January 30, 2011

This Shoveled Porch Brought to You by Pilates

Yesterday while my husband spent nearly 4 hours outside shoveling the roof (yes, one must shovel roofs here to stop ice dams from ruining the house). I was sitting around waiting to see if my boss would call since he was at the office working on servers. While I waited, I got really geeky and started noodling around with Multimarkdown. I promised myself I was not going to do this. Really I did. But I listened to my latest Screen Casts Online and damn if it didn’t turn out to be too fun once I started looking at it. ACK!

Today I am writing this post in Notational Velocity (alt) and I love it. I was able to set up some fantastic Textexpander clips that make linking everything so much faster it’s incredible. And I have a terrific preview screen. (not that previews help me much - I still suck as a proof reader) but I’ll get a better view of how the post will look which I like. If you have a Mac and you blog, you may want to look into the stuff above and have some fun. Sadly I don’t think Multimarkdown works on Windows. Which is a shame. (Guess I should add that no I don't get paid by any of those people above. Just me having fun with geeky toys - ha)

****

Today, I shoveled the back porch. I think there were several hundred pounds of snow. It was about 3 feet deep with a layer of ice on the bottom, snow, a layer of ice in the middle and then snow on top. The drawback is, there is no open side on the porch, it’s completely surrounded by rails - you enter from the house. To get rid of the snow, you pick up a shovel and lift it over the side.

Tedious.

But it’s clean and I’m not sore - which I attribute to all the work we do in Pilates class. Those 25 minute ab series that leave me nearly collapsed and unmoving. All those weight reps, all the oblique and lat work… they paid off.

alt text

Whew.


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January 28, 2011

Soon We'll Need to Tag Ourselves With Those Orange Road Flags

You may remember my last post of pictures a couple of weeks ago after our first big snow. Have a look back and marvel at how paltry it appears now.***

Since then we've gotten 2 more snows of about 6-8 inches, a bit of sleet to shine everything up and then 10 more inches night before last. We're running out of places to put the stuff.

This would be the little bistro table and chairs on the back porch.



Getting the sidewalk cleared to the front door is now a major project. The top of the snow on the right is at my shoulder height.  On the left there are large bushes that we hope will survive the weight of the snow.



We would move this pile of snow...



But there isn't really anywhere to put it. This is the back patio where we generally throw it to get it off the deck.  Yes, somewhere under the large mound  is the gas grill... I'm sure the mice are quite cozy under the grill cover with all the snow on top. 



Mother Nature has not been behaving herself very well of late. 

*** note to self - never move to Buffalo, NY where this amount of snow is a mere trifle.

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 11:27 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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January 27, 2011

Still Watching...

Days later...



It hasn't moved yet, but every once in a while it makes funny noises.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 10:18 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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January 26, 2011

A Bit More This and That

Here's another hodge-podge of nothingness. I've been working and I've just been too blank at the end of the day to figure out what to post.

Here are a few snippets that have been floating around my head.

I never blogged it, but for various reasons I stopped drinking soy milk about 6 weeks before Christmas. It put a serious dent in my Starbucks coffee drinking... now I get coffee with chocolate... not quite creamy but there is no soy. The results of this one change... I have lost 10 pounds, I have no more hot flashes, sleeping all night (once I get to sleep - but that has always been the case). I venture to say it has been successful and that soy (for whatever reason) does not agree with me at all. Sad.

***

I went all geeky (I know... so hard to believe isn't it) and set up an Evernote account. So far I like it very much. It saves all those links and notes I would ordinarily lose in the general clutter of the day. You know... bookmarking stuff and forgetting where the bookmark is, saving a file somewhere...

ah  computers.

I can access Evernote through my Mac, ipod touch, and Windows computers. Notes can be stored locally or on their servers.  I can email notes to it (either from my devices or even my phone). I can tweet regular or direct messages to it if I want. There is a free version and a paid version, but you can jump between the 2 types and not lose data. Overall I love it as a terrific repository of things I want to remember. Highly recommended.

