Observing whatever tickles my fancy

Archive for January, 2014

A Bat? Really?

It’s January 30th and I had a bat in the house today.  Really.  A bat.

Bat

The evil winged one was lethargically circling the dining room around 3:45 this afternoon.  At least that’s when I noticed him.  I’ve been sick and dozing most of the day in front of the TV so it could’ve been flying around for quite a while.  Nonetheless the bat was in the house.  I’m sick.  I’m watching Adam-12.  For some reason I looked over my shoulder and saw it circling.

I groaned.  “What are you doing in the house?”

It’s winter, folks, and I live in the northern climes of America where snow is piled high and the temperature sinks below zero.  Bats are supposed to be hibernating.  This is my theory.  A few months back I had the attics insulated.  There was a moment when I heard scuffling in the attic while it was being insulated. The man doing the work confessed later that he had disturbed a bat and it went off in the other direction.  The worker waved his hand vaguely in the other direction which included the open attic door.  I kept that bit of information in my brain because I figured I would have to deal with the creature eventually, just not in winter.

Odds are the bat was “chilling” in the cool upstairs; happily dangling behind some dresser or bed post.  But with the warmer house (due to the insulation and me having turned the thermostat up a bit due to being sick and that “arctic vortex”) I think the bat became confused and thought that it was warm enough for some bugs to be flitting about.  He was wrong.

And so today came.  He had made his way downstairs to make his presence known.  (I think he’s been downstairs a few days because I remember hearing some weird noises a few days ago.)  I had no choice folks.  During the summer season I happily corral the evil winged ones on the screened-in porch and then open the door so they can escape to the outdoors.  But it’s winter.  There’s a few feet of snow on the ground.  It’s cold.  I whacked him with the racket and tossed him in a paper bag.  He’s not dead, yet.  He’s still in the bag but in the garage.  If someone wants to adopt him, let me know.  He’ll last a while.

And, does anyone know if Officer Reed found his pregnant wife at the hospital?

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It’s Technically Stuff, You Know

There are a number of words and phrases that annoy the bejesus out of me.  Teenage jargon is on the list but this is not a rant about the inability of teenagers to communicate with anyone over the age of 25.  This is about the workplace.

One of my least favorite phrases is “moving forward”.  Unless it’s a vehicle that’s stuck in park the phrase needs to be stopped.  Sadly, it appears to be a favorite business catchphrase.  “Moving forward we need to remember to put one foot in front of the other.”   (Please, let’s see what happens when you don’t.)

Everyone has their favorite phrase or speaking habit.  The ever present “you know” is one of them.  But when you are in an office setting and sit around people 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week, their habits get on your nerves.  For me, outside of the constant sound of someone crunching on crackers or chips, it’s someone inability to use descriptive words or the overuse of meaningless words.

As an example here is one side of a telephone conversation, the side I hear because of where my desk is located:

“Technically you need to review stuff, you know.”  (It’s spoken as fact, not a question.)

“He can’t, I mean, he has stuff to check.”

“You technically have to review stuff, you know, but, I mean, you don’t have to approve it.”

Stuff is a useless word.  It tells you nothing.  “… and stuff”.  What stuff? Is stuff a pile of dirty clothes, a basket of apples? Maybe stuff is that container of nuclear waste sitting on the railroad track.  Stuff tells me nothing….unless you’re telling me to stuff it and then the issue becomes what exactly “it” is .

Technically is a word overused by someone I sit near in the office.  Technically I need, I mean, put stuff in a Kleenex and, you know, toss it in the trash.

“I mean”.  Using “I mean” in the middle of a sentence when you have yet to make any type of statement is a waste of words and breath.  Be confident in what you’re trying to say.

Cut the extraneous words and this conversation pares down to this:

“You need to review the report.”

“He can’t, he has to review payroll.”

“You need to review the report but you don’t have to approve it.”

Words, people!  Words!  Language provides a cornucopia of words that will help you explain what you’re trying to say.  And if we’re lucky, those words will make what you’re trying to say more interesting.