September 24, 2013

About a week

That's when the regular hockey season starts. Yay!  But whether you like hockey or not, this video of Patrick Kane doing some fancy stick handling is amazing.  

Of course after it went viral, his teammate Brandon Bollig had a go at it too.  Have a look and a laugh. 

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September 23, 2013

Observations while traveling

More jottings from my people watching while on the road. 


White Cotten sundress with spaghetti straps? It's only about 50 degrees outside... you look ridiculous! 

Whew screaming baby during boarding. That kid wants down NOW.  Poor mom! 

Boarding pretty smooth. Didn't have to check my bag. Always a bonus. 

Sharing a row with a flight attendant.

The video screens have been raised and lowered 4 times now all before take off. They are like yoyos or they are flapping to get us started.

Great view of Boston harbor on takeoff. First time I got a chance to check it out from the air. Cool thing to see all the buouys and islands from above. Much better than a map. 

Too bad AA doesn't do an inflight flight tracker on their wifi page like Southwest does or pilot chatter like United.  Oh well. 

All in all a fairly painless flight.  

Boarded the wrong train when leaving O'Hare (it wasn't going anywhere!).  Found a train that was leaving, good, sweltering car, bad!  Had a moment of panic thinking I hadn't taken the right train, only to realize there is only one direction for the train to go once leaving the airport... alrighty then.  Got off at next stop and waited for next train... whew a/c is nice!  

And headed back home again...

Dude on the train - all you had to do was say "excuse me" and I would have moved to allow your fat ass to sit down. Sitting on me, even partially - is bad form.  

Woman in a purple velour track suit - awesome.

Ink - 4 girls with lots of it... scanty clothes to show it off.  Ummm... okey dokey. 

Wine bar at O'Hare... damn it's way too early to get a drink, especially as I had a migraine yesterday.  *sigh*

It's not the workout studio. Really. Exercise tank and leggings for flying? Even if your shoes match the top... No. Just no. 

Aaaaaaand I get to wait an hour for the shuttle bus to get my car.  Joy. 

Lady... Either silence your stupid ringer or answer your phone. Don't just let it ring. It's irritating. 

Full bus and I get stuck behind the big overweight guy who has to recline his seat. Ugh. 

Can we get these people on board and get going? Good grief. Clueless.  

The woman next to me is making tiny scared noises every time the bus driver turns a corner.  Holy smokes!  

And made it to the car without resorting to barbed sarcasm.  I think this is a major accomplishment. 

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September 18, 2013

Travel Fun

I'm in Chicago for a couple of days for work.  So far I have managed to get one thing done I was worried would be a huge problem.  Turned out to work fine (a server issue).  Enormous relief!  Second, even more worrisome server gets dealt with tomorrow... Ugh.

Got back to the hotel in time for a storm to break.  Decided to stay in for dinner and not play hide and seek with the rain and lightning.  Met a delightful woman from New Zealand at the hotel bar. She is in Chicago sight seeing for a few days.  A most excellent way to round out a day of travel and tech. 

I may even have a new travel observations post when I get back.  We shall see.  I did manage to note a few things on the way here.  Stay tuned. 

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September 12, 2013

On a lighter note

Saw this posted on G+ today.  It's been quite a while since I heard it but it still makes me laugh. 


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September 04, 2013

A little news you can use

It looks like expedited boarding is back via the TSA. Just give them your finger prints and you can leave your shoes on. But only if you are a frequent flyer.

I must say, I'm glad I only have to fly a few times a year.

Even if you don't care to read about astronomy and various studies of galaxies, the link still has a pretty picture of a nebulae.

Mark your calendar! September 10th is the date for the announcement of the newest iPhone among other goodies.

In an effort to grab some media attention, Samsung has a new gadget.

Hmmm... not really grabbing me, gotta say.

Wonder if this is any good. I will wait for word from the encryption community. It would be interesting to know if anyone is listening in... then again it would also be good to know who is listening instead of guessing.

Last of all, let's have a glass of wine. So far one glass isn't forbidden.

You are now informed.  Have a lovely evening. 

