. Also, this is not a new affliction... it goes way back to my childhood growing up in St. Petersburg, FL... not that we ever had a close call with a hurricane. It was just the mandatory tracking of each and every storm each season. Oh, and we had a super weather man who always made things interesting.

As an adult I spent many hours attending workshops and lectures at the Florida Hurricane Conference that typically was held in Tampa. In recent years it has actually been a larger conference than the National Hurricane Conference. It was always interesting to hear talks by emergency managers from around the country who have experienced hurricanes first-hand.

I was at the conference the year after Hugo hit the Carolinas. I was at the conference the year after a previous tropical storm Alberto caused havoc in southern Georgia and the Florida panhandle. I was at the conference the year after Andrew hit south Florida. I was at the conference the year of the March No-Name storm that killed over 60 people in Florida, created snow on I-10 in North Florida, and then raced north to cause the NE US blizzards and generally made a mess. I heard Dr. Gray talk about trends, oceanic conveyor belts and seasonal predictions. I listened to Dr. Fujita (yes, the same guy that created the scale used for tornados) talk about microbursts and tornados associated with hurricanes. I listened to speeches by various Florida governors who would occasionally make an appearance. I listened to James Watt from the Clinton administration talk about federal disaster planning (he really has gorgeous blue eyes!). I have been an emergency management and disaster mitigation junkie, and I have learned a lot... enough that I know to have a healthy respect for the storms.

So, each year as the season heats up, I tend to get a bit on edge...

May seasonal disasters pass you by!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Don't Go Looking For Trouble... You May Find It!

That is my motto for today... I need to stay focused and not invite further complications in my life... I already have enough to occupy my mind!

I just came back from a Diocesan meeting that took up the bulk of the day. It never ceases to amaze me how much effort is being put into eliminating any future abuse issues or personnel issues or employment procedure issues or any issues that they haven't thought of as yet. And who gets to keep track of and maintain documentation on all the new procedures? Yup... the good old bookkeeper/HR person. I think I need another couple of filing cabinets!

As you can tell, my cable decided to work for a bit, so I am trying to rush this post in before it goes out again (besides, I have been waiting for an opportunity to post the above picture!). I hope that it is done pouting for a few days at least. With tropical storms brewing, I like to have access to the internet and NOAA!

Cable Pout Again

Yes, my cable connection is pouting again and therefore I am without internet at home. That means I need to use my computer at work which I don't like to do for non-work purposes. It also means that I cannot add pictures to my posts as I am not set up for that on my work computer. So, I will try to get another post up as soon as the cable decides to smile again.