Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Things To Do

Well, for some reason, our power went out this morning for about 2 hours. It was right after J left but before I had gotten anything hot to drink...I was on the computer in fact, when it happened. After I called it in (automated service) I went to get some coffee. The closest coffee shop wasn't open (I guess they don't open until 9am)....weird since they serve the one thing people want in the morning...so I ended up just getting regular joe at the convenience store.

I ended up flipping the breaker on the hottub (the only thing in the house not on a surge protector) so it wouldn't get surged when the power came back on (which is good because it flicked on and off a few times before it came on for good). It was down to 100 degrees in just that amount of time, but that is partially because we are back into one of our cold swings. It was 70 degrees yesterday and today it is 54 with a very chilly wind. I had to put all the faucet covers back on since it is supposed to freeze tonight. I got some maintenance done onthe tub, but I still need to call about the stereo that is not functioning...

While the power was out, I had to find something to amuse myself with that didn't require electricity. I had to hang out at the house in case they needed to call back and since my answering machine needs electricity, there was no one else to answer the phone. Anyhow, I set to working on the birthday cards that I plan to send out in February. I try to do the month's worth near the end of the prior month so I am not trying to pull one off at the drop of a hat. I think I got 5 of them done before the power was back up, so I was able to check that mark off my "task list" on Outlook.

Last night, I was able to get all the receipts for the entire year added up for the sales tax deduction on our tax return (while watching 24 and then Medium). I am trying to determine if it is better for us to keep all the receipts or to just use the automated amount from Turbo Tax. This will be the test year. I am kind of hoping that Turbo Tax is better because keeping and then adding all those receipts up was a bit of a pain the rear. So anyhow, I am pretty much ready to do our taxes...just have to sit down and do them. I am still waiting for the official form from my college for that credit but I know the amount already so I could realistically do them. I am kind of excited to see how much we are going to get from the write-offs on both houses...

Anyhow, we just got paid today, so I need to go so I can get some bills paid and my account balanced before I do anything else. Then it might be tax time...depends on how much time I have left in the day. Might make fried rice with some egg rolls tonight for dinner....that is a hard one to keep in portion control but I'll see if I can do it.

ABC News: Coretta Scott King Dies at 78

So sad to hear.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Truth Or Dare

Update...realized that some of it didn't post the first time...haha. I also wanted to let you know that the italics are my little explanation additions, you don't have to keep them if you use this...unless you want to.

Borrowed from P'nut

[ ] I've run away from home
[ ] I listen to political music
[ ] I collect[ed] comic books
[ ] I shut others out when I'm sad
[ ] I open up to others easily
[X] I am keeping a secret from the world (nothing major, don't worry Mom)
[X] I watch the news
[X] I own over 5 rap CDs (hip hop)
[X] I own something from Hot Topic
[X] I love Disney movies (only some)
[ ] I am a sucker for hair/eyes
[ ] I don't kill bugs
[X] I curse regularly (more like occasionally)
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name
[ ] I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation
[ ] I love Spam
[ ] I bake well
[X] I would wear pajamas to school (did all through high school and some college)
[ ] I have a job
[ ] I love Martha Stewart
[X] I am in love/like with someone
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS
[X] I am self conscious
[X] I like to laugh
[ ] I smoke a pack a day
[ ] I loved Go Ask Alice
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick
[ ] I can't swallow pills
[ ] I have many scars
[X] I've been out of this country
[X] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room
[ ] I am really ticklish
[ ] I love chocolate!!
[ ] I bite my nails
[X] I am comfortable with being me
[X] I play computer games/video games when I'm bored (Pop games and solitaire)
[X] Gotten lost in the city (Tijuana)
[X] Saw a shooting star
[X] I had Surgery
[X] Gone out in public in your pajamas (just today even)
[ ] I have kissed a stranger
[X] Hugged a stranger
[X] been in a fist fight with the same sex (jr. high)
[ ] Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose
[X] Pushed all the buttons on an elevator
[ ] Made out in an elevator
[X] Swore at your parents
[ ] Kicked a guy where it hurts
[ ] Been skydiving
[ ] Been bungee jumping
[ ] Broken a bone
[ ] Played spin the bottle
[X] Gotten stitches (same time as I had surgery)
[ ] Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour
[X] Bitten someone
[ ] Been to Niagara Falls
[X] Gotten the chicken pox
[X] Crashed into a car (they actually crashed into me)
[X] Been to Japan
[X] Ridden in a taxi
[X] Shoplifted (candy from Safeway when I was little)
[ ] Been fired
[X] Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back (who hasn't?)
[X] Stole something from your job (pens or PostIts)
[ ] Gone on a blind date
[ ] Had a crush on a teacher/coach
[ ] Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans
[ ] Been to Europe
[X] Slept with a co-worker (my husband and I worked at the same place)
[X] Been married
[ ] Gotten divorced
[X] Saw someone/something dying
[X] Driven over 400 miles in one day
[X] Been to Canada
[X] Been on a plane
[X] Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show (at least 15 times)
[X] Thrown up in a bar (actually just outside their door thankfully)
[X] Eaten Sushi
[X] Been snowboarding
[X] Been skiing
[ ] Been ice skating
[ ] Met someone in person from the internet
[ ] Been to a motocross show
[X] Going to or have gone to college (still going even)
[ ] Done hard drugs
[X] Taken painkillers (for my tooth)
[X] Cheated on someone else (in jr. high)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

