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February 26, 2009

Thread

A thread can be a very useful item when sewing a button onto a shirt or hemming pants. It can be the action of putting a strand of fiber through the eye of a needle, or it can be my new favorite friend, an internet thread.

If you don't know what I am talking about, I will reference my dictionary again and let you know one definition of thread is computing a group of linked messages posted on the Internet that share a common subject or theme. That is the thread I have come to love.

The other morning I came to work and decided it was time to install my suggested software updates. I don't enjoy doing this task because it can be time consuming and I often am prompted to restart my computer right when I am in the middle of something.

After installing a necessary security update on my Mac, I restarted my computer and began working again. All of the sudden my computer would "flip out" of the current program window I was in, and enter into another program I had open. This was terribly annoying. I would be typing an email and all of the sudden (still typing) I was not on my desktop! It was annoying and at one point freaked me out. I began my usual attempt to fix the problem. Empty the trash, Delete 6000+ emails, get rid of proofs from November, clean up my desktop, organize my fonts and my last effort was to restart the computer.

Restart complete, I began working again and within a minute or so, boom, there was my computer flip flopping between applications. I really started to freak out. Had I ruined my work computer? There is nothing fun about telling your boss that "something happened" to your computer.  To no avail I began surfing the internet. But what on earth do I google? The list began as this:

Mac OSX 10.4.11 flip flops between applications and finder
Mac OSX flip flops windows
Mac OSX 10.4.11 issues

And then I found this: A forum, Mac OSX Finder Weirdness, with a nice short thread (5 entries) that explained exactly what my problem was. Two clicks later, Stuffit Deluxe Preference turned off and I was all set and so glad I didn't have to tell my boss "something happened" to my computer.

February 22, 2009

Million Dollar Woman

If I had all the money in the world, here is what I would do with it:

1- First of all, I wouldn't tell anyone. Well, I for sure would tell my husband and then immediately call my financial advisor. If I won in a lotto or public event, I would not show myself on TV.

2- I would barely share. The only people that would get anything are my parents, my in-laws, my sister's family and my brother-in-law's family. That's all. The amount would probably be substantial, assuming I had "double digit" millions (take home of at least $10,000,000).

3-I'd keep my job, but only work 3 or 4 days a week. At least for a while, then I'd probably quit all together and begin one of my many dream jobs. 

4-Dream Job #1. Donate and volunteer my time. Not only would I like to donate, but I would like to volunteer my time so I can experience the need of organizations hands on. I don't like how charity events require a large fancy ball, entertainment and food and a high ticket price. Because only a portion of that ticket price goes to the charity. The rest goes to the food, entertainment and venue for the night! I know one has to spend money to make money, but I think some charities go over the top!

5-Dream Job #2. Revive the David Horowitz Fight Back television show! As a child not having cable television, my family enjoyed tuning in every week to see which products stood up to their claim. If you recall there was the Levi Jeans Test, to see if two horses could pull apart a pair of pants as seen on their label. The Oreck Vacuum test, can it pick up the 8 pound bolwing ball? If I am unable to revive this televison show, I would create my own website and blog, that would test and report on consumer products. Of course it would include the latest fad items ShamWow! and the Snuggie. It would be very similar to consumer reports, but a much more extensive report but less technical. I would report on how easy or hard it is to purchase online or via phone. How much an item really costs (after installments, processing, postage, handling, tax, etc) and then talk about how fast it arrives, how it is packaged, how it looks, feels, smells, and lastly performs. And to top it off, I would try to return it or call customer service to see how hard it is to ask for missing parts, get a new product under warranty, etc. This all would most likely take place via blogging.

6-I'd hire some "employees" such as a chef, dietitian, personal trainer, cleaning company, gardener, and personal assistant. Of course these would be part time jobs, since I don't need a chef every day, but maybe he/she can plan our meals and I could cook a few of them. The cleaning person would only come once or twice a week (I have dogs and they have hair). The personal trainer I would want for a few hours a day and the gardener would be needed when my garden grows weeds! My personal assistant could work with me from 10am-2pm.

7-I'd buy/build a house. When I was a kid I always said I would have to build three houses before I got what I wanted. The first house would always have "kinks" in it. Or you would wish you did something different. The second house you would fix all those kinks but there would still be a few changes you would like to make, and the final house would be perfect. Of course this may not be my dream house, because I think it would be great to build/buy several houses all over the country. I'd have to travel to all of these places to be certain I would want to own a home there.

8-I'd build my husband his dream shop/garage. Maybe even three of them, because as I stated above, he will have some kinks that he will want to work out, too! 

9-I would travel as much as I could. Fiji would be on the top of my list. Then maybe 6 months or so in Europe. A summer in Australia, some tropical islands. If money didn't matter, my possibilities are endless. I'd like to think I'd be humble and not require an over the top hotel, but a small, quaint place that offers cleanliness, good food and fun things to do!

