Friday, June 01, 2007

Bye Bye

Yesterday I sat down and looked for alternative sites for my blog. I choose blogger for no particular reason other then a friend used it and it was easy, I didn’t really even look into the other options. I have decided to move to wordpress. There I can have most of my posts public but I can put a password on ones I don’t want the world to see or have the wrong person stumble across one day. It has some nice features, integrated stat counter, some cool templates, and the ability to truncate posts or keep them on ‘top’, all things I missed on blogger. It has some not so great features like upload limits on pictures, the inability to change the template code, and an inferior ‘widgit’ mover but I think I am trading up.

So without further adu, my new address is http://katystuff.wordpress.com/

Mom and aunts, please change your bookmarks. I’ll be updated all the reference points I can remember with the new site so my LJ friends can still click there and Mrs Gone South, Mike, and 8K; I’ll e-mail this to you to update your link to me. I’ll be experimenting with the password stuff, all of you are invited I am only doing the locking thing to keep the casual passer by out of certain topics. E-Mail me if you want the password, kate79@gmail.com .

Adios Blogger! It’s been fun

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

public or private?

I have gotten out of the blogging habit… easy to fall in and out of I’m sure you all understand. Once you miss a few days then the posts end up being massive overviews of what happened and that is pretty much what I do. Every so often I get extra time or just into the blogging thing more and post lots of small updates or observations and I think in a few weeks I’ll have more time at work to post but right now is an extra busy time. There is also the factor that this is a very public blog and I have no idea who about half of the people who read are therefore I don’t really express any strong opinions or write on any really personal topics… that is my own choice really but I am thinking about making this a password/invite only blog but I like thinking that something I said helps other people out. I get tons of hits on my ‘cat peed on my bed’ entry and since I know I googled that exact phrase and got no help I think I’m helping. I also get a lot of hits for reasons to party and monkey fabric. I don’t think I have the time to write two blogs so I’ll be deciding soon what direction I am going to go, if you have a vote, email me; kate79@gmail.com.

Since my last post about flooring I have done tons of stuff especially since I did the flooring over the weekend of May 12-13. I was so sore from that flooring I could barely walk for days, it was a very physical job with lots of kneeling, getting up and down off the floor a million times, and manhandling the planks into place. Lars did help, he pitched in on some of the more complicated cuts acting as clamp while I sawed and he also was a huge help by bringing down supplies so I didn’t have to keep running up and down the stairs. He also held up the washer and dryer while I put flooring under them. Sunday night we looked at paint for the room and I think we are going with a dark yet bright blue name liberty so maybe this weekend I’ll get paint on the walls and trim back up and them move all the stuff back in. We have no real plan for the room, it might be the exercise room, it might be the SCA room, not really sure but since it is adjacent to our cool new patio and we are throwing a nice big party we need it to be decent enough for an extra party space and now it is.

This past weekend we went to Ages of War in Iowa. The weather was great especially since we camped in a hotel. Hotel camping means way less gear therefore more people fit in cars and we took two viaciles with 4 people each so we were doing pretty well. It was disappointing that Calontir really didn’t turn up in great numbers but that happens. Lars and I started this event last year with the King and Queen of Calontir and we were really hoping it would live on. It still happened and maybe it will grow next year again, I know if we win crown again we will talk it up. Monday I took an extra road trip to a site that we had to move a ton of stuff and I’m really glad a lot of people turned out to help because it went very quickly but it was an odd way to spend Memorial day.

Next week I start my next MBA class, I got a B+ on the last one and submitted my reimbursement request so hopefully I get the money to pay for the next semester in time. We are feeling a little bank account light because we wrote the big check yesterday to buy Lars’s brother’s house in PA. It wasn’t really that expensive and it is a good investment but writing the check is hard (I made Lars do it). The whole PA house project took way too much effort and entailed way too much drama so hopefully we can put that behind us now that we closed and all the hoops are jumped and papers signed. Lars and I were starting to loose it with all the dates and meetings to sign stuff and now we can go back to our regularly scheduled life.

This weekend is not planned other then maybe painting and maybe sewing~

Friday, May 25, 2007

Flooring

This was last weekends all weekend project;



It started out with gross old carpet tile and all the junk in the house (I didn't take a picture of that) but I cleaned everything and scraped up all the tile and removed all the basebords and trim to reveal a fantastic cement floor;


And then I worked realy hard for 2 days stright and got it all done but by the end I could barely walk. Next step painting and orginizing all the stuff back into the room.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another weekend has past and week begun. Saturday Lars and I (mostly I) drove to Fargo and back for crown. It was a very nice event and there were tons of people I wanted to see and talk to and I got to talk to atleast half of them. The tournament outcome was surprising and I think it even surprised the winners, I’m sure they will be fine and sometimes the unknown is fun because it is obviously not predictable.

Last week went reasonably well. I finished my stats final and I am hoping grades are posted soon so I can find out my grade. I got an A on the paper (1/4) and a B on my midterm (1/4) and an A on my homework/classwork (1/4) and the final quarter is the final…. I am thinking I got either a B+ or an A, depends on the curve really, but I felt much better prepared. I never got the Who’s who finished for crown because it got lost in computer land and I didn’t have time to redo it and also study but I don’t think anyone really missed it.

Sunday Lars and I went to Ikea and got 400 square feet of flooring for the down down stairs room. We got the light blond color that matches the real wood in the rest of the house but since the lower level might get damp I didn’t want anything too expensive. Cork is now entirely out of the equation. I need to clear the deck down there and get going on the underlay stuff but hopefully I can get it all in over this week and weekend (wishful thinking). I’m taking suggestions for paint color down there, I’m inclined to go with a light yellow but I really have no idea.

This week was going to be hectic because I was supposed to be traveling and I shuffled stuff all over the place and now the trip is canceled. I really had work to do with the supplier and now I need to find another time that works but on the bright side I am here all week and have pretty open schedule that will hopefully allow for flooring. I mowed the lawn last night and contemplated gardening, the tulips are done and I have nothing on deck… I’m not sure where to start and I have no garden network so if anyone local knows someone who wants to divide out some daylilies or something I have good spots for them.

I am at the offsite office, suffering from lack of sun but I know that today is pretty gray outside so I’m not missing much. Yesterday was 90 degrees, today is 60, someday we will settle on summer. I need to get working so this is it for now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I would like to reject the episode of Gilmore Girls I just watched. They need to re do it. While I agree on some levels it is not a good way to end a show....

Tuesday night

I am down to 4 stamps needed when paying bills! Everything else is on auto pay or I can pay online. Don't worry mom, the only things on auto pay are insurance and non changing payments so I really do look at all my bills every month to make sure there are no surprises.

Right now Lars is mowing the lawn and it is way easier now that we took down a big section of fence. My next house project is getting the down down stairs (4 level split) put together. Right now it is the junk and kitty litter room and since it is right next to our new patio it needs to be a bit nicer. The pro's to the room are that it has a big closet and is one of the larger regular sized rooms in the house. It also has french doors to the patio. The cons are it does not have a door to the house (just a doorway of odd irregular size), it has a concrete floor, and the foundation wall weeps every so often. I was sold on cork flooring for ages but I've read that it does not stand up to wet too well. I'm thinking maybe pergo from Ikea since millions of people walk on it there and it cleans up nicely it is a possiblity. There is also vinyl, it looks really nice and has a bit of cushin to it but it is the same price as hardwood... I want to move all the garb into that one large closet but that is a longer term project. It just needs to be presentable for the party in a few months.

Lars is done mowing, time to go ride bikes for a little bit~

Monday, May 07, 2007

5/7

For the first time in ages, the house was actually clean all week and into the weekend so I didn’t have to spend any time cleaning. We had the cleaning ladies on Tuesday so we cleaned for them and then the appraiser came on Thursday so we cleaned again for him and hopefully he was impressed enough to think the house is worth what we want it to be worth (higher is ok too). We should know that hopefully today sometime and provided all went well we can finish the house thing. I spent a frustrating week dealing with the realtor and he really should retire or quit or just go away because he is so bad he disgraces Realtors everywhere. He only works from 3-6 and he never checks hi e-mail and he is likely to call random contact numbers, never the one you are at, and he thinks that replying to Lars’s e-mail was answering me…. He is a moron. It has been fun getting him to actually do any work on this deal but at least the end is in sight.

