Friday, February 29, 2008

Weekends finally got here. I swear, I had week of Mondays. And the Friday workday dragged on FORever! So now it's Friday night, and what am I doing? Uh-huh. That's right. Cleaning. Ugh. But unfortunately, I've neglected doing that for a week or two (I dare not tell you how long it's actually been) so there was no alternative. Derek's gone to a business dinner. There's nothing on tv. So...put on some tunes & do the dance-clean. You've seen the commercials. The ones where the girl is dancing with the vacuum? Yep. That would be me. Well, right now, I'm taking a break b/c I'm addicted to the internet.

I digress. Back to the weekend babble. Have to get the house clean b/c company's comin' tomorrow. If you count family as company. And I do. Mom & dad are coming around lunch. Dad's gonna see if the fireplace guy was blowin' a lot of smoke when he told us we need about $900 worth of repair work done. Mom & I are going to play in the scrap room. Somewhere in there, I have to go prompt the kids' musical dress rehearsal at church. David & Olga are coming later. And then we're all gonna eat fried fish. And mom & dad go home with a new piece of furniture.

Sunday's a crazy day. Singing the late service. Prompting the kids' musical in the afternoon. Then I'm maybe gonna hang around for the gospel concert in the evening (by an honest-to-goodness African-American we're talkin' REAL gospel music, folks! Not the sissy stuff you & I try to pass off as gospels & spirituals.). It'll be a good concert. But I may be pooped after dealing with OPKs (other people's kids) all weekend.

Real exciting usual.

If you think of it, say a little prayer for my friend Heather who had her gallbladder removed yesterday. It's a laparoscopic procedure, but it still hurts like the devil, thank you very much!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

False Alarm

No sore throat today. Which really makes me think that whatever's going on is allergy-related. Makes sense given the wind has blown ninety-to-nothin' all week & out of completely different directions every day. N. Texas is the allergy un-mecca of the world -- as in, if you didn't have allergies before you moved here, you will; and if you have allergies, you'll be miserable...all the time. It's the perfect storm in this area -- jetstream, weather patterns, things that naturally grow here. Sucks for allergies. Interesting on the scientific front though...if you're really geeky. So, very long story short, I feel fine. And I'm off to work.

No other exciting news to report.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thanks for Sharing

Went to the opera last night & saw Porgy and Bess. What a terrific show. The cast was fantastic. All fabulous singers, dancers, and actors. What was especially exciting was to know several on the stage. Two of the chorus sang with us in Living Opera productions. And the detective. Well, I knew him as a wee child. Ha. Wouldn't Vic love to hear me say that?! I graduated with his sister, and we all treated him like our little brother. He broke in his acting chops with us. I was his monkey in the one-act play Aladdin. Good times. He had talent then, and he's done nothing but get better! I'm pretty proud of Vic, as I know his family is too. If you have a chance to see the show, go. It's worth it.

Today, I'm home with a major sore throat. I'm hoping it's allergies. But Derek's cold started this way. Rats. I was hoping to avoid it. We'll see. Anyway. I thought a day at home resting might help ward it off - maybe not completely but hopefully mostly?! The regimen (talked about that yesterday) certainly won't hurt either.


Yay! The tv stand officially sold yesterday. It took longer than I expected. But hey, I'm not complaining (that much). Hope the guy enjoys it.

On a related note, looks my mom is indeed interested in the other piece of furniture we'll be parting with. While I ultimately had success with Craig's List, it's definitely a pain. And I'm glad not to have to do that with this piece of furniture.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


We almost have the tv stand sold. I'm not counting any chickens or doing any happy dance until the deal is signed, sealed, & delivered! But I'm certainly giddy at the thought of having the thing OUT. OF. MY. HOUSE.! Not that I have any strong feelings about it or anything. Looks like we have to deliver to the buyer, but thankfully the buyer's willing to pay for delivery. I'll keep ya posted.

