Miz Shoes

Hey! That’s MY Joke

On Monday, there was a very funny Dilbert. It was especially funny to me, because I think it came from a story I sent to Scott Adams.

Here's the story, what do you think?

I while ago, I sent a request to the infamous PR office, asking for all the newest, most up-to-date information about our satellite facilities, because I knew for a fact that what was on the web was out of date.

A week later, via interoffice mail, they sent me their response. They had printed out my own web site, and sent it back to me, along with a floppy disk of the downloaded files. All clipped together with a bulldog clip.

Yeah, I'm still speechless over that, but it always gets a rousing laugh when I tell the story at web seminars and conferences.
Miz Shoes

THAT Will Impress Him

Our new CEO starts on Tuesday. The crack PR staff has made his arrival the lede story in the company newsletter. It reads thusly:

"Welcome, Mr. *****. Our new CEO of ********** and president of the **********, officially will become part of the ******** family on Wednesday, July 15. He wants to meet as many employees as possible, so plans are being formulated for an Employee Open House and System visits. Watch for further details."

Yep. That would be wrong. July 15th falls on a TUESDAY. That ought to give him a really good idea of the quality of the staff he's got in that office.

Written, edited, proof read and published. AND sent to me to post on the website, and nobody ever figured out that the date was wrong. Except me. And my friend that I called up to read it to. Of course, we are not PR professionals, so any aptitude on our parts is negligible.

Forgive me while I make rude cackling noises behind my hand.
Here's a question for all of you: why is inane drivel spoken into a cell phone infinitely more irritating than that same inane drivel spoken to a physically present person? And why does the volume go up when delivered into a cell phone?

For the last time, I do not wish to be privy to every detail of strangers' lives. I barely tolerate being privy to those of my friends.

I don't want to know what is missing from your pantry, as you cruise the grocery store aisle with your cell phone attached to your head, asking your significant other if there is enough toilet paper under the sink. Use a pencil and make a list. Then take it with you and check the items off.

I don't want to know what kind of trouble your children gave the baby sitter, or any other thing you need to tell your mama at eight in the morning as we sit on the train going to work.

And here's something else: put your makeup on before you leave the house. Trim your child's fingernails after they get out of the bath, not as they sit next to me on the train. There is a lesson you are teaching them, and it isn't very pretty.

Private acts should be done in private. Don't floss your teeth in a restaurant. Don't piss on the side of a building. And don't teach your children to do it, when there is a public bathroom inside that very building: the lobby to the public hospital.

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite of Ms. Hepburn's movies was this:

"We're all barbarians."

It was from A Lion in Winter. Rent it. And the next time you feel like shouting into a cell phone, remember it.
So one of the things that I have been doing is loading up our medical forms into a library of PDFs on the hospital's intranet site. This is accomplished in one of several ways. The form can be sent to me as an electronic file, which I convert to a PDF because the secretary who builds the forms can't manage to do that, or I can receive a paper copy of the form from the print shop because they seem to have a deal with the last typesetter in the world, who gives them forms as hard copy to put on a copy machine and then I scan the forms and created PDFs from the scan ( a real fucking pleasure to do, because they are multiple page forms and have to be converted in a "special" way) or finally, sometimes, the print shop sends me files and I can convert them from PageMaker to PDF.

Yesterday we had a department meeting where it was announced with great anticipation and pride that we were going to be putting all our medical forms into wireless tablet PCs for the docs to drag around. Uh, yeah, I have a question.... since I have a stack of 57 forms waiting for me to scan in and convert to PDF because NOBODY, but nobody has them in any sort of electronic format, could you tell me where the forms for the tablets are going to come from, and can I get copies?

Later in the same meeting, it was revealed that we were going to be rolling out the new, great on-line job application program. And what will we be doing with my existing job listings? Will I be linking to somewhere else? Throwing away my page? Re-directing? Anybody? Anybody? I'd like to buy a clue, please.

And then the meeting wrapped with the presentation of the new, improved splash page which it was also announced I was currently producing. I am not. I was not at all involved in the "development" of this new look and feel for my site. The infamous PR department used an outside designer to create the new look. They had been tasked with developing a new organizational structure for the web to make it more marketing driven. They came back with a Photoshop sketch of a new splash page.

I cannot tell you how many times I have pleaded and begged and expounded about splash pages being a total waste of bandwidth and an artifact of first-generation web design which was nothing more than brochure ware.

