Friday, September 28, 2007

My mind must be free

Okay...I am almost on the home stretch of this crap. Kate can be a marvel sometimes; she figured out a shortcut on one part, and screw it -- we are going with it. I am driving back from a meeting that i am


Yeah; I *was* driving back from a meeting that, at the time, I was still puzzling over why I *had* to attend, seeing as how I could not do anything but what I have been doing almost all week, so I brought my laptop and worked in the meeting.  Rude?  Don't care.  

I love this quote:

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
--Margaret Mead

I am so very fried right now.  Seriously.  I hate it when I get like this.  I have been home for a few minutes, and Meg came by on her way out of town to see if I wanted to go (I have time off from Eviljob this week), and I had to tell her no.  Poop.  Speaking of which, I have not even gone into the kitty drama there; Harry has been feeding them, and our rescue group is having another trap-n-speuterfest at the end of October-ish, so all was good.  Then Harry had a run-in with one of the managers who hates cats, and they tried to yank my permission to be the colony mom, or even to feed on property at all.  So I managed with RG's Melissa to talk them into letting me move the feeding station to the back loading dock area instead, and they agreed; I have two weeks to muster up my best Behaviourist skills and convince them the In Back is the place to be.  *Then* we will trap 'em.  Yay.

Augh.  Back to work.  I think I will switch over to my dvd collection of You Can't Do That On Television, 'cos I tried to watch Yo Gabba Gabba , and it was...alarming.  Cool, but alarming. 

Ok...more on that later, 'cos I have to get this done or I will freaking *die*.  I'll hunt for pics, too.  Scary. 

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gah; it actually *is* a jungle out there.

I have been going through shit frame-by-frame. This takes a VERY LONG TIME. And I cannot use our program from work (even though I got a neato cool response box for it about a week ago, so that rocks -- though we are not using it right now), 'cos I am NOT going to sit at work for three or four days straight. Nope. No. And the system we have at work needs a key to make it work, but the key does not leave, ever, because of the cost of the damned thing. I pushed for this system over two others, but the fact that I cannot take it home and that a few people I work with mispronounce it drives me batshit.

Well, they leave out the 'L', and say 'Notice', only they are saying it like they are having some serious adenoid issues -- more like 'no-diss'. Sometimes I think we should have gotten the other one, just so I do not have to pretend as if it did not drive me crazy. Blow your freaking nose and speak clearly. Fack.


Take a look at my box!

[box to come; Blogger won't let me load pics]

I am like The Bad Doctor in that KiTH skit...I ask for things, and they give them to me; this is awesome. Sometimes I love Job 2. I am thinking of asking for Mikrosil next. I have wanted to play with Mikrosil for *years*, I just have to think of why on god's earth I would actually *need* it.


But back to my point of this taking forever and a day; thank freaking god that I found where Windows Movie Maker will display *hundredths* of a second, or else I would be even LONGER without sleep than I am going to be as it is (and I am not going to get to actually sleep until Saturday night as things stand...BWAAH!!) to correctly categorise for almost two days straight. I have like, lost the ability to see straight. This is extremely upsetting to me, 'cos I *want* to see straight; I am taking this...erm...opportunity (do you like how I have re-framed this to be positive? Cool, iddnit?) to catch up on all twenty-six million episodes of Monk that I have never gotten to see but still buy 'cos I have a crush on Ted Levine (Nooo, not *just*because of SotL; quit talking to Meg. Though if you are having the same 'nuh-uh!' moment some others have had when it comes up, you can refresh your memory here. Or catch Ted *and The Groundskeepers' song here {awesome}. The poster of this clip disturbs me in spite of my partial agreement {comment translation below; it is in Portugese}. It really is that he is *that* unbelievably awesome an actor. well as sexy.) that simply defies description; the things I want to do to him are illegal in at least six states. After Monk, I am moving on to view all of Crime Story, maybe.

I know...I need therapy; I have all this crap to do, and here I am in heat. Being on the Pill always causes me to be constantly turned on; someone *please* explain that one to me, 'kay? I have been wondering about that one for near to the entirety of my fertile life so far. And it has nothing to do with so-called 'safety'; first off, you *aren't* 'safe', and second, it has nothing to do with whether I am in a relationship or out of one. On Pill = in heat constantly, off Pill = normal; sometimes on, sometimes off.

