Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another winner

Wow, today was quite a day.  I'm glad I can multitask because sometimes there were three people standing around me rapid firing questions on different projects all at the same time.  It could have been worse I suppose, they could have each been speaking a different language...  I did get alot done and atleast the most major of the problems put to bed. 
yesterday I did clear the table and surrounding area but I did not sew.  I have a clear plan for today and hopefully I don't get too distracted.  Tomorrow night is my first Stats class and I don't have the book so I need to get there early to buy one.  The teacher didn't have his book selected early enough to get one online...  Hopefully this class is interesting, I don't have high hopes but not expecting much I might be pleasantly surprised.  For those of you who are counting, this is my 4th masters class, it is the last of the initial 4 that are prerequisites for every other course.  I think I have 12 class left so at this rate 4 years to go.
Time to get going, hope everyone else had a more easy going stress free day then I did.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I am starting to think the Mondays are just too busy at work to actually post anything.  Yesterday was (obviously) no exception, I didn't even read any of my daily blogs because between two long meetings and lots of general activity I was an hour late leaving.


The weekend in review is very similar to many other weekends at home.  I recall how much I wanted weekends at home when all we did was travel but at some point the balance tips.   I was busy though, I challenged myself to clean and I got the living room spotless and the computer room pretty clean and roomba vacuumed both thoroughly.   I did not get the dining room table clear so there is zero progress on the sewing but I did make headway.  I got distracted by two things, my Tivo dilemma and Hero's of Might and Magic (computer game).  


Tivo problem; Tivo is upstairs, elliptical is downstairs, I want to watch shows I Tivo while running.   Previous solution was to make DVD's of the shows and play them downstairs.  Of the 6 or so times I've tried this, it only worked kinda once.  The DVD player is really bad, it won't play normal movies either and it actually destroyed 2 writeable DVDs.  My options as I saw them were; 1. buy a tivo for downstairs, found out that I would need tivo subscription too so that option would add up to hundreds of dollars over time.   2. buy a better dvd player, this could be anything from 50-150 and still might not work, plus, it might be the tv that doesn't work well with DVD players and I can't really test that without another player.   #3. network my upstairs Tivo to my computer and download the shows and watch them on my computer monitor.  I read about this a couple months ago and they came out with a wireless network connecter for $50 so that was the option I tried.   Needless to say, it isn't exactly an easy process and TV+Tivo+Cable box is a delicate eco system that I definitely disturbed and all in all it took about a day to get everything in working order.   I successfully watched my first show downstairs while running yesterday and as a bonus, my computer screen is bigger then the TV I was using.


So that basically dominated my weekend.  The computer game is one of those tactics/planning games that sucks hours away and you don't even know it.   Today I need to get the table clear and start sewing before I go near the game or I'll loose another evening to it.


This coming weekend is an event, we are day tripping in because Lars is working Friday night.   I won rodeo tickets for this sat too and have to find someone to give them away to but I think I have a taker.  Hopefully tomorrow there will be a sewing update...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Date night Thursday (kinda)

Finally, FINALLY the Korea/China trip is just about planned.  By some virtue I can not identify, I was elected trip coordinator for this so yesterday I put pen to paper (ok, keyboard to excel) and planned out the route.   We will be leaving the US on Sat Mar 3 and returning Tuesday March 13 so I will be missing Haire Affair and one Masters class but that isn't too bad.   First stop is Korea, then Shanghai, then Chongqing, then back to Shanghai and then back home.  Since we cover two weekends, the second weekend we are going to sight-see, why go alllll the way there to do nothing but work and come back and since we need to be there that Monday for one last supplier visit we have the weekend to see the sights.   This won't be a vacation by any stretch of the imagination; we are going nonstop for most of this, but it will be a good stamp in the passport.


Last night I did not get to clean much, I got home and our friend Timmy called and wanted to do dinner and a movie.   I said we had to grocery shop too so all three of us ate at Famous Dave's, then shopped, then went to the 9:10 showing of the Good Sheppard.  The food was good, the grocery store was all but abandoned, and the movie was good but on the confusing side.   I think it is one of those movies that you just have to see twice, not that there are surprises since I basically knew the history of CIA but there are just a ton of people to keep track of and everyone is crossing and double crossing each other.   Matt Damon is one of my favorite actors and he plays a pretty stoic role in this but he plays a good character and I was interested the entire time even though it didn't end until nearly 12.   Finding a movie we all wanted was difficult because a lot of good ones come out today but I would recommend it overall.  Got home, unpacked groceries, and then straight to bed - cleaning is now pushed off until Sat because we are going to see T&K tonight and we haven't been up to see them in 3 weeks.  

