October 29, 2012
They exist to help where big government does not. They exist to help veterans by giving them a real and valued way to help their communities.
So if you are looking to give money. Please help them out. It's the best investment you could make. Thank you.
Team Rubicon Donation page.
June 08, 2012
I have loved listening to Car Talk for years now. I can't remember exactly when I first heard the show, but they've been a fixture on the radio every Saturday morning for 25 years.
With the advent of podcasts, Car Talk took on new life for me. Now I wasn't having to tune in at a special time, I could grab the podcast and listen during the week. Excellent!
Over the years they have brought so much fun and laughter to so many people. I'm sure there were days when they didn't feel like being funny, but the show went on. Those of us who have loved the show will always be happy these two guys decided to pick up a radio microphone and start talking.
They will continue on in reruns and the reruns will be funny, but it won't be quite the same as knowing a new show is coming out the next week. I wish them both a wonderfully happy retirement with many a relaxing day. These are two guys who can truly say they have contributed to making the world a far more fun place to be. Thank you so much for all the wonderful laughter.****
****I know they'll never see this, but it's always a good thing to add to the general good wishes headed out into the world at large
October 05, 2011
October 04, 2011
May 10, 2011
How are ya? I’ve been on a cleaning and organizing tear lately. We’ve been in this house a little over 5 years now and I suddenly decided that things need cleaning. So, I am going with the cleaning bug for a while to see how much I can get done before it departs.
The most interesting thing now clean and organized… 2 kitchen junk drawers. I found stuff dating back to 2005 when we moved in… a calendar, several notices from our trash collectors about schedules for 2005 thru 2008. Not to mention 5 rolls of Scotch tape, 2 rolls of electric tape, 3 nearly empty rolls of masking tape 1 roll packing tape (why all the tape? who knows - I think it breeds while the drawer is closed). 2 “plumber’s candles”, a large box of wood matches. A set of 5 screwdrivers, 2 pair plyers, several small octagonal things for those weird screwheads, a utility knife, a gerber all in one tool. Many many wine corks. Scissors, a wine screwpull, a bottle opener, 2 flashlights, large measuring tape, an old knife with a broken tip used to open delivery boxes. Many many many pens and pencils. Many different types of note paper, local menus from restaurants. Stamps of all sorts, return address labels with flowers, small animals and various years decorating them. Manuals from the washer, dryer, oven, the garage door openers and the programmable thermostat. And that’s just what I remember. I threw out a ton of other stuff.
I can’t believe I could get the drawers closed… heh.
In other news we still have a hole in our front yard. Apparently the health inspector isn’t all that worried about the overall health of our front yard or our septic system because he hasn’t managed to make time to come inspect the work we had done (that the government insists needs a permit - for our safety dontcha know…). Tomorrow I will be on the phone - AGAIN. I will not be happy. Friday marks 2 weeks since the digging commenced. If he doesn’t get here soon I’ll fill the damned hole myself because I’m tired of looking at it. If the rate of road work is anything to go by, I could be waiting for years before he decides to show up and do his job. Sheesh.
Oh well, here’s a pic of some flowers on a tree in Boston.
Maybe we’ll have sun tomorrow.
March 11, 2011
One way or another it’s been a hell of a week. Today’s news of the earthquake and resulting tsunami hitting Japan coming so shortly after the terrible earthquake in New Zealand… it’s almost too much to comprehend.
For Japan it’s still too soon to know how much help is needed. I’m sure there will be donation sites galore. I’ve already donated a bit to the Red Cross through their usual text message set up. As George Takai says:
RT @georgetakei: Today we are all Japanese. Give $10 to help. Text REDCROSS to 90999, or click http://ow.ly/4ctzx Pls RT!
One day I will get to Japan. It’s a country I have wanted to visit for a long time and yes, even after an earthquake, I would still like to go visit. It will be a long recovery for them, but they can do it.
