Friday, September 30, 2005


I thought of this after landing for the second time yesterday on my way home.

Why can't all planes land as nicely as that Jet Blue one did during that crisis....if they are trained to land that way, why don't they do it more often? Wouldn't that be good practice for them?

Accounts of N.Orleans violence questioned - Yahoo! News

I think the media should be held partially responsible. They have a duty to check their sources even if the source is the Police Chief or Mayor. Those two weren't even in the Superdome or Convention Center.

Travel Karma Update

Well, while the trip back didn't suck completely, I did get food poisoning the night before flying so I had to change my ticket to a later time that ended up costing me 100 bucks, and then I also had some other physical issues that came up that I won't go into detail on.

Fortunately the flight wasn't too bad, and I managed to get home last night late. My internal clock is completely messed up (since I didn't sleep much the night before with the food poisoning incident), and so I am taking it easy today, getting a few things done but not rushing to do everything at once. I am sure tomorrow will be a great day.

On the homefront, it looks like J was true to his word and no animals or plants died in my absence...yeah!!!! Now I just have to clean up my luggage mess, deal with all the mail we recieved and get to some schoolwork and Christmas cards...yuck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

NW Geocaching

I know I don't blog about geocaching much, but it is one of my favorite pasttimes, and I rarely seem to find time to do it lately. Add to this that geocaching in my area of the US absolutely sucks. This is frustrating when I do find the time because it is obvious that the hiders do not know what they are doing.

So while here in the NW, I have gone out on a couple of caches, actually found them on the first time and they were real caches (rather than micros, which I am beginning to hate). Geocachers in the NW just know how to do it better (might be the fact that it started here). I plan to hit a few more while I am here in Portland, only to return home later this week to the dismal attempts that are made where I live.

The following are some hints for those cache hiders in my area of residence in hopes that someday we'll see some improvement.

1. The hint section is supposed to just be that, a hint. Not some space for you to encrypt a snide remark to the seeker. A person should not have to go home to send you an email if you have included a hint on the cache page.

2. Hiding a 35mm film canister in the woods with accuracy of more than 25 ft is not fun for anyone but apparently you. Causing seekers to overturn every log and rock is not good for them, or the environment and if you continue down this path, I will be forced to report you to the powers that be.

3. Spend a little bit of money on a piece of tupperware and a few small items and hide a regular cache once in a while. When you hide 46 micro caches in the space of 6 miles, it seems like you are being a bit cheap.

4. Put the micro cache in some place interesting, picturesque, or educational. Sticking a magnetic key holder to a guardrail on the edge of a busy highway does not qualify as any of the above. Regular sized caches don't have to be in the above places because finding the cache and trading "treasure" is the fun. In a micro, the seeker is only signing a log and claiming the find, so the placement needs to add something in itself.

5. Don't put stupid things like "negative comments will be deleted" on your cache's page. If you know this is going to be the response by some of the seekers, then perhaps you should rethink the cache in the first place. We should be able to be honest about our finds and you should be able to take some constructive criticism.

I realize that those this is addressed to, do not read my blog, but getting it out of my system is good for me. For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about, but would like to know more, there is a link to the most popular geocaching website in my sidebar. For those that are going to tell me that I should put out my own caches to set an example, I say, I know this but haven't the time or inclination to do so, being a premium member is my contribution right now.

So, I will continue to take advantage of the superior geocaching available while here in the NW and hope that someone will learn from the mistakes of those micro hounds elsewhere in the country.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


An example of kiwi vine.
Well, the housework is finished (school work is not but I plan to get to it first thing tomorrow), and I am back down in Portland until my flight on Thursday.

My sister and her husband came up to Olympia to help me with the house and it was so much better with them there, not to mention that I would not have been able to do some of the work if they had not come.

I went from Seattle at my dad's to my friend D's house before this weekend. I wanted to visit with D and his wife J and also wanted to deal with some house issues before the weekend. I had a nice visit with them but didn't get a whole lot accomplished at the house during that time.