Thursday, January 25, 2007

reason for the quiet

I've been delinquent at blogging.  Basically we had a huge problem that didn't work out too well that I don't really want to go into however it has been a dominant thing over the past week.   Because I don't really want to talk about it, I don't really have much else to say... 


Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon cleaning and only made a dent in the mess.  We havn't done a good housecleaning since before we went to Mexico so I started yesterday.  I got the bedroom and bathroom clean and folded all the laundry.  All the Christmas stuff is down and the boxes are away.  Today I hope to get the diningroom and livingroom clean so over the weekend I can sew.  


Today I did one exciting thing, I finally found the sneaker/shoes that I have been wanting;

I already have them in brown but black has been pretty hard to find.  They are very comfortable and look professional enough that I can wear them to work.   They are one of those shoes that look good with pants and skirts and you can wear with or without socks.  If they weren't $50 a pair I would own every color.


Over the next few weeks we hope to get over this problem, there really isn't any fixing that can be done but we do have options on how to move forward.   I'm sure as we get working on options and there is more distance between me and the problem I'll be more chipper and more apt to blog stuff.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blue Monday

Today is apparently the most depressing day of the year . I don't know if it is any better or worse then other days but that is what scientists say.


This weekend was extended for me a bit, I came down with something on Thursday night and I took Friday off and all weekend I either slept or dozed.   Today I'm feeling somewhat better and hopefully will be back to normal soon.  Hopefully work didn't think that I needed a vacation from my vacation since I only worked 1 day in the office last week. I am glad I kept up with E-mail while gone because I'm actually in pretty good shape.


Since I didn't really move much this weekend, very little got done around the house.  Shamefully, the Christmas tree is still up and so is the Christmas village but most of the other Christmas stuff is down.  I have a sewing project or two I need to get moving on but that would mean finding my table under the derbies of vacation and Christmas and mail etc etc etc.   I know once I get into it the projects will fly but I haven't had much of a sewing mood. 


Plans for this week are Spartan.  I still have 2 weeks off before classes start so I need to make the best of my time.   I think we might be going to fight practice on Tuesday but we don't have any SCA events this month. 


That is about it, not really an exciting update but it was more or less to say I'm still alive J

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Invitation to view Kate's album - Cancun

Dec 28, 2006
by Kate
Message from Kate:
Our trip to Cancun
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Thursday, January 18, 2007


So here I am, back at work, back on a schedule.  In my opinion, the vacation was just the right amount of time.   Any shorter would have felt rushed, any longer and I would have gotten bored.  I'm sure I could get used to the life of leisure, just reading and playing games with friends but with work hanging over all our heads I was glad to get back.  


The trip in review;


The Drama started when I realized I did not have a passport.  I technically have one, but it was in the hands of the Chinese embassy because I'm getting a visa for China in March.  I should have had it back but I didn't and I frantically called to try and get it back.  Luckily the mandatory passport rule does not come into effect until the 28 th so I just made it.  Instead of a passport, I needed to show I was a citizen with my birth certificate, license, voters registration card, and marriage license.   Luckily I had an old passport in my old name that helped a lot but Mom had held onto my birth certificates so I had to have her express mail it.  Drama #2 was the apparent inability of the post office to get the package to my house over night so we had to mail it to G2, apparently her house is a whole day closer while only being 20 min south of me.   Drama#3 was that I could not find my marriage license, I know I've seen it recently but I could not put my hands on it.  I have copies though and hoped for the best...   Crisis was averted, I went to G2 the night before we left and got the paperwork and visited for a while and with the documentation I could gather I got out of the US, into Mexico and back to the US with basically no problems.  I still need to keep an eye out for my marriage license but the drama of travel was much more minor then it could have been.   Ironically, today I got my real passport with a China Visa so next time, I'll leave more of a buffer for traveling.


