Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Almost the rest of the Meme

A while back I was tagged by Sky
to complete a popular meme that is going around the blog land. Below is almsot all the meme. I still have to hold the jobs for a future time. That will take me way back since as you can tell from my first job, I started pretty young.

4 jobs I have had
See post here for #1
#2, #3, and #4 to come at a later time.

4 Movies I would see over and over:

Bridge on the River Kwai
Casablanca or African Queen
Out of Africa
West Side Story

4 Foods that I Love:

Anything chocolate
Does wine count as a food ?—definitely Cabernet Sauvignon
Freshly caught grouper prepared any way
Saga cheese

4 Vacation Spots I have enjoyed: (Don’t hate me now, because I have been very fortunate to travel to many places and this list took painful editing.)

the Alhambra in Spain
Florence in Italy
Chiang Mai in Thailand
Bali or Toraja Land in Indonesia

4 Places I have lived:

Estes Park, Colorado
Honolulu, Hawaii
Koror, Palau
Jogjakarta, Indonesia

4 Places I would rather be right now:

Snorkeling a coral reef in Palau
Sitting on a beach almost anywhere
Visiting a museum in Italy
Walking somewhere in the wilds of Australia

4 Television Shows I Watch:

Lost
Gilmore Girls
The Daily News with Jon Stewart
Almost anything on PBS (esp. mysteries)

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Short Whine


I know that a crises can occur and something demanding comes into our lives. But it is NOT fair that you just delete your blog. At least say goodbye and leave the farewell up for 30 days so that we know you are OK and just moving on with your life. No one says you have to continue your blog, but it IS polite to say goodbye.

Another Solution?

(Image courtesy of Princess Bride.)

I may have a solution to the problem below. I still hear that 30-pound tenant that lives beneath the roof and above my apartment ceiling. It continues to rearrange furniture, chomps noisily and re-does its space in the evening hours. Maybe it is 'borrowing' the socks when I am not looking, since the winter is getting so cold and the heat for its abode is strictly ambient air coming from my space.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

This Isn't a Scientific Theory


This picture above is a suburban mystery and probably contributes to urban legends as well as bad horror film scripts. Calling all detectives.

Scene of the crime:
  • Apartment laundry room, fifth floor
Time of the crime:
  • This started a year ago when I moved into this building and has occurred randomly whenever I do laundry, but most recently 02/25/06 at 8:00 A.M.
Victim:
  • ME! (not my husband)
Suspects:
  • (My husband?)
  • The washing machine
  • Stupidity and old age
  • Tenants with a fetish
  • Other
Evidence:
  • See picture above
Theory:

  1. Husband is playing a trick on me. This theory was recently disbanded since husband is currently in Korea. Besides he does not have the personality to find this funny.

  2. Washing machine plumbing is swallowing a single sock. This theory is questionable, because why is it only MY socks? Why doesn't the plumbing eventually regurgitate its diet of cotton blend fabrics? Why doesn't the machine plumbing suck up delicate panties?

  3. I am accidentally washing only one sock and the other is still under the bed. Yeah, right, like I am this old and this stupid! I can actually get down on my knees and crawl (thanks to Xman) and have checked every nook and cranny.

  4. There is a tenant in the apartment complex with a sock fetish. This could be a valid theory, but I haven't heard anyone else complain about missing socks and I hardly think my socks have an unique style that appeals to a fetish...I mean look at the picture above!

  5. Other: I need your help here readers! Any OTHER theories?



Thursday, February 23, 2006

Busy Sunday


I forgot to mention how busy I was on Sunday afternoon. Daughter, Hubby and Son-in-Law worked on locks for the kitchen cabinets and hung a flat screen TV in the basement. I got to play "Catch me if you can!"

No One Asked, But I am Going to Tell You Anyway

There is some kind of meme going around, with one of the questions being your first four jobs. Well, no one tagged me, but I thought I would tell you about my First Job:

Colorado summers, while lasting less than three months, were really wonderful in late 1958. The air that raced across the spring snow melt of the Rocky Mountains before crossing our farm at the foothills was crisp and fresh. People would have laughed at you if you had asked about air-conditioning. What for? The ten days of hot weather each year? Most Coloradoans didn't even know what air-conditioning was, including me. Those that knew about it were too Puritanical to consider it anything but a sin. In 1958 the skies were blue and the mountains a crisply dark blue/gray (none of that crappy pollution that hangs on the front range these days). Working outdoors was great.

