Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And The Hits Keep Coming

Yesterday I got a 500 dollar water bill from our public utilities. Seems our nifty electronic timers for watering the landscaping locked in the open position while J and I were both gone for who knows how many days. It was running nonstop when J returned a few days before me.

The water usage portion is 250 and then the sewer part is 250...but I called them about it, since most of that water didn't go in the sewer, it went in the ground. They said to go ahead and write a letter stating what happened and they can probably reduce the sewer down quite a bit. I hope so...letter is already in the mail to them.

I also contacted the manufacturer of the timers because they are not supposed to lock in the open position and I think that they need to pay for some of that water usage as well, but we'll see if that happens. Needless to say, even if I just got a faulty one, I don't trust using either of them again while I am gone so I plan to return them soon. They cost 30 bucks a piece and didn't save me a dime in water or landscaping....grrrrr.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend At The Beach

Well we are home now. We had fun, it was much nicer than I was expecting and the area we were in wasn't crazy with crowds. Here are a few of the many pics I took while there. They are not in any particular order.

View of the beach from the fishing pier we visited.

The house we rented was away from the water so it was a nice retreat from days filled with sun, surf and sand. I didn't think to get any shots of it but perhaps we will stay there again and I will then.

Sunset from the boat we took a harbor cruise on.

The drive down was shorter than the Internet claimed and we even got a few geocaches in along the way. The trip back was a bit longer but we took a different route to see other sites.

Memorial Day visit to a local state park with a restored fort on it.

Overall, it was a great trip, and I am looking forward to heading back down there in July for another few days.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another List of Updates

In this post a few weeks ago, I have an update on several things that were on my plate...now things have progressed and I thought I would do it again.

Couch Situation:

The manufacturer got on the retailer and they sent the repairman out and he fixed the couch in about 30 minutes. I received a little couch education and the retailer is on my bad list. I plan to drop a little bomb on them in the near future for their lack of customer service (the only reason they fixed the couch is because it is covered by warranty from the manufacturer, if it had come out of their pocket, they would have completely blown me off).

Computer/Internet Situation:

The CPU stopped beeping so I have not taken it apart to put the thermal gel under there since it doesn't seem to be overheating anymore. Once I got back from my trip to the west coast, I installed my broadband wireless router and now I have wireless internet and networking for my laptop. It is so nice to be able to print from my laptop directly. The Linksys router I purchased works great and I have to say I have always been happy with their products.

Landscaping Situation:

I need to finish up a small amount of mulching in the main bed, and then do some maintenance on some of the other beds. The plants all did fine while I was gone and there is a new growth showing. J decided to put in a little garden on the other side of the backyard and we have tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers making their way into the world. The big pine tree that was hit by lightening is probably going to die eventually. The arborist I spoke with said to keep an eye on it because it will be noticable when it happens and then we need to get it out before bugs can infest since they can also attack some of the healthy trees in our yard. I am bummed that we might lose it, but for now it is doing okay, putting out new growth and getting on with life.

Soccer Situation:

Missed two weeks while I was on the west coast but have played twice since then and my pulled quad seems to be fine. I am not kicking it as far as before, but I think I have to work back up to that. I will miss our game this weekend because we are going to the coast for the holiday, so I won't have soccer again until practice on Wednesday next week.

School Situation:

I am finished, actually finished before I left for the west coast. I did well on most of it, haven't gotten any feedback from the teacher on what could have been improved upon regarding my site, but I did get an A in the class overall. I am off for the summer and have the one class to take in the fall to be done with my Master's.

Photo Project Situation:

Still haven't moved on this one. I did get all the pictures done from my visit out west and hope to get prints in the mail today. Will tackle this one soon so I can get my Grandma's pictures back to her.

Fitness Situation:

Have started logging my workouts on "My Happy Medium" again, and have been pretty good about getting some exercise since I have been home. I need to be more diligent on portion size and I think I might actually lose a few pounds. I didn't work out as much as I would have liked to while I was traveling but I also didn't eat too much either. I think I had lost a bit of weight before the trip with my poison ivy episode...haha.

New Hottub Situation:

I need to treat our hottub cover so it doesn't dry out and crack but there are more pressing issues. I had an electrician over yesterday because it seems that the lightening strike to the tree did affect the hottub. We are pretty sure it blew out the power converter for the stereo as well as possibly the stereo (I need to hook it to a car battery to test it). It also blew out some of the LED lights around the rim of the tub. The electrician thinks that is mostly a static thing, not a strike, or the hottub circuit board would be gone as well. So I have to get some things checked out today so we can get a damage report started. If we end up having to pay to remove the tree, then I can also have the hottub stuff added and perhaps do more than our deductible.

Miscellaneous:

I still need to powerwash the house from the pine pollen fall earlier this spring, and I also need to powerwash our patio furniture. There are a few flowers that need planting and some mulching, and pinestrawing that needs to be done as well. I am a bit behind on my card making, and have travel videos to work on along with a plethora of other things. My plate is never empty.

I better get this day started since it is the last day this week I will have time to do anything, as we are going away for the weekend (I know, it might be a nightmare, but it could be fun too).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Blog Passwords

I have noticed recently that lots of fellow bloggers are being forced to password protect their posts. I understand why this has to happen and I am sure it is frustrating for the blog owner that it is required because apparently a few people can't "play nice with others".