The plane ride there was completely uneventful except for the fact that they don't even serve trail mix anymore so I was starving by the time we landed at 2:30.   We met the other two couples and got to the resort easily and the picture I posted was our view from the balcony.  We spent most of the time there talking and relaxing in or by the pool.   I burn like crazy so I spent most of my time in the shade but it was still pretty and warm.  It got a bit chilly at night when the wind picked up but it was still cool eating outside by the ocean, my sweater just got more of a workout then I thought it would.   Sunday K&H and Lars and I went on a bus trip to a Mayan attraction, it is a Mayan village and theme park, there was a bunch of animals and a 5 mile long underground river that you snorkel through.   I have a bit of a fear of getting my head underwater but I got used to it by the end and there were lots of pretty fish to see.  I'm glad the park was not that crowded because we got to take our time doing everything.   We also visited a butterfly enclosure, it was about 3 stories tall and full of trees and flowers and had a waterfall and tons of butterflies.  It is pretty hard to take pictures of them but I did try.  The end of the day there was a really cool show, it went through a bunch of Mayan history pre and post Spanish and it was a cool spectacle.   By the time we got back we were beat but we played a game and went to bed.  Lars stayed up super late every night soaking up all possible game time but I just could not keep my eyes open past about midnight.   Every morning though I was up at 7 all by myself so I had quiet relaxation on the balcony with my book and a coffee and my breakfast, not really social but very relaxing watching the waves and the pelican diving.  


Tuesday Lars and the guys went scuba diving and we ladies were left.  H and I went to the lobby to check e-mail and to webcam the beach back to work.   We had a cappuccino on the beach and then lunch and talked tons of girl talk and we noticed a little sunfish (being sailed very badly) at the beach near us.   H said she had never sailed and really wanted to so we decided to go get L and see what the boat cost.  Amazingly enough it was included in the resort, absolutely NOTHING else in the whole country was free so this was a nice surprise.   The boat was a sunfish that was at least 15 years old and didn't have any of the modern connivances I'm used to but since there was next to no wind and we had three people the age of the boat didn't really matter since we weren't going to be winning any races.   I'm glad my sailing skills came back to me quick since neither one of them had a clue but we spent a pleasant hour and a half sailing around.  We even managed to avoid the jet ski group, the parasailing boats, and get back to the little bit of beach we started from and nobody fell off the boat or lost any hats or sunglasses.  After the boat we made spa appointments for salt scrubs and I'm not sure it was quite worth the price but my skin does feel soft.  That night we ate dinner and then walked around the market and rounded out the night with another game.


Wednesday was the last day and we got up, packed up, and took a group picture with the timer, I'll post all pictures soon, I need to go through and crop/edit some.   We got to the airport in tons of time and walked through security.  Mexican airport security is not all that strict, we didn't even have to take our shoes off.   We had our final group lunch and then we all went to our separate gates.  By 7:30 pm Lars and I were home petting cats and opening the mail.   This time the cats didn't destroy anything but they did catch a mouse, I have no clue how a mouse got in the house but I'm sure it provided entertainment for the 2 mousers and the 1 apprentice hunter cat in the house.  


I overall enjoyed the trip but here are a few rather strange things about Mexico;

1. None (I mean zero) toilet seats match the toilet they are attached to.  Every time I sat down it would shift or slide.  

2. Everyone wants a tip always, probably a resort thing, but next time I'm bringing $50 in singles.

3. It takes at least 45 min to get food for 6 served, of the 10 or so meals we ate there we got a bug in the veggies once, a completely different steak then ordered 3 times,   cold food for someone every time, ordering the same soup two day in a row does not mean the soup will taste the same, and completely random side dishes apparently at the chiefs whim.  

4. Not as many people as we hoped spoke English but now I can speak much better Spanish then I thought

5. Everyone is selling something, sometimes it is easier to walk in the island in the highway then walk past the street vendors, they will even yell across the street at you

6. All equipment is old, I saw tons of ancient cars, lawnmowers and construction stuff and it all looks 15 years old.   They also have a way of repurposing things, the stones by the pool were washed daily using a floor waxer and a hose... very weird (and loud)


That's about it for the trip, I had fun and I think everyone else did too and we have tentative plans for another trip with the same group for sometime next year so we will see.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We are back

It was a good trip, we are now back in this country. 
More tomorrow, time to go drink water out of the tap and enjoy not having to tip anyone for the next 24 hours

Monday, January 15, 2007


Internet is not what was advertised on their website so I'm just popping in quickly to post a picture.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I'm in the airport