I had just moved to a small farm the fall before and had just finished my first year in the new Junior High School. I was skinny, flat-chested, and pretty smart. I was also an obedient daughter and knew that I had to comply when my father gave me my first summer job. I 'think' he paid me, but since I can't remember an amount, probably not. My family was not into that remuneration thing and money was scarce anyway. It was just assumed you would work in the summer around the house. After all, you were free all day,... duh!

Dad had planted a crop of wheat, ...wait, maybe it was corn, or ... (?) well I WAS only 12 so who knows what the heck he was growing. Anyway, we were under the old system of irrigation ditches. The ditches were about 2 feet deep and three feet wide. The ditch ran through the center of town and then was diverted by a canal system to whichever farmer ordered it. Our farm was just outside of town. We actually had what were called water rights that came with the land, and therefore, got a subscription of so many gallons through the summer months. (Water rights in the West are a whole book these days.) If anyone tried to steal the water, it became evident fairly soon because Colorado is very dry and you can pretty well determine where the water goes and where it is not going. My Dad's biggest problem was the "city" kids that played in the ditch in town and caused a back up and overflow into the main street when they filled the ditch with their toys and other stuff. When the water got too low, we knew we had to 'ride the ditch' and find out what was blocking the water. My Dad actually had a full-time construction job, so farming was a second career. These were the good old days.

Now to my job. That summer Dad explained that I was responsible to run the dams. Irrigation dams are exactly what they sound like. They are a rubber (or heavy canvas) sheet attached to a heavy wood bar across the top. You set up a new dam in the dry part of the ditch beyond where the water had been soaking. You place the wooden beam across the top of the ditch and the rubber sheet carefully across the bottom of the ditch using a shovel to cover every edge with soil to block the water flow. After everything is packed in place you go to the dam that is currently stopping the water and release it.

This sounds easy, but it means you get down on your knees in the muddy water and remove the packed soil and then jerking and dragging pull up the heavy dam and place it to the side further up the dry part of the ditch. Since I weighed around 60-70 pounds, this probably looked really funny to an outsider. The water then flows and fills the new part of the ditch. You wait until it reaches the edge of the dry field and then you make sure that all the little valleys in rows between the crop lines are clear and that the water is making it all the way to the end of the acreage. This can take a long time. I remember one-inch cracks in the soil that went all the way to the devil's penthouse apartment as water disappeared for what seemed forever in a noisy waterfall before finally filling and continuing on down the field. When all looked good, I got about an hour break.

I ran to the farmhouse, washed off my feet, got something cold to drink, set a timer, and plopped down in front of the TV and watched "General Hospital" or "Dark Shadows" which were THE soap operas for kids my age those days. Once the timer went off I had to go back out and do the process all over again. The water stopped flowing about dinner time and started all over again the next day. This went on for a week.

I hated it because it tied me down, but I also liked it because of the way it interacted with nature. Water making insects scurry for cover, encouraging the birds, and capturing catfish in the ditch. I also loved just being in the great outdoors away from Mom's boring house chores. I was a Tomboy and really liked doing stuff outside. My First Job.




Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Strange Food

I sometimes think I could live very well on another planet. There are many ways in which I do not understand my species. There are a number of reasons why my personality is much more stable when I am alone in the woods facing wild plants and animals. This following example is one reason I am confused these days:

Our office has a kitchen with a refrigerator, a sink and a microwave oven. Staff use the refrigerator to keep their breakfast and lunch food and the refrigerator is also used when we are planning a party for some reason or another. Fairly traditional stuff, right?

When I first came to work here I got a key to the kitchen. Yes, we keep it locked. When I asked why, I was told that food frequently disappeared, and so several years ago, they requested from the landlord that we get a lock.