USATODAY.com - Resorts play geo-cache game

Interesting development...obviously their caches on not listed on the web for open view.

I am torn on whether I want geocaching to become mainstream (allows for more acceptance) or whether it will get ruined by becoming mainstream....hmmm. Something to ponder I guess.

Sort of like discovery of a new tribe in the Amazon...by learning about them we can help protect them but by learning about them, we are already modifying their culture and future.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Los Angeles sues over 'Grand Theft Auto' game - Yahoo! News

Back in the news again, so I am going to repost my original here....hope you get a good read out of it. Check out the link in the title for an article on this.

Original post follows:

Where do I start with this one....I have so many issues I don't even know where to begin.

Okay, let's walk through this...we have a game that is already rated for 17 years and older because some idiot thinks we need to play at killing cops, stealing cars and creating general mayhem. The rating is there mostly to inform retailers and parents of the content, without having to actually play the game themselves, and to let kids know that this is definitely the game they want because it has all sorts of cool shit on it, right?

So we are assuming (or the rating board is) that at the age of 17 and older (which we know is NOT the age of most users of this game) an individual will know enough to realize that this is just a game and that none of the stuff in it is not meant to actually be done or idolized in any kind of way. I agree with the fact that we have a rating system on games (except that I find it amazing that we even find fun or humor in these types of games, which causes them to exist in the first place).

So now, we find out that there is some hidden sex scenes within the code on this game. NOW we want the rating changed to adult only (thus adding only ONE year to the age that a buyer must be to purchase) and that is going to make it all better. I am sorry, it should have the adult rating for the violence and general nastiness, not the sex....because sorry to say, but by 17 the animated sex on this game is not going to be anything new to the players. Somehow the rating board, parents and whomever are all in a snit because someone over 17 but not yet 18 might see some animated sex? But it doesn't seem to bother them that killing, stealing, and any number of other felonies are being paraded around like some kind of war medals?

This is a perfect example of the major hang ups that US society has as a whole with sex. Now tell me why is it that the retailers are taking the game off their shelves? The article makes is sound like they are taking some kind of moral highground not stocking Adult Only games. I think it has more to do with the fact that since SEX is involved, they know parents wouldn't dare buy it for their 13 year olds any longer and that means it is just taking up shelf space that some other money making item can use.

Now before anyone who loves this game starts to give me hell in the comment section, let me point out a few things. I do not believe in censorship of any kind. I am not by any means saying that we should do away with this game or any other game like it (even though I would never buy it, play it or condone it being played in my presence). This is a free market and apparently there is a market for this game and others of its genre. It is sad that this is true but it is.

I also do not believe that garbage about "my kid did it because he saw it on TV" crap. Number one, you are the parent, so you are in charge....turn the damn TV, computer and Play Station off once in a while. Second, talk to your kids and explain to them (in case you bought this game outside of the recommended age bracket) that it is not real, should not be real and that people who do this kind of shit in real life die early or live long in prison.

I absolutely believe that parents are the number one responsible person(s) when it comes to what their children do, learn, and say. I know that it is a hard job and gets harder each day but that is what happens when you procreate, you make the choice to take on that job. It is not up to the rating board, the teachers at your school, or the sports/movie star on TV to teach them right from wrong.

