Saturday, May 29, 2010

A funny statement from Bob, Jason's 70 year old coworker at dinner last night:

Bob: "Women have it so easy, they can have sex with whoever they want."

Me: "How so?"

Bob: "If I walked up to Beyonce she'd turn me down flat, but if she wanted me, I'd be like, ok!"

Um...there might be a small flaw in his theory, but it was fun to debate.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Judge Much?

In my attempt to get through this rainy Friday afternoon before what I hope is a good weather weekend I found myself on Facebook (shock). On my homepage there was a picture of a familiar person and a note to "connect" with them. I knew this person and remembered thinking that they were funny in high school, so I clicked the name to see what information I could gather to see if it would be worth re-connecting.

I have held off on connecting with people because of things they have posted on their web pages and I'm sure some have found me too liberal, too sarcastic and too opinionated. Me opinionated!? Never.

So in cruising this person's page I saw something interesting. For the record, I think that the fact that marijuana is illegal is more of a financial issue for the tobacco industry than a health issue for Americans. Should it be legal? Hell yeah! Legal and taxed! Have I indulged? I can not lie. I'm not a smoker and I don't enjoy the act of smoking so marijuana never was and never will be my thing - but I don't think it is anything but politics that keeps it illegal. I don't even have an issue with folks indulging in the privacy of their own homes. (Right this second I'm inviting an argument with my mother over the fact that the drug industry is huge and detrimental to our society -I agree it is. But call me naive for not equating the baggies of pot to coke, heroine and drugs that have to be imported. I know Mom... it's like saying chicken isn't meat just because you can buy it at the store all neatly packaged and you don't have to worry where it came from.)

So, be a supporter of the legalization of hemp. Shout it out, campaign, put up signs, wear the strangely soft but muted clothing, the odd shoes... sing it form the mountain tops, but perhaps posting pictures of yourself toking out on a HUGE hookah where all the people of the world can see might not be the best decision.

There are PRIVACY settings you can use so you can post your hooka or your hootchie for that matter in a place where only your most trusted peoples can see them. Me... I think I'll keep my pictures to the strange and silly and make every effort not to photograph myself doing an illegal act, no matter how wrong I may believe it to be.


That's the sound of me hopping off my soap box.

(I didn't reconnect with this person, btw. I remembered something not nice they said to me when I was 14, so I'll show them and not be their facebook friend!! Ahhh, revenge is finally mine.)

A commitment to me

In spite of the fact that the cotton wood trees are kicking my *ss, I made it to the gym this morning. Yeah! I like being on the ball and getting it done before I start my work day. And, since I don't have to get up at 5am to do it, I'm even more happy.

It is a sad fact that in spite of my surgery I have to watch what I eat. I have gained some weight in the last year and it is NOT OK. I'm working on cutting the in between meals to lesser snacks and more healthy choices and drinking more water. A renewed commitment to the gym will help too.

The gain isn't a horrific amount but better to get a handle on it before it is. I knew the surgery wasn't the only thing I would have to do to keep my weight under control, but having gotten to a size I can live with and feel healthy at it is easy to put the self management on the back burner. That can not be. Diligence!

This is going to sound terrible, like self loathing, but it's not. I must remember I am a fat person inside a healthy body. I am capable of eating and lazying (not really a word) my way back to 315. I have the commitment to me and my life that it will not happen and simply relying on my altered anatomy won't cut the mustard. It is an every day, every meal decision to make the healthy choice.

Again... this is not a diet. It is my way of life and I must remember that.

So much for humor today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who can it be knocking on my door?

Thank you Men Without Hats for the title of this mornings musings.

It is clear that I'm not entirely trying to hide who I am any more, I mean you can find my blog linked to my facebook profile. So, if you're a "friend" you can find me.

I have, out of respect for my people tried to limit the super personal stuff about them. One person told me that when they read about themselves it made them feel like a character rather than a real person in my life. I have to honor that. I'm not perfect and since this blog is part commentary on the silly stupid things in life and part me working through my own nonsense I cross the line from time to time. If I go too far on something that is personal for you, please let me know and I'll take it offline immediately.

I also know that I don't have a lot of "readers". There are a few people like Mom, Jody & Jas who check in just about every day but I'm sure some day they will figure out what I write is trite and unimportant. There are other folks who check in on a less frequent basis (Hi PNBDave & CLD).

I do have a "counter" on the site to see how many hits I get, but when I post or (shame) read my own posts the counter goes up and up thus making me look WAY more popular than I am. Tee Hee - plus, truth be known, I didn't start the counter clock at zero. Hey, get off me, it is the same thing as starting a new checking account and not starting your check numbers with 100. Everybody starts at 2000 or if they are smart 2448 or some other random number.

