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Okay, once again I am slapping this together at the very last moment.Technically, it is still Monday, albeit not "morning" so very sorry if you missed your "muse".We did our usual North/South post Christmas family visitation sequence, and I had narry a moment to prepare something ahead of time. Truth be told, I was so caught up in cookie frosting, flu fighting, gift wrapping etc. and it was all so, shall I say- uninspiring- that I really had no good topic. Usually something jumps out that I feel must be shared, but it just didn't happen naturally this time, so forgive me if this is boring and full of typos.

We spent a lovely Christmas at our house, but papa was unable to join us due to back troubles. I do believe it was the first Christmas in my 44 years that he was not present in the flesh. I purchased him a webcam so he could see his first great grandson, and promised to deliver his gifts in person after the holiday. We had beautiful driving weather, and picked up our darling niece and nephew on the way home to allow their parents to get some much needed work done. They were a delight to have around. On Saturday, their mother met us at our house, and we all set off for San Diego to ring in the New Year with two more of my husband's sisters. The nine of us traveled in style in my husband's golden Ford Expedition.

First stop La Jolla to meet with the baby sister who has a baby boy and go to the San Diego Zoo. We were smart enough to eat KFC prior to going to the zoo. It took us nearly 40 minutes to find a parking spot. Baby sister, who is a Psychologist, was very wise and decided to return to the entry of the zoo, and trail folks who were returning to their vehicles. She didn't need to go that far, as a spot magically opened up for her. We were not so fortunate, drove around for quite some time, looked for street parking, and finally my husband took her suggestion. The folks we found were parked all the way on the far side of the parking lot, and it took them 20 minutes to walk to their car. We did get their spot, and enjoyed a lovely day at the zoo.

Next day, next stop Ramona, to meet with yet another family member. All nine of us piled back into the Expedition. It was time to eat again by the time we deflated the air mattresses and rolled the bags up etc. Husband was craving Subway, but it was not to be. We took a vote, and Jack In the Box prevailed. We walked in only to be greeted by three computer touch screens and a friendly man with bad dental, who was more than eager to instruct us how to order our burgers from a machine rather than a human! 2007 was wasting no time in advancing. We could all appreciate the convenience of being able to accurately order the childrens' meals with all of their special needs, but I don't know that it was any faster. It was certainly unexpected. After my Wendy's and In N Out ordering nightmare, I could certainly appreciate it. I didn't like the idea of people being replaced by machines, but I guess the people building the machines were getting paid more than the folks who would end up taking orders for fast food, so that was one way of looking at the matter.

I think the dental man had a thing for my attractive sister in law because he kept hovering around our table, telling us not only about the machines, but also the two plasma screens showing vintage "Jack" memorabilia, and the recent bathroom remodels as well. He went on a diatribe about how "Jack" wasn't really "real" and mentioned the auto flushing toilets and joked that they "took a picture of your hiney as you got up!" As if that wasn't enough, he went on to tell us about the waterless urinal in the Mens' bathroom! Waterless urinal? That was too much, I had to go and see. Was it made by Toto? Seemed kind of gross to me, but it looked okay upon my inspection. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see what else takes hold in 2007!

Happy New Year from Jewel!

For more information, go to www.waterless.com

New Years resolutions we can keep..
Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can actually accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:
1. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
2. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
3. Read less.
4. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
5. Procrastinate more.
6. Drink. Drink some more.
7. Take up a new habit: smoking.
8. Spend at least $1000 a month on Ladies of the Night.
9. Spend more time at work.
10. Take a vacation to someplace important: like to see the largest ball of twine.
11. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
12. Quit giving money & time to charity.
14. Start being superstitious.
15. Have my car lowered and invest in a really loud stereo system. Get the windows tinted. Buy some fur for the dash.
16. Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabic words.
17. Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt. Only wear white T-shirts with those fashionable yellow stains under the arms.
18. Personal goal: bring back disco.



Take twelve, fine, full-grown months, see that these are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, rancor, hate and jealousy; cleanse them completely from every clinging spite: pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short , see that these months are freed from all the past; have them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. This batch will keep for just one year. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot in this way), but prepare one day at a time, as follows:

Into each day put twelve parts of faith, eleven of patience, ten of courage, nine of of work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of liberality, five of kindness, four of rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad, don't do it), three of prayer, two of meditation, and one well selected resolution. If you have no conscientious scruples, put in about a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Pour into the whole love ad libitum and mix with a vim. Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat; garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy; then serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness, and a Happy New Year is certain.

January 1, 2007
Next Post date February 5, 2007

Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace.

1. BLAMESTORMING : Sitting around in a group, discussing why a Deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. ASSMOSIS : The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

8. SITCOMs : Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

12. IRRITAINMENT : Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example - Michael Jackson, another.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE : The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15. 404 : Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested site could not be located.

16. GENERICA : Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

17. OHNOSECOND : That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an email by mistake)

18. WOOFS : Well-Off Older Folks.

19. CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube Farm.

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