Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Pretty Good Day

th0YJEEP7S Just a quick post,  I’m feeling pretty good!    After all that venting yesterday, I managed to go for a 6 mile bike ride,  log in and qualify for my Math Project, Go to Iowa City to purchase Oil for the Car.   Change the Oil in the Subie, and score for about 7 hours!   Oil-Change Add in a walk, donut, and about 2 hours of Anime and I think that this day would tip into the “pretty good” zone. 

The Math Project is fairly easy and I somehow managed to log in and qualify in under 3 hours.   2 of which I spent in a panic last night, believing my window of opportunity was going to close. DSC_0120  Luckily…..things worked out.   I may have forgot to mention I found another 4 leaf clover in the yard yesterday….I guess perhaps there is a little luck somewhere in there.   The Math Project is far easier on my brain than the English….I only hope I can continue to score it as long as possible.

DSC_0136 Oh!  And just before I logged off,  I see I sold my large order of Origami…YEAH!   The Money is very welcome.   Looks like I’ll be packing that up tomorrow. 


Hope everyone else is having a pretty good day.  Now it is my bed time….see ya later!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free Time for Ethan?

EvilGenius It was bound to happen.   You see….I figured it out!  Unlike the hard working and diligent Cheryl,   I’m what you might call …..a slacker…..Or a very intelligent mastermind who solves complex equations.  ( I like the later!)   The Equation in question is “work”…specifically:   A “Job”.  thA3X2HDD4 Allow me to elaborate.


You see.    Every job has a system in place that has a set equation.    With both sides equal and both sides fighting for a larger sum.   On one side…the Employer.   On the other…..the Employee.   The Employer seeks to get the most work out of an Employee for the lowest possible price while still maintaining a decent quality.   The Employee, on the other hand,  Works just enough to keep his job and not get fired, while trying to get as much money as possible.   Both sides try to add parts to give their side of the equation a larger portion.

    harassment In Cheryl’s case,   The Employer tries to get more out of the worker by telling them they are scoring too slow and too erratic.    This way they can pressure the Scorers to work longer, faster and even during time off the clock.   While the Employee…in this case:  Me,  tries to stay on the clock as long as possibly while maintaining a decent rate and validity requirement.  The difference is something like this:   Cheryl scores slacker_by_choice_print-rbfe046a18562486590d17b8899094e72_wad_8byvr_324 600 papers while only clocking in 30 hours.   I score around 600 papers while clocking in 40 hours!   The minimum required rate is around 400 papers.   500 for bonuses!   At the end of the day,   The employer makes more money on Cheryl,  while Ethan makes More money for Team Allenbrite!   It’s all about self-interest after all!

thPNVXHVRX However,  Eventually the universe catches up and the things tend to slide back.   Today, Pearson decided to move me back to a MATH PROJECT for the remainder of he project.  I was doing so well on 4TH GRADE ENGLISH too!  Ah well,  no biggy!   I was originally scheduled to work for the Math project anyway.   And reading those papers was causing my eyes to hurt.  Unfortunately,  Pearson has messed up my Username and Password.  thA70GX9TV Without revealing the password, let’s just say that ( Cheryl is my witness here)  It is All  Pearson’s fault.  I have contacted the help line and they are trying to figure things out but it will take until tomorrow to get the results.  In the mean time….today is the last day to train and Qualify!  So…Unless they grant me a grace period….I might be screwed!Confusion--Confusion 

Based on last year’s results, I figured they would simply leave me on the 4TH GRADE ENGLISH project until it concluded.   They did this to Cheryl last year.   And we have another Project for College Board coming up next Monday.   So it is not totally essential that I keep that project for the upcoming month.   (  Or the MATH PROJECT for that matter!)  It just seems random and funny that it happened to me.   When Cheryl is the one who is  supposedlyb8cb411741f8f5610109e79d61c15f17 the “problem scorer” and who is driven bonkers trying to keep her team leader happy. If anyone could have used a break from scoring…it was her!  

So now…the real question is: what to do with all the new found free time?    I guess I have another large order of Origami I could get to work on.  As well as finally jotting down a few lines on my next novel idea.  It is hard to know….It may not even matter as the College Board will be starting up next Monday anyway and that will be a full week of 8 hour days.   Not much to be getting done at that point.  And Besides!   We are not totally finished yet.   It is possible that the thMSDFICOKGeek Squad can figure out who typed my password wrong and rectify the situation in time.   And Human Resources will allow me to train and begin scoring with everyone else.   Her!  It COULD happen!  But, I will have to take a wait and see approach.   Pretty much what I have been doing all along.   The MATH PROJECT Project was meant to begin last week, but got pushed back several times already.  And several Emails explaining the problems they were having, pushed me into thinking 4TH GRADE ENGLISH was going to be the sure thing.  But now this happens..   Ah well.   Let’s hope for the best!