A secondary feature of this clock are some back end analytics which allow me to see from where people are hitting my site. It isn't labeled "Joe P. Surfer" instead I see the location such as city and state or city and country and the internet provider location. I can spot my mom, myself and I think a much missed former co-worker (hi Seth) based on that information. Today, my most exciting visitor is from Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia. I'm guessing it was some sort of program because the visit was short and they didn't read anything. Or, since I don't write in fluent (bwahahah) Spanish perhaps they moved on after randomly finding me.

I tell you all this because one of the most curious entries in the last few weeks has been from the private school where my mother in law works. I can tell that who ever it is, is reading the current page and then moving on. I don't have anything to hide other than the fact that I wish I wasn't dating before I met and went bonkers over whatshisface. Some of my fictionary words aren't really fitting for polite company either, but if it is my MIL I should say "Hello! If it wasn't obvious before, I'm a little bit sarcastic and wrong from time to time." If I've somehow drawn the attention of a student at this school I say to you... "Go study!"

I don't check the stats very often because, believe it or not I have a life. No really I do. Heck, today I get to go to the dentist... AGAIN. This time just for the annual cleaning. See, isn't that earth shattering information?

Have a great day and thank you for checking in.
1:52 am...not sleeping. I'm not thinking about anything deep that is keeping me awake, but here I lay. Maybe if I put down the iPhone I'll be able to go back to sleep.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Update all done. The laptop works and I get to take it home with me.


I knew you were worried.

Oh my...

I am still waiting on the software upgrade. It has been an hour and
I'm not seeing the progress that would give me comfort that it will be
done by the time I need to fly home tonight.

I have two hours left until I leave for the airport. Yikes.

Gosh, i should have waited to blog. My work laptop is undergoing a software upgrade and I'm without it for the next two hours. What will I do????

Normally, I would clean my desk but since I'm so new I am blissfully pile free here in san jose. If I was home I could clean my workspace, but the 2 hour install would take 4-5 over the remote connection. What to do?

Wednesday Whatever

I promise that in spite of the whining I’m in a good, happy mood these days. My visit with friends this weekend was frenetic and fun. Those of you who are parents deserve metals for dealing with small people who literally need help wiping their own bottoms. “I made a big poopie!” is now part of our happy home sayings.

I do think that I picked up a little “something” over the weekend because as this week rolls on I’m feeling a tad under the weather, and Jas mentioned on the phone last night that he is fighting something. Uh oh. It can’t be all in my head if he’s got it too.

On the home front, our next “big” project on the wish list is to extend our patio. We have a decent sized square of concrete, but our massive step from the back door sucks up a lot of real estate. The issue we’re running up against is that the job is so small that getting people to come and bid is a challenge and getting them to follow up with an actual bid is even worse. Of course, the dollar figure I had in my head as reasonable is about $1000 less than what the two companies that have bid so far want. It is worth doing it right and having a patio that is usable for our needs, but what a pain in the bum.

Those of you who have remodeled or heck, built your own home I applaud your ability to deal with contractors, sub-contractors and the hassle of getting people out, selecting the right product and getting it built. I have a completed, new house and just doing the heat pump and now the potential patio have made me tired.

In the last month I have spent more time than any human should on getting ‘things’ scheduled. I know our summer is booked, but I foolishly purchased an afternoon of sailing at an auction and I swear it was a 3 week ordeal to get it on the calendar and in the end the people we really wanted to go with can’t make the date we were able to find that worked with the captain. Had we been willing to skip out on work it would have been easier, but I’m not technically retired and neither are my people. We were tied to weekends. You wouldn’t think that a 4 hour tour (sing it with me) would be so hard to coordinate – but it was.

The other big scheduling craziness was the book group ladies trying to find a weekend to escape to a member’s cabin near Leavenworth. I love these women and am amazed at what they (we, I guess) have been able to accomplish in our respective lives but I know that for us finding a date to get together for an evening book group discussion can be a challenge. The idea of finding a weekend was daunting. I tried to be very flexible but wanted to yak a little bit when they were hovering seriously on a weekend that was bookended by business trips for me. When single I might have considered flying home Thursday and then leaving Friday morning for a weekend jaunt and then leaving for a 4 day trip on Monday, but yikes… I think a night or two at home with the hubby is good. Thankfully, the hostess abandonded her dream of a fall get away and emailed the gang to say “we’re opening the cabin on x date in November, hope you can make it.” This decisive invitation pleased me. It is far enough away that I can put it on the books and then plan other craziness around it. Of course, I don’t have kids to manage, but I still have a life. So There!