This weekend was very very productive. I spent Sat sewing tents and a nice evening hanging out. Sunday I had a friends two sons come over to help with yard work and between 10am and 3:30pm we washed all the decks and patios, raked and bagged all the leaves in the hedge, cleaned the entire garage, took down some fence, pulled out and set up all the patio furniture, and painted a bench. They were great kids to work with I got three weekends worth of work done in one. I was wiped out Sunday night so we ate dinner and watched TV and here I am on Monday again.

This week is pretty open at work, no travel or big events. Hopefully it will stay quiet so I can get all the little things done. I have my final exam on Thursday but I’m not too worried because he put the entire exam up on the overhead and we went over all the problems. I have to do my Who’s Who for Crown but I got most of it done this weekend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I can’t believe it is Thursday already!

This week has flown, all my normal blog writing time has been taken up by house buying activities. We are at an agreement finally, no thanks to the greedy and dumb realtor. I’m sure the seller, who I’ve spoken to many times, is kicking himself for going to an agent on this since he basically had a buyer already and these guys are a real stupid pair that have delayed the deal over a week. I don’t have time to go into the idiocy that has ensued…

On the flip side of the same project, we are getting our house appraised today and we are crossing our fingers for a good appraisal. Yesterday I mowed and killed all the dandelions and the cleaning ladies came this Tuesday so the house is clean and tidy. I did an extra clean yesterday because they are coming inside to do measurements etc. I wish I got all the patio stuff set up but I didn’t have time and I doubt it will matter much.

Tonight is my second to last stats class. We are turning in our paper and I think we will get a really good grade since we turned it in last week for ‘review’ and we fixed every thing he commented on. I asked how my homework grade is and he said that I’m getting an A on that so hopefully I’ll have two A’s, a B and then the final that provided I don’t bomb it I should get an A-. Tonight he says he is basically going over every question on the exam so I’m going to take good notes and just memorize what I need to know, he better be right about what is on the exam this time, he did not do too good a job on the midterm prep…

This weekend I am sewing tents on Sat and I’ve hired a friends two sons to help with general yard work. This should give me a good start on a nice yard for the party at the end of June. I really have to get invitations out for that, maybe Monday.

Ok, today we are doing a mentor day for all the kids in the program and I have to go help set up.

Friday, April 27, 2007

why I lost 5 pounds this week

I am stealing a minute to write a little something about my high speed week.

Last Friday I thought I was going to an event with G2 however I had my weekends mixed up and although there was an event they weren’t expecting me… I went anyway and it was pretty fun. It was just a day trip so Saturday I hibernated and just did some little housework things saving up my energy for the week to come.

Monday; Tent Day! Went to G2’s and the group cut out 3 spoke round tents. We got all the roof and walls cut out, the only thing we need to cut out is the little reinforcements etc and that needs to be done in the sewing phase. I snuck in a 2mi run before I went over there but that meant I went straight from work, to running, to cutting and finally home at 11.

Tuesday; I ‘won’ a class in negotiating in the cities. Our BossD signed himself up but then he could not go so he opened it to the group. There were three of us who wanted to go and I won and it was a decent class. I really did not learn anything radically new but I relearned a bunch of things that were good reminders. I also was in the right neighborhood to have lunch with Jenny so we met up and had a good hour at outback. I introduced her to the best thing on their menu, bacon cheesy fries, she is now a convert for life. We sat with another woman from the class and we ended up talking about Chinese toilets for far too much of lunch but it is now one of my missions in life to make sure no woman goes to china without knowing the facts about toilets there. After class I drove directly to meet with my stats group to finish our project. Both of them were late and they were both pretty distractible but we got the majority done. I think we all feel like we got the good part of the deal, I’m doing all the writing and they are doing the math, graphs, and analysis. I told them I was leaving at 8 no matter what so it gave some sort of structure but they are both really nice guys even if they can’t focus for more then 10 min. At 8:30 (I knew I would never actually leave at 8) I drove over to the local fight practice in the cities about 10 min away that Lars was at and hung out until 9. We all went out for dinner and it was a good time. I ordered this really odd special, buckwheat pancakes covered in blueberries, granola, peanuts, and honey. When it came out it was huge, they should put net weight on menus, but it was very tasty. We had to go pick up Lars’s car since he kinda carpooled down to practice but his car was parked in a very odd place to get to from where we were, worked out in the end but we didn’t get home until 11:30 so straight to bed again.

By the way… all this being gone means our house looks a bit disastrous….

Wednesday; I did not leave the house but I did feed the lawn and talked to mortgage people (we are buying Lars’s brother’s house) and then parked on the couch and did the stats project. By 9pm it was done and I think it is really good. It isn’t even due until next week but this way we can get his feedback and fix anything before really turning it in. I started working through my tivo shows but I got sucked into my e-mail and worked from 9-11 on getting my mail under control. I chatted with G2 about this weekend, the weekend I was actually supposed to go to the event, and actually went to bed reasonably on time.

Thursday; I rushed home to talk to the realtor for the brothers house, this man is a moron and is very very very slow but hopefully the transaction goes well. We are buying the house because his brother can’t and the owner wants to sell. My mom gave us good advice as to how to juggle money to make it work and I don’t know for sure yet but I think we might actually pay less per month then we do now plus have income from the rent. Only real bummer is the amount of closing costs we have to pay but it does work out to be the best way. Anyway, I hopped on the elliptical and only made it to just under a mile before I had to jump in the shower and run to class. Lars came home and delayed me by actually wanting to spend some time with me! I have had two busy weeks in a row and he misses me. I made it to class one min early and although I didn’t lean much I didn’t get too confused either. We only have one more class before the final so next week is all review. Hopefully I can digest the entire stats for dummies book I got in the next two weeks. As normal, I got home at 10 and we ate McDonalds and for some reason it really did not agree with me and I spent from 2 am to 4am visiting the bathroom. I kept thinking that I was glad this was happening at home, not at work, traveling, or especially in China.

Friday; I am now in the offsite office waiting for someone to get to a meeting with me. I need to leave pretty soon if he doesn’t have time so I can get to another meeting at the regular office. After work I need to quick pack for the event and get down to G2 and we hope to hit the road by 6ish. We are going to go to a cool club on Sat night and it is corset night so I think it will be really fun. Lars is coming too so he gets to escourt all the women going.

That in a rushed no detail format was my week. Sunday I need to clean so I don’t go crazy because the house has not really been picked up for almost two weeks….

Monday, April 23, 2007

Coffee for one

Last week a guy in my department retired. He was an ‘old timer’ and had worked on one of the products here since the beginning. Early in his career he was a test rider and messed up his back badly and the whole time I knew him he used a cane. Last year he was using a walker and got back surgery that helped him out but he is just such an active person held prisoner by his body. Every day I would bring him coffee when I got myself a cup and he was always appreciative and we would talk for a few min and then get on with the day. I planned his retirement party, originally it was just going to be our department of 8 going to lunch, and then other people wanted to come so I moved it to one of our large conference rooms. So many people responded that they wanted to come that I had to move it to our building communication room (the one every employee fits in at one time) and ordered lunch for 40. I counted 52 people there and it was a nice low key fun lunch party. Friday was his last day and we all said goodbye but it wasn’t until today when I went to get my coffee that I really acknowledged that he is really gone.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Boring busy week.

I am not doing anything out of the ordinary or all that special. Work is about the same but slightly less hectic today. I am succeeding in exercising 30-40 min on the elliptical at least 4 days a week and sometimes 5 and I’ve upped my difficulty to 6. I have projects in my head but nothing in the works yet and I’m getting underway for planning Lars’s birthday. Tonight is class, I only have a few more left and then I have a few weeks off and then another class. The most exciting thing that happened is that we got the canvas for tent making so Monday is cutting day and we will assembly like 3 tents hopefully to be complete by boarder skirmish.

