Friday, February 09, 2007

Enough Is ENOUGH!

I've had all the fun I can take with blogger. I spent most of the day today migrating ALL of my blog content over to another site.

I can now be found HERE!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

HOLY SHIT!

I just got a newsflash that Anna Nicole Smith collapsed and died. Check your news...

I feel sorry for the legal battle that's going to occur over that little baby girl born in September....


Remember that SUV driven into the lake that I blogged about yesterday?

Well, it's been sitting in that lake, with sub-zero wind chills and surface temperatures in the single digits for about 2 days. They finally got it out last night. It went in a whole SUV, this is what it looked like when it came out last night.

It is estimated, so far, that the cost of removing the vehicle from the lake is around $5,000, not counting the anticipated fines from the DEC for the oil and gas leaking into the lake. It was almost double it's original weight (from 4500 lbs. to 9000 lbs.) from the frozen stuff inside it. It apparently kept falling through the ice every time they got it above the ice.

Lake-effect snows are wreaking havoc around here these days. As I type this, I can barely make out the building across the quad, the snow is coming down so hard -- whiteout. A bit more north of where we are, they've already had about 5 feet fall since Monday, and are expecting more still. Simply put, lake-effect snow happens when cold, dry air moves in from Canada and crosses the warm(er) lake water, where the front picks up vapor and turns it to snow/ice.

Just as a matter of interest, these lake-effect bands (or snowbelts) have a large population of people who suffer from "seasonal affective disorder"(commonly called Winter Depression) because these areas are often overcast. Rochester's average sunny day count for the year is only 58 days. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't see the sun for the other 307 days of the year, only that, on average, it's not cloudy in any way for 58 days.

A state senator has introduced legislation that would make talking on the phone while a pedestrian (presumably around traffic) illegal and subject to a $100 fine. Hmmm....not sure how I feel about this. From one side, I can see the safety issue but heck, at what point is cell phone use NOT going to be illegal? I don't know, I think this might be going a bit far...

It's about time to blow this pop stand, and hey, ony one more day in the work week!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Random thoughts and stuff

So, here's a bunch of us on Go Red Friday. I'm all the way in the back, right side (as you look at the picture), second from the right (dark hair, white turtleneck, between a black woman and a woman with red/black on). Note the men in the picture -- I think it was pretty cool that they participated.



Today is little Brandon's 4th birthday. His blanket was delivered to their house (in the pirate's chest) yesterday, so we're anxiously awaiting that phone call tonight.

I finished a hat I made for Lisa last night, too. Now she's got a hat to go with her scarf. She's good for my knitting self-esteem, claiming that she feels honored/privileged to be the "guinea pig" for anything I make. And she wears that stuff proudly! Gosh how I love that little dork-o-mine!

I've also been working on a three color project -- white background, green leaves, red rose flowers. It's really very pretty and I'm quite taken with my ability to incorporate multi-colors into a project.

I'm staying small for the time being -- no big projects, just little ones that are easy and quickly completed. I've done cloths with motifs -- yellow duckie, fish, sailboat, pear, apple, cat paw.

I have patterns for every letter in the alphabet, as well as several animals and other child items (planes, etc.) I have a pattern for awareness ribbons, too. I'm considering taking orders for them, as well as making up a whole bunch of them to sell at the Fall Foliage Festival in October (along with our other wares that we'll have at our booth).

SmileyCentral.com

The memorial service for my uncle is Saturday at 1:00. I figure to go down earlier in the day, hang with my aunt and uncle for a bit, then go with them. Lisa will likely stay home, which is fine.


Then I have to turn around and go back down there next Wednesday to go to traffic court. First ticket I've gotten in more than 20 years, and it was for doing a U-turn in one of those turnarounds on the highway -- you know the ones, they're built to turn around in, but they have a sign that says No U-Turn. Well, I was trying for more than 2 miles to get over to the right lane to exit, but I apparently offended the car that was in the right lane because, if I slowed, so did she, if I sped up, so did she -- she just wouldn't let me in. As my exit approached, I briefly considered a quick acceleration and shooting across the two lanes to exit, but people who do that piss me off and, it's not a very safe thing to do anyway. Just as I made the decision to stay on the highway and not shoot across the two lanes, I saw a state trooper in the median -- thankfully, I made the right decision. A mile or so down the road, I turned around and backtracked to my exit. Unbeknownst to me, there was another state trooper following me in an SUV. So, I got a ticket. I'm not going to fight it, just show up at court in the hopes that it'll be reduced to something that's not a moving violation.

The SuperBowl sure was a yawner, wasn't it? I mean, other than the first five minutes, that is. High points of the game was the Colts' offense racking up 190 rushing yards against what normally is a very stingy Bears defense -- the team of Addai and Rhodes just tore up the field.

Tony Dungy, in my opinion, should have been named MVP of that game. Oh, sure, he's not a player, per se, but he's a player in the bigger pictures. And here is a guy that got Tampa Bay just shy of the SuperBowl, and left an excellent team for John Gruden to take to the SuperBowl, and win.

I was glad to see Peyton Manning get that ring, but wasn't at all sure that the MVP selection was right.

