February 19, 2010
The boss came in this morning and, after puttering around for a few minutes, shuffled into my office to blab. We get along fairly well, but I can’t say that it's a particularly enjoyable experience, primarily because of his unpredictability. He’s one of those moody fellows, all smiles and amiability one day, a carping and irascible sourpuss the next. I think he was born that way, but a long career dedicated principally to protecting his own gluteus maximus from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune seems to have exacerbated this manic tendency, and his promotion, after many years, to a very senior position that requires little in the way of actual work, gives him far too much time for thinking deep thoughts and playing at being a strategist. Today his vinegar content was on the high side, so he could think of no better conversational topic than a suddenly-perceived need for my division to work on increasing its visibility in the organization. My suggestion - that the best way to accomplish this goal was for all of us to start wearing tweed plus-fours, or maybe togas - was not well received.
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One thing I’ve learned (to my dismay) is that on the rare occasion when I actually have a good idea, it tends to be by accident. Mrs. Paco called and expressed concern about an ice dam that had built up at the edge of the roof in the back of the house (there was a little trickle of water running on the inside of the window in the master bath). I facetiously suggested that she hang out of the window with a blow-dryer. She called me back about an hour later and, in her best “Eureka!” tone of voice, told me that it had worked; she had, indeed, leaned out of the window and held a blow-dryer to the section of the gutter which connected to the downspout at that corner, and a sufficient quantity of ice had melted to allow the gutter to start draining properly.
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I posted a link on my blog a couple of days ago that led to a story about a woman reporter who asked Joe Biden about the “bruise” on his forehead; this question arose during a press conference held on Ash Wednesday. Biden, a Catholic (perhaps nominally so, but that’s between him and God), had been to Mass and received the traditional ashes on his forehead. The really disappointing thing was that the reporter was supposedly Catholic, too, so she should have known better. In any event, a commenter at the original web site quoted Dennis Miller as saying that it’s not that Biden is a Catholic, it’s just that Obama puts his cigarettes out on Joe’s forehead; a bit of imagery that left me in stitches.