Saturday, April 30, 2005

Power Outages

We have had two of them today and the weather is not even bad. We were forecasted to have a terrible thunderstorm from 1 to 7pm today but it really didn't do much. Wind, rain, and lightening/thunder was minimal. I even went out for a walk afterwards.

I noticed that the power went out while I was gone because I was kindof near a hospital (there are lots of them here) and its generator kicked on. I thought that was strange as I have walked that route many times and never noticed it do that before. I also didn't think it was a real power outage (maybe just testing their system) because the weather was calm.

I got home a couple of hours later and all the clocks were blinking at me. I reset all the clocks, rebooted my computer and continued on with my night. I was on the Internet fooling around when all of a sudden everything goes completely black. No joke, not just kindof black, so black that I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Our neighborhood is very dark and we don't have street lights (not that they would help in a power outage). When the lights go out around here and there is no moon (cloudy tonight) is so dark you would not know there was a house sitting here.

So I made my way slowly to the kitchen to find the flashlight and proceeded to light candles all over. I have a lot of candles so getting some light quickly was not a problem. After about 20 minutes, the power comes back on again. (My poor fish probably don't know what to think.)

Anyhow, the strange thing about the power here is that it seems to go out all the time. All of our power lines are under ground so I am not exactly sure what is causing the problem but we get power flickers a lot (usually doesn't stay off like today). I don't know if it is this town, the neighborhood or the whole county...but it is irritating. Thankfully, I have all of our expensive equipment (computers, TV, DVD players, recievers, stereo equipment) all hooked up to surge protectors that are kick ass. They pay me if my stuff gets ruined from a spike.

Anyhow just thought I would share that with you before we lose power for the third time tonight...ha ha.

Razor Burns

Oh my, I think I just cut the crap out of my arm pit and my bikini line with my razor...

I don't have a holder for it in this shower like I do in my other shower, and even though I have no problem using the shower without knocking it down off the soap dish, J can't seem to use that shower without sending my razor crashing to the tub floor. I am thinking that these various falls have caused some kind of miniscule dings in the blade because I just used it and now both my pits and my bikini line are bleeding and the stinging under my arm from water even touching it is killing me.

I changed the blade just now but I am not sure that is going to fix the problem...I am thinking I have to find another way to store it, or I will continue to donate blood to the water supply. Ugh!!!!

Come Back Birds

I filled both thistle feeders right before leaving but I knew with J's work schedule this month, that he would probably not get a chance to refill them if they were to run out. I didn't fill the suet feeder because I didn't want to deal with Rufus (our acrobatic squirrel). So the next morning after coming home, I looked out and indeed both thistle feeders were empty.

I got out there and filled both of them up and also put the suet feeder back up with new suet in it....I waited all day, and not one bird. I figured it would take them some time to figure out that there was seed again available after what I am sure seems to them as abandonment. Next day, I saw the bluebird pair at their cavity nest and one of the doves, but none of the regular feeder birds.

Well it has been two days now and I am only just starting to get the finches and cardinals back. Nothing like it was before but I have to say the male finches are very vibrant yellow so they must be in mating season now. I guess they are teaching me a lesson about leaving them without food for that week. No sign of Rufus or his friends either, so they must have given up as well.

Hopefully, given a few more days and some nice weather, we'll see a return to the feeders in the numbers like before. If not, that is okay too, at least some of them are returning and less birds means the feeders stay fuller, longer.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Made It Home

Well, I am back and not much has changed. Of course it was only 10 days but with all the stuff I was dealing with during the trip, it seemed much longer.

The blooms on the dogwood have given way to leaves, and it is so weird to see shade in my front yard (we moved into the house in late November so there were no leaves left). The construction across the street has moved along. They only had a foundation when I left and now they are framing up the walls. In fact a big ass truck just pulled up with the trusses for the roof on it....I think they are getting a bit ahead of themselves as there is only one wall framed as of right now. The foreman on the job apparently has never been around a big truck before because he thought it was really cool to sit there pulling on the chain horn right across the street from me, which startled the hell out of me before the annoyance settled in.