An example of grape vine.So Sat morning, the slave labor, I mean relatives arrive and we go to town. We had to replace the garbage disposal in my house, which is something I have never done before, and as fate would have it, my plumbing set up under my kitchen sink was not "normal". It actually wasn't too hard, but we couldn't test it until the next day because it needed time to dry first. We set to work on the multitude of vines, and other pruning that needed to be done around the yard. In the process of cutting one of the vines, I managed to find a weak spot in the trellis I was standing on, and had to add reinforcing it to my list of things to do. We found a stopping point around 5pm, left the renters with instructions to not use that side of the sink, and headed off to the hotel and dinner. We ate takeout and hung out in the hottub soaking.

An example of wisteria vine.Sun morning (today) we headed over to check the disposal for leaks, and to measure the 2x6 boards we would need to shore up the trellis. Of course they couldn't be a perfect size but the renter had a Skil saw so we were in business. We made short work of the reinforcement and moved on to the rest of the vines and pruning. The disposal was fixed perfectly and all we had was a compost run to call it a day.

We actually got out of there by midafternoon and had a late lunch at a park near one of my favorite vietnamese restaurants (where we had ordered awesome food). The ride to Portland felt long but was pretty uneventful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Travel Karma

I don't know what happened in the last few days to give me such good travel karma but it was shining on me yesterday.

So much worked out that I can only summarize it in a list, so here goes...

1. Checked in for flight day before flight, had aisle seats for entire flight (both directions even).
2. Arrived at airport on time, got through security relatively quickly, and got to gate as boarding started.
3. Arrived at second airport with 35 minutes between flights, got to new gate as boarding started.
4. ONLY DOWNSIDE- waited to take off on the runway for 20 minutes but slept through most of it.
5. Decent food, pillows, and blankets on flight (Continental Airlines) of 5 1/2 hours.
6. Landed ahead of schedule even with delay in number 4.
7. Bag came down ramp immediately after potty stop on way to claim it. No waiting.
8. Lite rail in Portland was waiting and was empty enough for me, my suitcase and carryon.
9. Train ride was painless and only cost 1.80 dollars.
10. Bus to rental car place in downtown Portland came right after finding bus stop which was only a few steps from the lite rail stop.
11. Bus let me off across the street from rental car place.
12. Renting a car from the downtown agency saved me 150 dollars over renting from the airport.
13. Left Portland at 2:00pm, got to Dad's house in Seattle right around 5pm and managed to get through Portland, Vancouver, Chehalis, Olympia, Tacoma, Fife, Seatac, and Seattle with no traffic (Dad lives near U).

So either I am being paid back for some goodness I did in the past, or my trip home is going to be from hell....I am hoping for the former as positive thinking sometimes works, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

On The Road Again

Well amazingly enough, six months have passed and it is again time for my trip to the NW to deal with issues at our house.

This time will be funfilled with cutting lots of vines (grape, wisteria and kiwi) and replacing a dying garbage disposal. Yeah!!!!

Nice thing is that I am taking this trip much earlier in the semester this year so I won't be so stressed with school work like I was last time (25 page research paper due while on trip), and the time I will be at the house will be over the weekend so my sister and her husband are coming to help (which makes it so much better and faster).

I fly out tomorrow morning and will return in 10 days. As it is a bit cooler there already, I have had to break out some of my warmer clothes...will be kind of weird to be wearing pants again (I live in shorts and skirts with sandals during the summer here). Ooooh and shoes, other than tennies for exercising or yard work, I have not really worn regular shoes....that will be strange too. So much to look forward to, can't you see?

Anyhow, this post is rambling...I will be still checking in regularly (what would I do without Internet), will still be posting and will of course still be doing schoolwork, so you won't even notice that I am gone except that my posts might reflect my location a bit more.

Hasta luego

Friday, September 16, 2005

Famous Leaders

Thanks to Freemind_Sprite for this one.

Rescuers struggle to save pets after Katrina - Yahoo! News

Please help the Humane Society out if you can. The animals are the worse victims of this mess and deserve a chance if we can give it to them.

