Saturday, April 30, 2011

... with a View la deuxième fois

6:30 this morning

8:30 this morning

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Room with a View

Well you can't really tell, from the pictures, but trust me, the room now has a view.

There are a few things that Stone Restoration did that were low budget. One of them I well remember, and Norma's Randy made them do over - the bottom of the barrel line of siding. He said he couldn't in good conscience let it go because Neil always did things the right and best way. Like, he mentioned, the underwater-rated outdoor Christmas speakers that went the way of the fire trash. (And I must add it's a good thing Randy stepped in, because though an upgrade, it's still not what you could rate as top drawer.)

I know not why (though I'm sure it had to do with $$) but they put in nonmatching, even by brand, windows. No biggie other than the sunroom ones were so chintzy they developed that greasy-looking between-pane chemical reaction and so the last few years I left those blinds turned so at least I didn't have to look at them from the inside. I finally got over blaming Stone for that part of the problem, realizing it developed a number of years later and they'd have had no idea, and they were, other than that, a step up from what was there before. I do still regret that they failed to caulk on the inside and they didn't align them properly which over the years resulted in a warping effect. Had they done it properly though, it still wouldn't have stopped the between pane problem, according to this window company, so there's no point in blaming Stone for that either!

At any rate, I just got them replaced and am now basking in the room with the new and improved view. As well as knowing letting the light pour in won't harm the drapes and furniture, cooling/heating costs will improve a lot, and the church parking lot activity won't wake me up anymore during Sunday afternoon naps. ;^)

I must say, caulking is an art and these guys have got it down. Might well have been why Stone didn't do it - sans the art it would have been another Randy do over on that dark wood.
"Steady as she goes...."

Hopefully the savings will ascend to the level I can get the two front windows replaced next spring. No, don't worry, not the leaded glass part, just the big picture windows underneath which have far less than perfect storm window protection. Then it will be Room(s) with View(s)!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Ain't Exactly Sprung ...

... but the break for it is history. (Leastwise it's iffy when it freezes/snows.) But what a good one it was. No, I didn't mark it with any partying/festivity or recreation/vacation, but I did mark it in the time-honor Fugal tradition of working it. Kinda like we "celebrated" Labor Day each September, as I'm sure Janeil and Lois well remember.
And no, I didn't take this picture either, but it depicts a real place in this county, not far, where they on purpose grow miles and miles of lavender fields (Young Family Farm). Though the picture does give you that springtime feel, in this climate it blooms ... in summertime.

All that being surmised, it has been a very productive spring break. Filled the trash can full of "might nevers": clothes I might never wear, school nutrition magazines I might never read, Reader's Digests I might never reread, boxes of shed stuff nobody might never want, old Neil/Ruby miscellany nobody but me might never care about.

Then it got picked up and I filled it full again with yard clippings: dead raspberry canes, old soaker hoses with too large holes created by persons who feel the need to turn my water on full blast, the third post-winter dead leaf collection, all the dandelions needing popping though I did put down a fall pre-emergent, five grocery bags of the church tree pods, rose bush trimmings cut into bits to fit the most in the can (with more to go!), and annoying vines from the church side of the fence. (You shouldn't plant vines if you're going to fill your chain-link with slats, though it's entirely possible Norma planted them and they crossed over.)

Then a goodly dose of Halts and ant bait all around, staked out new soaker hoses, gave my cherry tree is second dose of anti-aphidness, did some indoor cleaning when the weather wasn't cooperating, emptied the kindling from the back shed (a post of another day), breathed in a lot of dust, thought about how much dust my Dad breathed in over the years as well as the Webb boys when they mucked out the garage after the fire, bought some looking-forward-to-summer stuff, watched Netflix Goal! (1) again, 90% of that late night dumb western and Tuesdays with Morrie, gobs of indexing, a trip to the temple, finished my taxes, two more nights and I'm done with the Book of Mormon (started in January), and ate cake. Magleby's chocolate, of course. With a glass of milk.

And lest I sound too much a braggart, I must say both of my parents at the age I am now, could and did out-work me clear back/beyond the age I was then! Love it when the yard/house are picked up and presentable, there's no longer miles to go before I sleep, and there's still a day left before it's back to salt mines of another kind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nuts. Anyone remember how Good Day for a Hanging ends? It started whilst I was finishing up my indexing for the day, and per usual, what with the usual late-night advertisement prolificacy, I faded away only to wake up as the bad guy lies dead on the gallows, shot I'm betting since the noose lies neatly at his side, and the sheriff happily walks off into the sunset with his fiancée who, same as his daughter and the rest of the town, was last I knew against him, believing the sheriff's high morals were false. "Justice is in the eye of the beholder," so it says on the imaginary marquee. Not too likely anyone can tell me though, since it's too old for any google-addict to have cared to post any spoilers, and Grant and his pa are the only outlaws amongst us I know of and we're not all on speaking terms....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Question for Greg, Carl and all my other IT savvy nephews...