I can see the plane
We can't think of anything we forgot
We got thousands of Pesos at the exchange booth and either the lady was very dumb because she didn't give us our change ($4 American) or, she was smart and ripping us off.  Either way we got our money.
In 4 hours we will be 80 degrees warmer

Thursday, January 11, 2007

PS. it is delurking week

I tried this last year and was fairly disappointed so comment or e-mail me if you read this just so I can match names to IP addresses.

a 'real' post

Wow, I missed a day, and the post the day before was supposed to have a part two that had something in the way of substance.   In some ways I have had incredibly busy days however they are full of stuff I can't really write about or that is totally uninteresting.  Right now I am going full swing into vacation mode.   I did very well focusing on work until now (2ish of course) but now I'm mentally checking out.  I still have some work to check on tomorrow, might get it done in the airport, but I am taking my laptop so I'll check in on work.   I know I should just take a vacation but it is so much easier to check in once a day then to come back to a big mess.


Yesterday I started gathering things, hat, sun block, summer stuff, I pulled out a Chinese parasol  from pennsic and I'm thinking of bringing it along since I'm so prone to burning but then again I don't want to look like a moron.  I'll see if I have space.   I also need to get around to taking down the Christmas tree but that might not get done until I get back.  I need to get some brain candy books to bring so I hope the thrift store is open late enough today to get a few books.   I need to locate summer clothing etc so I'll have a busy night tonight.  I am very glad we went for the later tickets, it would not be fun to take off at 6am because we would have to be at the airport at 4:30 so that means leaving the house at 3:45 so we can get there and park and at that point we would have either had to stay awake or go to sleep at 6pm and neither would be a fun way to start a vacation.   Our flight takes off at 10 something so we need to leave the house a bit after 7 to be on the safe side.


There will be one thing I miss, our Amaryllis flower turned out to be a double bulb so we have two huge stalks and each has four flower and they are just starting to bloom so we will miss most of it.   I'll take a picture and post just so you can see how huge this thing is.


That is basically it for the week – I've just been doing the normal eat, sleep, work, exercise, clean routine.  

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


There was this odd and sudden glare on my screen.  I turn to the huge windows behind me and the sun is actually out!!!   It lasted about 30 seconds before someone closed the blinds but it is nice to know the sun still exists.

Monday, January 08, 2007

weekend review

Wow, today flew by, I had two major meetings and one minor one but basically all day was meetings.   The last one even included an irate supplier but we got it solved in the end.


This weekend I went to an event and it was a nice small affair.  I like when everything is in the same room, you don't feel like you miss anything.  I also met two people who love the TV show Scrubs as much as we do and we are planning a Scrubs marathon for later this month.  We are going to have food inspired by the show too, it should be very fun. Lars missed me, he even did dishes, and he was just finishing some work when I got home at 10:30 but by the time he was done I was totally asleep on the couch.   I think he sat with me for a while and we watched something but I was sleeping.  Sunday was a lazy day.  I got the laundry done and set Roomba to clean and I played computer games and read my new book Wicked.  Wicked is a little odd but good so far.


The weekend went by too fast, I suppose I'm a little spoiled after so many long weekends in a row.   I'm making sure I get everything possible done before Cancun at work so I don't come back to a big mess but I'm sure I'll check my mail and do little things while I'm there as long as there is internet and I'm pretty sure there is.   I didn't get as much cleaning done as I wanted but I got a bunch of stuff organized and did some of the little things on the to do list like mailing receipts to people who didn't like their Christmas gift.   Today (or this week at least) I need to de Christmas the house and I would like to keep up the workouts since I got back in the swing of things last week.   I got the name of a reliable cleaning lady so I need to give her a call and then it is prep for the trip time.  Hopefully I can stick to the plan and not just go home and fall asleep J


4 days to cancun.

Friday, January 05, 2007


So far the most exciting thing I've done this week is loose the roomba on the house.   Roomba fits under most of the furniture and is pretty good about getting all over a room.  I have roomba proofed the living room, bed room, computer room and guest room.  The Kitchen was roomba proof for a while but things are back on the floor.  The house is much more tidy and roomba has only had a few incidents;   1. he got stuck under the dishwasher, he fits just enough to get stuck.  2. he fell down the stairs – the cliff sensor does not work so well on carpeted stairs.  3.  he really does not like bathroom rugs.  I know he doesn't have that smart a sensor but roomba seems to know when I open a door.  He was on the far side of the living room one min and I went to the bathroom and he was suddenly bumping the door open and in the bathroom.  The cats like to follow it around and watch it, any time it scoots at them they move but I always know where it is because it has atleast 2 cats following at all times.  


