Who moved my cheese, er, puzzles?

Thanks for nothing, Washington Post.

I’ve been doing the  Washington Post’s online daily crossword puzzle for a couple years now.  Eventually I also begain doing the Mini Sudoku (a 6×6 grid).  Once I conquered the mini, I graduated to the big boy Daily Sudoku.  At first I tried with the hints on and went row by row, columnn by column, grid by grid.  But as I became more familiar with how Sudoku works, I began looking at the grids in whole, and found it better to start with a clean canvas (i.e., hints off).  I even got to the point of finishing the Friday and Sunday puzzles (the 5-star difficulty ones).

Last week, the Post changed its puzzles page to WP Games.  Now it comes with a myriad of games, including most of those found on HSN’s Arcade.  Worse, the Post’s Sudoku has taken on a new format, of which I can’t even complete the easiest version (without cheating).  It’s depressing.  And Mini Sudoku?  Gone, along with many of my past favorites, including Kakuro and Play 4.  (Crickler is still there, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it out.)

Oh yeah, and now I have to sit through a 15- or 30-sec commercial before each puzzle.

I can’t really blame the Post.  Newpapers have been losing revenue from print media for awhile now, and this is simply a way for them to recoup some costs while attracting a younger buying crowd with fancier, glitzier puzzles.

I suppose I should be grateful.  Perhaps now I’ll waste less time in the morning and become more productive.  Then again, maybe I’ll just go to Yahoo, where I can find the old Daily Sudoku version.  It’s just not as user-friendly, there’s no mini Sudoku, and I still have to sit through commercials.


Suffering fools

Since I was out most of last week, I met with my team this morning to get back up to speed.  The minute I closed the door, the bitching began.  That’s not meant to disparage them.  This is a great team, so their complaints were valid.

Last Friday afternoon, one of the officers (we’ll call her Jane) went into panic mode.  Her boss (we’ll call him Tom) asked for some information by 3:30, so  she proceeded to get the team spun up.  The  team already had the information (since it’s part of what they regularly do), but apparently it wasn’t what Jane wanted, or it wasn’t enough.

As more and more idiotss people got involved, the tasking just escalated.  When the team missed the 3:30 deadline, Jane  yelled at these people, telling them their work was unacceptable.

When the data was finally given to Tom, turns out, all he’d wanted was one slide from a brief we’d already done.  It would have taken 2 seconds.  The 3:30 deadline would have been met, people wouldn’t have had stay until 7:00 pm (on a Friday), and panicky phone calls to people at home wouldn’t have been necessary.  All because Jane didn’t understand what Tom was asking for.

I wonder if Jane realizes the whole incident is her fault and she made an ass of herself.  Honestly, I don’t think she’s smart enough to recognize it.

I’m not sure how I’ll be able to help.  I can give Jane recommendations and feedback, but even though we’re equal rank, I doubt she’ll listen to me.   I don’t think she understands I have a strong background, more years experience, and am a better leader than she.  If nothing else, I can hopefully be a shit filter.

I hate the 1st day of Daylight Savings Time

First of all, I have to change my alarm clock, which automatically changes for Daylight Savings Time—except it’s the old, pre-Congress interference DST.  Which means I’ll have to change it back on the first Sunday in April when it springs ahead all by itself.

Secondly, it screws up people’s biological rhythm  (I don’t want to say biological clock, because that has a different meaning).  I know there’s a word for what I’m talking about, but because mine is screwed up right now, I can’t think of it.  Studies show a greater than average number of car accidents occur this week.

Thirdly, I lost my purse today.  Actually, I think it was stolen because I know where I left it.  I went back to find it a mere 10 minutes later and it was gone.  I checked in the grocery store, but no one had turned it in.  And no one has called me to tell me it’s recovered.

The bad news is I’ve lost my ID (driver’s license), credit cards, ATM card, health cards, library card, and over $100 (but less than $200) cash.  I’ve stopped the credit cards, but I have no cash.  Oh wait.  I do have a shit-load of change, some even in rolls.  I bet I even have enough to order therapeutic pizza and chocolate cake for dinner tonight.  But I won’t.

The good news: it was my least favorite purse, my keys were in my pocket, my badges that allow me into work (I have 4 of them—yes, I am that important.  Only, not.) are in my work bag, and my checkbook is at home.  And, I got my hair done yesterday, so if I need to have a new picture for my driver’s license, it won’t look too bad.  I hope.  I’m not terribly photogenic, so it’s always a crap-shoot.  I really like the current picture on my drivers license , even though it’s gotta be over 12 years old (and 40 pounds lighter).