My entire rant really stems from the idea that we are so caught up in warning labels and who to blame in this country for the things that happen to us, that we seem to have forgotten to look in the mirror and take some responsibility. Does changing the rating on this game really do anything "to keep children safe" and help us all sleep better at night? No, it doesn't but what it does do is cost a bunch of people money (retailers, manufacturers, lawmakers, taxpayers...etc), and makes a little sidenote on CNN, and a few blogs.

What exactly are we focusing on, the symptoms or the actual problems?

Fashion Angst

Mine were completely white with a bright red stripe. These are newer ones I believe.Junior high was a tough time for me. I started school a bit earlier in age than most (probably to get me out of my mother's hair) so I was always a bit behind emotionally and socially than those in my grade. I tended to hang out with kids in grades below me, in fact my best friend from 4th grade to 6th grade was two years behind me in school, but she also lived across the street so the grade issue didn't matter to us.

When I was in 6th grade, we moved from Oregon to Texas for economic reasons, so I started junior high in a completely new arena, knowing nobody. 6th grade had marked the beginning of my awareness when it came to fashion and really trying to fit in. At the time (early 80's), San Francisco jeans were really in style (bell bottoms) as well as the first Nike tennis shoes (close to the style in the picture above). We could not afford to buy either of them, but at some point my mom was able to get me some jeans called Seattle Blues that also had the bell bottom on them. I had exactly two pairs of them and I would wear them everyday, alternating between the two.

When we moved to Texas, that style was still in and I proceeded like I did in 6th grade to alternately wear the two pairs of fashionable jeans I owned. At some point in 7th grade, the butt wore out in both of them from all the non stop wearing I was doing. My mom sewed heart patches on the butts of both pairs, almost in exactly the same spots. For some reason, this made my jeans stand out in the eyes of the other 7th grade students and I started to get comments. One boy in particular, who seemed to have a lot of pull with the other 7th graders, would not leave it alone. He was convinced that I was wearing the same pair of pants everyday because his little narrow mind could not fathom that I would have two pairs with exactly the same patches on them. I eventually had to bring in the second pair while I was wearing the other to prove to him and his prepubescent population that I was not full of shit.

Anyhow, 1/2 way through 8th grade, we moved back to Oregon to the same town. I was devastated as I had made some good friends in Texas eventually, and didn't want to go back to the cliquey little town and deal with all the same shit all over again. We went anyway.

So I got to start school after Christmas break in a new/old place. Our district was such that the five elementary schools came together in junior high so I knew about 1/5 of the students in my grade. People would come up to me and question whether they knew me or not...I would have to explain where I had been and done. At this point, the bell bottoms were back out again, and that pretty much nixed me wearing my patched Seattle Blues anymore. I was thankful that I would not have to prove my double wardrobe again.

Anyhow, some where around this time, I got my hands on a pair of the Nike shoes pictured above (there were still in style along with the emerging Levi 501 fashion). They were second hand and didn't completely fit my growing feet but I was not going to pass up the opportunity to wear them and finally feel fashionable. I remember squeezing my feet into those shoes long after they barely fit me, just so I could be "in". I had some Levis from Goodwill that were not 501 button fly's but at least they were Levis and I wore them as much as I could get away with. I don't think having some clothes that were considered in fashion helped me much in the social arena, but I felt better about myself when walking through "9th grade hall" and past the scrutinizing eyes of all those "big kids".

There are many other traumatizing stories from the halls of that school that I can go into later, but for some reason, I will always remember how much I wanted to fit in and didn't really. Those shoes will always be a image marker in my brain of that tough time in my life (I know, real tough, huh?).

This of course all passed when I entered high school, became my own person with my own style and said to hell with cliquey fashion.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

January Update

Just a note that my January reading list has been updated....didn't get as much reading in as I thought I would this month but it was definitely interesting material.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Computer Karma

Well, the dreaded work on my PC that I have been putting off for the last week or so, is done and it wasn't nearly the nightmare that I expected. My class starts today so I had to get it done.

A while back, my monitor started doing this weird clicking thing, almost like it was losing the signal from the computer. Sometimes it would cause a lock up and a reboot. I inquired a bit on Techspot's forums and then with some trial and error on my own, I discovered that if I turned the hardware acceleration down on my video card, the symptoms went away.

Now, normally because I am not a "gamer", I could live indefinitely with a video card with no acceleration, but due to my class load this semester, that was not an option. I was trying to avoid having to open up my system box because it means unplugging a bunch of stuff and then getting it all back in correctly set up like I prefer....just an excuse really to procrastinate the job.

