Saturday, September 10, 2016

Making Easy Hard

Hey! Just when you gave up looking for that blog post in your inbox, here I am again! I probably should change my picture since that long haired hippie freak is now just a short, silver - haired hippie freak. Next time.

So, boss man aka Mike wants to retire in 5-7 years and make Fishing Friday into Fishing Everyday. Recently he bought a hole in the ocean he pours money into that he calls a boat. The name is Sea-Section for his wife Peggy, who is a delivery room nurse. Personally, I like Sea-More since his last name is Seymour. (and I secretly call him Mike Seymour, Be More, Do More) The boat and fishing will have to be another post.

Anyway, we now have a consultant to help us get to the point where Mike can retire and someone else (probably me) can run the company. Who knew????? Let's call our consultant Greg.

Consultant Greg is quite the smarmy guy. He is always trying to sell us something and he has a whole network of peeps that he thinks we should toss our work to so he can get his kickback. Quite the Circle of Life he has going on. In Greg's defense, he has helped me out by helping me define some policies, procedures and  systems I thought we needed but didn't know how to go about implementing. That's all he defense he gets.

We had 2 leadership team "Strategic Planning Sessions". Out of that, we came up with our goals and "initiatives" (fancy word for goals although Consultant Greg defines them as the way to get to the goals, whatever). Everything gets put into a big spreadsheet called the MATRIX.

Consultant Greg is all about the lingo. And being an educator for so many years, I can lingo and acronym with the best. However at MSE, we are all about KISS.

All the "initiatives" have deadline dates as well as who is responsible for them. As you imagine, my name is on about 75% of them. That's OK since I think they are important stuff to work on. High achiever that I am,  I immediately get started and form a plan. I can combine a bunch of stuff into a few systems and BAM! I knock about half of my list down.

The next meeting, Consultant Greg asks me how the MATRIX is going.

Me: Its going great. I totally simplified things and cut my list down significantly.

CG: What do you mean????? Insert whiny voice.

Me: Well, I combined a bunch of similar items into one. Since it is an OSHA rule that the crews have to do some type of stretching in the morning, and we decided  to review safety procedures and everyone thought team bonding was important, I combined those 3 items into 1 and we call it the Morning Huddle. Trainer Joe  (Mike's trainer) taught the guys the stretches, Foreman have a rotation to review 1 safety item and comments/compliments/questions/concerns (team bonding) everyday. That's the procedure. 15 minute. Done!

CG: Well,.... that's OK, I think...How do you they know what to do?

Me: It's 3 things. They are grown men. What do you mean, how do they know what to do? And  I made a checklist. WITH ALL 3 THINGS ON IT.
CG: Well... I guess that could work.... (whiny voice) What about the MATRIX?
Me: You said the MATRIX was a living document. I made it live and morph itself into something simpler that works for us.

CG: Well....I guess we could update it. How do you verify that it gets done?

Me: They say they do it.

CG: do you know?

Me: I do it with them,

CG: do you verify???

Me: What do you mean? I just said I do it with them.

CG: Everyday?

Me: No, sometimes. I don't get to work at 6 AM everyday.

CG: Again, I say, what's the verification procedure???

Me: I see them sometimes, I believe them the rest of the time. They are grown ass-men. Its stretching, safety reminders and team bonding not brain surgery.

CG: How can we record this???

Me: Well... check the box on the MATRIX that says complete and its recorded.

Me: (In my brain) Why are you making the simple hard???

More to come about Consultant Greg...

It is what is is...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Got a Doctor's Note For That?

Que music
Since you've been gone.....
Oh wait, I've been gone...

At MSE Landscape Professionals, where I am now Human Resources Manager, (yup, name on the door and everything) the policy is if you don't show up for work for 3 days you have abandoned the job and we terminate you. Everyday a group text goes out to the foremen and supervisors asking if anyone is absent. Yes, I'm still taking roll. Somethings never change.

A guy, lets call him Omar, hasn't shown up for 3 days.

Day 1: I hear from the supervisor, let's call him Raul, that Omar is absent. No call.

Day 2: Omar is absent again. No call. I ask if Raul if he called Omar. He says yes. No answer.

Day 2: After hours. I get a text from Raul that Omar will be back the next day.

Day 3: Omar is absent again. I ask Raul if he heard from him. Raul says yes. I ask why he is absent again. Raul says Omar is on drugs. "Do you have proof?," I ask? "well, no", says Raul. So I ask, "what make you think that?"

This is the best part...(read this with a Spanish accent)

"Well, Marybet, (no typo, that's what I'm called now) Omar, he say, he got shot with a handgun by a chollo and he in a coma in a hospital. Marybet, I don't believe him. I ask him for the doctor note. He don't have one. That what make me think he on drugs."