Meanwhile, we've definitely decided to part with a piece of furniture currently living in the office. We really don't use it anymore, so there's no sense keeping it. And since the sofa turned out to be much larger than anticipated, it makes getting the room right a lot easier. So, now we buy a side table & lamp and everything's set...assuming, that is, that the side table fits since said sofa is so absolutely gianormous!

Derek's recovering from his cold or whatever. He started feeling bad on Friday. We're believers in homeopathic remedies. I don't care who ya are, I think those things work! Start "the regimen" at the first sign of being "off." They won't necessarily keep you from getting sick, but they definitely shorten the illness & alleviate the severity of the illness. Anyway. Enough of that mini-soapbox. He started the regimen at first sign on Friday. He was markedly better by Sunday. As a precaution, since everyone who's gotten "the crud" this year has had secondary bacterial infections (like bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.), he saw the friendly quack yesterday. "Yep, you have a cold. Here's something to dry everything up and help with the cough. Have a nice day." Now if he'll just take the medicine!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

In the Office

And now the sofa has found its home in the office. And it got there completely unscathed. I have no idea how the boys got it in there (but a huge thanks to them for doing it!). They sent me away. I think I was making them nervous or something. Anyway. Come to find out, the dimensions listed in the catalog were on the small side. Yep. You read that right. When it was all said & done, the sofa was bigger than it was supposed to be. So that means, it was a) a much tighter squeeze getting it into the (tiny) office than I thought it would be and b) it takes up a lot more room in the (tiny) office than it was supposed to. And ultimately, that means I'll probably be losing a piece of furniture and the office will become a reading/guest room rather than an honest-to-goodness office. Nothing wrong with that really. The piece of furniture we're contemplating losing (a computer armoire) is not really being used like it once was. The things in it can move other places (the craft room, the filing cabinet, a closet). I just have to wrap my head around it & decide if I really want to part ways with it. Good news is, I know my mom is looking for a similar piece of furniture & would definitely be interested in it if I do decide to get rid of it. Whew - no dealing with Craig's List again!

Speaking of which, this weekend I finally started getting some nibbles on the tv stand. Geez. People are slow. No absolute takers yet (sniff). But I hope that the one guy with the outstanding offer ultimately shows up cash-in-hand & takes it. If not, mom's listed it on the local Trading Post to see if there's interest there. One way or another, I'd like to be rid of it by this weekend. I'm hopeful.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Here!

So the sofa arrived...and in a relatively timely manner (it got here about 2:30 and the window was 12-4, after all). Unfortunately, my worst fears were realized - they really weren't going to put it where I wanted it. Alas, "company policy says we can get it to the threshold." And that's just about all they did. It was literally in the door just far enough for them to open it & close it. I've since pushed it out of the way (mostly) and dismantled the packaging. But sadly, there it sits until the boys decide they're ready to move it to the office - the smallest room in the house, by the way. Yes, go ahead. Say it. I'm a genius. Buying furniture that is just the right size without much thought for how the heck it's going to get in the room in the first place. Genius. Classic me actually. Theoretically, it can stand on its end & go in there. Theoretically, that is. I'm not sure if I really want to be here when they decide to get that beast in there. I've left the protective wrapping on it - in hopes it protects the leather from major scuffs. We'll see. Needless to say, my husband isn't all that pleased with me at the moment - he wasn't really planning on moving furniture this weekend. Particularly a sleeper sofa. Sorry. I'm a dork & ordered from a catalog instead of a retail store. Those are the consequences.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Free Day for Some

So ... get to work this morning to all kinds of interesting things. Number one, there's all kinds of insulation and ladders and such on the floor in the front entryway to the office. Weird. Did somebody do night construction & forget to clean up after themselves? Typical. So I'm making my morning rounds to the bosses' offices delivering mail & all that jazz. Here's kinda how things went. Keep in mind this is about 7:15am & I'm really not awake yet.

