Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Anti-Bacterial Question - Wednesday 1/7/2009

Last night, Kitty and I talked about the over use of anti-bacterial products these days. I think she was relieved to hear that although I do have a bit of a mania about clearing and wiping off my kitchen counters before bed, I don't routinely swab them with microbe-annihilating potions.

But then I had to admit to her that I use them at work. The hand- and dish-soaps are provided by the office, and I recently added the Purell to my desk.

This is due to the nasty habit we have in this office of passing around colds. Yesterday, 4 of my 7 coworkers were either working sick or out sick.

To avoid the thrill of this particular merry-go-round, I started using my own glass, bowl, plate, cups and silverware rather than share the communal stock a couple of years ago.

When I started here, I was kind of excited at the thought of an all-female office. I just assumed that would mean that everyone would do her own dishes, wipe her own exploded soup off the insides of the microwave, scrape her own burnt cheese off the bottom of the toaster oven.

Not so, my friends.

But at least I was made aware of and made to release that sexist little nugget.

I started using my own private utensils because I was fed up with always carting other people's clean dishes back to the little kitchen area. And if they want to leave a bowl soaking until smelly creatures colonize it's surface, it's not my problem.

The water we have to wash dishes in doesn't get very hot, so I want to just limit myself to my own personal germies, thank you very much. I even have my own (nice clean) dishtowel so I don't have to leave my dishes in the drain rack (which is in the same room as the toilet...don't get me started on what The Today Show would say about that!)

Every year at some point a cold (or two) gets shuffled around the office, bolstering my separatist inclinations. When one person is out sick, it's almost a given that I or another coworker will have to go to her desk and work on her computer or get her USB drive to work from. I unabashedly wipe everything at her desk down with those Kirkland anti-bacterial wipes.

I'll admit that it's doing a number on my hands, drying them out a bit more than usual even for this time of year.

Other than that, I think I'm handling the situation quite rationally.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Out with the Old - Sunday 1/4/2009

What are these things anyway?

Hydra was going through his closet and came across some of my old computer games. I thought I'd see if this one would still run. Ha! It's on 5 1/4 inch disks! (Also on the smaller ones.) And it it can be run on either Windows or DOS 3.0 and higher.

When I first started working on computers in nineteen-hundred and eighty-nine, we had a system called NPS at UCLA that used 8 inch floppy disks! It went away shortly after I arrived, and we modernized to these 5 1/4 inch babies.

We took the toys and lights off of the tree and then suddenly there was just this big tree lurking a bit awkwardly in the living room.

When we wrestled it into a huge plastic bag and hauled it outside, I felt like we were kidnapping it! Eek.

Oh, and FYI, I had a personal best this morning at the gym: 60 minutes of cardio level elliptical machine "running" (heart rate between 145-150 the whole time), for a total of 5.52 miles! My longest both time and distance-wise.

This was to rid myself of my end-of-vacation / beginning-of-the-new-year screaming hollowness. It didn't really make me a better person, but it made me feel like one.

Road Trip! Bakersfield - Saturday 1/3/2008

Whew, the fog was thick between Tehachapi and Bakersfield! It actually got worse than this, but by then Hydra stopped taking photos and was digging his nails into the dashboard.

Hydra alive and well inside The Pyrenees Cafe. It's located on a rather desolate and industrial feeling street, but it's pretty interesting inside. The bar, which is visible over Hydra's shoulder in the next room, seems very friendly and lively. The dining area has rows of long tables and you eat family style.

The cabbage soup was really good. The rest of it, frankly, was just okay. We loved this place the first time we came here, and it still earns points for being a throw-back to another style of eating place. There was a lot of garlic on the chops and chicken we ordered. I like a lot of garlic, but I like it cooked a bit more than this was.

I'm on a photo scavenger hunt for a list of 43 pirate- and surfer-related items. This counts as a treasure chest, I believe!

My entry into this week's themed photo contest (RED) on Facebook : the little red wagon outside an antiques mall in Bakersfield.

This is here just because I thought it was interesting. It's like an electric chair for soup!

Pretty elaborate set up, here: a single metal mug with prongs on the back of it that plug into this machine. This booth had a lot of very old vending machines. Like pre-Mad Men old.

We went to several antiques stores and malls up there, and didn't end up buying anything. What makes it interesting is when you come across a booth like the one with all the old vending machines in it, and you feel like you've learned something about the (obsessions of the) person who finds this stuff and salvages it.

It's like they're curating their booths rather than merely stocking them.

Goofy, but Fun - Friday 1/2/2008

I'm participating in an online photo scavenger hunt and this is one of my first "gets" : a ship! This one has apparently run aground against the (empty) lobster tank at Red Lobster.

This month's theme was chosen by last month's winner. It's a combination of Pirate and Surfer imagery, which doesn't really interest me in particular, but it's been fun to find ways to get the shots.