Other then that, nothing big this week.  I still have a cold, I'm going to an event this weekend, and it is now 9 days to Cancun.

weekend is almost here

I think my work has a worm hole or a time warp or something.  Nomatter how late I think it is or how early I think it is in the afternoon I look at the clock and it is around 2pm.   I have been very productive this afternoon and I was sure it was quarter to four and nope, it is 2:15.  I still have Friday stuff to do before I leave but I'm taking a blog break to say more or less nothing.


Cold status is lowered to 5-10 tissues


List of things to do this afternoon is growing, we (mostly I) took responsibility for the neighbors dogs for the weekend, I have thrones to transport, bag to pack for the weekend....   I worked out Tuesday and Wednesday so it would be great to get a run in but I don't think that will happen before we go to T&Ks for our weekly visit.   Yesterday afternoon I was very lazy, I finished my Stephen King book Leslie's Story, did the monthly bills, talked to a few people on the phone and spent the rest of the evening watching TV.   8K has been doing a reading challenge,  50 books a year, I think I'll give it a go just to see how many I actually read in a year.   I'm not sure if there are rules as to what counts as a book (do text books count?) and if there is supposed to be a spread of different genres but I usually read what is handy so maybe this will encourage me to read better books so I'm not embarrassed by 50 romance novels.


... I'm bet my Mom reads 200 a year and I think I read at least 50 but I'll keep track this year just to see.   Speaking of Mom, she now blogs, a little, and even if it is just running commentary on what her roomba does and how many martial arts classes she attends I appreciate the information.  She remarks in one post that talking to strangers about random details in the grocery store is discouraged but unknown internet people are ok.
So anyone else have good weekend plans?  I know I'll be seeing a few of you at the event this weekend, to everyone else, have fun.
PS 7 days to Cancun

Thursday, January 04, 2007

downgrade to sniffles

My cold is going away finally.  Last night I woke up at 3am coughing but a cough drop stopped it and I don't think I was up too long.  Today I think I'm down to 15-20 tissues so far and I can breath out of half my nose.  I have high hopes for the weekend.


I have run into a very ironic situation....  Lars and I have been looking for sunglasses for me for atleast 8 months.  We finally found a pair this weekend.  They were on the expensive side but we had some  instore credit from a return.  The ironic part is that I go to work in the dark, I go home in the dark, and I would look silly wearing them at work.  I will hopefully give them a workout in Cancun... 8 days to go.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

first post of 2007

Took another blogging break over the weekend.  It is way easier to blog from work around lunch time since I spend 90% of my work day in front of the computer compared to weekend time when I am doing other things.  The long weekend was nice but I seem to have the cold my parents had.  Very runny nose and a cough but today my cough etc is gone, just the nose keeps running.


I read a bunch of blogs with plenty of year reviews and resolutions.  I had a good 2006 and expect good things from 2007 and I just started a project in early Dec that will dominate most of 2007 so I'm actually positive I'll be busy.


My Highlights for 2006

Got a 'promotion' to a new commodity at work last Jan

Was Princess then Queen for most of the year and had a good time doing it and by most reports we did a decent job (even if some are backhanded compliments like 'you surprised a lot of people')

Started and mostly completed the patio project

Went to Malaysia (work)

Went to Canada twice (events)

Started my masters degree and completed 3/16 courses


2007 plans include;

Going to China and Korea (work)

Finishing the patio

Making a pavilion

Continuing the masters

Fighting in spring crown

And a bunch of other stuff


My only real resolution is to drink more water, I like to keep the resolution realistic.


Newyears this year was odd, Lars and I and 4 friends ended up more or less a mobile party except the weather was terrible so we were driving around in the snow.  The last thing I ate in 2006 was Dino's French fries and the first thing I ate in 2007 was coffee from our brand new coffee maker.


The weekend overall was laid back.  We did some shopping, we watched The Devil Wears Prada (good movie), and I blew my nose 10,000 times.  I can start the count down to Cancun, only 10 more days.  This week I have very few plans, I need to get working on a project or two but school is still out so other then some conference calls my evenings are my own this week.