And there I sit, with the department director beaming at me and announcing that I am responsible for our new look.

If I wasn't on this stupid carb-free diet, I would be stinking drunk.
Miz Shoes

Pet Giant Rats? Pet Prairie Dogs?

Who are we kidding here? I had pet mice as a teenager, mostly because it made my mother insane. I had a little white hamster, too, and let me tell you, when Igor stuffed his little pouches full of violets, it was adorable. But he fit into my palm. He was an (ahem) domesticated little rodent, as were my little lab mice.

We are now watching as a new health epidemic sweeps our nation. Monkeypox, a "mild form of smallpox". And I for one would like to know if that's anything at all like a mild case of pregnancy... But I digress.

Where did monkeypox come from? From a batch of prairie dogs that caught it from a Giant African Pouched Rat, while they were all hanging around in Phil's Pocket Pets of Villa Park, Ill., waiting to be sold as pets. Which begs the question, who fucking keeps prairie dogs as pets? And why? They are large, cute rodents known to carry the plague. Hey! As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up. Prairie dogs carry the bubonic plague. Yeah, great fucking pet. For your ex-husband maybe, but do you really want to give one to the kids? And they have teeth. Big old rodent teeth. And they can, as they say so euphemistically on the exotic pet web site, "inflict a deep painful bite." Uh-huh. Right.

Which brings me to the Giant African Pouched Rat, a species of which I was blissfully unaware until this week. Here is what the R-zu-2-U web site has to say on the subject:

"Giant African Pouched Rats, also called Gambian Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) are HUGE! The body length can be as much as 10 - 17 inches long from head to base of tail! Their tail is about the same length again or longer. These rats weigh from 2 to 6+ lb. Is this big enough for you?

They have an absolutely adorable face, actually rather comical and whimsical in appearance. If you like rodents, they are sure to captivate you in a heartbeat!"

Or not. A six pound rat is my idea of a living urban legend nightmare, not a pet. I can understand a snake, even one of those ridiculously large boa constrictors, if you are so inclined, but a SIX-POUND rat?

Once again, I find myself asking the eternal question: What is wrong with you people? Am I the only sane person on the planet?
Jun 9, 9:40 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Add "The Shoe Murder" to the chronicles of New York's crimes of passion.
A stormy relationship ended up on a Brooklyn street in the early hours of Saturday when a 220 pound woman sat on her ex-boyfriend's chest and clubbed him to death with her size 12 high heeled shoe, police said.

Anna Rhinehart, 40, told authorities she attacked Roosevelt Bonds, 51, in self-defense after he punched her in the mouth, knocking out her two front teeth.

The passionate struggle to the death began at 3 a.m. Saturday when Bonds saw Rhinehart at a restaurant with another man, police said.

"There was a dispute between them and the man was struck in the head and body with a blunt instrument," police spokeswoman Det. Carolyn Chew said.

Rhinehart was charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. "It was her shoe," Det. Chew said.

Man, I love the city.
Miz Shoes

Forward Into the Past

I don't know exactly what it is about the immediate future and/or minimal amounts of progress that so terrifies so many people, but there are more and more examples of this sort of Luddite behavior around me.

I have, in the recent past, written of my neighborhood and my neighbors' insistence that things remain the way they were 35 years ago when the area was just being developed. In this instance, that means my neighbors do not want city water and sewer lines coming through the neighborhood. They do not want any new housing to be built, except what looks like what's already there. They do not want to see so much as another family move in because they are already unhappy with the traffic in the surrounding 5 blocks.

They refuse to accept the fact that the neighborhood is bordered by two major roadways, which intersect, in fact, at the corner of our street. Nor do they wish to acknowledge that there will be a light rail system built along the north/south artery within the decade. They hounded the state to designate the east/west roadway an historic roadway, thereby preventing it ever being widened, and now they go to zoning hearings and bitch that the east/west road is always backed up at least three traffic lights because it can't handle the amount of traffic on it.

Today I heard from a friend about the dilemma at her sailing club. The city owns the property the club sits on. The city owns the building in which the club is housed. The city owns the basin in which the sailboats are moored. The lease is expiring on all of this and the city wants the club out. Period. The response by the sailors of the club? Let's go down to City Hall and show them the photos from our archives and talk about the past. Let's hire lawyers to fight city hall. (No, they really said that.) Let's force the city to renew our lease. Let's not even look at other possible moorings. Let's get up on our hind legs and complain that nobody respects middle class white people anymore.

