Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hopping Babies

One of the baby Cardinals is out of the nest hopping around on the ground trying to learn to fly...it is so cute. I am hoping to get a pic or some video of it but I don't want to make the mom too nervous, so we will see...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Laura Bush/Hillary Clinton presidential matchup? - Yahoo! News

I am sorry but who was it that said they wanted a "Bush dynasty"...wow, talk about slip of the tongue...

Guide gives four 'paws' for pet-friendliness - Yahoo! News

Last time I had to travel with a pet, it took a lot of searching to find Internet sites that would list "pet-friendly" hotels...we need a book like this for the US too (hopefully animal abandonment for vacation reasons is not as high as it is in Italy, but we could still use the book).

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Red Cardinal

I just discovered this afternoon a Red Cardinal nest in the holly bush outside my office window.

I kept hearing periodic chirping when I was on the computer and finally today, investigated. I found the nest but didn't know the bird type until just now when one of the parents came by to feed the little ones.

Perhaps I will get to see these ones take flight soon as I missed the opportunity with the bluebirds out back.

Friday, May 27, 2005

OCD

Don't you hate it when you put something you care about in a "special" place so it won't disappear on you or get ruined, and then you can't remember where the "special" place is?

I just found, by accident, something I have been missing for over 6 months now in a "special" place...my organizational skills are so boardline OCD land isn't not even funny.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Cliffhanger

Ugh!!!! I hate them...both Alias and Lost had cliffhanger end of seasons last night. I have never liked cliffhangers, I know why they do them but I still hate it.\

It doesn't make me anymore likely to watch it next season, and I would love closure each time...but of course that is not how they like to market. It is probably mostly me, since I can stand waiting for the next in a series of books either...sometimes I just wait until they are all available...isn't that terrible?

Flew the Coop

Or nest in this case. I didn't see the parent bluebirds around at all the last couple of days so I started to get worried. Unfortunately, we are right in the period that they say is bad to check on the nest so I have been avoiding it.

Tonight while hitting some golf balls, it was just too much for me and curiousity won out. I checked the nest and they are all gone...guess they flew away over the weekend because the babies were in there on Saturday during our party....

I'll leave it alone for a few more days just in case, but then I will take the nest out (you are supposed to) so they can start with a new nest for the next clutch. Apparently they will lay two more times this summer...we'll see if they come back.

Lawsuit says school violated free-speech rights - Yahoo! News

Regardless of whether her rights were violated or not, I find it hard to believe that her kindergarten aged child has the Bible as their favorite book....that is just her excuse to push her agenda without regard for her child. Think of the harrassment that poor child is probably getting because their favorite book is not Barney, or the Velveteen Rabbit...

Suspect pilots could still walk, jury told - Yahoo! News

I can't believe that the defense actually believes they can use a "not operating the plane" argument because when they were arrested the plane was still being towed.

That would be like telling the police officer when they pulled someone over for drunk driving that at that moment they weren't driving the car, it was on the side of the road idling....duh....weren't they being towed to the runway to take off???

Interpret This



Float On by Modest Mouse


"Bad news comes don't you worry even when it lands
Good news will work its way to all them plans"

Laid back and real, people appreciated you for you are in 2004.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Party's Over

We had our little cookout and it went over well. We got to see a lot of people that we haven't seen in a while and that was terrific. It was our first get together in the new house and it was fun to share it with our friends.

We ate a lot, drank a lot, and reminisced about everything and anything....stories were told that some of us would probably want to keep under wraps and others were fictionized to make them more entertaining.

Today was a lazy catch up day, and it was nice to just take it easy and relax. Tomorrow, it is back to the grind...haha. Anyhow, haven't been able to get on the computer this weekend much and just wanted to do a little catch up....that is what today was for, right?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Photos of Underwear-Clad Saddam Published - Yahoo! News

And the idiocity just continues to go on and on and on...

Here Comes The Sun (Not!)