I need to try and figure out my homework question ~

Monday, April 16, 2007

My cell phone still works! It was encased in mud and got rain and snowed on but it still turns on. I won an eBay auction for a new (used) pink Razor phone so when I get that I’ll switch over but it will be much easier now that I have my original chip to transfer. I got the phone for $100 and it comes with a bunch of accessories so I think I got a very good deal and in usual eBay fashion I almost got outbid in the last min but I refreshed every second until I won. I saw a book in the store about how to use eBay and it looked like it was about 200 pages long, I wonder if they mention how important the last 5 minutes of an auction are…

Yesterday, in our great weather, I gardened! Well, I went out side, pruned a lot of trees and shrubs and cleaned up the mess I made and I planted one package of lavender seeds. So far my entire garden consists of about 100 tulips in one flower bed so I need to work on my annual selections so I have more then 2 weeks of flowers. The previous owners didn’t garden other then planting random pine trees all over the laws (that I mowed over since they were mostly dieing and in the way) and the owners before that took all their plants with them and put rocks in every flower bed. I have plans on what to do with most of the beds but I have to remove a couple tons of small rocks as I go. The only flower bed I have no idea about is the one right across the front of the house because the two downstairs windows are only a couple of inches above the ground level. Should I plant in front of the windows and pretend they aren’t there? Or avoid them? So far I’ve left the rocks… I also planted kitchen herbs in two containers I had but they gave me way too many seeds so instead of the orderly picture the package suggested, mine will look a bit more natural and mixed together. I have two pretty containers that I think I’ll do cascading petunias in and maybe I’ll try for more containers because then I don’t have to worry about moving the rocks, at least for this year. Lars even spread grass seed in our back yard in the area that got wrecked while we were pouring the patio and he helped me clear the branches I cut. I’ll probably never have as good a garden as my Aunt but she has a big lead on me, but at least I have a good example. Our friend Timmy’s wife is a master gardener and once she moves here maybe she will help. Timmy said to watch out, if I give her free reign of the yard I will have no grass left in a year. I can’t wait to see her work on the blank slate of their new place.

So far this Monday is better then last Monday but I better get going if I’m going to keep ahead.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

forgot a few things in my last monster post;

1. my cell phone got lost on my ATV ride so if I'm not answering/returning your call thats why. Call the house.

2. My cell was found on Friday! Yeah! I don't know if it works but atleast I can transfer the chip. I'm glad I'm friendly at work and told lots of people to keep an eye out for it.

3. It snowed here, in April. I know it is snowing or icing in other parts of the country but snow in April is not cool.

4. Today is very sunny and nice. I would say it is almost 70 degrees, I hope it lasts.

5. I planted about 100 chrocus bulbs, I have 6 blooming. I don't know if it was the snow or I got alot of duds but the 6 are pretty.

Blaaaaaaaaah

Days and days have passed since I have posted. I know, it is a pattern of mine but the last week has been incredibly stressful and full. There were high points but every good thing seemed to necessitate the sacrifice of something else. I think the week just conspired against me. I manically made lists, lists for every possible thing I needed to do and then I leave them around the house so I run across them all the time. I have a new habit of writing on the bathroom mirror with dry erase markers to make one last list while I am brushing my teeth, it is working out and sometimes Lars adds annotations that are usually really funny.

Work (like I’ve said ninety million times) has just gotten more busy. I have a new segment added onto my already bloated load but I’m keeping it together. I sorta have the attitude that at some point I’ll get a different position and whoever gets my job finally realizes that it isn’t as easy as I make it look. Usually I keep an even keel but during the week I just got frenzied having to run from meeting to meeting, checking in on dozens of projects and one of the new engineers I’m working with is disgruntled that he got changed to me (other guy got promoted and thus the dumping upon me began). I had a supplier visit this week that wanted to go on a ride. I wish I could do justice to describing a Chinese millionaire, owner of a huge company, going on his first ATV ride. He got lost, a lot, and that is really hard because the trails are really well marked. He just kept deciding to go off the trail on his own. I’m really glad a coworker went with me so he was the leader and I went last to keep everyone in line. They had a great time playing like kids in the mud and flying through the mini course we took them to, this experience will do great things for our companies relationships. I had a good time but work that I wasn’t doing was running through my head. That night the supplier took us to a Timberwolves game (basketball mom and dad) and the US rep working with us has connections to the management so we got a really nice box and 2 court side seats. We rotated through who was in the floor seats but they were so close to the action you could have touched them. Professional basketball isn’t really all that exciting, aside from being really good at it, it just isn’t that intense a sport. The experience was fun but I don’t think I’ll run out to get season tickets. Although that was a really fun thing, it sucked up an entire evening so I didn’t get anything else done.

I sound like a whiner, poor me and atv rides and basket ball games…. But they were both work but ultimately my choice. I stayed up late working on my garb for coronation and it paid off, I got tons of compliments. I am pretty sure that it was the fabric, trim and shape that was impressive – everyone likes tutor more, it is the real princess dress. They don’t take any more work then your average houpe or cote but they are more bang for the buck if done well (but anything done poorly looks lumpy, sack like or weird). I was finishing hand work in the car but by the time the event started it all went together well.

Coronation itself went very well. I think being an outside player is a lot easier. After I stepped down I felt really out of place at the event but I think that was my own doing and the couple who stepped down looked happy. G2 looked great, her King looked awesome too – it is a late period reign and the clothing was just spectacular. The day flowed well and there were a lot of people there to talk to. I’m looking forward to a good SCA season and it will be busy as staff but it will be fun.

Today I hope to exercise, clean the house some because I’ve completely ignored the kitchen all week, and maybe get some seeds planted. I know I have a list of things to do around here somewhere.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all celebrating. I am at least celebrating the Hallmark side of the day, I am having 9 people over for Easter dinner so now I know why people have dining rooms.

I have not posted in a while, same reasons as before for work (that grows exponentially) but I've done some fun things the past few days.

I got roped into helping do an egg hunt at work. There were three of us who were going to put candy in 300 plastic eggs then hide them Wed night at work. Well the first guy dropped out early but volunteered to do the counting the next day. The other woman led me on until 11am the day we were supposed to be hiding the stuff and then she bailed too. Since I physically had the eggs and candy I just did it myself. Lars helped fill the eggs and I spent about 2 hours hiding eggs on ever desk and in every common area. The prize was a big Easter basket and I think the whole thing went over very well. Only a few people really went nuts looking for the eggs and I'm sure some people never noticed there was an egg on their desk. The bright side of doing this alone was that I got a ton of credit I was not expecting and I had a good time overall.

Thursday night I had another stats class, the teacher is getting slightly better since now knows we feel he is a bad teacher. I actually left having learned something and that was good.

Friday I had off! I had a very nice day sleeping in, working on my dress, and doing things around the house I had intended to do for a while. I also went grocery shopping with the millions and millions of others and that was not so fun. I think Easter tops Christmas for crazies in the store. I had pre-ordered a leg of lamb because to me that is Easter dinner but to the great state of MN it is not. I now believe that lamb is more Jewish then Catholic since I used to live in a very Jewish area and lamb was plentiful and not I don't and it is not... At least I know it is fresh. It is almost 10lb of lamb so I need to get it in the oven in a few hours.

Final topic, how did I end up doing dinner for 10 when I have 0 family in the state? Well, it is entirely my fault - First I invited 3 others, Jenny who I worked with and is a good friend and her Ex has her kid this holiday, Josh who's family is also all out east and he is also a very good friend, and Timmy who just moved to MN to work at the same company as Lars and his wife is still in Mi until the house sells. That would have made 5 for dinner, totally doable. Then we remembered our Friend Scott who is by himself (6), our neighbors who weren't planning to do anything (10), and Jenny called saying another friend from my old work was abandoned by his family, can he come too (11). I'm planning on 10 because Scott said he was not coming but I'm going to make sure there is enough food just in case. Seating is the real issue... my table seats 6, I'm adding another table in an L and hoping we all fit. Fortunately 2 of the 10 are kids. Speaking of that, I need to kid proof a bit. I'm not worried about cooking, the lamb will take 5.5 hours, the veggies just need steaming and people are bringing salad, potato's, bread and desserts. Jenny is also bringing 4 plates, glasses and 3 chairs meaning I only need to find one more chair. I think I'll have to take a picture of this when it is all done.

PS. Dad, Lars has caught the bug. He now needs an easter basket so I am off to put one together.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Weekend review

This weekend was far more productive then I would have thought. I had cleared the day figuring I really would not feel like moving around much and my eyes really surprised me. I think my procedure must have been easier on me that Lars’s was last year because he was not in great shape the next day. Lars really really wanted to go to an event this weekend so I got a ride from K to my followup and I felt so good that we went shopping for hours after. I got two pairs of shoes, one cute and practical and one so impractical I’ll probably only wear them twice but both were on sale. K also got shoes and was tickeled pink that they had shoes that fit her right, a constant problem in her life so we started off the shopping trip well. We didn’t go anywhere too different, but, shopping with her was way more fun then with Lars who is really very good but he does not want to go through every aisle and look at all the clearance stuff. I was fairly restrained but I did find two great garden containers for either the front porch or back deck, I need to decide, but they are really nice looking and were marked down to $13 each.