Luddites or mere idiots, you decide.
Miz Shoes

Received via E-Mail

I received this joke today, and it isn't funny, it is sad. So sad, that I thought about putting it up on my political blog. Then I decided that this is not political in nature, merely a take on corporate stupidity. That fits here. So without further ado, I present to you The Joke:

An American automobile company and a Japanese auto company decided to have a competitive boat race on the Detroit River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance. On the big day, they were as ready as they could be.

The Japanese team won by a mile.

Afterwards, the American team became discouraged by the loss and their morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A Continuous Measurable Improvement Team of "Executives" was set up to investigate the problem and to recommend appropriate corrective action.

Their conclusion: The problem was that the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, whereas the American team had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering. The American Corporate Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to do a study on the management structure.

After some time and billions of dollars, the consulting firm concluded that "too many people were steering and not enough rowing." To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the management structure was changed to "4 Steering Managers, 3 Area Steering Managers, and 1 Staff Steering Manager" and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to give more incentive to work harder and become a six sigma performer. "We must give him empowerment and enrichment." That ought to do it.

The next year the Japanese team won by two miles.

The American Corporation laid off the rower for poor performance, sold all of the paddles, cancelled all capital investments for new equipment, halted development of a new canoe, awarded high performance awards to the consulting firm, and distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.
Miz Shoes

Hypocrisy At Its Finest

Last week I received 189 e-mails from concerned citizens. They were concerned about a story that was in the national news, and my hospital's web address and e-mail were aired on national right-wing, conservative and Christian radio stations. There was a young woman about to receive a court-sanctioned abortion at this institution and these people were most concerned with the fetus's right to life.

It was a form letter they sent (and many more were sent to other administrators and departments, I just received the 189 sent to the webmaster) so every e-mail was the same. This is a child that could be adopted. This is a life which is sacred. For the love of God, do not destroy this life.

One hundred and eighty-nine people said that SOMEONE would want to adopt this child. Not one offered to be that someone. Not one offered to pay the money to attempt to save a non-viable fetus in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for as long as it took. Not one person offered to pay to support this life, if, by chance, we were able to use our most expensive medical means to get this life out of the NICU.

And not one of those 189 people offered up a single opinion about the value of the life of the mother in question. She is a severely mentally disabled, physically disabled young woman who was raped while in a group home for people with those sorts of disabilities. Probably by one of her caregivers. The pregnancy caused her to have multiple, painful brain seizures. Her doctors all testified as to the danger of her carrying the child to term. She was able to understand that and make her wishes about this known. "My baby no more," were her exact words.

So if life begins at conception, and is valuable enough to protect prior to birth, at what point does life become expendable? When it starts to breathe on its own, outside the womb? (In my religion, we are taught that that's when life begins: when one takes one's first breath... because Adam wasn't alive until God gave him breath.) When it turns out to be a female life? If it turns out to be a less-than-perfect person? Because what those 189 people were saying was that the mother's life wasn't worth saving, only the potential life she held within her.
Miz Shoes

Something I Really Didn’t Want to Know

McCartney's Wife Heather Mills Pregnant
May 28, 11:33 AM (ET)

LONDON (AP) - Heather Mills, wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, is pregnant with the couple's first child, their spokesman said Wednesday.

In a brief statement, the couple said "we are delighted with this happy news."

Mills, a 34-year-old former model who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident and raises money for children disabled in war, married McCartney at an Irish castle in June 2002.

The spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the baby is due later this year. He did not say what month.

The child will be the first for Mills, who was married briefly in 1989. McCartney, 60, has three adult children, Stella, Mary and James, and a stepdaughter, Heather, from his marriage to his first wife, Linda McCartney, who died in 1998 from breast cancer.

Three months ago, Mills said in a television interview she feared she would never have a child because of a series of health problems, including cancer and two ectopic pregnancies.

"The chances of me getting pregnant are about that much," she said, holding up her thumb and finger an inch apart.
Miz Shoes

A New Low in Public/Personal Grooming

I take the train to work every day (and, by extension, home) and there seems to be no low to which my fellow passengers will not sink. I'm almost immune to the shrieking into their cellphone people, and the packs of wild teenagers who go to the art school downtown. Truth be known, I'm fond of those kids: they make me smile.