I think there is some hormonal crap that happens,and not just the not ovulating thing. Seriously. I almost wish it made me sick, like several other girls I know. Know how many people I know that stay constantly horny when they take the Pill? One. Me. And it is not listed under side effects; I looked. This is actually one of the reasons I quit it a while ago. Pfft. Sigh.

Butsoanyway. Back to this stuff.

And I am NOT EVEN STARTED on the verbal behaviours for the bulk of it; that will be all day tomorrow. I have been holding off on that 'cos the other stuff is the hard(er) part, and listening will interfere with my Leland Stottlemeyer-watching. I am now kicking myself for not having used something for audio that I could cart home with me in the past so that I could maybe be familiar with it and schtuff. As things stand, I will just hit Pause in WMM and log start/change/stop. Fuck the fancy-schmancy shit.

I even let Kate take a huge part and do it, and I was going to confirm, but I am sososososososooooooo tempted not to log-confirm that I am going to have to maybe nap and let some morality leak back into my brain. Sigh. I am inclined to do Very Bad Things right now, and not just to ol' Leland. about ageing well! What's this show about, anyway? ;-)

No, you are not the only ones who think I am weird.


Comment translation:

Brilhante atuação de Ted Levine em Silêncio dos Inocente.
Brilliant acting of Ted Levine in Silence of Lambs.

[Agreed; better than Foster and Hopkins combined, and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise; his entire performance aside, that sniffl'y thing he does when Brooke first says 'I want my mommy'? Besides being Incredibly Cute, that's called ACTING. We're all ruined by this half-assed 'I'm going to play the same character over, and over, and over...and that character happens to be a lot like me!' shit that goes on anymore that actual acting gets ignored. He also has an fantastic way of conveying many simultaneous emotions towards Monk, but if I get into everything else he has done, we will be here all day]

Buffalo Bill realmente rouba a atenção, apagando completamente a ranhenta Jodie Foster (tem mesmo cara de ranhentinha).
Buffalo Bill really steals the attention, putting out completely the ranhenta Jodie Foster (it has even expensive of ranhentinha).

[Agreed again, and I don't even know what a ranhenta is; I can only assume a ranhentinha is an even worse one]

Pena que o herói do filme morre no final.
Too bad that the hero of the movie dies in the end.

[I am so totally not going to get into the hero/anti-hero/antagonist/protagonist pedantry with you, 'cos it may be a translation error. Ask your English teacher, or your Portugese Lit. teacher. Anyway, assuming you mean 'hero' as in an allied person(a) for whom you were rooting (try reading the book; pointless!), you are officially creeping me out. However, if you -- like me -- just hate seeing a perfectly good fictional hot guy get snuffed, then we are in agreement. Plus Ted should have gotten *much* more camera time.]

Formaria uma bela dupla com o Dr. Lecter he he he..
It would form a double beauty with Dr. Lecter he he he..

[Okay, *now* you are creeping me out; when I start having fantasies like that, I am switching to Ortho TriCyclen Lo or something. Sheesh. Hopkins is like, almost as old as my father, fer chrissake*. ;-) ]

*It may bear mentioning again that my parents had me when they were much older than 'traditional' parents (which seems to be younger these days than ever before, but I am 'supposed' to be about twenty [or more] years older than I am), a fact that leaves many confused when I say things like 'Hopkins is like, almost as old as my father, fer chrissake!' trying to be funny. I mean, he was really a cutie in Audrey Rose**, but the humour is in my selection of the age difference over the qualities of the characters (Buffalo Bill and Lecter***). See? Having old parents really handicaps my comedy style. ;-)

**I only know that 'cos Mom likes that movie (well, more correctly, she saw it with my father or friends in the theatre, and wanted to see it again when it came on television, probably cable), and I watched it with her when I was a kid (when it came on television; my father would *never* have let me watch something like that in the theatre, and probably not on tv if he had known about it). I have no idea how old I was, but I do remember that I thought Hopkins' character was creepy as hell then, like some sick stalker, and it terrified me that her parents would not intervene, and I remember being extremely frightened when Hopkins interacted with Audrey Rose, especially when she cooperated and calmed down for him; for some reason that was Quite Disturbing to me, and I completely misremembered it until I saw it on cable as an adult. At that point it just struck me as a largely silly sixties-tinged movie about reincarnation dumbness, but yes, Hopkins was cute. It is just kind of icky if I say that now, since he is almost as old as my father.