Anyhow, my software for class showed up a few days ago and I couldn't really use it until I fixed the video card issue. I wanted to make sure that the card was seated correctly and not just overwhelmed in dust (a high possibility since I rarely open my box and clean it out). So I finally moved the system out, took the card out, cleaned it off, cleaned out the inside of the box, reseated it and turned the system back on. When I turned the acceleration back up, the clicking started up almost immediately. Oh well, I tried...I wanted to save the card if I could but I was pretty sure it was shot. I had already purchased a replacement but didn't want to open it unless I had to.

So, I blew away the drivers for the old card, and shut the system down. I took out the old card, put in the new card and booted up. Loading the drivers for the new card (same manufacturer) took a bit of work and getting my screen set back up the way I wanted required some time but the acceleration is completely up and things seem to be working fine. I am keeping the old card just in case I ever need a back up in an emergency...along with the extra motherboard I have as well...haha.

So onto the software...we had to buy pretty expensive software for this class. We are going to be focusing on designing and building multimedia websites, so I should learn tons and I won't have any papers, group work, or exams to deal with (what will I bitch about, huh?). Anyhow, I only loaded the components that we needed for class and I also downloaded the free/shareware they wanted us to have. All seemed to load fine, did a reboot and all is well.

I have never had an upgrade and install go as easily as yesterday went, so I am thinking the computer karma must be going my way right now. I should see if there is anything my laptop needs while it wears off...haha.

Four Things

Thanks to Just a Girl for this one.

Four Jobs I've Had In My Life

Security Guard
Domino's Driver
PBS Volunteer

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over

The Wizard of Oz
When Harry Met Sally

Four Places I have Lived


Four TV Shows I Love to Watch

Everybody Loves Raymond

Four Places I Have Been on Holiday


Four of My Favorite Dishes

Gang Kiew Wan (Thai Green Curry)
Coco's (Japanese Curry shop)
Cheddar Squash Bake

Four Websites I Visit

My Yahoo

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

In the woods camping
Near the ocean
Near a mountain
Near a lake

Perfume Creme Updated!!!!

I received this little tin for Christmas and it has a perfume creme in it that you can rub behind your ears and on your wrist for a bit of fragrance. It is only about an inch across. I keep it on the counter in my bathroom so I remember it.

I love it, the one I have is this same tin and the smell is lilac, so it is like I get a little whiff of summer each time I move. I saw that they make a gardenia one as well...I might have to see if I can find more of them. They would make nice little gifts.

They are made by Yves Rocher.
Here are a couple of links to the ones on the Yves Rocher website (I have never purchased anything from them before but at least it is some info)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Here To Stay

Silver Lyretail Molly
The local pet store that I do all my fish and supply purchasing had banners up recently that they were going out of business. I was so bummed because, while it's a small place that is a bit more expensive at times than the new local PetSmart, their people knew what they were talking about and their fish were healthy. I went by to stock up on some things but figured that eventually I was going to be forced to use PetSmart (the only other pet store in town).

I was really suprised that the little store was going out of business because they had been around forever and I figured that they would have a local loyal customer base...guess they thought that too.

So regrettably, the other day, when I had to get some aquarium salt (the small store was out) I went to PetSmart to get it. I decided to peruse the fish aisle to see what fish options they had for future purchases. I was saddened because not only did they only have two teenage workers who seemed to know nothing about fish working in the department, each tank had 3-5 dead fish sitting on the bottom. In one case, a fish wasn't dead yet, just sitting upside down struggling to breath. It was so sad.

I was determined to never buy fish from them, I would drive to a neighboring city if I had to. Fortunately the other day on the way to the gym, we saw new banners at the little local store...they are staying....new ownership takes over next week!! I am so excited and can't wait to see what fish they get in when their supplies get back up.


When we bought the house we are currently living in last year, our mortgage lady offered a year's subscription to a magazine of choice as a gift from her and our realtor. We chose the House Beautiful magazine.

I like to read it but the thing that gets me in all magazines of this type is that the pictures are so staged. They make it seem like in order to complete the design, you have to set a tray of fruit and water on the ottoman at just the right angle...like it is just going to stay there forever.

Ugh, some design shows on TV do it as well and it drives me batty for some reason. Why can't they just do practical designs that people would actually live in and around?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lucky (Updated!!!)

Looks like the plumbing job might not be too bad...

