It is tough to find time to blog these days. I signed up to work 30 hours a week during this tax season. That was fine and dandy until we got busy a couple weeks ago. I have worked more than 60 hours in each of the past two weeks. This week will be not quite so bad, mainly because I took Monday off — mental health day. It was marked as OFF in my original schedule, so I don't feel too guilty. (Until I look at my to-do list of 10+ returns that are waiting for me to review them, and fix them, and send them on to the next level of review, and fix them again, and do all the steps required to efile them, and, and, and…)
But I have a stash of photos from the past few weeks so we are gonna do Random Photos And The Stories That Go With Them, 'kay?
Random Thing #1.
Back in January a county board committee of which I am a member toured the county jail. Interesting; I had only seen jails on TV.
The county contracts with a food service to prepare the meals. They also prepare the meals here for the Meals-on-Wheels program.
Guess what this is:
The machine with the LED readout on the desk is the Breathalyzer. Happily, I had never seen one before.
A cell, this one for eight inmates. This one is in the less-restrictive area, to which prisoners are moved if they behave themselves. It was empty when we were in there because maintenence was working on the lights.
The uniformed man in the back, newly elected last November; he had been an investigator before his election (I voted for him because he was experienced and low-key; the other guy was experienced but seemed to want to build a paramilitary police force). The man at right is the jail sargeant who led the tour.
If your husband/wife/father/mother/sweetheart/brother/sister/son/daughter is in the Polk County jail and you come to visit, this is where the two of you will meet, you on the green chair on the far side and the inmate on the stainless steel stool:
Random Thing #2.
Remember the Spring Wine Sale? That beautiful and creative sign didn't last long. This was about a week later:
Random Thing #3.
A couple weekends ago I worked on a Saturday; my team took over a conference room that faced west.
The big building with the white rim around it just beyond the high-rise is Target Center, an indoor arena where the Timberwolves play. Beyond that and to the right is Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins play. The plume of smoke/steam just beyond that is… the city garbage burner.
Our office is on the 29th floor so we have a fabulous view. I'm not a baseball fan nor will I be here during baseball season, but with a pair of binoculars one could watch the action around home plate quite easily. If one were not too busy.
If you look carefully you can see the people lined up to buy tickets. That Saturday was the first day single game tickets went on sale.
Random Thing #4.
I really, really wish I had better photographs for this item. But I don't, so we'll just have to deal.
The aerator keeps some water open on our lake all winter, plus our groundwater heat pump outflow keeps a small area open next to our dock. A few weeks ago half-a-dozen raptors, mostly bald eagles, discovered the open water. They hung around for days. I don't know if they were finding fish or getting drinks or pretending they were ducks; I just know that we would see them swooping over the lake or over our house, and we had a great view of them.
You can just make out a bald eagle in flight through the tree branches:
Here's one sitting on the ice:
The open water by the dock:
The tracks around it were made by the eagles. (And probably other animals, but it's cool to think of the eagles leaving footprints in the snow.)
Random Thing #5.
There are always lots of fun little distractions at work during busy season. One Friday afternoon my neighborhood (the office is divided into "neighbborhoods" of twelve to twenty people, which are easily determined by the physical layout of the office.) There was beer and wine and snacks and… Jenga!
Pardon the photos; taken with my iPod.
We also have a daily trivia question that comes by email; s/he who has submitted the most correct answers by the end of busy season will get a prize. Last Friday's Happy Hour (beer, wine, snacks) featured a Name That Tune contest; winning team took away a mini-keg of Heinekin. There are email bingo games and guess-the-number-of-pieces-of-candy-in-the-jar contests, prizes being gift cards to Starbucks ro some such.
There are also impromtu antics. Look for the suction bup dart on the mirror. (Sorry, more iPod photos.)
Once they had the technique down, they attacked from afar, over cube walls.
And that is what I have been up to. Darned little knitting, and what there has been was never photographed. But there are only thirteen days to go!
Gulp. I have a lot to do before then.