***Let's not play games; I would totally do Bill and Lecter together any day of the week. We all know it.


Sigh. Enough funny. Back to work.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


One of the most readily observable differences between genders
(divided across male and female, because i am all about brass tacks)
is that, when bored-lonely-depressed, men call phone sex lines; women
phone ShopNBC.

We're smarter; ShopNBC does not charge per minute, and they don't try
to sell us used panties.


I have about twenty-four hours to essentially sort some stupid videos
by event, so i am going to get on that...after trivia. I am turning
into such a slacker.

Don't care how, I want it now.

Argh! I am back. No sleep, really...and now I have to get to exercise
class and then work, but I actually don't mind. Going without sleep
and stuff is always easier if it is your own idea, and serves your own
purposes. Yay.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Running away from home...

I left late saturday afternoon, more or less on a whim. Now i just
have to figure out how to not show up for work tomorrow without
actually phoning in sick. Hmmm.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Birthday the birthday mortuary.

Sigh. For this i am missing Resident Evil. I am waiting FOR Mom...and
everyone else. As in 'in place of'. They freaking abandoned me to wait
for twenty minutes (that is *with* reservations) at one of mom's
favourite restaurants that is semi-normal. What is with everyone and
the fricking seafood on their b-days? And why does it have to be so
dark in here? Who thought eating seafood in the dark was a good idea? i supposed to sniff everything before i put it in my mouth?
Sheesh. It honestly reminds me of Disney's Haunted Mansion in here.
Not that i am knocking that, love the place in fact. Just maybe not to
*eat* in, at least in the sense of preferring.

Though when i become a vampire, i may change my mind. Speaking of
which, i need to ask Mummers when that is...i keep forgetting, and
with grandmother dead, god only knows no one else cares. Me either
really, but it would be nice to know when to start using my 'Vampire'
name patches, and when to start liking to eat in places like this.


So splain me why i shouldn't let loose with a scream that would make
Linnea Quigley sound like a pansy and pretend that something slithered
over my foot, or whatever.

Happy Birfday to Mom!

Happy birthday to my lovely Mummers, who completely vetoed my cool-as-hell idea of having a Resident Evil: Extinction -themed birthday party tonight at a movie theatre. You know, one where we could all dress up like zombies ('cept me; I would go as Alice or Jill). Mummers would be allowed to bring one friend ('cos I do not have enough zombie makeup for more than just us), and we would have FUN!

Mummers and her One Friend On Earth.
Sad, idnnit? I told her she would have
more friends if she did cool things, like
Resident Evil birthday parties.
Just kidding; it is not really Mom.
But if it were, she'd be the one brandishing the umbrella.

Mommy said no.

I have no idea how that clip got there.


Instead, we are all going out for the afternoon with some of her friends. In my mind, it will be something like this:

And then Meg and I will go do something with her that she will pick whenever she is good and ready, and then we will take her out to dinner. Mom said that if I want to have a zombie birthday party, then I can have one on my birthday. She is wholly immune to Reason on this point, unwilling to acknowledge the multiple Compelling Reasons I have brought to her attention, such as:

  1. The premiere is on 21 September, not 22. Hello!
  2. It is not as if she has not set a precedent for my needs over hers by being in labour with me on her birthday. And exceptions built upon historical precedent were found by the Supreme Court to be valid and binding contracts in Skritfwatt v. Waistletharp. Seriously. Look it up.
  3. I promise to take the zombie makeup off this time.
  4. I promise to not get so 'into' the role of Alice. Or Jill. Rilly. No thunking people in the head with poles from the lobby. Swear.
  5. Should I thunk anyone in the head with a pole from the lobby, I promise that I will immediately and without hesitation take them to the nearest emergency room for treatment this time, especially if they appear to be bleeding, in which case I will not tarry for the next showing.
  6. Moreover, I promise that should any of the above-mentioned injured parties be Meg, I will hesitate even less this time. And further, I understand that, simply because Meg has brought her own car, she is in no greater position to be driving that car to the emergency room after being thunked in the head with a pole from the lobby than anyone else with a traumatic brain injury, whether this fact inconveniences me or not.
  7. I really, really wanna.
  8. pleez?