(Take a gander up the hall as usual. Go into an office.)
SF: Huh?
SF: Wait. That was weird.
(Come back out of the office. Look back up the hall)
(Sees all of the chairs & junk in the hallway)
SF: Well, isn't that just typical of the cleaning people. Do some cleaning but don't clean up after themselves.
(Goes in another office)
SF: Wait. There was something else odd about that scene.
(Exits office. Looks back up hallway)
SF: Those look distinctly like fans.
SF: Like the ones we get when we have a flood.

{Sidebar - our floor floods on a regular basis. By regular, I mean, like, once every four months or so. And it usually hits areas of importance. Like last time. When it got the computer geek's domain & took out some servers. Oh the craphole we work in!}

(Make my way down to that end of the office)
SF: Yep, those are definitely fans. And they're definitely on.
(Starts peeking in offices)
SF: Whoa. Check out those books. Totally soaked!
(More looking)
SF: Yuck. Wonder if C knows that her office flooded last night?
SF: Hmm. Wonder if it was that big main that runs in the maintenance closet?

So I stop by a co-worker's office on my way back down the hall. She tells me that the flooded area is "off limits." (Whoops - guess I should have waited on my email to come up before I went down there. Whatevs. It's not like everyone won't be down there checking it out later anyway, particularly since there's an email instructing us NOT to ... We're such kids!)

Later on, the admin comes in & gives me the low-down. Apparently, the main hot water line was the culprit. It burst on three floors and thus flooded at least six floors by the time it was all said & done. This is par for the course in a government building.

Admin: The guys realized there was an issue about 3 but didn't tell anyone. They "thought they could fix it" before anyone had any issues.
SF: Typical. And they were wrong, as usual.
Admin: I first got word about 4 when someone used the bathroom & noticed water coming out of the wall where there used to be that water fountain that maintenance capped off. At that point, it wasn't that bad, but the water was definitely moving fast. So I tried to think "containment" and called Kiwi to come out. I'm glad I called when I did.
SF: Really.
Admin: It took them about 30 min to get to us. In that time, maintenance decided to "bust the wall down and get to the shut-off valve." I told them to do whatever they had to do to stop the water.
Admin: Well, that turned out to be a mistake. As soon as they got the wall down, the water exploded across K's office.
SF: No way.
Admin: We just thought we had water before. Now we have a geyser. "Gee, there ISN'T a shut-off valve here." Great. We did manage to contain most of the water to three offices, but all the offices on that end got drenched.
SF: Can you imagine if it had happened after hours?
Admin: That was what maintenance said b/c they run a skeleton crew after 5. There wouldn't have been enough man-power to get it contained as quickly. Nevermind, it took us more than FOUR HOURS to get it contained as it was. That was when they finally gave the okay to shut off the water. Which I had been yelling at them to do from the get-go.

Long story short, that whole end of the office got a free day at home today b/c the carpet people treated everything so it won't grow fungus & mold...that and everything was still soaked today. Rats. The rest of us were good little government workers. Still ... I'll keep my dry office. Thanks.

Freaking Out

Well, it's back to sucky weather here in Big D. Yep, the drizzly cold has moved back in. This would have been the perfect day to stay home - not to do anything whatsoever productive but to read & watch chick flicks. Yep. But I'm a good little State worker - I'm going to work.

So yeah. What's with the post title, you ask. Well, I'm totally wiggin' out. The sofa for the office comes TOMORROW and do you think the office is in any way, shape, or form ready for the monstrosity?! N-O. So guess what we'll be doing with an evening perfect for a good flick, a glass of wine, and a bubble bath ... in no particular order? That's right. We'll be running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get the office ready for the big delivery tomorrow afternoon. And do you think I've managed to sell that STUPID tv stand yet ... despite listing it on Craig's List?! Another big, fat N-O. Arrggghh. I really don't want to give the bloody thing away, but I'm getting desperate here. Seriously. (Sigh)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dreaded Day

Sincere condolences to my friend & co-worker Carol who had to put one of her dogs down yesterday. I could give the story, but I think it's better in Carol's own words.