In other news, I spoke with Benjamin Bratt‘s attorney Friday evening.  It was a very nice conversation.  Honest!

I need a new job

Remember way back when I wrote about 13 meetings in one week? Since then, we’ve had a few of those high-level video teleconferences (VTCs). We had one this morning at 0830 (that’s 8:30 a.m. for you civilians). It takes about 1/2 hour to set up the VTC. At 8:25, there still wasn’t anyone at work who could set up the VTC. I really tried to let it go, but God, I was pissed. So much so, I’m thinking of taking the rest of the week off. (I have a couple of doctors’ appointments, so perhaps that’s not such a bad idea.)

Then, just a bit ago, four people were standing in my space having a conversation (that didn’t include me).  And three of these people have individual offices! Why couldn’t they meet in one of those offices?  They’ve departed now, but it just reinforces my discontent.

I’m trying to figure out how I can last another 3 years in this job.  I’m feeling like I’m too old (and too good) to be in the environment I’m in, stuck in a freakin’ cubicle. I suppose I could look for a new job, even a promotion, but I’m not sure I want all that responsibility.  Too bad I’m such a big under-achiever.

Microsoft, you suck!

I downloaded Microsoft Service Pack 1 for Vista this morning.  And now I can’t install any new fonts.  I really wanted to install “Jane Austin” (my favorite font—it’s the one I used for my favicon), but the install font program kept freezing.  So I tried to do a system restore to a previous time.  And guess what?  I can’t even do that! Not only that, System Restore even freezes up!  I checked to see if I could uninstall SP1, but haven’t found anything so far.  I guess I’ll ask the sys admin guys at work tomorrow.  I could go online with a Microsoft tech, but that’ll cost me $59.  It even costs just to e-mail them!

I’m sure they’ll come out with a patch for it, since it’s so hosed up.  Or at least I hope they do.  I hope it’s a system-wide problem and not just something I’m encountering.  On the positive side, I did backup my files Friday evening.  (But I probably wouldn’t be able to restore them because, you know… System Restore freezes up!)

WP vs LJ

I’m in a rather crappy mood today. I think I may have reached my breaking point with the Supernatural fandom. Perhaps today will spur me to come to my senses and stop my crazy obsessing. But probably not.

I made a list of all the non-Supernatural web-related things I’d like to do, and it’s pretty extensive. If I’m ever going to get serious about designing a WordPress theme, keeping up the sites I already have, and creating new websites for cohorts, I need to stop hanging out at LiveJournal, “fangirling” about Supernatural and attempting to make cute, little icons.

The things I like about LJ are the friends list and the communities. I don’t know of anything comparable with WP. Sure, I can delineate the folks on my blogroll into certain categories, but where can I find an actual community that comes together to share a similar interest?

The other thing that concerns me is possibly losing touch with a couple of the “friends” I’ve made at LJ. One of the friends has followed me over here, so I’m not worried about her, but there are 2 other posters I really like, but they don’t seem to be interested in keeping in touch outside of LJ. But who knows. Maybe I’ll be able to lure them over here. If not, were they all that good of friends?

The bang that began 2008

Did I ever mention I broke my foot? I know I complained about crutches being the bane of mankind, but don’t think I mentioned why I was using them. On the first Monday in January, I fell down the steps at work and fractured a bone in my foot. So much for even numbered & leap years being the best. Actually, I’m still not counting the year out. Throughout it all, I’ve maintained a good attitude, kept up with some of my plans and restructured the ones I had to.

I went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday for an update. My foot is healing well, but I could have told you that without the x-rays. I see (or rather feel) improvement just about every day. He said the foot would be swollen for awhile even after it’s healed. I knew that too, because I’d severely sprained my ankle many years before and it was still a bit swollen a couple months after I was up and getting around. He told me I could get out of the boot and start wearing shoes whenever I felt I was ready. Ok. And that I should see him in about 6 weeks. Also ok. Then he said that he only needed to follow-up because this was workman’s comp. If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have needed to see me again at all.

Huh?!? I’m still in a boot! And most likely will be for at least a couple more weeks. I can’t believe a doctor would be so flippant. Yeah, I get a follow up with him. But what if I’d done this at home? He’d just let me go off into the wilderness while still somewhat hobbled and never want to see if I fully recovered?? Guess who won’t be getting any referrals from me.