I'm off the Provera now, and actually have my energy back. I spent the last ten days in such a fatigued funk that all I could think of all day long was a nap. Thankfully I only have to be on that crap for ten days out of every three months.

Almost every school in the area was closed yesterday. With wind chills reaching the -20 mark, the problem of child safety was a factor for most level-headed school administrators but, for those districts that typically don't close until AFTER the allotted time for federal monies, they were forced to close because the frigid temperatures caused jelling of the diesel fuel in the buses, and the buses just wouldn't run. Almost two dozen buses broke down and had to be repaired on the side of the road, while students waited in the frigid temperatures inside the buses.

As it turns out, the problems with the fuel jelling comes from a state mandate which requires the use of a low-sulfur fuel additive. I guess we'd better go back to the drawing board on that state mandate, eh?

Ever notice how severe weather brings out the excessively stupid? Here's a moron who saw other tracks on the ice at the local bay, and decided to drive his SUV on it. Now, keep in mind that, up until about 3 weeks ago, we had temperatures in the 50s and 60s since the onset of winter. Sure, we've had some pretty low temperatures, but not for a long enough time to completely freeze one of the GREAT LAKES. According to police, the tracks he saw were most likely from MUCH LIGHTER four-wheelers. What a stupid, stupid, stupid putz. Wouldn't you love to know how much it's going to cost him to get it out of the bay? They said he has to get it out, and very soon -- they're not going to let him leave it there until the spring thaw or anything like that. One tow truck operator estimates it'll run about $3,000. I hope it costs him his right nut, too. Idiot.

Miracles upon miracles, the Rev. Ted Haggard has been counseled out of his homosexuality, and after only three short weeks! I'm sure that his conviction of his heterosexuality doesn't have anything to do with any wants, needs or desires to head up another big-budget organization like the one he had before, right?

SmileyCentral.com

Friday, February 02, 2007

February 2, 2007

Well, Phil says there'll be an early spring. I'll believe that when I see it. Here in Western New York, the weather typically defies all rules and odds. Oh, sure, we've had a mild winter thus far (except for the past two weeks) but around here, that just means that winter will last until August or so.

Here's an interesting site with great historical information on the whole groundhog day thing, as well as a chart of "readings" going back to 1900. Interestingly enough, only 15 times in the past 107 years has the groundhog NOT seen his shadow, and predicted an early spring.

In addition to Groundhog Day, today is National Wear Red Day to raise awareness of women's heart and stroke health. There was a woman on the radio this morning (apparently also in Women's Day) who, at the age of 32, had a heart transplant. Apparently she had a virus attach to her heart when she was 28. But, because she was young and female, they didn't believe there was anything wrong with her heart. It took four years before anyone seriously took a look at her heart and, by the time they did, her heart was functioning at only 15%. On the day of the surgery for the transplant, her husband flew up to be with her, via helicopter. The chopper crashed, and her husband died nine days later. Left to raise three kids alone, and recuperate from the heart transplant as well, this is truly an inspirational story.
Only a bit more than 55 hours until the SuperBowl.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this game and, while Indianapolis is a great team, they lack in defense what Chicago excels in. Rex Grossman lacks what Peyton Manning exudes but, like my son's Pop Warner football coach used to tell the boys, "If they can't score, they can't win." I'd like to see Peyton Manning get this ring, but I think the reality is that, even though they are the odds-on favorites, I think they've got a better chance at losing than they do at winning -- unless their defense shows up with a vengeance. Time will tell.
Apparently the state police have found more remains, which we assume are those of my missing uncle. They have also determined that the skull was fractured, although they are unable to determine if it was pre- or post-mortem.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rants

OK, so someone give me a quick lesson on the United States Constitution, specifically

Article IV, which begins: Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect there of.

The 14th Amendment, which begins: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.

With this in mind, I wonder how individual states and the lawmakers in them can do this sort of thing WITHOUT someone taking it up with the Supreme Court -- and who advises these so-called "lawmakers?"

Wyoming Senate Passes Ban On Out-Of-State Gay Marriages
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Cheyenne, Wyoming) The Wyoming State Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would ban the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries where they are legal.

The bill passed 21-8 generally along party lines, with most Democrats opposed and most Republicans in favor of the bill.

If the bill passes the House and signed into law by the governor it would mean Wyoming gays could not travel to Canada or any of the European countries where same-sex couples can marry and have their marriages recognized when they return home.

It also would mean if a same-sex couple moved to Wyoming because of work or even visited the state their marriages would be considered void in Wyoming.

One of the few Republicans to vote against the measure, Sen. Cale Case, said Wyoming already has a poor reputation for its treatment of gays as a result of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard.

Wyoming already has a so-called Defense of Marriage law that mandates marriages conducted in the state must be between a man and woman. The new measure would strengthen that act.

But opponents say the new provisions will make it harder for companies and universities to attract the most qualified people.

Supporters of the bill say they only want to strengthen traditional marriage.

Wyoming calls itself 'The Equality State'.

You really have to laugh at the irony of that last sentence, don't you?


On the flip side of the coin, Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in that state.

Oppponents, naturally, claim that the concept of marriage goes all the way back to Christ (who never married -- not sure how that fits into their logic). While it may be true that the CONCEPT of marriage goes back to Biblical days, the practice of marriage in front of a priest, or in a church, only dates back to the 1500s -- which makes the argument of marriage being a "sacred institution, blessed by God" nothing more than wishful thinking.

