10… 9…

countdownThursday and Friday of this past week were days 10 and 9 in [big booming voice] The Countdown to Retirement.  I’m taking Mondays off in June (no more Monday mornings!), so I have two four-day weeks remaining in my 33-year career at The Company.

And it’s a good thing I decided to stay through June. The project I’ve been working on since last September still hasn’t hit production (through, I stress, absolutely no fault of mine).

This week we finally got to the point of end-to-end testing in the QA environment, and I’m anticipating we’ll start testing in production next week.  Talk about taking it down to the wire!

As you might imagine, rather than lazily basking in the last remaining weeks of my career, I’m instead working my ass off!

One consequence is that I haven’t been around here much.  My plan to post stuff “From My Collection” quickly fell by the wayside. In part I discovered that some of the pieces I’d been hanging onto for so long actually just weren’t all that funny. The bigger part is how work sucks the life and communication out of me. Blogging is just too much like work.

Mariano RiveraMuch like Yankees closing pitcher, Mariano Rivera (who is also retiring this year), when it comes to work, I’m just plum outta gas.  In many regards, I would have been happier sticking with Plan A and not staying the extra month.  On the other hand, I really do want to see this project hit production.

I probably should have warned you earlier that this isn’t likely to be a very interesting post. It’s more a diary entry (classic “web log” stuff) or a marker charting my course. I’m in that weekend mode, drained by work and mostly wanting to read, catch up on movies or watch the Minnesota Twins continue to struggle.

And struggle they do! This season hasn’t been as bad as the previous two, but it definitely hasn’t been good. Right now, at 64 games (almost 40% of the season), the Twins have a win-loss record of 29-35 (.453). Compare that to the same point in both 2012 and 2011, when they were only 25-39 (.391).  On the other hand, also compare that to 2010, when they were 36-27 (.571). That’s the year we took the pennant and then went down 1-2-3 to the Yankees in the first three post-season games.

One big problem is our pitchers. The starting staff has an ERA of 5.17, which isn’t horrible, but is far from good. What’s worse is that our starters are only pitching for 60% of the innings (should be at least 70%). And they’re sporting an HR/9 of 1.14. That’s one+ homers they’re giving up every game!

On the other hand, the bullpen is throwing 2.87, which is pretty good, and they have an HR/9 of 0.60 (about half compared to the starting staff).


LooperI did see a movie I really liked and thought was just outstanding: Looper, with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who will always be “Tommy” from 3rd Rock to me). I don’t usually do movie reviews, but this is one I do want to tell you about.

As you may know, it’s a time-travel story. In going over the events of the film I’ve discovered it hangs together beautifully. It’s also a very well-done movie. I’ve seen it twice and look forward to watching it again before I do a write up.

Put it this way: it made my Buy List! Not many movies do these days. (The last one that did was Prometheus, a most creditable entry, I thought, in the Alien saga.)


I’ll leave you today with one from my collection, a cute play on the word ‘service.’ This one will ring so very true to all of us who have experienced various forms of ‘service’ from the companies we depend on.


bad serviceI became very confused when I heard the word ‘service’ used with these agencies:

Internal Revenue ‘Service’
United States Postal ‘Service’
Telephone ‘Service’
Cable TV ‘Service’
Civil ‘Service’
City, State & Public ‘Service’
Customer ‘Service’

This is not what I thought ‘service’ meant.

But today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to ‘service’ his cows.

BAM!!! It all came into focus.

Now I understand what all those agencies are doing to us.


The Twins are about to have another go at the Detroit Tigers, the current top team in our Division. Wish them luck; they’ll need it!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

17 responses to “10… 9…

  • dianasschwenk

    haha love the service thing! These last couple of weeks will probably feel like forever! I hope you get to see the thing to completion.

  • reocochran

    I thought the ads looked good for “Looper” so now, on your review will get it from the library. I saw it on their “boomerang” shelf which means it is like a redbox movie and you have to bring it right back. At the time I wasn’t guaranteed to be able to watch it that night. So, will put it on reserve…8 more days! I will be gone on June 28th, leaving right after work until July 8th returning to work. Up to Mom’s…so will try to remember to say: “Congratulations! You made it out of there!”, or you could just look at this with a tear in your eye. ha ha! The first to say it (too early!)
    Hey, did you see my post giving my Science Club counselor and teacher the Father of the Year award? He was great! “Man of Steel, a teacher”

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Thanks for the “Congrats”! I think you’ll like Looper; it’s really well done. If you see it before I write about it, try to see if you can figure out the entire sequence (there’s an important part that isn’t shown to us). I’d be interested in seeing if we come to the same conclusion!

  • Monica Lee

    Ah, yes, more time to watch baseball. Not sure if I should be happy for you or not. Alas.

  • Monica Lee

    There we go!

  • heysugarsugar

    Hello my friend, I am so sorry I have only just read these posts…my mind too low to be in blogworld as you know, but I just thought of you and wanted to say I have not forgotten the countdown…28th right? btw I love Bruce and yes Looper was awesome. Thank you for your kind words and I will catch up with you soon. Ceri x

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Oh, I totally understand, Ceri! Just the stress of impending retirement (yep, 28th—2 pi day) has kept me out of the blogging mood. Losing two pets in achingly quick succession is so much harder to get through. Hopefully the new pups will help be a distraction.

  • bronxboy55

    I bet The Company is glad you stayed the extra month. A thirty-three-year career — you don’t hear that very much anymore. Congratulations.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Thank you, sir! But as far as I can tell, The Company is basically happy to see the back of me. There’s been no effort of any kind to inquire into my reasons (although I suspect they know them), and certainly no effort made to see if this is in any way negotiable. (It is, but I’m guessing they would consider it “impossible”… all I want is a cubical instead of a fucking desk. Oh, and a 50% raise. Cheap, really, considering they’re already having to field three guys to try to pick up where I leave off.)

      Really, it’s just one more example of how utterly upside down modern life has become.

  • reocochran

    Sorry to say, the nice weather has me outdoors after work reading on a bench, so still no “Looper,” just an update! I will be at my Mom’s from June 28 through the week of July 4th. I may try to disconnect,….hope you have a happy Fourth if we are not in touch before then!

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Well, it’s not like I insisted you see it immediately, so I’ll cut you some slack. 😀

      You will have to do a makeup movie report, though.

      Have fun at your mom’s. The 4th is (or would have been) my wedding anniversary, plus it’s the day a beloved uncle died, so it’s a mixed thing. Love the fireworks, but it’s hard to keep my mind from dark places.

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