We opened up the box near the curb and cleaned out a bunch of dirt, we could see immediately that it was leaking from the connectors on each end of the meter....we dug some more up the line a bit just to check that it wasn't leaking anywhere else and tightened up the connectors.

Leaking seems to have stopped...we'll fill the hole in tomorrow after we are sure it isn't going to be more of a hassle.

Whew!!!! (Since it is Friday and no one from the water company works on the weekend...I was thinking I might have to use hot tub water for bathing and flushing the toilet all weekend...haha.)


Well, it started leaking again and it looks like we are going have to rent a ditch digger and replace the whole pipe ourselves because it is leaking from somewhere farther up the line. We could pay someone to come out and do it but we are capable enough and who wants to spend hard earned money on 30 year old pipes if they don't have to? Should not be very complicated but right now is really bad timing.

Since we closed off the first leak near the meter it has slowed so at least it isn't costing us much. We are also trying to be better about conserving water we use in the house.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Good News and Bad News

Good news is, that because of the laws in this state requiring there to be an emergency water shut off valve in the house as well as at the curb, narrowing down the location of the leak was easier.

Bad news is that the leak is somewhere between the emergency shut off valve in the house and the one at the curb....guess I have some more digging to do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Supreme Court upholds Oregon's suicide law - Yahoo! News

Awesome, awesome. I am so thrilled that this did not get defeated. It is about time that what the voters want is what actually happens.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I remember in high school laughing to myself at this conversation that was going on near me. One student was telling the other that there was definitely a right and wrong way to put toilet paper on the roll. The paper was supposed to come over the top.

I thought this was hilarious for two reasons: one, that two high school students would even be discussing it, and two, that it even mattered to anyone...

Several years later, I will take the time to switch the roll if it is not put on in a particular direction...I don't think I cared until a few years ago when we lived in Japan and it really did matter which way it went and now it is just habit to do...

For those that are curious, the reason it matters in Japan is because most tp dispensers are like the ones below. They are made of metal or plastic and have a little cap that sits on the paper. You pull the paper and when you want to stop the spin, you press on the cap and use the edge to tear the paper....it doesn't work if you put the paper in the other way around.

Note: Pics are not mine, just stole them from the Internet to give you an idea of what the dispensers look like. These are two different bathrooms....

Monday, January 16, 2006


One of the people in history I would have loved to have met. An amazing and inspiring man. Celebrating his life today is merely a small show of the gratitude this country owes him.

Football Yeahs, and Woes

Well, yesterday was a mix of emotions when it came to the playoffs....first the Steelers game was up and down the entire time...back and forth with glee and frustration but fortunately, they came through with the win...and against everyone's predictions, sent the Colts home for the rest of the year. We have a friend who is a diehard Steelers fan (clothes, candles, furniture...all Steelers) and I am sure he was a mess yesterday with that game.

Then the Chicago game was tough....they are my favorite team and I so wanted them to beat Carolina. I can't stand Carolina for some reason and I am hoping against all that Seattle beats them next week because I really don't want to see them in the Superbowl. It would be nice to see Seattle and Pittsburgh there but I know that means getting past Denver and Denver played pretty well the other day.

Anyhow, I am happy to see the Seahawks and Steelers continuing on but am sad at the loss of the Bears. Of course the nice thing about sports is, there is always next year.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Am A Dork

Okay, I have only been listening to the Beatles since I was a little kid. Sgt Pepper's has always been one of my favorite albums. They were a part of my life since I can remember. So why is it that I didn't figure out the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds connection until yesterday?

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Whoooeeee!!! Seattle won today. I am thrilled to see them get this far and will love to see them farther except that they might end up playing my favorite team next week (Chicago). If they do, then I have to root for Chicago...that is just how it goes when you have loved a team since you were a kid.

Anyhow, I am happy for Seattle, they won without Shawn and in the rain, so who knows what they can do in great weather with a healthy team. I am hoping that Shawn will be okay and able to play again soon and that the rain stops in WA at some point this month...haha.

Friday, January 13, 2006


This is the dogwood we moved in its original spot. This photo was taken during the summer when it had leaves.
Wow, am I wiped...J had the day off and we have been doing yardwork since 10:30 this morning and it is now 5pm our time.

I had four biggish plants to put in the ground and then he decided he wanted to move one of our little dogwoods from one spot to another. This is the time of year to do it, so he started the digging while I was planting my four plants.

