The View From Under Here

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This is what I’m doing today. To clarify, this photo depicts what my world looks like as I find myself squashed up under my desk at work.





Multiple choice:

Why is Karen under her desk at work?


1) Huddled up waiting for the Congressional sh*tstorm to pass

2) Hiding from her boss

3) Sleeping

4) Drunk again

5) Participating in an earthquake preparedness drill.

If you picked one through four, you are probably correct.

If you picked five you are technically correct, which is the best kind of correct.

Today my employer required our mandatory participation in a worldwide earthquake preparedness event.

Humorously, my employer called it a “drop, cover and hold” event, which of course made me think of those fun Cold War duck and cover school drills.





Growing up during the Cold War and living in a town with a Nuclear Research Facility, I used to wonder how that little ol’ pressed wood school desk was going to save anyone’s butt from nuclear fallout.

But whatever.

The theory behind shimmying under my desk while on the clock is the somewhat disputed “triangle of life” that says if you can get under something solid with a bit of room and the ceiling falls, it creates a triangle of open breathable space.

The funny thing is that my desk is cheap modular cubicle furniture and the building is a quite old converted warehouse. The very high ceiling is made of what appears to be solid oak beams.

I question if pressboard beats solid oak in the race against gravity, but I put that aside and complied with the mandatory event by smushing under my desk.

We held for 20 seconds to simulate a earthquake of that duration. Out of curiosity I looked up the Loma Prieta earthquake from 1989 and it was estimated to last between 10 to 15 seconds. Such a short amount of time for such a terrible thing.

By the way, today is the 24th anniversary of that little ol’ 6.9 shaker.

I felt a little silly under my desk and while we all under our respective desks we found the acoustics are awesome. We might have to hold staff meetings that way from now on. Then we evacuated the building and had about twenty minutes outside on a warm Autumn day.

So while we all giggled and cracked jokes about the end to end exercise, I also felt grateful.

It’s always nice to have a plan.

May I never have to use it.





First image, from under my desk, is Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and taken with an iPhone5, the Camera+ app, and humor.

The second image, a black and white photo of children under their schooldesks was found here.




The Irony Is Not Lost

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These days I live in a fairly urban area and I also live near a major university, so this means driving around here proves to be quite a challenge.

I see a lot of people both young and old riding the roads on their bicycles or scooters and of course walking. There is even the occasional Segway. Though the most popular mode of transport by far seems to be bicycles.

Fundamentally, I don’t have an issue with people riding their bicycles. It’s exercise, it’s efficient, and it’s environmental. Plus it leaves more parking spots for me. Great!

The issue I do have, however, is some bicyclist’s complete and flagrant disregard for traffic laws. You know, running stop signs, not yielding to a yield sign, flowing with cars when they feel like and acting like pedestrians when they feel like.

My commute to and from work is pretty short, but can be frustrating as I traverse many busy streets with lots of crosswalks and stop signs and long lights. In addition to bicycles, I often have to tangle with students walking around with eyes glued to their smartphones darting out from between parked cars.

I really hate it most when I have the green light and as I start to roll a bicyclist runs the red light the other way and sails through the intersection with nary a care in the world.

The other day that big wheel of karma ticked about two and a half degrees to the right and I saw something so ironic it made me laugh and shake my head.

Ok, here’s the scenario:

I am driving up a busy two lane and mostly residential street. Traffic is moving, albeit at a fairly slow pace. I’d estimate I was doing something like 25mph.

I was hugging the yellow line because to my right were two guys decked out in stretchy shorts and tip-tap-clompy biking shoes riding on very fancy bicycles.

We were all cool. I saw them, they saw me. I made space and we traveled casually along, moving straight ahead on the road.

As we three came to an intersection some hipster chick on a pink bicycle with a plastic basket on the front does not slow for the stop sign on the cross street. She glides at full speed right into the intersection.

This causes the car coming the opposite way to screech to a halt. I slammed on my brakes too and the two bicycle guys next to me just kept going.

Because I guess bicyclists do that. When everyone around is braking, they just keep rolling because why not.

One of the guys finally saw Miss Hipster and locked up his very expensive racing bicycle brakes. The other wasn’t as quick on the brakes. As he came to a stop he ended up tapping her back wheel.

Hipster chick was totally oblivious. She wobbled a bit and just kept rolling on through.

Now dos Stretchy Pants are mad. They start shouting and screaming and arm waving at her about obeying stop signs and right of way and what the bleep was she doing.

So indignant these bicyclists got about obeying traffic laws. So, so righteous.

Hmm. Interesting.

Ironically so.








Image found here.




Whoa Fair

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Ah yes, another one for the “don’t it make me proud to be a New Mexican” files. This one comes courtesy of The Good Man.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico man faces multiple charges after police say he was having sex with a woman while driving drunk and crashed, ejecting the woman from the vehicle.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 25-year-old Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night after he wrecked his Ford Explorer in Albuquerque.

Police say Briones’ female passenger was found naked outside the SUV after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head.

Authorities allege Briones tried to drive away after the crash and leave his passenger behind, but a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition. He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus.

Briones is charged with aggravated DWI, reckless driving and evading police.

Source

Now, in all of things that are really bad about this story, driving drunk, attempting to leave your injured girl behind, reckless driving, the one thing that jumped out at me, the ONE thing that I focused on was…..

“Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out…He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus…”

Ouchie. Really, when you ain’t got no pants or shoes on, hiding near, around or behind a cactus doesn’t seem to be the wisest move.

Then again, wisdom didn’t really seem to play a role in this whole circus of events.