I’m on the 5:30 flight home tonight. I wish I could have changed to the earlier flight, but it was WAY too full and my estemed boss is on the earlier flight and since I told her I was staying all day... I should. It is a silly thing, but consistency is important.

I guess that’s it for now. Lunch is over so I should give it my all this afternoon.

When you hear from me again I’ll be happily in my own home.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sheesh... why even get out of bed?

I’m having a great couple days in San Jose.  I’m getting a lot done and while I miss my own home thus far I haven’t dipped into the whiney “I wanna go home” thing.


I grabbed a yummy lunch from the cafeteria and zipped back to my desk to check in on the world (and do blog, cuz I know you miss me.) 


Well… CNN makes the world look pretty crazy right now.  Plane crashes, clashes in Thailand, Kabul, and Haiti.  North Korea is acting up, and we’ve been advised to avoid Jamaica at all costs right now.  Stocks took a hit today.  To make matters worse, Sex and The City 2 movie only got one star – which means it stinks.


With all this news, why did I even get out of bed this morning? 


The civil unrest in countries around the world is unnerving.  It seems like world is falling apart – more so than normal.    I’d like to go back into my little cubby and stop reading the news for about a month.  To top it off the oil spill breaks my heart. 


Honestly, the oil spill in the gulf is badly named.  It’s a holocaust, which amongst its more common definition of the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, it is also known as any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.  It’s that last bit “the reckless destruction of life” that for me, earns the BP Spill the title of holocaust.


How can it be that after a month of oil spewing into the gulf that it hasn’t been stopped?  I get that it is a dangerous thing and that we have to protect the people who are trying to cap it off, but sheesh, get it done already. 


I was in a meeting today (and paying attention!) but the wall I was facing from my side of the table had a 15 foot floor to ceiling map of the world.  I was looking at the gulf and its relatively small size and then looking at the coast of Alaska and wondering what the impact of a spill on “our” side of the country would be?  I doubt that Canada would be thrilled about a catastrophic event that would impact their beautiful coast line.  I’m sure there would be some serious discussions with angry Canadians.


The idea of a second spill is not entirely out of the question.  It will happen again as long as our quest for oil takes us to places not intended to be mined. 


Normally, when the news gets me down I turn to the Internet to distract me… but lately it’s icky.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Good morning. I'm off to San Jose today. The 4:30 am wakeup call was brutal after our 4.5 hour LOST marathon last night, but the sunshine at 5:00 helps get the motor running.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 please remind me to blog about the coolest toilet ---ever!!! (too much wine tonight, but later I will ramble on an on about the coolest place to pee -- EVER!!!0

Friday, May 21, 2010

In case you're LOST... this will catch you up to this season.

New word: Oblication. When you HAVE to use your vacation time to visit distant relatives, or perform an unpleasant task (like the wedding of your third cousin Gloria Sue, or the kindergarten graduation of Gloria Sue's little angel Buster.)

All is right with the world!

The replacement cookies with the complimentary wine aerator arrived today.

The weight discrepency was that they didn't wrap it in the fancy box this go round.  Should I complain?


PS - I really wanted some nasty fatty burger for lunch today but am eating leftovers instead. They taste good, but I wanted to take credit for not buying a burger and fries!

What will they get?

The replacement Oreo cookies & Vinturi are out for delivery as I write.  I'm all giddy with excitement that my gift will finally arrive in tact and the 15+1 year newlyweds will be whole again.

I am a bit perplexed because when I compared the package size (DON'T BE DIRTY!) of this delivery to the one that arrived without the cookies, this package is half a pound lighter.   I have no idea what they will be receiving today, but I hope it is thoughtful and nice because I'm plumb out of complaining about customer service today.

I'll update you as soon as I know.  I know you're on pins and needles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"We're going to love this brand to death" H. Schultz

Oh my...I'm sure you all know that Starbucks owns the Seattle's Best Coffee brand.  It was a smart acquisition for *$ and many thought it would spell the end of a loved Seattle brand.  Well, the demise has been slow - but the plot seems pretty clear.

SBC has been disappearing from loved locations (downtown, Bellevue Square) and now has a "snappy" new logo to go with it's quieter presence in the marketplace.

Frankly, I could have come up with something better than that using my "excellent" Word Art program.  It looks a lot like a jacked up Target logo which makes me wonder will they be co-locating into Target stores?  No, they won't because Starbucks is already there.  Silly us.  Say good-bye to this historic Seattle based brand - it is officially dead.

I want to make fun of Lindsay Lohan, but can't.