In ancient times, women were either "captured" or "purchased" into marriage -- that act of capture or purchase actually being the "marriage ceremony." In some cultures, a large celebratory dinner was the ceremony. And interestingly enough, the Catholic Church recognizes that "...yet among many uncivilized peoples marriage has taken place, and still takes place, without any formal ceremony whatever. " The Catholic Church herself did not classify marriage as a sacrament until 1563.

So much for the argument of "sacred institution."

Anyway, the leading oponents of this legislation, The Family Institute, makes the same old tired argument that these marriages are a threat to the institution of marriages (and these folks NEVER EVER EVER explain HOW it's a threat to the institution, just that it is).

Love Makes a Family head Anne Stanback argues "Divorce is a threat to marriage. Infidelity, domestic violence and losing your job (are) a threat to marriage, marriage is not a threat to marriage."

Right on, sister!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thievery

I think today I'm just mostly going to steal stuff from other blogs.

From Sandra's blog, I got this:

Your Chances of Being a Multimillionaire: 76%

You have a good chance of being a multimillionaire. Better than most people.
You simply have a natural knack for money and the personality for success.


It made my day!

And Gladys, from Austin, TX talks to Ellen DeGeneres -- and it's a hoot! (I got this from sassy) WARNING! If you're at work, this may literally cause you to laugh out loud, so don't blame me if you get in trouble!



One of the professors sent me this -- you might need to watch it more than once because there's a lot to really see:



Not sure I have any comments on this one -- seems to fit, great leering and all! LOL!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Lady Pat the Verdant of Great Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title



And finally:

Q: Why do most men want to vote for a woman for President?

A: So they only have to pay her half as much.

Monday, January 29, 2007

As soon as I figure out how to send sassy all this frickin' snow, I'm going to have it dumped right in front of her door (and all over her car -- so she can have that wonderful exercise you get cleaning that crap off your car). Perhaps I'll ball it all up and toss it at her as she comes out of the house.
We're supposed to get snow every single day this week, right on through to Sunday, with 1-3" accumulation each day.
I am sick to death of getting up early so that I can get to work on time, just because of the snow. It took more than two hours Friday to get from home, to the chiropractor, and back to work -- not arriving at work until 9:45. This morning it took twice the normal time as well. Friday was especially bad, though, with parts of the expressway closed due to "multiple crashes" and traffic either backed up waiting for the expressway to re-open, or traffic snarled and congested on the surface streets, from the people trying to bail out of the expressway and find an alternate route to work. I saw a couple of SUV's wipe out -- the first one was really going fast, lost control, made the second one swerve and they both wiped out. The first one came to rest listing to one side on a hilly part of the median. The second came to rest on the shoulder, facing in the right direction, as if he'd pulled over momentarily.

Assholes get what they deserve on those kinds of roads...

OK, I've had my temper tantrum, on to other things...


Filed under the "no huge surprise" category, it seems that 58% of Americans want Dubya's Presidency to just be over. My, how things have changed in the past two years when some of those voters thought he was the man to keep in the White House. Buyer's remorse.

Approval rating at 30%? According to Newsweek, the lowest rating for the President since they started keeping track of it.

Perhaps instead of stumping for a change to the Constitution to restrict the rights of same-sex couples, we should be looking toward an amendment that would allow the nation to UNelect a President who has lost favor with the country, through a "no-confidence" vote or something. Sort of like what they did in California with Governor Gray.

The world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership -- G.W.
Bush, White House, October 2003


We went down to see my Aunt Wanda for her birthday on Saturday. We had a nice, quiet visit, ordered Chinese food, had a wonderful dinner, and got home around 11:00. We slept in yesterday morning, until nearly 10:00.

Lisa applied some polyurothane to the little guy's chest that we're going to send his blanket in, and then we put new stain on two of my end tables (that I've had for 25+ years). They had scratches and nicks and bumps in them and, being that they're pine, they showed those imperfections really, really well. The new stain colored and hid many of those sins and, from just a few feet away, they look like new pieces of furniture.

I knocked out a quick cloth, for something small and fun to do. I did it in white. I'm not looking for any huge projects anytime soon, although I have promised Lisa I'd try to do a sweater.

We did a lot of picking up, weeding out, dusting, and just sort of low-keyed cleaning. I re-organized my knitting supplies, inventoried my yarn, put all the loose patterns in a binder, and collected up all of the stitch markers laying around and got them into a container.

Oh, sure, it's not nearly as exciting as sassy's pen adventure, but we just don't like living that close to the edge.


I'm back on the Provera again. Not only am I de-railed on my weight loss quest, but I'm so G.D. tired I can't stand it. The last time I went on the stuff, I gained 13 lbs. and have yet to lose it. I'd dropped 6 lbs. since the first of the year and, within two days of going back on the shit, I was back up 2 lbs. I'm back up to the original weight I started at the beginning of the month. No point in even trying to diet until I'm off the shit -- which will be the end of the week.

The idea is to force a period, since it's been 3 months again since I last had one. My GYN tells me that as long as there are eggs, I need to do this every 3 months or so, or run a risk of uterine cancer.