Good call Raul. 'Cause lots of doctors would release someone to do a manual  labor job after being in a coma with a gunshot wound.

It Is What It Is...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Granddaddy Of Them All or...

The Big Band That Could!

Speaking as a former (well, lifetime) band geek, I am so proud of our Mira Mesa High School Sapphire Sound Marching Band for being INVITED to perform at the 127 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. They didn't even have to try out or apply! INVITED!

What a huge honor.I am especially proud of our Honorary son, Andrew Espiritu for being a leader on the drum line, playing the quad drums, as well as playing high school baseball and keeping his grade up. He barely has time to eat or sleep. The time commitment is HUGE!
 And they had to raise $250,000. That's 1/4 of a million dollars! And they are still about $50,000 short.
Hours of parade rehearsal require serious stretching!

The Sapphire Sound will be performing in spot 87 which is at the end of the parade. They will be the last of the invited bands. This is considered to be the most desired and honorable position.

Custom Drum Heads for the Parade
Here they are on the news!

And in the San Diego Union Tribune!

And Facebook!

What will they be doing in Pasadena for 4 days????
Check out their Itinerary! I have highlighted some of the more interesting features. Leading the Disneyland Parade! Changing outside the buses, rice at breakfast, eating standing up and the minute by minute scheduling and clothing changes. And the reminders to bring your hair products!

Students wear:  Athletic shorts/Color Guard in full tights; may wear sweats or jeans over shorts/tights; black Fall Field show t-shirt; black socks; blue Rose Parade hoodie
Bring in backpack: Marching shoes/Color Guard shoes; gloves; hair products
6:00am                        Students, Staff and designated Chaperones report to MMHS
                        Buses arrive at MMHS
Drivers:             Ian Muth – Lead                      #1       
            Schlondia Murphy        #1        (12/29 only)                             
                Eduardo Carrillo                   #2
                Zoltan Budai                        #3       
                Alberto Torres                      #4       
                Juentino (Tino) Bazan          #5         
6:30am                        Student/Staff buses depart MMHS for Rose Bowl. (5 buses) – Mr. Mulvaney supervising
9:15am                        Students arrive at ROSE BOWL.  Visit the souvenir stands.
10:00am                      Meet back at buses, and change into uniforms outside of motor coaches
10:30am                      Band photo in front of Rose Bowl (in full uniform)
11:00am                      Float viewing (Lot 1)
11:30am                      Load buses (Students in uniform)
11:40am                      Depart for Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College
1570 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
12:05pm          Arrive at Pasadena City College – After arrival, students will remove and hang up uniform jackets
12:20pm          Lunch (In-N-Out) – Students will eat standing up in black bib uniform pants
1:10pm                        To Warm-up area C in full uniform
2:10pm                        Arrive at stadium staging area
2:20pm                        Arrive at field staging
2:30pm                        Take the field
2:35pm                        Performance   
2:47pm                        Arrange for pass and review
2:50pm                        Pass and review start
2:55pm                        Pass and review complete
3:00pm                        Remain in stadium/uniform
3:15pm            Watch Punahou H.S. Band from Oahu, Hawaii perform. Following their performance, change out of uniform and return to buses.
4:45pm                        Students board buses and depart for the Costa Mesa Hilton Hotel
6:15pm            Upon arrival, unload instruments to Bristol Room #3.  Uniforms will remain on trucks. (Keys to Jeanne Christensen and Chris Johnson only)               
Hilton Hotel – Costa Mesa
3050 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, California  92626
Tel:  1- (714) 540-7000
Fax: 1- (714) 540-0719

