Wednesday, October 31, 2007
What's up with all the abandoned riverboats?
Just north of Alton, IL on the mighty Mississippi, sits this aging queen of the river. There's a couple of old tugs and what looks to be a cabin cruiser that's seen better days moored silently beside her. Some equipment and a fence, a car or two, obviously some kind of shipyard. Or salvage operation. I spied the queen and her court back in September, but did not have time to stop. I knew I'd come back. Are they fixing her? Storing her? Tearing her down? There seems to be no difference since we first met. There's doors galore, as if to separate cabins, a back deck, twin smokestacks and an enclosed upper observation deck just behind the wheel house. Was she a decommissioned over-nighter? Did she turn to day-cruising? Did she become a gambler's delight? Or is she just pleading for mercy from the spirits, now her only inhabitants? I wish I knew her secrets, but she won't give them up. She knows I'd tell.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Multi-tasking sucks. If I had my way, I'd dump the concept right in the toilet.
There's several books out over the last few years, and studies dating back even further, about how multi-tasking isn't all it's cracked up to be, makes tasks take longer, burns people out and just isn't efficient or healthy. Yet on we multitask!
Basically, I can't get a damn thing done at work. Every time I open a spread sheet that someone wants done yesterday, I can only get a cell or two entered before the phone rings. Well which do you want done? The incoming availabilty, pricing and order calls? The incoming technical assistance calls? The incoming email orders? The incoming faxed orders? The requests for research and credit? The price quotes? The back-order research project? Or the stupid spreadsheet? Yes, they want them all done and they want them all done simultaneously. Heaven forbid that we get off the incoming phone lines long enough to finish the previous caller's request, let alone so the project that an outside sales rep wanted finished last week. Bitter? You bet. Looking for a different job with less multi-tasking? Always. Waiting to hear my job is outsourced to India and I'm free of at least this particular flavor of idiocy? Priceless.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Imagine my surprise as I drove along the Illinois River and docked near Kampsville, north of Hardin, was the sadly deteriorating river boat, The Goldenrod Showboat. Its bright colors fading, its hull rusting and rotting, I so wanted to climb aboard and scout it out, but there were people and police up and down the highway on this busy and beautiful autumn weekend. The Goldenrod was a big deal back in the '70's on the St. Louis riverfront, ads on the radio and TV, the whole bit. Supposedly haunted, too. Then it moved to St. Charles, ended up tanking on the Missouri River bottom during low water, and it was all pretty much downhill from there. It's still designated as a National Historic Landmark. Like so many other sad, old structures, it's depressing to see such rich history disappearing before our eyes. You can read much more about the Goldenrod Showboat here:
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Moody sky. Poised to pour. But it only spit and the rainbow was fleeting. The scary clouds remained.
All day was blustery, equal to my mood. Dark clouds came over, then spots of sun, then calm, then dark again, repeat. I know, there are meds for that. Sometimes medication is not the answer. Sometimes it's just the weather.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
It's autumn. Gourds are everywhere. I don't buy gourds; they always seem overpriced for a non-food, yet food-like, decorative item. These were shiny and pretty even in the rain. Rain is good, we have not had enough lately, but for cripe's sake, it's my freakin' vacation! Every day, rain. It's like God is trying to tell me to clean my house. Which I did for a while, but I am easily bored and distracted. I found my copy of the Wilco documentary "I am trying to break your heart" while I was cleaning the living room. Hmmmm. Hadn't seen that in a long time. Nothing got done for over two hours, but it sure beats alphabetizing away all the out of place CD's. Now there are more out of place CD's coz I had to pull out AM and Being There, which I'd not revisited in a long time. And how about an Uncle Tupelo for good measure. Yeah, U.T. while the rain beats down on the porch and the room smells like a wet screen door. Maybe rain on vacation is okay, as long as you resist the urge to clean house..... or buy gourds.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Water lilies are amazing. Ethereal. They glow. And I can't grow them. That's the magic; if it's something I can't do, make, grow, or conceive, then I am in awe. It's like going out to a restaurant. Why would I order something that I make at home? Classical pianists, can't get enough of 'em. The wheel was never my friend in school, so hand thrown pottery makes me stop and stare. Court reporters, how do they DO that? Some things you can learn how to do. Most things, really. But some things you have to have a knack for. Even if you learn how to play piano, no amount of practice will make you into Emanual Ax if there's not that something else there. Some people are indoor plant people, some are outdoor plant people, some are cactus people, and some are pond people. If it's outside in the ground, I'm good. Everything else, I inadvertently kill. What a shame it would be to put a water lily in my care. That's why God made the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Autumn is a great time for wine. Okay, for me anytime is wine time, or whine time for that matter. Mostly I whine about not having more time for enjoying wine. But with a week of vacation coming up soon I plan on taking full advantage of the situation. Clean the house, sip a lttle wine, pull up the tomato plants, sip a lttle wine, play guitar, sip a little wine, bubble bath, sip a lot of wine..... nap. Ahhhh. Better than that, (how anything could be better than wine and napping, I don't know) I just bought a new camera and I'm itchin' to put it through some paces. It's waterproof, so who knows what could happen? So many toys, so little time. Shoot, that was a whine. Sorry. No whine, just wine. And naps.