As I said, impervious to reason. Hmmph.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy Birthday!

'I are Serious Cat. You have serious birfday now.
Or else.'

Happy birthday to the one, the only, the greatest Rock-N-Roll Grammarian of all time, who is now a Big City Lady! I am thrilled that she is finally bringing some much-needed class to the Big Apple, and I am jealously imagining her in all sorts of fabby adventures that involve heart-stopping displays of derring-do, handsome-yet-sensitive men, Jimmy Choo shoes, and teaching Simon how to thwart Evildoers. Oh – and super heroes. ‘Cos everyone *knows* all the super heroes are in NYC, right? Some of them might even be Grammarians...or their cats! :-D

Some year I will get to offer you a birthday margarita; until then, I hope you have a *fantastic* day...wait! WEEK!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday!

'...must not kill ribbon...
must not kill ribbon...'

Happy birthday to Susan at Wildrun, whom I respect more each passing minute! She is a devoted friend to animals, and she manages to save the world every day – from the perspective of someone’s tiny eyes, as well as mine. If Life heads me her way after I graduate, she has a sitter for life here. Swear. Big hugs!

In Reality, I was sick as hell the past two days, but to make it up I am (1) back-dating this post because I ignore the foolish Laws of Time and Physics like that, and (2) extending everyone's birthday out for a week because I ignore the foolish Laws of Time and Physics like that.

This being ignorant thing just simply rocks. :-D

So, that being said, I hope your Birthday Week is the most fabulous week EVER!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rectus Dominus

Argh. Last night was ok, except for the part about Harry bringing his
girlfriend, which is not all that bad...except for the part about his
girlfriend bringing her grandson, the ever-welcome Damien Thorne.
Damien tore up the front entrance. Damien shredded the potted plant
next to the bar. Damien sneaked off and tried to bite the man at the
table next to ours...on the shoe. But that's nothing; before i
arrived, Damien broke the skill crane in the common-area lobby between
our restaurant and some others. When he tried to bite the man (did i
mention the part about it being under the table, on the shoe?),
Harry's girlfr...oh, let's call her Carol, ok? Well Carol got angry at
*me* just cos i might have said something about the child needing to
be quarantined for three days and possibly put down.

Well, the man and his wife thought it was funny.


So it was Damien plus the fact that our server was psychotic; right
after we were seated, everyone was distracted and arranging
themselves. I had brought some papers for Harry to look at (to pick
some books...long story) which i put to my side, so i would not forget
about them...and as soon as i turned to face my other side,
PsychoServer actually picked them up and started reading them! Huh?
These were folded in half, and blank on the outwardly-facing side. Why
on earth would any stranger feel that was appropriate behaviour? But
that was only the beginning. And i could see it if she were annoyed at
Damien, or Carol's absolute lack of parenting, but no -- tellingly
enough, PsychoServer LOVED Damien. ADORED Damien. Spent time ignoring
other tables to visit with Damien, and talk with Carol about Damien.
Bwaah! The bint was as batshit as Carol is, if not worse.

And Carol is pretty fucking batshit, let me tell you.

So Carol is angry, Harry is oblivious, and everyone is happy. Yay. Sigh.

I got home, took care of my cats, and eventually went to bed, where i
had nightmares all night. Awesome.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An incomplete education...

Exactly how would one use a professional-grade dental pick-y thing --
like the picks used during cleanings -- as an article of drug
paraphernalia? Or is there some exotic use for dental picks on the
streets as weapons?

I have to take Harry out for birthday lobster, but i am absolutely
dying to hear this.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Harry

Sigh. You annoy me sometimes, but overall you are a good person. Fundamentally, I mean.