Regardless that it is necessary for some owners, as a reader, I hate it. Mostly this is because in my Internet life, I have tons of passwords to remember and for some reason the blog ones are always the ones I lose, so I am continually having to ask for them again. So I guess if I disappear off your counters, it isn't because I don't enjoy a great read any longer, it is just because I lost the password, once again. Sorry.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Solstice

I remember as a kid not really noticing the summer solstice much. I really didn't notice when, in the summer, the days started to shorten up... seemed like they were all long and lovely. Summer was just so huge and by the end of it, we were telling the "grown ups" that we were bored, and they were praying for school to start so we would get out of their hair. I actually remember having so much time on my hands that I didn't know what to do with it all. Gone are those days.

Now, perhaps because I am older and have more to do everyday, or because I just pay attention to the news now, I am keenly aware of the summer solstice. This bums me out because I really think it should be in August rather than in June. It is depressing to me to think that the days start their downward swing towards shortness as early as June. Summer is supposed to be about long days and I think August would be a much better month for the solstice to be in. So who do we talk to about getting this fixed?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

We Be Wireless

Well, I finally got off my lazy butt today and hooked up my wireless broadband router so I could access the Internet on my laptop, share files with my pc and print without having to use my usb thumb drive.

Things were going smoothly until I enabled my security preferences and then everyone when to their own corners to pout. A few tweeks, some sweet talking and a slight change in names seemed to do the trick. Who knows if all parties will be talking after the next reboot but for now, we are up and running and I have transfered files back and forth, everyone can see each other, my test print worked and but not least, I am posting here from my laptop in my living room....whooeee!!!!

This was one more thing on my list that can be checked off....since getting out of school, I am making some headway on those items.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Aunt L

I just wanted to wish one of my favorite aunts a wonderful birthday. She and my mom have been friends since they were in grade school so even if they hadn't married brothers, she would have been a huge part of my life.

She and I have been friends for a long time, sometimes I was able to talk to her when I couldn't talk to anyone else. Currently she is in college to get her nursing degree and I couldn't be prouder of her.

Thanks Aunt L for all you have done and I hope you spend some time today just on you. We love you!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not What You Want To Hear

"We don't really need that part anyhow."

Said by pilot of my flight from Portland to Minneapolis yesterday after our plane stalled before taxiing.

We were backing away from the gate, just like normal, and all of a sudden everything in the plane went off. The flight attendant was in the middle of the seat buckle explanation and didn't miss a beat. There were no lights, no sounds, no air and no engines....

We sat for a few minutes like that, while the flight attendant continued with the security briefing, and then stuff slowly started to come back on. At one point, they even turned the heat on (although it was already sweltering in the plane). The pilot came on and apologized for the heat, told us that they had to run through their checklist to make sure everything was okay. Seems that while we were backing up, the auxillary power supply that they use to start the engines and air while at the gate (and then usually turn off during flight) cut out and for some unknown reason shut everything down.

After the checklist was complete, we took off like normal. They assured us that the plane was safe and the above quote was mentioned. I thought to myself, "Well at least we don't REALLY need it".

About an hour before we landed in Minneapolis, the pilot came on and informed us that those passengers that were continuing on to La Guardia would be actually changing planes in Minneapolis. Makes me wonder if all wasn't as well as they were trying to play it off as being.

This is the third flight I have taken that I didn't have complete confidence in the aircraft....fortunately, none of the experiences have ended badly.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Almost Done

Well, I fly out tomorrow for the East coast. I will miss my family and friends on this side of the US but will be glad to get home, sleep in my own bed and see J, who has been home from his business trip for several days.

I have made many observations while on this trip that will develop into future posts, I am sure, but I have not really had time like I thought I would to blog on the road. I need to get writing and get some of this stuff down on paper (actually my laptop) before it all starts to squeak out of my memory.

I did get my grades from class and it looks like I will be getting an A. I got a 97 on my multimedia site and that feels great. Now I have the summer off from school to concentrate on other "To Do" list items, and then one more class in the fall to be done with my program. Whooooeeee! I am almost there. I guess that means that I will have to get a job....:(

Monday, May 08, 2006

80 Years Old

Happy Birthday Grandma!!! You are absolutely the best.

We celebrated with a big party on Saturday, but today is the actual day. I think the party was great and we had a lot fun and were able to catch up with all sorts of friends and family. Some of J's family that lives in the area was able to make it too, so I was able to see them for a while as well. It was great.

My sis and I drove back up to Portland yesterday afternoon after doing some geocaching in and around Jacksonville Oregon. It was a very educational as both caches were located in or near really old cemeteries. Amazing history.

It was hard to say goodbye to the grandparents...grandma kept telling us to come back soon. I hope I am able to. I miss them a lot and wish I lived closer. Maybe in the next year or so we will end up back on the west coast for a spell. That would be nice I think.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Whew!!!

Well, school is behind me for the semester. I finished up my project a day early which allowed me some time to get everything else done that I had to do before leaving on my trip to the NW.

As it stands now, I think I will do well in the class and I am on my trip without schoolwork hanging over my head...a great feeling. I can pretty much do whatever I want (with the exception of blowing off my house maintenance in WA) and it feels great.

So I am in Portland for a day or so and then head down south the help my grandmother celebrate her 80th birthday this weekend, then it is back up this way to head to WA next week to work on my house and see my dad...hope everyone else has a great week....see you.