Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year In Review 2006

Continued this from last year....first sentence from each month's first post for all of last year.

January

I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone out there in blogland.

February

The new commercial running for M&Ms Amazing candy bar with Barry White singing in the background is just too much for me...now candy is having sex????

March

We spent all day yesterday replacing the main water line into our house.

April

I went golfing with J yesterday for the second Sunday in a row.

May

Well, school is behind me for the semester.

June

Does anyone else but me have routines that they do (for small things) everytime and if they have to differ from that routine, it messes them up?

July

I got home after being gone for 2 weeks and the 5 blue bird eggs that had been in the nest for a week when I left were still there.

August

Wow...the last few days have been busy and it isn't slowing down today either.

September

I don't know about you, but whenever I have tried to tile anything in the past, I have always wanted it to be straight and neat.

October

I almost forgot.

November

Well, I got my pumpkins done...at least the scary ones, and I put them out last night.

December

The hummer has driven me away...I know that is lame but it is how I feel.

Well, that is it...a whole year of posting. I just want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year!!!!

I am converting to the new blogger tomorrow so we'll see how that goes...I am backing up posts and my template tweaks before I do it though.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blogrolling Issues

Since is seems that blogrolling is not functioning in the way that it was before, and I can't seem to get them to fix it, I am going to reorganize the way it lists my reads....they will be size, I think.

If anyone knows of another option besides blogrolling....not bloglines, but something I can put on my blog, let me know...right now I am not happy with them because the "recently updated" feature was the best and now it seems to be gone. I don't know that it is their fault...it might be that beta doesn't ping them correctly, but if that is the case, then they need to do some adjustments to get with the new program....oh well, I'll do the size thing for now and we'll see where things go from there.

I will be changing to Beta soon and hopefully changing my template up quite a bit. Still looking for the time to fit it in...perhaps after this weekend when I am not in the middle of replacing my kitchen floor.

Flooring Time

I swear, we weren't in the house more than ten minutes from our trip and J was pulling the quarter round molding off our floors in the kitchen, laundry and pantry in preparation for replacement.

We rented the roller (since this is such a big piece compared to the bathroom we did) today but have it through the holidays. I'll take pics...I know it will look awesome when it is done but the task is going to be quite the undertaking to get right.

There is no break in the linoleum between the kitchen and pantry or between the kitchen and laundry...there is only a small second piece between the dining room and pantry, so that means we are going to be trying to lay, cut, adhere and straighten a piece of linoleum that is 12 ft by 16 ft....should be a lot of fun.

Saddam Is Dead

Weird to think that it actually happened. I hope that Iraq can start to move forward now that this chapter of dictatorship has been closed.

Friday, December 29, 2006

At Home

Well, we made it home last night. Got most of the unpacking done and the laundry started. J even got a soak in the hottub in before we crashed to sleep.

I found two geocaches on the way home and managed to log all the ones from the entire trip, even picked up a coin and a travelbug along the way.

We had Christmas morning this morning and J got me this awesome 5 in 1 printer...I have needed a new printer for a while (although mine works fine, it is just 10 years old and a bit outdated). I can't decide if I should purge the scanner and printer I have now and just keep the new guy, or keep them as back up....I am a pack rat by heart so I am sure it will be a tough decision. I haven't set it up yet because I am still trying to catch up from other things I have to get done today (like checking our mail at the post office)...

I better run, just wanted to let everyone know we were home and doing fine. Will blog more later about the trip and all the observations I have made lately....I am sure you can't wait...haha.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Alive and Well

We are back on solid ground and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. We are currently at a friend's house outside of Orlando visiting but will be heading home this morning. It will be nice to get home.

I managed to get a decent grade in my class, and with any luck, I will get notice that I am a graduate (can't wait). I did get all my Christmas cards done and sent out before we left for the trip as well as many of the other things done that were on my plate and that was a nice feeling.

I plan to blog about our trip but not right now. We are getting things together this morning to get on the road again. Fortunately, we don't have too much of a drive. We took a ton of pictures and I'll probably get those loaded up on my travel blog in the next day or so.

I have a few things on my task list when I return home but I am looking forward to getting some things done that have been moved to the back burner for a while. It will be nice.

Anyhow, just wanted to get a short post up...blogrollings updates don't seem to be functioning. I hope to get caught up with the rest of the blogging world soon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Finished

As of midnight EST tonight, I am done with my master's degree (assuming I did well enough in the class to get credit for it) in Computer Systems Management. I will take the spring off to get some stuff done but I will be entering the work force again some day soon....oh what a thought.

Anyhow, I just thought I would share my joy with being finished with my last class and having it all behind me.

Traveling

Well, we were in Savannah, Georgia last night at our friend's house. It was a lot fun. We went to dinner and out on the river front in the evening. It is a beautiful town and hopefully we can go there again and spend more time. We got to see an awesome rock/blues band at one of the bars in the district downtown and the guitar playing was pretty cool. My dad would have loved it.

Tonight we are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida....long drive today. We are enjoying our trip so far. I'll blog more on this later, when we are home and I have time to do it.

Just so you know, if I am not on the blog scene for the next week or so, it is just because my Internet connection is going to be quite limited.

Friday, December 15, 2006

To Do List

Well here it is...what I have done and what I need to do still at least before we take off this week...

1. Clean fish tank, set fish up.
2. Clean cat box, set cat up.
3. Vacuum house.
4. Treat hot tub and strap down top.
5. Finish case study for class.
6. Finish brainstorming project for class.
7. Respond to other classmates on my conference for class.
8. Make 8 Christmas cards.
9. Pay bills.
10. Pack.
11. Get cash for trip from bank.
12. Take key to friend to house sit with.
13. Set up timers.
14. Make birthday cards.
15. Renew passport.
16. Try on clothes, and return those that I don't need.
17. Deliver friend's birthday gift.
18. Print geocaches for countries
19. Charge cameras.
20. Drop off items at Goodwill.
21. Email trip info to family.
22. Water plants.
23. Make 13 more Christmas cards.
24. Laundry
25. Print maps and directions to locations.
26. Organize, organize, organize.

That is all I can think of right now....gosh it is only a week long trip but you would think I was leaving for months...haha. I have lists started all over my house to try to my brain free to function normally. I better run, have to finish up my brainstorming project so that all I have left in my graduate degree is responding to those that might answer questions on my conference at the last minute (the final questions/answers have to be posted by the 17th).

Note: J did participate in these tasks with me....I didn't do them all by myself.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Due to Popular Demand

Here are two pics I took outside a few minutes ago of our Christmas lights...they are not great, but you can see that it is pitch black and our lights are the only thing out there....haha.


This is the entire front of the house from the street. I had to use the unipod to try to steady the camera enough to get this in the dark and it is still a bit blurry. The thing on the right is the holly bush we lit, then there is the entire gutter along the front, then the porch rail near the porch light and then you can barely see the Christmas tree in the dining room.



This is the Christmas tree from outside the house looking in.

We don't have any moving animals or icicles on our house but some of the ones in another neighborhood have. We'll put the lights on timers when we leave so they will still light up. The ones on the porch are the new LED lights. They are supposed to last longer, burn brighter, and use less energy. I can tell you that they burn lots brighter. They aren't cheaper and with the 96 ft we had to do across the front, I couldn't afford to get them for the gutter.

Christmas At My House

Well, I have had the decorations up for a while but was busy with school, so haven't had a chance to post them. It was very simple this year, I am not into a lot of glitter and foof anyhow so it makes for things to be very easy. Here you go!!!


This is our little Christmas tree on the buffet in our dining room. I only picked a few of our ornaments to hang on it this year since we decided to not do a full size tree. The lights are very cute on it when it gets to be dark but you can't really see them here.


This is the fireplace in the familyroom with a fire burning it it. We have three stockings out and strangely enough, those two long ones belong to J and I from when we were kids (we didn't know each other then). Isn't that weird that they are so similar? The little candle holders on the mantel next to the kokeshi doll have snowflakes on them.




This is a little wooden tree with individual ornaments that I put together every year. It sits on the TV in the family room. I think I bought it at the Monkey store (only some of you will know what that is).



This is our little key table near the front door where I put a basket of pinecones and a candle out. As you can see, it gets piled with keys and iPods as well.