One of my fish did not survive the trip. We are thinking it was just old age because all the other fish are fine and I tested the water and it is good to go as well. It was sad to see her struggling to breathe when I got home but I was hoping she would recover. When I came back a few hours later, she was still barely alive but was stuck to the pump hose so I decided to put her out of her was so sad. She is my first loss and she was one of the ones my husband got me for Christmas.

Other than that, J did a pretty good job of keeping things in order, especially considering how much he was working and was not really at our house unless he was sleeping. I can't complain, that is for sure. So now, I am almost through with the humungous pile of laundry that came out of my suitcase and things are getting back to normal. I am almost ready to put the winter clothes away and start wearing the summer stuff. Whooeeee! Soon I am sure I will be bitching about the heat, but not yet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cell Phone Free Zone

I think they should have these in the airports. Places where people that just want to write or read or think, without some idiot shouting in their ear about the most mundane of things, can go to enjoy peace and quiet.

I don't understand why people feel that they have to call everyone they know right before boarding a plane, or get this even as it is taxi-ing....are they trying to create a record of themselves so if they die in a crash, there will be a voice mail trail? I don't get it.

Why do people on cell phones in airports (and perhaps other places I have not noticed) feel that they have to speak in a louder voice than they would if there were having the conversation face to face? I don't need to hear about how you are just about to get on the plane and how you will call again as soon as it lands.

I am starting to believe that the fact that most airports do not allowed unticketed passengers past security causes come kind of loneliness anxiety is some people. They are alone and bored so they figure they will just call everyone they know while they are waiting. This one woman sat down next to me and called about 15 different people and had to leave messages at all of them because it was the middle of the day and guess what...THEY APPARENTLY HAVE LIVES!!!

My other theory is that they have a ton of minutes to use up and feel that they might as well make use of them since they aren't doing anything else...but I wish they would do anything else. Read a book for everyone's sake...

I think the CPFZs are a great idea. They have zones like this in airports in Asia but it is for the smokers. They have a little glass room with lousy ventilation that all the smokers hang out in, waiting for their flights. They look like little fish in a cloudy aquarium. I think if all the cell phone users had to be in one room, it would be too loud and some law of physics would be broken. So that is why I am suggesting a space for those of us that don't like the phones..want to stay away from the phones and their lonely users. Now I just have to find someone to finance it. Ha!

Monday, April 25, 2005

I Can See the Finish Line

Whew!!! All I have been doing this week is traveling and trying to fit my paper in but now I am almost done. I finished the paper and posted it to my classroom earlier today (not my best work but it will pass) and I fly back home tomorrow morning. I am tired and will be glad to get home and relax.

At least I was able to get all the things I wanted to accomplish on this trip done (and originally the paper was not one of them, it was supposed to be done prior to the trip but other things got in the way). The weather was cooperative for the most part, at least on the days when I had to work outside, and I am sure it will be lovely when I get home as well. Spring is here and now I can start to imagine the time to enjoy it.

I have a final left in this class before complete relief can set it. I start it on Friday and we have a few days to turn it in. After the stressors of the last two weeks, it should be a piece of cake...let's hope at least.

My flight home is with a different airline than before so I will get some food off them and aisle seats the whole way!!! Whoeee!!! So anyhow, my blogging will pick up now that I will be back in computer land...stay tuned.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bad Idea

Jet lag, two glasses of red zin, and vanilla nutty icecream with butterscotch topping at 11pm is probably not the best decision I have ever made. Hope I am not sorry in the morning.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Truly Beautiful

Coming over the hill on I-5 northbound to the first view of the Seattle skyline never ceases to inspire me. It is so...bammm, just there and awesome...

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Okay, well at least planes...

Airports and planes afford great people watching opportunities if you can get away with it without getting caught. I sometimes forget when I am watching someone and they catch me...On my first leg today, I board the plane, make my way to my seat, only to have the stewardess (ahem….flight attendant) tell me that there was in an accident in my row and they weren't supposed to be seating anyone back there. I try to feign calmness as I ask her what kind of accident. She says a bodily one…already things are not looking good.