I have a link to the HSUS on my sidebar.

Thanks so much.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Picture Posting

I was reading The Everglades today and one of his commenters was talking about the new infusion of pictures those of us on Blogger can now post.

You know, now that Blogger has made posting pictures so easy (you could do it before but the pic had to be on a server somewhere in the websphere in order for it to post), I have to wonder when our enthusiasm for multimedia will crash their servers.

I mean if before we weren't allowed to post pics because it meant uploading to their servers...then what happened? Did they buy a bunch of great big servers so that we could post pictures for free? Really? Sometimes when I am posting, I am thinking, will this one be the one that pushes them over the edge?

I tend to just upload the pictures from my computer as is (I don't shrink them in size or bytes), so I am hoping that perhaps their server does. Otherwise, one more post, and that could be it...such a doomsdayer, I know.

Always Maxi

Okay, another commercial peeve...what is the deal with "Have a Happy Period"? These are almost as bad as the Tampax ones where the girl plugs the leak in the boat with a tampon.

They think they are being so cute and reassuring, when in reality, they are being very annoying. There is no such thing as a "happy period".

Obviously a guy thought this campaign up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Wow, what a pain in the ass (but necessity) refrigerators can be.

We have been having fridge problems lately....ours came with the house we bought in November last year and is about 14 years old.

We noticed a few weeks ago that the milk was just not that cold and then as you know from one of my recent posts, there were even some sour milk issues...which I was attributing to the fact that I drive a long way to do grocery shopping (thinking the milk was warming up on the trip). Nope, it was the fridge.

We put a temp gauge in there and found that both it and the freezer were running a bit warmer than they should be. So to avoid spoilage, we put a big tub inside of it with ice (which we had to change daily) and set all the dairy in the tub. Worked pretty good, but was obviously not a permanent fix.

We consulted the Internet (and I am now a refrigeration expert) and did all the troubleshooting we could do without a repairman at our side...none of it worked but we do have a dust bunny free fridge now...

Finally I broke down and called a recommended service company (after tossing the third partially full gallon of milk down the drain in 2 weeks). They came out in the afternoon, were very receptive to all the things I had already done and checked, and decided to tap the cooling system to see if it was low or leaking.

Turns out that it works fine, but because of the big ass shelves now available in fridge doors, we had too much weight (all those Thai sauces and other condiments) in it and so it was not closing correctly. Because it was not closing correctly, the little light was never going off and it was heating up our fridge inside....I did not realize that little light put out so much heat but apparently it does. So we moved some things around, he tighted up the hinges and now it closes fine and the temp is where it should be.

Only cost me 100 bucks for the service call, tap, and labor...better than buying a new fridge I guess. Ugh!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bug Issues

I woke up at 5:30am this morning to a large buggy flapping sound skimming by my startled me out of a complete deep sleep.

My surprise didn't seem to affect J much so rather than wake him up too, I just moved my pillow closer to the end of the bed and then tried to go back to sleep (even though I knew I would never sleep with a bug in our room). A few seconds later, I hear it again only now it is close to J. I fly up out of the bed. J freaks out because he hears me startled and I tell him that I heard it again and it was near him.

He turns on the light, and there is this 2 inch long beetle-like bug on the floor near his head. He grabs a tissue, tracks it down and squishes it. I heard the crack of its body when he killed it.

I relax, straighten the sheets and lay back down. I am just about back to sleep and I hear the wings of some other bug in the room....I try to ignore it (thinking my mind is playing tricks and it just the sound from the ceiling fan). A few minutes more, I hear it again. I grab my socks, my pillow and start to head out.

J wakes up and asks me what I am doing. I tell him that I hear another bug near my window and I am not sleeping in a bug room. I grab a sheet out of the linen closet and hit the couch for the rest of the night. Didn't get much sleep there either after being totally awake, so now my head hurts, my eyes are dry and my stomach is growling. I have to drive to my not favorite place today to do some grocery shopping now that our refrigerator is working again...what a great start I am getting.