I wish I could take a picture of the house from outside when the lights are on but I don't think it would turn out. We did lights along the gutter in front, down the railing of the porch and then on one bush in the yard. It looks really nice and we are about the only ones on the block with lights on this year.

I have candles all over the house and of course my little Santa cup that I have been putting milk for Santa in since I was tiny...it is too bad we won't be here to feed him this year. Perhaps he will hit our house a day or two late.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Enough Already

Okay, my blogroll is not updating so I have no idea who has updated and who hasn't....I guess I'll try to get some time later on to catch up with everyone.

I am working on one of two deliverables for class that are due this weekend before we leave on our holiday trip....I don't know why this is the hardest part.....grrr.

My manta of "last class, last class" is ringing loudly in my ears today....it is the only thing that is keeping me going.

Wish me luck, everything but the gym is on the back burner otherwise, and I still have tons of other things to do.....ugh!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Countertops

I have owed this post for a while...the whole ordeal was really not that bad, and it wasn't really that much money either. It worked out for us financially to let someone else do the tear out and install but we did all the plumbing, sink setting, faucet replacing, caulking and touch up painting.

This is the before picture of our butcher block looking vinyl tops (and the old linoleum that is next to go, after the holidays).


This is the work in progress. The countertops have been removed. The hole in the sheetrock in the back left corner is visible and the stove is pulled out. I vacuumed up 30 years of old construction debris from all the hidey holes.

This is the final (on the countertops at least). The sink and plumbing is back in, the caulking is done, the painting is finished and all the stuff has been returned to its spot.

Now imagine the room with the new floors...hopefully we'll get those done when we get past the holidays.



Friday, December 08, 2006

Snowflakes

I made some snowflakes!!!! Which remindes me that I need to do some for my front window...maybe I will do that tonight. I cut them out of origami paper and tape them to the windows of our house during the winter.

Anyhow, here are the ones I made online...






You can make one too at this site if you want.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Finally Here

I just got the notice that I need to switch to Beta but I am not going to do it until after the holidays because I know as soon as I start messing with it, I will spend hours playing with it and I just don't have that kind of time right now.

After the holidays, I will have more time than I know what to do with...we'll see if I get anything accomplished...haha.

Getting There

Well, amazingly enough, with all the plates I have juggling in the air, I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done a couple of days ago. Yesterday, I got everything wrapped, and today I got it all boxed up to be shipped. We don't have a lot family in the area, so minus a couple gifts for close friends/family and their kids, everything we buy is shipped to the midwest or northwest.

I have finished all the cards that I am not making but I still need to make some and get them sent. I might get to some of that tomorrow, assuming I get some schoolwork done somewhere.

I had J bring down the two Christmas totes we keep in the attic so I could decorate, and I actually accomplished that yesterday as well, minus the lights outside (which I need to get new lights for). We decided against getting a big tree this year since we will be gone part of the time, but I did decorate our little Oki tree and put it up on our buffet in our dining room. It looks lovely, and once we get the lights outside done, it will be complete.

We are supposed to attend a tree trimming party this weekend and it will be great to see some friends and celebrate before our trip. We'll be home in time for New Year's Eve and I am hearing that there might even be a party to go to...that will be nice for sure.

So, now, I need to get cracking on some schoolwork before my groupmates think I have completely dropped the ball on them. Also today is Thursday, which is the day every week I pick my neice up from school so we can spend some time together. Tomorrow, I am helping a friend out with some Christmas stuff that her husband can't attend and it should be a lot of fun...it seems like the more I have on the schedule, the better I am at getting things done...procrastination just gets put on hold...weird but that is how it works sometimes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

IMPORTANT!!! Unger Report on the ATS

You have to go to this website and hear the Unger Report on NPR about the ATS. It is the database rating system for travelers that was reported about in my post earlier this week. I am so happy to hear that NPR picked up on it and I hope someone makes a huge deal out of this thing....I thought Unger did a great job on this one. His satire is hilarious.

It is also offered as a podcast if you want to download it to Itunes but I figured I could do the link here to the page and you could listen to it in Realplayer or WMP if you wanted...

The link is in the title to this post or here. Let me know what you think....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I Love It

Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" is the number one video on VH1 this morning.....that just rocks!!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

THIS IS IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ U.S. rates travelers for terror risk - Yahoo! News

This is a load of crap. It is a complete invasion of privacy with no way to fight it and unconstitutional as far as I am concerned. This is not what America is about, and our congresspeople need to do something about this soon. I can't believe that this has been allowed to happen and that no one has created any kind of stink about it? What is this country coming to?

I am so irritated and sad right now, I can't even write....

More Books

I updated Mishka's Reading with the November reads...hope you enjoy it.

Can't Do It

The hummer has driven me away...I know that is lame but it is how I feel.

I just can't go there anymore. It was nice while it lasted but it is just not fun anymore...

This is touching on a new thing that has been surfacing in my life recently, and just now, it was an easy break to make. I don't think the rest of them will be, but it might be something that will have to be done.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

School Blues

Well, the countertops are in, and looking nice. J got the sink hooked up last night while I was running errands but we need to do some touch up painting and another round of caulking before we are through, so most of the kitchen counter stuff is still in the dining room.

Today, I am back to the grindstone to finish up this paper. We are also supposed to turn in our class evaluations soon and I think this prof is going to get dinged a bit by me. He has not be a contributor to our classroom learning at all, his grading is pretty inconsistent and it takes him too long to reply to questions posed to him on emails and in the classroom. I just got a grade for my last homework session which I turned in 4 days late...it was the highest grade I have received yet. I don't get it.

My experience in this entire program as been that as the semester continues, the grades get better. I think the profs get overwhelmed and have to get the grades out faster so they end up not being as thorough or something. Oh, well, last class, last class, last class....that is what I keep telling myself. In fact by the time we leave for our holiday trip, I will be done....I can not wait.

I just got graduation stuff in the mail yesterday. They sent out the usual stuff for us to order, like class rings (that they want just too much money for), announcements, and other items. I was thinking about getting some announcements just to let family know but since they will make reference to the graduation ceremony in May (which I won't be attending), I felt like they would just end up looking like a ploy for gifts. I figure something else out to do an announcement...maybe in my family newsletter (which is way overdue). Anyhow, getting that stuff in the mail made me realize that I am so close...last class, last class, last class.

Well I better go while my mantra is still drumming through my head and try to get this paper finished up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Countertops Again

Well, the tear out is over...I need to take a picture for my project documentary but right now I have to run to Lowe's and Hellmart before they come back with the new countertops.

It turns out that the idiots that put in the last countertops (or perhaps it was the very first people that put in countertops in this house) cut them wrong and ended up punching out the drywall on one end of the kitchen to make them fit....idiots.

Anyhow, I am half tempted to put a note back there that it wasn't us that did this so that when someone replaces the countertops some day in the future, they don't think we were the idiots...how funny would that be to find?

Needless to say, as soon as they left to go back to the shop to cut the new countertops, I broke out the vacuum and cleaned up all the construction debris from 30 years ago that was still behind the cabinets....I don't understand how they can just put stuff together and not clean up first. Both sides of the cabinets have these open spots in the far corners and there was just piles of sawdust and drywall crumbs in there. Oh, and the idiots that cut the drywall to fit the countertop they messed up in just left the pieces of drywall in the wall in pieces...so of course you know that is gone now too because I just couldn't let it stay there.

Oh well, it is clean now and I better run before they come back to put the new stuff in. So much for schoolwork today, huh?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Countertops

We are getting new countertops...nothing fancy since we know we are moving but we wanted to update the kitchen and the butcher block looking formica had to go. We ordered the tops (a stone looking formica) a few weeks ago and they are coming tomorrow to take out the old and put in the new. It was so cheap to have them do the install (small local company, Lowe's wanted an arm and a leg) that we decided to let them deal with the headache.

So we had to take some stuff out of the sink cabinet so we could unhook all the plumbing. We purchased a new sink, much like the one we have now and a new faucet, much like the one we have now to replace the old ones. They will take out the old countertops in the morning and will dispose of them and the sink, and will come back in the afternoon with the new countertops and our new sink and install them. We have to do the plumbing but that is no biggie.

So you know what I was doing tonight? You can guess, right? I was sweeping behind and underneath both the refridgerator and the stove (which they will have to move tomorrow) because I didn't want anyone to see the dust bunnies under there. I was even wiping down the old counters where the microwave sits and J said "you don't have to do that", and I said "yes I do...".

