Sunday, April 30, 2006

Poison Oak/Ivy

It seems that I have managed to get into one of the above in the last few days...I usually react very badly to Poison Oak (have never been around Poison Ivy much, but it grows here I guess). Not sure which one I have but I am guessing that their rash is similar.

Anyhow, I just went to this cool site because I wanted to double check that any oozing would not cause it to spread (which it doesn't by the way). The reason I was double checking was because I am not sure when I touched this stuff, and where I have it is really weird (on my forearm, one side of my neck, and my belly). None on my hands or feet...and it seemed like it was spreading a bit (meaning I had not gotten the oil completely off of me or something in my house has it still and I was reintroducing it to my skin). This case doesn't seem to be too bad, I usually get it a lot worse so I am not too worried but I don't want to keep picking it up, so I moved to preventative measures this morning.

I have found that wiping down things with either rubbing alcohol or clorox wipes clears up any oil I might have left on a door knob or light switch. Since I don't know when I got it, I threw any clothes I have worn (including jackets) in the last few days into the laundry as well as all bath towels and bedding. I think I have the house pretty much disinfected and now I just need to do a ton of laundry.

From reading the site, it seems that clorine and hot water are helpful in reducing itching and drying it up fast and being that I have a hot tub in back, I think my soaks are going to be more than theraputic for the next few days...haha. I have been using Caladryl Clear which works pretty well for me during the day as well. I might even get in the hot tub right now just to see if it helps dry this stuff up. I have a trip in a few days and being covered in rash and itching doesn't sound like fun, not to mention that it looks terrible...

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Here is a list of updates from posts that I have made recently...

Couch situation-
Currently waiting for the technician to call me to schedule a date to come and repair the couch. Have had to call both the manufacturer and the retailer several times to keep the ball rolling on this one. I am hoping to have this done before I leave for the west coast next week but otherwise will schedule it for after.

Computer/Internet situation-
I installed the new ethernet card in my computer yesterday. Disabled the old one in the BIOS and in the system settings in Windows. I had a technician from our cable company come out and test our lines. He was able to find a couple of small problems but mostly we have a pretty good signal. I cleaned out the interior of my computer case before closing it up and discovered a lot of dust on my CPU fan. I uninstalled it and cleaned it but didn't have anymore thermal gel with me so when I put it back together, I started getting beeped because the CPU was overheating. Purchased some thermal gel last night and plan to fix that issue today. Otherwise, the PC is back on the Internet using the connection in the office and all seems well. I will install the wireless router soon so I can configure the security and get the laptop back up on the Internet but for now, I have too many other things to do before my trip so it will wait.

Landscaping situation-
I have finally purchased the last of the plants and will have them in the ground before I leave. I have had some watering issues that are on going (trying to find the best scenario to have the area watered while I am gone). Normally this time of year, it wouldn't be a worry because we would get lots of rain but we haven't been and I don't want everything to die. I will have it figured out before I leave. Once I get these last plants in the ground, I will get some mulch and that will help the area retain water as well.

Soccer situation-
Don't know if I said anything about this last week but I pulled a muscle in my quad and can't seem to find a wrap for it (will have to go to a sports store in another town for it). Fortunately because of rain, our practice was cancelled yesterday so my leg is getting a full week to heal and then I will have one game before I leave. The trip will give me two weeks to heal as well and that will be good.

School situation (I guess I haven't really blogged about this much)-
Well, as usual, I am behind. This is due to my own procrastination and poor time management but I think I can still pull it out if I focus this week (I should also mention that I have a lot of other things on my plate as well). I had to rescope my project once again but I think it will turn out better because of it. I just need to work on some of my required elements so I can get those out of the way and not be down to the wire dealing with them. Fortunately this class is very laid back so I am not worried about completely screwing it up.

Class has been a lot of fun and I am learning tons. We are building multimedia websites this semester and there are no tests, no papers, and (best of all) no groupwork. I can't complain at all.

Photo project situation-
This is still ongoing. I had hoped to be done with this by the time I was flying back out to the west coast, but it is just not going to happen. I'll finish it up when I get back and then send everything back to my mom or grandma with insured mail.

Fitness situation-
I have been pretty good about getting some exercise and keeping the portions under control but I don't know that I am actually doing enough to see dramatic results. None of my clothes feel super big but they aren't tight either so I guess I can't complain and I just need to stay motivated. The warmer weather has made walking much more pleasant.

