Friday, January 30, 2009
I will admit to being a stickler about timeliness. Some of it undoubtedly comes from my controlling personality. And I like to think some of it comes from being raised to respect others while being responsible and honoring your commitments. Which is why I started today a little pissed off. OK, more than a little...
I was scheduled to teach a class this morning that started at 9 AM. The office we were using is about 30 miles from my house, which accounting for LA traffic is at least an hour drive on a good day, and can be as much as an hour and a half. So I got up at 5 AM and left the house by 6 to make sure I had plenty of time to get there. Gotta leave time for my morning Starbucks stop, which adds about 15 minutes to the process. Traffic was a little heavier than I expected for a Friday, so by the time I parked and got up to the classroom is was 8 AM - two hours after I left the house. That left me plenty of time to get ready for my students.
Speaking of my students, they have their own commute issues. But they have nothing extra to do to get ready, they only need to arrive, sit down and turn on their computers by 9 AM when class is scheduled to start. Apparently this is more complicated a task than it seems, because out of 10 students, only 4 managed to make it on time. That's right...less than 50%.
When I was a proud member of the JMU Marching Royal Dukes in college (yes I am a proud band geek), our director Dr. Rooney had a rule -- 15 minutes early is on time. That meant you were truly ready to go when rehearsal started, not still getting your instrument out of its case, or still warming up. You were ready. Even outside of band, I never would have dreamed of walking into a class late. Or being late to a group meeting. Or being late to ANYTHING!
I don't know how this lack of consideration for time has crept into our society. Is it because cell phones make it so easy to tell people you're running late? Are we stretched too thin for the hours in the day, and being late is simply a fact of life? Is it just an LA thing...traffic gets to be the excuse for everything? Or is it just basic disrespect for others?
Or am I just too much of a time Nazi with unrealistic expectations? Send me a comment and let me know what you think.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The boys grabbed the opportunity and put on a great show tonight. The energy was up, the puck was going to the front of the net, and our recent scoring drought ended with a 5-2 victory over a young and incredibly talented Chicago Blackhawks squad. The most important goal (at least to me) was Sully's. He's being getting chances but hadn't lit the lamp in a while, so it was good to see him fire off a nice shot, especially on a short-handed breakaway. Way to go Sully!
But perhaps the biggest fun of the night was the 30% off sale on all Kings novelties! So I picked up some new bling to help support my Kings! This is definitely me, don't you think?
And the best part...it's reversible, so I can even wear it every day and still have it coordinate with my wardrobe! It's the little things that keep me happy.....
Now on to the "Hotties of the Night" for the Blackhawks. They're all very safe and skate warm-ups with their helmets on, but #2 Defenseman Duncan Keith stood out for me. And I think I see the promise of some good hockey hair peeking out from under that helmet :)
But I also gotta give props to Patrick Kane, who is just so darn adorable, in additional to being fun to watch.
And last but not least, Drew opened his lead in the Lucky Jersey contest with tonight's win. The current tally stands Drew 4, Sully 2.
Our next home game isn't until February 12, so I'll be checking out the Kings on TV and Internet radio until then. But it will certainly be a Happy Valentine's Day with the boys coming back to town!
Monday, January 26, 2009
If I'm being totally honest, I will also admit part of the attraction to blogging was the thought of building a legion of followers waiting anxiously to read my insights on the world. Through the wonder of the Internet, I could be popular and admired! The nerd label that has followed me around since birth would be removed! As Sally Field famously said, "You like me! You really like me!"
Since blogs have a place to post comments, I would have type-written proof of the value of my ideas! Once the blog was started, I sent a mass email to everyone in my address book, suggesting they check me out from time to time. And I waited for the attaboys, you-go-girls and compliments to start rolling in. And I waited some more. And when the comments didn't come with the frequency I expected (I've received exactly 23 to date...yes I counted) I went through a brief period of feeling like the entire blogging exercise was pointless. Was there anyone out there? And did they care?
