Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Here is an awesome post from Dave's Window. Check it out if you have time....perhaps if enough people read it and appreciated it, we would live on a better speck of dust than we do.

Sharp Objects May Be Allowed on Planes - Yahoo! News

What are they thinking????

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 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

In a Pinch

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 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

Gym Weirdness

I have succumbed to the gym the last few days because as I have mentioned on Finding My Happy Medium, I have goals to meet by Christmas and I needed a jump start on my program that hasn't been going anywhere for the last two weeks.

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) 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

What Happened to the Classics?

I was just recently searching the Internet for a high school reading list, and I was very surprised by what I found.

Back story-

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

Steve Terrill

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

Shaun Alexander

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, 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

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's birthday and I just wanted to say thanks for all the fish and hope you have a great one.....we love you!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gross Out

Okay, enough already....

The big toe infected with toenail fungus in the advertisement on Yahoo Mail is grossing me out. It makes me not want to look at my mail at all today.

Time Flies

I can't believe how quickly this month is going is already midway and it seems like it just started.

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

Once Again

Another awesome post by Sarah the Penquin...check it out if you have time.

Whip Lash

I think I gave it to myself on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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 that explains why my neck has hurt since then...duh!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

My God! It's full of stars!

Not my photograph but very close to what I could see through my telescope the other night.
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

We've Got Fudge!!!

My mother-in-law just sent me and J a box of homemade fudge for our birthdays. We are both this month and she knows how much we love her fudge (the best, absolutely). Only drawback is that I was excited we had finally gotten rid of the cake from his birthday...and now we have something new to temp us, but that is okay because it is so awesome and I know she was thinking of us when she made it. I'll just add a few lunges and crunches onto the workout...haha. We have friends coming this weekend, so I am sure a big dent will get made in it.

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

And The Saga Continues...

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

Eagles Suspend Owens for Season - New York Times

I say good riddance...more NFL teams need to do this kind of thing so that the money hungry whining of "star" players will stop. Football is a team sport and no player should be treated like they are the only one that allows a team to win a game.

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


I have been dealing with a little Internet fraud over the last week or so. Initially, I got a couple of emails from P telling me that my E userID was not functioning correctly while they were trying to update logos...I ended up in this long discussion with them via email trying to get them to understand that I should not have any logos...I am strictly a buyer (and only an occasional buyer at that).

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

Covering My Butt

Due to Ian's problems with a blog virus, I decided it was time to back up all of my templates. My templates aren't anything special, they are basic Blogger templates, but I have gone to a lot of trouble to "tweak" my sidebar, links, and such. I would be bummed to lose them. So I just "copy and paste"d them into word documents that I can access if I need them someday.

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.

Chemical Balance

Okay, one person using the hottub is easy to do...but more than that, it becomes a delicate balancing act to get it just right.

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 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


My gift after the break
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

Trick or Treat

Treat of course....guess what? We got one trick or treater....I have seven bags of candy....nice, huh?

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.

Snow Monkey

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?