Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crushed Dreams

So today Patrick and I were talking about Lufthansa buying a portion of JetBlue, and I was talking about how much JetBlue has grown since I did my senior project with them in 2004. I haven't followed them much in the past year, and was pleased to hear that they'd expanded to ORD (that was a big goal of theirs). I said once they really got going in places like Denver and Chicago, that would really help them out. Then I mused about why there was no airport in the middle of America. Our conversation is below, comments are welcome!


Kelly: Somebody should build a big freaking air hub in Omaha.
It'd be genius.
In the middle of everything.
Patrick: haha
do it
Kelly: Yeah right.
Patrick: or memphis
Kelly: That takes CAPITAL.
No not memphis.
It's too far east.
Patrick: NWA has a hub in memphis
Kelly: Fed Ex's hub is there.
UPS's air hub is in Louisville.
But seriously. I say Omaha.
It would be so freaking great.
Patrick: someones got to be hub in kansas city?
Kelly: It doesn't need to be a big city even.
The point is that it's the middle and moves people around more quickly.
No one needs to stay there.
Just go from there to other places.
Man people should do that.
No one is Kansas City that I know of.
Patrick: i need to research now
denver sucks as a hub i think
snow
Kansas City International Airport currently serves as a airline hub for Midwest Airlines.
Kelly: Denver is alright.
LOL Midwest airlines.
Does that airline even EXIST?
Patrick: they have cookies
and fly to milwaukee not chicago
they are supposed to be good
Kelly: lol
Patrick: there are no flights from omaha to the northwest
you should get on that
Kelly: LOL
Patrick: i chop omaha
wichita kansas
that is exactly the middle
Kelly: Is it?
I would even go to some little place.
Like Ahsgdohipgasdjn, Kansas.
Because land would be cheap and it DOESN'T MATTER WHERE IT IS.
Patrick: ha
Kelly: Think of what the people of Ahaklshgdklhg would think of me!
They would LOVE me.
Patrick: but then theyd need hotels and stuff
Kelly: I would bring tons of money.
Right.
Patrick: jobs
Kelly: There would be hotels.
Jobs would come.
They would be happy.
Public transportation. Restaurants. Rental cars.
Patrick: and people would learn to pronounce their towns tricky name
Kelly: LOL.
Patrick: their code could be HAK
Kelly: LOL why HAK?
Why not AHK?
Or ACK
I like ACK
Patrick: ha
Kelly: Should I be the geographical center of the 48 states or the 50?
Ahh forget those other 2. That's too hard.
It doesn't maximize goodness.
Patrick: ACK is nantucket
Kelly: I'll be in Lebanon Kanasas.
The geographical center of the lower 48 states lies outside of Lebanon, Kansas, in the middle of a hog farm.
Patrick: ha
Kelly: Move over hogs, my airport is coming in!!!!
Patrick: hahah
Kelly: This is genius.
I am a freaking genius
Why hasn't any other fool thought of this?
Maybe because they can't find enough people to work at the hotels and restaurnts and as ramp agents and all of that other stuff that an airport requires.
Patrick: yes
or people tend to put big airports in big cities
Kelly: Do you think that's an issue?
I realize they want the airports in cities to get people there.
But this would PURELY be a hub.
Except for the 8 people that live in Lebanon.
Patrick: i think as a UPS hub or something it would be excellent
Kelly: They would be thankful I'm sure.
No. People hub. I don't know what the problem with that is?
Just the people to work there?
Patrick: but most of the country lives in the east and flies between east coast cities
Kelly: They are already well covered.
What about the fools on the west coast?
Patrick: fools
Kelly: That want to visit their family on the east coast.
they NEED to fly through lebanon.
one might say "why not take a nonstop flight"
That is inefficient.
It is much better to take everyone from LA, SF, Seattle, PHX, PDX, and ship them all to Lebanon. Then send them to NY, Jersey, Boston, Virginia, etc.
MUCH more efficient.
Patrick: yes
do it
Kelly: Well you seem to be squelching it.
Patrick: Because of its central location and surrounding farmlands, Lebanon is a crossroads to the nation during hunting seasons with hunters traveling hundreds of miles to hunt Pheasant, Quail, Doves, Ducks and Deer.
i need to go to lebanon ks
if only there was an airport there
i want to see the monument to the center of the country
It was in October of 1887 that the residents of Old Lebanon picked up their very town, down to the foundations, and moved it two and one half miles northeast. The people of Old Lebanon moved because the Rock Island Railroad, threading its way across Kansas toward the west, missed old Lebanon.
the people of lebanon NEED transportation in their town
Kelly: NO KIDDING
And who cares about those people.
I just need them to work for me.
Patrick: all 303 of them
Kelly: Right.
EVERY ONE OF THEM.
From the age of 12 to the age of 80
Should be airport employees.
And their cousins in nearby Alkhsgdkl.
Patrick: youll need to import folks
Kelly: Yes.
Patrick: hahah yes
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/02/us/02album.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin
i remember reading this article
Kelly: Interesting article.
Patrick: i think folks like him will resist the airport
Kelly: LOL.
Perhaps.
Patrick: yes
perhaps you should research the mid-america airport on the wiki
Kelly: why??
is it someone else's idea?
Scott Air Force Base?
Patrick: im disappointed with the wikiarticle
Kelly: Uh oh.
I don't want to be the Gateway to Nowhere
Patrick: haha
Kelly: Sad.
I guess starting an airport in Lebanon would be harder than I thought
(1) farmer resistance
(2) lack of workers
(3) previous failures.
actually who am I kidding? I never thought starting an airport would be EASY.
Too bad the whole world isn't made of IEs
Then we wouldn't have such resitance
Patrick: haha
"My opinion is it's never going to be much of a passenger airport but it's got potential for cargo. I think that's where the main thrust I would like to see is it go for cargo," Tiedeman said.Others agreed."There is international corn coming in and those planes need to go through international cargo. All planes need to fly with international flights and the Midwest products are in high demand," District 16 County Board member June Chartrand said.
Kelly: LAME.
Patrick: http://suburbanjournals.stltoday.com/articles/2007/12/06/news/sj2tn20071205-1205fhj_10yearsofmaa.ii1.txt
Kelly: I don't want to be a cargo airline.
Patrick: corn airport
Kelly: I want to be a passenger airport
I don't WANT to be a corn airport either!!!!
DANG.
Nevermind.
I quit!
Patrick: im sorry for squashing your dreams
i think this is good blog fodder for you
Kelly: LOL.
Maybe.
Oh I have 10 minutes.
I can write about it.
Patrick: you can just cut and past our analysis and invite comments