I have still not replaced my favorite fish that died. I have lots of yard stuff to do that is completely unrelated to the landscaping (like I have a truck full of pinestraw that has been there for over a week). I have several internal house projects that I would like to complete but for now, I think I have enough on my plate until I finish the semester and fly to the west coast. Most of it can wait until I get back.

Okay, so that is it...basically I have way more to do than time to do it, so I better get off here and get started with my day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Utterly Ridiculous

I found a cache yesterday inside one of these...

Example of a pinecone microcache currently being sold on Ebay.

hidden inside one of these.

This is actually a nicer one, the one I was in has a lot of deciduous trees so there are leaves all over the ground too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Five Chicks

Hungry little guys, huh?
Our first clutch of bluebirds hatched this weekend, ...they are so cute in an ugly sort of way. They will be ready to take flight in a few weeks, but I probably won't get to see it (didn't get to see it last year either). I need to put a suet feeder out so that the mom and dad are not having to go as far for food.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Technical Difficulties

I have not been online since Saturday.

We had a lightening/thunder storm here on Saturday morning. I was not home, I was at a friend's nursery helping them out. It was a typical storm, nothing too crazy. I figured since our power had gone out everyday last week that when I got home, I would be reseting clocks and rebooting my computer. When I got home, my clocks were fine but the computer was off so I rebooted it. I have just about everything in this house on surge protectors, including the digital cable box in the livingroom. The only thing not protected from surges was the coax coming into my cable modem, only because the surger protector in that room doesn't have a coax jack.

While I was waiting for the computer to reboot, I went out to check on the cat, and she was in the sun room but was acting really weird. She kept wanting to come into the house. Strange since she loves the sun room. I just figured that the storm must have scared her a bit. Anyhow, I went back to the computer, and while it seemed to be working fine, I couldn't get on the Internet. I checked the connections, rebooted both the cable modem and the computer a couple of times. Nothing. I go into the family room, and turn on the TV to make sure the cable is is fine in there.

So, I call our cable company and start an hour long process of checking everything to see what is going on. It seems that they can see my modem but there is no talking going on between my modem and my computer. The diagnosis is that either my ethernet card went bad in my computer, the ethernet cord went bad, or the ethernet port on the modem went bad. I can get a free replacement of modem on Monday. I test the system on my laptop with the same results so we figure that my card is okay, that it is just either the cord or the modem.

On Sunday, I go and get another cord, figuring I can always use a second one if that is the trouble, but would hate to wait to switch out the modem if that is not the problem and it could be fixed simply with the cord. The new cord does not bring about any better results. While I am the store buying the cord, I also pick up a broadband wireless router so that I can use my wireless card in my laptop in the rest of the house, and network to my printer without having to use the thumb drive everytime I want to print or upload to the Internet.

Naked stripe on pine tree from lightening strike. In the meantime, I have started using the dial up access so I can at least check email until Monday. I leave on Sunday afternoon to play soccer and when I get home, I start watering. I am in the back yard and I notice this really weird looking piece of wood sitting in the raised flower bed. I pick it up and it is this long piece of bark. I look over at this 60 foot tall pine tree we have in our yard, and there is a spiraling three inch wide barkless stripe down the length of it, and the ground below is covered in bark. The porch (which is about 25 feet away from the tree) is covered in bark too. We didn't think this was odd at first because it had been really windy on Saturday. Anyhow it seems that this tree was struck by lightening on Saturday when I was not home and blasted a ton of bark off our tree along with scaring the sh1t out of our cat. I am so sad I was not here for it, because I can imagine it was quite the crack when that thing hit. The tree looks fine minus the stripes of nakedness. I will check with my nursery guy to see if it is going to die or be a hazard to the house. Now I know why the cat was acting weird (she was in a glass room only about 30 feet from that tree, and I know why my modem was fried (which in all the power outages we have had, has never happened before).

Second side of tree, the naked stripe goes down to right above where the wheelbarrow was leaning.So today (Monday), I go to the cable company and get the replacement modem. She gives me an extra cord. I get home, and hook everything up and the box is still not working. At first I couldn't get it to even flash that it was receiving but after playing with the jack a bit, I get it to receive but it still won't connect my computer to the Internet. I call the cable company again, and we start walking through all the scenarios. She tells me that the signal quality is really low for that jack. I take everything into the other room and hook my laptop to the modem and am finally able to get it up on the Internet. Looks like we need to have the technician come out on Wednesday to check our lines and make sure that they didn't get fried internally.