I am in seminar with my HoD right now, and I just adore this guy, but he is inclined to give the same lecture over and over. Pretty much any time he speaks. :-) He is cute. One just acclimates to these things.


Job 2 is suffering from the delusion that I am supposed to be there today, when I have a set schedule that leaves Fridays for class, two grant meetings, a lab meeting, tiny break, and then Eviljob. Last night I was simply infuriated, so much so that I could not sleep; one of our contracts has provided explicit details and their accoutrements. Basically, we are just Blindly Following Directions. Period. Well, I finished my part, and at our State of the Workgroup meeting yesterday was asked why I had not done This, That, and The Other. Well, okay; specifically, I was asked why I had not done one thing...which involved, essentially, breaking the seal on a group of data which were to be utilised later. At this time, we are supposed to be unaware of its contents. I brought up the point that I just mentioned, and was told that I could have prepared coding of the events, regardless.

Ummm...not without *looking* at it. And we have been asked -- no, paid in fact --to *not* look at this stage. At this point, we are attempting to replicate and explain the heuristically-based judgements of accepted 'experts' in a quantifiable manner. To do this, we proceed according to our constructs and so forth, and compare our results with theirs...afterwards. I have a problem with pretending I have not seen things just so I can save myself a handful of hours' work in a week of two. The reason, ultimately, for the upset was the ginormous and ' spensive coding suite we just bought; it comes with tutoring, and my superior was wanting to hit up the trainer for help. As in getting the tutor to do this as a part of his demonstration.

Why do I invariably end up surrounded by freaks?

I should put a sock in it before I say too much, but...I am annoyed. Or was, rather; I am fine now. Yesterday, Kate said that I am 'far too ethical and conscientious, blah, blah, blah...'; she meant it as a compliment, but it only served to further agitate me, as if her comparison meant that some less-conscientious Other would manage to be more successful in this situation. And I do know that is completely not how she meant it, but...that is the frame of mind I was in at the time, so I left upset. And figured that They can handle whatever happens today, 'cos we have crap that has to get out on Monday. But I blew off my HoD last week, and I won't do it again; Kate just IMed, and *nothing* is being done -- she just left to take something to her child's school. Sigh. Every day is a new emergency.


On a better note, I got in a bunch of new toys at Job 2, and that was exciting. :-) I also got to talk with Karen, and god, that was a welcome conversation. She phoned to wish me a happy New Year (poor semi-sabra changed to a program where she is lacking in non-committed half-jew company), and to let me know that she had successfully transitioned to a different advisor after the one she left our program for farking New Zealand, or wherever. Poor Karen, but it is all okay now.

Oh! And!

Freaking awesome.

And since I am on You Tube, it was either Karen or Baby Bat who sent this a bit back:

Stuck in my head. Geez. :-) I even made up a song for Rhett Butler based on it:

Did you ever see a Butler's Butler kiss a Butler on the Butler
Butler, Butler, Butler, Butler
Butler, Butler, Squoosh!
(or 'Cook', if Cookie is nearby instead of Squoosh)
Here's a Butler, and a Butler, and another little Butler
Oh, no it's all the same Butler,
He's a porky cat.

Oh, shush. Rhett likes his song. :-)

I have to pack up and switch rooms in a bit...I would love to say I will be able to post again today (or at least get up some of the post drafts I have!), but I will see how it goes.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!


Thursday, September 13, 2007


The 2007 Holiday Season has begun. I should have started it earlier.
But it is on. Now. Please conduct your affairs accordingly.

And happy New Year. From here on out, we are celebrating two. Use the
second one as a reminder, or hold out until the Bitter End, as you
wish. I am flexible.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An upset stomach from a broken heart...

Bleag. We went out for lunch today because of our visitor, and the
chicken pasanda i had has been kicking my ass all day. One might think
it would all be digested by now, but no. What in the crap did they
make it with, Drano? The naan was great, but i am really wondering
about this 'tantalising almond flavour' now. Does Drano taste of
almonds? Bleurg.

Freaky-deaky Dutchman...