And there you have it folks. Hopefully this provides some amusement if nothing else. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Grad school

No, not me this time! My sister got accepted to grad school! She applied to two schools and has heard from one already - the Monterey Institute of International Studies. What a perfect school for her! It's even on the WEST COAST, which is right where I want her! I'm so excited. This is excellent news. I suppose that is all. Just wanted to share my excitement!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My blog is rated PG

dating

Apparently, my blog is rated PG based on the use of the words pain (6 times) and crap (1 time). Fascinating.

Larry Update!

I called Larry back today... I did not mention this yesterday, but he works for Accessories4Less. I just called the only phone number they put on my packing slip (same number I called yesterday), pressed 5 again, and Larry answered on the second ring! "This is Larry!" (still no company identification, so odd!) But I told him that I received coax instead of component, so he asked for my order number, looked it up, and apologized and said he'd get the component sent out right away with a pre-paid return envelope for the coax. AWESOME. That kind of customer service, along with the speedy delivery and fantastic prices, will keep me coming back to Accessories4Less for all of my cable and other needs. :) I am also quite confident that if I had left a message for his voicemail yesterday that he would have returned my call as soon as he returned to his desk. And you can't beat Monster cables for $15 or less, especially when the same cable is $40+ at Best Buy. :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Water!

This weekend Patrick was in town... it was great fun! Friday we had dinner at Russell Street BBQ and then a beer sampler at McMenamins. We were going to go to the Holiday Ale Fest, but we figured we could actually have a chance at tasting beer at McMenamins (the Ale Fest gets REALLY crowded on weekend evenings). Saturday we had breakfast and then went camping! Patrick and I went on a snow-filled fun hike... we were hiking up to a view point, but the trail was closed 1/2 a mile from the top. I HATE when that happens. It was fun regardless. We got about 5 inches of snow out there... we were about 7 miles south of Vernonia, the town you may have heard about that the National Guard is evacuating people from because they're all stuck! The rain started Saturday night... and didn't stop! At first I thought "great, it's melting the snow so we'll be able to get out of here tomorrow". But it rained - HARD - nonstop until we left. I know people think Oregon is super rainy, but it just does NOT rain like this. It is more of a mist than a rain usually, and never nonstop for days on end.

Monday morning we got the news that Geoff's parents had some seepage (not really a flood, like there was no 2 inches of water in the house, but just slow leaks coming in from everywhere!). So Geoff went over to help with some of the outside stuff trying to keep water away from the house as much as possible, and I helped inside with wet vacing and stuff. That evening we moved furniture, pulled up carpet, etc. I am kind of a freak and actually had fun, even though it was a bad situation, because I like cleaning, organizing, rearranging. I know, that's weird. Geoff's mom gave us an early Christmas present... all of Geoff's ornaments, one each year, for his whole life! And a new one, a wedding one for us. It was SO fun to open the box and hear all of the stories of each ornaments. Ornaments always tell a story, they are so fun!

I ordered some cables (audio cable, component cable) from an online company that I have used before and was pleased with - they are cheap (cables have one of the highest markups of any product) and my order came quickly. My order came quickly again - but instead of component, they sent a coax cable. Not a HUGE issue... but obviously I need to deal with customer service. So I called this morning, and they had an automated answer service that never identified the company that said dial 5 for customer service. So I dialed 5... got a few rings, and it went to a voicemail that said "Hi I'm Larry, I've stepped away from my desk, please leave a message." So do I leave a message for Larry? It's so sketchy! I sent an email instead... if I don't hear back in a few hours I will call Larry back I guess. Odd.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Green Update

So, the road to being green is really a tough one. Just a mind game really, I guess, for me at least. Last night we went to Crate & Barrel. I brought my green bag in... but I couldn't do it! I kept thinking "these C&B people are going to laugh at me if I give them a green bag to load my stuff in". And I didn't give them my green bag. Wow this is really embarassing to admit, but it must be done. I must share my successes and failures on the road to green.