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August 29, 2013

Hello - ello - ello

A bit echoey in here isn't it.  Wonder if there is anyone hanging around?  It has been a heck of a few weeks.  I feel like popping in to dash off a short post and never quite make it. 

Work has been work.  Had a power supply fail the other day and it took quite a while to get everything back up and running.  Most annoying. 

The real fun has been in our quest to update the furnace and air conditioner.  The house is 20 years old this year and the units are builder models.  They have about run their course of life. Especially the furnace.  Oil burning furnaces don't last nearly as long as natural gas.  So it was time to start the process of installing the new before the weather gets down into the single digits and the furnace just stops.  

We're going to put in a heat pump for those "tween" times of the year when it's above 40 degrees, but the house needs some heat.  It always makes us crazy turning on the furnace when it's still "light jacket weather" outside. But I refuse - utterly refuse - to spend all day in a house like an icebox.  The heat pump will work beautifully to warm the house to a temp I can live with and it's way less expensive than oil.  

Naturally it can't be that easy.  You really didn't think it was a simple matter of picking units and having them installed now did you?  Really?  

This is me we're talking about. Nothing is EVER simple. 

When they finished the basement in this house, they put in 2 rooms, one we use as the tv room and the second was a bedroom including walk in closet and 3/4 bath and door to the outside, I use it as my office.  In between these 2 rooms is the unfinished bit used to house the furnace and hot water heater. 

The door to the unfinished bit is in the tv room so everything has to be dragged through two rooms to get it in and out.  Lovely... but that's not even the worst.  

When finishing the closet and bathroom, they closed off access to the point where the utilities enter the house through the outside wall. They ran the line for the freon from the outside a/c unit over the ceilings of the closet and bath.  With the new units having much higher pressure, the old line must be changed out.  Soooo... they wanted to drill yet another hole in the side of our house, under the porch to run the new line.  

Ummmm... no.  Just no.  We don't need any extra holes in the side of the house.  

We called a local contractor.  He brought his guys in and they pulled down the center parts of the ceilings of each room.  Now the new lines can be run.  Then the contractor will come back and patch the ceilings.  

The contractor is also going to run some conduit.  The cable, phone and electric all come into the house at that same point.  If any new lines need to be brought in (such as fiber optic) it will be an easy matter and no one has to tear down anything or poke any new holes in the house.  

If you're keeping score, we've got... all the closet items sitting in the back of the tv room.  Holes in the ceilings of the closet and bathroom, sticky plastic all over the floor to keep things fairly neat. And we still haven't finalized the heating - a/c units we will be putting in. 

Here's hoping we can figure out which units to install that will work best for us and get them in before the first snowfall.  We shall see. 

BTW - it was a good thing I cleaned out that closet a couple weeks ago. Made it so much easier to drag all the stuff out. At least that part went right. 

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August 19, 2013

A sure fire method of frying the brain cells

I'm still cleaning closets.  I have completed 5 and emptied a 6th. At this point my concentration is completely shot.  

It's not that cleaning a closet is particularly hard physical work... well, except for dragging out some of those book boxes.  It's all the decisions. 

The first decision is the only easy one.  Is it trash?  Okay then throw it out.  I'm running across plenty of trash which means I'm able to pare things down by maybe a 1/4.  I like that decision.  

Once I have decided it's not trash... this is where it gets difficult.  Am I going to keep it or will it go to charity?  If charity, which charity?  If I keep it where will it live now? Are there other "like" objects in other closets? Is there space for this one or do I need to move the entire lot to a bigger place?  In this closet?  A different closet?  In the box it has been in? In a different box? Do I need to buy a box or boxes? If so what size and how many?

I have been following Andrew Mellen's advice of "one home for everything and like with like" so this requires quite a bit of thought.  It's tiring.  (BTW I highly recommend his audio book - very very entertaining)

The interesting thing is how much stuff is scattered throughout the house.  It's not exactly messy.  Most people think I'm rather too severely tidy.  But take something like lightbulbs.  We had lightbulbs in numerous places. Packages and individual bulbs randomly set down on shelves in plain sight or hidden behind stacks of other items.  We often bought more bulbs because we didn't know we already owned a package of a particular type.  Now I have one entire closet shelf with 4 bins of lightbulbs in various shapes, sizes, and wattages.  Need light?  Look there. 