Fortunately, it was not in the exact seat I was going to be using but still, the idea of flying in close quarters to a mystery bodily function was still not appealing. At that exact moment, a gentleman asks to switch with me (I really just wanted to be on the aisle as I am one of those people that needs to get up all the time), and he was on the aisle as well. I asked him he was sure, and he said yes, his friends were right across the aisle from the seat in question. Worked for me….I moved up a few rows to his seat.

Ultimately, the flight was not very full, so people were moving all over the place and once we got settled we were on our way. I started to read some of the newly printed research material for the paper I still have not finished, as doing anything fun was not warranted with this still hanging over my head. I was a diligent good student and made my way through it all highlighting as I went while fighting off the "plane nods" (which is that automatic sleepiness that planes induce in me).

In these days of "no food service" or "pillows" (if you can really call them that), airplane travel has gotten more interesting. Everyone is brown bagging it and it is kind of refreshing although I think it is a shame that we are letting the airlines get away with cutting customer service aspects out of their budgets without so much as a whimper. I have been sitting in the Minneapolis airport now for about an hour, plugged into an available outlet so I don't wear down my batteries (have to save them for the DVD's I plan to watch on the next leg…haha). I have seen at least two people eating apples (and I have one in my bag as well because I'll be damned if I will pay for a snack box on the flight). Perhaps the airlines can say they are helping us to eat better but I am sure that won't work because I am sure just as many people are stuffing themselves on airport food before boarding as well.

We did get pretzels and drinks on the last leg and while they didn't have Diet Coke (the only diet drink I can even hardly handle), they did have Diet Pepsi…I just can't drink Diet Pepsi unless it has liquor in it and even then it is hard. Anyhow, when she said they didn't have Diet Coke, did I want Diet Pepsi, I told her, like I just told you, that I don't like Diet Pepsi (love regular Pepsi though). She then leans over and whispers "I think Diet Pepsi tastes like band-aids"…now that is a correlation I would never had thought of. What would even make a person think of that, and more importantly, how many band-aids had she eaten over the years??? Talk about brown bagging it.

One thing that I did notice on the plane (mind you this was not a new plane by any means) was that there was what looked like a hand rail the entire length along the bottom of the overhead baggage department. I thought that it was pretty smart although we all know we are supposed "to remain in our seats with our seatbelts fastened until the plane comes to a complete and full stop and the pilot has turned off the seatbelt sign". So the use for them is probably limited but I couldn't help but picture the future of plane travel. We'll all be standing holding onto the railing like we are on the subway and we'll be fighting tooth and nail to get a seat, unfortunately the stops will be far and few between (I guess no one will get up to use the bathroom)….you just watch…eventually they will remove knee room altogether, it will be feet room that is in demand.

One Month Ago on In My Words...Procrastination Has Taken Over

Friday, April 15, 2005

Trips and All the Chaos...

Welcome to my world this week. I had a group paper due in my online class on Wednesday that took up most of the first part of the week while I tried to get one paper written by 4 people to sound right. I have another (bigger) paper that was originally due on the 19th (and if I turn it in by then, I get extra credit) but was extended to the 25th...unfortunately I am going to be on the road from tomorrow the 16th until the basically I am writing a graduate research paper while traveling.....lots of fun and stress.

Now the other issue is that I am the kind of person that has to have the entire house clean and all the odds and ends cleared up before going on a trip. So besides dealing with the paper thing and packing, I had to clean our fish tank, clean our cat's room (litter box, vacuuming...), fill all my bird feeders, water all the outdoor and indoor plants, vacuum all floors, clean both bathrooms, do laundry (most of which I am taking with me), clean the kitchen and drive 30 miles to the grocery store so that J would not starve while I am gone. I know his schedule will be very hectic and unpredictable while I am gone so grocery shopping is out...I ended up cutting a few things out of my day like dropping some stuff off at Goodwill, and having our heat pump serviced...there is only so much I can do in one day and the grocery trip ate all of the morning up.