He managed to break off the handle on one of our shovels....ugh!! I swear that man breaks everything. Anyhow, after I finished up my plants, I moved over to help him. He had finished the new hole and had started digging around the tree. The tree is about 5 ft in diameter and 5 ft tall. So we were trying to save as many roots as possible, which meant moving a lot of dirt. Once we got the outside cut out, we started digging under the tree to loosen it up. Fortunately, dogwoods have a shallow root system and it reaches out about as far as the branches. Unfortunately, we had a long way to go to get under the whole thing and get it moved without killing it.

At 1:30pm we stopped for Powerbars and water. We were both covered in sand and couldn't wait to finish up so we could get cleaned up and get in the hot tub....inspiration for sure to get done. Oh, did I mention that we are supposed to have severe thunderstorms here tonight (which means hail and possible tornados)? That was even more incentive to get back at it and try to get it done.

We went back to work and did finally get the tree free of the ground but we mainly ended up moving very little dirt (none really) and just a huge amount of tree and roots. It was kind of weird because once we had it out, it kind of looked like a mirror image of itself. Branches on the top (with no leaves on them) and root spread out the same on the bottom.

It is not in this picture but where we placed it is. It is about 10 feet from that pine tree in the background and from our porch, it blocks the view of the white propane tank at our neighbors.
So we got it planted, both holes filled back in and the dirt (sand) covered back up with pinestraw. I started cleaning up our mess of tools and such, and J decided we should wash both the truck and the car while we were outside and already grimey. So we did that, and let me tell you, my arms and back are done. My fingernails hurt because I was digging the roots out of the ground with my fingers and the pressure on my fingernails for so long just made them tender.

I have now eaten a proper lunch (even though it was very late) and have soaked in the hot tub for 15 minutes. I might have to go in it again if it is not thundering later. Right now, it is starting to look very dark and stormy out...we'll see if we get any exciting weather. I hope so, I always love a good storm.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Went to run a few errands yesterday and decided to pick up a couple of caches along the way. One I knew was going to be stupid and it was and I didn't even bother with it....just added it to my ignore list, and the other was new and I had a pretty good idea where it was.

Unfortunately, when I got to the area that I thought it was going to be in, my GPS was telling me to go in a completely different direction for quite some distance....I didn't believe it, so I got back in the car and drove around the area thinking that perhaps there was another way in that I was just not aware of. I ended up driving into a very crappy part of town (not the town I live in, but a neighboring town). I didn't feel like it was a dangerous part of town, but it just didn't have anyone living there that cared about how it looked apparently. There was litter everywhere, in yards, on the sides of the street, everywhere. A lot of it was run down, cars parked in yards hidden by grass like they had been there for years. I was kind of surprised being, the tourist area we are in, that it was in such disarray.

Anyhow, after driving all over trying to find it, I didn't, and ended up finishing my errands and heading home. Got home to double check the coordinates and I wrote down one of the numbers wrong and it is totally in the spot I thought it was in and I probably walked right by it....ugh!!! Oh well, I'll be out that way again soon and I'll get it then. In the meantime, I have a few near a park I like to walk at that I might go for this afternoon (once again, one might be stupid).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Our backyard in the midst of some work earlier this fall.
Yesterday was one of several beautiful days we seem to be having in what is supposed to be the middle of winter. It was in the low 70's and sunny out. We are supposed to have 4 of these days this week and I am taking this opportunity to try to get some our yard stuff out of the way...by Saturday it is supposed to be back down in the 20's at night....yuck!!!

Anyhow, so on my list for yesterday was hot tub maintenance...according to the instructions you are supposed to drain the entire thing 4 times a year and refill it with new water. Apparently at some point the chemicals stop working and you have to change the water out. I don't know if that happened to us our not but I figure I better stick with the instructions to keep our warranty good.

So in the afternoon, after I got some exercise in, I started the process to drain the 375 gallons of hot water out of our tub. I actually thought the draining part would be fast, but I was wrong. It took over three hours to drain that thing. I am not sure why but I guess that small amount of change in elevation is just not enough gravity to really get it going. I even sucked on the hose to see if could get a better flow by siphon than by just using gravity alone and that didn't help either.

While I waited for it, I managed to clean up a bunch of beds around the house, put a new azeala in the ground, and cleaned up a ton of oak leaves from all over our property. It was getting dark by the time I was able to start filling the tub again and when I did the water temperature was only 53 degrees. It only heats about 6 degrees an hour so we had no hot tub last night. I checked it this morning and it is back up to 104 but I bet that baby ran almost all night long.

