Noise Pollution & Tasty Morsels


So there I am, Saturday morning, sleeping in a quiet bed in a quiet room at an undisclosed location somewhere near Radium Springs.

It’s the first real quiet I’ve enjoyed in six months. That was the last time I visited Southern New Mexico.

And then, literally cutting through the early morning hours comes, this:

That’s a lot of saw blades!

It’s tree trimming time at the pecan farm next door to my best friend’s place.

A piece of heavy farm equipment with six whirring saw blades cutting through hearty pecan wood sounds, well….just about as awful as you’d expect. Every once in a while they’d hit an especially green branch and the sound was the stuff of nightmares.

After the saw passed by, the trees looked like a line of military recruits with brand new flattops.

Evidently pecan trees will immediately put out new growth in the areas where they have been cut. Futher, pecan nuts flourish on new growth, so pecan farmers cut back the trees to boost production.

I gotta say, back in my formative years, I don’t remember pecan farmers cutting back trees so much. But then again, we didn’t have the robust demand for pecans from Asian markets that we see today.

From a 2011 WSJ article: “Five years ago, China bought hardly any pecans. In 2009, China bought one-quarter of the U.S. crop, and there’s no sign demand is abating.”

So farmers will do just about anything to boost production.
Hey, did you know that pecan trees are notorious water hogs? And right now, the drought in New Mexico is palpable.

Oh, but that’s a different story for another day.

Photos Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page. Top photo taken with my Canon Rebel, bottom photo taken with my iPhone4s and the Camera+ app.

International Monetary Policy


Did you know that if you go to Google and type in Pesos to Dollar, that a nice little converter will come up?

Yep! You just enter the amount of pesos and *boop* it will tell you the corresponding amount in US Dollars. You can then take that amount and cut and paste it into a nice tidy PowerPoint presentation and ship it over to your demanding and agitated boss for his presentation later today.

And when you send that off you feel so gosh darn smart and efficient.

But there’s more.

Did you know there is a rather large difference between Mexican Pesos and Colombian Pesos?

Let’s show by way of example:

6 million  Mexican Pesos is equal to:

$470,105 US Dollars

6 million Colombian Pesos is equal to:

$3,356 US Dollars.

Further, did you know that the difference between asking finance for 470k versus 3k on a pretty little PowerPoint slide is, well, significant.

Um. Whoops.

Pesky ol’ currency conversion.
(Thankfully my BossMan caught it before the meeting and we fixed it. I’m now being teased unmercifully. Ugh!)

Image from

It’s about damn time


Today, this is my horoscope:

Whew. Ok. Good. Compensation for “something that had to be done the hard way” is on the way.

Yes. Awesome.

I wonder which thing that “had to be done the hard way” will get rewarded? There are so many! I mean, at least three I can think of at work. A couple on the home front. And at least one ongoing creative project that was like walking through molasses.

Awesome. I’m so ready for the acknowledgement.

In fact, I’m gonna get out my catcher’s mitt. The big one for catching knuckleballs, cuz I don’t wanna miss this at all.

C’mon, Universe, lay it right in there!

Not that I believe in horoscopes or anything like that…..*ahem*. But in case it’s true, good Ol’ Universe, just know I’m totally ready to receive!

With gratitude and whip cream and a cherry on top!

Image of catcher’s mitt used to catch former A’s Knuckleballer, Steve Sparks from Knuckleblog.

Management 101


In November, I got to thinking about the end of the calendar year and how hard my own work team has been pulling to keep our program going, supporting end users, and picking up the slack when others have left the group.

They are a resilient little team (I mean little in numbers) and I’m proud of them.

I asked the Boss of my Boss if we had some sort of recognition program. He said, “oh yes, we do spot bonuses. Talk to so-in-so and they can provide you with some gift cards to hand your employees.”

I was pretty stoked. I figured these gift cards might be $100. Or maybe, you know, $50. Not much, but enough to make a difference.

So I contacted so-in-so and wrote up my justification and was handed some gift cards.

They are $25 each.


Ok, I know $25 is still better than a kick in the shins, but I worried that handing out $25 would be less of a thank you and more of a “why bother”? Given how hard this crew has been working and the success they saw last year, would a $25 gift card be an insult?

Unfortunately for me, it turned out to be all I could do for my employees under “official” program at of my very cheap frugal cost-conscious company.

This week, with everyone back in the office after the holiday break, I decided to hand out the gift cards along with a hearty thank you.

I went to each person on my team and I talked to them about how hard they worked and said “I’d like to give you this. I’m sorry it’s not very much, but it’s the best I can do under the official auspices.”

Every member of my team was incredibly grateful and dare I say excited to get an “official” bit of recognition for a job well done.

As one woman leapt from her chair to hug me and thank me over and over, I was stunned.

How could she be so thrilled over a puny $25 gift card?

I puzzled over it and thought about it and pondered.

Today, on my afternoon walk around the lake, I figured it out.

These wonderful, hardworking, amazing people are simply happy to be recognized.

This is the power of saying (and meaning) the words Thank You.

I knew this mattered, I really did. I try very hard as a manager to remember to say thank you and mean it. But even I forget.

My very humble team gave me a good lesson. They took me back to Management 101, and for that I’m filled with gratitude.

(Should I remind my own manager that I also tend to work harder with a few “thank yous” along the way?)

Image via Abstruse Goose.



Back in 2006 when I met the product called Sirius, I was enchanted. It was a whole new way of listening to radio. Fewer commercials, more choices, and lots of stations that let me listen to whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to.

For several years, we were together, and musically I was very happy.

Over time, the renewal price of my Sirius subscription started going up and the quality of the programing starting going down. During the time I took a sabbatical from work, I looked for every possible way to cut costs.

So I broke up with Sirius.

Sirius had a hard time with the end of our relationship. Sirius didn’t really want to let me go. Sirius still calls, email and snail mails me several times a week.

Bright yellow envelopes in my mailbox shout “We want you back!”

No, honestly, they actually say that. It’s weird. Soon Sirius will start writing me bad poetry.

Well I’ve been back on the job for a while now and while I *could* sign up again with Sirius, I just don’t want to. I’m over Sirius.

The trouble is, there hasn’t been a respectable suitor to take its place. I listen to some form of music in my office while I work all day (we’re talking a good eight to ten hours a day of music) and I have tried just about every local radio station I can get. They all suck.

So I did what I usually do. I whined to The Good Man.

Who replied, “Have you tried Pandora?”

Why no…I hadn’t.

So I downloaded the free application to my iPhone and started listening.

Last week I finally dug down into the instructions and figured out how to not just listen to the stations already set up, but instead program my own station.

Oh my. I’m in love.

Deep love.

I am all about Pandora, now. ALL. ABOUT. PANDORA.

Sorry Sirius. You can’t have me back. I’m with Pandora now.

And I like it.

** By the way, I wasn’t paid for this, I just wanted to talk about my feelings.**