6:15pm            Arrive at hotel and check in - Instruments to be stored in Bristol Room #3 (time approximate), 1 key per person, room captain to pick-up keys.
7:30pm            Dinner (Italian) in Catalina Ballroom/Fountain Room.  Mrs. Christensen will hold a meeting during dinner.
Classic Caesar Salad w/Garlic Herb Croutons & Shaved Parmesan
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Baked Manicotti with Fontina Cheese
Chicken Marsala with Cremini Mushrooms
Penne Pasta with Pesto Sauce
Sauteed Garden Vegetables
Italian Bread and Garlic Butter
Assorted Cookies
Water & Iced Tea
9:00pm                        Dinner & Meeting will end
9:30pm                        Students to rooms; Chaperone room checks
10:30pm          Students Lights out
6:00am                        Wake-up call – all rooms.
Students wear:  Blue M t-shirt; jeans; blue hoodie; comfortable athletic shoes
Student backpack to be loaded on equipment truck:  Contains everything needed for uniform – athletic shorts/CG tights; black socks; marching shoes; gloves; hair products
7:00am                        Breakfast for entire group – Catalina Ballroom/Fountain Room
Apple Juice
Assorted Muffins & Sliced Breads
Butter & Assorted Fruit Preserves
Assorted Cold Cereals with Low-fat Milk
Steamed White Rice
Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes
Hash Browns
Sliced Ham
Coffee, Decaf, Assorted Herbal Teas
8:15am                        Board buses (All instruments, uniforms and equipment will be loaded on trucks)    
8:30am                        Depart for Disneyland
9:00am                        Arrive Disneyland.  Please take all personal belongings as buses will return to the hotel for the day.
10:15am          Band/Staff/Chaperones meet at Story Book Gate in Fantasyland (the big white gate across from the Small World Toy Store)
            Once escorted backstage please follow Mrs. Christensen and your Disney Performing Arts instructions
12:45pm          Parade begins.
1:15pm            Parade ends, return backstage.  Change out of uniform, load instruments, wait for instructions.
2:15pm            Return to Disneyland Park.  Fireworks are at 9:30pm.
10:30pm          Meet outside the Main Gate to Disneyland – after exiting turn right and meet near the Guest Services/Locker area.
11:00pm          Board buses, return to hotel
11:45pm          Group meeting with Mrs. Christensen in the Catalina Ballroom for final instructions for Thursday
12:00am                      Students to rooms, Chaperone Room checks
12:30am                      Students Lights out
6:15am              Wake-up call – all rooms
Color Guard in Class B uniform
Band in blue polos (You may wear a long-sleeved t-shirt under the polo shirt.), Jeans, Marching shoes, Blue hoodies
7:15am              Breakfast – Catalina Ballroom/Fountain Room
Apple Juice
Assorted Muffins & Sliced Breads
Butter & Assorted Fruit Preserves
Assorted Cold Cereals with Low-fat Milk
Steamed White Rice
Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes
Hash Browns
Coffee, Decaf, Assorted Herbal Teas
8:30am              Depart hotel for Pasadena
10:00am                        Drive the parade route
11:00am                        Depart for Anaheim Stadium
12:00pm            Boxed lunch provided at Anaheim Stadium  
1:00pm              Parade rehearsal begins
4:00pm              Rehearsal ends, load instruments and buses – return to hotel
                        Unload instruments/uniforms to Bristol #3
6:00pm                        Dinner (Taco Bar) in Catalina Ballroom/Fountain Room
Seasoned Ground Beef
Vegetarian Tofu Option (8 guests only)
Taco Shells
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Onion
Refried Beans & Cheese
Water & Iced Tea
8:30pm                        Wrap-up meeting with Mrs. Christensen in the Catalina Ballroom; Brownies/Ice Cream Cups served
9:00pm                        Watch the N.Y. Times Square New Year’s Eve “ball drop” on television
9:30pm                        Students to rooms; Chaperone room checks
10:00pm          Students Lights out
DAY 4  – JANUARY 1, 2016 - FRIDAY
Students wearBand and Color Guard leave hotel in full uniform
Before breakfast all students must clear out rooms and bring overnight bags and backpack to the Bristol Room #3 (storage room). Backpacks must contain comfortable clothes needed for the bus ride home after the parade. Give room keys to chaperones. Chaperones will check student rooms after students depart.
TBA                 Wake up call – all rooms                      
TBA                 Breakfast - Catalina Ballroom/Fountain Room
Apple Juice
Assorted Muffins & Sliced Breads
Butter & Assorted Fruit Preserves
Assorted Cold Cereals with Low-fat Milk
Steamed White Rice
Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes
Hash Browns
Coffee, Decaf, Assorted Herbal Teas
TBA                 Following breakfast, don uniform, load bus.  Instruments are to be uncased and loaded on buses.
TBA                 Students and Staff board buses (Students in full uniform)
TBA                 Students and Staff depart – Schedule TBA by TOR Committee
TBA                 Arrive Pasadena.  Prepare for parade as per instruction by TOR personnel
Following parade In-n-Out will provide lunch to students and staff.
Return to hotel to change and prepare to depart for MMHS
                        Depart hotel.  Upon arrival at MMHS parents pick up students.
Parade Pass Review

Andrew's sister Alyssa is on the Color Guard. (She's the one in front)

It Is What It Is - Exciting!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Do It For Denmark

Smarty Pants Cara is taking an AP Human Geography course... as a freshman ... and she has some troubling information about Denmark to share. 

Apparently Denmark is having a problem with under-population  Who knew??? 