Sunday Lars and I went down into the city to pick up a craigs list purchase. We met at a Panara and since we were there we had lunch and it was nice to be out with just Lars for a change. On our way back we decided to check out a few furniture stores since the desks Lars is using are really looking bad. They have done their time, they are both 7 years old and were the first major furniture purchases we made together so I am a little sad to see them go but after 2 states and 4 moves and constant use they deserve retirement. We looked at Hom furniture first because that is where I saw the desk I liked best. I don’t know what it is about but Lars and I get completely ignored in furniture stores, this happened last year too when we got our couch. Anyway, we wandered around the entire show room looking for desks being abjectly ignored by all the sales people and we finally had to ask the customer service desk where they were because we didn’t want to keep wandering. It ended up being upstairs so we took a look, and after we were basically measuring the desks and comparing features finally a sales person arrived. He was the most downie bird sadsack of a sales man ever and it looked like we were putting him out to even talk to us. We left a little irritated and tried the next store down the road, a JC Penny furniture store – they actually didn’t have any desks but they referred us to Office Max a few doors over and we figured we could at least get new chairs. We found great chairs and we found a cool glass desk that we ended up buying on the spot because it wasn’t too expensive, it was the right size, and I think it will look good in the room. We got everything home but we have to find homes for the old desks before we move in the new one so it is just sitting in its boxes. For the price of one desk we only mostly liked at HOM, we got two good chairs and a desk so it was a productive day. I have plans for one of the desks, I want to move it into my fabric room to replace the folding table in there but if anyone wants the other it is free for the taking!

I did not get much sewing done, I’m at a point where I need advice so I’m going over to G2’s tonight for help and by the end of the last couple days my eyes have been tired. I am still very pleased with my eyesight and the only annoying part is the plastic shields I need to wear at night to make sure I don’t rub my eyes in my sleep because they need to be taped on and the glue from the tape refuses to get off my skin so I feel a little like a post-it note.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I can see!

Surgery was a success. The surgery itself was really pretty painless, the following four hours were rough and I'm not 100 percent but I can see!

More tomorrow

Thursday, March 29, 2007

1 day left with Glasses

Wow, more then one comment! I'm amazed :)

Work has mellowed this week, I suppose you can get used to anything. I am getting ready for my eyesurgery tomorrow, I have a list of stuff to get at the store at lunch and I want to tidy up so I don't trip over anything. Lars was fine the next day so hopefully I will be too and I can finish up my dress. I am also starting to plan a big party for Lars's birthday, I have a caterer I'm talking to and I think the band idea is out but I'm looking into renting cool video game systems. I need to get moving on spreading the word, maybe save the date cards, because the weekend before 4th of July can be busy.

I have class tonight and we are supposed to get our midterms back. I never did write him an e-mail with my grievances and I'm torn about telling him. I'm not sure why it should come to me saying something, nobody in the class likes him... It is the Midwest passive aggressive pervasive attitude that is letting this slide so far, everyone will talk behind his back and nobody is telling him. I am pretty sure that people wrote some strong opinions on his midyear review that he won't see but I can bet nobody will say anything to make this class better, not even administration. I think I might give him a few positive suggestions so hopefully he improves a bit. I have a feeling that he won't be back again. Lars said he had plenty of teachers that were really bad and only kind of spoke English, he would learn from the book, it is a common thing in engineering programs. I have been very lucky, the majority of my teachers can actually teach.

back to work for me but if there are any other topics people want opinions on I'll be glad to respond.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wedding gifts

I got a request from Gone South about the social correctness of a bride requesting money directly as a gift. I got married 2 years ago so I have an opinion and it is fairly old fashioned because when I read the new style wedding sites most disagreed with me. In my opinion it is tacky to request anything directly for a wedding, it is the ‘job’ of the bridal party and parents to suggest where we were registered or what we may like. I don’t know how I grew this opinion, my parents and grandparents really never seemed to make a big deal about things like this, but in my head I firmly believe that a wedding is a celebration of the union and gifts are not required, any gift given is a statement by the giver that they approve of the couple’s choice and wish them well in life with XYZ item to help them or remind them of the wedding.

I also believe that one should register to help give guidelines of what the couple likes and would appreciate. I know brides that got mad because someone bought the same thing at a different store or a different brand thing. I think that is also tacky since a gift is a gift (see above). A lot of people like a registry for the inspiration, but, cash or a check is never a bad gift especially if the giver doesn’t like what is on the registry or there isn’t anything left. Leading me to my next strong opinion, what is a good wedding gift. I believe that a wedding gift should be a permanent thing, something that the couple can keep for years and think, “My aunt Pam gave us that” etc therefore electronics, consumables, clothing are not good wedding gifts. When money is flat out requested I feel like the couple is saying that the givers contribution will be purposely lumped with everyone else and that the couple does not care particularly. I’m sure that there are people who feel quite opposite and in preparation for my wedding I read the sites with all the different opinions and they didn’t change mine. I won’t fault someone for there choice, but, I feel a little bad when they have no memento from Great aunt Grace or their wedding.

I know some people strongly feel that money is the right gift to give and we appreciated every dollar, but bottom line is that I wouldn’t have asked for it directly and I grimace when I get an invitation that includes a request like that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

10 things

I feel guilty for not posting, so many things have been going on and I have been so busy that I just don’t have time for anything at the moment.

Here is what I would have posted about over the past week if I had time;

1. Thursday 3/22 was my last day in contact lenses, I am getting eye surgery on Friday 3/30 and your not allowed to have contacts on your eyes for a week. I am excited and scared at the same time, I really hope it works out but I don’t really remember a time I didn’t have glasses or contacts. At this point it is part of my self image. Also, what will I do with all my contact stuff? And the free space I will get by getting rid of it? I’m not sure I can get rid of my glasses… I still have Lars’ from last year.
2. I have had my work load literally doubled in the past week. Last night I was up to 9pm with work with only a 1 hour break to exercise.
3. I have exercised every day except for last Friday, I am now easily doing a mile and a half on the elliptical. Only real problem is that it take longer then one 30 min TV show so I have to hop off the machine and start the next show. Running to shows I like really makes a difference.
4. I did some spring cleaning over the weekend, I moved stuff in the kitchen to hopefully better places, flipped the mattresses, exchanged wintry living room accessories for summery ones, I even made a cool birds nest out of chenille yarn as a coffee table center piece
5. I successfully put the arms on my dress, this was harder then any other one I’ve done because the sleeves were lined and the dress is lined and the bodice has interfacing so I was lining up 5 layers of fabric. It actually worked and this marks the first time I correctly lined any garment. Now all I have to do is some minor fit changes, the hem, the hooks on the front, make an underskirt, and sew on trim.
6. I order the trim from cheep trim plus 4 other trims I only kinda want because I needed to spend $65 for their min order. They are trims I like so I’m sure I will be glad in the future to have them.
7. It was 80 degrees yesterday, it was 30 degrees last Tuesday… Hopefully spring has sprung
8. My crocuses are sprouting, I left a straw by one all winter as a marker and there is hopefully little points. My tulips are also starting to sprout, it better not snow again.
9. I am starting to plan a big party for Lars’ 30th birthday on June 30th (his birthday is the 29th) so if anyone knows a good caterer or reliable people to do party serving I’m open to suggestions. The theme of the part is ‘things Lars likes’ so it should be very fun but since we are having it at our house I have a bunch of yard work to get done.
10. G2 and I are finally getting underway with tent making, maybe I’ll have it done by the party?

10 things are enough, trust me I’ve been busy. I go non stop all day and then I fall asleep.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Big update

I have a thousand new work projects that I haven’t had time to breath at work over the past few days. I fully intended to post yesterday but got about 3 lines in and then another emergency had me running plus I had all the system work I couldn’t do in China to get done. I just had a meeting cancel so I find myself with a few extra min and since I can’t take a nap at work, I figured I would update the world.

This past weekend was nice and mellow. I don’t know if it was jetlag (doubt it) or that I had coffee too late (most probably) but I was up until 3 am on Saturday night. I was watching my Tivo that I had built up and doing a puzzle and just hanging out and Lars joined me about 1am and so we both finished the puzzle. It was a really hard one but it was a very pretty picture in the end, just a lot of blue and trees and for a while there I was just looking at the shapes of the pieces and not the picture to make it work. Anyway, staying up so late made me sleep late and then I decided to go work on my dress at G2’s and that motivated me into doing some cutting and sewing. I don’t know how great this will look since it isn’t a style I usually wear but it is coming out fairly well. Monday night I did the sleeves and they look really good, the lining fit just right. Today I hope to look for some trim online since I don’t have any more of what I used for Lars’ and it just needs something.