I am beginning to wonder if the sun is going to come out today. It has been raining and thunder and lightening here since about 5am and it is so dark in my office right now, I need to use the lights.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Baggers

I went grocery shopping today for our cookout this weekend, and I finally remembered to bring in my brown paper bags to reuse them (as we don't have mixed paper recycling readily available so I have a ton of these bags, and I hate to thrown them in the trash).

I think it must have thrown the baggers off because I swear I got the worst bagging job I have ever seen...ugh!!

Guilt

Why is it that I feel guilty eating tuna fish in front of my pet fish? Do you think they know?

Everytime I crack a can of tuna these days, I get this weird little voice that says "Don't let the fish see you". I have only had fish for 6 months so this is new to me and they are stationed pretty close to the kitchen. I catch myself turning my back so they can't see what I am doing....I know, I am a crack pot...haha.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

10 Years of Mishka

Stole this from Joanne, who stole it from Cat.

10 years ago:

I was twenty-something.
I was living on the East Coast while my husband of three years attended school.
I was missing my family on the West Coast a lot.
I had a lot of debt and not much money.
I met a lot of my husband's family for the first time.
I had just discovered email.
I visited Washington DC, and New York as we drove up the East Coast for Christmas.
I had only one cat named Madison who I had had since high school.
I watched my sister go through the worst year of her life.
I had a bachelor's degree under my belt.
I had only a few close friends, one that was local.

5 years ago:

I was in between twenty-something and thirty-something.
I was living on the West Coast.
I had two cats, one named Madison, one named Chase, who we had just adopted.
I was getting ready to move to Japan.
I had a network admin certificate under my belt.
I had a pretty good job with easy hours and fun people.
I was playing soccer again pretty regularly.
I was living in the house we bought three years before.
I was spending a lot of time with my family.
I was becoming very skilled on computers.
I was not writing, singing, doing art, or playing music much.
I was too busy a lot of the time to really enjoy things.
I finally paid off my school loans and we were completely out of debt (minus the mortgage).

3 years ago:

I was thirty-something.
I was living in Japan.
I had started my graduate program.
I had both kitties, they made the trip with flying colors.
I had my house on the West Coast rented but was not happy with my rental company.
I was writing and reading more.
I was exercising more.
I was skinnier than I had been in a while.
I was tanner than I had been in a while.
I had been to Thailand a few times, and was getting ready to go to Cambodia, and Vietnam, and Australia.
I had a close knit group of friends.
I was having a lot of fun and adventures.
My grandmother on my biological father's side died.
I was playing soccer on the weekends.
I was investing pretty heavily in our futures.
I was experiencing some amazing cultures.

1 year ago:

I was thirty-something.
I was living in Japan but getting ready to move back to the US.
I was planning our trips to China and Tokyo.
I had both cats but was only a few weeks away from finding out terrible news about Madison and having to put her to sleep.
I had refinanced our house on the West Coast but it wasn't rented.
I was playing soccer.
I was still tan and fit.
I was still doing the graduate student thing.
I built my own computer and it worked great.
I was stressing about the move enough to make me vomit and feel terrible.
The close knit group of friends had dissipated but I had made two new fabulous ones.
I was being creative again for the first time in a while.

Today:

I am still thirty-something (and plan to be so until the end of time).
I am living on the East Coast again.
I am still doing graduate school but at a slower pace.
I am living in the second home that we have purchased.
I still have the home on the West Coast and it is rented to some great people and our rental company is much better.
I am missing Japan, my friends there, and my family an awful lot but am getting accustomed to my new surroundings.
I am writing more than I ever had.
I am reading a lot.
I am still exercising but did gain some weight over the winter (nothing drastic, but I noticed it).
I am so much paler than I have been in 5 years.
I am getting ready to celebrate my 13th anniversary this year.
I only have one cat, Chase but she is enough to handle right now.
I am getting excited about having our first visitors to our new location this summer.
I am looking forward to some new adventures in this part of the world.

Chirping

Last night when I was sweeping the back patio, I heard the first little peeps from the bluebird nest. I guess they must have their eyes open now. The website says to stop checking on them after they are about 14 days old because they might get scared and try to fly out of the nest too early. I have a week or so before they reach that age...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Inspired

I was inspired today by Randi and the fact that I am having a cookout at my house this weekend, to finally get the rest of my decorating done.