Oh Fair New Mexico, I really do love you love you so. You know how to keep a native entertained.

Saaaaaaalute!








Image found here.




A Fairytale of Warmpfs

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And so it came to pass on that Day of Memorials that the skies above the Bay Area did roil and boil and drop misty but not significant amounts of water from the sky. With these misting drops came a strong wind and chilled the area and its people to their very bones.

“I think I’ll take a hot bath,” said the fair skinned, dark haired princess to her handsome prince. “My nose is cold and my feet are cold and I am cranky.”

“Then havest thou a bath,” the tall handsome Good Man said. And so our princess did remove herself to the privy to partake of a warm water float.

“Yes, this is better,” she said to herself as she tried to fit every limb on her long frame into the beckoning waters of a standard sized bathtub.

When the princess had finished washing her locks and scrubbing her stuff, the water had gone tepid and it was time to remove herself from the tub and into a fluffy towel.

Upon exiting the tub, the princess quickly began to chill down again. The ferocious frosty winds were just no match for her now damp fair skin.

“Can I turn the heater up?” she asked and The Good Man agreed.

Then the princess heard the distinct noise of the clothes dryer ending its cycle and powering down.

“Oh!” thought the princess, “I have a grand idea!”

So she took herself to the side of the dryer machine and opened the door. Warm air escaped the dryer and happy clean dry clothes greeted her.

“Hi!” they said.

“Hello fair clothing, how nice to see you!”

And then the fair princess realized that contained among those clean clothes were a significant number of pairs of chones*, because the princess had been a little lax in doing laundry lately.

Oh, the entire collection of undergarments awaited.

“Which one of you chones wants to get on my butt?” the girl asked the garments. (yes, she actually asked this to a load of laundry)

And each one piped up “Me! Me!” Oh yes, the black pair, the pink pair, the faded maroon pair and even the crisp white pair all vied for the chance to warm the ‘tocks of their princess.

It was a challenging decision, but finally a choice was made. The pink and black striped pair were lifted from the pile and slid into place.

Oh how warm those chones felt on the cold girl butt! And the girl smiled.

Because when the butt is warm, the girl is happy.

And so it was.

_______

* underwear




Image found here.




And Then It Got Surreal

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Yesterday I found myself sitting in the very posh office of the Chief Executive Offer (CIO) of this here organization that employs me. Our CIO is absolutely brilliant, well recognized in the IT field and is one hell of a business woman. She’s also a rather serious sort, which is fine. All business.

Somehow I’ve managed to be a good enough little employee and shown enough of my own savvy that she has been willing to invite me to some pretty high level meetings. Yesterday was one such meeting and I was damn lucky to be invited.

In the office were five of us minions from various ends of the business along with the Lady With a C Title.

The IT organization is building a very big and very key component of the business systems here at the ol’ place of employ, so we were on the phone with a third party having a fairly intense negotiation.

The building where the CIO sits is very, very old and a brand new happy IT building is being constructed as we speak. It’s going up right in front of the existing building and will be a little jewel of efficiency and network capacity. Good stuff!

The current building sits on a hill and the windows from the CIO’s office offer a spectacular view of San Francisco and even the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. When I do get to be in her office, I always sit near one of the large windows and spectate the view.

So there we are yesterday on the call with our CIO and the CIOs from four other large organizations speaking with a third party company about this huge joint effort. My C Level exec was taking the lead on the call and right from the start, things were getting tense.

As she was speaking, suddenly I hear the “bluuuuaaaaaart!” of an air horn. The kind of air horn that an obnoxious fan might bring to a football game. I’m the sort of gal who startles easily so the air horn lifted me a quarter inch off of my seat. As my head whipped around to look out the window to see what, exactly, the frap was going on, I noticed a large bundle of rebar go floating by.

Ah, I see. The construction.

Because I am mature and a professional, I immediately wanted to start giggling like crazy. It was so surreal. “Blah, blah, blah you are not understanding our strict budget requirements…*bluuuuaaaaaart!*… : bundle of rebar floats by: ”

So I looked at my shoes, I looked at my notebook, I looked anywhere but in anyone’s eye because I was about to laugh my fool head off.

Ahem. Then I regained my composure and my serious “umm hmm” look and got back in the game.

About ten minutes later, the CIO is drilling the third party rep, “That is NOT what I told you two weeks ago, you have NOT addressed the key component of this proposal…*bluuuuaaaaaart!*…: floating rebar :”

Oh hell. I can’t keep it together. I bit the insides of my cheeks and stayed strong.

Then a scant five minutes later the third party rep, “…we can only provide this set of concessions because the way our company is positioned, the street won’t look favorably on…*bluuuuaaaaaart!*…: floating rebar : ”

I can only imagine what the guy on the phone was thinking. He had no perspective on what the air horn was about, he just kept hearing it over the line.

Which made me wonder if that wasn’t the greatest negotiation tool ever!

This third time I hazarded a look around the room and found that no one other than me seemed to be affected by the air horn blasts. They were all cool as a cucumber while I was using every tool in my arsenal to hold it together.

The fourth time was the deal breaker. It came at such an awkward moment in the conversation that all five of us minions broke down and started giggling like kindergartners. I looked around the room as we all laughed. All of us. Except the CIO.

Whoops. Ahem.

Thankfully the meeting soon wrapped up and as I took my leave, the CIO thanked me for attending and I managed to stay very serious and professional, but I chuckled all the way to the parking lot.

I may be a well-regarded professional, but that latent childhood hasn’t gone away yet. Nor do I expect it will anytime soon.

*bluuuuaaaaaart!*





Image from The Sportsman’s Guide.