Over the past 4 days I have been trying to get back into my running routine, I let it slip badly when I was traveling and the week before was so hectic I only ran once. The fist day back on the machine was hard but now I’m back up to my normal speed and level. Pretty soon the roads might be clear enough to actually run outside, I have a nice 1.5 mile and 3 mile route and although I’ll miss running to a TV show, running outside always seems to burn more calories. I don’t have class this week so I’ll have the chance to actually exercise every day!

TV – news, not that I live by TV but I was getting pretty disappointed that the shows I liked were either gone or going downhill. Over the past few weeks we have started watching some very good new shows that hopefully stick around; “The Black Donnalies”, and “The Riches”. Both are pretty dark but well done, another dark one is “the Unit” recommended by my parents and we have been watching it for half a season now and every episode has been good. I’m also watching “How I met your mother” and it is in the Friends style but more funny less drama. “The new adventures of old Christine” is back and the first few episodes were funny and “Two and a half men” is being funny again too. On the other hand, I don’t know where ER went but it has been gone for a few weeks, Phyced is an awesome funny new show but it is in reruns already, Gilmore Girls is not as entertaining as it used to be, they are stretching it a lot and Rory has gone the way of Ann of Green Gables in that she has gotten so ‘good’ she is not unbelievable. Scrubs I hear is loosing its main character so I don’t know if that means it is over or if they will go a new direction but of the last three episodes, 1 was really bad and the other two were fairly decent, I think they are slipping. My reality TV for this season is “Top Designers” and “The Apprentice” and both are ok, Apprentice is getting old but still is a fun live drama and Top Designers is great because I like the decorating and art stuff they do but I feel like they don’t get enough time on each challenge and it would be way better if they got an extra day per challenge. Finally, my soap opera in space “Battle Star Gallactia” is as always really good but they keep doing the cliffhanger thing, plus, they killed off a character I really liked. I don’t think she is really dead, I have the distinct feeling that she is some sort of Cylon and will be back. I know it sounds like a lot, but I really don’t watch anywhere near the amount of TV I could and with TiVo it is so easy to watch a series because you never have to worry about time conflicts, you watch them when you want.

This weekend is an event with G1 and G2 so that should be fun and now I must get back to work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pictures of China

Part one; The Engineer (in many of the pictures) has another batch he is going to share with me.

China

Friday, March 16, 2007

I think I have recovered from China, I slept all night and feel normal today...  I came home with 1 day to study for a midterm in a class where the teacher really does not do well with teaching.  I have no doubt he knows his stuff in general but teaching should not be his career move.  Sometime today I need to write him an e-mail with some of my complaints with his teaching style, the number one complaint is that he doesn't ever seem to know what he is going to do in class and for the first hour he fumbles around, eventually saying something on topic.  Sometimes he goes into long and even reasonably interesting explanations of stuff to then say 'that has nothing to do with this class' I want to point out that we are each paying over $2000 for the class and we expect to learn something.

 

Wednsday night consisted of me cramming because he really didn't say what to study and Lars went to WalMart to get me a new graphing calculator because his from college died.  It died due to serious neglect, the poor screen only would display random digits.  He can't bring himself to throw it out though, it took him through high school and an engineering degree.  Anyway, yesterday I had to find time to do the homework assigned and to catch up with all my work from when I was gone.  Luckily I had decent internet so I took care of the majority of my e-mail from there but there are some things that just need to be handled with a phone call.

 

Today is St Patrick's Day and I am from a very Irish family that never particularly celebrated therefore I really don't have a tradition in my head.  Work is having a green clothing competition so I'm wearing 3 green t-shirts, green cargo pants and for the official counting I had a ribbon in my hair, a hat, a scarf, a sweat shirt, and my coat but I think another guy beat me, I'll have to wait for the end of the day.  The price is a $40 gift card so that was worth wearing a bunch of green.  

 

This weekend I have no real plans.  Lars says he wants to play video games (big surprise) and I think I'll start and possibly finish garb for coronation.  I also have 11 new DVD's from China to watch and all my China pictures to post.  

 

Anyone else have good plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I am home! The flight was fine, it definately could have been better. I was on the top deck of a 747 but seated next to an old Japanese man that farted alot. The flight attendent doted on him and more or less ignored me and gave me dirty looks for being in her way (ie. in my seat). The food was seriously subpar too but I watched 2 movies and studied and slept and we got in about 40 min early. I cleared customs in a record 5 min because business class gets to deplane first and our luggage came out first so I was waiting on the curb for Lars at the schedualed arrival time.

I have slept in my own bed and now it is time for dinner, no wheel of death~

Monday, March 12, 2007

I think I am officially ready to leave China.

Shanghai is a good city... It goes on for miles and miles and on a (rare) clear day you can see all the way to the ocean and it is city the entire way. The buildings here are awesome, they seem to each want to outdo each other for modern look and we had fun naming the buildings in the skyline (batman building is my favorite). The hotel is the Radisson Shanghai and it is in the center of the city on what is their times square. It has a very distinctive flying saucer top that is easy to navigate by because I ended up lost in a shopping plaza and popped out on a random street blocks away from where I thought I was and I could still find my way back. When I get back I’ll post the pictures I took, hopefully they came out ok.

The weekend was fun, the engineer I have been traveling with and I went all over the city and we bargained and bought all sorts of stuff on Saturday and we went to a huge Hindu temple where we took a ton of pictures and hopefully did offend too many people in there praying (bowing a lot mostly, I’m assuming they were praying). With the shopping we couldn’t go too crazy because we have to fit it all back in the bags we brought but Engineer was looking at a cool tea set that he sorta wanted and I started the negotiation process by offering a quarter of what the first price was and then we waked away because he really didn’t care much about it, anyway, the guy ran after us and sold the set for 60rmb, about $7, and he could not pass up that deal. Luckily he brought a decent size extra bag, a bigger one then I did, so I’m taking his bag and all the bulky stuff directly home since he has 3 more days in Japan and didn’t want to do two sets of customs and baggage claim etc. This works out well for me and him because with the extra bag everything I got too fits and I can check it easily. Engineer used to work for Ford so Sunday we took a trip out to the Ford dealer here just to say we did and we were a spectacle in the showroom because we were the only ones looking at the Navigator, the 4 door car is considered too big here and nobody was interested at all in the SUV but he helped design that vehicle so we were checking it out. Next we went to the Ritz with a supplier from the first stop, his wife and kids (they are the ones that live in the hotel) and an employee of our Company that moved over here with his family. It was a huge group and there were 4 kids under 3 and it felt like a family thanksgiving or something with everyone chasing a kid. The Ritz Shanghai is the same as the Ritz anywhere, fancy and over the top and the food was great. After that Engineer and I went to the ChoGarden market for more shopping and site seeing and we had tickets to a Chinese acrobat show at 7:30. The show was a show, I’ve seen similar troupes in the US but we had great sets, third row center, we could see everything. It was such a ballet like performance and I had such a busy day I nodded off in the middle but I don’t think I missed much. Engineer also fell asleep for some but all in all we both were glad we trooped across town for the 3rd time in one day.

Today we went to the last visit in China and Engineer ran to get his plane and now I’m here solo for the evening. I don’t have any fantastic plans, I should really look at my homework but basically I’m just worn out from the last 10 days. Thinking back I feel like we really didn’t do too much, a lot of time is spent getting to and from places but I think it was worth it. I made good business contacts and I think I understand the product better now due to copious amounts of time confined to a car with Engineer. I walked down town to get some McDonalds because I was hungry and I’ve had McDonalds in every country I have visited (that had them) so I couldn’t leave without sampling their Big Mac. I had to will myself to actually leave the hotel and face the throngs of people again, a sign I’m just tired because I really don’t mind crowds, but here people don’t really have personal space boundaries. I am glad I have NYC training for walking quickly in a crowd, ignoring people selling me stuff, and dodging cars. The energy level really reminds me of NY but it is just way more spread out and varied from the glass and steel order of rows and rows of downtown Manhattan. I am pretty tired of playing charades for just about everything, I shouldn’t complain because I only know about 10 words of Chinese but trying to communicate is really difficult. McDonalds was a lot of pointing and gesturing at the menu and all the shopping we did contained overly dramatic facial expressions to show that I thought they were selling something too expensive or a pantomime of what I was looking for like a necklace. I had fun doing it some but I’m glad I don’t have to do it all the time. I am also sick of the smog, there is so much air pollution some days you can’t see across the street, the air is thick and in Chongqing is was even worse, there just are no controls on the junk pumping into the air from cars and factories. People also smoke here all the time and everywhere and there is no such thing as a nonsmoking section... Right now I am just not motivated to do much more and I can’t wait to get home to my own house and husband, clean air, normal food and I even miss work a little. I have one last bit of shopping to do, Boss left without getting his kids presents so I have to go find something and I wanted to get Timmy some candy. Tomorrow is an early morning and a long day of travel, I have a 10am flight but I need to navigate a taxi and the maglev (fastest train in the world) so I’m planning on leaving around 7:30. I have an hour in Tokyo and get on the next plane back to MSP at 3:45... I will be back in the US about noon so I arrive earlier then I left.