We have lived in this house since November and I tapped my last nail today (at least for awhile). I am so thrilled to not have that hanging over my head. Even if it doesn't stay the way it is right now forever (and probably shouldn't) at least it is done!!!!

I also moved two rooms around (one stayed and one was mostly moved back)...so I got my work out in as well...whooeee!!!

Hostilities

Apparently the bluebirds do not like the blue jays coming near the feeder (which is not far from their nest). I haven't seen them irritated by any other birds like they were with this bluejay this morning. They chased him right out of the yard, dive bombing him in pairs until he was gone.

Maybe the blue confuses them....I am pretty sure the jay was just trying to eat at the feeder and didn't mean them any harm but who knows.

Court to rehear bartender's lipstick lawsuit - Yahoo! News

If they want to do a "Beverage Department Image Transformation", they should require the men to wear the makeup....haha.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thunder and Lightening

I like how they play thunder sounds at the grocery store before the mist comes on in the produce department....very imaginative.

Newsweek Apologizes; Afghans Want Action - Yahoo! News

I can't believe that they didn't verify their sources before printing this. They had to know what kind of reaction it would get. Now there are at least 15 people dead for no reason at all...pointless.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's Official

Yeah!! I got an A in my class!! I can't believe it, really I can't. I am so thrilled and now I have the summer to relax...minus the math work I will get to do helping J in his class...but I am a math geek and actually sit jealously watching him do problems...what a dork I am.

Father's Day Cards

Okay, Father's Day is creeping up on us. While I was at the store yesterday, I figured I would just buy cards before they are all picked over and there is nothing left to choose from. How wrong was I? Not that there weren't plenty of cards to pick from, because there were, but they all sucked.

I am so sick of cliché cards...like all fathers sit around in recliners, drink beer, play sports, belch, fart, and like to work on cars...no, they all don't. Then the other option is to go with the sappy suckass ones that just make me want to puke...whatever happened to cool cards?

I wish Fresh Ink made Father's Day cards because I love Fresh Ink cards from Hallmark,...oh and I might mention that the card selection I was looking through was American Greetings. They usually have decent cards. I like their Just My Style ones, although they are getting redundant and old as well.

The quest was not a complete loss, I did find cards to cover all the father figures that we usually buy cards for (dads, stepdads, granpas...) but it was slim pickings let me tell you. Just more affirmation that I need to start making my own cards...which I fully plan to do (and is the only reason I can excuse my expenses in the stamp and stationary arena) but I have so many other things on the "To Do" list that taking the time to make cards is not feasible right now. I may resort back to the tissue and pipe cleaner flower cards I used to make my parents before I knew what Hallmark was.

Deputies Apologize for L.A. Shooting - Yahoo! News

This might turn out to be a case of mistaken identity of sorts, and the county might be paying lots in damages to both the affected residents, and Hayes. This is of course assuming that Hayes ultimately doesn't end up being guilty of a crime.

Fortunately, in this specific case, they did not kill Hayes, but the Sheriff's department will also have to look at, how after firing 120 rounds, their officers only put 4 on the intended target and managed to hit each other and several surrounding buildings instead? Sounds like marksmanship needs to be at the top of the "To Do List".

Calif. police find hand that lost Wendy's finger - Yahoo! News

I guess what I don't understand is why she is not being charged with grand larceny rather than "attempted grand larceny". If Wendy's lost the business because of her, then she in fact stole it from them. Just because she didn't ultimately end up with it, should not factor in, right?

Friday, May 13, 2005

And Then There Were Four

Last count, we have four chicks and 1 egg left. Perhaps tomorrow the last egg will hatch...so cool.

Waiting in Lines

That is what I spent a lot of my day doing. It wasn't as irritating as it usually is but by the fourth line or so...I realized how much time I was wasting...I should have brought a book with me (I am usually good about that), and I could have been multitasking.

Oh well, I am home now, I guess I should get to work.