So once I got it working, I decided to stretch the cord to my PC and see if I could get it up on the Internet....nope. Seems that the ethernet port on my motherboard is toast, I guess I am lucking I didn't lose the entire board. So I need to check and see if I have an extra slot so I can go buy card to put in so I can have Internet back on that computer. In the meantime, I have plugged in the broadband router to the cable jack in my bedroom and without any kind of setup, my wireless card on my laptop is functioning. Guess this will have to do until the tech comes on Wednesday to fix my lines and I get a new card for the PC. I will just have to limit my use to non vital things since I wasn't able to set up the security features on the router yet...won't be able to do that until I can connect it to my computer.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Graveyard Visit

Yesterday, I stopped by this unique graveyard that happened to have a geocache in it. It was a dreaded micro but I wouldn't have seen this cemetery otherwise, so I can't complain too much. This was a pretty old graveyard, most of the people had died in the 1800s and many of the markers were just rocks that had no writing on them.
Cross shot of all the stone markers. The big stone marker in the middle of the above shot was very interesting. It was just a big rock but then had a plaque in the middle with writing on it.
Shot of large rock grave marker. Up close the marker was interesting in itself. It was very old and the writing was cool to check out.
Inscription reads 'Duncan Blue 1734-1814, Margaret Campbell Blue 1740-1820, Born in Argyllshire, Scotland, Came to America 1767, American citizens by choice.'
I enjoyed my visit to the small unknown cemetery, hope you did too.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Updated both Happy Medium and the Reading List today...have gotten behind lately but still try to post something when I can.

Responsible TV, What A Concept

I am so excited to see this new show from TLC (part of Discovery network) airing this year...I hope that people will tune in and learn something. It is about time that families take some responsibility for the health outcomes of their members.

The show is called Honey, We're Killing The Kids and it is on Mondays at 9pm. They find families that need help making good choices in nutrition and health areas, show them pics of what their kids will look like if they don't make some changes, and then for three weeks a nutritionist helps them change their ways while still making it fun. At the end if they have been successful at adopting her plan (or portions of her plan) she shows them again a future pic to see what the changes will accomplish.

I think this is so perfect because when I heard a women was trying to sue McDonalds, a while back, because her child was obese from eating there, I had to ask, who the parent was and who was actually making the food decisions for that child? No one is holding a gun to anyone's head forcing them to eat fast food everyday.

Check out their website, they have some cool interactive and informational stuff.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Teachers beheaded in Baghdad in front of students - Yahoo! News

"A ministry official said he believed the attacks were aimed at: 'intimidating pupils and disrupting learning.'" Wow, you think?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Total Honesty

Okay, I hate to admit it but I saw part of a Maury Povich show yesterday. I was at my friend's house (she is just moving in) and the power went out in this fantastic storm that came over. When it came back on, somehow her cable box defaulted to whatever network was showing Maury yesterday afternoon. The show was titled something like "The 10 Top Paternity Shows Ever" was a piece of crap but somehow I ended up watching the end of it.

Thing I don't get about these shows is where they find these people from? I mean, why would a girl who has apparently slept with more than just her boyfriend/husband, get on national television telling everyone that she is 100% sure that so and so is the father of her kid if she knows that there is a possibility (because of whomever else she slept with) that the kid is not his? That just makes no sense to me. She knows that she is taking a chance at making herself look like just as much of a j@ck@ss as he might be.

In a couple of the cases the girl was telling the husband/boyfriend that the two kids she had while with him, weren't his...nice. And you say you care about this person that you would do that to them on national television? One boy was only 21 and he had 6 kids from 5 different women, but was only taking claim for 3 of them. Apparently he had never heard of a condom...he'll be paying everything he makes in child support for the rest of his life.

Now obviously paternity is not the only topic that is covered in these shows but it seems, more often than not, that every time I glimpse daytime talk shows like these in an attempt to find something interesting on television during the afternoon, it is on there. I don't know if that is because our country just has a lot of people producing children with unknown origins, or if we just have a bunch people that think 15 minutes of fame entails dragging all those that you say love through a national spectacle. I guess reality is that if there weren't people at home watching it, it wouldn't be on there (now I too have contributed to this mess).

