Don’t Make No Sense.

I’m developing a new pet peeve. This massacre of grammar is really starting to irk me.

This morning I called AT&T CallVantage technical support (again). Their Menu Hell SystemTM prompted me to enter my 10-digit phone number number. I did so. It then read my number back to me and asked “Is that right?”

Shouldn’t that be, “Is that correct?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not the bees’ knees of grammar use by any stretch of imagination. I regularly mess up word use and sentence structure. Back in the day when I was writing radio commercials, however, I made it a point to use correct grammar and a conversational approach to my advertisements.

Maybe I’m just getting old. Perhaps I’m not with it anymore. With a new generation there’s the inevitable change in language, much like “keen” and “neat” in the 40s and 50s, “groovy” in the 70s and such and the excessive use of “dude” in the 90s.

Welcome to obsolescence.

Not A Window. A Whole Vista.

So Microsoft announced what the newest version of Windows, expected in late 2006, is going to be called. Introducing…

Windows Vista. Clear. Confidence. Connected. Bringing Clarity To Your World.

Wow. I really thought the version formerly called Longhorn was going to be called “Windows 2006” or at the very least “Windows Longhorn”, much like the latest version of Mac OS X stayed “Tiger”. It certainly is a change of direction for the company, as an IT professional, I don’t think I’ve ever used “Windows” and “confidence” in the same sentence before. It’s a novel idea.

I really don’t get the whole “clear” concept, especially since the downloadable marketing video is fuzzy as hell. But that could be due to the bastard version of Windows Media Player that I have on my Mac.

“Connected”, well, that I must agree with, because an operating system that can’t connect is dead in the water with today’s technology. But heck, even DOS is connected.

Personally, I think the marketing department of Microsoft has kind of gone off the deep end with this one. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the end product, as I’m always intrigued by new technology, even though I’m typing this entry with great delight on my PowerBook G4 using Tiger. Keeping up with the latest software from Microsoft is important in my line of work. I need to know how to keep those Windows computers running. But “Windows Vista”? Vista?

Like Crashta La Vista, Baby?

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Government <> God.

So now our fine folks in the Federal Government are going to start playing God again. This time, they’re messing with time. Again. Apparently, they’ve taxed us, lied to us, taken our freedoms away and such so much that they’re noticing the American public is becoming depressed. To rectify the situation, they’ve decided to extended Daylight Saving Time by one month. After all, everyone is much cheerier when the sun is out!

I hate Daylight Saving Time. I think it’s dumb to swing the clock back and forth every year just so Seth and Sally Suburbia can sit outside on the lanai an hour longer during the summer. Ask anyone on the street why Daylight Saving Time exists and they’ll say it’s for the farmers.

The farmers hate Daylight Saving Time.

It throws Bessie off her milking schedule, it makes Rita cranky enough that she’ll mess up her egg laying time table and it makes Ma surly enough to flip her flapjacks an hour early.

The definition of noon is “the high point of the day”, when the sun is at it’s zenith. Noon is NOT defined as “When Bobby Banker takes a break to get a McLunch.”

Personally, I hate Daylight Saving Time just as much as the farm animals do. I actually like it when we switch back to Standard Time. You go home in the dark, which is the end of the day so it makes sense. You wake up early in the morning, when it’s light, so that makes sense to. Truth be known, I wouldn’t mind one bit if I lived in Nunavut above the Arctic Circle and enjoyed six months of darkness. But I’ve always been odd.

Anyways, the Fine Folks In WashingtonTM have extended Daylight Saving Time by tacking jumping on the bandwagon the second Sunday in March and ending the fun the first Sunday November, which is an additional month of being off our internal schedules. This is suppose to add in energy conservation, but we tried that in the mid 1970s when Nixon was around and it didn’t work then. Why will it work now?

Because the Fine Folks In WashingtonTM said so.

They suck.

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Give Me A Hungry Man.