***

More snow tonight. We're in the 10 inch band on the weather forecast.

Lovely.

***

Last of all - here's a pic of my daughter's cat. She sent it to me with this caption:

We've been trying to understand this new object for quite some time now...



(yes you may click to make larger)

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 11:56 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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January 23, 2011

I Was Just Waiting For The Gov To Tell Me What To Do

What is it with news people?  I realize the top pols in every state are called on to make pronouncements by our vaunted news media who need to fill 24 hours of coverage even if there is nothing to say. 

The thing is, I don't get it.  Tell me... were any of you people up north just waiting to be told it's cold outside?  Or had you grasped the bleeding obvious and figured it out for yourselves?

Patrick Urges People to "exercise extreme caution" in cold

Yeah, because I was trying to decide if I should put on my swimsuit and head to the beach... Then the Governor got on the news and told me it was dangerous and I changed my mind.

Right. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 07:09 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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January 22, 2011

Humidity

It used to be that having web access was a most excellent thing, but was not really a necessity in terms of  "I must have this or I can not conduct my day-to-day life comfortably”. 

As of today, I am persuaded this is no longer the case. 

It seems now that one can not - really can NOT - live life and acquire decent appliances of any kind,  without being able to access the internet. 

What brought about this sudden enlightenment you may ask???

The quest to buy a new humidifier for our bedroom. 

Just a little thing. One of those items that makes winter up north more comfortable. 

As the temps drop, the air in the house dries out to the point of severe discomfort.  Waking up in the morning with every membrane so dry you feel as if it all will tear if you move it even a millimeter... dashing to the bathroom for water.  Receiving that lovely blue shock of static electricity when touching anything metal… what a delightful way to spend the cold months.

Because of these things, the small room humidifier seems to be a brilliant investment of one’s hard earned cash.

We did have a whole house unit when we moved in, but it decided to go bonkers one day and ran itself into a smoking mess.  We looked at it, my husband disconnected it, and  we decided it was too much effort to buy a new one. (The research on units, the price comparisons, the estimates, the calling of references, the scheduling of workers… way too much time and effort)  Thus we arrive at a point every winter where we haul out the old single room humidifier, fill it up, and turn it on. 

However, the poor old thing is on its last legs.  The fan is making ominous noises speaking of imminent demise.  It still wheezes out the fine mist of watery life, but it won’t last much longer. 

No problem… I’ll just head to Target and buy a new one.  Online at Target they have several PAGES of humidifiers from Hello Kitty to the stolid blocks of plastic.  All of them ready and able to send out that lovely mist. 

However, online is not the same as in the store.  In the store there is a paucity of choice - to put it mildly. There is one model - ONE - and it’s… On Sale!!! Buy it now!!!  For $25 you too can buy a bottom of the line piece of junk that will last a week before it spews water all over the floor instead of into the air. 

Okay, Target is a bust.  On to Sears.  Surely they will have a few models in the store.

Ah the optimism it is quickly extinguished.  They have the exact same bottom of the line model Target is carrying. No choices, just one model.  Guaranteed to be the one you should never buy no matter how cheap it might be.

So it’s back home and online.  Wonderful online where I can find the model I want and have it delivered in a week.  Marvelous online where there are no other customers blocking the aisles as I try to look for what I want.  No customers trying to run me over with carts.  Just my computer and me looking for a good product to buy and a good place to buy it.

All the old one has to do is hold out for about a week and all will be well.

No, you can’t live well any more without internet access.  You can live… but it would be a life of one irritatingly bad purchase after another.  Not my idea of a good way to spend my time or money.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 07:45 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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More Snow

Another 5-6 inches of the white stuff today.  More blowing and more shoveling.  Now the temps will be dropping over the weekend. Oh yay.

My hands hurt. 