Sweet little Lindsay Lohan has herself in a bit of a pickle (is pickled?)  She had a court date today regarding her probation on a 2007 drunk driving charge.  She has two more alcohol management classes to take and was due in court today, but she zipped off to the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week to "work".

The story is that she was promoting a film (that hasn't been made or financed) and her passport was stolen so she couldn't make it back.

Well, it turns out the judge in the LA court could give a flying f*ck about her troubles and issued a bench warrant for her arrest. 

Oh girlfriend, you're in the shiz now!

Lindz appears to be surrounded by people who can't seem to help her make smart decisions.  She's a money maker for her family and that seems to cloud their judgment regarding legal issues.

I feel for her because it's pretty clear to me, a total nobody, that she needs help.  And by help, I mean the kind of help Miss Brittney got - keep the bad people away, sober up and focus on the important things in life. 

Lindsay is easy to make fun of because of the stupid stuff she does, but in the end her story is sad.   She'll go to jail for a while and it won't help.  If she could get sober I bet there are many many hollywood people that would take her in, give her work and I predict she would have an amazing career.  I think the girl CAN actually act, but she has to work out her personal crap before that can happen. 

Her parents SUCK and aren't helping.  In my opinion, they should also get some time to reflect on their lack of parental guidance and how it contributes to the soon to be loss of this poor girl.

Gosh, I started out wanting to mock her for being stupid and since it's such a senseless loss of a bright young person I simply feel sick.   I hope she gets help.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

can we make it on time?

Jason and I are planning a little Las Vegas get away in the fall and are excited to try restaurants by chefs we've seen on Top Chef (a favorite show).

We are excited (and I am drooling) over the menu at CraftSteak, a Tom Colicchio venture.  It is ALL meat and I am confident it will be done well.

They take reservations so after consulting with Jason, we decided to commit because we're going over a possibly high traffic weekend and expect it to be busy.  I smartly went online and booked us a table at the romantic hour of 8:30 pm... but for TONIGHT.

I had to call and fess up that I'm a dumb ass.  The phone dude (British accent) was nice and moved everything around and didn't mock me.. but he wanted to I am sure of that.

Sorry I'm so boring

As I wander around the house I'm reminded of all the little things I want to get done and don't manage to do.

Our tablecloth & napkin collection are in a pile on the bed in the spare room.  I have plans to sort them by size. We have THREE different tables in our house, including the outside table and it seems that I'm the only one who knows where they are and which one fits which table.  I guess, in spite of my best efforts some areas of this house will be known only to women.

There are still some lingering photo projects from the wedding.  I have a rather large box of mementos, cards, toasts that I would like to organize in some way other than stuffed into the weird bird cage I thought I needed to have. 

On a funny note, I sent an anniversary gift to Becky & Brett to celebrate their 15 +1 year anniversary.  In my selfish, me me me, I'm so in love and getting married haze last year I failed to do anything thoughtful for them on what I consider to be a rather large milestone.  So, this year I dialed up my favorite web site for fabulous gifts, packaged fabulously and sent them a Vinturi wine aerator and a box of chocolate covered oreos (Brett drinks red wine and Becky who favors white likes chocolate).  The gift arrived on time as expected, but sadly there were no oreos in the package. 

I called RedEnvelope and their solution was to resend the entire gift.  It seems strange that they couldn't send the oreos independently, but I suppose having an extra vinturi won't hurt the 16 year newlyweds.   Since they offered to replace the whole order I'm not sure why I feel like I've stolen the second aerator, but I do.  Oh well, these are the things to get over.

Vinturi, for the non-oenophiles (wineos) is a nifty little thing that you pour your red wine through and it adds air to the wine, which "opens" up the flavor.  We've done taste tests on aerated and non-aerated wine from the same bottle and I'm telling you, it really works.  It's not that the non-aerated wine is bad, it isn't - but running it through the vinturi makes the wine taste like it should after you expose it to the air for a while.

That's it for now.  Maybe after I eat I'll be inspired with something sarcastic and fun to share.

Friday, May 14, 2010

They stick needles in your eyes!

I have been very unproductive today.  The lure of the sunny outside world is calling to me.  If I would get my status report done I could move on to other things, but here I sit... blogging.


(time passing)

Ok, whew, it is done. 

I got a FUNNY phone call from my mom yesterday.  She had the first of two cornea transplant surgeries on her eyes to improve (save) her vision.  In the olden days you would just go blind.  Now. thanks to science and people who generously donate their organs when they die, vibrant people can stay vibrant.