And I learned an important lesson. Just because people aren't commenting doesn't mean they're not listening. Or that they don't care. As human beings, we touch the people around us in ways we cannot always know. But keep sharing, and people will find a way to touch you back.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
My forays into the world of social media have been no different. While lots of my friends were getting on MySpace, I was just figuring out how to Google. The thought of introducing myself to the on-line world seemed like the rough equivalent of placing a personal ad in the newspaper. Then two things happened this year that helped me change my mind. People I respect started paying attention to social media and sharing their experiences. They were the first to show me the way.
And then I met Staci Shelton.
I was working on developing a job aid for a project, and a co-worker asked if I was familiar with "mind mapping" tools that could be helpful to create visuals for our project. I wasn't, so my co-worker said, "Get in touch with Staci Shelton. She's doing a similar project and my be able to help you."
So I sent her an e-mail explaining who referred me and asking for help. She responded with some terrific sites I could explore, and a sample mind map she was creating for her project. I now had my visual example to help me learn, and I was off and running. And I discovered how much fun mind mapping is!
Soon after, I joined Facebook and saw Staci's face grinning at me frequently, so I added her as a friend. We began chatting every so often, and I learned more about her from reading her frequent status updates and posts. She got me interested in new things I would never have explored before. And an on-line friendship began. When I got to Tampa, I scanned the room and spotted her bright smile instantly. We waved and grinned from across the room before a break allowed us to meet "officially." And we haven't stopped talking since.
Unlike me, Staci is an adventurous information junkie. Through her, I've learned about Twitter, Delicious, Ping, Ming...I could go on for days. I value her knowledge and experience as a social media expert, coach and motivator. She is such a tremendous resource, she's probably the first person I would contact for advice to solve a problem.
More importantly, she's a great friend. We discuss our interests in music, photography, and philosophy, to name only a few. We both drive convertibles, adore bargain shopping, and love meeting new people. And she's a stellar example of how technology can bring people together, now matter what distances us. We only have to be brave enough to join the conversation.
So if you see Staci on-line somewhere (and she's lots of places) take the time to get to know her. She'll change your life! I know she changed mine.
And make sure to tell her I said hello...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Here are some fun facts I learned on the 7:50 PM flight back to Burbank from Sacramento last night. File them away for your next game of Trivial Pursuit....
- The longest lab experiment has lasted 82 years. A physicist wanted to measure the fluid properties of pitch...you know, the tar-like stuff they use in roofing, etc. Why he would even want to do this is an experiment in itself! Turns out the stuff is not very fluid. After 21 years, only 2 drops had fallen. They're expecting the 9th drop somewhere around 2012, so mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate!
- The fastest production car can go 257 MPH. Now as a car person, THIS is cool to know. The vehicle is called the Shelby SSC Ultimate Aero, it has 1,183 horsepower, and looks AWESOME! Definitely worth a web link....check it out! http://www.shelbysupercars.com/news-100907.php
- A $1 bill lasts 21 months. Apparently they wear out fast, and once commercial banks see signs of too much wear and tear, they ship the stuff off to the Federal Reserve to be shredded. By way of comparison, the $100 bill lasts 89 months. I imagine even longer in the current economy, if you can even find one.
- We get a new word every 98 minutes. Apparently a group called the Global Language Monitor in Austin, TX tracks trends in the English language and decides whether to give the word it's seal of approval when it gets used enough. So we have Texas to thank for adding "blog," "ginormous," and "Rickroll" to our everyday discourse. At the current pace, English will have 1 million words this April. No wonder people in foreign countries resent having to learn English...who really needs that many words!
And although it wasn't in "The Numbers" section, I also checked out an article on a company called "College Hunks Hauling Junk."
