Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summer Is Here

Currently Reading: Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

And away we go, summer is here. I know, not OFFICIALLY here, calendar hasn't said anything about it yet. Still not hot outside. Sure. But we're about to start Memorial Day weekend, most places will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day and Friday, the 30th, actually IS Memorial Day and that's pretty much when summer starts. Even in Hollywood they're talking about the start of the summer movie season.

Now, before I forget, as a sort of public service, for those of you who forgot what Memorial Day is supposed to be about (no, not sales at the mall and bar-b-que) here's a quick reminder:

Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2008 on May 26). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It is also traditionally viewed as the beginning of summer by many, since many schools are dismissed around Memorial Day.

Ok, so there ya go.

Speaking of cook outs and movies and stuff, CC and I are heading over to my parents' house for Memorial day. We're cooking the steaks. CC makes a killer steak using some spice packets she gets from the Filipino store. This weekend we'll be sharing that with everyone else.

And movies. Well I did mention movies. That's because I actually saw a few this past week. No, not at the movie theater, though we DID get to see Iron Man (it ROCKED by the way, go see it). No, we saw Knocked Up on cable and then last night I watched the Korean movie The Host. Knocked Up was actually a lot funnier than I expected from the previews. Not a bad flick though I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much in the theater.

The host, now that one was definitely interesting. Imagine Cloverfield. Ok, now make the monster about elephant size or maybe, even better, great white shark size. Think of Jaws, but on the ground instead of in the water. That's pretty much it. But unlike Cloverfield, you don't have all that jerky camera motion and the gimmick about it being shown in first person.

With the host, it starts out pretty simple actually and doesn't mess around with a big setup. In fact, the whole setup is actually just some American doctor at the military base telling the Korean doctor to pour a bunch of old chemicals down the drain. The Korean protests because the drain eventually runs into the river, but he does it anyway. Yeah, I know, kind of a big hole there right? I mean, these guys have been dumping chemicals down that drain for AGES, how come THIS time it leads to giant, mutant lungfish? But hey, it's a horror movie. You don't ask for too much sense in a horror movie.

Anyway, fast-forward to present day where we're now at a park on the river. People notice something hanging from a bridge. What could that be? Hmm? Oh wait, it fell into the water. Cool it's swimming over. Maybe we should kinda back off. No, wait it doesn't look too bad. Oh crap. It's a giant, mutant lung fish! Oh crap, it's coming out of the water! Oh crap, run!

And there ya go. Lots of running from the monster. Military guys show up and try to keep everything quarantined. Eventually there are some attempts by normal people to kill the thing and, amazingly, they seem to work MUCH better than the military's dropping "agent yellow" gas on the thing. Ok, probably the gas weakened it so the normal people could kill it the rest of the way. But again, horror movie. You don't put too much stock into the science there.

It wasn't a bad flick. In fact, as horror movies go it was pretty good. After watching it, I'm thinking the guys who did Cloverfield ripped off a LOT of stuff from this one (which came out first). Different size monster. Different little details but there are way too many similarities in there. I suppose it doesn't matter anyway. I mean, just look at the slate of movies fixing to come out this summer. Remakes, sequels and plots ripped from other sources. Nothing they do in the movies is original anymore anyway :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer Travel

Currently Reading: Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

Just got back from Mars a few days ago and I came down smack in the middle of a Russian winter. Landed in Gorky Park in fact. Yes, I know, not space right? And didn't I just say in the previous post that I like to spend my summers in space? Yeah, ya caught me. But I do intend to return to space in a bit. I just got off on a detective novel tangent that's all. It happens some times and, again, also usually during the summer months.

We'll be doing a bit of travel for sure this summer. In June (at some yet to be determined date) I'll be moving to the Collierville store. It's official, at least for now (who knows, maybe corporate will change their minds again). Essentially I'm moving from one suburban city to another and at one point the two towns do actually meet. In terms of drive time we're talking about an additional 20 minutes or so depending on traffic. After I drive it a few times I may be able to find a shorter route using the GPS though.

August we'll be going to Manila for a wedding. We've made our flight reservations but we still haven't settled all the details. We'll need a place to stay of course and since I'll only have a week off, and 3 of those days will be tied up in travel, we'll need to plan things out as well as possible so we can see as many people as possible along the way. It'll be my shortest trip to the Philippines, that's for sure.