Needless to say it is 11:41pm my time, J is not due to be here until 1am. I am done with everything except that I need to do a small amount of research in the morning for my paper and water all the outdoor plants one more time (because he won't remember to water them and it might actually get hot here while I am gone).

So now I am off to bed to read one of the books I picked up today for the trip (which I am not supposed to be reading until I get my paper done). It will be nice to sleep soundly tonight knowing that I have very little to do tomorrow before heading out. Hopefully we will get to the airport early for my flight so I can get an aisle seat all the way through. That will allow me to get some work done on my laptop on the flight. The inside seats are just too cramped for my laptop. We'll see, if not, I'll be reading research material, my book and working on a gift for my sister's birthday.

Hasta luego

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Jen's Fault

Okay, Jen made a post in regards to this stupid tampon commercial that all women hate and all men don't understand why on Peevishness and Botheration today and this brought another stupid commercial to mind for me.

We have a fast food burger place out here called Hardee's. It is the same as Carl's Jr on the West Coast, I believe. Anyhow, they have these "thick burgers" that are really quite good but the latest marketing scheme has a commercial that just grosses me out.

There is a woman feeding what looks like an infant (can't see the baby, but the posture is the same). She is feeding it a bottle (only because they couldn't get away with breastfeeding I am sure), and talking in baby talk to it. She makes reference to her "good little boy...".

The baby finishes the bottle and she goes to sit it up to burp it and it is a grown man....then the announcer comes on and says "Still eating like a baby....?" then something about "...thick burgers are for men, not..," wimps or weenies or something like that...

Anyhow, I am always in shock when the guy sits up because it is just too gross...and of course J (who probably has fantasies about breast feeding or being bottle fed that close to a breast) doesn't see the issue I have with it...not surprising.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Nonsense That Fills Space

Borrowed this one from P'nut

1. YOUR PORN STAR NAME (Name of first pet / Street where you live): Ernie Mountain
2. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME (First word you see on your left / Favorite restaurant): Gift Yoshi
3. EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS (Favorite Spice / Last Foreign Vacation Spot): Basil Tokyo
4. ICON ALIAS (Something Sweet Within Sight / Any Liquid in Your Kitchen): Chocolate Curry
5. DETECTIVE ALIAS (Favorite Baby Animal / Where You Went to High School): Bunny Ashland
6. BARFLY ALIAS(Last Snack Food You Ate / Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink) : Ritz White Russian
7. SOAP OPERA ALIAS (Middle Name / Street Where You First Lived): Ricki Compton
8. ROCK STAR ALIAS (Favorite Candy / Last Name Of Favorite Musician): Kiss Zap Mama

I don't think mine work all that well but I am sure some of yours do...

Floating Straws

I have been trying to get in the habit of using a straw whenever I drink soda or iced tea so it doesn't stain my teeth....unfortunately, straws float in carbonated I have to use ice or use a cup with a lid.

Does anyone know why this occurs? I know I could look it up but I am sure one of you out there already has this information stored up in your head waiting for the opportunity to put it to's your opportunity.


Okay, am I the only one that finds the talking baby Quiznos boy a bit scary? I am not sure what the marketing department was thinking on that one, that he would be cute maybe, but he is just a little too much on the "Chucky" side for my taste...although I have to say I love Quiznos.

Editors note: Bob is actually a little girl and the pictures of her without the moving mouth and strange facial features are pretty is just the animation on the commercial that makes it seem Chucky-like. Perhaps they could rethink that aspect of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Privacy and Legislation

Why do I always pick topics for my papers that are hard to find resources for??? You would think that finding text on the Internet that explains the Patriot Act in layman's terms would be a piece of cake....ha, it isn't. I did finally find something that will help explain the gobblety gook but it took me half the day to find it....ugh!!! My hand hurts from being on this computer all day.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Somewhat Downside

How's that for a title? In all my joy at seeing spring finally peak its head from the cold clutches of winter, there is a small downside.