I wonder how many others clean all the stuff before they show up...and how many they have to deal with that are just disgusting...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Busy

Today was a beautiful day. J and I were able to spend some time outdoors and stopped at one point to note how lucky we were and thankful that our biggest worry was if a goose would poop on us. It was in the mid 70's (supposed to remain that way the entire week...so you know that doing schoolwork is going to kill me), the sun was out, and the sky was clear. We could see and hear birds and squirrels rustling around in the leaves looking for food. I can't believe that we are a week from December and enjoying this weather. It won't last so I am going to absorb it all while I can before real winter actually shows it head around here.

The gym tonight was busier than I have ever seen it...I guess everyone was working off all that food and guilt...haha.

I did some walking before I got there (have a new geocache that I am putting out this week) and then did some more cardio at the gym before weight lifting. The way our gym is set up, many of the cardio machines overlook the gymnasium so you can watch people play basketball or volleyball. Tonight it was basketball and I kept finding myself absorbed in their games, so much so that I would laugh or shout out when they would shoot or miss....luckily for me, everyone around me had headphones on.

I hate to admit it but tonight's music selection was C+C Music Factory (first 4 songs are all the same beat and great for the elliptical machine) and Green Day (great for weight lifting and cardio), that is until my shuffle ran out of juice halfway through my last set of cable cross overs...it is charging on the computer right now.

My newest cache (as soon as it is published) is a puzzle multicache. I hope that the local cachers enjoy it...it really isn't that hard of a puzzle but I'll give a hint if it looks like it is not working out for people. The hike to it is shorter than most of my caches...but I didn't have a choice, I wanted to introduce a new trail I found and it is only so long...

Tomorrow is going to be a school day for sure. I have a paper (the same one) due on Sunday and I want to get the final draft done and out of the way, so I can concentrate on the group project. I have to get all my school work done and finished by the 15th of December because J and I are leaving town that day for the holiday. We'll be back before New Year's Eve, but my class is over officially on the 17th of December, so we just have to push the work forward a few days.

I have a lot of things on my plate right now, I feel like if I can get some of the schoolwork out of the way, I can enjoy the seasonal things I want to do, like decorate our house and get my cards and gift purchasing done. With the 15th as a deadline...I am feeling the crunch.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just So You Know

Flannel pjs and flannel sheets do not mix well, unless you enjoy being cocooned in the middle of the night.

It is worth it to buy decent toilet paper....the cheap sh1t doesn't tear right and it is frustrating.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cell Phone Recycling

Yesterday was my birthday....and J got me a pay as you go cell phone. If you read my blog at all, you probably know I am not a big cell phone person. Never had one before yesterday and really don't like how the industry is handled in the US so much so, that I vowed if I ever got one for emergencies, it would be a pay as you go phone.

The thing that I found very interesting about my phone was this little bag that was included in the box to recycle cell phones with. The one I had is part of a program Motorola has. There is a link to their site on the title or here. Anyhow, I like anything that has to do with recycling and I thought it was awesome that they included a postage paid bag that you could use to recycle up to three phones in and it didn't matter if they had batteries or what brand they were...how cool is that?

Anyhow, I guess from the website above, you can get postage for free to recycle your old phones too, in case you don't already have one of these handy bags. I recommend doing so, since I read in an article not too long ago that people are filling up landfills with these little non-biodegradable castoffs and it seems to me that recycling them makes so much more sense.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving


To those that celebrate this American holiday...I just want to wish the best and hope it finds you with lots to be thankful for, good health and friends and family to celebrate with.

Have a great one!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back To The Grindstone

Well the nice little 3 day break I had is over....I am back to the schoolwork. I have one more comment at a minimum to make on our brainstorming conference. I need to final draft my paper and start research for our group case study analysis assignment.

With all of this, you would think I would be busy researching or something, but instead, I am sitting on the family room floor with the wind and rain pounding away outside, updating my address books and working on my Christmas card list for this year.

All I can say, is at least I am getting something done and not just wasting the day completely, but I am going to be hurting to get at the school work in the next few days so my group mates don't kill me and I don't end up stressing too much.

At this point, my electronic, hardcopy and email address books are all up to date and I have figured out how many cards I have to make before too long.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Books

One of the things that sucks about being a fast reader...I wait at least a year if not more for my favorite authors to write books and then I end up reading them in about 4 days....wish I were able to spread out the fun a bit longer than that. I just get sucked in and can't stop....terrible.

Friday, November 17, 2006

PlayStation Mayhem - Forbes.com

Someone explain this to me....I don't get the sleeping in line thing and I definitely don't get the robbing and violence. It is a f*cking game, people. In two weeks, no one is going to care that you got one of the first ones. Anyone that would risk going to jail to steal one or kill someone is just an idiot and really needs to be taken out of the gene pool.

Too Much

Okay- I just caught myself trying to scrub off an intentional imperfection (part of the design) on our linoleum floor...I need a break apparently. I had to look under the bath mat at the repeat to make sure it was intentional!!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Power Outage

We had some wind and rain last night...all the gunk coming up from the Gulf states and the power was out when I woke up this morning.

Wasn't bad, except I couldn't make any coffee, but otherwise, I just read my book and ate cereal. It is funny how you forget about it and try to turn lights on automatically or realize that you won't be able to put your contacts in, in the bathroom because it is too dark in there.

Fortunately, we have lots of windows and skylights in this house and it made most normal functioning, okay. Power is back on now (obviously) and I need to get to work. Guess I can make some lunch now.

Monday, November 13, 2006

She's Off

Well, after a day of troubles with the airlines, Chicken is off on her way home. It worked out for me that she was able to stay longer...that was my plan all along...haha.

Anyhow, we had a great visit. Everytime I see her, I wish I lived near her again (maybe someday soon, who knows). We used to live within an hour and a half and it was so nice to just be able to do weekends with each other (and our hubbys) when we wanted. Now I am lucky if I get to see her twice a year.

We did some geocaching, some exercising, tried to eat right most of the time, soaked in the hottub some, and even drove down and sat on the beach for a bit. We spent a lot of time in the car (long trip to the beach, and two trips to the airport) but it was still time we had to talk and visit so it was okay. We had fun even in the midst of her airline fiasco...got a movie and some good food in while we were waiting. The only thing we didn't get done that we were supposed to get done was a little fire in the new pit we have but our timing and weather didn't allow for it (we'll do it soon, Haha, promise).

Anyhow, it looks like we got her off today without any problems, and I hope her connection is smooth as well as the pick up of her suitcase (which somehow got there without her). I know she had a good time and we did as well so I guess the trip was a success. I can't wait to see her and B again...maybe in the spring if I end up going out that way. We'll see I guess.

Love you sis, I had a blast, and was so sad to see you go. I hope you and B can get out here before next fall so we can show you all some other cool stuff.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

She's Coming

In a few hours, I get to head to the airport to pick up my little sis, who is actually taller than me (and has been since she was 15 or so). We only have a weekend, but we are going to make the best of it. She has never been out this far East (well, actually she has been to Japan when I lived there, but she went west to get there...haha), so we are going to hit the beach tomorrow so she can check out the Atlantic coast a bit.

I didn't fly out this fall to the West coast like I usually do so this trip of hers is making up for the time we would have if I had come that way. I am glad she decided to come because I don't think I could have gone a year without seeing her...that would be too long for sure. Even when I was in Japan, we never went a year without seeing each other. I flew to the West coast every 6 months to deal with our house and visit family and she came out to visit me twice.

Anyhow, it should be a fun weekend. Hopefully neither of us will be thinking about schoolwork we have looming over our heads and we'll just be able to enjoy the time off and together. Hasta luego folks...I have sh1t to do before she gets here!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Morning Shots

I finally figured out (with the help of a small freeware program) how to take stills from the Africam at Nhorko Pan.

Here are my bird shots from this morning. Haven't a clue what kind of bird but it was cool looking and super loud.




I just need to figure out how to make the resolution better so it is not so grainy...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Irked

I had a sucky game at soccer today...I play soccer for two reasons, exercise and fun. Today was not fun, but fortunately I played the entire thing so at least I got the exercise part in, huh?