It is with a heavy heart and quite swollen eyes that I write to tell you that tonight, Mike and I lost one of our best friends. Elliott was ten years and three months old when we decided his poor little (okay, not so little) body had quite literally had enough. For the past several years, he had Cushing’s with “impressive” adrenal tumors (trust me, you do not want your pet to have anything that causes a vet to use the word “impressive”). The disease caused, among other things, muscle wasting. Last week, he began regurgitating. His esophagus basically stopped doing its job of moving food down into the stomach. Any food, water, or oral meds never made it to the stomach. So, after a week of trying last ditch efforts (or I should more accurately say, after a week of my wonderful vet and her staff doing everything they could to save our Elliott), we finally said enough is enough, it is time to let him rest. Those of you who know me or us will understand when I say it was one of the harder things we have ever done. But he was our best friend and our buddy, and we could not let him suffer any longer. We will miss him every day.

Rest in peace, sweet Elliott.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I heart holidays. They're sometimes few & far between. This is that time of year. So today is Presidents' Day. I won't launch into anything about that. I'll just let that sleeping dog lie, thanks.

Anyway. Today, I've been up & out already. Had an annual visit to the allergist. Went fine. Keep doing what I'm doing & maybe the crazy weather will get better. Made a few stops by the grocery on my way home. Think we're set for a while. Now the rest of the day is mine. Haven't cleaned house yet this weekend, so maybe I'll do that. I have some stuff I need to do in the craft room too. And I really need to practice for my voice lesson tomorrow. We'll see, of those three, what wins out.

No Matter What...

Losing a parent isn't easy. Even if you haven't had the best relationship. There's still a grieving process. Please say a prayer for Guy & Mara Mays who lost their father last night to prostate cancer. Drop them an email or a card if you can (I have contact info if you need it). And please let others who grew up with us know so they can do the same.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ho Hum

What a craptacular day. It's been a dreary Saturday - rain off & on all day long & continuing overnight. On the upside, it does make for staying home (and enjoying some rainbows-see photo). And theoretically doing some things around the house. We've worked in the office some, though I still feel like we're light years from getting it in order. How can two people save so much crap?! Seriously. We need to give up being packrats! I did finally list the stupid tv stand on Craig's List. No interest in it yet. But I'm hopeful. If all else fails, we can donate it; but I would really rather put some money in the vault for Derek's "spectacular" new surround sound dream.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why Early?

We enjoyed a very nice Valentine's Day. We began a tradition several years ago with the neighbors - we have a nice dinner together. And the menu tends to remain the same, too - a nice wine, great steak, potatoes, something green, and yummy cupcakes for dessert. And as usual, we stayed up a little late for a work night. But we always enjoy each other's company, and this year was no exception.

This weekend will be kinda hectic. Remember that wonderful sofa I ordered for the office that would take at least six weeks to arrive? Yeah, well, in usual Murphy fashion, it's early - like three weeks early! So the steady cleaning of the office will turn to frantic this weekend as we get everything cleared out for the delivery next week. Anyone need a tv stand? Seriously. I have to get rid of the bloody thing. I may trump Derek & put the thing on Craig's List. (Does anyone else have a husband who gets paranoid about being robbed by someone coming to buy something you listed on Craig's List?! Sure, there are horror stories. But I think the honest-to-goodness incidents are few & far between. Besides, you don't have to meet the person at your house. You can choose to meet in a neutral location. And for goodness sake, don't carry any valuables with you if you're that worried about the whole robbery issue. Gracious.)

All in all, I guess it's a good weekend to be stuck in the office going through five hundred years' worth of paper. We're supposed to have cruddy weather all weekend - rain, wind, cold weather.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is not just for the time
when it's expected
but every day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Avatar Help

I created my profile avatar many moons ago, and I can't seem to remember the site...and unfortunately, I didn't bookmark it. I have a friend who would like to create one, and I obviously can't refer her to the site where I made mine since I can't remember how to get there myself! Do any of you have suggestions for user-friendly sites to create free avatars? I really liked the site where I got mine b/c you could really personalize it to suit your interests (for instance, you'll notice that my chick is a scrapbooking opera diva). I'd like to refer my friend to a site where she could do the same.