Guess what? Food still disappears on a regular basis. There is no pattern. It doesn’t always happen overnight so we can’t blame the guards. It happens within the morning hours…sometimes. People will discover their lunch is gone. Sometimes just part of their lunch is missing! I have found my lunch missing a few times. Once before a staff birthday party all of the strawberries, whipped cream, and shortcake that were brought in that morning had disappeared by early afternoon.

I used to think it was that weird Hindu man that spent his work hours developing a religious web site instead of doing the job he was hired to do. Well, he was fired several years ago and the food continues to disappear!

The kitchen is used by at least 20 staff, so it would be hard to find out if it is any one of them. The kitchen is also around a corner and down the hall, so it is not easy to watch. One of my colleagues said that it was probably a kleptomania problem since all of us are paid well enough to afford food. I had never thought of this. It is creepy thinking that one of the people I work with has a psychological problem like this. Most of these people are professionals and there is a broad salary range. Bizarre.

I am tempted to buy this, but probably won’t. It would end up being a joke instead of a solution to the problem.

Counting the days, months and years until retirement.

(By the way did you see that Kimmie and Sasha? Wow. You go girls!)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Spread the Word!

I am related to someone in this band. Help me promote these guys, as I think they are pretty talented! Besides, I am trying to get one of them married, wink, wink.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

L is for loneliness


L is for loneliness surrounded by loose slots.



A is for the asses (bare) which are seen in the advertisements on the back of taxis as you navigate the strip. They are in your face and unavoidable when waiting for the light to change. (No, I didn’t take a picture!)



S is for sand which is the constant reminder that all the fountains, waterfalls and flushing toilets are taking place in the middle of the desert.



V is for the views which are breathtaking once you head out of the city.



E is for exotic architecture. Las Vegas is the Orlando for adults.



G is for gold which is the bling, the shoes, the purses and what everyone hopes to win.



A is for amazing luxury in the lobbies of most of the fancy hotels.



S is for the silly people who need to get a life.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Burden Too Large



While lovely, it is a very wet and heavy snow. Photo one of this old pine tree was taken when I got up early this morning and photo two was taken a few hours later after that well-laden branch in the foreground gave up its heavy burden by crashing to the ground. The lower branches on this same side of the tree are also missing maybe from previous burdens?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The lucky thirteen

This week at work has been crazy. I have been hosting two Korean visitors (a scientist and a web developer) as well as finding every committee I am on has a deadline. Of course, there were at least 13 lucky glitches on Friday alone! I am off to Vegas for a meeting on Monday coming back on Friday. What number do you want me to play on the roulette wheel for you? (AS IF I played roulette!)

Monday, February 06, 2006

What did the referee say and is that poop on the floor?

Being at the Superbowl in Detroit could not have been more chaotic or noisy than where I spent Sunday afternoon --- at my daughter’s house. My daughter had been on a three-day business trip and my son-in-law had been in charge of Xman during that time. His parents came down and spelled him over the weekend but had to return mid-afternoon on Sunday. We agreed to give him a baby break for the Superbowl and planned to arrive early Sunday afternoon. I could baby-sit while he and my hubby watched the game. My daughter was due to fly in around 5:30 PM and hoped to be home near the kick-off time.

Well, my son-in-law also invited one of his best friends with wife and 6-month-old baby girl. He also invited a friend from work with his wife and their 8-month-old baby boy. Are you getting the picture? No? Let me paint it a little more clearly.

The living room of this house is about 12 feet by 15 feet. It has one of those large modular furniture units that fit in a corner with a matching lounge unit against an opposite wall. The TV is one of those 4 foot high projection units taking up a large part of another corner near the fireplace. There is a cage (moveable play pen that I bought in desperation to save my grandson from untimely death by falling down stairs) that takes up about 40% of the remaining floor space in the living room.

Ok, here we go. Eight adults and three babies; two of the babies are mobile; Xman is not only mobile these days, he is fast as a snake and just as hard to grab.

Half filled beer bottles get placed randomly on the floor near the furniture and grabbed by other people as crawling infants head that way. The bottles were placed elsewhere just as randomly. I don’t think anyone knew that they hadn’t drunk out of the same bottle all evening!