Of course, it is a serious operation that involves cutting and drugs.  They gave her some sort of 'shot' which relaxed her to the point of not really remembering the procedure.  It has some lingering effects and when she called me at 3 yesterday she was... LOOPY.  She was in love with everything and thought she was super funny.  Apparently, as the nurse walked her out of the office and through the lobby to the car, my mom told the entire waiting room full of old people "They stick needles in your eyes!"  I'm sure the nurse wanted to drop kick my drunken mother on the curb.

Mom also had some strange epiphany on the ride home when she noticed that the color of a coca-cola truck on the highway was one color out of her old eye and another color out of the new eye.  I think she has decided her new eye came from a man and that she's color blind now.   Anywho she had some strange comment about how there are men wandering around in pink and purple clothes who think they are wearing red.  I'm thinking it takes the brain a tiny bit of time to process the information coming from the new eye.

Dad tried to put her to bed AGAIN, and I haven't heard from them today so I'm assuming everything is ok, or he had to put a pillow over her head to stop the comedy show.

I'm happy she was able to have this done.  My dad went through it a number of years ago and I think it saved his life.  Imagine being less mobile than you want to be and not being able to escape into the books that make sitting in your house all day bearable?  For mom, it gives her back the ability to drive a night time (safely) and I'm sure a bit of a regeneration of energy.

Her second surgery is next month and I'm hopeful that she doesn't feel the need to re-tell her "joke" about the needles to the next waiting room full of patients when she goes in.  However, she's related to me and if there's one thing I know it's that it's always better to tell an off color or rude "joke" at least twice to make sure it really and truly isn't funny to other people.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Funny quote from a friend: "Normally, I'm pretty good at texting and driving, but I guess most of the time I'm a passenger."

So true, I think that's part of Oprah's no phone zone campaign. You can text while the car is in motion if you're not the driver.

Things my cute husband says that should scare me: "Four is too many for a menage a troi!"

This is very true.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why isn't licorice taxable?

Washington State passed a new law taxing soda pop, bottled water and (gasp) candy.

The State has spent considerable time identifying candy and deciding if it is taxable or exempt.  They have issued an 84 page spreadsheet that defines for us which items are or are not actually "candy".

The State has defined "Candy" as: Candy is a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners combined with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings and formed into bars, drops or pieces.  Candy does not include any preparation containing flour and does not require refrigeration. 

Licorice gets off the tax hit list because it is typically made with a binder that is more often or not flour.  Make your licorice with gluten free starch and you're going to pay an extra 9.5%.  So all we have to do to avoid the dreaded taxman is dredge our Mars Bar through some flour or stick it in the fridge!

I think it is going to be mighty complicated for retailers.  It turns out that TWIX, Milky Way, and Wonka Bars are exempt, but Abba Zabba bars are taxable.  I doubt the corner grocery really going to account for these nuances in their point of sale system?  I wonder if we, as consumers will be forced to carry our pocket tax guide with us so that when we pick up a package of licorice we can argue with the clerk that it is not a taxable item.   I think big stores will get it right, but the little guy... not so much.  Do we get a double tax credit when we are charged taxes for a TWIX bar that we shouldn't have been charged for?  Oh, it is going to be so very complicated come April.

For the record, I thought these items already WERE taxable so I don't mind this 'sin tax' on these items with little to no nutritional value.  I'd rather pay an extra 9.5% on my snickers than lose a social worker or a police person. I don't think this tax unfairly targets a specific group - although those damned diabetics never pull their own weight.  It does seem that the kids with Celiac disease (a serious condition where the lining of the stomach is damaged by gluten including wheat) will pay dearly for their candy treats because they won't be able to opt for the exempt licorice or Wonka Bars... they'll have to stick with the taxable Milk Maid Caramels.

I do think that the tax on cigarettes is way crazy.  Tax it yes, but each package of 20 cigarettes nets our state $3.025.  If you're a smoker, cigars are the way to go - to pay less taxes.  According tho the May 2010 Legislative Tax Update tax on large cigars cannot exceed 65 cents per cigar, whereas moist snuff is taxed $2.526 per can.  My lord...why are cigars less taxable than cigarettes?  They are stinky and icky too... WHY?

No matter... the candy tax doesn't go into effect until June 1, so you have 17 days to stock up!

Wow... that sure smells like yesterdays raw fish

After a couple years of driving by, I decided it was time to stop into the Viet-Wah the grocery store in the Renton Highlands that serves the Asian population.  They are, near as I can tell, an independent version of Uwajimaya.  I don't mean to suggest that Uwajimaya is a huge conglomerate, they have 4 locations and are marketed quite well to both the Asian community and us "honkeys".  Viet-Wah is a three location outfit and they have most of the wonderful noodles, sauces, spices, foods that you can not pick up in the "Asian" section at Safeway.  They don't have the fresh sushi or hot foods that Uwajimaya offers, but if you want to cook with authentic ingredients the Viet- Wah can help you out.