February 22, 2011
So I go back in a couple of weeks and we'll see what happens when she looks underneath. I'm hoping it hasn't been cracked long (it wasn't on my last visit 6 months ago). But my teeth are notorious for not playing nice. Ah well, time enough to fret once we get to it. The good thing is they have all the latest toys and she can make my new crown right then. If there's no major problem I should be done that day.
While getting my teeth cleaned the hygienist had the news on. I was not able to find it online, but there was an actual comical story - yes in the middle of the local news not at the end! A man, somewhere around here, was arrested for using large firecrackers to blow up the piles of snow at the end of his driveway. Personally I thought it was an ingenious idea, but the police didn't think too highly of it. Heh.
If you are into somewhat more techie stuff, this is involving the group Anonymous and Wikileaks. Here is the back story to get up to speed (it's a quick read)
Lessons Learned Thanks to HBGary and Anonymous
But this is the one that fascinates...
Anonymous Speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack
Which just goes to show how very easy it is to let one thing slide... then another... until it's too late. The domino effect takes over. Had HBGary only missed one of these things, it would have been much harder to break in, maybe even impossible. But the chain had weak links all the way along.
It also shows that security companies are first and foremost "companies". They are in business. If business is too difficult to conduct on a day to day basis, humans tend to fall into habits that make the grunt work easier. This is not conducive to having a very secure system.
This is why, after all these years and with the full knowledge of what "should" be done to keep computer data safe, we still have high profile cases.
There will have to be a breakthrough in computer security methods before anything really changes. As it stands now, security is so cumbersome, time consuming, and such a PITA, I don't think it's possible to keep up with it. I hope someone really smart is out there thinking of some truly radical methods to change things. Or inventing some piece of hardware or software that will change things. Only time will tell.
I wish I was smart enough to do it.
Ah well, that's it for today. Maybe I can eek eke out more time tomorrow.
December 18, 2010
Had a meeting earlier in the week and those always tend to throw me completely off my routine. I should get out more. Ha.
I've been trying to figure out some online software that someone else set up. But without that person to explain what they did and why, it's taken me several days to unwind the process. It will now be tidied up and fixed to make it easier. I'll have to write some procedures so others can do the work without the same loss of time. *sigh*
The rest of the time has been spent looking cross-eyed at our work network stuff. Trying to figure out which thing goes to what and what networks go to which. I think I just about have a handle on it and then find something that doesn't fit. Lovely. I need some large sheets of paper and then I need to draw pictures of it to get a better idea. Just haven't had the time so far.
Bought some new boots that I really like - but they don't like me. I will be taping my feet up for quite a while until certain areas stop poking me. Most annoying.
About 5 weeks ago I stopped drinking soy milk in my Starbucks beverage. This came about when I was talking to my sister. She hadn't been feeling "right" and went to the doc. Turns out she has very low thyroid hormones floating about. They caught it very early and she'll be fine.
However, while discussing this with her, we talked about how she now needed to avoid soy products because of the thyroid hormone (or at least avoid them for about 4 hours after taking them). She told me she had given up all soy about six months ago because it was causing digestive problems for her. I went searching around and reading about soy/soy milk after that and decided it might be a good experiment to see what would happen if I gave it up.
Turns out - lots happened. My digestion has changed completely. I am now sleeping through the night most every night (I was at the point where I was waking up every 2 hours with severe hot flashes). I have almost no hot flashes any time day or night. And in general I am feeling less irritable. I'd say it's been a success.
So now I've gone from a Soy Mocha every day to regular coffee with chocolate. I can't give up the chocolate.
I think that's enough rambling for now. So here's a little bonus - rock wall picture. (click for bigger)
August 23, 2010
In the meantime, I need to take some time to work on my smugmug site. I've been very remiss about uploading pictures to it and it's a far better place to store pics than on my computer. So that has gone onto the schedule.
Like I keep saying... the excitement... it never ends!