CC will be going to Manila in June. We're sort of wondering now if she'll be here when I first move to the new store or not. No firm dates on when that store is opening, just that it'll happen in June.

Oh, and she's got another friend getting married in Chicago in July. We'll try to swing that one if we can but as I already told her the other day, I can't make any promises on that one just yet. We'll have just opened the store and one of the other groomers is supposed to be going on vacation in July as well. Still, it's only Chicago, that's not very far. We may be able to fly in for a long weekend or something like that and get me back to Memphis with time to spare.

No pictures again this week. Sorry. Haven't really had much time to take shots of salon dogs or anything like that. We've got one groomer out on vacation this week so my days have been pretty full. Everything has been nicely spaced out so I do plenty of work but at the same time I'm not rushed to get it done or totally overwhelmed by it all. However, in place of pictures, I did come across this video online . . .

Is that cool or what? Of course it would totally scare the dogs and wouldn't run very well on the carpet anyway. Plus, I'm sure something like that is REALLY expensive, but still, isn't it cool?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Summer Vacation

Currently Reading: Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein

For some reason I tend to spend my summer months in space. It starts somewhere in mid to late spring. I just get bored with books based here on earth and need to reach for the stars I guess. Even a good fantasy doesn't do it. Yeah, sure there's nothing really Earthly about say, The Hobbit. You only have a handful of humans in the book and there are plenty of foreign races around but it's still pretty much Earth.

What's weird is that even if the story is a carbon copy of something that takes place here planetside every day, so long as it's out there in space or on ANOTHER planet, so long as there are space ships and lots of high tech stuff (even if it's stuff that isn't high tech now because the book was written in the 50's) I'm a happy camper. So we're going back to space for a little while. If you need me, I'll be on Mars.

And speaking of summer, our summer at work is going to be interesting to say the least. You already know that we're training people for the new store opening up down the road, I mentioned that in an earlier entry. Last week we were informed that our current salon manager was going to be transferred to that store and the trainee would take over at OUR store as manager (needless to say no one was thrilled with that idea). Our current STORE manager was also supposed to move to the new store as well. Everyone was pretty much just getting used to the idea of new managers and so forth when on Monday, corporate decided to change their minds and go in a totally different direction. Now the trainee manager will go to the new store and our current managers will stay.

Seems pretty simple right? No changes probably. Well, probably not. See, with both the store and salon managers staying, that increases the likelihood that those of us a few rungs lower might get transferred. They'll need a few experienced assistant managers at that new store so we may have to give up one of ours. They'll certainly need an experienced groomer or two over there for their salon and right now, well that just means me at our store. No one has asked/told me that I'm going of course. This is just me thinking out loud (or in this case, online). It's also entirely possible that since we're the ones training the salon people, they'll pull a few people from one of the other salons. One store in particular is rather over-staffed with groomers and could easily afford to lose a few.

Personally, I'd rather stay at my current store. I'm FINALLY getting my own little fan club of regular customers after a year or so of grooming. People are actually requesting ME for a change and telling their friends to come see me. I'd hate to mess that up by having to change stores. Unfortunately I wouldn't really have much of a choice. In cases like this, you either go or you find another company to work for. They're very heavy-handed on this issue. We're a little like the military in that sense. We go where they tell us. Have scissors, will travel.

We're also doing a bit of travel this summer. One trip for certain is the wedding trip in August. One of our friends in Manila is getting married (FINALLY!) so we're going to that. We've got it planned out and all already and unless something dramatic happens, the trip is on. This will be my third trip to the Philippines, in case anyone is keeping score. It'll also mean that I'll have something to blog about in August :-)

I've finally gotten my Facebook page set up. Facebook is one of those sites like where you have a template that you fill out about yourself, your interests, little games and things, and you link up with all your friends and family so everyone knows where you are and what you're up to. It's not very complicated if you've grown up around the Internet like most kids today but it can be a little challenging for the older folks who still aren't sure what all this web surfing stuff is all about. Over on my Facebook page, well there isn't all that much to it. There isn't that much to ANY of them. It's just a place to post pictures and bulletins. I DO have a page over on as well but I'm not really doing anything with it. From time to time I find out that someone famous also has a Myspace page so I'll go add them to my friends list but that's it. For some reason it just doesn't interest me as much.