So as you're planning your Spring reorganizing, get yourself a little eye candy at the same time! And send them my way when you're done...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The first thought I had is, "Why is inauguration day not a national holiday?" Granted, it doesn't happen every year, but it's certainly more important than some of the holidays we celebrate. Then, I thought it should actually go beyond a national holiday -- it should be a total national work stoppage day so every American can watch the entire event. I actually missed the live version of the excitement since I was teaching a class today. But that wouldn't work, since it probably takes thousands of people working to make the entire event happen. Really, what would an inauguration ball be without bartenders?
The second thought I had was a more profound one. I realized this inauguration is the first truly history altering event MY generation has been actively involved in making happen. Even though many historic events have happened since I was born - the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, or man walking on the moon, for example - those events happened because of the actions of my parents generation. For all the apathy and immaturity we've demonstrated in other situations, this time we got it right. We own this one.
Now it's time to work together on the next piece of history. I'm ready. Are you?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
For the Kings game against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings, I decided it was time to look at things from a different angle. Still bummed out from the Drew incident Monday against the Lightning, which left him out of the line-up tonight, I needed something else to distract me. Nadine wasn't able to attend the game, and gave her tickets to friends from Michigan who would appreciate the Wings visit. This gave me an excuse to buy a ticket for a different seat, so I decided to see what the view looked like from center ice. I found an affordable seat in Section 101, row 8. This section is directly between both team benches, so it was fun to watch to coaches and staff and well as the players...reading lips to see who's swearing is always fun!
Plus, I got to look over at our regular section and wave to the regulars! Looks like most of them gave their tickets to Wings fans too!
Major fun watching the guys come out from the locker room after each period!
And a better view of my buddy Sully!
Front and center for the opening face-off!
Unfortunately the Kings lost 4-0. Not surprising since Detroit has a team full of all the same guys that won the Cup last year, and they're second overall in the Western Conference standings so far this season, behind only the on-fire San Jose Sharks. The biggest bummer of the night was Kevin Westgarth not being in the line-up in spite of his call-up from the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs.
Pretty sad when the only silver lining of the night is the hotness of two Swedes on the Wings team. So without further ado, my opposing team "Hotties of the Night."
#1 - Defenseman & Captain Nicklas Lidstrom
Hottie #2 and Best Hockey Hair - Center Henrik Zetterberg.
And a very honorable "Hottie" mention goes out to Wings head coach Mike Babcock (on the right in the photo below). He's got great hair now...I can only imagine how hot he was in his hockey playing days!
With no win again for the Kings, the Lucky Jersey Contest remains Drew 3, Sully 2.
Let's hope we get out of this losing rut soon, and that Drew gets back on the ice. Tonight gave me an interesting point of view, but it's just not what I was looking for....
Monday, January 12, 2009
Here's the video....
And a link to the story on NHL.com....
Kudos to Drew's linemate Sean O'Donnell (#6 in the video) for sticking up for him, even if it meant a cross checking penalty. After Drew limped off the ice bent over in half and didn't come back, I was thinking the worst - cracked ribs, etc. Nadine was guessing concussion. When I got home and checked my favorite Kings blog (Rich Hammond is the BEST hockey sportswriter in LA), I was somewhat relieved that the diagnosis was a right thigh contusion, which probably means a bone bruise. Poor kid is gonna be hurting tomorrow. I'm sure he'll miss a few games as well. As long as he gets patched up in time for the Young Stars game, everything will be OK.
No Hotties tonight...I'm too mad at Tampa Bay. And no changes to the Lucky Jersey contest due to the loss.
Get better soon Drew!!!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
One humorous moment of the night was the return of the "Marry Me Doughty" girl. She was displaying this exact sign Thursday during the warm-up skate as well. It was funny watching the other guys poke at him to make sure he saw it! All the little girls love Drew!
I feel like I've been neglecting Sully a little lately, so I thought he deserved to be the video of the night. He had a team-high 6 shots on goal, and even though he didn't score, he made a great effort. Enjoy!
As for the opposing team Hottie of the Night, all the Devils skate with their helmets on, so it was hard to tell from a distance who was worthy. But the dream team of Zach Parise (#9) and Patrik Elias (#26) (pictured below) isn't a bad way to start. They're both tied for the league lead in goals right now.