What little that could be seen of the game was interspersed with son-in-law dashing back and forth from the kitchen with snacks from the oven and other food and drinks. (Frozen taquitos only hit the kitchen floor once, but that was before going in the oven, so they could still be served.) The two other young fathers spent part of their time changing diapers and part marking statistics on a paper chart to see who got ‘points’ or not. These guys had worked out a point schedule for who guessed whether the first toss would be heads or tails, who guessed when the first beer commercial would air, which team got the first foul, etc. The three young mothers were socializing amid the babble and comparing notes on feeding habits and diaper size and bowel movements (of the babies) while mixing baby food.

The noise level was pretty high and only increased when the little girl angel began shrieking like a jungle rooster and then grinning at the decibel level she had achieved. I swear she broke a beer bottle at one point.

Before we left our apartment in the early afternoon, I had asked my husband if we could possible come back to the apartment at half time instead of staying until the end. He was concerned that he needed ‘bonding’ time with his son-in-law and wanted to stay until the final score. Well, he was more than ready to head home at the half-time as was I!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Don't Confuse Mother Nature



Global warming? An aberration? Who took winter? Who is complaining? I took this photo as we sped out on errands yesterday in the rain. Yes, that tree IS blooming. Talk about confused. I hope we get a pretty spring, but at this rate, we may not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sometimes I am Too Looney for Blogs


Got this precious little guy from a friend after a dinner the other night. She knows how much we loved the sound of the loons on our many canoe camping trips in Canada years ago. If I was tech savvy I would create a .wav file or something like that so you can hear his call when you push that red button on his back! It is an actual recording and I am an idiot...I just keep pushing it and smiling.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Secret of My Success


I am so lucky and not for the reasons that one might think. Yes, I am building a nice custom house, and yes, I can afford it, if I work a few years longer than I want to before retiring. I am fortunate that I am able to build within an hour or so of where my two children live, although some might think this is not a fortunate thing. I have been able to afford a choice piece of land, although this nest egg came about by having lived overseas for years in free housing that had intermittent electricity and water and no security (another life story) and lots of isolation—one must make sacrifices.

So, why do I think I am lucky? I am about 75% through the building of this house and my husband has not killed me. That’s why. I have not been the easiest person to live with while sharing the process of building a house. Lord knows I am not an easy person to live with, anyway. Put me under time stress and financial stress and I can become a freakish witch. I get short-tempered, demanding, and loud. (Don’t I sound like someone you want to live with?)

For example, at a recent visit to the electrical showroom, I said to my husband, “You pick out the fixture for the foyer because you really are into that and I will look for the lighting over the kitchen island.” We go our separate ways in this large showroom with heat from 1,000s of watts beating down on us and alarm rising in our hearts from visualizing so many choices. In ten minutes, hubby returns with a suggestion of a copper fixture. I roll my eyes. “Copper?” I ask incredulously and not necessarily lowering my voice. “What are you thinking? We don’t have any copper at all in the house anywhere. Get something that fits with the house! You know, European, Old World or traditional.” He wanders off in another direction with the patience of Job and probably having no idea what he is looking for.

He returns with another suggestion which I completely reject since it would look nice in a ranch bunk-house but not a house-house. Finally, the third selection he points out is close enough to fly and we go over it and then select a different finish. Any other guy would have headed off for the football game long before this time and said, “You pick it! I clearly can’t find anything that you like. Besides, I don’t know anything about this stuff!”

Now multiply this scenario by the 100s and you get the idea.

I am also very lucky because my husband does not have a lot of definite opinions on color, style or d├ęcor. He stops me from going down a path of no return, yet is patient bringing me back from burnout, and still remains so easygoing. I am SO particular about STUFF. And because I am particular I can work myself into a panic trying to make sure I got the exact color or item from 1,000s of choices. I have a reasonable sense of style, but am not a decorator.

Well, enough about hubby, and no, I do not let him read my blog. and, yes, I guess I will tell him how much I appreciate him when he gets home tonight before I go into another house tirade.