Certainly not me! And I'm sure its safe to assume not you. And why should I care???

Because something hysterical is sure to follow this bit of background information. 

Denmark is battling a falling birthrate, which means supporting an aging population more dependent on support from social welfare. It also means fewer working-age people in the country overall. In 2013, the birth rate was 10 per 1,000 Danish people, a 27-year low.

A Danish Travel company, Spies Rejser, has taken it upon themselves to help out the government and offer "Active" Vacations and a "Do It For Mom" ad campaign. 
Because “We all know that the Danes have 51% more sex on a sunny holiday compared to their everyday life"

Check out their 2 ads on YouTube. Cara told me they watched these in class
Do It For Denmark
Do It For Moms

Do It For Denmark

It Is What It Is...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Planned Power Outage

On Thursday we got a letter from SDG& E (our electric provider) that there was going to be a "Planned Power Outage" on Friday for residential customers. The outage was going to be from 9pm to 3am. Fine, I think...

Then I tell Scott.
Me: Scott, There is going to be a "Planned Power Outage"on Friday Night.

Scott: Whaaaaattt!!!! They can't do that! I'm going fishing in the morning.How am I going to check my clock every hour??? I can't get up in the dark! I need to get my stuff ready! THEY CANT'T DO THAT! Call them up and have them do it another day!

Me: Here's the letter. You call them. In my mind I'm saying, "Are your kidding me??? Call SDG&E and have them change the "Planned Power Outage" for you???? Like that would ever happen!"
Me: Why don't you just get hotel? (Sarcasm)

Scott: YOU'RE BRILLIANT!!! I can get on Price line and get the Sheraton next to the marina and sleep and extra 40 minutes, not drive on the freeway and stay in a hotel!

Me: Well, if you are going to a hotel, so am I.

Scott: Kids! Your mom and I are going to a hotel tomorrow night. You are staying home alone. And by the way... there is a "Planned Power Outage". Make sure all your stuff is charged up. No power.

Kids: Whatever...

11:30am  Friday morning I get a text from Colin that the power is off. I look on the website and see the "Planned Power Outage" is supposed to be from 9am -3 pm. So I tell him to go back to sleep.

Happy Hour at the Boathouse

When I got home from this view, in Saturday's mail I get a letter from SDG& E apologizing for the mistake. The "Planned Power Outage" was supposed to be from 9am - 3 pm.
Who You Lookin' At???

And there was even some fish!

It Is What It Is...

Monday, August 17, 2015

And That Same Day

Dang - it was a kitchen EXTRAVAGANZA! 

The Farm/Sea to Table movement is alive and growing (literally) at Casa MacNaughton 

Blueberry Muffins

Ahi Poke - gotta love the raw fish

Home grown Roasted Peppers stuffed with goat cheese and topped with tomatoes .
Who says we don't farm in San Diego?

Grilled Yellow Tail Tuna with Ginger Lime Sauce. 
Growing our limes, tomatoes and peppers as well as hitting it big on the tuna boat pays off in kitchen creativity and culinary goodness.

It Is What It Is...

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Add chocolate!

Caramels are a tricky thing, as is all candy making.

Ya gotta pay ATTENTION people!

So me  not paying ATTENTION  led to somewhat of a caramel fail. I had an order for 2 lbs of sea salt caramels (yay!!!) While looking away for a few seconds, the temperature climbed a measly 2 degrees and BAM! It hit the hard crack stage. (yes, I just wrote hard crack - haha- funny on numerous levels) Too brittle to cut for my melt-in-your mouth, don't stick to your teeth sea salt caramels. OH NO!!!

After a taste test to determine that they were not burned and careful consideration about what else to do, I decided to conquer my fear and... drum roll... temper chocolate.

I began my research in my usual way. Hey Siri! No really - Hey Google! I skimmed my way through a myriad of articles, recipes and blogs and found a bunch of sciencey type stuff on why chocolate tempers. AKA your candy doesn't melt and become weird and mushy at room temperature. You know, like the regular candy bars. Soooooo who cares, snooze fest, just tell me how to do it. I'll spare you the boring details, you can google it yourself if you really want to know.

Here we go! Watch and learn.Pictures included. 
Oh darn...Too Hard (yea, I just said that too)

That's why we have the NINJA!
Voila! Ice cream topping!

Oh. that's it, you say??? You said, "Chocolate?"
Feast Your Eyes on that $4.99 Big Boy
Temper it, Mix in the caramels. That doesn't look too pleasant but looks can be deceiving.

And that's what you do when you don't pay ATTENTION! 
Conquer your fear peeps! Cover it in chocolate!

It is what is is...
Even Big Kids Like to Lick the Bowl