I am in a meeting with one of our vendors at Job 2 in a never-ending
effort to get our integrated behaviour research system up and running.
Like that term? I just stole it from The Dutchman. I am going to have
to modify it to better reflect the whole of what we are doing. I'll be
damned though if, as per usual, we don't have one dork who is trying
to impress (why?) by suggesting that under-eighteens in a school
environment might be recruited by 1) bribing the school with a
'generous donation' and/or bribing the students and parents with
money. Lord god. Let me introduce you to the concept of an
Institutional Review Board. Rampaging fucktard...i swear. I wish
non-technicians (for lack of a better term) would stfu. Thank
goodness this presentation-demonstration is slated to go on for quite
some time, else i would end up telling this person how dumb that all
sounded. Sigh.

Yesterday was hellish; i overdid a tad, and my abdominal muscles and
back are achy. Gah...break. I have to stay shut up! Bad timing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am a work in progress...

I have a post that was just about ready to go in Drafts, but when i
pull it up on my phone, it is blank. Sigh. Meg is back, Mummers has
broken her finger, and i have to find time to get Rhett's check-up
checked-off, and i have not figured out how i will manage that. I may
be a week late, and i don't see how i can avoid it. Rhett is still
limping a little, so maybe the extra rest will help, though i am
afraid he will end up having the FHO. Anyway, work is hell...both of
them. At Job 2, we are under a deadline which, if today's events are
any indication, we are not going to make it. And i have to get some
rest; i am exhausted, and completely unmotivated to wake up at
four-thirty to five to go to exercise class. Right now, i am trying to
fall asleep and watching Snakes on a Plane. Damn, but this is a good
movie. Total excellence. I need the dvd.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

popular (and stupid) searches

I need to quit checking my hits; some of them make my brain hurt. You People are scaring me.


Metal Turkey Pumpkin Poker

Maybe it would be better if you did not go around screaming, 'HEY! LOOK AT ME!'

People stare at me all the time

I miss her too!

Puff A Lump

I gave my suggestion already.

Why do people sometimes stare at me

Ok…why is Puff A Lump popular all of a sudden?

Puff A Lump cat

Three words: Not. Nearly. Enough.

Petsmart "wage per hour"

Do what?!?

Speuter wikipedia

Oh, just shoot me. Please. If *that* is what I am doing wrong, forget it.

She smoked crack cocaine took a hit high orgasm

Again, if that is what I am doing wrong, forget it.

Cool people hang out freezing bananas

I am missing out on targeting a market. Clearly.

Goth Cookbooks

Let no one mislead you: there *is* such a thing as over-analysing. Rilly.

The night they drove old Dixie down analysis


Kingdom phylum peoples farts please me

Ok; I could be callous and say 'it either lives or it doesn't', but I won't. Instead, I will say 'for the love of Mike, get off Google and phone your vet!!!'. Sheesh.

What happens if you give the wrong dosage of Clavamox to a kitten

Get a life. Please. *please*. For your own health and welfare, if not ours.

Talk to horny robots

You have big tits, maybe?

Boys stare at me

I am in class…more later.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Bastards, bastards everywhere...

I am working on writing something; I now have around three drafts that I have to merge. :-) Yay. I am going out shopping with Meg now, but I just came across this, and I am *upset*!

From LAT

Time of Day Calling it Quits at AT&T

David Lazarus
Consumer Confidential

August 29, 2007

It's the end of time, at least as far as AT&T is concerned.

The brief note in customers' bills hardly does justice to the momentousness of the decision. "Service withdrawal," it blandly declares. "Effective September 2007, Time of Day information service will be discontinued."

What that means is that people throughout Southern California will no longer be able to call 853-1212 to hear a woman's recorded voice state that "at the tone, Pacific Daylight Time will be . . ." with the recording automatically updating at 10-second intervals.

"Times change," said John Britton, an AT&T spokesman. "In today's world, there are just too many other ways to get this information. You can look at your cellphone or your computer. You no longer have to pick up the telephone."

Indeed, time already has stopped in 48 other states, he said. California and Nevada are the two remaining holdouts.

In Northern California, the prefix for calling time is 767, or P-O-P on a telephone keypad. For decades, locals up there have dialed POPCORN any time they have had to reset their watches or reprogram electronic gadgets after a power failure.

"In California, our equipment has gotten old," Britton said. "It's reached the end of its life span."

Time's up statewide Sept. 19. Britton said Nevada service would live on borrowed time for an unspecified period, until the equipment in that state similarly starts breaking down.

One upside: AT&T says doing away with time would enable the creation of about 300,000 new phone numbers in California beginning with the 853 or 767 prefixes. (No such numbers have been issued to date because, when coupled with any four other digits, you get time.)

To be sure, time marches on. Yet for many Californians, the looming demise of the "time lady," as she's come to be known, marks the end of a more genteel era, when we all had time to share.

"It was always there," said Orlo Brown, 70, who for many years kept Pacific Bell's (and subsequently SBC's) time machines running in a downtown Los Angeles office building. "Everybody knew the number."

Richard Frenkiel was assigned to work on the time machines when he joined Bell Labs in the early 1960s. He described the devices as large drums about 2 feet in diameter, with as many as 100 album-like audio tracks on the exterior. Whenever someone called time, the drums would start turning and a message would begin, with different tracks mixed together on the fly.

"The people who worked on it took it very seriously," Frenkiel, 64, recalled. "They took a lot of pride in it."

In a twist of historical irony, Frenkiel went on to play a leading role in development of the technology that makes cellphones possible -- the very device that's now instrumental in killing time.

Phone companies have been providing the time to callers since the 1920s. In the early days, live operators read the time off clocks on the wall.

In the 1930s, an Atlanta company called Audichron devised a system for the time to be provided automatically. Audichron leased its technology to phone companies nationwide, often with sponsorship from local businesses.

Time ladies -- and a few gentlemen -- came and went over the years. Then, in the 1950s, a woman named Mary Moore emerged as the nation's leading time-teller.

Her reading of hours, minutes and seconds was delivered in a distinctive if somewhat prissy tone. Moore's odd pronunciation of the numbers 5 ("fiyev") and 9 ("niyun") influenced a generation of operators, much as flying ace Chuck Yeager's West Virginia drawl is said to have been adopted by innumerable airline pilots.

By far the most prominent time lady was Jane Barbe, who succeeded Moore at Audichron in the 1960s. A former big band singer, Barbe (pronounced "Barbie") went on to become the voice of recorded telephone messages in the 1970s and '80s in the United States and elsewhere.

Along with her interpretations of the time and current temperature, Barbe delivered the bad news too, telling you that circuits in a specific area were busy, please try again later, or that your call cannot be completed as dialed.

And who will ever forget her heartbreaking rendition of "I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service"?

Barbe died of cancer-related complications in 2003 at age 74. It's estimated that at the height of her fame, Barbe's voice was heard worldwide about 40 million times a day.

AT&T's Britton said the company started using Audichron's machines in 1948 and then switched to a different system manufactured by rival Weatherchron, also of Atlanta, in the 1960s. He was unable to identify the current time lady, saying that perhaps no one at AT&T knows who she is.

Ellis Bryant, the 83-year-old president of Weatherchron, also was unsure whose voice Californians hear when they call time. So he dialed 853-1212 and listened to the recording.

"Oh, that's Joanne," Bryant said without hesitation. "Joanne Daniels. No doubt about it."

He said Daniels started recording the time for Weatherchron about 25 years ago. At some point after Pacific Bell switched to his company's system, Daniels became California's time lady.

Reached at her Atlanta home, Daniels, 65, estimated that her reach was once nearly as extensive as that of Barbe, who was a friend. Daniels is now retired.

"I've done the time in many areas -- Eastern Standard Time, central time, Pacific time," she said. "The fun part was doing the temperatures for places like Alaska."

Daniels switched to her professional voice, her soft Southern accent instantly vanishing. "At the tone," she said, "the temperature is minus 12 degrees." She laughed and her accent returned. "I liked that."

No one had told her that AT&T was about to stop time.

"I think that's very sad," Daniels said. "I was told at one time that my voice would last until well into the 21st century. Now it looks like I'm about to be laid to rest."

When that day comes, Daniels said, she knows what her epitaph will be: "She knew the time."