Monday, February 11, 2008

For the Germaphobes

Which is germiest?
Kim Pierce
Dallas Morning News
10:25 AM CST on Monday, February 11, 2008

With help from University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, Andrew Weil put together a list in his January Self-Healing newsletter of the nastiest germ sources at home and elsewhere.
  • Kitchen sponge vs. toilet: There's more contamination in the kitchen sink, so change or sterilize the sponge that wipes it frequently. (You can sterilize it in the dishwasher, or heat it, wet, in a microwave oven for one minute).
  • First-floor elevator button vs. ATM keypad: It's a tie for germiness. Wash your hands after using these buttons, or do as Dr. Weil does: Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Bedspread vs. TV remote in a hotel room: TV remote, because it's often the first thing people touch. Again, wash your hands after using, or use sanitizer.
  • Grocery-cart handle vs. drinking fountain: "One of Gerba's studies found that 55 percent of handles on grocery carts were contaminated with bodily fluids [such as urine and saliva], and 21 percent showed traces of blood. As for public fountains, the ones at schools rank germiest." That's why some supermarkets supply sanitizing wipes near the carts.
  • Kitchen-sink drain vs. shower drain: The kitchen sink's worse. If yours smells vaguely of rotten eggs, pour ¼ cup of baking soda followed by ½ cup of vinegar down the drain, then flush with hot water.
  • First vs. middle stalls in restrooms: "Go for the first stalls because fewer people use them," Mr. Gerba said. Afterward, wash your hands as if you were Lady MacBeth.


We had the most gorgeous weather this weekend - sunny, in the 70s, light breeze. Perfect! Dori begged to go outside every 10 seconds. But can you blame her?!

Mom came over Saturday. We worked on the Christmas albums that we started about a month ago. She's basically finished. Me? Yeah. Well, I'm slower. I still have about 4 pages to go. And then I have to pick out & stick down the photos. Oh, and write the journaling. We also enjoyed a visit to the local scrapbook store. We haven't been since they renovated. They still have great stuff. It just seems like they carry a lot less of it. But maybe it's the new store layout. They're still super friendly & definitely helpful.

Yesterday was cleaning day. Derek took it upon himself to do his regular duties and then some. It's so nice to have a spouse that's willing to help out with stuff around the house. It really does take two people to keep our house in order! I still have some stuff to finish up tonight. I pooped out yesterday. Just in case you're a big doubter, I fell asleep on the couch about 7 p.m. Yeah. Lame. But I told you I was pooped. Anyway, just the master suite to do & then the laundry to attend to.

Still working in the office. We haven't been in there in a week. Too much going on and/or just avoided it. Back to it this week though. Otherwise, it won't be ready when the couch gets delivered! Anyone looking for a tv stand? I'm still trying to get rid of that thing!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


My mom received this message from Barbie

Hey ___,
Our neighborhood was hit pretty hard. Our house had a
little damage, but not much. We had gone to mom and dad's basement, so we weren't there. Thank goodness!

Thanks for the prayers and thinking of us.
Please tell everyone that we are ok and that we
said hi!

Talk to you soon!

Knew you guys would want to know.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

They're Fine

For those of you who know them, Glenn & Barbie Miller (and family) are fine. They have been in Tennessee the last several years. I knew last night's tornadoes went right through their area, so I sent Glenn a message in hopes that he might at least be able to get to a computer. Here is his response
House is not in great shape, but we are all healthy and okay. Our neighborhood is a literal disaster. WE live close to Union, if you've seen the news, I don't think I have to say much more. Hey, I will send out more when I get it.. Thanks..

I knew you guys would want to know. Please keep them, along with everyone else in the area, in your prayers. I told Glenn that I would pass along whatever info he sent my way and asked him to let me know if there's anything we here at home can do to help. I'll keep you guys posted.