But yesterday morning was just appalling. And me without my camera. There sat a young adult male in a business suit and his skanky girlfriend, and she was picking at his zits for him while he sat there and took it. On the train. In full view of all other passengers.

Once more, I must ask: Have you no dignity? Have you no concept of social proprieties? Have you no boundaries?

STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, before I vomit on your wingtips.
Miz Shoes

The Little Red Hen

When I first got the job of webmaster at this fine institution, it was by default. Default of my own big fucking mouth. At the time, I was merely the art director, and I had a new Director of Public Relations as my boss. She tossed me out of a meeting to discuss the possibility of doing a web site saying, and I quote: "I don't want you at this meeting. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say. You will only tell us what is wrong, and this doesn't have to be done right, it only has to be done."

So I found someone who did want to hear what I had to say, and I said it in a three-page "Jerry Maguire"-type memo. The person on the receiving end of said memo immediately stopped work on the "it only has to get done" web page and convened an oversite committee with my memo as its starting point. My PR director promptly fired me. The CIO (the guy who DID want to hear what I had to say) took that opportunity to merely have me moved to another department where I was tasked with building the web site.

Which is where the Little Red Hen comes in. Nobody in the PR office wanted to give me content, but they were the department in charge of content. I had to steal it from all the brochures I had ever produced as the art director.

Once the site was up and running, there came a battle for control between my new department (business development) and the PR office. Now that it's done, said PR, it's no longer a developent issue, it's a PR device. The CIO split the baby, and sent me and my website to the Medical Network Services division.

Well, that was two years ago, and I'm still in the Medical Information Services department, the PR department still can't stop the Miami Herald from hemmoraging bad ink about this hospital, and yet, even though one would think that possibly that group of vicious little people would have better things to do with their time, like, say, brushing up their resumes in anticipation of our first new president in 15 years, and one who has a mandate to be a new broom, they are back flogging the same dead horse as ever. To wit: That I am someone that none of them wishes to work with and I'm difficult.

To which I say, I may be difficult, but you are idiots. And I'd rather be a bitch than an idiot any day of the week.
Miz Shoes

Planning and Zoning

There is an empty four-acre lot across the street from my house. When I bought the house, a dozen years ago, the lot contained a native hammock. That isn't something you lie around in during the summer, swinging yourself with one foot and reading trashy novels while drinking lemonade, it is a stand of flora native to the region. To be specific, there were saw palmettos, mahogany, rose apples, sea grapes, wild hibiscus, wild oaks, shrimp plants, pines, a resident owl, and lots of lush underbrush.

Two years later, the asshole who owned the property and wanted to sell it, decided it would have more "curb appeal" if he cut everything down to show the size of the lot. I woke one morning to the sound of bulldozers. Then I called DERM (Department of Resource Management) and reported the razing of specimen size native plants. They fined the guy, and he planted two feeble little oaks which he never watered, and which promptly died.

Then the native grasses started to grow and I had a whole new list of grassland birds to add to my lifelist. If you ignored the fact that there was now highway noise and dust, it wasn't so bad. A plant nursery-man bought the property and filed for a land use variance to put a commercial palm farm/nursery on the four acres. I grew up on the Treasure Coast of Florida in the days when the primary industry was flower farming, so this struck me as a magnificent deal for the neighborhood. Green stuff! Plants! Free oxygen! Cooler temperatures to counteract the urban heat phenomenon.

Boy, was I wrong. My neighbors told me so in no uncertain terms. That would be commerce in a residential area. The next thing you know, "THEY" will put in a gas station and a 7-11. "THEY" will take over our neighborhood. Bad Lynne. Bad, bad Lynne. I went down to the county commission meeting to stand up for the nursery anyway. My own county commissioner told me that if I wanted to live in an agricultural area, there were places in Dade County where that could still happen. They are called the Redlands, and she invited me to get the hell out of her district and move there.
(This may have been because I put my name and face on the campaign material of the person she unseated, but I'm sure that political payback/retribution was the last thing on this fine public servant's mind.) As you may guess, the petition to change the zoning was denied.

The owner planted trees on his four acres, and didn't sell from the lot, and so I was happy and my neighbors were less whiny. Then, since he wasn't making money on the deal, that owner decided to sell.