Not only do I gain weight, but I'm so frickin' tired I can't stand it. I feel like I haven't slept in years. I'm sluggish, dull-witted, and just generally drained. (Not like the dull-witted could be blamed on the Provera, though.)

We're going to the Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop tonight with my foster sister. I put on a crockpot of "white chili" and we'll have dinner early, then make our way to the Home Depot. We really needed to go yesterday for some stuff but decided to wait until after today, as we usually get 10% off coupons at these workshops. Hey, every little bit helps, eh?


Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've been remiss in my correspondences lately and haven't been around to some of my friends' blogs to catch up and comment, but I want to make note of a couple of folks who I'd like to offer congratulations to.

So, congratulations to:

Jenn -- who got a big, hairy gorilla of her own off her back...her now EX-husband. I've been reading Jenn's blog for about a year now, following the story of her divorce from The Idiot with the morbid fascination that one would have for a train wreck -- and that guy IS a train wreck.

Patti who is moving into a new house in the next couple of weeks. A new house is always fun -- it's like getting a clean slate in part of your life. Given that she's recently changed jobs and now this new house, it looks like Patti is making all the right moves (pardon the pun).

The identification process on the remains found was inconclusive so far. They're being sent to Albany for some forensic tests, mostly some DNA sampling.

More when it becomes available.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Drowning


I woke up at around 3:30 this morning sitting on our bed, gasping for breath – choking, gulping in air, panicked, unsure of my surroundings, Lisa’s concerned voice foreign to me. Even through the darkness I was able to make out items in our bedroom but not even those familiar things seemed right, nor did they restore anything that resembled calm in me. I was aware of where I was and was even aware that I was awake and safe, yet I continued to choke and gulp air, as if I was barely rising above water to gasp in breath. Overwhelming fear crushed my chest. I felt Lisa’s hand on my back and heard her voice urgently saying “Pat, are you okay?” Unable to respond, I could only try to choke in air to try and stop the burning in my lungs that had begun. A little more panicked and a little more high-pitched I heard her ask again “Pat, are you okay?”

As I finally began to gulp in (and swallow) air, I nodded my head. It seemed like an eternity before I was finally able to breathe and my heart felt like it had leaped up into my throat, hammering away.

I had been drowning – that’s the only way I can describe it.

For many years I had violent nightmares – horrific dreams starring my abuser, nightmares that just wouldn’t give me a break. While I would awaken panicked and breathless, I was always nauseous and choking but never like this. This was strangely different and I have no explanation for it. I don’t believe I had been dreaming at all. I haven’t had those nightmares in a long, long time, thanks to some good therapy and excellent hypnosis.

Lisa thinks that maybe my saliva just went down my throat the wrong way. I suppose she’s right, but the way I was gasping and wheezing for air, I somehow doubt that a little bit of spittle could have done that.

Once my heart slowed, I lay back down and, with Idgie camped on my chest, I drifted back to sleep – not at all what I would have been able to do with those long ago nightmares. I’m a bit unsettled by it all today, not sure what it was all about.

Lisa had a job interview today – in fact, it started just a little over an hour ago. I would have thought I would have heard from her by now, as we both believed it was just a preliminary HR interview that is often done at large companies, just to sort of “size” up any potential employees.
She’s been so disenchanted at her job lately. There is nobody there with any meaningful managerial skills, including the President of the company, who drinks during the day most days now. I pointed out to her last night that, when the “big 3” are away (President, GM, and Sales Manager), they leave the company in the hands of a very capable HOURLY employee (she makes just a tad over $12 an hour, and is in charge of a company at times????) And she’s worth so much more than what they’re paying her.

Lisa does inventory control these days. Before she took it over, each year they had to adjust inventory in amounts that would equal just about 1% of sales. That’s a lot of unaccounted for inventory when a company makes more than $5 million in sales.

Since Lisa took it over, the past two years their adjustment rate has not even equaled one one-hundredth of a percent. Last November, they adjusted only about $1,000 worth of unaccounted for inventory – as opposed to more than $50,000 in the past.

Inventory control specialists make almost double what Lisa is making.

I’m proud of her, that she’s taking this step, even if it amounts to nothing. I think it will do her good to get out there and look around, and reinforce to herself what her worth is.
I finished that GD blanket over the weekend. I put it in the washer on a delicate cycle, same with the dryer, and found I didn't need to block it. It looks great and it's ready in time for the little guy's birthday February 7th. That's a huge, hairy gorilla off my back!
No word yet on whether the remains found down in the southern tier are those of my uncle, although there's a reasonable certainty that they are his.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fatigued Friday Frought with Frenzy





YAY! SINGLE DIGITS!



DOWN SIX!


Art Buchwald passed away yesterday. In the past two weeks, Yvonne DeCarlo, Carlo Ponti, Jane Bolin and Tillie Olsen have also passed away.

Lisa is feeling better, after having suffered for almost two weeks with a nasty sinus thing. With her sinuses not draining (impacted) and then finally draining, she’s coughed and hacked a lot at night – once I thought she was going to hack up a lung – and she’s not getting much rest (nor am I, for that matter). We decided we were going to lay low this weekend and just give her some slow, quiet time to finish mending.