Tired of Credit Offers?

Are you tired of getting "You're pre-approved" notices in the mail? Did you know that you can opt out of this type of junk mail? Yep, either on a 5-yr basis or permanently. Music to your ears, I know. Go here to end the pre-approved junk mail.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Texans: Vote for a New Plate

Ever wonder how on earth we got stuck with such an ugly license plate? I mean, some states have the best license plates - really representative of the state. Well, now's your chance to have a say. The TxDOT is holding an online poll to determine the newest license plate design. So go on over & vote for your favorite! Voting ends at noon on Monday, February 11th.

Wanna keep up with the tally? Check in here.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Yuck. Today is warm & muggy. My least favorite kind of weather. We're supposed to set a record high today (somewhere in the 80s). Thankfully, they're predicting several more cold fronts on the way - one arriving tonight, bringing the chance of thunderstorms. According to ye old faithful groundhog, six more weeks of winter. I say, bring 'em on! I heart winter!

Got a good night's sleep last night. I feel much better today. I'm still kinda tired. But I think it's my allergies. I'm just thankful for sleep - and no headache (at this point). Oh, and my stye seems to be gone. Guess that wedding ring thing really does work. Weird.

Hoping to get caught up around the house tonight since yesterday was a total waste (well, I did fold the laundry I did earlier in the week - better late than never).

PS - We loved the goulash!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Joy of Joys

Today's crummy. Woke up at 2 am with a nice, big headache. (Should've washed my nose out after I gave Ezmerelda a bath, I guess - too much time outside sniffing pollen.) Didn't sleep much after that. Unfortunately, I had to sing both services today so I was up at 6:45 am. A good Advil dosing put a dent in it...mostly. Enough to sing anyway. I've spent the afternoon recovering. Mostly, I feel very run down today. I really hope those fools at work haven't given me their nasty snot bug. Aside from being really tired, I feel fine though. A little crabby perhaps (Derek definitely agrees). I'm thinking that it's all from the fact that I didn't sleep well. So anyway, I'm loafing...even though I have a million things I really should be doing around the house. Tomorrow...I hope.

The stye is still hanging out. It's at least stopped itching incessantly. And it doesn't seem to hurt as much. My aunt sent me a home remedy I'm going to try - rubbing my wedding ring on it. She swears by it (despite being a skeptic when she initially heard the remedy). Hey, what can it hurt?!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Here We Are Again

It's the weekend. And what are we doing? The usual. Stuff around the house. We haven't made it into the office yet today. We were out too late last night. Derek went out with the boys & I went out with the girls. Saw 27 Dresses. I highly recommend the movie. It's nothing earth-shattering. Just good ol' chick fun. Definitely one for my collection. And there are tons of good chick movies on the way. It will be the Spring of the Chick Flicks. Can't wait.

So we got a late start today. Didn't really get going until lunch. After lunch, Derek went to get his new audio receiver - part of the new surround sound system he's picked out. I finished working on February's dinner menu so we quit the ol' routine that goes something like

S> What's for dinner?
D> I don't know. What are my options?
S> Beef, chicken, pork, fish, or game.
D> Yuck.
S> Same stuff that's always in the freezer.
D> None of it sounds good.
S> What about (names about six hundred things)?
D> No, don't want that (in answer to six hundred things).

And so on. I usually end up making something that he wasn't really in the mood for but eats b/c I make it. So I decided to go back to the menu-making that I used to do b/c it was easier to have dinner made at a reasonable hour without the whole diatribe about what's for dinner. (Tonight's Hungarian Goulash - thanks, mom, for the recipe. If we like it, I'll post the recipe over in The Kitchen.)

Long story short, I went to the grocery store this afternoon. Man, that was an experience. Duh, it's Super Bowl weekend! But actually, it could have been a lot worse. It was hard to maneuver aisles b/c they were stocking - in the middle of the Saturday afternoon rush. Whatever. It took me a while, but I got everything & I survived.

Then I came home & gave Ezmerelda a detail job. She's all sparkly now- inside & out. The only thing I didn't get done was vacuuming, but I can do that tomorrow. The floorboards aren't that bad.

My stye isn't any worse than yesterday. My eyes are still really irritated & a little swollen. I broke down & bought more allergy meds today. They may not have been 100% effective - like I'd like them to be - but they were apparently doing something.

Tomorrow we're grilling BBQ ribs for the Super Bowl.


Yeah, remember me saying that all of that dust & junk floating in the air was eventually going to catch up with me? Tonight. It did. Aside from the fact that my eyes are swelling shut as I type (just got back from late movie - more on that tomorrow), I have the beginnings of a stye. Oh my. I think I'm going to cry. Except it hurts. A lot. *Sigh*

Friday, February 01, 2008

Anyone Else Have a Problem With This????

Exxon shatters profit records
Oil giant makes corporate history by booking $11.7 billion in quarterly profit; earns $1,300 a second in 2007.
By David Ellis, staff writer
February 1 2008: 10:03 AM EST
NEW YORK ( -- Exxon Mobil made history on Friday by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company, boosted in large part by soaring crude prices.

Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 per share. That's up from $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the year-ago period.

That topped Exxon's previous quarterly profit record of $10.7 billion, set in the fourth quarter of 2005, which also was a record for a U.S. corporation.

"Exxon can put out some amazing numbers and this is one of those cases," said Jason Gammel, senior analyst at Macquarie Securities in New York.

Exxon also set an annual profit record by earning $40.61 billion last year - or nearly $1,300 per second in 2007. That exceeded its previous record of $39.5 billion in 2006. In the fourth quarter, revenue rose 29.5% from a year ago to $116.64 billion.

Analysts were looking for the company to report quarterly profit of $10.36 billion on revenue of $114.9 billion, according to earnings tracker Thomson Financial.

Despite topping Wall Street's estimates, Exxon (XOM, Fortune 500) shares slipped in morning trading.

Exxon attributed its impressive results to strong performance across its divisions, but a large part of the profit surge was underpinned by climbing oil prices.

Crude prices skyrocketed nearly 60% last year. The surge helped prices break through the $100 a barrel mark for the first time ever early last month. Since crossing that milestone, prices have eased to around $91 a barrel.

Natural gas prices also jumped last year, albeit marginally. But costs have also increased for the oil companies, which is why profits haven't risen as rapidly as crude prices.

Big oil companies that both pump oil and refine crude into gasoline have to spend more for crude but are unable to pass on all the extra cost to consumers, which eats in to gasoline profit margins.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline hit an all-time high of $3.227 in May, according to the motorist organization AAA. The high prices were blamed on strong demand and a series of accidents that shut down refineries in the U.S. Slack demand for gasoline in the latter half of last year kept gas prices from rising as much as crude prices.

Exxon's earnings are likely to draw fire from consumer rights groups, who contend the oil industry is deliberately restricting supply and profiting on the back of U.S. motorists. They have previously called for a windfall profit tax on oil firms and have proposed breaking up the big oil companies created during the 1990s merger wave.

Exxon isn't the only oil giant to report impressive earnings. No. 2 Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) also reported a jump in quarterly profit on Friday. Conoco (COP, Fortune 500), the nation's third largest oil company, trounced profit estimates by nearly 25% when it reported last week.

I'm sorry, what's this crap about not being able to pass along ALL of the costs to the consumer? Pardon me?! Give me a freaking break. That's the biggest load of malarky I've ever heard. It's more like Mr. Big Oil Man is AFRAID to pass them on b/c you might actually mutany against him & suddenly run out and picket the ridiculously high gas prices that HE HIMSELF is inflating. Crap, I tell you. And where's the government in all of this, you ask? Oh gee, let me see. They're happily sharing in those record profits - through incoming campaign contributions, investments, profit shares, etc. How nice it is to know that our government is on our side - working for the greater good! (Anyone else hear that laughing??)