But GREAT news on the paper bag front... starting in early 2008 we are getting ROLL CART RECYCLING. I just read this in the "trash newsletter" last night (Geoff made fun of me for reading it). Now we have these red bins that we have to sort everything into - into those paper bags as mentioned previously. Well starting next year, we will get a big bin and we don't have to do any sorting (except for glass which will continue to go in a red bin). AWESOME! It makes it easier, there is space for more recycling items, AND I don't have to use paper bags for recycling anymore. This will DEFINITELY cut down on my paper bag consumption! So that is happy news.

I thought I had some other highs and lows on the road to green, but I cannot recall them right now. I did forgo a bag at two other stores last night though, which was good.

I promise, my blog isn't going to turn into "the green blog". :)

A short story

So my sister is currently working in Spain but applying to graduate schools in the US. She went to one university for her freshman year of college, and then graduated from another university. She is trying to order a copy of her transcript from her first university's webpage, but she was locked out of her account. She didn't want to call them from Spain, so she asked my dad to call them. I don't know what happened with that, but he either didn't have time or wasn't successful. So today she asked me to call them. I asked her for the information I needed, and she gave me her school ID and social security number. This is how my call with them went:

First they asked my ID, which luckily I had… then they were like “what’s your middle name”. So I got my sister's middle name right… and then they said “what’s your birthday?” So I came up with that (it's hard translating a birthday you know into numbers!)… then they asked the last four digits of my SSN. Luckily I had THAT handy. So then they said “okay, are you a former student or current student?” I said former. They said “did you graduate from here?” I said no. Then they said well what program were you in? I said uhhhh… and they said “were you an undergraduate or a graduate” and I said undergraduate! Then they said what college? And I said “uhhh… arts and sciences?” Apparently that was right too. Then they asked when I attended… I had to think quick on that one… I came up with 2003 – 2004, which apparently was good enough for them. I think that’s all they asked me… I felt like I was on a game show, but I got it all right. She really seemed to think it wasn’t me (my sister) because she was like trying to come up with more questions. But I keep knocking them out of the park. YAY ME!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Going green... SLOWLY!

Okay, so I am still going green. But it is a slow process! Last Wednesday Geoff and I bought the "green" (actually black) bags from Albertsons, we bought 2 and they will be perfect reusable bags. Plus they have handles which are nice. I read on another blog this morning - can you use a competitors bags at a different store? Can I use my Albertsons bags at Safeway? I mean, I'm sure you can, but what is the proper thing to do? Interesting.

Monday I did a BIG Costco trip - over $100 which is very rare for me. I bought organic granola (which is quite good) and Tillamook yogurt. There's another "green quandry" - Tillamook is within the 100 mile radius of me (you know, the locavore radius) - but since they distribute nationally, I assume they probably have distribution centers and whatnot outside of our 100 mile radius... and if it travels outside of the 100 miles at any time in its yogurt life, the "localness" is then moot. What a pickle.

As I was checking out, I saw these GIANT green bags, which I purchased. 3 for $3.79 or some such price. They hold 70 pounds each. Seriously. They are giant. I LOVE THEM. You could take them to the grocery store and FILL them with stuff. I was purchasing towels at Costco, and it was raining, so I was quite pleased to have my green bags so that I could keep my towels somewhat dry. They are definitely my favorite green purchase so far! Yay! :)

9 days

I was told this morning that I haven't blogged in 9 days, so I guess I better get on it!

Thanksgiving weekend was fabulous! Geoff and I got to McMinnville Wednesday night, set up camp, made some dinner, and relaxed. Thursday morning we slept in, ate breakfast, and then headed to his parent's house for Thanksgiving! It was a wonderful Thanksgiving... there were 5 of us, and we all got to visit and relax all day, and then have a great dinner. Geoff's mom came camping with us that night, so fun! She was so excited to go. Friday morning we woke up and went WINE TASTING!!! :) We went to Kramer Wine (our FAVORITE place, they know us there) and Carlton Winemakers Studio. Both fun favorites that we love. Friday evening Gary (Geoff's stepdad) came down and joined us for dinner. Geoff made steaks and we had a salad and leftover potatoes. Then we played dominoes. I love dominoes in the camper! Saturday morning, day two of wine tasting! We went to Kristin Hill Winery, Amity Vineyards, Left Coast Cellars, and Evergreen Vineyards (which is in the Evergreen Aviation Museum, where the Spruce Goose is). Kinda cool story: while we were at Evergreen, I particularly enjoyed one Pinot Noir I had. I was told that it was named for Delwood Smith, who was the father of Captain Michael King Smith, the founder of the museum that died in an accident before he finished the project. His father helped make sure the museum got started. Well, they pointed out that Mr. Smith was standing right at the entrance to the museum door, so I went over and told him I liked his wine! He asked if I was there with my family, and I said I was there with my husband and his mother. He said he would like for us to have tickets to the IMAX movie that night, she arranged for us to have complimentary admission. He was the sweetest man, I am so pleased that I got to talk to him. When Geoff was done touring the museum, I introduced him to Mr. Smith. Such fun! Gary came back again that night for more dominoes (I didn't play that time, just sat on the couch, which I love to do while camping... rarely at home though!). Then he took Julie away from us... sad. Although she is lucky, because the next morning we got up at 7 to start packing up... and the hose was frozen! This was an interesting predicament... the pipes in our trailer were fine, but the actual hose outside with the freshwater was frozen. We still aren't quite sure how to fix that problem. Sunday evening we winterized the trailer for storage and put it back in it's little home... it will come out again this Saturday!