We’re supposed to get somewhere between a dusting and a foot of snow depending on where the “localized snow squalls” end up during the lake effect snow we’re supposed to be getting. They’re using the term “blizzard” in the forecast but “blizzard” doesn’t refer to snow, it refers to strong wind gusts during a snowfall. And that’s exactly what we’re supposed to be getting – 35-40 mph winds during this lake effect storm.

It’s probably a good thing we planned to stay home and lay low. Sounds like the kind of weather where the best activity is to lounge on the couch (or bed) and find a good movie to nap through. Just interesting enough to not be boring, but not so interesting that you stay awake and watch it all the way through.

The state police stopped by my Aunt Wanda’s house today to inform the family that some remains have been found about a mile and a half upstream from where my , missing uncle lived. I figure it’s a pretty good bet that it’s him, and can’t imagine who else it would be. They’ll send the remains up here to Rochester for an autopsy and possible identification, since they don’t have those kinds of facilities down in cow country in the southern tier. Poor Jerry.

I’ve gotten hammered all week at work by the same faculty who always wait until the last possible moment to get their syllabi, course outlines and class handouts done. They come in, frantic, thinking I’m going to wave some magic wand and make everything happen for them. One, who came in yesterday at three o’clock and was told that he wouldn’t get his stuff back before Monday, said to me “You DO realize that the semester starts on Monday, don’t you?” I said “Yep, sure do. And I’ve been here for the past three weeks with NOTHING to do.”

What a putz. The lot of them!

I’ve stayed late almost every night this week trying to keep up. I’ve been flying solo for two years now, having had my other position sort of “stolen” from me by our director who sold some bogus numbers to the VP. Of course, HE got the position. Last night, about 5:45 I thought “Why am I staying late to get this shit done?” Frankly, if they don’t care enough to staff us properly, then I don’t see any reason to care enough to stay late. However, I don’t think today is the day to draw the line – I’ll make a point, starting Monday, to leave on time every day. What doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done. They can complain to the VP.

Bitter? Me? Nahhhh

I stole this from sassy’s blog:

In 1955 (the year you were born)


Dwight Eisenhower is president of the US

Hurricane "Diane" claims 184 lives form North Carolina to New England

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat, which leads to bus segregation being declared unconstitutional

The AFL merges with the CIO, creating the nation's largest labor union

Dr. Jonas Salk discovers a vaccine for polio

The Scrabble board game debuts

Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California

Kevin Costner, John Grisham, Arsenio Hall, Steve Jobs, and Billy Bob Thornton are born

Charlie Parker, Albert Einstein, and James Dean die

Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series

Cleveland Browns win the NFL champion ship

Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is published








Thursday, January 11, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back to the old grind




Still working on that frickin' blanket, but getting toward the end...slowly.




It sure would have been nice to have continued to lose ½ a day since the 1st -- that would have put me at 4 lbs. down, but I'm only 1 lb. behind that so it's not so bad.



If there are any The L Word fans out there that don't get Showtime, take a look at the complete showing of episode 1 of season four, which premiered last night -- click the picture above. Or, click here.

Note that Cybill Shepard and Marlee Matlin will be joining the cast this year -- should prove to be VERY interesting.




Another meme stolen from Sandra, at her invitation to steal.

What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?

Started a business.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?

I didn't really make resolutions, per se. I have started a weight loss endeavor and we'll see where that takes me. I'm not thinking about next year, yet. It's too early.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My youngest daughter gave birth to Ethan Michael on August 21st.

Did anyone close to you die?

Our sweet, selfless, loving Tigga. And not a day goes by that I don't miss her still.

Did you go anywhere special?

Not that I can think of, other than camping over Memorial Day weekend -- and it was a great, relaxing time.

What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?

Less drama. MUCH less drama.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Starting that business that we've talked about for so long.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not a bit, which makes two years running that something didn't happen over vacation that would send me to the doctor! :)

What was the best thing you bought?

Our hutch.

Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, home equity line, Lisa's truck payments, and gas.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The demise of 2006 -- it really, really, really sucked for me.

What song reminds you of 2006?

Just pick a theme song from any horror movie...

Compared to this time last year are you:

a. Happier or sadder?

Happier -- much of the drama is behind me.

b. Thinner or fatter?

Fatter. Way.

c. Richer or poorer?

I guess that depends on how you define rich and poor. Monetarily, a bit better off. My life as a whole is always richer with each day I have my family and Lisa.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

The things I let myself get derailed on, like gardening, fitness/bicycling, care of my home, camping, knitting, weight loss, etc.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Letting myself get derailed.

Did you fall in love in 2006?

Every single day. I fall in love with Lisa each morning that I wake up next to her.

What was your favorite TV show?

The L Word, House, The Closer, Dexter

What was the best book you read?

The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2006?

Nothing new, really.

What did you want and get?

A DVR -- and I wonder how I ever lived without it!

What did you want and not get?

Easy -- a winning ticket for the MegaMillions.

What was your favorite film this year?

Brokeback Mountain

What did you do on your birthday?

Nothing special -- spent a quiet day with my sweetie.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Lisa and I both became miserably disenchanted with our jobs -- for similar and different reasons alike. I think that some sort of passion for our jobs, and a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction regarding how we are seen by our superiors would have had an immeasurable effect on our overall satisfaction with life in general last year.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?