Don't Want Them to Fry

Apparently when it gets warm here, even if it is not hot to us, I am going to have to turn on our AC so my fish don't overheat.

We are used to much warmer temperatures than what we are expecting to have this summer but yesterday, when we got up into the 90s, my fish tank reached 82 degrees. Much more than that, and the fish can't take it.

Funny to think I have to warm their water in the winter and now to keep it cool in the summer, I will need to use the AC....ha ha. Who would have thought?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

We Have Chicks

I checked the bluebird's nest this morning and the 5 little eggs have turned into 3 chicks and two eggs...they are so small and fragile looking.

This picture is from the web, I don't have any yet that I have taken.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Corona

Eighty degrees, afternoon breeze, shade on the patio. J is cooking up a couple of steaks for us on the BBQ and we have both just cracked open a Corona with lemon in it.

Feels like summer to me but the first taste of Corona always takes me back to Spring Breaks with friends from college in San Felipe BC Mexico...it is amazing how simple life was then and how much I still wanted to be a "grown up". What was I thinking???

Grades Are Coming In

Well today, I got my research paper grade of 95% and my class participation grade of 95%. So unless I am a complete math dork (which I am not since I actually majored in math for a while in college), I should get an A in the class overall. We don't have our official transcript grades posted to the system yet but the classroom grades are all in now.

In an online environment, participation means contributing to the conferences in the classroom, and in the study group areas. It usually counts for 10-20% of the overall grade because without participation, there really wouldn't be a classroom, we would just be reading the text and doing the work, not really exchanging ideas at all. My only complaint about most of the classrooms I have had (9 of them so far) is that the instructor does not contribute enough. They seem to do the online teaching as a side job and therefore don't really "instruct" much. In fact I am almost convinced that the instructors that only require group work are doing so just so that they don't have to grade as much...kind of a cop out, I think.

Anyhow, my research paper was just that, lots of research (and a very interesting topic), but I didn't think the writing was done that well (probably because I wrote it all the day it was due and actually turned in the first draft), but apparently I did something alright to get a A on it (that or everyone else tanked it....eeeekkkk).

So now, I just have to wait a few days for the final official grade to be posted and this class on Computer Security will be behind me and I'll only have three more to go!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fishes

We have had a fish tank for some time but we never put it together in the past. We put it in storage when we moved the last time so only recently have it back in our possession. My husband decided to fill it and run it almost immediately after unpacking it and thankfully it had all the necessary parts for it.

It is a just a little 20 gallon freshwater tank on a black iron stand. J bought the first 6 fish for me for Christmas. They were as follows:

Silver Lyretail Molly 1 Male and 1 Female
Red Wag Platy 1 Male and 1 Female
Red Fin Tetra 2 of undetermined sex.

After the tank cycled and settled, I bought one more female Red Wag Platy and 2 more of the Tetras just so they would have enough to be happy.

Then as I stated in a previous post, one of my female Red Wag Platys died. We think now that it had a tumor.

So after determining that there is nothing wrong with the tank (no disease or anything) and all other fish are happy, I decided to get some new friends in there. I bought 4 Glow Light Tetras and they seem to be adjusting to their new home....

Okay, that is it for pet posts for tonight....we'll see what surfaces tomorrow.

Chase

I just realized earlier today that in all my rantings and ravings about our squirrel terrorists (AKA Rufus) and the birds at the feeder, I have failed to share much at all about our actual pets. So, since I am short on material tonight but still feel the desire to post, I will tell you about Chase, our cat and then perhaps later about my fish.

I have mentioned her before in this post around Christmas time so she has not been completely left from my blog but I have not talked about her much...

Let me start by saying that she is one of the sweetest creatures in the world but definitely not the brightest bulb on the tree. I think she must have smoked pot in a previous life (explains her affinity for catnip) because she has no long term memory. If you get on her about something, 10 seconds later, she is back doing exactly the same thing, looking at you like you have never told her no before.

