Monday, February 16, 2009

My Valentine, Jim & Jimmy and Operation Chirp

Tammy and I last went out for dinner on a Valentine's night 7 or 8 years ago. We'd brought my mother to Timberlodge in Burnsville and it was a zoo. I'd made reservations earlier in the week but they didn't have us on the list when we arrived. We were eventually seated but the oversight brought some added tension to the night that we could've done without. We learned our lesson and have since planned our Valentine's Day celebrations so as to not make that mistake again.

This year Tammy had to work until 7:30 so I decided to treat her to a dinner I'd make for us. I by no means consider myself to be much of a cook but I can barbecue a steak without any trouble.

The menu: Rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, salad, Pepperidge Farms garlic bread and Green Giant Healthy Weight vegetable medley. Oh, and a bottle of Kendal Jackson, Cabernet Sauvignon. A thank you to Jackie for some menu tips.

I always like to buy Tammy an hour massage at Keep in Touch Massage in Burnsville for Valentine's Day in addition to a couple other significant days during the year. I got one for Rachel too. Between school and work she's been going at warp speed for too long. She had her first massage a couple months ago and loved it. I can see where this is going.

People who know Tammy probably wouldn't suspect that she's a rock 'n roller. In her younger days she was a big fan of Led Zepplin and to a lesser degree she still is today. We were placing some movies in our Netflix queue last week when she mentioned Led Zepplin's, The Song Remains the Same; but Netflix didn't have it available. Hmmm, I could use one more gift for her for Valentine's Day. I would eventually have to go to the evil store to find a copy.

I remember going to see the movie with John Winton in early 1977 when it was in the theaters and I was stationed in San Diego. There was some good concert footage in the film which I was sure Tammy would appreciate.

Tammy had an older brother, Jim, who died in a traffic accident in 1981. Jim is in the photo to the left with his friends standing around his car; he's the one on the very left. When I first saw his photo I thought he looked a lot like Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin. I mentioned that to Tammy way back when but she didn't think so...until we watched the movie the other night. She couldn't get over how much resemblance there was between the two. The next morning I went online and brought up some photos of an older Jimmy Page. We looked at them and wondered if the image we were seeing was what her brother may have looked like today had he still been alive.

I also got Tammy one other gift. I placed the Annoy-a-tron in her gift bag. She looked at it and wasn't quite sure what to make of it. I had her open it and turn it on. It sprang to life with the sound of the beep she'd been hearing in the basement the past several days. "Is this what's been making that noise downstairs" she asked? I could finally let that big smile out along with a laugh I'd been suppressing as I told her "yes". She thought it was a great prank and I'm glad she took it so well. I'm pretty sure she followed up with a punch to my upper arm.

'Operation Beep' has now turned into 'Operation Chirp' and the location has changed as well. I brought the Annoy-a-tron into work today and with the help of an all too willing CIC (Controller in Charge) at the supervisor's desk we've found a new home for the little bugger. There are several different sounds the Annoy-a-tron can produce with a cricket's chirp being one of them. There are several of us in on it and every time we hear the chirp we can't help but look at one another and smile.

Okay, so I've clued a few more of you into what's happening. I know there aren't all that many of you who read this so I'm comfortable with putting this info out there. Work with me on this is all I ask. I'd do it for you in a heart beat...or a cricket's chirp.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I asked you about the annoy a tron in front of the supe...I hadn't read this post, so I didn't know it was at work. Sorry if I wrecked it. NX

Kevin said...

No problem, NX. I didn't post this until a few hours after we talked. So far so good.

Tim said...

Just wait until someone complains and they get FLMs and techs involved looking for your toy and end up looking stupid searching for it.

After that I'm sure they would never think of disciplining you for creating a distraction in the control room...

Your area manager seems to hate controllers, remember?

I still say deep down inside you're looking to be forced to retire...

Tim said...

By the way, it took me all of a minute to find your toy last night on the mid. Wasn't a very good hiding place...

At 10 PM last night our newest FLM, Duane H. was sitting at the desk and didn't even flinch whenever the cricket chirped.

But then I wouldn't expect FLMs to notice as they're usually pretty clueless anyway, so isn't the joke pretty much lost on them?

Kevin said...

You're pretty quick if you found it that fast. The little bugger was migrating its way around the area today as crickets tend to do in real life.

Didn't you get the word, Tim? Change is coming and it will begin with small chirping sounds.

Actually, I thought I'd get more flack in this post because of the hand-cuffs with the flowers I gave Tammy for Valentine's Day.

Tim said...

I hadn't noticed any handcuffs until you mentioned it and I went back to find them.

Hmmmm...

What do they say on them?

Kevin said...

"Prisoner of your love"

I doubted anybody would open the photo to notice them.

Tim said...

You were obviously right; no one looked at it that closely (including me).

An old-style jailer's key or a lock with the same text would have been less um, "kinky" though.

Unless you wanted kinky.

Maybe we don't know you at all: but then it's always the mild-mannered ones that surprise...

TC said...

Annoy-atron. Excellent, Kevin. Thanks for the material!!!

Kevin said...

TC...you can have lots of fun with the little guy. Let me know how it works for you.