May 08, 2010
Jerry, who moved back home when his parents reached a point where they needed help, is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He has been writing about his family for quite a while. Fun, entertaining, and sometimes sad. With the passing of his father, both of his parents are gone. They will be missed not only by those who knew them, but by those of us who got to know them through Jerry's blog.
Then on Thursday, my dear friend Richmond lost her father to cancer. It's been a long, very hard road for him and the family. He fought to the end. Richmond has been (as she says) "the shim" helping her mom. This one is tough. Send good thoughts her way, say a prayer if you pray. She is the one holding things together and she needs all the support she can get.
Life is really something.
March 16, 2010
I took my computer with me while I was on the road and it didn't help a bit. I came back and I'm still trying to dig out from under the pile of work that accumulated while I was gone. Amazing.
I'm once again behind on my blog reading. *sigh* Will hopefully catch up soon.
I love Zappos... just sayin'...
About 3/4 of the way through pilates yesterday, someone got a bright idea. Under discussion - Dr. Oz claims that a fit woman (in the age group of our class) should be able to do 35 pushups from the knee down position. Whatever. I don't watch Oprah nor do I follow Dr. Oz so I had to take their word for it.
The second step is to build muscle by lifting weights for 30 minutes a week. You can lift a dumbbell, a gallon of milk or your toddler…just start lifting! According to Dr. Oz, the average 30-year-old woman should be able to do 45 bent-leg push-ups (and five fewer every following decade of her life), and the average 30-year-old man should be able to do 35 regular pushups (and five fewer every following decade of his life).
So we did the 35 push-ups just because.
Of course this was after we had done many and varied arm sets using 10 and 5 pound weights.
When I work up the energy I'll have to see how many I can do straight out now. Last time I checked it was 12 that was last year.
That's it for now. Still have work to finish (of course) before I get ready to go out for dinner.
January 02, 2010
If you stop to think about it (which I seldom do) quite a few things happen in 10 years. Bou has a post with a recap of her life in the 2000's.
I'm not even going to attempt something similar. There are a couple things that occurred in the past 10 years that I simply do not want to revisit in writing - I don't even like to revisit them in my head.
Therefore, I'll stick with some quick highlights of good things that happened in the preceding decade. Let's see if I can sum up 10 years in a few sentences.
Daughter graduated from college, is gainfully employed, lots and lots of friends, and has a terrific place to live. One can hardly ask anything better.
Son graduated from high school, joined the Army (saw quite a bit of the world from on high in a Chinook), is now in college, has a part time job, and a lovely girlfriend.
They've done well and they are terrific people. That's a wonderful thing to be able to say.
Husband was employed, laid off, finished his Master's degree, found a new job. (we breathe a sigh of relief!)
I have been employed, took up blogging (almost 6 years ago) and later photography (this earned me the title of Stone Wall Czar).
My husband and I moved half way across the country 4 years ago which has been a fun and interesting change of pace.
I've met many a blogger - just check my sidebar. People I would never have met before the internet came along and brought them into my life. They have all made the world around me so much better. Some have become very close friends - that's a wonderful marvelous thing.
To sum it up in a single sentence... Life has been pretty great.
Let's hope the next ten years are even better.
October 03, 2009
"I'm sitting here thinking: Just Monday I'd felt like such a burden to ask people to run with me, and now I'm finding out that, for a lot of people, I'm the motivating force to help them through. It's crazy."
He inspires others. The outpouring of volunteers inspires me to think there is still quite a bit of good in this country. Go read.
September 11, 2009
Today we take an extra moment to think about them and what we lost that day. I am remembering Carol Demitz.
September 06, 2009
Why didn't I do it earlier? (I hear so many people say things like: just go ahead and do it if you want it done) Well, because this is his stuff. I have no idea how he would like it organized, what should be kept, what should be thrown out... it's his. I can walk around any mess in a garage or utility room. It fazes me not one bit. So until he was ready to work on it, it just sat - boxes piled up.
