from Ginger

Water Cooler Blog

Need something to yak about in the office? I’m always running my mouth on something or the other, so here’s where I share it with you. Grab a topic from and be a Noted Expert in your break room. The water cooler discussions will be better for it. (Well, I hope!)

My house is haunted 

They stalk me, they surround me. I am not alone.

They stalk me, they surround me. I am not alone.

My house belongs to “them.”

They are everywhere. I put something away, it jumps back out. I walk down the hallway, something walks behind me. The television turns itself on, the lights flicker, a dish falls to the floor. Sometimes, a piano plays. In the thick veil of early morning, I hear them and feel them. They stalk me, they surround me, I am not alone. Continue reading

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Gender-Based Freeze?

Is the summer work chill all about guys?

Is the summer work chill all about guys?

A recent New York Times article freshened up my thinking on gender discrimination. It seems that women have a brand new enemy to worry about at work. As if we didn’t have enough on our plates, now the HVAC system is after us.

In this case, results of a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change point to a bias in summer thermostats. Office buildings, according to two environmental scientists, set temps with a moldy old formula that centers on men. Meanwhile, women poke their heads into the office, freeze into a block of ice, and immediately go to stand outside, melting like the Looney Toons abominable snowman.

Or, we wrap up in blankets. Because it’s cuter that way. Continue reading

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God the Snapping Turtle

God the Father, Son, and Holy . . . Alligator Snapping Turtle?

Don’t argue with a toddler. Don’t even try.

It’s his usual routine. The boy, barely 3 years old, wants to delay sleep as long as possible. The familiar litany of “go potty, need a drink, want my blankie, give me a kiss, sing me a song,” comes to a merciful end. Only one card left in his deck, and is going to play it.


“Yes, honey?”

“The shadows are talking to me again.”

It works. I sit down next to him. “Shadows? What do the shadows look like?”

“Oh, they are over there,” he points his finger to the wall. “They look dark. But they want to be my friend. But . . . they are scary.” Continue reading

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Remembering Harold Greene

Maj. Gen. Harold Greene had a singular gift for making others better.

When I heard the news yesterday, on August 5th, 2014, I tried to talk myself out of it.  “No, couldn’t be Harry.  I mean, a million people in the world could be named Harold Greene, anyway.”  I didn’t turn on the news or pick up a paper until today.  Then, I saw a copy of the local news at Starbucks, and there was his picture.

It sounds almost obscene, coming from me.  Harold Greene was a world famous intellect, leader, diplomat, and soldier.  I was a contractor who served at Fort Hood, under the “Good Enough” software integration build back in 2004 – 2006.  He was a Colonel, then, stationed at Ft. Monmouth, who was heading up the effort.  I was the engineer at Hood that didn’t fit in, with no military history, a thin skin, and no real clue about how to navigate a tense, fast-paced work environment.  And so, it sounds almost obscene, but I will say it anyway:  Colonel Greene was my friend. Continue reading

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What Not to Wear Online

May I have your attention please?  May I have your attention, please?  Do I have your attention?  Are you sure?

Now that you’ve seen the caption bouncing off of what is, effectively, a fashion show for the fashion challenged, let’s talk about something that is even more important:  Internet presence for the security challenged.

Why talk about this?  Why should you care?  Because it’s your future we’re discussing here.  Not only that, it’s your present and, the more you stay at it, your past.

Continue reading

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Kyle the Engineer


Hard work usually pays off, except when it doesn’t.

I distinctly remember this man’s name.  I won’t say it here because I’m a complete and total wuss.  I think there is a chance that somewhere, somehow, he will see it and say, “Hey, that’s me!”  I’m not sure I like the implications of that, but it’s not going to stop me.  It will just prod me into changing his name to protect the innocent.  So, with that disclaimer in place, here goes my story.

Kyle worked for my mother, as a student proctor in the developmental math lab at Lamar University.  He was witty, charming, endearing, sensitive, and about 10 years older than me.  As a dewey-eyed 18 year old, I thought he was perfect.  I wanted to date him in the worst way, but it was not to be.  First of all, Mom was his boss, and so it would have been weird.  Secondly, he was committed in a long-term relationship.  But even more important:  Kyle was gay.  Continue reading

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