What really sucks is that someday the kids of these people are going to end up seeing these tapes and have their lives shook up once again.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I so need to work on my has gotten boring but I just don't have time. I want to change up my template and I need to add blogrolling so I don' t have to update the entire thing (it has gotten kind of big) each time I want to change something on my side bar....ugh!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

In Memory

My favorite fish died last night. She was one of the original ones J got me for Christmas 2004 and she seemed to have the most character. She had developed a growth on her back a few months ago, but seemed to be okay. It went down some and then last week a second started to grow on the other side. Yesterday she didn't seem to be doing very well.

I am sad to have her gone...I guess I need to go to the pet store soon and see if I can find another similar to her. Sucks when they die.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spring Cold

I hate it when you have sh1t to do but feel like crap and would just like to stay on the couch with a blanket, a pillow, some hot tea, and a box of Puffs...

Apparently J had both allergies and a cold at the same time (explains the sore throat he was complaining about), and I managed to catch the cold part. Last night was horrible (no drugs) but tonight, I am Nyquiling it up and plan to sleep like a rock. Mix that with some C and some Zinc, I better feel better by the weekend...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Seems that the new video card that I had to buy for our computer before this semester started has begun to buzz...actually the fan on it buzzes. I am not sure why and I haven't had the time to get on the forums to investigate it. It is absolutely annoying...up until this morning I have been just tapping on the fan and it stops, at least for a while. This requires me to keep my side panel off or at least not screwed back in.

This morning, I tapped it one time in frustration and my system locked up. I rebooted and decided not to mess with it anymore until I have time to figure out why it is doing it...I think it is just a bad fan. So instead of listening to it and letting it drive me nuts, I have started streaming the Funky Monkey out of Tacoma Washington. It drowns out the buzz quite nicely. We used to listen to this station sometimes when we were living in WA and they are one of the easiest ones to stream. I am sure I will get sick of the music eventually have to find something else but I just couldn't tolerate the dumb commercials on Yahoo music so it will have to do for now. I need to bring a few good CDs in here too so I can listen to them on Itunes....for now the Funky Monkey will have to do.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cleaning House

Spring is here and that means that J's adult onset allergies are in full gear. We were playing golf the other day and it was terrible for him...I think it was one tree in particular but I just felt awful for him. So anyhow, in an attempt to help at least create a "safe" zone for him, I am cleaning the house from top to bottom today. I have other things I should be doing but I hate to see him miserable.

So far, I have dusted/Pledged all horizontal surfaces in our house, changed the filter in our heating/cooling system, changed all three filters in our vacuum, vacuumed all carpet, swept all hardwood and linoleum floors, bleach mopped on my hands and knees said linoleum floors, done all laundry and plan to still wet swiffer the hardwoods once the linoleum dries. I am also turning on the air conditioning for a bit just to get some circulation going. The weather has been moderate lately so it has not been running and with the windows all closed to keep out the pine pollen, I am sure the air is a bit stale and has not been filtered in a while.

I am thankful everyday that I don't suffer from allergies (minus the occasional sneeze from dusting). Hopefully this diversion from the schoolwork I should be doing will be worth it and he will be sneeze free when he gets home tonight.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Five Eggs

I checked the bluebird nest last night and now there are five eggs...she must have been mid-laying when I checked the first I can start counting the days until they hatch.

Friday, April 07, 2006

They're Gone

I finally broke down and did it. I went through the list of geocaches near my home and put all the stupid boring micros, that I haven't been able to stop myself from looking for, on my ignore list so they don't show up when I do a search for caches.

I have had this option for a while now but only chose to do it on ones that I had checked out and decided weren't worth looking for. This time, I just went down the list and if it was a micro and I had a basic idea of where it was and how stupid it was, it went on the ignore list. Any that had "park and grab" in their description were the first to go. Ones that had no description other than to tell me that I needed to bring my own pen and I was looking for a 33mm canister were also quickly gone. My only regret is that the owners of these idiotic things can't see that they are on anyone's ignore list. I wish they could, I wish that they would get the hint and stop ruining perfectly good areas to hide regular sized caches in by putting these dumb things in.