I was pleased to find 6 varieties of noodles for our stir fry and the brand of Hoison sauce that I love so much.   They also have a rather large meat and seafood market.  Sadly, it smelled like hot raw seafood.  (For the record, this is NOT a pleasant smell.)

We may venture back again, but since Renton has an Uwajimaya store, the Viet-Wah doesn't hold much promise to be on our regular grocery route.  The smell was unfortunate.  Now, if I was in the market for funky Chinese or Vietnamese cigarettes, the Viet-Wah would be the place to go!  

So true

Jeff Fahey
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Monday, May 10, 2010

A first time

It was a weekend of firsts!

  • The first 2010 Saturday & Sunday in a row that were glorious weather wise.
  • The first dinner out on our patio under our kicky Costco Umbrella.
  • The first time use for three wonderful wedding gifts: a cake decorating kit, the fancy mandoline and a beautiful, even cooking wok.  All three were fun and I'm sad that we hadn't put them into service before.  The mandoline makes perfectly julienned carrots and for our stir fry dinner it was perfection.
  • The first time my book group has ever met on a Friday evening.  It was a nice change, but we'll probably never do it again.  Fridays are date night and the beginning of Shabbat.  We all love book group, but it shouldn't mess with family time.  We enjoyed the book, Let The Great World Spin.  (Not to plug myself, but click HERE to read our write up.) 
  • The first time in 2010 our bicycles were taken for a spin.  I love that we can ride all over the neighborhood without having to drive the bicycles to an acceptable route.  There is a trail along the Cedar river that we'll have to drive to because even if I survived the ride down the hill to the river, I would NEVER get back up.
  • The first time we washed our cars in our own driveway.  It's not the ideal use of water resources, but we were conservative with the water, so quit judging me.
  • This was also one of the first weekends in a while where we didn't HAVE to get up early for something, but yet we were up at our normal 6:20 am every day.  Why does sleeping in elude me? 
  • We offered to adopt a child in need, but we were refused.  Sure, he's 40 and owns his own place, but it seemed like the perfect solution.  Jason and I would be parents but we wouldn't have to mess around with diapers or paying for college. 

Friday, May 07, 2010


Two weeks ago I got an 'easy' but tedious assignment at my favorite new job.  I have been slogging away at it and at every turn a bit frustrated because all the information I need wasn't in one place.  (I'm supposed to be creating a file of all the standards in regular document (word) form for our super star web master.)  I found that many of the files didn't exist and had to be recreated.  That's the danger of letting your team save the master files on their personal hard drives.  When they leave the data is GONE.

I'm down to two documents and they are a bitch.  They are 22 pages of embedded tables containing configuration code for hardening some dumb server system.  

I found the document in PDF form, and copy & paste works, but the table formatting dies when you do it.

I've managed to get through about an hours worth of work on one document and am only 3 pages in.  I want to jab my eyes out.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

She speaks

Well, look who has been too busy to hammer out an online essay for your enjoyment.

I have some quick thoughts that may or may not be interesting,  most likely not, but you never know.

We bought a sailing trip at an auction and I'm enjoying the process of planning when we'll get to go.  Captain Chris seems like a nice guy and his boat looks solid.  It looks like it will be an August activity.  I hope early August because I'd like Chelsey & Doug to come and she's "due" in September and I doubt she'll want to be rolling around on a sailboat at 8 1/2 months.  Or 36 weeks - or however the preggo people tell time.

The in-laws are coming in June for the wedding of the son of Jason's cousin.  We are trying to work out fun things to do.  Maybe Teatro ZinZanni.  It's like a theater version of Circ du Solei but with dinner and drinks.

Jason and I might be hosting the church "FAN" group for a BBQ also in June.   FAN stands for something, but is essentially a grown up get together for people without kids (or who are willing to leave the kids at home).  I haven't told him yet, but I've hung with the churchy people before and it is quite fun.  They will bring meat and sides and we'll provide beer/wine/soda, plates and some sort of bbq dessert (can you say special brownies?)    Our little back yard should be able to handle it quite well and while we don't have tons of outside seating if the weather is good we can take a table outside.  It will be June, so we'll likely be inside with the BBQ tucked under the eave of the house like we do in the winter. 