Almost nonexistent. Once upon a time, I even ironed t-shirts. Last year "close enough is good enough" became my fashion mantra.

What kept you sane?

Prozac

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Mariska Hargitay

What political issue stirred you the most?

The campaign by the right to strip the GLBT community of any semblance of rights -- we donated a lot of money to groups that are waging battles against these hatemongers.

Who did you miss?

My boss -- but I think my aim is improving. :)

Who was the best new person you met?

Kay Ann -- my father's step-sister.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's Spring!





Or, at least the dandelions, dusty miller, grape hyacinths and even our rose bushes think so.

Actually, they never died back yet. We've had a couple of really good hard frosts, but apparently it's been so warm this winter that even the hard frost couldn't kill off some of the more hardy vegetation. We actually have yellow dandelions in our yard, as well as dandelions that have gone to seed. Of course, it's 56 degrees out right now, and it's not even 10:00 a.m. They're calling for temps around 60 this afternoon, with some rain. By Monday or Tuesday we're supposed to get some cold(er) weather with the possibility of snow, but without any real accumulation. By this time next week, it's supposed to be back up into the high 40s again. In the meantime, they're calling for killer frigid temperatures in the midwest, with temps as low as -20 to -30. Some really freaky weather, eh?

I'm down another half pound this morning -- YAY!

It's my last day of vacation. Gosh two weeks have gone by fast! I'm heading down to see my aunt and uncle today, mainly because I'm sick of being "grounded" and trying to get that damned knitting done. I only have 72 more rows to go (at 300 stitches per row). It'll get done in plenty of time for the little guy's February 7th birthday so I decided I needed a break, since that's all I've done this week is knit, knit, knit.

Oh, and, wear a helmet. You never know what might fall from the sky next.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Weight loss




I'm going to start each post with this little ticker. While the numbers are run together on the left side, I figure that as the little scale begins to slide to the right, those jumbled numbers will straighten themselves out. BUT, the good news is that I've lost 2 lbs. already this week -- most likely water weight.

The thing is, throughout most of my early life, I was UNDERweight.

I was a tomboy, playing every sport there was with the boys in the neighborhood, and riding my bike, and climbing trees and doing all that stuff. Throughout high school, I played every intramural sport there was, and joined the synchronized swimming team.

When I went to join the Army, there was a minimum weight requirement for my height, which was 103 lbs. I weighed only 93 lbs. The minimum was waiverable down to 98 but I still fell short. The doctor conducting the physical, most likely thinking that basic training puts weight on people, just put on the sheet that I weighed 98 lbs. (As an aside, I shudder to think of what direction my life would have taken had he not done that and I was unable to join the Army and leave that town...but that's another story.) I should mention that I took up smoking when I was 17, and that probably didn't help my weight at all.

In basic training after my true weight was discovered, my drill sergeant used to accompany me through the chow line, and load my tray with foods, and I ate every bit of them, but failed to gain any weight at all. Since she was a fairly heavy woman, I think that pissed her off that I could eat so much, and be unaffected by it.

After I completed basic training and advanced individual training, I was sent to Okinawa, Japan where I played softball "semi-professionally" for two years, until I married and became pregnant. At that point, I wore a size 3 petite. It was in this pregnant state when I broke 100 lbs. for the first time in my life. Following that pregnancy, I fell back down below 100 lbs. within a month or so and, three years later when I became pregnant again, I weighed about 98 lbs. I never saw that size 3 petite again following that second pregnancy. I was only down to a size 5 petite.

Through those years, following the births of my first two children, I continued to play softball recreationally, and as we all know, being a mother is a good physical workout anyway. I continued to smoke, which probably kept a lot of the weight off as well. My physical activity and the smoking kept my metabolism revved up quite well.

Just before I became pregnant for the third (and last) time, I was down to 88 lbs. However, during that pregnancy I gained 67.5 lbs. Since the birth of my son, I have never seen a weight below 130 lbs. Now, the thing is, 130 lbs. was about 5 lbs. heavier than I wanted to be, but that's all. I LIKED being heavier. I had curves. I had BOOBS.

For the next 15 years, my weight stayed between 130-135 lbs.

In September of 1998, I quit smoking. For good. On the day I quit, I weighed 138 lbs.

When Lisa moved in around October of 2000, I weighed 147½ lbs.

By Easter of 2004, I weighed 67½ lbs. and went on a diet and exercise program, anticipating my daughter's wedding in late August and determined not to let my ex-husband see how fat I'd gotten. By July, I had lost only 14 lbs. but was able to fit nicely into the dress I'd bought for the wedding. It was the same dress I wore for my OWN wedding in Canada that month. I was working out compulsively, riding my bike 10+ miles per day, spending 20 minutes or more on the strider, working my ass off, and had only 14 lbs. to show for it. Sure, it was just a bit above 1 lb. per week (which they say is the safest rate to lose), but I was really discouraged by how little I'd lost compared to how much I was working out.

But, during that vacation, I let myself get derailed and by the end of 2004, I was back up to 167½. It's funny, because that seemed to be the mark that didn't move for my maximum weight. 167½ -- never 168 or more.