She was abandoned by her previous owners and just started showing up in our yard at our old house about 5 years ago. The reason I know she was abandoned was because she was much too friendly to be feral, and when I did end up having to take her to the cat doctor, she was already fixed. The doctor estimated her age at the time to be about 1 1/2 years. She is at least partially a Maine Coon. The episode at the vet for the first time was before we had actually adopted her. She was injured by a racoon so I took her in but she wasn't ours so they called her "No Name Yet" on her records.

History is that when we adopted her (started feeding her, paying her vet bills and letting her into the house), we already had a cat named Madison that I had had since I was in high school. Maddie was (I had to put her to sleep at 19 years this past summer) a talker. This is because when I got her as a kitten, I always talked to her, so she would talk back. Chase was not a talker, in fact she never meowed at all unless she was scared. Then she would meow this broken meow that only cats that have starved seem to have. Chase was a licker. She licks you to get you to pet her.

Maddie did not like Chase much because Maddie was old and Chase was young but she tolerated her after the initial 6 months of hissing. Maddie was an indoor kitty at this time (used to be outdoor when she was younger). Chase was both. Chase would antagonize Maddie for the fun of it (hang out on the stairs so Maddie couldn't get to the litter box...sneak up on her from behind the couch...etc). Maddie would let Chase have it with claws fully extended.

Chase and Maddie eventually learned to like each other even if they were never close. When one was missing because of the vet or a trip we were on, the other would get very nervous and meow a lot. When Maddie died, Chase became a much more nervous and scared cat (it didn't help that Maddie died only a month or so before we moved across the world).

Now we are settled in our new house, Chase seems to be happy being an indoor cat for the time being, and has become more brave, but she still likes to be in the room with a human as much as possible, and she will howl if we leave the room and she didn't see where we went. Visitors scare her now, when they never did before. She has started talking much more since Maddie died (this might be because I talk to her more too), and she has started bonking her head on things (headbutting) like Maddie used to do. She will sit and headbutt your leg for an hour until you pet her these days. She doesn't lick as much as she used to (which is a good thing) and I am wondering if she doesn't need a friend....hmmm. Thing is, the litter box is so much more managable with only one cat.



Madison










Chase

Monday, May 09, 2005

One Hundred Percent

I just got my grade from my final exam and I got 100 % on it....I don't have my research paper grade yet but if I am lucky, I might just pull an A out of this class...we'll see!!!

How Old Am I Really?



You Are 24 Years Old

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.



Censorship

Two phrases on TV that I could do without..."erectile disfunction" and "feminine odor".

Sunday, May 08, 2005

We Have Eggs

This morning, while weeding in the backyard, I decided to check out the Eastern Bluebird cavity nest we have. I mentioned before that I was pretty sure they were using it but they seemed kind of sporadic so I was not completely convinced. So after I saw both of them fly away today, I went over and peeked in.

There were at least three little aqua colored eggs in there!! I am so excited. Now I have to keep an eye out that no other birds go in there and that the parents don't disappear on me.

I have read about this some on a bluebird website. According to the site, songbirds do not have a great sense of smell so you can even take out the nest and put a clean one in and they will still come back to it. I am not quite that adventuresome. I figure if I look in there and things look like they are okay, I'll let them be for the most part. I have not seen any other birds that I need worry about so far. I am just excited to think about there being baby birds at some point and helping out the depleted population.

More Visitors

Last evening while we were working in the yard, we saw a Brown Thrasher come to the suet feeder. He didn't seem to care that we were right there. This was our first time seeing this guy.

This morning I saw our first House Finches, a pair of them. Up until now the Goldfinches have been hogging the feeders.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Happy Birthday

Today is my grandma's 79th birthday!!!! Wish I could be there to celebrate but I know my family will do something fun with her. Happy Birthday Grandma!!!!

Toll House Cookies

Out of the blue, J decided to make cookies tonight and I think they were the best yet. He makes them from scratch with semi sweet morsels and they are just terrific...I had to be good and limit my intake but we'll have them for a few more days so that will be nice as well.