I asked for official permission to attend the conference in London, and then backed off with a "you know, I would rather attend the one in Boston in the fall and XXX event.  Those two combined will be cheaper than the London thing.  We'll see what the reply is.  London would be cool, but REALLY expensive and even though it isn't my money it seems crazy.

The oh-so-thoughtful-Mother's Day gifts were delivered this morning and I hope the items we selected look nice upon arrival and are spectacular by Sunday.  Jason's mom will have no doubt in her mind that it originated from me, but isn't better Mother's Day swag the perk of raising a nice boy who marries a nice girl? 

That's about it for now.  Later.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


El Coucho:  A not so swanky restaurant located near the el tvo in your homeo (house - not "homo") .  "We couldn't get a table at El Gaucho tonight, instead we'll be dining on the El Coucho." 

Thankfully, the dress code at El Coucho is much more relaxed than at the sister location of El Gaucho.

Shameless plug for a favorite dining spot is here:  Meat Makes Me Happy

The Purity Test

Saturday is free shred day in Renton and Jason and I are getting ready.  We went through four boxes of old taxes, old bills, college transcripts (a driver's ed completion certificate) and crap left over from Messy Martha.  I doubt that she'll need the divorce paperwork anymore.

Going through stuff I've been hanging onto was freeing.  I may love those old Daly's newsletters but I haven't looked at them in over 15 years and frankly didn't read them last night either.   I also had old letters that I had written to college chums after graduation and while it is fun to see that I was a party girl, I'm not her anymore.

I'm proud of Jason too.  When we moved he promised me that he would go through his boxes of paper and ditch the sales receipts from 1998.  (For the record, I had them too.)  We both will be shredding all tax information except for the last 7 years.  You had your audit chance Mr. IRS, but the 2002 audit window has been closed!

I found some wonderful family history stuff from Messy Marthas final box and saved that stuff.  I'll bring it to Ma & Pa's place over Memorial Day and we'll go through it.

I also found a really fun relic from the days at the paint store.  The Purity Test!  The PT is a 500 questionaire designed to determine your "purity score".  The questions range from platonic relations questions (have you ever had a date, a date past 1am) to legal items (have you ever shoplifted, made out a check that bounced, drugged someone without their knowledge).  The questions get really personal (anal sex, paid for sex, group sex) and quite detailed.

Your score is determined by taking the number of yes answers and identifying your purity percentage.  "The higher the number, the more pure you are; n the same vein, the lower the score, the more of a sleaze-bag you are.

I have a complete test (on paper) and found one online .   Neither require names or identifiable information.

The copy I have is a photocopy from one of the nice paint store boys.  He has is 11/27/1989 and 1/26/1997 score neatly written on the top.  (73.2% down to 66.8%)  I think I need to invite him over for dinner, a test and an updated test. 

I've got an appointment this afternoon, but we'll see if I have time to do my own score. 

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Don't ask me...

I'm thankful that I'm not sitting on the jury who is at this moment deciding the fate of Conner Schierman, the 28 year old man convicted of stabbing and murdering a young Kirkland family (a mom, two boys and a visiting sister) and then setting their house on fire.

His story is that he doesn't remember what happened (but they found lots of blood evidence that indicated he had been inside their house) due to alcohol and drugs.   While this story seems like a convenient way to suggest that he's not actually responsible for his actions, the evidence was strong enough to cause a jury to convict him.

This crime was horrific and purposeless.   The death penalty is a reasonable penalty to consider for this person.

I'm thankful I'm not on the jury because I do believe that he doesn't remember the event and that it was not something he planned or seems to take pleasure in.  I don't think he should ever be free to walk amongst the rest of us, but I wonder if killing him is less of a punishment than having him face the next 50-70 years in what I imagine is the scariest and bleakest place on earth. 

The press hasn't said what outcome the family of the victims have requested.  It would make the decision of me, as a member of the jury a lot easier if the husband, father and brother-in-law (all the same man) had a strong opinion one way or the other.  In trying (feebly) to put myself in his shoes I can't say that I would ask for the death penalty.  I wouldn't bring my family back, but it might put an end (after all the legal wrangling) to the issue once the deed was done. 

And, if you use Christianity as a piece of your moral guide, which part of the biblical teaching are you supposed to fall back on... turn the other cheek, an eye for an eye, or ask for forgiveness and it shall be given?  How nice that which ever way you go you can find scriptural support, but are you supposed  to just use the one that "feels" most right?

This man may not have shown mercy during his night of terror, but I'm thankful that it is not up to me to decide his fate.

The Cost Factor

I've heard it suggested that it might be better to put someone to death than to pay year after year to have them incarcerated?   Economically, it seems logical that a dead psychopathic murderer costs less than a live one.  Factually, there is lots of information that says it isn't cheaper when you factor in the cost differential of the trial (and required appeals) of a death penalty case.