Geoff came home from basketball Monday night and collapsed on the bed. Apparently he had pulled a muscle during basketball and was in quite a bit of pain. He wasn't even able to go to work on Tuesday, and he asked me to come home to help him get lunch and things. This from a man who has such a high tolerance for pain that he grew up getting his mom into trouble with his doctor! He would have horrible ear infections and the doctor would scold his mother, saying "you need to bring him at the FIRST SIGN of pain!" She would say "but this WAS the first sign!" He just wouldn't feel or complain of the pain until the ear infection was so bad that he could no longer ignore it. So he was definitely in a lot of pain. He took ibuprofren and I got him a heating pad to put on there and by last night he was able to walk around and stretch it out a little bit. It's still hurting him quite a bit, but he did go to work this morning.

I put out a few Christmas decorations last night... our house is finally starting to come together in terms of being more organized and cleaner. The guys still have some things at our house, particularily in one room that we will use as the office, so we haven't been able to finish everything. Once the things are out of the office, we will give it a good cleaning and then set up desks, computers, filing cabinets, etc. :) That will be so nice... I am REALLY looking forward to having an office again! I tend to "office" quite a bit. I also spent about 3 hours on Sunday "de-guyifying" the bathroom. To be fair, it was NOT that dirty... I just really scoured it from top to bottom. I'm quite sure that if I went to that level of detail in my bathroom, it would take 3 hours as well. And I enjoy cleaning, so it was not too bad. I have also been vacuuming the house much more frequently than usual, and Geoff's parents have a steam cleaner that they said we could borrow. I'm looking forward to that too! Hopefully we will do that in the next couple of weeks, and after we steam clean we will get the Christmas tree (remember the one we picked out in September? it's still waiting for us!). Patrick is coming on Friday and we will still be "in process" when he is here, but we have a room all set up for him so at least he'll have his own space. And a nice clean bathroom! Very exciting. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sad Day!

Over the weekend I got an email from the Hood to Coast organization stating that we were not selected to run Hood to Coast in 2008. They got 1700 applications postmarked on "Opening Day" (aka the ONLY day) this year, and they only select 1000 teams (based on a lottery). I have so enjoyed running H2C the last 2 years, and we already had a great team set up for 2008, including 5 out of town friends. The good news is, they have a "loser's lottery" where you can mail in your application a week in advance the following year along with a note that says "DENIED 2008" and it "increases your chances of getting selected". Whatever that means, although I do know people who have had success with the loser's lottery. So I'm a little bummed, but it will be okay. Geoff and I are tentatively planning on running a half marathon in June. Which is NOT the same, but it will be fun regardless.

Other than that, the weekend was a blast! Friday afternoon we headed down to Lincoln City for fun with friends. We stayed in a house called Stairs to the Sea with 4 other couples. Friday night we played dominoes, talked, and just hung out. Saturday morning we watched Northwestern lose to Illinois (sad) and had homemade biscuits and gravy. For couple's weekend, we have one couple prepare each meal and they are always delicious. Then we headed to the outlet mall... we got some new shoes and sandals (note - I just had to try like 10 different ways to spell sandals before I figured out the right one) for Geoff and a few Christmas presents. We hung out for a while, played more dominoes, and then had a Thanksgiving dinner. :) The couple that was in charge of dinner Saturday night wanted to make a big turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, so they did. I liked it - but only because I didn't eat the turkey. ;-) Well, I had 3 little pieces because I figured I needed some protein. That same couple is also 4 months pregnant... they find out the sex of the baby today! They are from Eugene so they are big University of Oregon fans, so they said right after their appointment, they are going to go buy a little Ducks outfit for the baby - pink if it's a girl, green if it's a boy. After that we went to the casino - we all did horribly! Geoff and I usually play about $10 each at the casino, and usually come out about $5 - 10 ahead combined. This time we both lost our $10. That was sad. But, we figure it's about the same as going to a movie... roughly $10 each for a couple of hours worth of entertainment. So it's not so bad. Once every 6 months or so I suppose that is acceptable. Sunday morning Geoff and I made breakfast and then everyone packed up and left.

When Geoff and I got home - there were no boys. And missing couches, chairs, and beds in the guy's rooms. There was other evidence of boys, however. A little while later 2 of the guys showed up - they had rented a UHaul to pick a lot of their stuff up and move it out. They are all moving in with their respective parents. They all still have various stuff at the house - clothes, DVDs, kitchen stuff, etc. They said they planned to move that out over the course of the next couple of weeks. WEIRD!!! It was sad... and I am NOT used to having the house so empty. When I first moved in, I lived all by myself and was never scared, but last night even with Geoff there I was like "what was that? Did you hear that?" So Geoff and I spent last night working on some of the things we wanted to do (cleaning, rearranging, etc.) when the guys moved out. That wasn't planned, but Geoff rarely has a weekend off and we figured we might as well take advantage of it. There is still tons to do, but now we can take our time and just do a little bit here and there. Last night was the first night Geoff and I have spent alone in our house. All weird.