And in honor of Nadine, who believes short guys should get the love, we have right winger Brian Gionta of Rochester, NY, who at 5' 7" is one of the shortest hockey players I've ever seen. He's in the center of the three player grouping below, and you can tell he's at least 6" shorter than the guy on his right!
And finally, Drew maintains his 3-2 lead in the Lucky Jersey contest...no win for Sully tonight. Hopefully next time....
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Drew Doughty gets the video of the night thanks to some great penalty kill work in the second period. For you hockey amateurs, a penalty kill is when a team is down one man, either because one of their own players did something stupid, or because the refs need glasses. I don't remember which situation caused the need for this penalty kill, so I'm gonna blame it on the refs. Anyway, here we have our favorite rookie and 3 other Kings playing against 5 Ducks. But we all know Kings are better than Ducks anyway...
And with the win tonight, Drew also takes the lead in the Lucky Jersey Contest 3-2 over Sully.
Next up...the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. GO KINGS!!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
And also on the new front, Nadine's hubby John got to wear his brand new Drew jersey! Looking good John!!
And the best "new" thing about the Kings...our new goalie Jonathan Quick, who was called up from Manchester when we traded Jason LaBarbera to Vancouver. Jon defended his first penalty shot tonight with an amazing stop. Way to Jon!!! Here's the replay....
Speaking of looking good, we return to the opposing team "Hottie of the Night" report with two qualifiers from the Flyers.
My #1 Hottie - Center #18 Mike Richards. Hotness seems to be a team captain requirement this year!
And coming it at a very close #2, Left winger #9 Scottie Upshall.
The Flyers also beat every team we've seen so far this season in the crazy hockey hair category. The two biggest standouts are #32 Riley Cote and #19 Scott Hartnell. Riley gets my vote based on length below the helmet.
Hartnell just plain scares me. Kind of like a greasier version of Carrot Top. Guess not all boys from Saskatchewan can be as cute as LA's own Jarret Stoll :)
Most importantly, the Kings win tonight got Sully another point in the "Lucky Jersey Contest." He and Drew are now tied with two wins each!
Next home game...vs. our arch rivals the Anaheim Ducks on 1/8. GO KINGS!!!!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I left work early today, feeling like I was coming down with the flu. Not good since I have a solid meeting schedule the rest of the month, part of which involves flying. So after napping for a few hours and feeling marginally better, I figured I'd better get some work done while I had motivation. But when I hauled my laundry basket down to the garage, I found a pink Post-it note from Rosie saying the washer wouldn't drain and she was calling for help to fix it. Unsure how long it would take for "help" to arrive and having not done laundry since Christmas break at my Mom's, I was a little desperate. And pissed off. Now in the grand scheme of things, this is simply one of life's little inconveniences. I'm not dying of cancer or anything. But when you're already not feeling great, even the little problems suck harder, dammit!
So I loaded my laundry and detergent into the car, scrounged up some dollar bills (a challenge for someone who pays for EVERYTHING with plastic), and drove a block down the street to the nearest working washing machines.
The next hurdle was the machine directions. What do you mean I have to add fabric softener ONLY during the rinse cycle! My magic washer at home adds it automatically! Now I have to pay attention to what I'm doing....ugh!!!!!
There was some good news. People with interesting lives and working appliances don't generally do laundry on Friday nights, so it was pretty empty, and I got three loads washed in just under 30 minutes. And the dryer at home still works, so at least I didn't have to spend very long in laundry hell. And now I have clean clothes!
Of course, the most entertaining part of visiting a laundromat in my neck of the woods is the language gap. Even though all the instructions on the washers are in English, everything else in the place is in Spanish. So if you don't speak English, you know what detergent to buy but have no idea how to wash your clothes? HMMMMM......
I hope our washer is working soon... At least I'm a little less pissed off now that I've vented!