So my ignore list now has 48 items on it (there are more micros than that but I have found some already). They are all within 20 miles of my house. Seems like when I get some distance from this area, the trading caches come back to the surface. I need to get out and find a new one as I have a yellow jeep travel bug that I need to release soon.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New Eggs

Well, I think I was wrong on the robins, I checked what looked like a nest in one of our holly bushes and it is not really all that together. Kind of looks like an old nest and there aren't any eggs in it but the robin is still hanging out in that bush so perhaps it will build something or remodel the nest I checked out today.

In other news though, I checked the bluebird nest box today just for the heck of it and as you can see from the pic, there are three little eggs in it...don't know how long they have been there but hopefully they will hatch (last year we had a clutch that didn't) and I can track the chick progress before they fledge. I was really surprised to see eggs in there because I haven't really seen the bluebirds much (except when another bird tries to move into the box) so I thought perhaps they hadn't laid yet. Last year, mom bird was on that nest constantly after laying...hmmm. Oh well, I can be happy we have eggs and we'll see what the next few days lead us to.


I got this in an email many years ago and held on to it because it rang so true for what I believe. What we do now with our lives and how we treat the earth and those around us is the the most important thing we can worry about. Whenever I need a reality check, I remember this little essay. Hope you enjoy it too. If anyone knows who the author is, please let me know.


Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many friends you have
Or how accepted you are.
Not about if you have plans this weekend or if you're alone.
It isn't about who you're dating, who you used to date, how many people you've dated, or if you haven't been with anyone at all.
It isn't about who you have kissed,
It's not about sex.
It isn't about who your family is or how much money they have
Or what kind of car you drive.
Or where you are sent to school.
It's not about how beautiful or ugly you are.
Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on, or what kind of music you listen to.
It's not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown
Or if your skin is too light or too dark.
Not about what grades you get, how smart you are, how smart everybody else thinks you are, or how smart standardized tests say you are.
It's not about what clubs you're in or how good you are at "your" sport.
It's not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper and seeing who will "accept the written you."

But, life is about who you love and who you hurt.
It's about who you make happy or unhappy purposefully.
It's about keeping or betraying trust.
It's about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon.
It's about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening.
About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.
It's about what judgments you pass and why. And who your judgments are spread to.
It's about who you've ignored with full control and intention.
It's about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.
It's about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it.
But most of all, it's about using your life to touch or poison other people's hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone.
Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices are what life's all about.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Why is it that changing a toilet paper roll became such a hassle that we actually have to buy quadruple rolls with extenders?

Charmin's bear commercials drive me nuts and the fact that there is even a market out there for quadruple rolls is just silly.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pitch Black

It just got very dark outside...we are in for a great storm...I am half tempted to put my truck in the garage because they are forecasting large hail, thunder, lightening, and possible tornados.

I love storms, in fact, I am sure I will be out video taping here in a few minutes if I don't lose my power soon. Whooeeee!! I guess I should have gotten my walk in earlier, but that is okay, we are supposed to have a break mid-morning and then be at it again this afternoon.


I went golfing with J yesterday for the second Sunday in a row. We seemed to have had a bit of a hiatus during the winter and just started back at the range recently. These two Sundays have been the first rounds we have played since the fall. They were both fun, we didn't play fabulously but better than expected considering the time we were away from it.

Last weekend, J beat me by one stroke and yesterday, we if I keep it up, I could be winning soon. Last year, I beat him a few times but those were on days when he was playing just horribly. Yesterday, we were both playing decently so I feel better about that.

My drive is what saves me. I get enough distance that I make up for what I can't do in the short game. If I ever learn to use my pitching wedge properly, I might give him a run for his money. Even if I didn't do great, I did get on the greens in regulation more than half the time and I was in the fairway except on two holes...I guess that is a good start. I have decided that I really need to get regular at the gym since I am sure some more muscles would be to my advantage.

Anyhow, it was a lot of fun, the sun was out, and it was warm (mid 80s), and I got some color to my skin...yeah, pastey white winter Mishka is gone for the season.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

To Do List

I am checking them off as fast as I can and it feels great. I balanced the checkbook for the last 4 months today, got up to date on our investment info, and finally organized and filed instructions and warranties for stuff that has been hanging over my head for ages....whooeeee!!!! Usually I am pretty good about the checkbook every month but the last few months, I have let the filing and organizing slide....bad me. Oh well, I am out from under the pile now, we'll see how long it lasts before something new has to be filed.

Now I just need to get on the 7 million other things on my list...exercise being one of them before I turn into a pile of goo.