First off, the team we were playing were a bunch of freaking babies...you couldn't touch them without them falling on the ground crying, grabbing some body part. It was pathetic. I figure if you can't handle playing a contact sport, then you need to get off the field.

So in the first half, there was some miscommunication between one of our defenders and our keeper and we basically gave the other team a goal...they didn't even have to work for it. I know the girls involved felt horrible but a goal is a goal.

In the second half, we were playing "hurry up offense" and the other team seemed to use all their "injuries" as away to waste time off the clock so we couldn't get a score in. I mean seriously, near the end of the second half they had 5 injuries in a 7 minutes span....it was ridiculous and completely frustrating for me.

I didn't shake hands with the other team because I felt like they played underhandenly and their spectators were nothing but a bunch of @ssholes. Forget that they are all supposed to be adults and act more mature than they did. I wonder if they would ever even think about how embarrassing they were being to themselves. I didn't say anything to them because it would have just given them fuel for the fire.

I left the field completely pissed off and irritated. I didn't even stay long enough to take off my gear, I just changed my cleats for tennies and headed out. I drove the long way so I could cool off before getting home. It sucked but at least I got some calories burned.

Iraqi tribunal sentences Saddam to hang - Yahoo! News

Finally...some closure. I can't say I will be sad to see this person gone from the Earth. Although he looks like a sad old man on the TV, I know what kind of terror he dealt to those who opposed him in his country for so long, and that given the chance, he would be right back at it.

Just wish we could have gotten rid of him last decade when we were there the first time under more legitimate pretenses, and saved all of us a lot of blood, horror, and misery.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Strange But Comforting

The other afternoon, J and I were sitting on the family floor taking a little midafternoon nap. The way naps work for me ( a lot of the time), is that I feel very tired, so I lay down and doze off. If I am woken up after about 15 minutes, I can't go back to sleep but still feel very rested. J, on the other hand, can keep sleeping if he wants, the small "wake up" doesn't affect him like it does me. If I sleep longer than the 15 minutes, I often waken feeling a bit groggy and tired.

Anyhow on this particular day, for some reason, we had fallen to sleep with our heads together. I don't remember falling completely asleep (I felt aware of my surroundings but I was also dreaming). In the dream, I was talking with him and I made some kind of joke. In real life, J laughed, which woke me up completely (it was about 15 minutes anyway). I don't know if it was just a coincidence or if having our heads that close together allowed us to share a dream, but it was kind of weird.

Then the following morning, I decided I was going to make a bigger breakfast for the two of us (usually we eat cereal or toast). My standard weekend breakfast is fried potatoes with onions, bellpepper and eggs, that we usually eat in flour tortillas with salsa and sour cream. I came to making these breakfasts because when we first got married (15 years ago), I found out that J didn't like eggs scrambled with nothing in them. I started making them with lots of stuff in them and wrapping them in tortillas so we could eat them on the go. Sometimes I worry that I make it too often and we don't have enough variation on breakfast.

Anyhow, that morning, I had mentioned to him that I was going to make breakfast so he wouldn't eat any cereal by mistake. I went about making our bed, and doing my usual morning routine (which, when I am alone, means I don't usually eat, right off). I had decided without telling J that I was going to make pancakes and fried eggs instead of the usual. By the time I got into the kitchen, J was already preparing breakfast and he was making pancake and eggs....isn't that weird? I told him that I had thought I would make that, and we both chuckled.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we are so perfectly tuned that we can sense each other's feelings and thoughts (as nice as that might be sometimes)...if it was a regular occurence, I definitely wouldn't be commenting on it here. The fact that we had two weird little things in two days is what made me notice. I guess we were just synchronized that weekend for some reason.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pumpkins Lit

Here are my lit pumpkins (that I did for Halloween). I couldn't get Blogger to publish them on the other post so I thought I would put them here for looks....haha.


My spider pumpkin



J's skull pumpkin


The pic of mine came out sharper but the pumpkins were fading fast, so I had to go with what I had. Since then, we have had two frosts and those two pumpkins are getting a bit old looking. They need to be yardwasted at this point. My other pumpkins (that aren't carved) are doing okay, and I hope I can get them carved up before Tday for some fall decoration.

Africam.com

Haha, and Chicken got me addicted to this site. The main page has several links to various webcams but this button is to the Nkorho Pan webcam which is near a natural watering hole in Africa. You can check out some great wildlife images and the sounds alone are worth the visit.

I made a button for two of my blogs using their logo on their main page (I emailed them first to make sure it was okay). If you want the html code to add the button to your blog, let me know.

Nkorho Pan Webcam

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Fun

Well, I got my pumpkins done...at least the scary ones, and I put them out last night. I haven't gotten pictures of them lit up...will try to do that tonight but here is a pic of them on our hearth before I set them outside. J did the skull and I did the spider. I thought they came out pretty well.

We ended up at the last minute heading over to a friend's house for the night. She has a son who is 4 and another one of our friends with 3 kids was coming over too so we decided to make a night of it. My friend L dressed up at Aurora, the princess from Sleeping Beauty because that is what her son decided she should be (he is on a dragon kick right now). He was dressed up as dinosaur from the jurassic period called an Allosaur. His outfit was very cute. Her husband was a sorceror of some sort.

I wore my lion costume (one of the few ones I have that I can keep warm in) and my friend JB was in a witch costume. Her oldest daughter was a witch too, the middle one was Aurora and the youngest (7 weeks old) was in a little ghost and goblin outfit. I have covered up the faces to protect the innocent and since I was the one taking pics, I am not in any of them....haha.

We had some pizza and opened the door to lots of trick or treaters and then did some trick or treating ourselves. One of the last houses we went to was very spooky, they did a terrific job of decorating it up. The porch was all dark and there was a sign with black light reading "Take Only One". We bent down to get the little ones some candy and this guy jumped out of the dark and scared the crud out of the kids...I saw him coming so I didn't scream like I would have had I not known. The kids (both 3 and 4) almost ran and then started to cry a bit. We left that house and the rest of the night, they talked about how they didn't want to go to any more spooky houses....

Well, that is it folks, I better run, still have to get black nail polish off my nails. Today is the last nice day for us for a while so I have to get in the yard and make some headway.

(Blogger is being lame and not letting me get the other two photos on here...I will try again later)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cr@p, Cr@p, Cr@p

A while back, I lugged all of our teak patio furniture around the house and into the garage so I could oil the pieces and put them back out on the patio. The wood has to be very dry before you oil it and it can't get wet again until it sets or it just stays tacky forever. Normally not a huge deal, but for some reason, it is taking a lot of time this year. I tend to do it once a year to keep it looking nice and not greyed out and dry.

I got most of the table done and two chairs one afternoon. I left them in the garage with the other two chairs to dry because we were getting rain the following day. Well some time goes by and the husband wants or needs to do something in the garage...the table looks done for the most part (I only had the legs left to do) so he moves (without asking me first if I was done) the table and the two chairs that are done back onto the patio. Normally, I would be thankful for not having to carry them myself, but since I wasn't done with the table, I was a bit irritated. Since then, I have been waiting for a day that is 2 or 3 days after the last rain (so the table will be dry enough), that will not be followed by rain the next day (so it will be set) so I can finish the legs on the table. Mix this with trying to fit it in with my school schedule and you have my dilemna. Oh, and don't forget that you can't do this when it is cold...the oil will never set if it is cold.

Well this week, my first week to breathe at all (and I do have school work to do, just nothing as big as a paper) was supposed to be my "get things I have been putting off for this paper, done" week, and today was supposed to be my day to do that table. We haven't had rain in a few days, the humidity level has been low so I figure the table is nice and dry. We aren't supposed to get rain again until Thursday and it is supposed to be in the mid 70's today and tomorrow...perfect window, right?

Except that as I have am sitting here, the entire sky has clouded over and it looks like it might rain....grrr. Damn weather channel. They don't know what the hell they are saying. Guess I will be lugging that table back to the garage for a few days or I will never get this thing done.

Note: we are supposed to be back down into the 30s at night by the weekend....I have to move quick or I will never get this task accomplished.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back in the Land of the Living

Just in time for the night of the dead...haha. I finished up the rough draft last night and boy is it rough...oh well, I have the next few weeks to polish it up along with loads of other school work to do but I keep telling myself this is the last class and I can make it!!!

