Learning curve in the rear-view mirror

The most difficult part of my assignment was locating the fleet services desk in the maze of offices and garages. Next time I'll take a big ball of string, bread crumbs, and the departmental ID code number.

The gal on the phone at the feed store asked if I meant "straw" when I asked for "hay bales". Just so you know, a two-stringer is 14"x36"x18" and a three-stringer is 16"x48"x24".

So, at the fleet services desk they hoped I wouldn't mind that the pick-up truck had a camper on it. No problem. Well, except the problem of not being able to use the rear-view mirror. And we all know objects in side mirrors are closer than they appear.

The guy at Wells Bros. Feed Store stuffed six two-stringer straw bales into the camper-covered pick-up bed. That was maximum capacity. No need for the tax-free ID number as there's no sales tax on straw. So many things to learn! No matter that they were all out of corn stalks.

When I got back to work I had to clamber up on the tailgate and drag the bales out. A bale is not as heavy as I expected, but I wouldn't want to carry them around all day.

Driving the fleet pickup was a bit trickier. I kept getting stuck to the bare foam of the seat, then sort of falling out the door. The pickup seemed to be lumbering like a tortoise, but was actually going 45 mph. The speed trap cop ignored my City vehicle.

ODAA  Other duties as assigned
OJT On the job training
OLDP Old lady driving pick-up
ODAT One day at a time
What was the name of that author from Sri Lanka? Michael...  Ondaatje

Green Acres is the place for me!

Green Acres is the place to be. 
Farm livin' is the life for me. 
Land spreadin' out so far and wide 
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside. 

New York is where I'd rather stay. 
I get allergic smelling hay. 
I just adore a penthouse view. 
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue. 

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Danger, Will Robinson

Frequent fliers can get a pass through airport security with something called TSA-Precheck. But can frequent blog comment writers get a pass through robot security??? NO!

I am not now and have never been a robot. I don't fuss much about taking off my shoes, placing liquids in tiny bottles in ziplock bags, and emptying my pockets. Squinting at the little numbers keeps getting more tricky.

Which reminds me it is just one day and forty years since Tricky Dick made the statement, "I am not a crook." You can watch that speech here. As for McCarthy era loyalty oaths of the not now and never have been variety, check here.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Career options under consideration due to long underwear



Brrrr again, but this time with feeling!

New occupational vistas have opened all because of this ridiculous Dallas November cold snap. Within the week I'll probably have to turn the air conditioner back on, but right now it's dang chilly for working outside. So I bought some black polyester/spandex thermal undies at the sporting goods store.

And suddenly my whole occupational outlook was transformed! [Insert rainbow cosmic enlightenment clip art here]. I now have the outfit to be a cat burglar, a recycling ninja, or an interpretive dancer. Maybe even all three at once! It's Martha Graham meets John Dortmunder on America Recycles Day.

 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


N is for noticing nests in November

Craning my neck lately as nests become more visible in the baring branches. These are at the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden in Dallas. The first is in the Kaleidoscope exhibit. The second is above the touch tank in the Texas Wetlands exhibit. The first seems tidy and homogeneous. The second is a crazy construction of natural and man-made materials.

Nodded off to sleep thinking not nest thoughts but cranes. At the UT-Dallas campus it is always craning!

A crane fly

Regretting that I've been so busy I missed the fall sandhill crane migration on the Rowe Sanctuary's crane cam. Craning my neck for a view of a future with a five-day work week.

crane (n.) Look up crane at Dictionary.com
Old English cran "large wading bird," common Germanic (cognates: Old Saxon krano, Old High German krano, German Kranich, and, with unexplained change of consonant, Old Norse trani), from PIE *gere-(cognates: Greek geranos, Latin grus, Welsh garan, Lithuanian garnys "heron, stork"), perhaps echoic of its cry. Metaphoric use for "machine with a long arm" is first attested late 13c. (a sense also in equivalent words in German and Greek).
crane (v.) Look up crane at Dictionary.com
"to stretch (the neck)," 1799, from crane (n.). Related: Cranedcraning.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Bobcat butter pats

 My sister went plum slack-jawed when she spotted these butter sculptures in her Giant grocery store. We will skip right over the indecision about plum and plumb.

Butter sculpting is a big deal at the Texas State Fair, and we all know that butter is major for tv celebrity cooks. Plus, we all know that mashed potatoes were invented so kids could enact volcanic lava flows during major holiday feasts when they are not putting pitted black olives on their fingers... Yes, I am grateful for Thanksgiving!

I went slack-jawed myself watching this very large cat visiting the local watering hole below my apartment balcony. We knew there was a bobcat living along our residential creek. This feline seems to be a bobcat mix. It is usually sighted at dawn or dusk, which would make it crepuscular. It has a raccoon tail, bobcat ears, and a feral kitty cat's fur.Is it a half cat half bob? Shish! Is it a catcoon halfbob mixcat, or a bobcoon catkebabbob? It's unlikely to be a Cynarctus raccoon dog from Ashfall Fossil Beds in Nebraska.

On the subject of butterpat meltdowns, I am reminded of a historic bit of bad manners in Omaha. The mayor, Mike Boyle, started throwing foil-wrapped butter pats at a county corrections official, and then threw expletives at the governor, Bob Kerrey.

You can't make this stuff up!

AP, Associated Press Aug. 16, 1985 2:10 PM ET
 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Food fight? More of a playful pat, Mayor Mike Boyle says of his reported showdown with Gov. Bob Kerrey and some county officials over dinner. ''No one was injured. The butter wasn't frozen,'' Boyle joked Thursday in response to questions about a dinner a group of Democrats had last month. As for throwing foil-wrapped butter patties, Boyle said he was just having fun among friends. ''I think a sense of humor is one of the things that keeps everybody sane,'' he said.
© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder