Saturday, December 31, 2005
I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone out there in blogland. Last year wasn't a bad year for me but I am hoping this next one will be even better.
I am not big on resolutions but I would like to enjoy life a bit more, get a bit fitter, and accomplish a few things in this next year....how is that for vague? I just feel that resolutions sometimes just set people up for failure and I would like to start off this year fresh with a new "To Do" list in my hand and not so many detail expectations.
I am already thinking about all the filing I have to do and various other things on my plate before I start back at school in a few weeks. But for now, I am going to take it easy the rest of this glorious weekend and get over this travel cold I got while on vacation for the holidays.
Have a great holiday everyone and hope your New Year starts out like you want it to.
Well, the comment section has changed recently so everything I had previously posted here is not relevant any longer.
I just love these cards.
At least where I am living it has... I actually broke out a pair of shorts from the "summer clothes" tote and wore them and my sandals all day.
As I mentioned before, we are not great fans of the construction going on across the street.
Wow, the UK is getting as bad as the US with complaints...come on, bad manners and insults to handicap people? Are they serious?
I am an idiot...today is only 14 days...I guess I just can't read a calendar..so all hope is not lost, they could hatch this weekend.
I finally just watched the Aviator, which I have had from Netflix for some time now.
I purchased 3 pots of Stargazer Lillies today at Lowe's.
It irks me that I can't see a decent game on Sunday because I am forced to watch the "local" game due to NFL television restrictions....I think it is crap that they do that, and it makes me just turn the NFL off completely.
I saw part of a show on Animal Planet the other day, and there was a segment on snow monkeys.
While I love the fact that we can post pictures to our blogs on Blogger now without as much hassle as before, I have learned that I must be careful in what I name them.
Well, that is it folks....my last post of 2005 and it wasn't nearly as exciting or fun as I thought it would be. I guess my really good posts are all later in the month...haha. It might have worked better for me to post the last sentence from the last post each month.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Let me know if you come back someday and I'll add you back on (I think you know who you are)...
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
but I am not complaining, just confused.
Okay, remember a couple of weeks ago, when I posted this? Well somehow, I got a 96 on that final exam....I don't know how but I did.
In the process of the final exam we were to write any assumptions we made and I ended up writing this 2 page thing on my assumptions, frustrations, research and irritations in regards to each of the four questions on the exam (three of which we had to answer for the test). Apparently, my instructor liked that assumption blurb more than my answers because I believe my entire grade was based on it. I didn't even completely answer one third of the test and there is no reason in the world why I should have gotten a 96 on that test.
Oh well, that 96 and the 98 I got in participation gave me an A for the course. I don't mind, believe me, I am just in shock. I was totally preparing myself for dealing with a bad grade and now I just keep thinking I must have dreamt that good grade.....
Saturday, December 17, 2005
I recently did a paper on the PATRIOT Act for school. I was mostly covering privacy issues via electronic media but in the process I learned a lot about the Act and all the other aspects of it.
It is too encompassing of a document. Parts of it are really great, and should be adopted but as a whole, it really does infringe on people's rights and liberties and I think that by giving up our rights for security, we are just doing what the terrorists want.
The PATRIOT Act may have been the right thing to do immediately following 9/11/01 (although some would argue not even then) but now that we are past the initial panic and response to those attacks, it is time to sit down, break it down and figure out what should stay and what should go.
If Congress had just passed it without question, I would be a little worried. We need to protect ourselves while being sensible about what type of country we want to be at the same time.
Friday, December 16, 2005
I called up Backcountry.com and spoke with a customer service person in less than 3 minutes. She was super helpful, and apologetic. She wanted to make sure that the package got there in time for Christmas and listed my options. I could give her a physical address (wouldn't work because of their house location in BFE), or I could have her pull the order back and send a new order to the PO Box in the mean time. I decided on the second option, but when she checked, they didn't have that same gift any longer. She didn't want me to wait for the old gift to show back up before sending it out.
Get this, she offered the next step up, a 10.00 increase, for free to be shipped out today. She even read me the description of the step up so that I would be comfortable that it would meet our requirements. She said if our family member didn't end up liking it (which he will), they would take it back for free too.
So in closing, she pulled the old order, for free, sent out a new order of a better quality, for free and did all of this while apologizing for the error. She was super nice and did all of this in about 5 minutes total on the phone...I am so recommending this company to people. I also get to rate them on Amazon's website and they are getting 5 stars for sure.
Just wanted to bring some Christmas shopping cheer to you all!!!!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
This is extremely irritating to me because 1. Geocaching.com won't seem to do anything about it 2. With a stupid film container in every park we have (and we don't have many), it keeps others from putting in trading caches. One local cacher in particular owns 90% of the above mentioned caches. He/she put them all out mostly in one week or two this summer and basically cut off all placement of trading caches to the rest of the community. Geocaching.com has a policy that you can't put caches, or even segments to multi caches within 600 feet of another cache.
It is funny to me that Geocaching.com stopped allowing the placement of virtual caches (which I loved) because they thought it took away from the real caching spirit. Now that we can't place regular caches in National Parks or any land under USFS control, it seems that virtual caches were the way to go....there are whole areas of Yosemite that I might not have seen if it weren't for virtuals in that park. Unfortunately, those are all grandfathered caches, and no new virtuals can be placed anywhere (they will claim that their new site waymarking.com is the answer to this, but it is so random and unorganized that I don't think it will get used much).
Anyhow, I think micros that are hidden in places that trading caches could go are just terrible and also take away from the caching spirit. It just shows that the owner has no imagination and is not willing to put some money and time into their caches. It also increases the amount of damage that is done by searchers because they are looking for such a small thing in such a big area.
Now as a premium member, I can ignore the lame ass boring (oh I didn't mention that in most cases, there is nothing of interest on the cache page and there is nothing to see when you get to the site) micros, but that doesn't help me at all when it comes to placing new and exciting caches, which I might be willing to do if there were any public areas left to put them in. I also hate the fact that this has basically turned me off of micros completely, and I have had some micros in my past that were pretty cool.
The only fortunate thing is that it seems the local cacher listed above must live near me because as soon as I get more than 12 miles from home, their micros are no where to be found....can we say, amen to that.
The is no cover, so it isn't like a drivethru that is out of the rain...it is out in the open. The birds look like little wet pathetic things....I feel particularly sorry for the finches that are eating out of the upside down feeder...seems like the water would run up their noses.
Too bad I can't get any good pictures of our house front lit up from the lights. It is so dark on our street that they really do stand out. The pine cones under the bigger tree are from the pine trees in our yard. They are huge and really cool looking. I put some on our porch as well.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I just had a terrific lunch of sushi, miso soup and ocha (hot green tea) at a local Japanese restaurant. I drank much too much tea...it was so good and warm, and I was busy reading, not thinking about how much I was drinking.
I guess I better get out and walk before I fall asleep. It isn't very warm out but I need the exercise and there is an elusive geocache near my home that I could try to find...hmmmm. I can't stand sitting around when I feel full...much better to get out and get some fresh air even if it is only in the 30's. I'll just bundle up, I guess.
Supposed to be freezing rain tonight so if I am going to get a soak in the hot tub in later, I probably will have to do it early as holding the umbrella while in the hot tub only works when it is warm enough that the hand outside of the water doesn't freeze.
I keep mine at a relatively low temp, even when I am home, but last night, for some reason (maybe that it was in the 20s), it would not bring the house up above 67 degrees. Usually that is okay, but last night I just wanted it to be a tad warmer in here. I had already done my warming up soak in the hot tub earlier in the evening, and I just wanted to be a bit toasty before getting into bed.
No such luck. When I went to bed, I turned it back down to 60 degrees like I usually do, and I am sure it was outside thanking me for giving it a break. Oh well, after a few minutes under the down comforter, I was warm anyhow.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Had to use the flash on some of these as my digital camera is not as cool as J's and it is hard to get it to focus in the house without the flash....ugh!!
I really like the Cloisonnè ones the best, and then the old fashioned ones are pretty cool too. The place I got most of them from is a nursery. It has a separate building called the Christmas House/Store, and it is filled from top to bottom in ornaments. It is actually a bit overwhelming. They are hanging from trees and garland all over the place. You worry that you might bump and break something. Every subject under the sun is covered by an ornament in that place. There is a section for the different types too. I might have to go back and get more of the Cloisonnè ones because I just think they look so unique.
I'll post pics of the tree itself and some of the other decor later, right now, I have to get my butt in gear and get some stuff done....the clock is ticking.
Monday, December 12, 2005
We had to answer 3 out of 4 questions for our final and only two of them were sensible...the third was too broad of scope for the two pages we were limited to, and the fourth was impossible to find any research material on....ugh!!! I hate that. So I had to change topics at the last minute which meant that the third question was not completely or adequately answered...I hate it.
Anyhow, for better or worse, I am finished with the semester and I have to get off this computer before my hands give out.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I have done the majority of the decorating on my own this year (even had to get the tree alone) because J has been gone a lot the last few weeks. He will really only be back for good a few days before we leave for our holiday trip to the west coast...so it is on me or it won't get done. Anyhow, he did put up the lights along the gutter in the front of our house before he left, and then one occasion when he was able to pop in for a day, he helped me set the tree up in the stand.
For the last 4 years, we have used this little tree my friend gave me that she bought at the Makeman store in Japan. It is about 30 inches tall and suited our needs well due to our living situation at the time. I have it set up on our buffet in our dining room this year. We wanted to do a real tree this year as well, so I got a 6-7 foot Douglas Fir set up in our family room (which is why I needed his help). I am afraid it might dry out while we are gone, but I am hoping to convince a friend to come over and check on it periodically...
Every year, we get a new ornament to mark that year with, and this year, I found a perfect one, but because we had so much more tree to cover this year, I went about getting a few others to add to the tree (although none of them will be the official new ornament). I also had to get a topper and decided to go with a lighted star I found. It looks really nice.
I am currently in the middle of finals week for school and scrambling to get shopping, shipping and card manufacturing done as well, so I will post pics of all the good stuff in a few days, when I come up for air.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Today when I was out driving to my first geocache and some exercise, I noticed that there were two suns in the sky. I pulled over the car and took some pictures with my camera.
In the picture you can see the real sun peaking out from behind the trees on the right, and then in the middle there was this second "sun" with a rainbow coming off of it. It really was pretty cool to see, and I am glad I had the camera with me and the photos came out as well as they did (I thought the real sun would mess the whole shot up).
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I have a lot of stuffed bears. I collected them when I was younger and while I am not actively collecting them anymore, I still like the ones I have and many of them have special meaning to me.
I have a particular one that J bought me when we were dating that holds a special spot in my heart. He is not the most expensive or fancy bear out there but I know that J saw it, and thought of me when he bought it. He (the bear) is very squishy and definitely awesome to sleep with due to his cuddliness. Last night was the first night I had slept with him in a while (don't usually when J is home) since J is gone for a few days on a business trip.
I think because I was sleeping with him, I had a dream (or several dreams but only one that is relevant to this post) about Christmas shopping in my hometown when I was a kid. I lived in a small town of about 17,000 people. The nearest "city" was about 20 miles away and they didn't have a mall until I was in high school. They had a JcPenney and a Montgomery Wards in their downtown area and a Sears with an attached Newberrys a bit from that. I didn't start going to that town to shop for Christmas until after I started driving so I pretty much stuck to what our own downtown offered. Now remember, I lived in a town that was sustained by tourists during the summer months (there is a link to my hometown on my sidebar), so many of the shops were a bit pricy and ever so quaint. Of course, I had nothing else to compare them to, so I didn't realize that I might have been paying more or seeing less of a selection of gifts than those shopping in other areas.
Anyhow, I remember enjoying Christmas shopping on my limited funds as a kid. We had two different ice cream shops that had all types of treats for sale, there was Nimbus, Rare Earth, Paddington Station and of course Rexall Drugs among others. I could go from store to store trying to figure out what to get my grandma, pa, mom, dad and sis. I remember how nice and warm each shop would be as I stepped out of the cold crisp air. Shopping for other people was new to me because I had just reached the age where I had a few dollars of my own and started to realize that having other people buy for me wasn't all that Christmas was about. I really anticipated my family opening the gifts I had selected for them on Christmas morning. Of course they were small things, especially compared to things today, but their delight was something I really looked forward to.
I am going home for the holidays this year (much of my family still lives in the area, as well as much of J's) and I am actually holding off on some of the shopping so I can spend some time in my old downtown selecting gifts for my family. I am sure things cost more than they would at the Walmart ten miles away but I want to grasp onto some of that old Christmas spirit and keep it close to my heart.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Today, even though it is very cold and crisp outside, I ventured out to geocache and get some exercise. Last night before I went to bed, I had checked out the geocaching website and noticed that there was a new one published not too far from my home. I decided then, that if it was still "unfound" in the morning, I would trek out and see if I could find it.
Things got complicated when J left for work this morning and needed to use my GPS. He has one too but it is an older model and I am not all that familiar with it. After coffee and breakfast, I checked out the website again, and found that the cache was still undiscovered. I grabbed up his GPS, put the coordinates in after playing with it for a few minutes, got some warm clothes on and headed out the door.
The walk wasn't long and soon I was close to where I needed to be. The cache page included a hint which I deciphered since I was using the older GPS and didn't know how much accuracy it would provide once I got close. The hint didn't actually help that much either as "fallen log near upright pine" pretty much described the entire area I was in...but they forgot to mention "tons of leaves and pine needles" as well, so I figured I had my work cut out for me.
Fortunately for me, not only was it kind of early in the morning, it was also very cold so there were not a lot of other people out and about on foot. The park I was in is pretty popular normally but part of it is being reconstructed so one end of the trail is cut off and I am sure that helped keep the population down as well. Anyhow, the reason I was glad that no one was around was because I had to look for a pretty long time for this one. J's GPS doesn't have a compass like mine. His requires that you continue to move for it to work, where as mine is an electronic compass and you don't have to be moving to know the direction. Anyhow, after several hits and misses, I decided to just look at the coordinates on the sheet and move around until the coordinates on the GPS matched up. This worked and I found the cache easily.
This was my first to find first and I was able to sign the log first and get the travel bug that was in the cache. I plan to hold onto the travel bug until I go geocaching during the holidays on the west coast. This will get the little guy some miles on its record.
As I was leaving the area, I did see a couple walking for exercise (they didn't see me since I was back in the trees) and then as I came out of the park, a women with three kids was heading in, and I am guessing they were looking for the cache too as they were entering where I left which was the reconstructed area. So I was almost found out by only a few minutes...whooooeee!!!
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I have been getting a million hits on my blog because of one picture I posted a while back. Now don't get me wrong, I love that I am getting the hits and perhaps even some regular readers from it but if my site meter is correct at all, most people are just looking for the picture and when they don't find it first thing, they move on.
See, when I loaded the picture, I just kept the file name that it had from where ever I got it from, so now when people do a Google image search with two particular words in it, my picture is the first that comes up. Downside to Google listing our images on their search is that when a person clicks on the picture to see full size, it takes them to the blog but not to the spot they want, just to the first/current front page of the blog. This picture in question is actually in an archive these days because I wrote about it ages ago.
So the things I have learned are 1. make sure to change the image file name to something nondescript, and 2. when I am doing image searches of my own, ignore the ones that are listed as being on blogs because more than likely they are not on the front page anymore.
On another note, my weirdest search words so far that have found my blog are "monkey" "ticks"....don't know what they were looking for but I am sure the story I wrote about the grooming practices of snow monkeys was not it...
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Do they not remember that it wasn't a bomb or a gun that crashed those four planes a few years ago?
This is so stupid I don't know even where to begin. They make it sound like bombs and guns have gotten by because they were busy looking for scissors, which is not the case...they xray the bags just like normal...and should be looking for anything suspicious...duh!!!! I have a little pair of scissors that I use all the time and they are sharper than any knife I own...I could do some serious damage with those things.
It is completely a joke that the last line of this article states that it will be better for customers and security personnel. After all this time, what idiots are still bringing forbidden things with them on the plane. It astounds me that they would even have to take anything from anyone anymore unless that individual brought the item on purpose while planning to do something bad. I have flown a gazillion times since 9/11/01 and I have not once had to hand over anything....because I MAKE SURE ALL DISALLOWED ITEMS ARE IN MY CHECKED BAGS if I need to bring them!!!! How hard is that to understand? I even bought plastic crochet hooks for my flight once just so I wouldn't have to worry about them telling me to throw out my metal ones.
In Asia (even before 9/11/2001), the airlines will take anything from you that is sharp, in fact they will even take shaving cream from you, but they give it back to you when you get off the plane. They also xray all bags when you approach the ticket counter...so you can lock your bags before checking them (I won't even go into how efficiently they board planes and disembark planes over there). I don't understand why our system has not caught up to the rest of the world in efficiency, service level and security (not to mention, common sense).
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
It is weird how smells can take you back immediately to your past.
Last night I had brushed my teeth and I was getting out the Listerine for a little wash. When I opened the bottle, the smell totally reminded me of another mouthwash from my past, Cepacol.
When I was about 8 years old, my cousin discovered a hernia on me when we were in the bathtub together. I had to have surgery for it not long after that. At the hospital in my hometown, they gave you a little basket of goodies (or at least I thought they were goodies) to take with you when you leave. One of the items was a little bottle of Cepacol mouthwash. I remember having that mouthwash forever after my surgery. I never really used it but I kept all the stuff from the hospital for a long time. I can't remember all that was in that pack except for the Cepacol (which tastes as bad as Listerine by the way), and that is mostly because of the smell.
Anyhow, when I smelled the Listerine last night, it reminded me of the Cepacol, and how I held onto it for so long. It also reminded me that I guess I am a bit of a hoarder. I feel weird leaving hotel rooms without using all the items they give you to use. If I don't use them, then I take them with me, "just in case". At one point when J and I were traveling a lot, I had a whole collection of mini shampoos, soaps, and lotions. I still have sewing kits from all over Asia in my suitcase.
I pride myself on my preparedness. I have enough stuff in my backpack at all times to deal with almost any kind of minor emergency (cuts, stains, bugs, hunger...etc). I keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and Shout wipes in my car. I am thrilled when I am called upon to provide rescue in a situation.
While my hoarding sometimes makes more work for me than I would like, I think J has come to know that he can count on me being prepared. He knows that if he uses the last papertowel, there is always an extra roll in the pantry. We were at a picnic with some friends a while back, and someone had gotten something sticky on their hands, and he knew he would find sanitizer in my backpack.
When we lived in Japan, I was always kind of excited about our annual typhoon season (partly due to my preparedness and partly due to the fact that I love storms of any kind) because it would be a test of my emergency system....in fact, before 2000, I had batteries and water stored up just in case. Now of course, I am not fanatical about it. We don't own a generator or have stores of gasoline hidden on our property, but I just like knowing that I can handle most things that might (but usually don't) come my way.
I am not sure where my desire to have back up came from. I guess I don't like running out of stuff, and enjoy coming to the rescue. I don't think it stems from anything in my childhood as we always had what we needed and there was never any kind of big disaster that we were left stranded in. I guess it is just part of my personality, I like being able to be counted on in a pinch.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Well, I forget how strange people can be at the gym. Part of this is due to the fact that we go to a gym that is different from other gyms. It is not full of young hard bodies (or wannabe hardbodies)....it is generally full of elderly people, which is kind of nice. There is no hormone (male and female) overload the minute you walk in the door and pretty much anyone under the age of 50 feels pretty good about themselves (like a young whippersnapper)...haha. So it is strange to me when I do go and find a testosterone head there, because I have just gotten so used to it not being the case.
So as you can probably tell, there was one there today, and it was kind of funny to watch. I noticed him when I was on the cardio machines but only in passing. I moved to weights and changed my Shuffle from old hip hop (for cardio) to Green Day (for weights), and that is where the amusement began.
This guy was like a peacock that just couldn't get enough attention. When I first noticed him, he was doing abs, then he moved to something else...his workout didn't seem to have rhyme or reason as he only did one set of a few things and jumped all around on muscle groups. I was working on shoulders, so I was over near the mirrors and the free weight benches. I did my thing and I noticed that he was just dying for someone to notice him. He wasn't wearing headphones (which most of the younger people were) so that was part of it, I think. I tend to get absorbed in my workout when I have headphones on. Anyhow, he almost threw his back out on a couple of exercises because he was trying so hard to impress people that he was lifting way too much weight with absolutely terrible form....oh well, it was worth a chuckle for me.
Friday, November 25, 2005
When I was in high school I was in AP English (college bound), and we had to read a different set of books than was normally required of high school students. I missed out on a lot of the "classics" that everyone else was reading. Now don't get me wrong, I am glad I took AP English, it did give me a foot up in college (actually made it so I didn't have to do placement tests), and we read some awesome books that I probably would have otherwise not been aware of. However, I have always had in the back of my mind that there were a ton of books that I "should" read as well and didn't. In fact at one point, I had a list of them (I think there were 100) that seemed like a good place to start.
Anyhow, I don't know where that list is these days, and for a while, I had a lot of other things (college, work, marriage) on my plate to so getting to that high school reading list was not on top of my "To Do" list. At one point a few years ago, I started picking up paperback copies of the "classics" that I hadn't read at Goodwill for 25 cents or so. I didn't have a list to go off of but I knew of some main ones that I hadn't read that everyone else had. Of course, I always have way more books in my house than I have time to read, but I will get to them eventually, I swear I will.
Back to today-
So in my search to find a list that I could go off of, I put in the typical search terms to Google...high school, reading list, recommend...and the lists I got were so foreign to me. No more Dickens, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Thoreau....these lists consist of books that are current (and have mostly been made into movies). Not that any of them were bad books, many of them are ones that I have read, I was just surprised that only one out of the 10 lists I looked at even considered any "classics" and that section was pretty short.
Am I getting old or what?
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I found some pictures today by this photographer that I thought were amazing. He is from Oregon and takes many different types of pictures but I thought these ones of dew were so cool.
I have been into the macro photos on my digital camera lately so I guess that is partly what attracted me to these.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I have to say I am pretty impressed with this person. He is an athlete, a student and a mentor. He is not full of ego or the need to be in the press tooting his own horn. I saw an interview not too long ago and I remember him saying he wanted the best for his team...wow, when was the last time we heard a professional athlete say something like that.
He has a foundation dedicated to mentoring young men, and he is still educating himself with open eyes that football may not be all he does in life. I am not saying he is perfect, (he has his critics out there) but he seems to take being a member of a team rather seriously. I think that current and future athletes could learn a few things from him and I am glad that he is out there to balance the scales on professional sports...egos and all.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I decided long ago (some time this summer) to make the majority of my Christmas cards this year. I have all the supplies and it doesn't make sense to buy them when I could make them. I can't really warrant the purchases of more card supplies if I don't ever make the cards. I was on a roll for a while, doing birthday cards, but I just can't get the drive for the Christmas ones. I was supposed to have them finished in October. I am sure that once I get going, it will go pretty fast and it will be lots of fun.
Thing is, you have to have time in your day to do this, and I don't seem to. School has been a bit crazy this semester...some mix between how the teacher put the schedule together and my procrastination. Everyday, I tell myself that a portion of the day is going to be devoted to card making...and I end up doing a bunch of other stuff instead. Yesterday it was running around doing yard stuff and cleaning pet things that sucked up my day.
Today is cold outside and I plan to settle into some devoted card time, right after I exercise. I don't know that I have anything else on the docket but waiting for the heat pump service people for our fall maintenance. I guess we'll see what I come up with, huh?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I was driving three drunk people home from the bar and one of them got cocky and thought he would criticize my driving...probably thought I was driving crazy because his head was spinning so badly. Anyhow, when he made the comment, I was almost to a stop sign. I knew that none of them had their seat belts on, so as I was coming to a stop, I just pushed the brakes a bit harder and sent them all out of their seats.
They, of course, thought this was hilarious (must have been the timing or something), and being that they were drunk, they were all flexible and loose. I, on the other hand, was the only one with a seat belt, who was sober (stiff and inflexible) and I had my head turned so I could see what happened when I hit the brakes....so that explains why my neck has hurt since then...duh!!!
Friday, November 11, 2005
A while back a good friend of mine gave me a telescope she didn't want anymore. It is a really nice telescope but when we first got it, we really didn't have the room to keep it assembled so we opted to store it for a while.
Since we have been living here, it has been assembled but I didn't have a manual for it and couldn't get it to function so it just got put on the back burner so to speak. Recently we have had some beautifully clear nights (that I have noticed because I am outside more at night with the hot tub) and I decided I wanted to get the telescope up and running so we could enjoy it.
So I contacted the manufacturer so I could get a manual for it to see if I could figure out what I was doing wrong. The manual came via email and I printed the portions that I needed and went to work.
I got it up and running the other day and waited for evening to test it out. I was able to get it set up correctly, aimed right and caught some awesome views of the partial moon. I also looked at a bright planet (I am assuming is Mars) but nothing compared to the view of the moon. I am so excited to have it working now. It brings back awesome memories of meteor showers with my dad and looking through the telescope of a neighbor named Ira when I was a kid...
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I have already eaten a piece. As soon as I saw the box from her, I had an idea what was in it. I know my mom and the rest of my family will be jealous because they have tasted her fudge before and know how good it is. Maybe I get her to give us some more around Christmas when we are there, and everyone else will get some.
Got to go now, have to write an awesome thank you card. She is one of the few in our family that is not on the Internet yet.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Well, it looks like the thieves also hacked into the email account that I have associated with most of my online retail activities. Just like in Ian's comment on this post, not only did they get into the E account but the mail account too.
So I am in the process of changing all the passwords I have, and that is quite an ordeal. It is a good lesson for me though, because fortunately, nothing really bad happened and I am learning how important it is to change passwords frequently and make them difficult to figure out (have always done this). I am also refraining from using the same password more than once.
One other thing I have learned is that I should keep in those accounts as little info about me as I can (which is hard sometimes because they have to verify you when you make purchases). I am pretty careful about staying anonymous in all other aspects of Internetland but I need to be more diligent in the retail environment. None of their systems are as secure as they like to think they are, and I am sure that there is a serious glitch in the E system that is causing this kind of security hole.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
While I think TO is a talented player...I have forgotten most of his skills because he is always in the news for his stupid mouth. I am glad that the Eagles are getting rid of him. Perhaps all the other "mouths" in the league will learn a lesson too.
It is so nice to see a team take a stand against the ego.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Anyhow, after a few rounds of email tag with them, I decided to log into my E account to check out the deal. Now I just used the account this summer so I knew it was pretty up to date but for some reason, I could not get in.
I contacted E about this problem, and they kept emailing me back that my email address (the one I was writing from) was not the one associated with my account and that I needed to write to them from that address before I could be helped. I kept explaining to them that I had had an account with them since 1999 and the email address I was using was the only one that had ever been associated with my account. I just assumed there was some kind of computer glitch that had reset my email address....little did I know.
Turns out, after a week of proving myself to E, I found out that my account had been hacked. The password, shipping address and email address had all been changed to this person in Indonesia. Fortunately, I don't have any credit cards or bank accounts associated with that account, but I do have a history with E as a good customer and I didn't want that ruined. I also had my full name, and a physical address listed. Fortunately for me, E has this new feature where you can read all coorespondence that has occured between users and E and between other users.
I delved into the message box and found out that the person somehow did a request of UserID on October 1 (which should have been sent to my email address of record but wasn't), then it took them 21 days to hack my password (one of the harder ones out there too). After they got into my account, they proceeded to change the shipping address to Indonesia, and the email address to their own. They also changed the password, basically locking me out of my account. From the messages it looks like they spent most of the 21st-23rd trying to get sellers to sell them some kind of electronics (laptops, PCs, phones...etc) and ship them directly to Indonesia. They claimed it was a gift for their daughter. Most people didn't fall for it, and the conversations stopped there. E even sent a message to "me" telling "me" that trying to buy or sell outside of E was not allowed and the amount of email traffic that they noticed was making them question whether that is what "I" was trying to do. From these messages, I was able to get the IP addresses that they were using when they made requests of E, the name and shipping address of the person in Indonesia, and the yahoo email account that they had changed my account to when they hacked in.
At this point, it looks like no damage was done. E said I will not be held liable for any but I was kind of surprised that, in their email to me, they didn't take any responsibility for this breach, told me that it was probably due to a virus on my system, or an easy password (both of which are not possible). I think it has to do with a security hole on their part. They didn't even apologize for all the grief they gave me while I was trying to get back into my own account.
I did send an "abuse report" email to E, Yahoo, and the ISP that those IP addresses belong too and I sent a nice little note to the email user as well so they would know that I have their number. I am sure that no one in Indonesia will do anything to pursue this but I hope that E does, and I know that Yahoo will close down their account, so at least I will have a little gratification.
The whole thing makes me nervous though, because while my passwords are difficult and considered "strong security", I don't change them as often as I should, and I probably have too many that are similar. It has opened my eyes a bit to how fragile our security on the "net" can be, and makes me more diligent to keep my information up to date, and as vague as possible.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I also took the moment to back up some of my favorite posts just in case Blogger ever went away and the stuff that I have only written here was gone forever.
Fortunately it has not been off enough that we are getting rashes or anything that drastic, but when you turn on the air and little soap bubbles form....it needs adjusting. Of course the man thinks that as long as the water is warm, and the water is not green, it is good to go...I on the other hand, can't stand the soap bubbles and will spend the rest of today and before our BBQ (where people might decide to use the tub) figuring out how to get rid of them.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
This beautiful three pieced thing used to be a beautiful one pieced thing. It was broken accidentally this week by someone who will remain unnamed. It was made for me by someone I love very much and I cried for quite sometime after it happened. I don't know why exactly, it is just a thing and the person who made it is still alive and kicking so she can make me something new (hint, hint) but it still hurt an awful lot to see it in pieces. I guess because I knew she made it especially for me and that she signed the back with her love.
I know the unnamed person felt horrible when it happened and knew I would be upset when I saw it, but it still didn't stop me from being both angry and disappointed in them for breaking it. It seems there is a trend in our relationship for items that belong to me to be broken and I guess I tend to put a lot of sentimental value on items (which I should work on), so when it broke, I guess I kind of felt like they didn't care about my feelings or something. It was a sad moment for both of us.
I think I am going to try to find a cool shadow box with maybe black velvet in the back that I can mount the individual pieces in. It will still look cool, but I hope it doesn't make the unnamed person feel like they are being reminded of the breakage everyday. I don't want to hurt them like that.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Guess I'll put a bowl of candy out at our barbeque this weekend and hope that most of it gets eaten...I can't eat candy every night and still meet my fitness goals by Christmas....I just don't have enough time in the day for the amount of exercise that would require...haha.
I saw part of a show on Animal Planet the other day, and there was a segment on snow monkeys. They talked about how the ones in Japan in a particular area have learned that they can stay warm by getting in a natural "hot tub". Apparently, one of the females, saw some humans in the water and tried it, found it warm and has taught all the other monkeys in the tribe to do it.
Another thing that they love to do is groom each other (find delicious insect treats on other's bodies), and they are so obsessed with it, that you will find them grooming the local dear for ticks. I couldn't believe the deer just stand there and let the monkeys part their coats looking for ticks....I guess it is an easier way for the deer to lose the ticks...
Anyhow, this one monkey has taken to removing the deer ticks and then putting them on himself so that the other monkeys will come over and groom him...nice huh?
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Chicago is leading their division...and I am saying, it is about time.
I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to schoolwork (although you wouldn't know that from all my procrastination these days) and I like to get good grades...makes me feel good. So since I have not have contact with much of my group for this project (with the exception of one person), I had decided that I have to start working on this regardless and if I don't get help from them, then their grades will hopefully reflect that. I just can't risk my grade waiting until the last minute on something this big. It is not that it couldn't be done by one person, it totally can, it is just that we are supposed to share the work and the parts that are already supposed to be done by now are not done so those of us with the second parts can't really start to move. So needless to say, yesterday I started working on the parts that are supposed to be done by now...oh well, such is life when you are working in groups in a long distance setting (hell, for that matter working with groups at all).
It is frustrating to me though, that even with all my procrastination, I am still a multitasker. It seems that at least two members of this four member group are not multitaskers and this is part of the hold up. One lady won't do schoolwork at work, or at home after work. She will only do it on the weekend...well that is just not going to work since we only have a couple of weekends left and this project, while doable, is still time consuming and rather large...
I guess I am bitching, and I really shouldn't be since we could have been working on this ages ago but our instructor is not the best planner and it seemed that we had a paper and a midterm right on top of each other and that really slowed things down. I am just glad at this point that at least one other member is willing to do some work and we have already discussed that it might come down to the two of us...which is okay with me if we get it done and it is quality work. The others can just suck it up. Oh, I can't wait until I am done with this program and its silly group work...they never learn that it just doesn't work that well. Someone always slacks and ends up getting an A off the backs of others....ugh!!
Well, I better get motivated. Need to see if any of my queries were addressed yesterday and see what else I can get done today. Don't know if I have soccer or not yet but I know I have some mums in the backyard that need to be put in the ground. It is nice to have J back, but he is working today so I guess I am on my own for a while (which is okay when I have school work to do).
Friday, October 28, 2005
I have switched my jewelry to winter, my toenail polish to winter, put flannel sheets on my bed, put my feather comforter back on the bed, switched all my clothes over to winter, and even have my winter PJs in the closet...I am about two seconds from burning one of my Duralogs...I was just not prepared for it to go from comfortable warm weather to Artic in 3 days time. Nobody adjusts that fast, do they?
I am getting in the hottub to warm up...even though it is only 8pm. At least my toes will be warm.
I do find it interesting that the extreme right wing (and someone please explain to me how extreme anything ends up in Congress) had such an opposition to her. Makes me think that she might have been moderate enough to balance the scales a bit. Unfortunately, the Democrats once again, did not have enough fight in them to do anything worthwhile and she is gone without even finding out.
Her major issue was that internal White House info would be disclosed and she couldn't have that....didn't the White House end up keeping internal documents about Roberts confidential???? Why is it that when the Democrats want to see documents, the White House is somehow able to keep it from happening but when the extreme right in Congress wants to see documents, the nominee pulls out because she is convinced that the documents will be turned over???? Hmmm....
I also have issues with the fact that tax returns were not required this time around. I think that it is vital that conflict of interests be rooted out and tax returns are a part of that. We have enough of our administration involved in big finance, we don't need to have lifetime positions also involved...make sense to me.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I did this one first tonight. It is on one of the larger pumpkins I bought, and it took a while to do this one because it was really thick. I had to use one of the larger saws and that made the detail work more difficult. I think it came out pretty good. It looks scary I think.
This is the second one. It is on a pink skinned pumpkin that is a bit smaller. I really like this one, but because the skin is thinner than a regular pumpkin and the meat is softer, I am willing to bet it won't last as long...bummer because it would be cool to have it around way after Halloween. I just did cut outs of leaf sillouettes in random spots.
I was able to pick up a bunch of other pumpkins today (acorn, pancake, spaghetti, turban) and I am using them as decor for a while but plan to cook them as well so there won't be any carving going on there. This is the only time of year when you can even get some of these varieties so I have to enjoy them while I can. I love the spaghetti ones...they are delicious. I did get a couple of dried goards from the farmers market the other day and I am going to try to clean them up and do the painting thing....we'll see if I end up with time to fit it in...
This is the only time of year that I can get it, and I always have to get some (just like I have to get candy hearts at Valentine's, and Robin Eggs at Easter)...so while I am trying to meet some goals of fitness by Christmas...a bag of these made it into my home today and is open, sitting in a candy dish. The really bad part is that I am the only one here for a few more days....ahhhh...the temptation.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I did this one first. One of the easier ones...but I didn't have any big pumpkins so finding designs that were small enough was difficult. This is supposed to be three bats flying in front of a full moon...but I think it is kind of hard to see.
This was the second one I did today. Boy, my hand was tired after this one. I did it while I watched "The Village" on DVD (which I rather enjoyed). This one had a lot more work to it but I think it came out a lot better looking. It is not scary but still really cool looking. I can keep him up even after Halloween I think.
I have plenty more to do still. Just got two more today for cheap, cheap...its an addiction I tell you...Can't wait for J to see them.
I plan to carve a few pumpkins, make some cards, decorate my house spookily, watch a movie or two....yeah!!! A free day...and I just found out that J is going to stop by for a few minutes to pick something up and then it is back off to work for him until Halloween. It will be nice to see him for the first time in a week.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
232 PM EDT TUE OCT 25 2005...COLD TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT......A FROST ADVISORY MAY BE NEEDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT...A STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVING UP THE NEW ENGLAND COAST BROUGHT BRISK NORTHWEST WINDS TODAY.
THE BRISK NORTHWEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH TO AROUND 5 TO 10 MPH OVERNIGHT... AS THE LOW PRESSURE MOVES AWAY. THIS WILL ALLOW FOR THE TEMPERATURES TO FALL INTO THE MID TO UPPER30S TONIGHT. THERE MAY BE SOME SCATTERED LIGHT FROST LATE TONIGHT BUT THE LIGHT BREEZE IS EXPECTED TO GREATLY LIMIT FROST FORMATION.
THE COLDEST NIGHT IN THIS CURRENT COLD SPELL IS EXPECTED TO BE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE SURFACE HIGH WILL MOVE OVERHEAD ALLOWING THE WINDS TO BECOME NEARLY CALM WITH CLEAR SKIES. THE TEMPERATURES ARE FORECAST TO FALL INTO THE MID 30s. SCATTERED FROSTAPPEARS LIKELY BY DAYBREAK THURSDAY... ESPECIALLY OUTSIDE OF URBAN AREAS.
Time to put the summer stuff away, break out the winter clothes and change my jewelry (a ritual I do at the end of summer). I already have the down comforter on the bed with the flannel sheets....sad to say. I have to bring the ferns in tonight too or they will be dead by morning...ugh, like I didn't already have enough on my "To Do" list tonight....haha.
I guess I will wait on my walk this morning until things warm up just a bit. I have a bunch of things to do outside today too....hopefully that forecasted 60 is not just a fib...come on sun, warm this place up...
Yesterday, I was busy procrastinating (yeah I did a bit of that, but didn't feel bad about it because I did other things I wanted to do instead of the school work), doing three loads of laundry, watering plants, feeding birds, sending off postcards (like to do that after a trip), and researching and writing a 9 page paper for class. Needless to say, while I read a lot of blogs yesterday and did some emailing, I just couldn't get in the groove to write myself.
I'll recap my weekend and upload some pics in a bit, just wanted to say I was back and I am watching you!!!!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I let myself get bogged down in trivial things. I let the fear of getting hurt decide things for me, and am letting procrastination rule my world, which keeps me from doing the things that I really enjoy. I need to spend less time worrying, and more time taking care of business so I can enjoy life and those that are important to me.
I am starting today (even though I am leaving town for a few days) to make some changes. I need to make more time for myself (and this doesn't mean procrastinate even more). I keep telling those in my life that are fighting these same issues this very advice but I realize that I have not been taking it myself enough. I am going to write more, sing more, do art more, exercise more, love more, and appreciate the small beautiful things that are out there around every corner.
I know this sounds really cheesy, and I apologize to those that I might be causing to gag, but I am serious about this. Life only comes around once, and I feel like I have been letting it float by without being very involved for a while now. That is going to stop. It's all too short to do that.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I don't know what is going on with me lately, but I seem to have a case of "accident prone" and I am not sure who I picked it up from.
Not only do I still have the bruise (although it is fading) and dent in my shin from soccer two Sundays ago, I have a new bruise on my right bicep from a collision with someone's elbow this last Sunday. I look like an abuse case.
I also managed to puncture my thumb on some kind of thorny object in my yard the other day. It didn't bleed but enough "poison" got in there that my thumb is tender. Needless to say, that little thorny thing is not in my yard anymore.....killed it yesterday with the clippers. That'll show it.
Yesterday while I was loading my truck up with the tons of fall flowers and plants I bought to replace all my dead summer stuff, I got stung by a yellow jacket on the back of my leg. I was able to treat it with ammonia (which seemed to work well) and today it just itches a bit when my shorts touch it.
Last night, while cleaning out wax from one of my many candle holders, I managed to slice my left hand a bit. It was a clean shallow cut so even though it bled a little bit, I just put a bandaid on it and it seems to be healing already....
I don't know what it is with me but if I keep going at this rate, I'll only be able to walk on one leg and use one arm to do anything with....ugh!!!
It is now 11am and it is already 81 degrees according to the same source...30 degrees difference in 3 1/2 hours...wow!!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Thing is, our instructor put a limit of 2 pages on each question (there were 3 questions), but then asked pretty complicated questions. So the options were to go a bit vague and fit it in the required limit, or get specific but not get it all in....I chose to go a bit vague and I hope that works out.
Now I have a little paper due next Monday at midnight, and then a group project (which we haven't really started) due three weeks after that. The little paper is something I want to get done in the next couple of days (completely possible) because I am going to a friends house for the weekend and she only has dial up and our school atmosphere would not like that much. Oh, and I guess there is a final near the end but that is still a ways off.
So I am going to breath easy for part of today, look over the paper requirements and see if any of the gazillion sheets of research I printed yesterday can be used for this one as well, and start on it later in the day. If I can finish it before Thursday, it will mark my first time in a long time of finishing something up early rather than letting the procrastination bug get me....
Monday, October 17, 2005
Last winter was our first winter in a long time. We had been living in a tropical location that had very mild winters. We knew that our first winter would feel very cold to us, and it did for the most part. It was the first time I had seen snow in 5 years.
We have a house that has a heat pump for heating and cooling. In the winter, I had set the old style 80's thermostat to 70 degrees during the day and 65 or so at night. I knew I was being wimpy, I could stand it colder than that but I was just not prepared to put my body through it during our first winter. Our energy bills weren't too bad and the house was comfortable for the most part.
During the summer this year, I broke down and picked up a 10 dollar digital thermometer to see what the temp in the house really was (good thing I did too because that thermometer ended up being what we used on our refrigerator issues as well). Turned out that the old 80's thermostat was not reading very accurately and we were actually running the AC more than what was necessary for the temp we were trying to achieve. The digital thermometer enabled us to set the temp where it should be so as not to kill the fish but also to not kill the checkbook.
Anyhow, it has started to get cooler here at night (still have beautiful days in the mid 70's) and last night I noticed that the digital thermometer was reading less than 70 degrees but the heat had not kicked on....that was because the 80's thermostat said that the house was 75 degrees. So in having the 80's thermostat set at 70 degrees, we were actually dealing with a house temp of 65 or so. Which also means at night last year I was setting it near to 60...so I guess I am not as wimpy as I thought. The heat just kicked on this morning and it is 66 degrees in here...
Sunday, October 16, 2005
First off, it was slanted up hill towards one goal. Second, it had a dirt road running the length of it on one side (inside the sidelines). Lastly, the entire thing was sand with a few sparce patches of weeds that once wanted to be grass. It was horrible.
Usually a soccer ball will bounce pretty consistently, but not today, it was like trying to play soccer with a football. It would sometimes just bounce completely in the opposite direction, and other times it would find a particularly deep section of sand and just come to a stop.
I am expecting my calves to be sore tomorrow as I just spent 2 hours running up hill at the beach...
I did that, and while I could see the backtrack option on there and it shows up in my comments section, it didn't seem to be working correctly, so I took it out.
I guess I will just wait until they get it fixed so it will automatically update my template before I try to put it in again...
This class is just not that interesting to me and I am not motivated to do school work, or read the book. I have been managing to meet all the weekly requirements (and doing okay at it) but every week, I wait until the last minute to get my stuff done. The issue is too, that I end up putting other things I need to do because I am supposed to be devoting my time to schoolwork...so in the end, nothing gets done. I am sad to say that I watched 3 different movies on TNT yesterday and while I did balance the checkbook and reconcile bank statements during that time, I did NO HOMEWORK.
I was supposed to devote Friday, Saturday, and today to this test (not that it should take that long) since the rest of the week was taken up with the hot tub issue, and J preparing for his trip. Once he was gone on Friday, I had plans to get motivated. Now it is Sunday and I am just starting on the midterm.
One thing I am hoping, is that there will be overlap between what I research for the midterm and what I end up needing for my paper as I hate printing all those resources to just have them tossed at the end of it. If I could use the stuff for more than one project, at least it would be worth it (in ink and paper).
Now there is another underlying issue that keeps me from the computer some. My desk set up is not really conducive to long term computer work. The way it is, my right arm is stretched out and suspended all the time and that causes my shoulder to ache quite a bit....of course I can't totally blame this since it doesn't keep me from blogging....now does it.
Oh well, better get to it....watch, it will only take me a couple of hours and all the procrastination will have been for nothing...
Friday, October 14, 2005
Wish I didn't have schoolwork to do this weekend, so I could get outside and enjoy it more...as it is, I might be dragging the laptop out to the table in back just so I can be outside while I am slaving away...haha.
Every once in a while, something happens online where I need to blow my cookies away. This is fine and in fact is a pretty good thing to do for security reasons, but every time I do, I forget how many pages I have that "remember me".
All the pages that I comment on, Amazon, Geocaching, my site meter, and at least a dozen others. When the cookies are gone, I have to remember passwords, user names, and refill in all my pertinant info on people's blogs...it is amazing how lazy I have gotten.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Seems everything works fine...just want to test it out but 76 degree water is just too chilly for me when it is only 76 degrees outside as well...so hopefully before bed, it will be warm enough to get in for a few minutes.
Update: We got it up to temp, and hung out in it after dinner for 20 mins or so. It was great. We played with all the settings, lighting and the stereo...it is going to be really nice when the weather gets cold...
Go to Google and click on the Images link.
Type in the following and post the first (or your favorite) picture the search engine finds.
Where I Grew Up
Where I Live Now
My Grandma's Name
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Whoooeee!!! I got the call today that our hot tub is coming tomorrow...I am so excited. I think I am just going to let them deliver it to the driveway and then we'll figure out how to get it around the back. We can probably rent a pallet jack or something.
The guy on the phone told me that it could be 150-300 bucks to have them wheel it around and I can do it myself for much cheaper...thanks, but no thanks. We'll see when they come out tomorrow how much the driver wants but I am not paying the above for sure.
I have to go call the electrician so we can get this thing hooked up this week. I am so excited....yeah!!!! Too bad J is leaving for a business trip for 2 weeks this Friday...he won't be here to enjoy it with me until he gets back if we don't have it up and running by Thursday (and it is mostly for him and his back....poor guy).
Update: It got here fine this afternoon, and it wasn't as much as was quoted to have them get it around the house and laid back down (it shipped on its side on a pallet). So I have a hot tub with no water in it and no electricity sitting on my back porch now....whooeee only a few more steps and I'll be able to enjoy it.
Thing is that at one point, I was in defense and she was a forward. She dribbled the ball just a hair too far in front of her and I went to get it. I got the ball away from her but in the process she was going for a big kick at the ball, and with the ball gone, our shins connected. Even with shinguards on, I have a healthy bruise and dent in my shin right above my ankle and the whole thing is pretty tender.
It is perfectly located to the spot where I usually cross my ankles when I am sitting at the computer. Ouch!!!
Monday, October 10, 2005
When I was a kid, my mom would make Campbell's Cream of Potato soup on cold days. Back then, the chucks of potato were these little squares. She would put lots of black pepper in it and we would eat it with crackers and sometimes a sandwich.
I was always so proud of myself because it was something we both liked to eat, made me feel closer to her. I don't get to eat it with her much anymore (we live 3000+ miles apart right now). I still eat it when it is chilly (like today), and think of her when I do. The chunks of potato are bigger now but just as good.
Usually the fall is awesome, cooler, dry weather that allows you to get out and get some things accomplished that you have been putting off during the heat and humidity of the summer...but not this week.
Yesterday didn't rain as much although it was cloudy the whole time, so I was able to do a bit in the yard and I didn't get drenched at my soccer game (other than in sweat), so I can't complain there too much.
We do need the rain, so I understand how some people are grateful for it, but the thing is that when it rains here, it pours and most of it just runs off, and creates ditches in people's yard. We don't get much of it to sink in.
Oh well, enough bitching from me this morning. I have things to do and fortunately most of them are indoors anyhow....
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Yesterday, while on my way to grocery shopping I noticed that there was a race car (kind of hard to miss) sitting in front of the store. It was Bobby Hamilton Jr's Tide car.
I went to check the car out, and since it was Friday, there weren't a lot of people around. There was a guy sitting there "babysitting" it to make sure people didn't climb in or on it. He as also giving away free hats and die cast cars to purchasers of Tide or Downy products.
I struck up a conversation with him, and learned a ton about racing that I would have otherwise never known as a regular fan. I talked to him for about 45 minutes and it was great. He has been working with Nascar for 28 years. The car in question was retired in March of this year and will be sold at the annual Lowe's Blowout.
He ended up moving it back to the trailer later while I was in the store. I am sorry I missed it because I would love to hear one of those things running up close like that. He said he couldn't rev it up when he drove it up because he was afraid it would break the store's front glass.
My favorite driver is Mark Martin but he is retiring this year so I will have to find someone new. I think I am going to switch over to the driver of the car that Mark owns (Matt Kenseth #17), and probably will continue to own next year.