Upon reading this again,  It may sound like I’m disgruntled…..NOT SO!  karma I actually was going for humorous  by  self inflicting humility upon myself and demonstrating what happens to someone who gets his Comeupin’s ( or Karma…I guess Comeupin’s is not a real word?) Cheryl urged me to change a few items as well.  I probably shouldn’t have to worry too much as no one reads these little posts anyway,  But still….you an never be too careful. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lucky Clovers, Running for Donuts, and Origami Wedding.

Just a quick post as it is late here and my mind is pretty fried after a day of scoring 4th grade papers.product_thumbnail    Ah!  To be young again…when the NFL, NBA, Pro Wrestling,  professional singer and actor,  Even PRESIDENT were actually attainable careers….In our minds anyway.   Then adulthood crashes and smashes our lofty dreams…..But I digress..

DSC_0118   The other day, Cheryl noticed an unusual sight…a 4 leaf clover!    She picked it..then found another….then another!   Then a 5 and then a 6 leaf clover!   Either we are the luckiest people here…DSC_0122or someone spilled nuclear waste that is causing the clover plants to mutate!   I’m no Botanist, Actually far from it…but I do know that there are genetic variations encoded into pretty much every living thing on this planet.   It allows species to adapt and change and overcome changing environmental conditions.  It hardly has anything to do with “luck”…DSC_0123even if it IS recessive and rare.     Bottom line, Cheryl went on a picking spree before I could stop her.   My reasoning is that we save some lucky clovers  for those days when we really need something lucky to happen….and besides..everyone knows that 4 leaf clovers keep the Leprechauns away.  Those evil little Leprechauns….Leprechaun-www_bigxy_com-13

After last weeks long run disaster,  we started slowly to rebuild back Cheryl’s confidence by slowly inching up her running regiment back to where it was.   We also tried to find incentives by exploring new areas and …..trying new snacks!   we may have found a winner! 

There is a long lost bicycle trail that is 14 miles long and runs from Kiota to Washington Iowa.   It used to be a train track that was shut down years ago and converted for recreational use.    We ran it last Saturday…on a rainy, cold and rather blustery day.   Luckily the rain stopped, but the chill and wind remained.   This is actually good, as Cheryl likes to run in the cooler temps. DSC_0126   We first ran 3 miles on our old path in Iowa city, but as the weather cleared a bit, we headed to Washington and ran an additional 16 miles just before dark.   It was actually quite fun…and exhausting.   Even on the bike, I could tell that distance was extraordinary.  DSC_0130However, instead of feeling like we had our tail ends handed to us,  we felt a certain giddiness…and relief.   I doubt it was the mythical runner’s high every book loves to talk about.   But I’m guessing that it was the reassurance that we were back on track for the June Marathon.   And The donuts. 

That is right…to celebrate the short 3 mile run in the rain, we bought half a dozen donuts.    Eating these in the afternoon, made Cheryl “Jumpy”….causing her to pace around in an annoying fashion until I relented to her evening run suggestion.   I actually had no plans on running an additional 16 miles, but I’m glad we did.   I had to burn off that energy as well after all.    So now…donuts are part of the plan!

DSC_0133 DSC_0136   And what would this weekend be without origami?   I received a large request for a wedding last week and finally freed up my weekend to get to work.    Even with Cheryl's  “ Distractions”   I was able to fold up 14 models in 2 days.  DSC_0141 I think that is some sort of record.   Ok,  I may be fudging the numbers a bit because several model were already folded up.  I believe I was able to fold up about 18 models.  ..Without losing my mind to badly.  DSC_0139Now all that remains is for the guy to purchase them so I can send them.   We shall see how things go. 

So now after a long day of scoring,   I can take a break and hopefully relax.  It takes a toil on the brain to read those papers.  My rate has slowed considerably from the first week.   04slowProbably for the best, just like Cheryl, I have to find my happy pace to last out the project.   Hope everyone is having a great week so far and that you can find your happy place in whatever you’re up to.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Scoring with Cats

 DSC_0092  So scoring continues….With all the distractions that are not rap music.   Namely…cats.   The cats think I’m their pillow and groomer.   They pile on me as if it’s a game.  Even as I write this, I have one bumping my elbow.   What fun. 





DSC_0086 DSC_0088 In addition to the two trouble makers down here, there are two cats above us that are running around and making noise during the day.   At first I thought it was suspicious that cats could make so much noise running around.   Then we caught a glimpse of one by the window. DSC_0110 DSC_0112   I guess it is much larger than we had first thought!

