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Not the medical kind. The emotional kind. And, oddly, in this case related to medical personnel.

This morning I read this brief article in today’s ABQjournal: Hospital Officials: Prank Not Funny

My first thought was “I’ll bet it is.” I mean, really, office pranks are funny. And hey, a hospital is *prime* for good office comedy. Lots of ways you can go with that.

Well, in reading the article, I discovered the joke in question wasn’t actually all that funny, at least not to me. It probably was to the hospital workers who had put in a twelve hours shift and were punch drunk and silly. And generally an office prank arises out of people being 1) tired, 2) fed up and 3) both.

So these hospital folks were caught on the security camera putting a cartoon image of Stewie in the frame that had recently housed a photo of the Chief Operations Officer.

It might have been a loving, joking tribute to the employee who had moved on to other employment, likening him humorously to the baby bent on world domination. It might also have been an after-the-fact tacky comment on the nature of the hospital executive.

Either way, I don’t know and really, I don’t care. But I do think that the fact this made the newspaper and there is huffing and puffing from the powers that be at the hospital is sort of silly.

Office pranks are everywhere. I’ve done them. I’ve been a victim of them. Hell, I once aided and abetted my coworkers kidnapping a diminutive office mate and wrapping him tightly, still seated in his ergonomic office chair, in shrink-wrap plastic (except for his, you know, breathing areas). Round and round and round on the shrink wrap platform and we then rolled him over, green in the gills, to the pile of racks and equipment that were being moved to a new location.

Had the guy had no sense of humor, I suppose that HR wouldn’t have looked kindly on the prank. Huffing and puffing would have ensued. Turns out the guy has a great sense of humor, and our boss almost peed his pants laughing so hard.

What the hospital employees missed was a few vital keys to a good office prank: Timing. And know your audience.

Ooh, all this talk has me itching for a good interoffice prank. Sadly, my current crop of coworkers have NO sense of humor. The timing is good (the office is in shambles, we’re moving buildings) but the audience…not so much.

Hot or not?

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Yes, I think hot.

Been getting a lot of compliments today at work about my outfit.

Well, one aspect of my outfit. My boots. They rock.

So why am I blogging about this?

Well. You see, I bought these little beauties about three months ago. I brought them home and quickly tried them on to show The Good Man. He looked at them, then gave me that sort of look you get when you sniff the milk carton well past its expiry.

He didn’t like them. Said I looked like a CHP Officer (and not in a good way).

And he has REALLY good taste in clothes, so I tend to listen to him.

With sadness, I put them away in my closet. They were so cool. I didn’t want to take them back, but I didn’t think I’d wear them if they give my beloved “that look” on his face.

Over the months I keep seeing cute little gals wearing same or similar kicks, and I keep thinking, “I have some of those…”

Something snapped over the weekend and I decided, “yes, I will wear them, curdled milk face or not.”

This morning I pulled them out from the closet depths, paired them with a fave springtime skirt and an appropriate top.

And as my love and I walked to the CalTrain station, he said, “Hey, I really like those boots”.

Umm hmm.

“I take you in sickness and in health, in odd fashion choices and when you rock the runway…” Can I get an I do on those vows?

Anyhow, here are the kicks in question:

Plan in place

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In reading the “odd news” today, I inadvertently stumbled across my strategy for the first Tuesday in November.


NAPLES (Reuters) – Ballot stuffing took on a new meaning in Italy’s parliamentary election on Sunday when a man ate his ballot paper in protest at the country’s politicians.

Police in Naples said they had charged the 41-year-old businessman with destroying election materials. He said all Italian politicians and politics “are crap” and that he was protesting “against the system.”

Nom, nom.

Should I add rooster sauce or mayo? What condiment goes best with crappy politics, hmmmmm?

Notes from an Eastbound plane

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Flying makes me thoughtful. Herewith, my thoughts from some seven hours in the air in which I also lost three time zones.

Oddly, today, this is a New Mexico blog written by a Californian visiting Florida.


Thoughts from the skies:

1) Noise cancelling headphones. Da bomb. How did I ever live without them? Best Christmas gift evar!

2) Traveling to warm vacation spots while Spring Break is in swing means you will be required to endure obnoxious teenagers. A LOT of obnoxious teenagers.

3) Exit row window seat. Yes. Leg room. View. Ability to move. Middle seat empty…even better.

4) Southwest’s new boarding process? May as well go back to plastic numbers because that’s basically what it is again. 1-30, 31-60, 61-90, blah, blah, blah…been there, done that. Only this time with letters!

5) Breakfast at home…always a good idea. Even more so when flying for the WHOLE day. Even if it is just tomato soup, it’s a good idea.

6) Comfy pants = happy traveler. The ones that are like two sizes too big and I just don’t care.

7) Pocket full of tissues is a good thing. Especially in allergy season. Those little square napkins that come with your drink don’t cut it. It was a last minute thought but proved to be the best decision all day.

8) Who is Southwest kidding with these “100 calorie” snack packs. Give me eight! I don’t care, I’m HUNGRY! Turns out tomato soup wasn’t enough to last all day. It got me to…oh, San Antonio then I wanted some real eats.

9) Why don’t you get the whole can of soda on the plane anymore?

And finally…

10) Just so you know…Ethel Merman has been reincarnated as a toddler. Yes, a solid hour of singing with the pitch and tone of a three year old and the gusto of Ethel herself. At one point the child hit a “Laaaaaaaaaa” and held it there. Which brings us back to #1.

Noise cancelling headphones. *Highly* recommended.

Minutiae, day two

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Yeah, I’m really on this microscopic thang. Bear with me, it will pass.

Today’s subject of my intense scrutiny is the ticket validator machines for CalTrain.

Here’s the situation. To catch a commute on the train you gotta have a ticket to get ‘er done. Some people do single rides. You buy that day of from a machine at the station. Some people do a monthly pass. You get that in advance (or from the machines). You just flash that to the conductor and it keeps you on the train.

But for many of us, we buy a ten-ride ticket (more cost effective if you ride occasionally, not every day). So in order to get a ride, you have to punch your ticket. So to do that, you slip the ticket into the validator machine and it punches your ticket, stamps date and expiration time (four hours), and cuts off the ride number on the side.

Here, better to go visual on this. Please excuse the crappy iPhone photos.

Here’s what a ten-ride pass looks like:

Note the slots for the rides and you can see the numbers off to the side. You can see that this morning I punched off the number 5.

Here is the validator machine:

And obviously, here’s how it works:

So here’s my question. One of those “you’ve got way too much thinking time on your hands” type of deals.

What happens to all of those punched numbers? I mean, look at the machine, it’s not that big?

A LOT of people punch their tickets every day. And as evidenced by the fact that they are always out of ink, the CalTrain people don’t service the machines very often. So the punched numbers build up in there…I’m guessing.

Where do they go? I assume they stay up there in the red part, but that doesn’t seem like a lot of room.

And when they service the machine, what do they do with the little numbered punchouts? Like confetti in there?

I posed this last night to The Good Man and he patiently suggested that they save them up for the CalTrain New Year’s Eve parties.

But I really am curious. I mean, I suppose they just toss them out, but given that there are, like, 24 stations punching both northbound and southbound riders, that’s a LOT of little punched numbers. It seems like something useful could be done with all of those?

Or am I over thinking it? Don’t answer that…

Because mainly, all this ticket validator scrutiny was just me trying to distract my “no wanna go to work” mind. Succeeded, too, for a little while.

So while you too ponder little numbered confettis, here’s my “art shot”…a glance northbound up the tracks, to help get you in the pondering mood.