I have 5 pumpkins that need some carving and a butt load of other stuff to accomplish this week (I have been putting everything off for my school deadline last night). Feels good to be doing something other than school.

I won't even begin to list the things I need to do, it will make both me and you sad.

Better run for now!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Black cat adoptions banned on Halloween - Yahoo! News

It seems to me that the issue would be less that they were going to be abused and more that they would be abandoned after the novelty of the holiday wore off. People do weird things to fit in or create a look but it wears off and then they are stuck with this black cat that they don't "need" anymore.

I never even thought that people would adopt them for satanic or otherwise rituals. I am sad to hear that black cats aren't adopted as frequently...I might just have to adopt one sometime to help them out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Finally

I ended up resending the original email to him. He finally emailed me back today and even posted some example papers for us to look at....thanks buddy, since the rough draft of this 20 page paper is only due on Sunday...thanks for finally giving us some guidance on it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Irritation

Nothing irritates me more when I have a deadline than a professor that WON'T RETURN EMAILS!!!!!

Overwhelmed But Still Kicking

For whatever reason our professor found that having 3 major deliverables due on one day was the way to go...I am treading water but keep thinking about the light at the end of the tunnel. I think I will actually have at least two weeks off once I get this stuff in but until then, I am going a million miles an hour to get everything in by Sunday.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogrolling Extravaganza

Wow!!! From looking at my blogroll at this instant...it looks like everyone went blogging crazy and updated their blogs this morning...I know that is not the case, as I read all the updated ones earlier.

I don't know what it going on with Blogrolling lately but it seems that either no one has updated or everyone has...oh well, enjoy it while it lasts...looks like all you all (I live in the SE remember) have been busy this morning....haha.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Interesting Finds

Photo by Rick Scott http://members.cox.net/rmscott/misc/hummingbird_moth.html I was shooting some macros the other day, right around dusk, while waiting for someone to move out so I could find a geocache, when this little guy came buzzing up near me. I was in a little garden and I am sure the petunias nearby were quite the draw this late in the fall.

I had no idea what he was, but he didn't frighten like a regular hummingbird and there seemed to be too many feet for it to not be a bug. I was checking out my terrible pictures of it and was able to do a search and find that there is a hummingbird moth and that is what I was seeing. This is not my photo but I put the credit and link in the alt text if you want to see more of Rick Scott's work.

I found a cool site that has all the stages as well as the catapiller (which looks a lot like the tomato hornworm) that you might want to check out if you have time. It is called birds-n-garden.com and this link will take you directly to the Hummingbird Moth section but I am sure the rest of the site is awesome as well.

Oh, and in my quest to identify this guy, I found this other site called What's That Bug that has some great info and photos that people turn in. That is the initial place I landed and identified this moth from.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bush signs terror interrogation law - Yahoo! News

As much as I want those responsible for 9/11 to be punished (or let's be honest, even killed), I think that this bill is the wrong way to go. Seems that we are stepping all over the Geneva Conventions and we will be lucky if our troops who end up in someone else's control (POWs) in the future are not treated badly. We can't shout "What about the Geneva Conventions?" from our pedestal when we hear our own troops have been mistreated if we pass bills like this.

Please note: the above is not the only reason I think this bill is wrong, but it is one of the more pressing reasons.

Discovery

Found this today on Post Secret and thought I would share...you will enjoy yourself, believe me. Give it a try...I love the voice when you click "Fresh sheet"...reminds me of my sister for some reason.

Bubblewrap

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spinach E. Coli outbreak linked to cow manure - Yahoo! News

The question still remains...could washing the spinach at home before consuming have helped?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Flying Observations

Okay...again, I can't stand cell phone users on planes. I don't understand why people feel the necessity to talk to someone the second before take off and the second after landing...I mean, give me a break. As soon as phones can be turned on, you hear all these conversations start up or phones start ringing...no one needs to talk on the phone that much.

There was one guy in particular that I found completely hilarious. I think he wanted to impress all of us with his technology. He had a blackberry like thing strapped to his hip, a cell phone, and a laptop, which he managed to use right up until take off. During the flight, he kept using the blackberry like thing with a headphone and I am almost positive at one point when he went to the restroom, it was to use the phone. They will need to put in cell phone detectors in the bathrooms too. He kept taking out his technology to make sure that everyone saw it...he was so pleased with himself. I just laughed.

What is really funny is that some would consider me to be a techno geek...I mean I do have two computers that are networked in my house and I use them pretty much the entire time I am awake and home...not to mention the fact that I am finishing up a degree in computers this fall.

Unfortunately, I don't buy into the whole handheld bit. Reading email on a 2 by 1 screen doesn't sound like fun regardless of the set up of the keyboard. Taking crappy little pictures on a cell phone or using it for MP3s also doesn't grab me. I love my Ipod, and my digital camera, I don't need them in a cellphone, for that matter, I don't need a cell phone. Yes, there are times when it would be convenient but not enough for me to bother with @sshole companies that want an arm and a leg to lock you into crappy service for 2 years.

Anyhow, I have gotten away from my original thoughts....I find airports and planes amazing places to people watch and people never fail to amuse me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Finished and Home

I am home from my short trip...it was great to see family that I hadn't seen since the mid 90's even if it was under bad circumstances. The flights were not bad at all and it makes me think that going up to visit again when J can come too might be fun.

I have tons of observations to make about everything from accents to grief but I need to gather my thoughts and unpack!!!!

Talk to you later...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

On The Road Again

I'll be away from home for a couple of days...so if you don't hear from me that is why. I might be able to post, might not...we'll see I guess.

Finished up the deliverable for school that has been haunting me all week...whew!!!!! At least that is one thing down...only 47 million more to go...haha.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hard To Watch

Why is it that Detroit Animal Cops is the hardest one for me to watch? The animals just seem to much more mistreated and the lousy winter weather doesn't help. I have seen Animal Cops from other cities but Detroit has to be the roughest....poor animals.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Did You Know...

that if you are using a service for your blog other than Blogger and noticed that your site is never listed as "recently updated" on blogrolls from Blogrolling, you can add some code to your template to change that? I know some people probably don't care but I know I would get more reading in on the blogs that don't show up as "recently updated" if they did...unfortunately if you are using Wordpress, it can't be done but most of the others are possible. If you go to this site...it explains what code you have to add in order to have blogrolling pinged that you have updated.

This of course does not explain why no blogs are reading as recently updated this week...I don't know if is a Blogrolling thing or just a Weblogs thing...

Grrrrr!!!!!!

Is Yahoo going slow and lame for anyone but me?????

Any what the hell is going on with Blogger beta??? I swear they have made commenting absolutely impossible.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the fact that Blogrolling is not updating my recent list so it looks like no one is blogging, and haven't been for days when in actuality, I am just missing it all!!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dark Reading - Desktop Security - Instant Message, Instant Infection - Security News Analysis

Okay, you MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger users out there...watch out. I am a Yahoo Messenger user and I guess I need to be on the look out for this one even though my virus definitions are up to date.

I have searched for info on Symantec's website (the makers of Norton) but their servers are being bogged down I think so the article linked in the title is all I have for now...read it and be forewarned.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Disgusts Me

I am linking to a post over at Sally's blog because I think this kind of behavior has to be pointed out as wrong, wrong, wrong. Read the linked article she included from the Seattle PI...(and I linked above).

Apparently no one told the idiot at the airline that English is not the official language of the US and that just speaking another language does not make you suspicious. I can't believe that the guy agreed to not speak his language in airports anymore. I definitely think apologies are in order and the airline should have flown him for free just for his troubles since it was their idiot crew that messed his flight up.

What are we coming to in this country that we are so filled with fear of terrorism, we assume anyone unfamiliar to us must be a terrorist?

Fantastic Foliage

This weather is amazing. Fall is definitely the time to enjoy the outdoors in this area. Days are dry and in the mid-80s. The birds are chirping like mad, the windows are open and a warm breeze is blowing in. Our dogwoods are all turning colors and as sad as I am to see summer over, I am enjoying this fall.

I found an amazing smell yesterday while out and about geocaching. It is a flower on the silverberry bush....it is awesome. I might try to pick some and send it to my mom and sister so they can experience it too. I don't know if it grows on the west coast or not.