Eventually a frustration threshold is reached when something can't be found. That's when things finally get done. My frustration level with finding my own stuff is far far lower than his is with finding his stuff. Thus it takes him far longer to get around to organizing these things. It's not my problem as I am just as apt to never look for anything in the mess and go buy what I need. Heh.
Problem is, there is little out there in garage type organization. Went to the Container Store which had shelving we might use in the basement utility room. Went to Lowe's for garage cabinetry. The selection was disappointingly tiny. But we'll eventually get it done... then we'll move because that's how it always seems to go for us.
Was browsing about and found that the old Datebk6 program from the treo is definitely available and supported on the palm pre.
*** we pause here for one moment to jump up and down and cheer wildly ***
This one single application is something I miss so much from my treo I'm willing to ditch the blackberry and get a pre when it comes to Verizon just to get this app back. Nothing works as well for me as this calendar software - nothing else even comes close!
I did take some pictures yesterday, but haven't even looked at them. No time yet. But it was a rather blah walk in that I found little I wanted to photograph, so you aren't missing anything.
Okay off to read. Hope everyone is having a terrific Labor Day weekend.
August 10, 2009
I have just finished writing a bunch of checks to pay off the doctors and hospital for my recent thyroid fun and games. Amazing how much one day in the hospital will cost... the hospital does not have online bill payment. I guess that's better than having online payment that they can't do the right way.
Now before I head off to do some reading and hopefully unwinding for the evening. Here are a few headlines that caught my eye.
Chicago Gets New Area Code: 872
Ever since it became mandantory (lo these 10+ years ago) for everyone in the Chicago area to use the area code when dialing a phone number - even if it's the same as the area code you are dialing. I see no reason to make a major announcement about a new area code overlay. What's the difference? Is it a slow news day?
Credit card holders shocked to see interest rates skyrocket, limits plunge
Easy fix for this - never carry a balance. I well remember the 24 and 25% interest rates during the Carter years. (and the woman in the story looks old enough to remember those years too - apparently she didn't learn anything from it) If we can't afford to pay it at the end of the month, we can't afford to buy it. Period. Took many many years before we had "stuff" but we never paid interest on anything other than the house and 2 cars over the years.
47 Passengers Spend 'Nightmare' 9 Hours Inside Grounded Plane
Falling under the heading of what was this airline thinking... and moving on to why weren't passengers calling everyone they could think of - tweeting from their phones, calling 911, even television stations. There is no excuse after the fiasco of past years when similar things were happening. It wasn't even snowing!!!
Okay that's it for tonight - not much I know, but I want to get off the computer early. I want to kick back with a Nero Wolfe story and just relax a bit.
July 14, 2009
Sleep disorder leaves author in sync only with himself
What he found a good idea to obey is his disorder, called non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome, or hypernychthemeral. He tried to fight it as a child and young adult, but not now. He goes with it.
He says he sleeps a solid eight hours and is awake for about 17 hours — just not the same hours as everyone else. His waking changes about 20 minutes a day he adds. In other words, someone could sleep from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. during Week 1, then by Week 4 sleep from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thats it!!! Exactly! They couldn't have described how my wake/sleep cycle works any more precisely! Wow - color me astounded. It's the first I've heard of this.
Of course I haven't been as lucky as George Dawes, I've just lived with this issue on everyone else's schedule. It has always annoyed me that the world seems to run on a very set schedule of early morning up and early evening to bed.
Oddly enough one thing I keep thinking is... what if I have to ever go into a nursing home? Geeze louise, they'll kill me trying to get me up and feed me breakfast at some ridiculous hour of the morning when I have not got the least desire to be awake or eat anything. Then they'll give me drugs to cure it... even though I've always been like this, even as a child.
Unlike Dawes who is single and writes for a living, I do try to conform somewhat to the regular world and its time schedule. Especially in where I live now, there is no such thing as 24 hour stores so I have to get many things done during the day that I used to be able to put off doing until late when I felt more awake.