I love having the windows open when it is nice out, fresh air, some music on the stereo, incense burning in one of my potted plants and I am taken back to my youth instantly....okay, another story for another time. Anyhow, back to the windows being open. Currently we are in the 5-21 day period that the pines in this lovely part of the world shed their if there is even a crack of a window open (car or house), everything inside will be covered in a little greenish yellow haze. Makes you realize very quickly how much dust is probably sitting all over things normally that you can't see. If I couldn't see this haze, it wouldn't be that big of a deal as I was lucky enough to be born without allergies....(knock on wood). Unfortunately, I can see it and it is everywhere (and dust drives me nuts if I can see it). This requires serious dusting and not with anything that just spreads it around either. You have to use Pledge wipes or something else with liquidy tendencies to get it all.

So, we had quite a dump of it a few days ago and being new to the area, I thought that was it. I went through, dusted the heck out of every nook and cranny (didn't know I had these, did you?). I was very pleased with myself. It was sort of a forced-upon spring cleaning spree. So this weekend I was back to opening the windows and enjoying the breeze....apparently it was not over. It is all back, only not quite as bad, but it is also in the car because someone else (names shall not be named) left the windows cracked last night.

I finally gave in and searched the web. I only learned a minute ago from a very informational website, the length of this pollen decent upon the world (the 5-21 days I mentioned above) so I guess I will be forced to keep the windows closed for a bit sad because by the time we can open them up, it might be too muggy and hot to do so.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Our dogwood is finally is of the pinkish orange variety. It is very beautiful and it is not even in complete bloom yet. I hope to get some pictures when it finally gets there.

I have also discovered that we have several smaller dogwoods of the white variety in the yard but didn't see until the blooms came out. It is nice to see spring here in full force, even the oak trees are getting their leaves now.

I don't think I mentioned this before but we have several holly bushes in our yard (mostly near the front windows of the house). They are in bloom also, and the flowers are small and greenish so they don't really stand out but they smell terrific. I never knew holly bushes had such a aromatic flower. The bees are just loving it.

Oh, and we have a vine called Kudzu that grows all over the place here and it is in bloom too. It has a purple flower that is really pretty. I need to get some pictures of it because their aren't any good ones on the Internet that show it hanging in bloom.

Anyhow, that is my flower update. I wish I could bottle that holly flower smell, it is truly remarkable.

One Down, One To Go

I am inching each day closer and closer to the end of the semester and it can't get here fast enough. On Friday, I was able to get my deliverables for our group project (yes my graduate program requires group work) turned in a day early. I wanted to get it off my list of things to do because I have another paper that I need to work on. I am doing an online graduate program and for some reason, our professor assigned the delivery of two papers within a week of each other (one a group project and one an individual project).

Problem is that I am going on a trip for 10 days this next weekend and my second paper is due during that time. I don't want to have to worry about being able to get online and deal with a major project like that while I am traveling (although it is possible and I have done it before). I want to be able to focus on the task at hand and then enjoy the down time I will have to visit with friends and family. Therefore, I am trying to turn this second paper in before I leave this coming weekend...not an easy task but one I think I can long as I can keep the procrastination at bay.

So, at this point, I am enjoying half the glow of a job well done but will really be living it up after this second paper is done. It will be such a relief. Then all that will be left are the small weekly assignments and the final (open book over 3 days) and I will be done for the summer!!!!!!

I absolutely can't wait!!!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Me, Myself and I

Over the last few years I have noticed that the verbal use of the word "myself" has evolved into something that is slowly driving me crazy. I do not claim to be an expert in grammar but this one is a peeve I just can't ignore. I have heard this incorrect usage spill from the lips of Americans in all spectrums of society (educators, sports figures, journalists, politicians, movie stars, students....etc). I don't watch enough international television to notice whether it is worldwide or not, so for now I am limiting my peeve to Americans.