My weight stayed steady throughout 2005 and the early parts of 2006. However, I stopped having periods after July and, between July and November, gained 13 more pounds. The GYN put me on Madroxyprogesterone for 10 days. The idea is to force a period -- and, after those 10 das, I had a period. I'm supposed to take it again if I go three months without a period again -- I'm already two months without.

I believe that the menopause is playing a huge role in the RECENT weight gain, but cannot be blamed for all of it. A large part of the weight gain comes from the smoking cessation and, while I'm healthier for not smoking, I have to stop excusing my weight and do something about it.

What's my plan?

Well, I'm not going to go into some drastic lifestyle change suddenly. It took years for this weight to put on, so I have to accept that it could take a long time (a year or two) for it to leave. That said, I started the new year by cleaning out and bagging up all of the leftover holiday goodies and sending them into work with Lisa. When I went grocery shopping yesterday, I tried to be realistic when it came to the cost of buying GOOD foods. Unfortunately, I don't think Americans are fat JUST because we're lazy. A large part of it is that the foods that are good for us are expensive, and it's cheaper to eat crap that cause us to gain weight.

I stocked up on frozen vegetables, bought some apples, bananas and clementines. I bought wheat bread and spinach pasta. We always buy very lean meat, so that isn't much of a change. I switched over to 1-a-day weight smart vitamins, so that I can continue to have good vitamins and minerals and not be deprived of anything while I try to lose weight.

I don't do well with regimented diets. I think that regimentation is a good way to set myself up for failure. That said, I like to try to ease into weight loss programs slowly.

Since the first, I've only increased my water intake and exercised better portion control. I've lost two pounds doing just that. Imagine what I can do if I actually get up and move my fat ass around!

We're having such a mild winter so far, I've decided to dust off my bike and get out on it. It's 52 degrees out right now and sunny. We're expecting rain later on, but heck, I can ride in the rain -- or at least it won't hurt me to ride in the rain. I've got a nice warm band to put around my ears (which are VERY sensitive to cold air), a good skip-proof CD player, some excellent CDs I've made for riding, so what the heck!

I have three bikes now, and I plan to take one into work and keep it in my office so I can ride the perimeter road around campus during the lunch hour (or just before it, so the traffic isn't as bad).

I plan to walk to the other side of campus to go to the bathroom. Take circular routes to go check my mail. I already park a long way away from my building -- that's so people won't ding up my vehicle with their doors.

I can do this -- I just need to stay focused.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pat Robertson is an Idiot (and other random thoughts)

Pat Robertson seems intent on spreading fear and panic throughout the nation, with his latest proclamation that God told him of a "mass killing" in 2007. He's stupid and irresponsible. In the first place, I'm pretty sure that the voices he hears aren't God's. I'm also pretty sure that, if he took some good psychotropic meds, the voices would stop and the entire nation would be that much the better for it.

I mean, how can anyone lend any credibility to a supposed evangelist who says "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." And folks wonder why Christianity is constantly "under attack." Calling for the assassination of Chavez, If this is Christianity, I don't want any part of it. Fortunately, though, many Christians don't think in the same way that the likes of Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart and Jerry Falwell do. However, one has to wonder if it's a weak mind that follows these idiots with such fervor, lending their financial support to such "worthy" causes as gold mines in Liberia, or race horses.

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Newly sworn in governor, Elliot Spitzer unveiled his administration's plans to "Renew New York," including plans to:



  • Implement a property tax reduction targeting the middle class.
  • Designate an upstate chair of the Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC) and upstate headquarters in Buffalo.
  • Expand state aid to distressed upstate cities and towns.
  • Reform mandates like Wicks Law and workers compensation laws.
  • Launch a universal broadband initiative to provide all of upstate with affordable, high-speed Internet service.
  • Develop new infrastructure projects, such as the Peace Bridge expansion in Buffalo.
  • Fix the state's brownfields program, which helps redevelop former industrial sites.
  • Provide new state assistance to small businesses.
  • Implement a plan that promotes outdoor activities and tourism.
  • Convene an emergency preparedness summit of state and local officials.
  • Expand aid to upstate schools.

This is a large part of why he was elected -- he looked beyond New York City and recognized that there was a whole 'nother part of the state that desperately needed attention.

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I am currently searching the web for the BEST repacement for Blogger. I want the versatility to customize the way my blog looks, as well as the ability to use HTML coding, easy formatting features, picture and video inclusion, commenting, and other user friendly (and viewer friendly) features. I am sick to death of having to log in each and every time I change a page on blogger. I'm open to any suggestions. While I have very few regrets in my life, switching over to the beta version of Blogger is a big regret. 'Nuff said.

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My condolences to one of my staff members, Eileen, for the loss of her sister. While it was expected, I'm sure that doesn't lessen the loss. Best to you, Eileen.

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Here's a picture of my new grandson, Ethan Michael, age 4 months.


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Thank you to those who asked about my little granddaughter and how she has healed since her accident. I'm happy to say that she's healed up very nicely and you can't tell by looking at her that she'd even had the accident. To borrow a line from Fried Green Tomatoes, "...there's a separate God for children."