Experts say people who have the disorder can rarely work a normal workday or have satisfying relationships — and are often mistaken for having insomnia. Dawes is single, although, he says, "I'm a very social person." He tried shift work and worked as a guard at night before he started his own business.
Well, so far my husband has stuck with me for 30 years so it's possible I have slightly better powers of compensation than others do with this. Also my current job allows me some latitude with timing which is not available in the normal work world. I've been very lucky with these things.
But at least I feel somewhat vindicated! I don't have "insomnia" most of the time. Once I get to sleep I generally sleep for at least 6 hours straight. It's just that my timing for sleeping those hours seems to be very off from everyone else's.
After reading this entire article. I found it hilarious that USA Today (today today) decided they had to - just HAD TO - give the world tips on how to combat insomnia!!!! They didn't even read their own article. Ha! Figures.
July 03, 2009
I had thought of going to the Boston Tea Party, but that's before I was scheduled to have the thyroid nodule removed on Monday. Crowds probably aren't the best place to be right now just before having a bit of surgery. It would be my luck to pick up some passing virus that would never bother me except for the fact that I had surgery... heh.
So I wish good times to those at the second Boston Tea Party. I'll just do my usual thing and hopefully that will keep me healthy until after all the hoopla is over.
It's always something.
June 18, 2009
I'm gonna guess the answer it yes.
I was just reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about a new line of jeans created for women with an actual shape! I hope the link works - you may have to be a subscriber to see the article - I have no idea. Can't remember if WSJ is free now or not online.
One group of entrepreneurs is trying to tap into this longing for clothes that fit with a new line of jeans. Cookie Johnson, wife of basketball legend Magic Johnson, says she has struggled for years to fit what she calls her "healthy size 8" frame into ill-fitting jeans. Initially, her solution was to cover up the pinched or protruding parts with a long tunic. "You get to the point where you think it's you -- you think, I shouldn't have eaten that extra cracker," says Ms. Johnson. But then, she decided to take matters further, designing her own denim jeans for curvy women.
Bless the woman! Unfortunately they aren't cheap. *sigh* It's always something. However, I have seen these articles coming out periodically for a while now - with the down economy, it may just work in our favor and the tide may turn. In fashion, change starts at the top. I'm guessing if these do well, we'll see less expensive lines for those who can't afford high end prices. Therefore, I shall attempt to do my part to help things along.
Apparently Nordstrom's is carrying the line - CJ by Cookie Johnson. We have a Nordstrom's near enough that I might make an excursion on Sunday morning (best time to go there parking is a breeze) and check them out. I need a nice looking pair of jeans. I currently have a couple pairs of Lucky Brand - but they aren't at all dressy not to mention I always have to wear a belt with them just to make sure they stay up where they should.
It's been years since I've gotten a pair of jeans that actually fit right. Like shoes, you find something you like and then the style changes and next time you look, you're out of luck.
If I can find my size (which is a 12 by the way - has been for years and years) I will let you all know. The online store says the inseam is 34 inches - which is generally what I need. We shall see. I am hopeful - maybe foolishly so.
March 19, 2009
Besides, wood chippers make a huge amount of noise, not to mention throwing sawdust all over. (You will notice they are all wearing ear and eye protection with the guys closest to the equipment wearing breathing masks.) I don't have any protective gear, so I stayed inside to take these pictures. (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)
They are about 1/4 of the way done and the truck is getting full.
Closing things up so they can go dump the first load of chips and grab some lunch. It's fun taking pictures from the upstairs window - a bird's eye view so to speak.
While they're gone, we'll go take a closer look at how it's going.
Lots of branches gone, but lots of sawdust and wood chips on the driveway.
Lots of pine branches to grind up. And even some snow hangin' out next to the rock wall.
It's rather like walking around in a circus tent. Nice and cushy.
But they finally got it all done. And here's what it looks like today.
Only a few large branches left over that will be cut into logs for burning. Otherwise, the yard looks so much neater.
And we like neat. It's much easier to live with.
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