I wish this weather would last but soon it will start to get much colder at night and the days won't warm up as much. We'll be stuck in jeans and regular shoes but for now, I am enjoying my days of shorts and sandals while they last.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Deadlines

I found out last night, that not only do I have home work due this week in class (and this is no little homework) but I also have to have the outline and at least 12 references for my paper that is not due until December ready by Sunday because we have to have our first drafts to our peer reviewers in two weeks.

Needless to say, it is good that J is not here and I am able to get some things done without being distracted. Yesterday was supposed to be the start of my diligence but the TV did me in...this morning, I turned it off after breakfast and only an hour and a half later, I have already gotten most of my research material done and also 2/3 of the homework...it is amazing what turning off the boob tube can do for you.

This class is still boring as hell but I think I need to get focused, buckle down and get through it...after December, I will be a free woman, done with this degree and looking forward to whatever lies on the horizon.

Monday, October 02, 2006

For All The Teachers

If only they could have really done it...I checked Snopes, and although the backstory is true, they never really put this message up (from 2002).

This is the answering machine message the Pacific Palisades High School (California) Staff voted to record on their school telephone answering system. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework.

The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes. This was voted unanimously by the office staff as the actual answering machine message for the school:


"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting the right staff member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:

  • To lie about why your child is absent, press 1

  • To make excuses for why your child did not do his work, press 2

  • To complain about what we do, press 3

  • To swear at staff members, press 4

  • To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you, press 5

  • If you want us to raise your child, press 6

  • If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone, press 7

  • To request another teacher for the third time this year, press 8

  • To complain about bus transportation, press 9

  • To complain about school lunches, press 0

  • If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teachers' fault for your children's lack of effort . . . hang up and have a nice day!"

    One More Thing...

    I almost forgot. I updated Mishka's Reading in the last few days, so if you have time, check it out, maybe you will find something you want to read as well.

    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    Honesty

    I stole this idea from One Wink and thought it was an interesting exercise. The idea is that you write down ten things that are honest statements addressed to ten separate people. One for each person. Things you can't or haven't told them face to face. You don't say who they are for, you just list them. They don't have to be earth shattering. There they are, as they are.

    1. I am so sorry I hurt you. It was the last thing I ever wanted to do and I never really got a chance to explain that to you where you would actually listen and understand. The lack of closure has always been difficult for me.

    2. I wish I could have gotten to know the real you better. I felt like you didn't love me enough to try. You loved yourself more than anyone and that is sad for all of us.

    3. I wish I could find you and we could get to know each other again as adults. I wonder if we would have anything in common. I hope you are happy and healthy in your life.

    4. I feel a lot of guilt that we are not in touch anymore. We always said we would be friends and it is hard for me to feel like we aren't anymore. I am sure I am expecting too much but it is just something about my personality that I don't have a lot of control over.

    5. You really hurt my feelings when you replaced me. I know it wasn't intentional but it still hurt.

    6. Ending your life was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I still worry if I made the right decision for you. I hope you always knew that you were loved and considered as a member of my family.

    7. You were one of the first people to make me feel bad about myself and I don't know if I have ever gotten past it. You were also one of the first people that convinced me to look outside the small world I inhabited and realize that there was more to life.

    8. I am glad that I didn't stay with you longer than I did. You had hangups that you passed onto me and were abusive at times. I wonder if I would have continued down a really bad road if I had continued to see you.

    9. Please don't pretend to know me better than you do. You are not in a position to judge me or those I love. Things are not always as they seem.

    10. I have always been thankful to have you in my life. You were there for me at times when no one else was and being able to talk to you helped me to keep my sanity. I know I don't express my appreciation enough. I hope you know how much you mean to me.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    In Geocaching News

    I set out a new cache this week. It was published yesterday on the Geocaching site. It is a multi cache...my first of this type. I like to go to caches that require getting out, and I like them to be trading caches so that is the type that I put out. This particular cache was going to be placed in an area that could be approached from two different directions, one much shorter than the other. I think half the fun of caching is to get out and away from people and things and just enjoy the outdoors so I wanted seekers to have to come the long way (mean, I know). In order to do this, I pretty much had to make it a multi cache so that the first coordinate would be close to the parking that I wanted them to use. The final location (there are 2 stages in between) is a bit over two miles which will require some time, unless they bike (which is allowed on this trail). I put one of my travel bugs in it...one that wants to get to Portland Oregon, along with some other fun stuff.

    I also found my second green jeep travel bug (from the 2006 Jeep Geocaching Challenge). I haven't been entering the contest (as I find entering contests mostly just gets you on everyone's junk mail list) but I do like to find the little boogers. I will drop this one off in a near by cache soon. Who knows, maybe I will even put it in one of mine...

    The weather is starting to cool down here and the bugs are starting to go away...which makes for a much better caching experience. My sister is coming to visit me in November and I am hoping to at least take her to find all three of my caches...perhaps she can find a travel bug to take back with her to the west coast.

    I am already thinking about where I might want to put my next cache...it will be a trading one too but finding places that require a lot of walking is hard to do...our parks are just not very big...oh, well, I am sure I will come up with something.

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    FAQs

    I found this cool site today by accident called FAQ Farm...you should check it out if you have time. They are developing (growing) an FAQ site and people can ask or answer questions there to help the project. I ended up there while finding a e-card for someone and you can click on the "answer question" link and just read questions that have been asked and answer one if you want. You don't have to be an expert and you don't have to log in (unless you want your answers to have your name associated with them). I just answered a question from a 16 year old girl that wants to get pregnant and who's boyfriend is okay with it...she wanted to know what to do.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    CS Woes

    Wow, customer service has been hard on me the last few days (weeks).

    First, I have been trying to get hold of Kenwood to find out if there is another receiver that is comparable to the one that I lost to the lightening strike. Today, after two weeks of emailing them, they finally emailed back to say that they don't have record of the model number I am referring to and that they are no longer going to make home audio equipment for the US...ugh!!! I finally, after doing some research on the Internet had to get on the phone with them so that I could determine if a certain receiver I was looking at buying would be too much for my current speakers. Turns out they do have the model number in question, apparently the online service is not updated frequently. Isn't the point of having online customer service to help keep the company from getting tons of phone calls.

    So at least I did find out that I can buy the one I was looking out without having to worry about my speakers getting blown out and I have already made my purchase online...hopefully it won't take long to get here because my entire sound system in the living room is pretty much crippled without a receiver.

    Note: I generally do not like to call companies if I don' t have to because my experience has been that those answering the phones have, in many cases, never even seen the product much less know anything about it. They are hired merely to quiet irrate customers with their page turning and "yes ma'ams and no ma'ams".

    Okay, on to number two, the spa people...grrr...these people are very irritating. How is it that the more you spend on an item, the farther from reality the customer service people get? As you know from previous posts, our lights, and power supply to the stereo (both in the spa) were destroyed during the lightening strike to the tree in our yard this spring. I have been trying to get an estimate for parts plus shipping from the spa people for over a month. They keep emailing me back that I don't have a certain light in my spa that I have. It is in the manual, in the schematic and on the damn tub!!!! I am about ready to take a picture of it and email it to them. At this point, they have stopped responding at all (don't tell me to call them, did that first and it didn't work either). So yesterday, I wrote a regular letter that I am sending in the mail to the corporation today. I hope it works to get my part list so I can get this thing fixed before we move again.

    Lastly, I got an email from Geocaching.com the other day that one of the travel bugs they mailed me has a faulty number on it. They want me to deactivate it, and they will send me a new one with an extra gift for my inconvenience...this is fine, in fact great, if the TB in question weren't the one that I have just finished logging all 64,000 caching miles on....grrr. I emailed them back hoping that they can just change the number on the one I have to the new number on their end so I don't have to relog my entire life of geocaching again, but of course I am still waiting for a response to their email.

    Oh well, I have other things I need to do today, so I guess the email and mail can just wait without me...good thing I don't have to be here to supervise it.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Try It, You Will Like It

    My mom just sent me this cool link and rather than try to pick on to put on my blog I thought I would just share the link so you could find your own favorite...I have always been fascinated by this kind of stuff.

    Enjoy...http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/mot_feet_lin/index.html

    Keep hitting the next button so you can see all of them...

    It's Coming

    It is starting to get cooler at night...last night I didn't sleep well because I was cold. We only have a sheet on our bed during the summer and I guess I am going to have to face the fact that summer is over and fall has begun.