Geoff and I are going to start trying to do at least one "green" thing a day. Preferably one each, but I'm okay with starting slowly (I say "I'm okay with" loosely... usually I'm either do something all the way or don't even bother... so this is difficult for me to try to pace myself, but I think it's the best way to effectively do this). Yesterday we used our reusable Ikea bags (we went to Ikea to get a few things we had planned to buy when the guys moved out). And that is all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Thoughts

I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday - it was for those Fred Meyer reusable bags that I referred to the other bag. They said that just one reusable bag can save up to 120 bags a year. Then they said the average family uses 400 bags a year - so with just 3 reusable bags, you wouldn't have to use any more disposable bags. I found this absurd - yes, it would be true if every time you went to the store you used 3 bags... but don't you think it's a lot more likely that most people do little trips to the store frequently (using one or two bags) and the occasional trip to the store where they use 6 - 10 bags? In addition to the varied number of bags used by individual families, there is also a size discrepancy between families. A family of one or two probably uses 1 - 2 bags a lot more often, where as a family of eight might use 10 bags every time. So the whole "buy 3 bags and never use a disposable bag again!" thing is ridiculous.

I have been doing a lot of reading this week on "going green", eating organic foods, and eating locally. There is so much fascinating information out there on these topics. I read a very interesting exchange on this blog about the pros and cons of eating locally - "Is there something wrong with supporting non-local businesses? Do you really think the boutique Sauvie organic vegetable farmer, who drives a BMW and lives in the West Hills, needs the business more than the poor broccoli grower in Chile? I have never understood that attitude. Just because people don't live in Oregon doesn't mean they're not people." Very good point. Counterpoints though, are obviously the amount of fuel and resources it takes to ship that broccoli from Chile to Oregon. They went back and forth about we shouldn't feel we're entitled to strawberries when they're out of season just because we're Americans... well then should we feel entitled to be dry when it's raining in Oregon? You can and probably will be, thanks to "civiliation and technology". There was talk of the economic benefits to the worldwide economy vs. the local economy. I won't go into all of it, but it really was extremely interesting to me. My dad also brought up how difficult it is for someone in Texas or Arizona to eat locally - not as much produce grown there. Also, poorer people cannot always afford the organic banana - but they need banans, so we should be thankful that there are ways for them to get organic bananas. The subject certainly isn't black and white, but it is very interesting. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Couple more thoughts...

A few more things I thought of after my post... (my head never stops... although I WILL stop blogging after this).

I get wine newsletters from several vineyards. At least two that I frequent: Kramer (We are certified LIVE! We practice sustainability.....Low Input Viticulture & Enology. Kramer Vineyards is designated Salmon Safe.) and Montinore (In 2001 we switched to organic practices and in 2003 moved on to biodynamic farming. We're hoping to be certified Biodynamic for the 2008 vintage. We've seen a big difference in the vineyards and the wines are much more expressive since we began using biodynamic practices), are organic and earth friendly and stuff like that. YAY. I can drink wine in my new movement. ;-) Ha.

Also... the world kinda seems like a cycle... there is such a trend to go "back to the basics" and get back to local stuff and eating what comes from the land and all of that related stuff. It's interesting. Not that everyone is wanting to do that, but it's just interesting to watch the cycles of history. There's so much globalization, and also a push from some to become more localized.

Becoming a locavore

I come up with the strangest notions! First I was thinking of becoming a dentist... then a pharmacist... now a locavore. Don't worry, this one isn't a new career.

And before I begin (this sentence is actually being written when I'm about halfway through), this blog may seem kind of hypocritical. That's because I am just throwing around ideas in my head... I have certain thoughts, but don't necessarily do them myself, and sometimes don't even know where I stand on these things. So I'm just writing down all of the things I'm throwing around in my head right now.

Here's what happened: last night Geoff and I were watching Jon and Kate Plus 8, as we do every Monday night (don't ask me why he likes it, but I'm glad he does). Well, Kate Gosselin is kind of freakish... she feeds her family almost entirely organic foods, always packs them snacks and lunches, and is REALLY big on what she feeds her family. It is talked about very often... she frequently says things along the lines of "we make sacrifies elsewhere so that we can give our children this wonderful gift". There are two episodes every Monday night - the first one last night was about how they were going to an organic farm to buy half of an organic cow to feed their family for a year. It was kinda cute actually, the kids were hilarious while they were at the farm. On the second show, some chick named Sara Snow was coming to meet with Kate for a day. I'd never heard of her before, but apparently she (like the Gosselins) also has a show on Discovery Health. She is apparently some sort of organic / green lifestyle expert, and was coming to show Kate even more about how to incorporate organic foods into their diet and also into their entire lifestyle (such as organic clothing, organic cleaning supplies, etc.). It was freakish. I know that Geoff and I get the organic bin every couple of weeks, but we get it mostly out of convenience, not because we specifically care about the food in it being organic - although we're both willing to admit that some of the food DOES taste better. I have often mocked my friends who try to eat mostly organic foods - calling them "hippie freaks". So I kept thinking "this is hippie freakish, this is hippie freakish".

Then I couldn't get it out of my mind!