Other than that,  Cheryl continues her running regiment and the weather has become colder.   Good for running…but it brings a strong wind that literally stops you in your tracks.  I’m not sure if it will die down later this week.   We shall see as it is not too bad in the morning hours. 


And then there is Origami.   With Scoring ( and another project on the horizon…and I am supposed to start another project this week!)th4ZJN49FB   I’m not sure how I will be able to squeeze in an Origami order on top of that..but I have not been folding in a while and the order has the potential to be large.   We shall see how things turn out later.   hope everyone is enjoying their week so far.   As for me…Well…back to scoring some last minute papers before the boot me off for the night. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Too Many Races To Close Together. With An Iowa Celebrity Sighting!

DSC_9918 Cheryl's Race to Downtown. Today was the big 10K in Iowa City.   Things have been a little “off” since the failed 20 mile run last Sunday.   the theory was to quickly get another successful run under our belt and leave the failure safely behind us. 

Sunrise over Wellman One of MANY deer out this morning. Things started out ok,   The Sun rise was pretty,  The Deer Frolicked in the fields as we approached the starting point.  There was a bit of confusion as to the exact location of the start.   Cheryl thought they were going to start on the west end,   I thought on the east end.   So we have to Cross the dam? Without a compass, we were simply guessing….until I asked a race official.  They “clarified” that Cheryl was right…I'll just follow these guys.we start on the other side of the dam….What they did not say is that they walk over the dam,  then turn around and run back over it!    This simple confusion forced us to drive around in circles on the west side of the dam looking for the “start line”!!! Things look far This began to irritate me and eventually we drove BACK to the east end and parked the car and waited.   Luckily,  people began to show up and we could follow the herd to the correct place.  

The start was good.  I got some good shots of Cheryl  decked out in her running gear.   Cool Weather, Bright sun....What could go wrong?She decided to go with the race shirt provided, believing it to be a “tech” shirt like her normal running equipment.    How wrong she was….

First male FinisherI raced back to the car when the last runner was over the dam and drove to the finish line.   It was not as difficult as I had imagined.   I found parking for the Subie and trotted off to the official finish area.   It only took about 31 minutes for the first runner to show up!   I barely had time to find a good camera location.2nd Female Finisher  

Others filtered towards the finish line.   I was expecting Cheryl around 48 minutes.  She had wanted to try for another Personal best this morning. 

Thumbs down!I finally found her coming,  slightly behind schedule, but still  a fair pace. I ask her how she is doing…..Thumbs Down! 

Thumbs down...with a smile!Apparently,  the race shirt failed in it’s cooling and moisture wicking capability.   Cheryl looked like someone had poured a bucket of water on her!    As a result,  she ran her first three miles under 8 minutes ( Fastest 7:46 mile)  But then the heat melted her down and she had to walk. This kid ran it in under 42 minutes!  She thought about stripping off the shirt, but her bib and Garmin were  permanently attached to the shirt.   She would have had to waste more time attempting to take it off than just leaving it on and cooling down.   

The results:   She was on pace to get a new PR but lost it and watched helplessly as children and women with baby strollers trotted by her.  Frustration is probably not a strong enough word.

Still, 50:12 is not bad... Ah well,   Everyone, even the pro’s, have bad race days.   So this one was not as good as Last week…Big deal.   But Cheryl likes to give everything she does her absolute best and when she can’t she is disappointed……Even with 2ND PLACE AGE GROUP! Good enough for an award!

Still in the top 2 of her age group.  That is right,  She still manage to pull off a second place for her age group.  Even with the walk, and the “crappy “ time…..looking back she thinks she could have gotten first if things had gone better.   I know what it is like to overheat while running.   An OLD PR might have been able to win first place.It is like being in a sauna with a locked door.   Suffocating!  So I think she should cut herself some slack and forgive the “awful” performance.  ( I need to remind her that there was a time not too long ago when 10 minute miles were not only acceptable, but celebrated!)

So,  To cheer herself up,  we decided to go for a short run at the Kiwash Trail near Keota.  So far the path looks good.   We shall see if we get to run there tomorrow.  

Jeff,    Can I call you Jeff?   Gracing us with his racing Prowess.... jeff-bridges-theatre-west-50th-anniversary-gala_4079115 On a side note.   CELEBRITY IOWA!   Believe it or not, Jeff Bridges ran with us today!     Cheryl should have posed for a picture with him.    But she was “skeptical” that he might not be the real Jeff Bridges.   What do you think?


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