Thursday, November 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by jdavis.
I am so bummed!

I am totally bummed! If you know me personally, you have probably already noticed that I love cotton oxford button-down collar shirts. I wear them all the time-- to work, at home, out at night, even on the weekends. I wore them all through college, even though I was otherwise sort of a hippie. I know it dates me a bit (like, ummm, old guy!), but I grew up wearing them. I wore cotton oxford shirts to grade school and junior high school. I will wear one to my funeral, even if it's already ashes by the time I get there.

Actually, when I was growing up my grandfather owned a dry cleaning business, which did away with one of the biggest downsides of wearing them-- they wrinkle badly in laundering (understatement), and ironing them flat and smooth is a horrible exercise. There are three options to that:
  1. There are pretty good, all-cotton no-iron shirts nowadays
  2. Knit shirts are very stylish, not very expensive, and don't need ironing!
  3. Send them out to the cleaners-- it's expensive, but preferable to spending half the day Sunday ironing (my grandfather got me hooked, because we got our shirts laundered for free)
Well, I've been sending them out to the cleaners for years (don't starch them, they last longer that way) and just deal with it as a cost of dressing well. Be happy (if you're a guy) that you're not a woman, who ends up spending twice as much (or more) on their cleaning as men do.

The upside of a freshly laundered cotton shirt is it looks fresh and neat and it's conservative enough to wear anywhere, with anything. And it's comfortable! Warm, soft, absorbent, neat, crisp, sharp... what could be better?

One thing that's great about cotton is it takes dye really well. That's why there are so many colors and patterns of oxford cloth shirts. Check out the L.L.Bean catalog, or Land's End catalog. Wonderful. People have been making soft and warm and comfortable and colorful cotton shirts for probably 5,000 years. They're colorful because cotton loves dye. Or any other freaking substance that imparts color! I lost a lot of shirts (and a couple of blankets and quilts) to rollerball pens back when I first started using them and I would forget to cap them before I put them into my pocket (that's why nerds wear pocket protectors!). Anyway, today I found (it actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I was hoping against hope the cleaner would get it out) that my favorite pink shirt had an indelible ink spot that isn't coming out, and of course I didn't notice until I was going up in the elevator (the elevator walls are polished brass, so you get to look at yourself on the way up). It really pisses me off. There is nothing to do besides retire the shirt. Grrrr....

What I did today

I did a whole lot of things today. I uploaded as many photos as I could to Flickr, so I could use them in blogs, and sent a couple of emails--including one to Kelley, to whom I sent the link to the Flickr site so she could get photos if she wanted them. Then at work I wrote a lot of emails (I've been typing like a madman since I got up this morning).

I learned about the new process to submit expense reimbursement forms, which involves Xeroxing the receipts into the "bizhub" copier upstairs and having it automatically send the output to my folder in the "bizhub" network share, and then attaching that and sending it to accounts payable (after filling out the expense reimbursement worksheet, that's completely automatic, and lives on the Intranet so it's one click to get it). So my expenses for the Boston training trip are being processed, and should be available in my bank account on Monday.

I also went to the bank at lunchtime and got them to reverse the service charges from last week. That means I "made" $126 bucks on my lunch hour, and I only took a half-hour! And I got a paycheck today as well. I didn't eat at lunchtime, though, and that means I'm ravenously hungry!

I also added a new feature to one of my work applications to look for bad data (which, thankfully, there is very little of, and there is an easy explanation for that-- the user changed it!), and deployed the update.

I discussed personnel issues with my supervisor, and sorted the Renewal Applications batch (a long story, but a tedious, error-prone process to do something that's innocuous and nearly invisible). And I set up my review with my supervisor, who had forgotten it. And we talked about projects for the next year or two, in the context of the new position we're trying to fill, for which I also reviewed an application/resume that looks promising.

Then I started the process of checking the old Exposure report with the "new" Exposure report, which should take me the rest of the week. And I submitted this article (the one you're reading right now) to be blogged through email. That's pretty slick!

And all day, people have been talking to me and smiling at me. I'm having a good hair day, I guess. I have no other explanation for being responded to that way.

All in all, I would call this a pretty good day. And I have to remember that my favorite pink cotton button-down shirt has an ink stain and I should not wear it to work anymore. Bummer...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

brick buildings on free street & other beautiful things about this city

free street 02
Originally uploaded by jdavis.
Portland is a beautiful city. Many of the finest buildings downtown are very well-preserved brick buildings, not too tall, that are used every day.

And sometimes, when I'm driving to work, I go down Fore Street (or maybe it's called Eastern Prom up here on the hill-- I don't know exactly where one ends and the other begins), and I see something like this (which I find exhilarating and pretty inspiring).

keeping the rhetoric heated and religious

Bill Frist, one of the victims of the 2006 "house cleaning" that was delivered by voters to the Republicans, has announced that he's not running for president in 2008. This seems like a no-brainer, since he couldn't even get re-elected in his own state. I can only applaud his choice, but observe how this 2-term lame-duck senator delivers the message:

Frist won't launch White House bid

By John Rodgers,
November 29, 2006
Sen. Bill Frist announced this morning he would not run for President in 2008.

"In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close," Frist said in a statement. "I do not intend to run for president in 2008."

Let's all couch all of our public pronouncements in Christian "God talk," because it's so obviously exactly what we need to defuse the level of the rhetoric of intolerance around the world (/end of sarcasm). Personally, when someone begins speaking that way-- whether the deity they invoke is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, or Pagan-- I assume that whatever follows is BS. Get a job, Bill, and stop talking.

beauty becomes mine

I’ve got Beauty right where I want her now, in a powerful choke hold of my own devising. I can feel her knees start to buckle, and I’m guiding her, down, to rest on the sofa, where she will sit, quietly, with her sister Truth, while I figure out what to do with them. Sometimes it’s important to just force the matter.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

blogging here since 2001

Holy hatrack, Robin! I've been blogging here since at least 2001. It is not necessary to alarm our MySpace friends with insane ranting in our blog there-- need to just kinda switch over here to Blogger (which has been bought again, this time by Google) and type those perverse, depressing, and challenging ideas over here. I don't know that all of my massive audience is going to be able to handle an Atom link, but at least some will. I hope Google isn't completely swamped with requests. Oh wait, this is hosted at the Second Tuesday Slam site. It could get dramatic. Aggregate me, baby!!

Click away, click away!!