I still have plenty of yard work to do even though I feel I made head way. Besides the small things I want to do this week while it is warm, we have a few bigger projects on the books and we really need to get them done during the winter so the plants will have the spring to recover....oh well, one thing at a time, I guess. At least I'll have a warm hot tub for my aching muscles, right????

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


When I was little, some mornings when my mom had to work or was sick, my dad helped us get ready for school and if we were running late, he would brush our hair while we were at the table eating our cereal.

I remember that he never pushed the brush down hard enough to get through all my hair. I have always had a hard head and could pull on my hair without it hurting much, so when I would brush it, I would pretty much scrape the brush along my scalp so as to get all the hair at once.

When my dad would brush it, he was so gentle it almost felt like he wasn't brushing it, but whenever I would reach up and touch it, it would feel soft and brushed. Somehow he was getting the job done without the force I was used to. I remember loving the fact that my dad had brushed my hair and had taken such care to not hurt me.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Reading Lists

Spent some time updating my reading lists on Mishka's Reading. I recapped the ones from 2005 so I wouldn't have so many posts to go through and both recaps for 2004 and 2005 have star ratings added to the books....took me a while to figure out how to get the stars but ended up stealing from MS Wingdings...haha.

Anyhow, check it out if you are looking for something to read...some of them are pretty good.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Celebrity Caving

I saw a thing on VH1 yesterday while I was at the gym on celebrities and some of their quirks and allowances made by others to accomodate them.

I was surprised, I guess, by how many times they go into 5 star restaurants and want food that is not on the menu or even in the refridgerator for that establishment. One wanted organic turkey burgers at a steakhouse, another wanted pork chops at a sushi place...one even brought their own chicken wings chef with them and he took over the kitchen to make this celeb some wings....I think that is so obnoxious, rude and inconsiderate.

When a reporter asked Hugh Hefner about it (he was the pork guy), he said "Life is too short to live other people's dreams". What the hell is that supposed to mean? So what about the short life of the individual that is apparently living Hugh's dream so he can make him what he wants rather than what is on the menu????


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Season's Farewells

Our front porch during Christmas with the wreath I made right under the porch light.
Today is the day that Christmas is coming down at our house...it is time and the tree is starting to dry out a bit. I am leaving up my little snow flakes since they are more of a winter theme and we are definitely still in winter, and just because I like them...but everything else is getting taken down, folded up, double checked, and then put away. Some of it might get retired as well, since a few things are getting a bit faded or worn out...we'll see.

The wreath for the fall I made several years ago.
I'll have to figure out something new to hang outside our front door for the rest of the winter....I am so used to their being something there (a wreath of some sort), it will look naked to me until I find something.

The flower holder that lives hangs near the door during spring and summer.
Maybe I'll make something....I am sure I have the basics here to pull something together.

Anyhow, farewell holiday season for another year!!!

Friday, January 06, 2006


J and I have set a New Year's resolution for our cat Chase. She has gotten far too lazy over the last 5 years (since she became an indoor cat). When we first adopted her off the streets of Lacey, WA, she was only about a year old (according to the vet). Our adoption was not intentional but that is a whole other story.

We had a cat already, Madison, who was about 13-14 at the time. She was done with most of her playing, except when it came to the feather duster (another story for another time). So Chase was a lot of fun because she would "chase" just about anything on the end of a string and you could get her to do cool jumps through the air. She would do this pretty much tirelessly. She also was a catnip addict (and still is), which Madison never had a taste for, so there was that humorous side as well.

Well in the last place we lived, the place had hardwood floors (that claws scratch up) so playing with Chase in the same matter was limited. Our place was smaller too and that created issues with cats flying through the air. We just didn't get the playing in like usual. This is also when she became an indoor cat, so with the lack of activity indoors and outdoors, she got out of shape. Now, she is not fat by any means but she is also not a lean mean killing machine of a Maine Coon like she should be.

Okay, so back to the resolution...we decided that we are going to try to get her back in shape some. We have the space and carpet for it, it is just a matter of remembering that we need to do it everyday for a bit to get her worked up to a fair amount of playtime. Right now, she will jump once or twice and then will lay down and wait for you to bring the toy to her (unless of course it is a catnip toy). If catnip is involved, she plays on her own for awhile before sitting down and rubbing her whole body with it.