The man the invented the TV dinner, Gerry Thomas, passed away today. In his honour, Earl and I are going to enjoy a couple of Swanson Hungry Man TV dinners tonight while we watch a black and white episode of Bewitched and an early episode of The Golden Girls (gotta maintain our gay card).

There’s nothing like fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and an apple dessert in a tin foil pan that’s been heated up in an oven. No RadarRange for us tonight! We’ll probably chase it down with a beer.

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (July 21) – Gerry Thomas, credited with inventing the TV dinner more than a half-century ago and giving it its singular name, has died at the age of 83.

Thomas died Monday, Terry Crowley at Messinger Mortuary said Wednesday. He had a long bout with cancer, relatives told The Arizona Republic.

Thomas was a salesman for Omaha, Neb.-based C.A. Swanson and Sons in late 1953 when he had the idea of packaging frozen meals in a segmented tray.

“It’s a pleasure being identified as the person who did this because it changed the way people live,” he said in a 1999 Associated Press interview. “It’s part of the fabric of our society.”

He recalled that the inspiration came when he was visiting a distributor, spotted a metal tray and was told it was developed for an experiment in preparation of hot meals on airliners.

“It was just a single compartment tray with foil,” he recalled. “I asked if I could borrow it and stuck it in the pocket of my overcoat.”

He said he came up with a three-compartment tray because “I spent five years in the service so I knew what a mess kit was. You could never tell what you were eating because it was all mixed together.”

Since interest in television was booming, he added: “I figured if you could borrow from that, maybe you could get some attention. I think the name made all the difference in the world.”

The first Swanson TV Dinner – turkey with corn bread dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and buttered peas – sold for about $1 apiece and could be cooked in 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

“We had the TV screen and the knobs pictured on the package. That was the real start of marketing,” Thomas said.

Ten million dinners were sold in the first year of national distribution.

They drew “hate mail from men who wanted their wives to cook from scratch like their mothers did,” but they got him a bump in pay to $300 a month and a $1,000 bonus.

“I didn’t complain. A thousand dollars was a lot of money back then,” he said.

However, he didn’t want to call himself the father of the TV dinner.

“I really didn’t invent the dinner. I innovated the tray on how it could be served, coined the name and developed some unique packaging,” he said in the 1999 AP interview. “If I’m the father of the TV dinner, who’s the mother? I think it’s ludicrous.”

After the Campbell Soup Co. acquired Swanson in 1955, Thomas became a sales manager, then marketing manager and director of marketing and sales. He left the company after a heart attack in 1970. He later directed an art gallery and did consulting work.

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Cancellation of Judging Amy, Revisited.

I wrote this blog entry back when I had first learned of the cancellation of Judging Amy. I’ve written numerous e-mails and a couple of snail mails to CBS since my first blog entry.

I haven’t heard one single peep back from anyone in the organization. Not even an intern.

Apparently there’s still quite the ruckus among viewers over the cancellation of Judging Amy as I receive one or two e-mails a week in response to my original blog entry on the subject.

There’s rumor that there will be a two hour series finale some time next season to wrap up loose ends. It’s also been suggested by a few critics that the show taking over the time slot, which I won’t name here, is going to be a classic failure and “Judging Amy” should be brought back as a mid-season replacement.

I’m leaving the entry in my TiVo in hopes that it’ll return to first run television. I still urge you to write to CBS if you want to see Judging Amy come back in any shape or form.

Make Me Purr.

I’ve recently sharpened my skills in the area of catnaps. This week’s on call has been light, but unconveniently timed, so I’ve been trying to eek out some sleep during my lunch hour, between trouble calls and between peeing and showering.

It’s a skill that I’m becoming very good at.

In the past, when I’ve napped, they’ve been long, drawn out affairs that last an hour or two. This results in my feeling very groggy afterwards and not being able to sleep until 3 a.m. Not convenient for the work week. So I’ve been following Tom’s leading and taking these little five to ten minute catnaps when I can fit them in.

I think I’m becoming so skilled that I can fit them in between a period and a comma during a conversation with a co-worker.