10-I would collect something. Probably start with vintage VW Beetles and then move onward from there.

11-I would have my home professionally decorated for Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

12-I would continue my education. Maybe take a photography class, a "How to Make Your Blog Better" class (see number 5-Dream Job #2). Learn to sew (the right way), perfect my garden, gourmet cooking, French, Spanish.

13-I'd take action on the one item my husband wants to invent and the one item I want to invent! But I cannot elaborate because it's a secret! Otherwise, you would steal my invention! 

14-I would get a nose job, then lipo and possibly a breast reduction. But if my personal trainer does his/her job, I may not have to get lipo or the boob job.

15-I would get a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait from McDonalds every day. They are only a $1.00 and so delicious.

After typing all of this, I realized my list is similar to a child telling someone, "When I grow up I am going to..." Then you grow up and realize it isn't as easy to do everything you want and get everying you want just because you are an adult.


February 17, 2009

Broken Stones = Broken Heart

I absolutely L O V E my Pampered Chef Glazed Rectangle Baker. It's a 9 x 13 stoneware pan that is coated with an off white glaze. I use this pan for everything: chicken, lasagna, pork but mostly for brownies. Last night, it broke in half.

I was terribly upset when I opened the oven door to check the doneness of my pork tenderloin. There I saw my pan had cracked in half. Thankfully I had my marinated tenderloin wrapped in foil, so nothing leaked out of the pan onto the oven!

But this is the second time this has happened. The first pan was cooking chicken Parmesan about two years ago. I had to buy another pan because the three year warranty had just expired a month earlier!

I'm a touch happier now that I have found my receipt and realize my current broken pan is under warranty! I've emailed my consultant and hope to have another pan within a few weeks. But this makes me wonder, is there something out there better than Pampered Chef Stoneware? My favorite feature of this pan is that it keeps foods hot for a very long time and it is extremely easy to clean. Minimal scrubbing, if any, and the pan is nice and deep.

If anyone knows of a better product, or something similar, let me know in the comments section below. I'm always up for new things.

 

 

February 14, 2009

Geriatric K9s

Geriatric. A nice way to say old, needs care. I have two dogs, one is old and the other is getting old.

Cletus is my geriatric dog. He's going to be 12 this May and he is a Rott, Lab, Shepherd mix. He doesn't run anymore, but once in a while he'll take off after a rabbit in the yard. As always he is unsuccessful, but in general, he is in excellent spirits.

Cletus has arthritis, lacks cartilage in his legs, has a fatty mass on his hind leg, and a large growth on his neck. He has a pill box and takes Fish Oil, Glucosamine, Rimadyl and Tramadol daily. But lately, he's added grunting to his list of old age ailments. He grunts when he sits down, grunts when he gets up, and grunts when he stretches. We find it quite humorous.

I call Cetus, C.P. for Cletus Perrine, but he has also adopted the name Wise Man. Dan called him Old Man back in the day, and I called him Old Wise Man. I then thought Old wasn't very nice, so now he is just known as Wise Man. He's a stinker like that, too. He frequently wanders into the neighbor's yard and nabs their dog's toys and raw hides that were abandoned. He trots back home as if he has a prize in his mouth.

Cletus

 

Rockwell is my getting old dog. He will be 8 this August and is starting to get worn out! He'll go and go and go for days, but once he rests, he needs at least a day or two to recover. He'll lay in our bed and sleep all day after he spends an entire afternoon outside with us or at the race shop. Yesterday when I came home, he didn't even greet me at the door. I had to go visit him in the bedroom. There he was laying on the bed, as if he was a sick child.

Fish Oil and Glucosamine are in Rockwell's pill box and we give them to him to prevent or slow the usual arthritus and bad joints that are associated with large breed dogs. He doesn't show any obvious signs of aging, but lately, he has had a flatulence issue. He breaks wind when he runs, when he eats, when he jumps on the bed. He passes gas while watching TV (yes, he actually watches the TV) and when he is riding in the car. And the stench is horiffic. Silent or as loud as a human, Rockwell used to look back at his behind when the air escaped. Now he just continues doing what he was doing as if nothing had happened. I'm convinced this is a sign of old age since we haven't changed his food or diet at all. Now I'll have to see if he starts grunting.

Rockwell

 

 

February 12, 2009

Back to Work

For those of you that do not know, my husband was notified of a temporary unemployment from January 23-April 27th. He was somewhat looking forward to having a three month vacation, or 93 days to work on race cars, honey do lists and relaxing.

After only three weeks, my husband got a call yesterday to return to work. It's great news for us financially, but I was just starting to get used to having all of my laundry done, my house cleaned, floors vacuumed, and kitchen straightened up by someone other than me! When I got home yesterday I realized why it was good he got called back to work. I turned on the tv and it was on the SOAP channel. I say no more.

February 09, 2009

25 Things

There is a chain letter floating through my friends on Facebook called 25 Random Things. The point is to create a new note and tell a person 25 things about yourself. I've done this once and my note is on my Facebook page, but for those who don't have Facebook, and for the gazillion other things I have thought of after posting the note, I'm creating a new one here.

In no particular order, here are 25 things about me. 

1- I use the dictionary on my computer every day. I use it to be sure I spell words correctly. I use it to show people nonprofit is one word, not two, and not with a hyphen (all acording to my Oxford American Dictionary). It not only gives me the dictionary definition, but also provides me with a thesaurus of the word following the definition. I use the thesaurus just about as much as I do the dictionary. In case you are wondering, the synonyms for thesaurus include: wordfinder, wordbook, synonym dictionary.

2- I own a KitchenAid Mixer. It is a very nice mixer, a solid product, it usually works well, but I don't think it is the best mixer on the market. Notice I said mixer. I can only compare this as a mixer, not as a pasta maker, meat grinder, or vegetable strainer, only a mixer. My biggest complaint is that I have to turn off the mixer, lift the beater and then I can add my ingredients. I have to do this for each ingredient I want to add (after mixing of course). My second complaint is the wisking tool seems to always leave some sort of unmixed egg white in the bottom of the bowl. It doesn't matter if I whip my egg whites as stiff as a board, there is unbeaten whites in the bottom of my bowl. I will never get rid of this mixer, especially since it was given to me as a gift from my mother-in-law, but I think if you are mixer shopping, there are better mixers on the market. My mom has her Sunbeam Mixer she probably got when she got married. It's gold in color and my sister broke the glass bowl when we were kids. My mom had to get a stainless steel bowl to replace it. I remember my mom being upset about the stainless steel bowl. She was upset because you could put the glass bowl in the microwave but not the new metal bowl. The KitchenAid doesn't even offer a glass bowl! Anyhow, the Sunbeam mixer is much better than the KitchenAid because the Sunbeam has a feature to slide the bowl to the side. This moves the beaters from the center of the bowl to one side, allowing you to pour things in while beating and scrape the sides while the mixer is running. Such a lovely feature I wish the KitchenAid would adopt.

3-I have a tremendous fear that my marriage will fail because of infidelity. So much that I think my husband and I need to "work on" our marriage while it is going well. I don't want to wait until things get sour for us to try to mend it. I read all sorts of successful marriage articles on the internet and most recently, I suggested we take part in Dr. Phil's 14 days of Loving with Honesty to make our relationship stronger.

4- I think one of the hardest things to buy for a person is a card. There are hundreds, probably thousands of cards to choose from and you had to pick just one to wish a person happy birthday, anniversary, congratulations, thank you, I'm sorry, hang in there, I'm thinking of you, etc. Sometimes I think buying a card is harder than buying a gift! Then after you have the card, you have to sign, seal and deliver it! I truly appreciate cards.

5-I don't like stickers on cars or price tags items. I never stick things to my cars and I always peel price tags off products I purchase. Recently my dad called me out on this obsession. I started to peel a price tag off of something and he said, "There you go, you have to take the sticker off of it. You've always done it ever since you were a kid." And it's true. I sometimes peel them off of the box of cereal, but I usually leave them on food items. I will peel them off the bottom of a candle, a candle I intend to burn, a sticker on the bottom that no one will see, but I still peel it off.

6- My family has incredible health (knock on wood). I have 2 grandmas, who are both in the 80s and live in their own home, drive their own cars and take care of themselves. I have a great aunt who is also in her 80s, lives in her own home, drives her own car and she clogs!

7-I knock on wood. A lot. If wood is not available, I knock on plastic, or metal or glass. If I'm in my car and the wood is "fake" I knock on fake wood. If I think something, I knock on wood. If I say something, I knock on wood. I'm chicken when it comes to tempting fate.

8-I've always wanted to get married in Fiji. I didn't get married in Fiji, but my husband says we will go there for our 10th anniversary. I hope its a long trip, say 10-14 days. And maybe by then I'll learn to scuba dive so we can enjoy some of the beautiful reefs in the South Pacific. 

9-I didn't pass the reading part of my high school proficiency exam. I passed the math and science and writing, but not the reading. I don't like to read anything longer than a magazine article. I rarely get into any fiction books (non fiction is a bit easier) I just fall asleep while reading them. At one time I thought i should read more books and I began checking them out at the library. I'd return them after 2 weeks and I wouldn't even be half way through the book. On the flip side, I love children's books. I have a small collection that is rapidly growing thanks to the great selection at the dollar store.

10-I love having a garden. I am going to plant one again this year. I wish I had strawberry and raspberry plants, too, but I am very chicken about buying them. I think I will kill them and not be able to keep up on the weeding. 