I woke up early this morning from an especially vivid dream. I'm sure it subconsciously begins with this:

I'd been following Kirk Wiesner (The Cookie Thief) on Facebook and he posted it when it had just begun it's debut on youtube. (You'll note that the diehard IT guys who commented actually don't "get" it! Heck, even Billy Idol gets it! And since going up 2/21, it's been viewed over 11,618 times.)

Soon after, various people in the know talked the boss into letting our department go Facebook and I suggested we begin with this video. Then we scrambled to come up with a catchy name and I said how about ITSMeals at Provo School District.

So then, as just over a month has gone by and we're "tending" ITSMeals daily, I have this dream:

I am in a business meeting with a company I've not long worked for. I don't know anyone there other than, oddly enough, our district superintendent. He doesn't know me from Adam (which is another story which will remain untold). There are a lot more men in attendance than women, say 30 men to 5 women. The women, other than moi, are... how shall I say this... "sweet young things." I feel comfortable just the same. (Yes, it's okay, go ahead and laugh.)

The meeting goes well and we take a break. This guy walks up to me and asks me if I know where one of our people are, his brother Mark (as in Zuckerberg, and no, I haven't seen the movie). I'm impressed with myself that I remembered one of them was named Mark, and said, pointing, "He just went out that door." He said, motioning to my phone, "Stop him!" So I flip open my cheapie nonsmart cell phone and, oddly, an app appears that shows all the comments that have been made in the meeting. I'm like, wow, but I say, "I don't know how to stop him!?" He says to click on his name (which is a feat since my phone doesn't have a touch screen nor a keyboard, not even in the dream) and IM him, so I do that somehow and "yell" one word, "STOP!" It works and Mark's brother finds him seconds later.

After the break is over, I pass Mark and he says he's written me a thank you note and I smile/nod in acknowledgment. I'm looking all over for it (people are not sitting where they were sitting before the break), and think "oh well" as the meeting starts up again. A few pages are sitting at each chair, and it's all the words that have been spoken in the meeting, thus far, and who said them. I'm thinking, wow, this is great, no more note-taking. The meeting drones on, and I have my same cheapie phone flipped so I can follow the written as well as verbal version (where I notice the thank you from Mark). One of the "sweet young things" is saying, as the dream ends, we are all to Not. Ever. purchase anything from Muir... "I HATE Muir, buy from Dunn's." (I googled Dunn's and there IS a food store by that name in Georgia, but I promise you, their produce can't hold a candle ...even in a dream... to Muir's!) *smile*

As we all gather our belongings, I'm wondering if we need to wait to get the rest of the written version of the meeting and finally comment to the person next to me who says, "You can get the rest on Olifont." No lie, "Olifont." (I googled it today at work and it so happens it's "the world's first interactive journal." Interesting.)

So my question is, all you IT experts, IS there an app for that!?? (Not Olifont, I'm talking go-live note-taking for meetings.)

(And no, Grant, I'm not wondering if it fits in any sense of the story as anything prophetic.) *wink*

Monday, April 4, 2011

Get a little INDEPENDENCE in your life!

Almost weekly we office folks visit the schools to document and help them celebrate two events - our theme for the year, Wild West Days (we're all cowboyed up) and Calendar Days (to get monthly themed pictures for the cooks' calendar).

Since we're all old as dirt (from a school-aged student's point of view, and especially me of course even from their parents!), we recruited the receptionist to go with us. She's not only young, she's beautiful and full of vim and vigor. Last year she taught the kids the Macarena. This year it's line dancing. It has been so fun watching the kids get excited as we walk in the door because they know the dancing is about to begin - a whole lot more fun than the usual recess. We take the same CD (a compilation) with us to every school and crank up the volume. Most schools have great sound systems in the lunchroom because they are either next to or pinch hit as the gymnasium.

Now the 10th-12th graders are mostly too cool for any of this so we bring some added incentive - $15 Burger King gift cards. Yes, I know... Child Nutrition and all that. =]:^D Well, on the way to Independence High School, Ally, the receptionist, has this bright idea - Karaoke. Simultaneously, the kitchen manger decides she's going to get permission to invite a few of the more socially outgoing to come to lunch a few minutes early. View the short movie to see what happened. (The other movie maker besides me is the school principal.) (And Ally is the redhead.) (Click off the music, top left.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In the News

Nourishing Your Future

Check out “ITSMeals at Provo School District.”

Make our day in a good way by “Liking” us on Facebook.