Checking the Items Off

Today was the first nice day we have had in a few days. It ended up being in the low 80s and it was just lovely outside. J actually had the day off so I got to see him all day but he is getting ready to start school again (just as I finish up) and I know his "To Do List" was nagging at him. So we spent the day mostly ticking things off both of our lists around the house.

It was nice to spend the time with him, in the outdoors enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine even if we were doing chores...on my list, I got the damage from Rufus fixed up in the attic, all my plants watered, the house cleaned up, both vehicles washed, my scarf for my mom finished, some Nascar and golf watched, and major updating in my hardcopy journal done. J got the front side of the house powerwashed, both vehicles washed, the closet we built in the garage spackled and ready for paint, the patio powerwashed, some weeds pulled, some suckers plants removed, and all the lawn furniture cleaned up. We also both managed to fit some cardio and a trip to the gym (for a very fast speedy workout) in.

Overal it was an eventful day that leaves us both feeling like we checked some boxes on the list. Unfortunately the list doesn't ever seem to get shorter, but the items do change...thankfully.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Newcomer

Today I had a rose-breasted grosbeak at the feeder. According to my bird books, they don't live this far south but obviously this one does...

Spelling Bee

You have to check out this post on Chuck's World. I didn't want to steal it outright...that wouldn't be nice but I thought it was very interesting and I know the writers out there will appreciate it. It will probably drive the Sarcastix nuts though...fair warning...

US vs UK

Boy finds snake in cereal box - Yahoo! News

Notice how because this is from the UK and not the US, there is no mention of suing the company? Hmmmm...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Free At Last

Whew!!! I am done for the semester. The classroom was back up functioning by this evening and I managed to finish my final without an answer to my question from the instructor...in fact I checked my school email just as I was loading up the last draft of my final to the classroom and there was an email from her.

She answered my question but several hours after I had already done the work.....ugh...her email was time stamped at 7pm tonight...thanks lady, nice timing.

I am just thrilled to be done for three months. Tomorrow is my first day of freedom and I can't even imagine all the time I will have to do what I want....Yeah!!!!

Alice's View

Alice's View

WebTycho

Classroom is down (not functioning) and instructor is not responding to email. Final is due tonight at midnight EDT....lots of fun...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Final Days

Started my final on Sunday....have to turn it on Tuesday night. It is going okay, but once again is completely vague in its instructions and the instructor is not responding to email questions (which is by the way, the only way we can ask questions about the final). Ugh!!!! My question is pretty important....she will probably write me back after I turn it in...

I didn't give her a very good evaluation. She just isn't that great of an instructor (should call them facilitators since they don't really teach us anything, we teach ourselves). I have had her before, in my very first online class and didn't like her "teaching" style much then either.

Regardless the light is definitely at the end of the tunnel. Will probably devote most of tomorrow to finishing it up and getting it turned in so I can watch TV with my husband in the evening for the first time in almost 3 weeks (I was gone on my trip for 10 days and he has been working nights for the week that I have been home).

Sun Rebirth



Cool painting huh? No it is not Bantock....

Passive Aggressive

As I mentioned before, we are not great fans of the construction going on across the street. It would not have started off badly if we hadn't had to clean up all their trash one early weekend morning.

Last week, they managed to get a big ass truck stuck on the lot because of the down hill slope. They ended up towing it out with another truck and that truck managed to ruin the end of my gravel driveway peeling out trying to pull the big ass truck out. I went to the door and when the foreman saw me, he started casually kicking the gravel around like he fully intended to fix it (which I know he only did because he saw me). After that truck was out, a guy with a broom came over and swept up the gravel that had spilled into the road back into my driveway.

Later on that day, another truck came to deliver the dumpster and it felt fully at ease using my driveway as some kind of turn around point. I understand using it once in a while but they have only been over there framing the house up for a few days and have used my driveway twice in one day. Sounds like a habit to me and I am nipping it in the bud.

Needless to say, after J left this morning and I had taken out the trash, I moved our truck to the end of our driveway where it will be all day (since I have to work on my final and do not plan to go anywhere). They are usually gone before J gets home so I can move the truck back up to let him in the driveway with no problem.

Bitchy I know....