    It was in the 40's last night (a fluke thing) but it isn't supposed to get out of the 60's at night for the next week and then back into the 50s at night for the week after that (mind you it will still be in the high 80s during the day) so I guess I will have to figure out a medium level for our bed since putting our down comforter back on will definitely be too much.

    Grr...I hate losing sleep because I am cold.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Spectators

    Recently, I have noticed that spectators in the sport of golf have taken it upon themselves to regulate the sport.

    In at least two different instances* in the last few weeks, a player has either been penalized, investigated or disqualified because a spectator (at home) has called into the network or tournament to claim that they witnessed a rule violation on TV.

    Now it doesn't completely surprise me that people call in, because people are weird that way, but what surprises me is that the regulating officials at the tournament listen.

    That would be like someone calling in during the last quarter of a football game to say that number 71 was offsides in the first quarter but the refs didn't catch it. It is ridiculous. I think that the PGA, the USGA, and the LPGA need to figure out a way to deal with call ins. The reason that there are officials on the field of play is so that they can catch this kind of thing as it happens. The fact that viewers at home are using what is essentially "replays" is bogus and they need to address it.

    *Two instances that I have witnessed, there may have been more. None of the alleged violations were on purpose, they were either accidental double hits out of a sand trap, or a misinterpretation of the rules.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Web site linked to Montreal shooting defends Goths--Reuters.com

    I think it is messed up that the media is trying to connect this blog site to this kid's messed up head. Being "goth" had nothing to do with whatever mental issues Gill might have had.

    I find it funny that they don't point out when other bad people have Blogger, Typepad, or Myspace accounts or profiles but because this looks like "interesting" news, they make a big deal out of it....there is a lot of crap out there all over the net and I don't think the fact that this kid was a member of this particular site makes him anymore susceptible to being a murderer than if he were posting his dislike for people on Wordpress.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    Small Bed Project

    Last year, J and I put in a new section of sidewalk to our front walk because the location of the mainwalk didn't work well with parking in front of the garage and having two cars. We were forced to walk over the yard rather than on the sidewalk to get to the front door. The project didn't take long and when we were done, we had this little triangle of ground that we just covered in pinestraw for the time being. I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it and got it done on Saturday morning.


    Starting point

    J did the prepwork buy raking off the pinestraw and taking out some of the dirt. I wanted to put in two different grasses that would stay alive and green all year, would be low maintenance and not impede movement from the driveway to the front door over time. So I picked to do a border in dwarf mondo grass and then put variated liriope in the center. The liriope is taller than the mondo grass but won't get much higher than its current 12 inches and it gets cute purple flowers in the summer. I had 14 dwarf mondo grasses that I wanted to go around the outside edge of the bed. They will eventually grow together to create a solid dark green grassy border that stays green all year long. I wanted to make sure I had them spaced out right before proceeding. I ended up planting the corners first and then moved in from there. I had to take out a bit of the dirt as I did and we used it in another spot in the yard.

    Laying out the mondo grass

    This is what the bed looks like after I got all the plants in and watered. I still need to put some mulch down, and I left some space between the liriope so I could put in seasonal accent colors or decorations. It should be functional but also nice looking all year long.

    Finished product

    Q and A

    Borrowed this from S. Jones (see link on sidebar)

    How long have you been blogging?
    Online, since February of 2005, in hard copy (journaling) since I was a kid.

    How many times have you taken a break from blogging?
    Never, if anything, I keep adding to it (4 blogs so far)

    How long is the longest you’ve gone, so far, without posting on your blog?
    A week maybe because I was traveling and not able to use the Internet.

    How many fellow bloggers do you keep in touch with, through your blogs, on a regular basis?
    Of the ones I have linked and read regularly, 3 are family, and at least 2 are face to face friends so we email and such, but everyone else is generally limited to communication through our blogs/comments.

    Have you ever met, in person, a blogger on your blogroll?
    Yep, one of them. Mindsprite.

    How often do you update/change the ‘extra’ stuff on your blog?
    When I first started out, I did it a lot but as my blog has grown, updating the template takes some time. I finally converted my links to Blogrolling so I can update all my Blogger blogs at once whenever I want. I am itching to change up my entire template but for now, it is pretty stable.

    Do you think you’ll be blogging for years to come?
    Oh yeah...in fact I am thinking of start two more, one for journal excerpts from when I was a kid and another that I can be completely anonymous on (this one is read by a lot of friends and family who know me so I am a bit hesitant in some areas). I don't know if I have time in my life for all of this, but writing has always been a passion, so I am sure I will figure something out.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Check It Out

    J and I were watching the history channel last night and they did a few documentaries on 9/11 related things. It was hard to watch but I felt like I owed some time to it, since I hadn't really thought about it all day. I had gotten the call on Monday morning at 3:15am to come to my friend's house because the baby was coming. I had volunteered to stay with their other kids while they were at the hospital. Needless to say, my day was filled with PBS kids and coloring, not a lot of 9/11 coverage there..... Anyhow, during the course of one of the shows (about the 14 survivors from stairway B), I got out this coffee table book that we own on 9/11 to see if it had anything in it about them (I didn't realize there were that many survivors). It did have a bit about them in the back (apparently they were saved the first day so that is why the news didn't make a huge thing out of it) Please note that during 9/11, I lived in Japan so my coverage was spotty at times.

    Anyhow, after looking over the book a bit, I thought I might post something here about it because it was nicely done, some of the sales go to the victim families and it is educational. It is called One Nation and it is done by Life Magazine. It is coffee table book sized. If you like history and are interested in this subject, it is a good book to read or own.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Time Out

    Whew!!! I have a ton to blog about but time has been crunched the last few days. I'll fill you in when I wake from the sleep of the dead tonight (I hope). I am bone tired and going to bed early....will blog faithfully in the morning.

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Back On Track

    Feeling better the last two days and am starting to knock off some todo items (except reading my school book which I really need to do).

    This cold wasn't too bad and I am thankful for that...nothing like being sick in the summer (yes it is still summer here in the SE).

    I have a lot I would like to blog about but I feel like I am shirking other duties right now so it will have to wait...grrr...

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Not So Hot

    Had a tough night dealing with my sinuses trying to suffocate me and the "new" Sudafed keeping me awake.

    I developed a bit of a head cold on Monday (ignored it all day) and yesterday and today have been down days trying to kick it before it completely takes over my week. I can't afford to get behind in school but the last thing I want to read when my nose is stuffed and my head is pounding is informational technology management texts...it might just be me but that is the way it is.

    Regardless, I am feeling better this evening (maybe because I have been lowkey) and I am hoping tonight will be more restful and therefore more productive towards recovery. I even missed practice tonight. I am trying to hold out from taking Nyquil because, even though it will knock me, I usually wake up from it feeling worse than I did when I went to bed. I don't have all the symptoms anyhow so it would be overkill.

    Bathroom Project Before-After

    I promised I would post pics from our bathroom project. We are finished and it came out very nice. We have experience now for the attempt to lay the same vinyl in our kitchen soon. See below two before pics and two after pics.

    Before floor pic, see 80's brown squares...


    Before vanity pic, sink and toilet are new, cabinet is not...


    After floor pic, vinyl tile sheet came out well...


    After vanity pic, a tad taller, but still nicely fits...

    We really only wanted to update the bathroom and get it to match a bit like the remodeled bathroom in the master bedroom. The cabinets and floors are not identical (that is what happens when construction is not all done at the same time) but it is close enough. The bathroom feels less like an 80's bath and more like a new one.

    Project List

    Just to make myself face the music, I decided to create a list of the gazillion projects I have in some phase of completion but not completed. Hopefully this will motivate me to get some check marks checked off....