I think the cats have the right idea. Now if I could convince Earl to scratch my tummy instead of just behind the ears.


Married. Again.

I want to get married again. I want Earl and I to celebrate our 10th anniversary next year by renewing our vows and inviting our families and friends to witness the event. I want a big party. I want to wear a tux. I want to be a legally recognized couple in the Empire State. I want to file taxes together. I want to be able to walk hand and hand down the street with my husband, and yes, I used the term husband for a change, letting everyone know that “yes, I am married to this big bear of a man and I have never been so happy in my life.”

Earl and I have been watching “First Comes Love”, which I guess was originally titled “My Big Fabulous Gay Wedding”, on the new Logo channel (that’s the gay channel that’s run by the same people that run MTV). I’m really not that keen on the show. It’s about the flamboyant Scott Thompson being a couple’s “wedding fairy” where he and his group of wedding experts put on a big, lavish, outrageous wedding for a same-sex couple in love. It’s legal and all, because it takes place in Canada. You can tell by the accents, the use of metric measurements and the lack of toothless people waving signs that say “those two fags can’t get married” in the background.

Though I’ve only seen two episodes, the wedding ceremonies are way too far over the top for my tastes. Fa-fa hor d’oeurves. Art galleries. Botox. Shirtless dancing men in the aisle. “Theme weddings” based on the couple’s heritage. I think Earl looks hot in a kilt. Especially when he’s doing handstands (just kidding), but I don’t know if I can see him standing in front of a Justice of the Peace exchanging vows with me in a kilt just because he’s 1/10th Scottish. What the hell would I wear? I’m Scottish, Irish, French Canadian, Welsh, German, English and God knows what else. Do I wear a dog collar to represent the mutt that I really am? Maybe I’m too traditional, but I think tuxes are more appropriate for a wedding ceremony. But I guess to each his own.

It’s not like our wedding back in ’96 was anywhere near traditional. We wore dress clothes and looked decent enough, but we exchanged our vows in front of Earl’s step brother Rick and Rick’s girlfriend Helen on Penns Landing in Philadelphia. There was no big crowd; just the four of us, the day after Christmas, after dark, in the cold, exchanging our vows and our rings. A boatload of Marines passed by. There were cheers. We couldn’t have been happier. I wouldn’t exchange our wedding for any other type of experience. It’s just what we wanted and it still brings a lump to my throat to this day when I think about it.

With our 10 year anniversary just 18 months away, I need to start saving money now if it’s going to be a big affair, after all, I’ve mentioned how much I suck at saving money before. The problem is, I want our union to be legally recognized. I want a Justice of the Peace to conduct the ceremony. I want our partnership to be certified. Is that too much to ask? Our families have been supportive. There are those that may not completely understand our relationship, but I believe that they respect us and still love us. Why can’t our country, the country that we pay our taxes to, respect, celebrate, mourn for and would die for if necessary, show us the same respect?

It falls on deaf ears.

Regardless, I think we’ll have that big celebration next year. And as outrageous or traditional as it turns out to be, it will still be one Fabulous Gay Wedding (er, Renewing Of Our Vows).

Get Into The Groove.

In the past I’ve always complained that getting back into the work groove after a week’s vacation is difficult. For some reason, I’m not having that familiar blah feeling this time around. Work was good today. I enjoyed going back. I looked forward to the challenge.

Perhaps I’m striving for that “Employee of the Year” award or something. No, that’s not it. I know, I must be growing up. I enjoy being productive and feeling like I’m contributing to society and doing something good for the world.

Of course, it always help to have cake on your first day back to work. My co-workers had a little birthday cake and card for me in celebration of last week’s joyous event. Our little team is such a little work family. It’s good to enjoy my job.

Earl’s trip to Texas was cancelled due to no flights heading into the area, so he’s sticking by my side this week for a fun filled episode of “On Call”. I think he’s upset because he was looking forward to sleeping in air conditioned comfort in his little Texas hotel room but now he’s stuck with/to me in this sultry, steamy, sticky heat.

Oh well, it could be worse.