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  small purple square Dim Sum at Ranch 99 this morning - man are those Sesame Balls tasty! The store's audio system seemed to be fully operational now - but the music was atrocious. That cheesy Asian karaoke sound, all the songs sounding alike; atypically the singer sang in English, performing these standards while I was there:
  • Me & You (and a dog named Boo)
  • Song Sung Blue
  • (If You Come To) San Francisco (Flowers/Hair/etc)
  • Tie A Yellow Ribbon
The first two have special places in my heart; in 1975 when T and I drove cross-country in his '65 Beetle the "Dog Named Boo" was on the charts, and we modified its lyrics to suite our special situation:
"Another set of tires, and
 Back on the road again.  Me and you and a dog named..."
  These schlocky sounds weren't hard to tune out, unlike during previous recent visits when the system kept cutting off and on, mid-tune.
  small cyan square Went in to work today, but mostly just to play with PhotoShop. Learned about Layers and made my first grids. Much tedium creating little graphics which I took home & converted into animated GIFs - the cartoonist's life is quite boring. Did a bit of word processing while there, composing my Performance Appraisal (or "review"), a yearly chore I believe most computer professionals undergo. The mechanics of this task in my company (and perhaps most) is describing in varying detail what my job is. This is one's chance to detail all of the accomplishments worth reporting over the past twelve months - and there are some who actually believe the text's content is linked with the magnitude of their annual salary increase and possibly even opportunities for advancement & job-title elevation. A book I once read <1> characterized this type of worker as "Believers" - those with faith in the system, who think hard work is the one True Way to Get Ahead. The book also described the two other main types of employees: "Rebels" and "Game Players". Rebels have the requisite skills to get the actual work done, so they can name their tune; Game Players observe the unwritten rules and do what it really takes to move up their specific company's ladder. Since I now have that mature wisdom that sees everything in shades of gray, I realize that nobody fits these molds precisely, so I characterize myself as a Rebel/Game Player, with emphasis on the first. Also I'm now an "old timer" who no longer has the ambition to climb that ladder, or desire to taste the false fruits that come with each higher rung.

small orange square The title of today's episode comes from "200 Motels", the Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention film. As I pulled into the parking lot at work, listening to the excellent soundtracks program KFJC does on Saturday Mornings (Robert Emmett's "Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show") he was playing the very cut which contains this line, one of that movie's oft-repeated phrases from my Senior Year at High School.

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<1>Neanderthals At Work by Al Bernstein Back