11-I stole a bowing ball once. From a bowling alley. It wasn't a "house ball" but a person's ball they had donated to the bowling alley. It is dark pink with some white swirls. I call it Strawberry.

12-I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, steaks and red potatoes, mashed potatoes with butter, anything chocolate (white, dark and milk), and white milk. 

13- I like things done my way. If I need someone to do something for me, I show them how to do it, and I don't like it when they don't follow my way. I believe my husband will agree with me 100%.

14- I like to research items before I buy them. I surf the internet, email friends, or talk to professionals. For example, the Dyson vacuum. I will never own one because after talking to a vacuum store person (that sells Dyson) there are better vacuums on the market for the same price.

15- I love dogs. I have never had a dog as a child, but my sister and I always wanted one. Both of us have dogs. I cannot imagine my life without one. Any size will do, but I prefer those with short hair. I cannot understand why a person would buy a dog from a breeder. There are so many dogs "out there" the need homes. Many of them are purebred dogs and many of them are not. Some of the cutest dogs are those that are a mix of breeds.

16- I wish I could give more to charities. I wish I could donate monthly to Last Chance Rescue, Women's Resource Center, Salvation Army, United Way, and any other charity that comes my way and needs money. If I had all the money in the world, I would donate regularly to these organizations and help volunteer.

17- I make all sorts of lists and then I toss them in my purse, and re-write the lists. I believe I have a touch of OCD and a desire to organize. I make things messy so I can rearrange and reorganize the area. 

18-I like to eat my spaghetti o's at room temperature. 

19- I've never had a broken bone, but I cut my flexor tendon on my right pinkie finger. I waited a week or two to go to the doctor. I realized I had a problem when I typed. I was unable to get my pinkie finger to the top rows of keys. The tip of my finger wouldn't bend! I had to have surgery and four months of physical therapy. If you are wondering how it happened, it was a kitchen accident, I was cooking and trying to pry apapart frozen spare ribs with a table knife. My hand slid down and cut the tendon. I now have a pretty sweet zig zag scar.

20- One in a while, I get the urge to write a paper. I have this desire to go to the library and scour over the internet for hours searching for information on random topics. I don't act upon this craving.

21- I am extremely critical of my own work. I always think I can do better. It doesn't matter if it is a personal project or if it is a work project.

22- For a long time, I thought I would only get married if I found the right guy and he gave me a ring, with one diamond that was 2.5 carats. My current husband voiced his thought on getting married and I would repeatedly tell him one diamond needed to be 2.5 carats. Then I agreed to settle for 2 carats. I didn't get one "that big" but I think the one I got is pretty sweet and the guy is even sweeter.

23- I am hoping this summer I learn to drive my VW Bug by myself. I'm just so iffy on the stick shift driving. 

24-  When I was younger I decided I wanted to be a plastic surgeon. Not because I wanted to be a doctor, but because I knew that is where the growth was going. Some days I wish I would have done something in the medical field.

25- I want to be a man for a week, and for one week be myself with what I consider my ideal body, taller, smaller bust, darker hair (and eyebrows!), plumper lips, and of course, "lighter".

February 04, 2009

The Hierarchy of Sistas

Last night I witnessed a terrible situation. My gym instructor, Jane*, twisted her ankle at the gym, requiring her to cancel class and go to the emergency room.

It happened so quickly. One minute we were grapevining to the right and all of the sudden Jane was on the floor.  Everyone stopped, and stood in their place. A few of us walked over to her. We could see she was in pain, and there was little we could do. I stood back, and watched a Hierarchy of Sistas begin...

Doris* took on the motherly role and knelt down beside Jane and began talking to her. I couldn't hear the conversation but I imagine Doris asked Jane if she was okay, and if she heard it pop, or thought it was broken. 

Karen* is the ever-so-calm-and-cool one. She got a step set up for Jane to rest her ankle on. Later she began talking to Jane, telling her she would get her where she needs to go, call the people that need to be called and kept the situation at ease.

Dawn* the go-getter turned down the music and went to get ice and a towel.

And then there was me. Standing back, turning off the fan, then later holding the bag of ice (when Karen went to get the car ready), watching as concerned women came together and took a serious and not so pleasant situation and made it work, with little panic, and all the help we could possibly provide. Oh yeah, and I threw a few jokes in there as well. Something about how Jane really needed to shave her legs, how she may be able to get Workers' Comp and how old age must be attributing to her bad ankle!

I've heard from Karen that Jane has a severe sprain, an air cast, crutches and will be off work for 2 weeks. Thankfully there were no broken bones or torn tendons or ligaments.

Update: 2-5-09
Jane has informed me she has 2 fractures in her foot and is on her way to see another doctor!

*names have been changed