So over the holiday weekend, while we were both trapped in the house with colds, we started our new cat regimen. We made an effort to take her "fishing pole" with toy at the end out and let her do some jumping and chasing through the house. She seems to be getting where she can play for longer so I guess it is working.

For the gross part....(I know you all have been waiting for it). When she is standing in front of J on the floor and he is on the floor sometimes he picks her up under her belly and tosses her a few feet in the air and she lands on her feet. Nothing abusive, okay...I know is sounds weird but it really is not any higher than she jumps herself and she is not upside down or anything. He mostly does this when she is rubbing all over him when he is trying to stretch his back or doing abs on the floor. Anyhow, the other day, he did this right after we were playing with her for a bit so I think she was a bit tired or fatigued....anyhow, after she landed, she sat down on the floor and when she stood up again, there was a little bit of poop left....I told him that he tossed the poop out of her.

I am thinking he might think twice about tossing her anymore....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hickory Farms

Today we got two Christmas presents in the mail....one was this little thermal bag from Hickory Farms with a bunch of cheese, sausage and crackers in it. It was so cute and in searching for a pic, I found that they are sale for half price right now....hmmmm, who could I send a late gift to?

Anyhow, I thought it was so cute looking that I would share.

Why Is It...

that I am on top of getting our laundry done and folded without needing all clothes in the house to be used up, but for some reason, I can't seem to get the folded clothes into the drawers until they have lived in and off our bed in the laundry basket for a week?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I don't know what the deal is with my cat these days but it seems that everytime she purrs, she forgets to swallow and ends up drooling all over the place.

Since we have been home it has been particularly bad (I figure she thought she would never see us again). She is very lovey dovey...which is not like her and wants to be in your lap, face, hair or in reach of one of your hands at all times. As soon as you start petting her, she starts to drool and if you pet her just the right way and she has to shake her head afterwards, the drool goes everywhere....I don't like drooling dogs and I definitely don't like drooling cats. Ugh!!! I try to tell her to swallow but I don't think she is getting it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Board Rescinds 'Intelligent Design' Policy - Yahoo! News


Back At It

Well, the weekend is officially over and getting back on track is the name of the game. I will start logging my fitness info again at Finding My Happy Medium, and we'll see if I can get some of my fitness goals achieved in the next few months.

I did manage to get a few things done this weekend. J and I were both getting over colds that we got during the holidays...I was almost over mine (which made me more productive) and he was just going through his. I think he is getting over it now but had to go back to work today so hopefully he won't relapse. As far as colds go, this one was mild but it still did keep us indoors for the majority of the weekend (with occasional trips to the hot tub that we dearly missed while on vacation...haha).

So I don't feel too bad, I did get my fish tank cleaned out again (the automatic food thing just dirtys the whole thing up), got unpacked and organized from Christmas, finished my year end filing (this was a huge accomplishment), got all my Christmas card stamping things cleaned up and organized, got some (not all) of my Grandma's old family photos scanned into my computer, and got some plants for the yard changes we want to make this winter. Today, I have a few things on my list, tomorrow there is a trip to the grocery store (an ordeal in itself), and on Thursday, I am going to meet a friend at her house and we are going to do some Thai cooking together.

I start back at school near the end of January, and I would really like to have some major projects around my house done...namely, the videos from our trips, and the sewing of curtains in my sun room that have had pins in them for several months. If I can start out the semester without a bunch of other things hanging over my head, I will feel good.

This is all of course in the process of getting fit (allocating time for that in each day) and getting some geos in as well....haha....don't we all wish there were just a few more hours in each day?

Anyhow, I better get moving...the sun is finally peaking out of the clouds so perhaps I can get that walk in after all....hope everyone's new year is starting out well and they don't have a "to do" list from hell hovering over their heads.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Back Links

Well, I broke down and did it....added back links to my posts. It took me a while to figure out where I wanted it to sit, and I am not completely satisfied but being that I don't know much HTML, I had to just play with it until it was adequate. Oh well, perhaps someday I will completely change my template. I would actually do that except that you have to put back in all the stuff you have changed and that is a lot of work that I just don't have time for right now.

Anyhow, back to the back links. They seem to be working this time (I tried to put them in a while back when they first came out and they didn't work) and I think I like them. It even lists each time I link to one of my own posts. I am sure there will be more of my back links than anyone else's but it is still an interesting feature to have.

So, I just wanted to announce to the world that the back links seem to be functioning now (unfortunately, if you aren't starting from scratch on a template, you have to put the code in yourself).

Exciting stuff, I know.