The same applies to things like extension cords, travel toiletries, camera equipment, etc. 

Things are coming together... slowly.  Once I finish all the closets I will have to move on to drawers.  I rather dread that.  Even more small objects stuck in drawers and more decisions.  Maybe by then I will be an expert or this last large closet may just do me in.  

If you don't hear from me again, I'm probably collapsed over one of the boxes of books and papers, mind blown.  I foresee sorting those is going to be one hell of a job. 

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August 09, 2013

An Absolute Certainty

A reminder:

If you have boxes in your house that have not been opened in 7+ years.  You do not need whatever is in them.  Unless they are sentimental items, they need to go away.  

Yes, I'm cleaning out a closet, why do you ask?

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July 30, 2013

The Great Closet Clean Out

We've been in our house (in Massachusetts) for about 7 years now... wow, that is so hard to believe! Time flies when you're having fun.

After all this time, I have decided I need to do a thorough run through of all the closets (and out of sight places) in the house. Cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff I never use. When we moved, I got rid of lots of stuff, but still moved things I shouldn't have. Then I stuck it in closets and totally disregarded it. This is normal for most people. Out of sight, out of mind... I'll get to it later. 

Apparently later is here. Must be something like the seven year itch.

So far I have managed to get through 4 closets and still have... 4 more to go (I think). Plus 2 unfinished areas in the basement. I'm not rushing. There is no deadline.

It's been wonderful fun!

While I rather loathe the actual process of cleaning my house on a weekly basis (this is why I hire some excellent ladies to do it for me) I really love hauling everything out of a closet or some other space, weeding through it, organizing it, getting rid of the junk that doesn't belong, wiping down the shelves, and putting the rest back. I even like hunting down bins to use or special shelves to make things work better. Looking at the finished closet all neat and tidy makes me happy. All I need to do is give myself a kickstart when it's my own house I'm working on.  

I'm very lucky in that I'm not really attached to "stuff". It doesn't bother me to get rid of things I don't need, even if someone gave it to me or I was dumb enough to buy it at some point in time. I value items for what they can do for me, if that is nothing, then they are gone. If something else I have works better, the old one is gone. Also, I don't buy things because they are "on sale". If something I really need happens to be on sale, this is good.  But buying something I don't need, just because it's got a sale tag on it, it's an action that has always baffled me.

Of course I have some items that I keep and will not get rid of no matter what (for example stuff from my kids when they were small, things my husband has given me). But I am not attached to things like my car, my phone, my computer, even the house we live in. I like having all those things, but they are in my life to serve a purpose and it's even better if they do it in an aesthetically pleasing way. If one of them breaks, or I have to sell it, I do that and move on to the next one. My hope is, the next one is even better.

The problem is, if I have closet space, I do tend to put things away and then forget about them (oh my lamentable memory!)... then never see them again until I empty the closet. This rather defeats the purpose of buying things. Or I replace something, like a set of sheets that are wearing out, and keep the old, threadbare ones "just in case". Again resulting in full closets. It's more like attrition than intentional collecting of stuff.

So, my closets are full of stuff that needs to go. Most of it has been only trash-worthy. Some will be sent to the local Good Will.  And I will once again have some closet shelf space! As of now I have at least 50% more space in each of the closets I have worked on! Amazing.

I wish I thought I could start a business doing this for other people. I know others do this. But I don't think I know enough people, much less how to go about it. It would be a perfect career for me, I feel I am missing out here. Ha.

Oh well, here's to clean and organized closets! Not to mention drawers and cabinets and other such places. It appears I am easy to please.

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July 28, 2013

Look!!! It's a Post!!!

I would like to say I've been doing something important lately, but the fact is, I've been a bit bogged down in some work stuff and haven't had the energy to write a post.

Then I saw this article...

Night owls more likely to have Dark Triad of personality traits

Who knew I had personality traits in common with Stalin and Hitler and even Obama. 

Anyhow,  I thought I should warn you, my faithful readers...  "Take over the world" has just gone onto my to-do list.  Plan accordingly. 

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