Looked for second Mr Bug this morning when I came back in and it was just a moth. Oh well, I couldn't take any more buggy flapping last night.

Now I Can See

Actually, I could see before but I did purchase new glasses this last week. I have always had two pairs of glasses (a little of the OCD in me peeking through), but one pair got ruined hanging out in my dive bag so I have been stuck with one pair for some time.

The pair that I had I bought in college (1989ish) and the frames are burgundy, big and remind me a bit of Square Pegs or As Life Goes On...

These ones are much smaller and even though the prescription has not changed, the shape throws my eyes off. I can see around these glasses and it is a bit blurry in the around parts, so it is taking me some time to get used to them. Not to mention that I only wear my glasses for the 15 minutes between taking my contacts in or out and bed...this greatly adds on to the time it takes to get adjusted to them.

The plus side is that I think they are more flattering than my other glasses and they are much smaller and lighter which is fabulous...

Monday, September 12, 2005


My fortune cookie reads "With a little more hard work, your creativity takes you to great heights."

Hmmmm, I wonder what aspect of my creativity it is talking about....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Keeping To Myself

Found this little guy when I was geocaching at a near by park last week ... didn't find the cache but got some cool pics anyhow.

School Dayz

I started up a new semester last Tuesday and some how I am already a chapter behind in our reading....this is what happens when I take classes in things that I am totally not familiar with. Each semester I go into it with all these resolutions about how much I am going to read and take notes, do the extra work at the end of each chapter, and it always seems that I end up behind in the reading (since it causes me to nod off) and then it is downhill from there. Last class I think I got 2 chapters into the book before I gave up trying to read it and just winged it. Got an A though, so I guess I must have absorbed something...

This class is about Decision Support Systems and Intelligent least that is what the book says. Being that I am not part of a huge organization, I have had no experience with this kind of technology so I am flying by the seat of my pants. This class only has about 12 students in it and I would say that 70% either work with DSS or have worked with DSS. So while I won't be able to share my own personal experiences with Artificial Intelligence, I am hoping that they will be willing to.

Nice thing is that I will end up learning a ton (since I am starting at zero on this one) and hopefully will end up one class closer to being done with my degree.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Toilet Paper

Do we have such a problem with changing the toilet paper roll in this country that we have to buy rolls that are so large we need extenders to use them in our dispensers?

I mean, if it is such a hassle to take one roll off and add another one, maybe you put in one of those big ass things they have in public restrooms. Really folks...research money is really being spent on this kind of stuff?

Blogger Comments Problem

I have been wondering why I have not gotten even one comment on my posts this week, so I had my sister (who usually comments at least once) try to comment and she was not able to, so I am thinking that other people might have not been able to either. I know that I had a problem commenting one day on P'nut's blog the other day but after I did a refresh, it went through okay. That solution is not working for my sister.

I sent a note to Blogger to see if they can fix the problem, but it seems that something with the word verification is stopping my comments from happening (and this is with me still allowing "other and anonymous" comments)....which would suck because I want to block the spam if I can.

Anyhow, if you have been reading but not able to comment for some reason, can you drop me a line at mishkablogger at yahoo dot com so that I will know and can let Blogger know? I would greatly appreciate it.

Calif. Assembly passes bill to allow gay marriage - Yahoo! News

Wow, are we starting to make progress or should I not get my hopes up?
Update....of course Arnold is going to veto it...and you know his press secretary's line about not letting the legislature overturn the voter's decision is a bunch of crap, because I can think of at least two different occasions when the voters passed something and then the legislature overturned it.

They just use that argument when it fits their agenda....supporting the people's vote my ass.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Asian Countries Offer U.S. Hurricane Aid - Yahoo! News

This is what being human is warms my heart to hear that some of the poorest countries in the world are willing to give what they can to help our country.

Japan was hit by a strong typhoon (hurricane in the Atlantic) this week and they have dead, flooding, and damage and are still pledging to send support to us.

Life on this planet should not have to do with economics, race, or religion. It should just be about the fact that we are all human and should want the best for everyone.