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I am on the final run of that darned blanket I've been making for my grandson's birthday in February. With any kind of luck, it'll be done by next week around this time and I'll have a couple of weeks to literally tie up the loose ends, do some finishing work, and get it shipped out to him in time for his February 7th birthday, when he'll be four already.

Joe bought me a "how to" video on crocheting, and I believe that this skill will help finish off some knitted projects very nicely, once I figure out how to hold the frickin' yarn and let things flow smoothly.

Lisa asked me last night what I was going to make next, and I barked "I'm not doing any f***ing knitting for at least three months after this!" She nodded her head and said "Mmm hmm, sure Pat." She's probably right!

Idgie has been completely spoiled having me home for the past two weeks. She sits on my lap, or at my side while I knit, and sleeps her days away. When I'm not paying any attention to her, she walks around the house meowing. All I have to do is say "Here I am, baby!" and she comes running. Gonna be hard for her to adjust to me going back to work. Heck, it's going to be hard for ME to adjust to me going back to work!

But, the Mega Millions lottery is up to $100+ million - I think I'll buy a ticket and wish fervently.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Holiday recap

Well, things have finally settled down enough for me to take a breather, before I go back to work, and assess the holidays.

From the NEVER A DULL MOMENT file:

December 22 (Friday) at 1:30 a.m. our phone rings. Now, as we all know, a phone ringing in the middle of the night is NEVER a good thing. Not only that, but one tends to awaken disoriented and unsure of what has roused them -- Lisa and I stared stupidly at each other in the dark, both wondering why the alarm sounded so funny, and why it was going off in the middle of the night.

Because the cordless phone in our bedroom is a piece of shit (to put it mildly) we cannot answer the phone in our room and, in the darkness, I was unable to see the button on the answering machine that would allow me to pick up on the speaker phone. The phone fell silent and almost instantaneously, my cell phone began to chirp out in the living room. Running naked through the living room, I snatched up the phone and ran back to the bedroom -- without my glasses on, I was unable to see who was calling.

It was my Aunt Wanda, sobbing and near hysterics. Her daughter, Robin, whom she was expecting in at the airport later that day, was apparently already AT the airport, and had been waiting to be picked up since 7:00 p.m. Robin is mildly mentally challenged and lives in a group home out in Connecticut and, each Christmas, her sisters pay for her to fly to spend Christmas with her mother and father. While Lisa spoke with my Aunt Wanda, I answered the phone that began to ring insistently again. It was my cousin, Peggy, calling to give me the information on how Robin could be picked up. They had paid for an escort, but the escort just dropped Robin off at baggage claim, and left.

You see, I live only a mile from the airport, and my aunt and uncle live 65 miles away from it. It only made sense for me to go to the airport to fetch Robin. And so, at 2:00 a.m., I was backing out of the driveway to go to the airport to get Robin. I told my aunt and uncle to just stay put and come collect Robin later in the morning, as I would just bring her to my house, feed her something (she'd had no dinner) and put her to bed here.

We got back home at 2:20 and, as we came into the house, the smell of eggs greeted us. Lisa had gotten up, gotten the bed in the spare bedroom made, and was fixing eggs and toast for Robin. After she finished eating, we got Robin settled into bed and I was back in bed, exhausted, by 3:00.

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I was at work by 7:30, anxiously watching the clock, waiting for noon so I could go home. Our new hutch was being delivered. We weren't expecting it until mid-January so getting it just before Christmas was a hugely welcome surprise. And, it was all that we had hoped it would be. We unpacked Lisa's grandmother's china and put it in one side, mine in the other, added our Willow Tree Collection figurines, some Christmas decoration, and there it was -- magnificent!

Saturday we moved the couch and recliner from the upstairs living room down into the family room, in order to make room for the dining tables that would accommodate our ten family members that would be present for dinner Christmas Day.

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Michelle and the girls arrived in the early evening and we set to work decorating stockings and frosting cookies. The kids used M&Ms, sprinkles, mini-peanut butter cups, candy canes, and chocolate bells. We got the two little ones into bed around 10:00 and let Vanessa help with the Santa stuff before we all fell exhausted into bed around midnight.

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Christmas morning broke with everyone sleeping until just about 8:00 -- major bonus there! Lisa put on some Kona coffee and the kids leisurely went through their stockings. Then, in our sweats, pajamas and bad bed hair, we opened present after present after present, listening to the squeals of pleasure from the girls, and from Lisa when she opened her laser-guided circular saw.

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Tuckered out after the excitement of Christmas morning, Joe dropped off to sleep, dreaming of Playstation games, new clothes, and bartender aids.

Since Christmas day, it's been quiet and restful. Joe and Taylor headed out to Connecticut on Tuesday and just got home last night. Lisa worked only two days last week, and spent much of her time off relaxing as well.

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New Years Eve we lit a fire in the fireplace, settled in downstairs in the family room to watch television and drink champagne and welcome in the new year. Like any typical male, Simba was crashed in the recliner, looking like the alpha male who would likely demand a beer, his slippers, and a smoke.

I started a weight loss program yesterday, looking to lose as much as 60 lbs. Wish me luck.

And here's a wish for all of you -- may your new year see much happiness, health, luck, and resolution to some of the drama that you've lived through.

Me? I'm hoping for a drastically reduced level of drama.