Multiple studies in California show that the cost of perusing the death penalty costs over 114 million per year over the cost of cases where life without parole is the intended outcome.  They also state that a death row inmate costs about $90,000 more per year to house than a "regular" inmate. 

Wikipedia (where the facts may or may not be facts) states that the average cost to house all prisoners is $62.05 per day or $22,648.25 per year.  Assuming the cost of death row folks are included in that average and accounting for places that cost WAY less, let us assume this figure is mostly accurate.  How long would it take to "make back" the cost of executing someone, without considering the higher cost to put them on death row?  By my math it is about 4 years for every year they sit on death row.  So, for someone who is on death row 10 years there won't actually be a 'cost savings' until 40 years after the execution.    (My math:  cost per year $22.5 for everyone, death row adds another 90k, so 90/22.5=4)

Some states are far more aggressive at (forgive the pun) pulling the trigger.  I encourage you not to get convicted in Virginia - since 1976 they have executed 106 people and only have 13 awaiting their fate.  Texas, is another that has a pretty quick turn around 453 executions with another 352 pending.  Our state of Washington has executed 4 and has 9 on DR.    California is paying the most to house death row inmates with a population of 678 (with only 13 executions since 1976).  (These figures are from the "Death Penalty Information Center web site.)  These four states alone the are paying an annual cost of $94.5 million in addition to the normal cost of a imprisonment. 

As long and drawn out as this explanation is, like it or not, I don't think we can use cost savings as a justification for choosing the death penalty over a life sentence.

Life is LIFE

It is a consideration, however, that no matter how punitive and unpleasant our prison systems may be, for the inmate a life sentence still gives the prisoner some sort of life.  They may be allowed to work, go to school, read, write, get letters, visits from family, friends, heck some may even get to have sleep overs with their spouses.  Is this fair for someone who has taken the life of four innocent people?  Should a prisoner get to celebrate Christmas or his or her own birthday?  I'm not suggesting prison would be fun; being introduced to Hulk, your butt raping serial killer roommate would certainly ruin your day.  But there are folks who thrive in the prison environment - they find their way and manage to live within that world not as free people, but probably not in a constant state of repentance.  (Is that what I would need as a victim? Again, not sure.)

What the heck is your point?

I have no point...I'm just trying to work it out in my head (and now online).

Most importantly, I feel a profound sense of compassion for the Milkin families and hope no matter what happens with this man convicted of altering their world that they find some sort of comfort and peace.  If I was on the jury, I hope I would have the strength to let that be my guide.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What are you sitting in?

I find it ironic that our weekends are jam packed from now until fall but that we have days where we don't have much going on. We had a gaggle of cousins who were invited over for dinner Saturday evening, but our day was wide open and Sunday we had hopes of going to church and that was about it.

The weekend ended up being filled with errands, movies (I finally watched Avatar) and yard work. I did manage to work in a serene moment in my fabulous bathtub.

I'm addicted to a silly product from Lush called Bath bombs. They are giant fizzy tablets that fill the tub with wonderful smells and (usually) silky skin emollients. The Big Blue bomb also turns the water a pretty blue. I tried a new bomb called Honey Bee, which was sold to me as a "sweet and soothing honey-toffee bomb for deliciously soft skin." Nowhere is there a disclaimer that states that the Honey Bee turns the water the color of urine.  I think there should be some sort of sign that says this is for a candlelit bath only.

While I love the Bath Bombs, you have to be careful of your time management.  Most Bombs result in the need to scrub the tub when you're done.  There is one that has actual sparkles embedded into the mix.  That one might never get used at my house.  I don't care how good it smells, I'm not picking up sparkles in the bathtub.  Heck, I'm still finding sparkles on the floor from the 70's disco birthday party in January (and I vacuum on a regular basis!)

So, after the Urine bath, we watched Avatar.  I can see why people said to see it in 3D.  Visually it was wonderful and I'm sure on the big screen it would have been even better.  The story was so-so and now that I've seen it I don't have to again for a long long time.

This is an "at home" week and I'm happy to be waking up in my own bed for many many days in a row.  Rico is coming over for dinner Saturday and Sunday we are free of any obligation.  It is mother's day, but we won't be driving over the mountain to surprise Mrs. P.  We will be going for memorial day weekend and I hope we'll be forgiven for doing a home based activity.  (Maybe we'll get the bikes out if it doesn't look like rain.)

We'll see.

Dave's first word

Gorgous = of or pertaining to one's gorge