So today I am thinking about becoming more organic / living a green lifestyle. I am not really sure what you call these things yet. :) And I am not committing to it, and certainly shouldn't be blogging about it, but I am blogging because I think it's interesting and because I want to share my thoughts. So we already eat almost exclusively organic fruits/vegetables/herbs. Sara Snow said it's easiest (or she recommends, or most people, or something) to start with meat and dairy. Those seem like the LAST things I would want to do - maybe because I happened to see the price of organic ground beef at Costco the other day. Although when I order garlic in our organic bin it is usually $1 - $1.50 per bulb, and I saw it at Fred Meyer a few days ago at 3 / $1 (non-organic). So yes, obviously eating organically is much more expensive. But I am thinking of going to organic bread. That seems like a next good step for me, and I can order it in the organic bin. And possibly even buy it at Costco... and I like anything I can buy at Costco! I have read articles in Costco Connection (the Costco magazine) about how they like to carry a lot of organic products. (and why wouldn't they, it's the new genius money-making trend). Anyway, so I'm thinking of going to bread. I don't know what I would do after that. I am kind of confused about the organic household cleaners thing... Sara was talking about how we breathe in all of these strong cleaners and toxins and chemicals and it is bad for our respiratory systems. I do agree with that (so did Geoff actually)... it kind of goes along with my belief that we use way too many antibiotics and other medications. I try to limit my use of medication as much as possible (getting Remicade every other month bothers me to no end... although I do COMPLETELY understand the value of using medications when appropriate). I still use painkillers if necessary, but I try to really evaluate why I'm using them - okay, I have a headache. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Is there something else my body is trying to tell me that I can fix before I try to use a pill? I've done that for probably a year or so. But I absolutely will still use pain killers, cold medicines, etc. I just try to make sure I'm keeping my use in check.

Got off topic there... so off topic I need a new paragraph. Anyway, so the household cleaners: I do agree that cleaners could be bad for us. She recommended using 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water. I like that idea. And yet... it seems so "hippie freakish" to me. Why can't I get past the association in my head? She and Kate were cleaning mushrooms yesterday, and Kate was freaking out about having dirt on them... I was like GREAT, dirt is good for you. I think that another reason everyone is so sick all the time is because everyone tries to sanitize stuff and then when you get one germ in your body you don't know how to respond to it. So I was all about the dirt, and think it'd be cool to just use a basic cleaner. But then you'd have to mix it, and that seems crazy, and I dunno. But they do sell mixer bottle squeezie things at the Dollar Tree. So I could maybe handle that. That's another thought. (now no one is going to come to my house to eat ever again, huh?)

Then I thought of those reusable bags that they are pushing at Fred Meyer these days. For 99 cents (sometimes on sale 2 / $1), you can get reusable bags, instead of using paper or plastic bags when you go grocery shopping. I want to get those. I already have the reusable Ikea bags that are 59 cents each. They are awesome bags... huge and cool. So maybe some grocery store ones would be good. But what about my recycling? My recycling company still makes us sort - so I use paper bags for that. I do have three bins though, so I'm thinking when the fellas move out that we will have less recycling and therefore we can do glass, paper, plastic one week, and then cardboard, aluminum, and (???... paper again I guess) the next week. Other than that, I can't think of a single thing I really need paper or plastic bags for. Even when I went to Target or some other store... I surely could use reusable bags. My Ikea bags would be perfect for that.

I shared some of my thoughts with my friend Patrick. He said "you are becoming a locavore?" I asked what that is, and he referenced a New York Times blog from this morning that he said talked about a locavore, which basically means "crunch folk who only eat locally grown foods". (Patrick's definition). The organic bin tries to use locally grown foods when possible, although I know it's not all locally grown. Apparently the Google cafeteria offers locavore-friendly food. But I don't know if I'm there on that one yet.

I also told Geoff via text message:
Me: "I am writing a blog about how I kinda want to become a green freak like Sara Snow."
Geoff: "Please don't. She scared me."
Me: "Why?"
Geoff: "You can be green, just don't be like her. She was a freak."
Me: "Okay! Will you be green with me?"
Geoff: "I suppose so."
Me: "You don't sound thrilled."
Geoff: "Was I supposed to? I am thrilled!"
She really WAS a freak. But we both thought she was fantastic with all 8 of those kids, and I did kinda like her ideas.

Then I told my sister. She said this:
"Confusing.. One day you dont care about the environment..the next day you are going to become an organic hippie freak? However, I support you in the organic lifestyle..that is great! Better for your body, esp since you have Crohn's... probably better for you esp.. I am a HUGE supporter of small farms.. I LOVE farmers markets.. co-ops.. things like that. Fresher food.. better for you.. better for the farmers.. helping to keep small farmers around.. so that its not all huge companies that take over the place.. I very much support free range chickens too... and if it were feasible in my life right now I would love to only eat free range chickens.. It is much more expensive though. Anyways.. congrats"
She's a fan, which is no surprise to me. She's kinda a hippie freak herself.

Anyway... just my thoughts for today. I kinda thought this was amusing, especially Patrick's, Geoff's, and Christine's responses (don't worry, I told them all I was going to blog what they said, so I really don't just blog people's conversations to me randomly). So I guess we'll see where this "journey" takes me... might just be a dead-end right around the corner, but you never know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Documentation

I just realized how often I write lists in my blogs of what's "to come", and sort of rehash the same things over and over. It helps me organize my thoughts. So I am sorry you are subjected to my constant PLANNING. Thanks for reading anyway. :)

Happy weekends!