I think it stems from the fear of when to use "me" and "I" correctly. This is something that is drilled into all of us at a very early age. Regardless of the trama, substituting "myself" does not correct this or ease this confusion. It is becoming so commonplace that I expect that Webster's will adopt this new use and there will be no going back. Therefore, I am announcing my issues with it, so I can say I made an effort.

Okay, so here it is. You can say "She bought the cake for my wife and me." You can not say "She bought the cake for my wife and myself." It just doesn't work that way, because if you were to take the wife out of the sentence (the true test if something is grammatically correct), it would be "She bought the cake for myself" and that just doesn't make sense. You can also say "Jack and I were married yesterday." You can not say "Jack and myself were married yesterday". I don't tend to hear the use of "myself" substituted for "I" as often as for "me" but it does happen on occasion.

Now that I have mentioned it, all of you will hear it all the time and it will drive you crazy you can thank me later...ha ha. Great, I feel better now, getting that off my chest. Please remember that I am not an expert, and I am sure there are 47 other grammatical errors in this little blurb that someone could point out. I just had to get my particular peeve out in the open (and now that I have, let us hope that I don't ever use "me, myself, and I" incorrectly or I will have hell to pay).

(Just a little side note, MS Word has all my little "myself"s underlined with squiggling green lines...I guess it doesn't like it either....)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Too Much Aggression?

Yahoo! News - Nice Outfit! Well, Yes, We Are Still Convicts...

While I agree that colors do affect moods differently, it seems that next they will be saying that the bars, fences and guards with guns are decreasing morale as well.

In reality the aggression might just be a factor of being a criminal penned up in a little box with no one but other inmates to commit crimes against.

It seems that the money for uniforms in other colors could be used to improve morale in the system in other ways. Of course, this is just my opinion.

Spring Has Sprung

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. It was terrific...I am so glad to see winter out the door. I imagine I am only a day or so away from unpacking all the summer stuff and putting the winter stuff away for good...assuming I get my papers done for school first.

Usually each year, my sister and I decorate Easter Eggs (even though we don't have kids and we don't hide them). It is just something we do for fun, to hold on to the inner child I guess (we also dress up for Hallloween). This year I was not able to get to her part of the country before Easter so we have not done it, but I will be there in a few weeks and we will do it then. Anyhow, I realized yesterday that hardboiled eggs are a taste that reminds me of Spring.

Growing up, I lived in a region of the US that gets all 4 seasons for about 3 months each. As a kid, each season probably seemed too long, but as an adult that has lived all over now, I can't believe how good I had it weather-wise growing up. We had snow in winter, hot dry summers with evening thunderstorms, flowery springs and leave-changing falls. Of course every once in a while we would get some kind of fluke thing, like snow before Tday or after Easter, but it was not usual.

There were days when you could walk out in the morning and just feel that the season had changed. I think that my senses are very sensitive to season change. There are things in daily life that just feel like one season or another. The way the shadow falls at a certain time of day, or the sound of lawnmowers cutting grass, small planes flying overheard (both summer things for me) can trigger that nostalgia for a season. A few weeks ago, I was eating strawberries (don't ask me how we had strawberries in winter, but we did) and I have determined that strawberries are a summer taste for me....

On a side note (speaking of shadows falling) one year my husband and I went to Alaska on vacation in June near the longest day of the year. Well, it doesn't really get dark there during the month of June (in some areas the whole summer) and that really messed with my head. We would be fishing up some small stream and the way the shadows were falling told my inner clock that it was about 4:30pm and we should be looking at getting going so we can work on dinner back at the campsite. I look down at my watch and it was almost 9pm at night!!!! Very strange indeed, I don't know how people that live there get used to that or the terrible opposite in the winter with it being dark all the time....

Anyhow, I just wanted to express my joy at seeing Spring here. We have lots of trees in bloom (although our dogwood has not bloomed yet) and flowers sprouting up all over the place. I am sure in a few months, I will be wishing for the hot muggy summer to be over but for now, I am thrilled to see the sun and have it mean temps over 60 degrees....yeah!!!!