Turn Signals

We all have them people...USE is the courteous thing to do and it really is not that hard.

Humane Society of the United States

Please give to the Humane Society of the United States to help save the animals/pets that have been left behind during the evacuation of the Gulf Coast. These animals did not have a choice to leave or not to leave, and they have not been looting or shooting at anyone. They deserve a chance. Thanks!!!!!

There is a link to their page in the title of this post and I have also added a link to my sidebar to directly connect to their donation page.


I am taking at trip to the NW soon, and I am trying to work out the most economical rental car situation. I get a pretty decent rate from one car company in particular (although at times their customer service sucks) but I found on my last trip there (I do this trip twice a year to work on a house we have in WA state) that it is much cheaper to rent a car downtown than at the airport.

So in the interest of saving some money on this trip, I had worked it out that I would rent a car for one day from the airport and then drop it off downtown where I would pick up the longer rental. There is no charge to drop the car off at the airport if renting it from downtown or vice versa, so that seemed to work, except that I was paying like 50 bucks (one day rental with taxes and fees) for basically a ride downtown from the airport. So this weekend I changed my mind and thought I would figure out how to get from the airport to the downtown agency by rail and bus.

I got in touch with my sister who lives in Portland and she did the public transit thing for me. Her and her husband are pros at the area and the TriMet system so I knew they were the ones to ask. I have to say, after spending a lot of time in Portland and Seattle that these two American* cities have figured out a economical and convenient way to do public transport (which I think is required if you are ever going to get anyone to use it). My sister sent me a link to the TriMet website, and it has a trip planner on it so you can find out exactly what buses, rails and what have you, you would need to take to get from point A to point B....isn't that cool?

Do other metro areas have this kind of system and if so, how would you rate it?

*My experiences with metro systems in Asia have to be the best I have seen ever....they rock when it comes to public transport.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Extra Work

This was taken Thursday after the initial landscaping had been done....looks nice huh?
The house across the street being constructed is almost finished. It was supposed to be done earlier this month but some how it didn't happen.

On Thursday, they came in and laid all the sod you can see in the picture and put all the pretty pine straw out....which didn't make sense to me as I had it on good authority that on Friday they were going to hook up the water. It looked nice for Thursday evening and early Friday morning, until the crews showed up and had to move all the sod and pine straw...what a waste of work.

Water is in now, phone is next I guess. I can't wait for them to be done as they keep spray painting the utility locations on my nicely manicured easement and the neon orange, blue and red do not go with my decor...

Note that the link is to the very first post I did regarding this construction. There have been many since, but I can't link them all here so you will just have to search :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yeah Oregon!!

We watched the Oregon Ducks beat the Houston Cougars (38-24) last night in an out of conference game played in Houston. It was a good game, Oregon came from behind to win. Clemens, the Oregon quarterback is pretty good. I was impressed. I hope this means good things for Oregon's season this year and the Pac-10 in general.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stargazer Lily

I have one pot of this color and then two of the whites.
I purchased 3 pots of Stargazer Lillies today at Lowe's. Each pot has three lillies in it so after they are done blooming I will have 9 bulbs I can put in the ground for next Spring. These are forced nursery blooms as they don't usually bloom this time of year but they had them on sale and the smell alone was too much to pass up.

Usually when I am buying fresh flowers for our house, I stick with carnations or other blooms that last a long time just to get my money's worth. It is sad because I can always smell the lillies when I am shopping but have to look the other way because they don't last long once cut and they are usually much more expensive than the carnations.

These were cheaper than if I had just purchased the bulbs alone and I'll have the fragrance for 3 weeks or so (until the blooms are done). I have one in my office and it is just lovely. I am such a sucker for a good smell....

Where In The World Have I Been

Thanks to Timmy for this one.

Create your own visited country map

Create your own personalized map of the USA

Updated on 9/2/08 to include Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Philippines, and Taiwan on the World Map and Lousianna, Michigan, Indiana, Pennyslyvania, and West Virginia on the State Map.