I promise pictures soon – the movie from yesterday was requested by my mom who does Ti-chi and wanted a movie of people doing some in the park (I didn’t add the music, they had that playing)

Saturday, March 10, 2007



For Mom - Peoples Square in China

Friday, March 09, 2007

China day 6

So it has been a couple days... internet in Chong Qing left something to be desired but the hotel was still good. The supplier we went to see there was huge, I’ve never seen a bigger facility. ChongQing itself if the highest population city in the world, there are 3 MILLION people living there. It is a slightly deceptive number because it is a pretty huge area but the city itself is at least 20 miles square. There are huge apartment buildings going up everywhere and everything seems new or less then 10 years old. There was a mall under our hotel and we all went out after dinner and had a pretty good time. All meals in ChongQing were traditional Chinese wheel of death scenarios, there is a huge lazy susan in the middle of the table and all the ‘special’ food is put on it and spun around to you and you have to be polite and take what crazy food lands at your plate. Luckily with my boss there he is the senior one and I can get away with eating only the normal stuff.

Tonight I am back in Shanghai and tomorrow and Sunday we have off and are going to see the sights and hit the market. If a certain princess needs anything in the pearl or jade family let me know because I was told there are fantastic prices. I think I am buying another suitcase to accommodate my purchases...

It has been a grueling pace but I’m in the home stretch now.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Items served at lunch today;

Goose feet
Jelly fish
Pig intestine
Beef entrails
Roast pigeon
Fish soup (including fish eyeballs)
Pork fat (fried, because what makes fat better then frying in fat)
I could go on but I would rather not think about them.... I did eat some rice, some over cooked corn, what I hope was a potato pancake and my granola bar in the car after.

Today went very well actually, we got a lot done and saw a very good facility. The drive was uneventful and now I am in ShangHai in another beautiful hotel room and as I was writing the doorbell rang and I was delivered a fruit plate. I won’t eat it now because we are going to dinner in a restaurant with what is supposed to be a fantastic view and I’m hoping food that is ‘Western Friendly’.

There are a few topics rolling around in my head that I plan on posting about;
hideous toilets
Sudden movie star status
Chinese men

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes well....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Day 2-3 in China.

Last post was made from the airport and we got on the plane and arrived in China without incident. It was a 3 hour flight and I watched “Raising Helen” on yet another extremely comfortable and reclining airplane seat. When we landed we exited the plane onto the runway and that is always fun with wind and luggage on the steep steps but we made it ok. My first view of China was that it was very ordinary looking, I suppose it is communums but nothing is really all that different from the next thing and a lot of things look really old and tired. Customs was no problem and since I and the two people I’m traveling with are all taller then the general population it was easy for us to keep track of eachother. We were picked up by a driver who spoke zero English but it felt good to finally be getting somewhere where business could be done, not just endless travel.

We drove for about 3 hours and it was urban the entire way. China has more cranes and construction going on then anywhere I have ever seen. There are farms nooked in everywhere, either fish farms or veggie in greenhouses but they are literally inches away from a factory or an apartment, everything is all mixed together. Fortunately the road we were traveling on was great, better then a lot of American highways but the drivers were all a bit on the crazy side. I found out that the diving got worse when on the city streets and little things like solid white or yellow lines mean nothing to a good Chinese driver. I am more or less trusting that it is not my time to die because that is about how generally dangerous driving in this country is. Anyway, we arrived at the hotel and it is beautiful. It is totally modern and we are in club suites and that means that we didn’t even have to check in, we were taken directly to the 31st floor and offered drinks and snacks in the club lounge while they checked us in. My room is extremely nice and has all the comforts of home plus a nice robe and slippers. I havn’t spent too much time in it but it is 100 times better then the Japan hotel and atleast as nice as the nicest US place I’ve ever been. The supplier we are meeting here is American and the two people living here for a few months are living in the hotel. The main person we were here to see is living in the hotel with his wife, 3 year old and a 6month old and they have been here since January. We all went to dinner yesterday and he insisted on keeping us up until atleast 9:30 to get us over the jetlag. We talked business and general stuff and I finally got back to the room about 10 and then spent an hour on work.

This morning I got up and worked out, the gym was pretty crowded with other Americans, apparently this is a good business hotel. We left for the factory after breakfast and after a death defying ride there we spent about 7 hours going over processes etc. The Chinese, to keep costs down, do not heat their factories and the temp here today was about 35 degrees. After the -10 or so I’ve been living in I thought I would be fine but I never spend more then 5 min outside a day. Today my fingers were turning blue by the end but it was a very productive day. Tomorrow we go see another few facilities connected with this one project and we will be in Shanghai tomorrow night. Now I’m off to dinner, ironically we are going to a Japanese place but I like sushi so I don’t mind the irony....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I am in Japan... by the time any of you read this I’ll be in China and unfortunately we are skipping the Korea section due to a little snafu in Japan.

It all started very well, we left ontime from MSP at 9:45am and business class is a very spoiling experience. Domestically the seats were not all that different, they were wider and had little table space in between. The real difference was the service level, they immediately had drinks and then a lunch and then a snack and this was all between MSP and Washington. The food was very good, I suppose when you only have to prep for 12 there is far less room for error. Transfer to the second flight was also easy, the Washington airport was done in a charming ode to early 80’s in green and purple but easy to navigate. The business class for international is great. We each had our own pod chair that was fully adjustable and didn’t actually go flat to sleep but you could really stretch out. The food was good again but they served dinner at 4pm, they were trying to get us all to go to sleep. The dessert was terrible, I know, I’m being very picky here, but it was a peach tart and it was absolutely frozen solid. The stewardess swore that is the way it was supposed to be served but I think someone forgot to put the microwave step in her instructions. I watched two movies, Stranger then Fiction and X-Men 3, both were good and I think Stranger the Fiction was very well done, it had a bunch of levels and a story within a story. I slept about 4 hours and missed the breakfast but we landed an hour early. I think the best part about business class is the lounge. It is a nice private area with internet, outlets that fit my laptop plug, and nice snacks and drinks. I had a cappuccino and talked to Lars for a while and then we left to go to our flight.

Things were still going well, we got seated first and dinner orders were taken... I sat next to a very nice guy who worked for Nike and we talked sneakers for a while. After about 10 min we noticed that we did not seem to be taking off and then we got the news that the flight was canceled due to weather. They shuffled us all off and nobody really had any information. According to our bodies it was 3am and the three of us were not really functioning clearly. We got sent to a shady Japanese hotel the had cement hard beds and there was no internet in the rooms. We didn’t have a p hone that worked in Japan and the Northwest desk was closed so we were freaking out a little and in a group of about 20 other Americans similarly freaking out. Finally we got our Company after hours travel company who got us reserved on a flight to china the next day. We paid almost 1200 dollars for tickets and we are skipping the Korea section but we actually got a good plan going today. We are all back in the lounge drinking coffee and waiting for the next flight. Next stop China, hopefully this was the only snafu...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Snow part 2


So this is the back deck. I think it is about 3 feet, it is past my knees. Needless to say today is a snow day from work. I've got the laptop going but nobody is really doing anything since they are all home too. I leave for China tomorrow, I hear it is 55 degrees there, I'll post anytime there is good Internet, now I must go shovel the deck before it collapses.
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yesterday I spent 10 hours in a car for a 3 hour meeting.  Luckely, I didn't really have to drive because the other person really likes to and I brought Dan Brown's Deception Point on cd so we were entertained for about 8 of the 10 hours.  The meeting went well but I didn't get much other work done yesterday.  Today I'm in the offsite office and I usually get a lot done here but I had a massive meeting that was quite productive and then a (completely unrelated) conversation with someone that was a lot like banging my head into a wall and I don't think anything I said got through.  Now I'm fairly frustrated and not only do I need to do my normal job but I have to do this other persons too.  Atleast I got through yesterdays stuff fairly easily so I'm up to date in that respect.

 

Today I just have a general anxious feeling, there is a big snow storm coming, I'm trying to pack and study and spend time with Lars and things just get compacted.  I know everything will work out really, I think I just need to work out and/or take a nap, I'm not sure what will make me feel better.  The cleaning team came yesterday so atleast I don't have to clean anything tonight and I can enjoy the clean for a few days.  They reconditioned our wood floor and it looks really nice, I like the work they do especially because I don't have to do it.  They do make fun of Roomba, their Dyson laughs at it.  Little do they know that even if I had a Dyson, Dysons don't clean by themselves so I'll take the less powerful roomba and have questionably clean corners but not have to actually operate the vacuum other then push a button and empty him.

 

Well I better get going home and finish packing.  I got all but a few shirts and a pair of shoes packed for what I think I need for clothing and it all fits in the carryon so far.  I still need to pack all the not clothing things like tooth brush, vitamins, business cards, gifts for the people we meet (extra large Hershey bars) etc but I still have a little carry on space and my backpack to go.

Monday, February 26, 2007

testing?

My blog is not updating via my normal method so this is a test so see if it works now...
 
I've planned out my afternoon of errands for China, hope I get it all done today because I'm running out of days!
Apparently my Friday post never posted, I don't know what happens but I really did not say too much anyway. This weekend was fun in a surreal sort of way; Friday K gave me a huge pile of maternity clothes and baby clothes because she wants them out of the house and I'm 'next' in line. This was a big surprise but hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth so I need to find a home for all this (currently unnecessary) stuff. We hung out with T&K for longer then usual and didn't get home until late so I got up early to do the buttonholes, I ended up putting 10 on each side and they came out ok – I packed for the event that I considered extremely important to go to because I promised the person the outfit is for I would deliver it there and even with a foot plus of snow predicted I woke up Lars and we went to the event around 10. Friends got into a minor car accident on the way to this event, they are fine, but the roads were nasty to drive on. The event was more tiny then usual because of the weather and lots of people didn't make it but those who did had a good time and I found transport for the outfit so by now it should be in his hands. I really would have liked to see if it fit right but I sent the extra fabric and if it needs modifications they can be done. The event was shortened due to weather so by 4 we were on our way home. The roads were still drivable but Lars was more of less white knuckle driving so we decided to skip any of the after gatherings and get home while we still could. Once we got home I shoveled for a while and we more or less had a complete extra day because we both just stayed up so late watching movies and looking at the snow. Sunday it was still snowing so we gave the driveway another shoveling (I'll upload pictures later) and I am pretty glad we only get one major snow a year because today my arms and back really feel the workout.

The temp is just below freezing so it wasn't too bad being outside and the cats kept wanting to go out. We threw Mr.Pink out the back door into a massive snow drift because he was begging to go out so badly – after that he really did not want to be outside anymore. \n Jingles ran out the front door and ran around for a while and we ended up going to look for her because she was out for a long time and it is really easy to track a cat in the snow. \n She had gotten herself kinda trapped because she could not get to the back door due to huge drifts so she was confused (she still does not understand that doors work both ways and will only go in the back door). \n We stayed up late watching TV and doing a puzzle and generally spending time together since I'll be gone next week. I'm actually traveling tomorrow too and with Lars's practice schedule and my school on Thursday last night was the last full night available before I leave.

I still have not given too much thought to packing, given current liquid regulations I'm not sure how I'm going to get contact solution to China. \nMy current solution is to fill a bunch of contact cases with solution unless I can find one tonight with under 3oz in a bottle. I plan on shopping for little things today, granola etc, but I can't bring much since I'm going to fit all 10 days into carry on luggage. \n I'm still not as excited as I hoped I would be, probably because it really will be work, but the weekend we have free in Shanghai should make up for it. \n I'll take a ton of pictures and if the internet is good there I'll post.

That is about it for now, looking at another busy week but it should be fun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bev and I this weekend


Better late then never - this is Bev and I using the old 'hold the camera at arms length' technique and I think it turned out really well. In the background is the trail that was made on an old railroad bed that is nicely paved and runs from the cities all the way up to Duluth and Lars and I ride bikes on it all summer.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TV Research;

 

New Adventures of Old Christine is coming back – next episode March 12th; http://www.cbs.com/primetime/old_christine/

Project at 95%

I am almost done with the outfit!  I did the hem, neck detail, hand sewing on the sleeves, so all I have left is button holes.  I'm torn between wanting to get it done and knowing that doing button holes on my machine usually  results in some problem or another. The obvious alternative is hand made button holes.   Can I just use regular thread for that?  Or do I use floss?  I'm leaning that way since I only need to do 6 or 8.  I was looking for larger buttons so that they are easier to do with gloves on but Jo-Anns is devoid of useful buttons in general – I don't think he would appreciate cutsie hearts or flower buttons.   Anyway, I got Lars to try it on and it fits him so it should fit Ambrose (I hope), the chest was tight and the arms were long but since he is about 6 inches taller then Lars and not as build I think it will work out.  

 

After sewing I ate dinner and fell asleep – then I woke up again and saw it was only 10:30 so I watched the Apprentice and it was ok but I think the show is getting old.   I still like the premise and sometimes  the tasks are really good but mostly it is a formula.  I miss Project Runway and I'm not sure they are doing a season this year because the hostess is having a baby.  They also seem to have canceled the new adventures of old Christine, I don't see any upcoming episodes.  I'll have to do some research on the shows so I know for sure....

 

Ok, time to get to work, my e-mails are creeping up over 100 again, I must battle them back.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

post Vday

Yesterday was a long day.  Work was crazy with lots of driving and lots of running around but it was good I was there.   I did get a little something for Lars at WalMart and he and his guy friends all went to Macy's together and got all the wives chocolate.  Lars got us an assortment of truffles and me a small box of dark chocolate and there is enough to last a month.   We did not end up having a movie night, our friend Timmy came over for dinner and then we went to the neighbors for games and ended up staying until midnight.   I got about half my homework done but I have more to do at lunch today, I needed my work computer to actually do the graphs and it is a huge pain because yet again, bobble head didn't tell us how to do the graph he wants.  

 

Today will be a very long day and it seems to be going by pretty slowly because I thought it was noon and it is only 10:30.   I suppose that means I have a lot accomplished today but sometimes I wonder if the passing of time is constant or not. 

 

I took a look at my stat counter and I am up to 26 or so visitors roughly a day!  I'm not sure who everyone is but it is fun to guess based on IP address.  Anyone who wants to reveal their identity e-mail me at kate79@gmail.com , the people I can figure out are; G1, G2, HRM, 8k, Mom/Dad, GoneSouth, E-kat (occasionally), Mike80's, Petranella and that is all I can figure out based on location or origination page.  I'm happy to have anyone visit J

 

I am up to 96 e-mails so I need to go battle it down to the 50 range....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

 

I will spend the day running around to 2 different location for Work and hitting WalMart on the way to or from somewhere.  

 

Yesterday I got home and the house was CLEAN!  I did notice a few spots she missed but if she misses them again next time I'll point them out, this time she probably had her hands full cleaning overall.   Lars was home and said they were very efficient.  My biggest complaint (and one should not complain about other people cleaning) is that they made our bed and put the top sheet on upside-down and backwards.   She also gave us homework; she threw all the throw rugs into the laundry room so I guess I'll be doing a load of them this weekend so my feet don't get cold in the mornings.  

 

Last night I pulled out the sewing project for Ambrose.  I finished the cutting based on the fitting and I set in one sleeve, all that is left is the other sleeve, cuffs, hem, and buttons.   If I get creative I may add a decorative stripe to the bottom but it is coming together.  I have to do homework today and if I get it done early I'll probably have time to do more before Lars comes home from practice.

 

Hope everyone is having a good Valentines day

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

tuesday

I am oddly bored right now.  I've gotten a lot done, now I'm waiting on other people.   That is the way of the world.  Yesterday was similar, I ended up doing a lot of little thing and then I did a bunch of SCA stuff just because I'm waiting on stuff.  

 

Last night I went direct from work to T&K's and it is really very close by back roads, closer then my house I think.   Lars mentioned that if the market goes up a lot in our area we might sell and move north a bit if prices are still reasonable.  I like our house but it isn't my dream house.   Hanging out on a Monday is very different then a Friday, just a different tone.  We got home later then I intended to but we got the house reasonably picked up so the cleaning people can clean.   Lars called and said that it looked pretty good, I can't wait to see it, I feel like it is Christmas.  Today I will do homework and hopefully start sewing and continue sewing Wed night.   Thursday is class and I'm going out after for a SCA fitting and Friday Bevie is visiting so I need to re-tidy and spruce the guest room.  Other then the snowmobiles I don't have many plans for the weekend but I'm sure we will fill the time easily.   Today I need to go pick up some valentine stuff but I think we will do our traditional stay home and watch a movie while eating sushi plan.

 

Nothing else very noteworthy going on, time to go nag some engineers to get their stuff done for me.   3 more hours until I see a clean house!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Feeling Chipper Today

Monday already!  I am in a good mood today, I got a bunch done this weekend, we have the cleaning lady coming tomorrow and my friend from High School is visiting on Friday.   Lars and this work team had a big weekend so they worked non stop from Friday morning until now, I'm not joking, around the clock.  It is times like these that I am glad he works from home because otherwise I would never see him and when I did he would be grumpy.   I basically had run of the house all weekend since he was rooted to his desk chair so I did the bathroom and cleaned a bunch.  I also played Hero's and it is just so easy to loose a couple hours in that game.   I don't realize how long I have played until my mouse hand is numb.  The cats enjoy the game, I am a non moving lap and they take full advantage of it.   I finished the second mission yesterday and feel quite accomplished.  I also got the laundry done, including sheets and towels so all I need to do is fold and put away.

 

This week I need to focus on sewing, if I dedicate Tuesday or Wednesday to it I should be able to finish and put it away again so the house looks nice for Bev.   After that project my queue is roughly;  fighting outfit for Josh, new fighting tunic for Lars, Houpe for me, and maybe something late period to wear at Coronation.   I have fabric for all of this (and more!) just need to get into the sewing grove.  Tonight I'm going to visit T&K since we skipped Friday due to the work thing but we won't stay late because I need to pre clean for the cleaning team and I would like to do my exercises.   I got a bunch of nice nesting baskets from WalMart and I am  planning on tossing all things that don't belong on that floor into a basket to be transported to the correct floor.   The plan is on Mondays to get as much put away as possible and leaving the baskets empty so the cleaning team can fill them with anything they find or need to move.   That is the plan anyway.

 

Ok, back to work.  Hope everyones weekend was fun.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bathroom

So the bathroom project... I can't find the picture of the bathroom pre -changes but, it is basically this room but white. We choose a nice bright spring green for the room.

Then I chopped up alot of crown molding, we spent alot of time on lots of websites and found this one was best.

We made templates and looked at our directions just about every cut but in the end we got it. We call our collected leftovers opportunities to make small molding shelves
I also invested in a fun air compressor and I continue to believe that I would write better instructions then they do because this one didn't even have directions for some of the parts and it was dead wrong about other things like saying it came with oil and to run it for thirty min. I checked, it did not have oil... good thing I didn't follow that directions. Pictured is my montage to the construction process; Charlie the chop saw, box of future shelves, our templates and directions, and a loud can of air.


So here is the final product. We didn't pick the easiest room in the house but we did pick the smallest.

As a great man said, it looks good to a blind man on a galloping horse. All I can say is it is finished and I am more or less pleased. Many thanks to Jenny who prodded me into action.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Crown

Crown Molding.  Yes.  I plan on really doing it this time.  I have found an alternative to coping and Jennie is coming over at 12 to help.  The bathroom is 100% painted and ready to go. 

Friday, February 09, 2007

Silent Night

Last night while walking to the car from class the song 'silent night' came clear to me.  I'm not sure how cold Bethlehem is, but, walking 6-8 blocks in -15 temp the world is absolutely silent.  Every house was shut up tight, nobody was out taking a walk, I couldn't even hear many cars and although only 9pm the roads were actually empty.   This exact same walk in the spring and summer is full of noise but everything is hibernating now.

Play in Snow!

Plans are coming together!  I successfully reserved two sleds from the workplace and a trailer and a person with a truck to pull the trailer so when Bevie visits we can go play on the lake!   Now all I need is an extra helmet or else we will be using ATV helmets...  PS. Princess, I don't think we will be at Haire Affair next weekend... Lars also has to work so it would have been tight anyway.  

Thursday, February 08, 2007

heart healthy

So healthy update....  I've been pretty good about running on the elliptical 2-3 days a week especially since I can see my shows thanks to Tivo network, I noticed over the past few times I couldn't get my aerobic target heart rate until the end of the workout.   I was thinking that I must not be working hard enough but according to Healthy Roads lady my heart is improving!  I should have guessed that myself because I am on the same machine, going the same distance ( 1.2 mi), at the same resistance (4), at the same relative speed (50-55 steps per min) and the only changed variable was me.  I am taking that as good news, all that fruit and whole grains and general exercise is doing some good.   I'll have to sit down this weekend and recalculate my target rates and update the post-it on my machine.  She also suggested upping the resistance so I'll probably do that too.  

 

Unhealthy update is my lunches this week;  Today was school lunch and it was some sort of noodles and meat served with questionable green beans and pieces of butter/garlic soaked toast (tasty but fatty).   Yesterday is my off site day so I ate my lean pocket, can't really do any good lunch there because there isn't fridge space for my normal chicken and greens.   Tuesday was the conference so we ate some fancy chicken thing with stuffing and sauce and Monday I went home for lunch to meet the cleaning lady and had a sandwich and chips.  So far I have spent $0 on lunch but it hasn't really been good for me.  Tomorrow I'll do the salad thing if my chicken from last week is still good, otherwise I might call the week a wash and just buy lunch at work.

Today I feel like posting early as this is one of those days that not too much gets done.  Last night I had to do homework, the power was on, and when I opened the assignment it was full of notation I didn't understand.  I understood about half but that really doesn't cut it with math.   So I read the sections he put on the syllabus and didn't find the answers, then I read the stuff he said to skip – still no answers, then I tried to find a website that explained the notation and I didn't find one.   I finally called my Math teacher friend and opened a see-n-share program so she could see my computer and showed her the worksheet.  As soon as she identified what each thing meant I was fine and the work was easy.   I honestly am good at algebra and following formulas but it would have been nice if the moron thought to tell us what each thing meant.  At least the homework is done but I still need IT to install Minitab on my computer because I don't have admin rights and teacher says we need a laptop for class....

 

After homework and dinner and some TV I started painting.  I did a whole bunch of stupid things like whacking the roller into thing or making drips that I think I was just tired but I got all but the toilet wall done.   Looking this morning I see a few spots that need touching up but all in all it looks good.  It was 11pm when faced with how to paint behind the toilet so I decided to wait on it.   I have a plan now, I am going to bag the toilet, paint as much as I can with my little roller, then use a brush, then use my little flat edger.  I figure that not too many people will be looking behind the toilet and as long as it is the right color I should be ok.  Tonight after class I'll try and knock out the last wall and do touch ups so this weekend it will be dry for the crown molding.   Poor Lars, he keeps thinking I'm done and putting the shower curtain back up and then I hear him and tell him I'm not done and don't get the room all steamy so he goes to shower in the downstairs slightly scary bathroom.   It really isn't as scary as it could be but it does have an odd built in seat and the shower head is a hand sprayer that is on a wall mount that is too short to stand under.   I took it off the mount and used it standing up, Lars has decided that sitting is just easier.  To all the people who have showered in this bathroom, I'm sorry, I've cleaned it tons for times but never looked at the logistics of it.   I also noticed when I took my first shower in there the other day that the hot cold knob is wrong, it is opposite, don't know how that happened but I'm sorry about that too!   The downstairs shower is on the list of things I want to upgrade...

 

Today is an odd work day, things kinda piled up oddly.  I have mentoring at 10:30 at the local elementary school where I talk to a 4 th grader for an hour and have school lunch.  To me she doesn't seem high risk or anything other then the normal 4th grade girl but she seems to like the hour of time all about her.   This afternoon I have my every other week healthy roads apt where for half an hour I talk about nutrition to a woman in California that work 'strongly suggested' people with my health score participate in the program.   The health assessment said I am overweight for my height and although I know I could look 5-10 pounds they don't take muscle and dense bones into the equation so therefore, I am overweight and I talk to her ever other week.   In the past year I have gotten some good advice, not really diet to loose weight related but I have started eating more fruit and she gives good advice about bike riding etc.   Finally, I have class tonight so I need to leave 4pm on the button to be able to get home, put on extra layers of clothing so I can handle my 8 block walk to class and then get down there so I can watch the bozo perform for 3 hours.   So, today I have a challenging day to get my stuff done but I got a lot done yesterday and there is always tomorrow...