    Old Projects (more than 2 years old)

    • Crocheted blanket for my bed
    • Cross-stitch for a friend
    • Videos from travels
    • Curtain hems for sunroom
    • Roman shades for bedroom windows
    • Refinish little table in entry
    • Finish and put together small coat rack for wall
    Newer Projects (less than 2 years old)

    • Scanning in photos from my grandmother's albums
    • Rebuilding her albums and sending back to her
    • Planting new camilias on side of house
    • Bed liner for truck
    Newest Projects (within the last few months)

    • Teak oiling patio furniture (1/2 completed) (once a year item)
    • Matching and painting ceiling where J fell through
    • Pinestraw front and back yards (twice a year item)
    • Planting front walk bed
    • Planting new liriope and cleyera
    • Fixing receiver (1/2 done)
    • Clean truck inside
    • Mulching back bed
    • Cleaning gutters of pinestraw (twice a year item)
    • Fixing gutter problem in back
    • Organizing most recent digital pictures
    • Photo album from our NY trip
    • Moving hostas from the lack of shade zone in backyard to a new location
    • Contact hottub company for estimate on repairs from lightening
    • Contact electrician for estimate on repairs from lightening
    • File claim with homeowner's insurance for repairs from lightening
    • Get estimates for some yard maintenance in WA
    • Getting estimates for new countertops, linoleum for the kitchen and a new vanity and linoleum for the guest bath
    • Eventually getting the above work done (1/2 done)
    • Replacing the kitchen faucet (have it, just haven't installed it)
    • Recycling
    • Boxes to mom and sister

    Items that come up out of nowhere each day (but need to be done regardless)

    • Cleaning S's garage
    • Stripping wallpaper border at S's house
    • Putting leather protectant on couches
    • Making new covers for pillows in living areas
    • Recycling S's boxes
    • Helping with unloading of moving van at S's house
    • Spraying plants at L's house
    • Wiping down walls in hallway and placing pictures back up

    This list of course doesn't include the ongoing things, like cleaning house, school, laundry, exercise, cooking, card making, writing, geocaching and others (many others). I only included the things that actually have end dates and that once they are done, I feel like I accomplished something that doesn't have to be worried about again for at least several months.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    First Day Back

    Today is my first day back at school in my last class for graduation....and I am already behind. I have to read 3 chapters in our boring book, answer focus questions, homework questions, figure out what I want to do a research paper on, and start discussing a case study with my group members (yes we are going to be doing groupwork this semester, oh joy). On top of this, I have to discuss anything and everything in the conferences so I get the 30 percent for participation on a weekly basis....I can not wait until I am done with this program.

    It seems that I am the only one in class that doesn't read IT journals for fun!!!! Who does that? I love computers but I am not obsessed with them, and sometimes I feel so out of place in this program. Yes I want to have the degree to help me out in life, but I don't really want a job in computer management. I just want to solve people's individual or network computer problems on a parttime basis, so I will have time in my life to do other things that are more enjoyable. I am not and don't think I have ever been, career driven.

    Anyhow, that is a totally different subject which probably would lead me to therapy so we could switch back to my overall shock of reality that I met up with today when I logged into my first day of class. I better go because I have lots of reading to do and I know that I will have to nap in between each boring paragraph!!!! Wish me luck!!!!

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Tiles

    I don't know about you, but whenever I have tried to tile anything in the past, I have always wanted it to be straight and neat. I don't try to make it look "home done"...I want the most professional looking results I can get short of hiring someone else to do it.

    So explain to me how come the vinyl flooring we buy to put in our bathroom has real looking tile but it is not perfect. It has that "home done" look and apparently that was what they were going for. I don't mind it because it does seem a bit more real that way but I just think that it is funny we would buy an imperfect "picture" of tile but if we were really tiling, we would want it to be perfect.

    Thursday, August 31, 2006

    In Other News

    Turns out our receiver is another casualty to the lightening strike. I was called by the repair company yesterday to inform me that there are many "burnt" out parts and that it would cost more to repair than to replace....grrr!!!

    At least I have not filed the homeowners claim yet. This also makes me want to check out our cd player and our tape deck (yes I still have a tape deck), which were both plugged into the reciever to make sure they are okay. I need to get to the store to do some comparison shopping so we can replace the reciever and put the living room back together.

    We are supposed to get some serious rain from Ernesto over the next twenty four hours and I have a gutter on the back of my house that is practically falling off. I guess I need to get out there this morning and see if I can fix it before all hell breaks loose. I also need to finish up the detail work in our main bathroom. The floor and vanity are in, just need to do some wall touch up painting and hang the new towel racks.

    Today is my sister and her husband's anniversary!!!!! They had a lovely wedding in Southern Oregon a few years ago and it was an absolutely glorious day. I am so happy for them to have found each other. Congrats, you guys.

    My grandfather will be 95 this year. Wow!!!! His birthday is later this week. I am sure my family on the West coast is planning quite the shindig for him. Unfortunately, I can't be there but I am sending good thoughts and gifts his way. We love you, Grandpa.

    I didn't have soccer practice yesterday because of some heavy rain and lightening. I need to get some exercise in today (as much as I can on this ankle), so I don't die on Sunday when I have to run again (in probably 105 index). I think I might walk on a trail that I want to hide a geocache on. In fact, this weather (cloudy and rainy) is perfect geocaching weather because there are less people out and about and searching for them is less obvious.

    So I guess I better get moving so I can get that gutter fixed before I do anything else. Hasta luego.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Sun

    My tan (I know, we aren't supposed to tan these days) from earlier this summer has faded. I had gotten a base tan before we spent some time at the beach so I wouldn't get burned there and be miserable. It worked and when we came home from the beach, I was nice and brown without any peeling, or redness. Now, if you know me, this is not brown brown...I tend to not have enough patience for tanning much so I never look like a tanning booth girl with the oompa loompa look, just a healthly glow minus the pastey white winter gleam.

    Anyhow, the last few days I have thought I need to get out and get some sun on my skin. Nothing drastic just 20 minutes on each side. It is a chance to enjoy being outside, read and relax a bit from all the other things I should be doing. Yesterday ended up getting wasted away with other things so I told myself I would do it for sure today.

    Well, I just checked the weather, and not only are we having a heat index w/humidity of 105 today, it just clouded over with thunder clouds....grrr. We need the rain so I won't complain too much (especially since I didn't get my butt out to water this morning) but I was thinking the storms wouldn't be here until later this afternoon.

    Oh well, it is not like I don't have tons of other things on my to do list to get to....

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

    We had a soccer game yesterday and I rolled my ankle out during the first half. I was determined to play the whole game so I walked it off but it hurt like a bitch and it is really sore and swollen today.

    I iced it when I got home and then soaked in the hot tub and iced it again. I will probably take it easy at practice on Wednesday so that hopefully I can play again on Sunday...we'll see.

    I was so pissed when I did it because I knew it meant rehabing it for a while and that always takes time and soccer is one of my two weekly activities I can count on for unadulterated exercise I don't have to think about.

    At least it hasn't turned blue yet, I figured after running on it the rest of the game, it would just turn black and blue in protest...

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Indoor Construction

    We started the replacement of the flooring and vanity in our main bathroom today. Shouldn't be a huge deal but hopefully will look really nice when we are done.

    We took out everything (including the toilet and old vanity) and cleaned it up, patched the walls where they needed it and now are about ready to start laying the floor. I doubt we will have the entire thing done today but definitely by the end of the weekend.

    We just got home from Lowe's buying all the stuff we need. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    Frog Pee

    Well, as I was walking out the front door this morning, I felt this wet stuff on my arm from above. I looked to the top of our storm door and saw a bit of what looked like water on there. So I checked around for a minute and all of a sudden, I saw three little heads peek out from the top of the door. There were three little frogs hanging out in the crack along the top of the storm door. I don't know if there was water up there that was splashed on me when I startled them (let's hope), or if they peed on me when I startled them...oooooh!

    Regardless, I was afraid they would get smooshed when I shut the door, so I shooed them out of there and went on my merry way, trying hard not to think about that splash on my arm and its origin.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Unsatisfying

    While practice was good for the exercise requirements in my life, overall it was pretty unsatisfying. I don't know why exactly but I guess part of it was that I was in a bit of a bad mood yesterday for some unknown reason. Another thing was that I forgot to change my bra when I got ready for practice so I was uncomfortable the entire time because I am used to wearing a sports bra when I exercise. Then there was the issue that I left the water bottle I had prepared to bring at home, so I was without water the entire time. It was 96 degrees out and we had some seriously muggy skies when practice started.

    I guess the combination of things put me out of sorts and I wasn't really up for goofing around much. We had to do a bunch of drills, which were okay but then once we started scrimmaging, it wasn't that productive and I just wanted/needed to get out of there. I was a bit bummed because usually after practice I am feeling alive and invigorated. Oh well, there is always next week.