I am officially dis-inviting Mother Nature to any and all events for the rest of the winter.

***

Oddly, sidebar comments are messed up. Not sure why. Pixy fixed it and it was fine for half a day, now it's back to picking random past comment times.  Oh well. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 12:18 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 19, 2011

Maybe I Can Move Tomorrow

As I was returning from Starbucks this morning I noticed the temperature was... warm.  Almost 40 degrees! Wow.

We had about 6-8 inches of snow yesterday and after I finished with the snowblower, it started to sleet.  Well, at least I got the driveway cleared so my husband could get the car up to the house. But this morning we were greeted with a nice glaze on our driveway.

My husband put down the usual sand early on in the day so he could get down the hill without sliding into the street.  By the time I left to go get my coffee things were softening up pretty nicely.

Unlike the Chicago area where the weather pattern was...
- slight warming trend as the storm rolls in
- snow of about 1-3 inches (just enough to really screw up traffic)
- Immediate descent of bitter bitter cold until the next snow storm moves in
 
Up here in New England the pattern goes more like this
- cold but not too awful
- big huge snow and maybe some sleet
- warming trend
- drop in temps into just the top of the bitter cold scale (around zero but usually just above)

So I knew I only had today to try and clear the driveway. 

When you use a snowblower, there is a leftover bit of snow in places of up to a quarter inch. If this is coated with ice, gets mushy, then refreezes, it becomes positively nasty to try and drive on, walk on, or even plow later if it snows again.

Thus I got out the shovel size chisel and the big snow shovel and got to work.  It took about 3 hours, but the ice has been scraped off and the driveway now has a chance to dry off.  We're all ready for the big predicted temperature drop and the snow on Friday. 

As for me - I'm sore.  After the marathon session with the ice, I did an hour of pilates this afternoon.  Now I have to go stretch out and do some "melting"   so I can move tomorrow. I do wish Sue had released her vids on melting for athletes. The back and neck stuff is terrific, but I'm still waiting on the arm and leg stuff. She says it's coming in April.  

Wow what a day!

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 10:49 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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January 17, 2011

Squashing the Evil Mouse

I was emailing Harvey the other day after he commented on my home page post.  Naturally it had nothing at all to do with home pages because his comment sent my brain off on a tangent.  Well… it doesn’t take much to send my brain off on a tangent… oh look! shiny!… but I digress.

I don’t know about you, but I consider the computer mouse to be one of the more hateful creatures inflicted upon civilization. These vermin appear to have been created solely for the purpose of making our hands and arms hurt. Whenever possible I try to avoid using the evil little rodent.  Thus I was giving Harvey a few of my keyboard shortcut tips.  He told me I had to blog it and here we are. 

After much pondering, typing, and deleting I hope I have come up with a post that can give you some small ways to cut back on mouse usage.  We shall see.  You may know none, some, all, or many more than I have here. This is aimed primarily at people who use the evil little mouse and never thought too much about using the keyboard.  The fewer times you have to take your fingers off the keyboard, the faster your typing goes.  You see, not only is the mouse evil, it’s a time waster.  My advice - take them one at a time.  Start using the first one and add another when the first has become a habit.  It’s easier that way.

I use both Windows and Mac.  And yes, I do tend to mix up the keystrokes at times, usually it’s not too much of an issue although it can be annoying. 

The keyboard shortcuts between the two systems are close, but not exactly the same. If you use IE as your browser, you’re going to have one less option than the other browsers out there - sorry, but IE does funky stuff and does not lend itself to one of my favorite keyboard work arounds - the url copy/paste.  I prefer Firefox or Safari for my browsing.  Now let us commence.  The rest will continue below the fold so you can skip it if you have zero interest. 


more...

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 02:08 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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Love It

Jim Cornelison from the Chicago Blackhawks and the Bears fans and a superb rendition of the National Anthem with a perfectly timed flyover at the end. 



Rockin' the house.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 01:13 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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