This weekend was a blast. :) Friday night we went to a fundraiser play/dinner at Bethel Lutheran Church in Portland. Great fun! I so adore the heart of churches in the city. It touches my heart! Dinner was interesting... Jello salad with cottage cheese, very very salty meatloaf, oddly spiced carrots... hmmm. I didn't eat much. As we crammed our chairs into the teeny tiny space in the church basement to watch the play, I thought "this was fun... don't know about coming back next year...". Then I watched the play. HI-LAR-I-OUS. I rarely laugh out loud at "planned" humor (TV, movies, etc. ), but I did laugh out loud a couple of times during this. Now I can't WAIT for next year.

Saturday morning I woke up and watched the Northwestern game. YEAH for beating Indiana! I took a nap Saturday afternoon because I was going out with Katie and Kristie that night. Katie and I had dinner at Henry's, then we met up with Kristie at Oba and then went on to the Thirsty Lion. We ran into a coworker and a friend of his at Thirsty Lion, so we had fun chatting with them all night. And it's funny - I RARELY go out downtown, but we always run into this same coworker. He has been at Henry's 3 times in the last year and a half when I've been there... and I've been there about 3 times. I saw him at Henry's, but didn't say hello... so when we saw him walk into the Thirsty Lion, Kristie went and said hello to him. We had a nice table in the corner, which was good for checking out the scene in the entire place. Very fun. GREAT music. Some band called the Remakers or something was playing... Oh, I googled it. Must be the Remasters. Anyway, they were good! Lots of fun 80's and early 90's music. I got home at 2:30 AM! See, I'm glad I took the nap. I haven't stayed out that late in FOREVER.

Sunday I slept late - I was bummed because I had wanted to go downtown to go to church at Bethel. I went to lunch at Noodles, and then read for a while. Geoff got home early and we went to happy hour at Henry's. Yes, I had just been the night before, but I wanted to get out. And it was our 1/4 wedding anniversary... how lame is that? I like excuses to go downtown. :) We had great fun! We had a seat in the bar where Geoff could watch football. In sad news, I discovered a hole in my FAVORITE sweater. I was like "this is ridiculous! This is a very expensive J Crew sweater!". Then I remembered that I got it when I was a senior in high school or freshman in college... at least 7 years ago. Yikes. And Geoff was like "you wear it ALL THE TIME". Good point. But still. I am sad. Then Geoff said "maybe you can go to J Crew and buy a new one"... yes, because they OFTEN carry the same sweater 7 years later. Ha. :) Although J Crew does have a pretty classic style, so it's reasonable to assume I could find something similar. And Geoff discovered that half the buttons on his phone no longer work. And it made a burning smell. Drama.

Today we're going to my friend Geoff (H, not M)'s house to watch Monday Night Football! Sounds like there will be a good crowd of people there... very exciting. Geoff H. also has a cell phone on our network that he no longer uses and said we can have, so Geoff M. will have a new phone to use until June when we're due for a refresh. Oh, and to make it even MORE exciting, Geoff G. will be there too. Yes, I know an oddly high number of people named Geoff. It's fun when they're all in the same room together. Sometimes Jeff G. comes too... but I don't think he'll be there tonight. :)

I am SO excited for the next few weekends... actually pretty much the rest of the year. I gave you some of the scoop last week, here's a little more:
November 16 - 18: Couples weekend in Lincoln City!
November 21 - 25: Thanksgiving / wine weekend!
November 30 - December 2: Patrick weekend! He's coming Friday morning and we're going to Holiday Ale Festival in Portland that day (it's in Pioneer Courthouse Square in these big clear tents with lots of heaters... very fun!). Then we're going camping Saturday and Sunday.
December 7 - 9: (maybe the weekend after) Camping with my coworker Cindy and her family! They bought a new RV this weekend at the RV show so we are going to go on their maiden voyage with them. So excited!
December 21 - 23: Most likely the weekend the guys move out of our house, so lots of cleaning/rearranging/etc in preparation for my parents to get in on the 24.
December 24: (this isn't a weekend, I'm cheating) My parents arrive! We'll have dinner at Geoff's parent's house
December 25: Christmas dinner at OUR house... so exciting! We'll have 9 people, which is a good number to start with for our first Christmas dinner. I am SO SO excited to have both sets of our parents at our house for Christmas. I know this will probably be a rarity, so I will enjoy it while we have it!
December 28 - 30: Camping with my parents at the beach!
December 31: New Years Eve party at Geoff's parent's house

Did you count all the camping in there? 4 times in 6 weeks - in the winter! I love it. :) And I love that we actually USE our camper. So fun!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday

The RV Show was excellent. Geoff's mom found her perfect RV - the Winnebago Vista 32K. It was such a great RV! And Geoff and I did not see ANYTHING that we liked more than our Tango, which was happy. We really do feel that we have the perfect fit for us! It was great fun.

So remember yesterday how I blogged about how Geoff's mom won't read my blog? Well not 4 hours after that I mentioned something (not related) about my blog to her in an email and she said "okay, I'm going to read your blog now!" I was like "NOW?!?! I just blogged about you NOT reading my blog - too funny." Check out her comments below. She is hilarious!