Next up, a zoning request to change from E-1 (one acre estate homes, and p.s., most of the houses in the 'hood are only on half acres) to who knows what, with the intention of putting up a three-story, 800-student, K-8 charter school. This time, I sided with the neighbors. We immediately organized a homeowners' association and I was made president, I suspect if only because I knew about Robert's Rules of Order and had once, when I was young, been president of the local Young Democrats. I suspect further, that it was because I was the only person who could be conned into taking the job. We put together a grass-roots campaign against, with lawyers and traffic studies and the like, and through the grace of the School Board, which didn't grant the charter, dodged that particular bullet. Still had the palms.

This year, we have a new property owner and a new proposal: townhouses. Twenty units, sized two- to three-thousand square feet and selling at about $200 a square foot. The size and cost of these units is way above what is average for the neighborhood. The builder has promised to bring in the city sewer lines (most of us are still on septic tanks). He has promised to replace our above-ground utilities with underground cables. He is landscaping and writing covenants with the existing home owners.

Do my neighbors want this? Of course not. These Luddites want to keep their septic tanks. (Hey! I got an idea, let's dig a big pit in the back yard and pour our raw sewage into it!) Do they want city water? No, they want to keep using their wells (free water), you know, the ones that are dug in the back yards. Look, water has been filtered for eternity by the dirt and rock that make up the Earth's crust, and if that water was good enough for the Neanderthals, it's good enough for us.

I had to step aside as president of the homeowners' because I didn't think it politic to call my constituents blithering idiots who can't tell which way the wind is blowing even when it's blowing across a freaking stock yard with a wind sock. The county is not going to let land lie fallow when they can get a juicy tax roll out of it, and half-mill townhouses are to tax rolls what fat, sweaty tourists are to mosquitoes. Stay tuned for more as we follow the adventures of "Suburban Development Follies."
Miz Shoes

My Idea for a Reality Show

Based on yesterday's shenanigans here in Miami, I have an idea for a new reality show. See, the "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy for Cubans makes it very, very important to NOT let the Coast Guard pick you up and bring you to shore. Therefore we get days like yesterday, where a bunch of people jump off a leaky boat a couple of miles from shore and the Coast Guard has to watch them swim/walk/float to shore, where they are declared "dry foot' and get to stay in America.

So here's my idea: "Who Wants to Be an American Citizen?" and there could be teams of refugees who have to do things like build rafts and swim to shore through shark-infested waters, only to find out that they now have to fill out paperwork. There could be the sponsorship derby to see who can get a citizen sponsor first, and there could be, like an "Are You Hot" segment to see if any of the contestants have what it takes to be a nanny, yard man or maid. The cool part of the show is that it would be open to all immigrants, not just Cubans. This would give the Haitians a fair shake, since currently, even if they DO get to shore, they are still held at Krome Detention Center until we get enough to fill a charter flight back to Port Au Prince, and then they get to go home to poverty, disease and political persecution. And a very weak lobby in the US, which is why the Haitians have no "wet foot, dry foot" equivalent.

What do you think, would Fox pick this up or should I try to sell it to Univision?
Miz Shoes

In Like Flint

Great movie. High camp. High concept: women are being brain washed into women's lib by the hidden tape recorded messages in their hair dryers. Happy Face cosmetics or something like that. Of course, Flint's women (they are always in multiples) are immune to the messages because he's such a hottie.

Here's my theory based upon observation: the world is being brain washed by the secret, hidden taped messages inside our cell phones. I don't know what the message is, maybe "George Bush is good. George Bush is right. George Bush was elected president. Iraqis flew the planes into the World Trade Towers." Maybe the reason I don't believe any of that is because I rarely have my cell phone attached to my head. And the reason that Dubya's approval rating has gone up is because everyone else on this freaking planet DOES have a cell phone attached to their head and they NEVER SHUT UP.

Is there no place left where there can be peace and quiet? I don't want to listen to your insipid conversations, in any language. I understand enough Spanish to know that those conversations are no more interesting than the ones I'm unwillingly privy to in English. I don't want to hear the music you are playing on your personal music system, be it i-pod, rio, mp3 player or old-fashioned walkman. Turn it down, not up so loud everyone else can hear through your earphones.

I don't want to listen to your car stereos, either. I don't want to hear you, and I probably don't want to know you. And you know what? You probably wouldn't like me either. I have way too refined a sense of propriety.

Bite me.

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