The top (as in latest) entry on 4/1/11 is my boss winning a national award. All the pictures are our own. We bought a very nice camera with food rebates in the form of Best Buy gift certificates - the boss uses that one (she does most of the “posed” pictures you see) and the rest of us use our own. Tempts me to buy a better camera. Every time I see Jewel I have her clean up my bad random settings - which I’d have to do with a new one too! But besides that, I need to retire one of these days….

Background on the award.

We buy our produce from Muir Copper Canyon Farms.

Well, let me go back a little further.
We belong to D.O.D. - yes, the Department of Defense, the federal department responsible for safeguarding national security. Same angle I suppose as the reason the government got involved in food at school in the first place - needing those who join the armed services to get there, and even merely qualify, in a more healthy condition.

When D.O.D. first got involved in providing funds for school fruits and vegetables, it was, as is anything else bureaucratic, fraught with rules, rules, rules. THEY decided who our vendor would be each year, which was never the same and was, as in almost anything else bureaucratic, nonsensical - one year our produce came all the way from North Ogden. (I protested this logic in a state meeting with them once and basically got slapped down.) ((Was still gratifying to publicly point out both their lame and sledge-hammer style.)) (((Hummm. That next year might have been the year we were assigned to North Ogden….))) J

Imagine. You have placed orders but you can’t get them any where near the same day you want to use them, so quality is compromised for that one fact alone. Add to that, jostled in a truck 85 or more miles! And to that needing something in a pinch or correcting a problem!

Granted we did once or twice get a Utah County supplier and it was also somewhat problematic because they weren’t really big enough to service us properly. One year we were blessed to be assigned to Muir Cooper Canyon Farms out of Salt Lake City. They are not only nice people who know how and are willing to communicate, they buy the best, and have the skill to pick appropriately as to quality and quantity. We were very sad when that year ended.

Eventually D.O.D. got a brain (about gasp saving transport expenses) and let us pick our own. Yeah! After being with Muir for a number of these last years, they requested our approval and support in nominating our program director, for a national award. She was reluctant in that though she does want and strives for recognition, it is for our program, not herself. We finally convinced her, yes it’s you but we’ll write the nomination so that you represent Provo School District Child Nutrition Program’s team effort.

We’d successfully won a big award the year before (Best of State 2010), and were excited to write and “decorate” a new nomination application. We are a team in that regard as well, and though stressful, we thoroughly enjoy it. Colleen has a flair for decorating, I have a flair for writing, Jenilee has the flair for keeping us in line with what’s the best representation for the district and the students, and we all including Bill give our input as to each other’s pieces in the total package. Muir has belonged to this association, United Fresh, for many years, in fact, Muir is a family company, founded in 1850, and grandpa had been chairman of United Fresh. Every year Muir nominates someone. The application packet we provided, garnered them their first win. We were told Jenilee won hands down.

United Fresh is a trade association, founded in 1904, representing the interests of produce companies and their partners throughout the world. United Fresh holds great power in the federal aspects of what regulations filter down to district child nutrition programs. Jenilee will be part of a panel discussing “Lessons in Produce Excellence from the Front Line” during its annual convention and the award ceremony will take place in New Orleans early in May 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

To See or Not to See (that was the question)!

I have been living without my eyeglasses since before Christmas. Especially not happy about it because I needed them for my Christmas trip to Vegas! (It's one thing to be blind at home and at work but "in public" is another matter!) Now I wasn't totally blind because I have older versions I can use which are not for public consumption due to style and/or extremely scratched, scarred and marred lenses. And I said a little prayer that the lenses didn't fall out as well while visiting Jewel! (Even though Johnny is a master fixer person, I doubted he had that small of a screwdriver.)

I was totally sure they were at home other than the fact that it was entirely possible that I put them in a place that provided a ride to the trash can, and as time wore on, that possibility seemed more and more likely.

I finally found them ... AFTER buying a new pair. I was at least smart enough to decide I'd buy sunglasses because then they'd at least be cheaper, finding nice but on sale frames and picking a solid color instead of the self-darkening transition lenses. And since part of the deal was I could replace them if scratched, I got Veralux but not the extra scratch protection. And the plan then was to replace the lost when I could replenish my flex spending account.

And so how did I find them, you say, these long four months later? The Scouts had a food drive and when I went downstairs to peruse the dates on the cans in the fruit room, there they sat on the top shelf ... where I took them off searching for the LAST Scout food drive just before Christmas! Not very comforting, to lose one's glasses having to take them off to be able to see!

And am I, penny-pincher that I am, regretful of the purchase? No. Why we consumers have to change style willy nilly is pretty dumb when you consider how much better you can see, I can verify, with larger lenses. So I'm fine - I'll save those too-small orbs for indoor public consumption only, and fully enjoy the larger ones everywhere else.