My mom had a dream last night that Geoff and I had twins - a boy and a girl! They were premature, and we were at my parent's house. My mom's sister (who died this June) was there, and my great grandmother Mebe (who died about 10 years ago) was there. My mom was a psychology major so she usually has some theory on dreams, but she said she had nothing on this one. Cool though!

A trip down memory lane... Mebe's name came from my grandfather (her son in law). When he married my grandmother, he wanted a name to call his mother and father in law. Their last name was Ebert - so he came up with Mebe and Febe - for Mother Ebert and Father Ebert. Everyone then started calling them that - grandkids, great grandkids, etc. I love that story. Mebe was also born in 1900 which is SO cool because you could remember how old she was (if it was after September) because she'd be as many years old as what year it was. I think she died in 1997 (maybe 1998) but she was 97 years old when she died. When we went to her house (Febe died a few years before I was born and she lived in an apartment) she always had a candy jar with Andes mints in them - the great grandkids loved that. And she always had a cocktail! She also took us out to Mexican food at this EXCELLENT restaurant, and in her younger days (you know, like 92 and younger) she would drive us in her 1970's Buick. There were no seatbelts in the backseat! I love it. I loved Mebe. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Excellentness

Yesterday afternoon I read a VERY VERY funny email that was forwarded to me. Turns out it was actually from someone's blog - he has a 1977 JC Penney catalog and proceeds to make fun of the clothing. Quite amusing, though perhaps slightly offensive. I thought Geoff was going to roll off the bed last night he was laughing so hard while reading it.

This morning I was reading Matt's blog and saw a link to a blog that reflects on the overuse of quotation marks. You MUST read it. It's too funny. And then another blog that reflects on the overuse of the word literally.

Just all around a couple of funny days. The parenthesis one is my favorite though! It reminds me of when someone writes .99 cents on a sign. DANG THAT'S CHEAP! Less than a penny? Really? AWESOME! I'll take 10.

Onward... I tried to kill my mother in law last week. I cannot believe I forgot to tell you all about this. Okay, not really... but you know that pizza recall? Yeah, we definitely had a midnight snack in the camper of that exact same pizza. I'm the worst daughter in law ever!!!! Happily, she's still alive. And going to the RV show with us tonight!!!!

But she won't read my blog. I can't tell you how disturbed I am by this. I think it's not that I care if she actually reads it, but I'm just more bugged by the fact that she WON'T read it. She said that she doesn't want me to feel that I can't vent about her on my blog because I know she reads it. But I don't want to vent about her, and even if I did, it wouldn't be on my blog anyway. This paragraph makes no sense. It makes no sense because I can't describe exactly WHY it upsets me so much that she won't read it. All I know is that I wish she just weren't against reading it. So this is me, venting about her not reading my blog. ;-)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Big update

Man lots of stuff going on! Last weekend (October 25 - 30, if you call that a "weekend") we went camping. When we first told Geoff's mom about the camper she was kinda like "okay... great for you guys... not so much for me!" She's never really been camping before and wasn't all that excited about it, but we got her kinda excited by talking about our camping trips, our excitement for the camper, how nice it was, etc. So she said she would come camping with us for the first two nights (Thursday and Friday) of our camping trip. She met us at our house and we drove to the campground - only about 30 minutes away. We had salmon and artichoke for dinner the first night... rough camping trip, huh? We also worked on a puzzle and talked a lot... Geoff watched Air Force One because "he doesn't like puzzles". The next morning Geoff actually started working on the puzzle, and enjoyed it! We just hung out all day... had a giant breakfast, set up the awning and the party lights, "peeped" on people (involves watching other campers, especially on Friday afternoons as they try to back in their rigs without crashing into anything and as they bring out all of their stuff which is fun to watch), etc. That night we had steak and roasted potatoes for dinner... then sat around the campfire making up stories about the people we were peeping on ("oh, see those people next to us? That is Grandma Lily and Grandpa Jack with their grandkids Bill and Jane, they are babysitting while the parents have a romantic date night"). It went on and on, it was HILARIOUS. Geoff's mom and I were making up the craziest, funniest stories, while Geoff just sat there laughing at us. Geoff says we play off each other quite well and it's very fun to watch. We had such a grand evening! Saturday we hung out in the morning, then went to Oma's (Geoff's grandmother) 70th birthday party! That was so fun, and I got to hold the baby! I love babies. Only to age 2 though! Geoff's mom "HATED" camping so much (that was a running joke all weekend... "but I HATE camping!!!!") that she stayed Saturday night too! Sunday morning Geoff went to work, and she and I finished a second puzzle, read, and she knitted. And did more peeping, of course. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, Geoff and I did some hiking around the state park, hung out, and relaxed! We forgot our bikes which was super annoying, but we WILL remember them next time. There are so many awesome bike trails in that state park!!

Now that Geoff has worked on the puzzle, he's become obsessed! We went to Rainy Day Games and got a 2000 piece puzzle of Times Square which is currently taking up the dining room table. It's great! And I've been going to jigzone.com when I have some free time during work to do a quick puzzle here and there. I love puzzles, I'm glad Geoff does now too!

This weekend was great. Friday night we went out to dinner. Saturday I watched Northwestern lose to the Hawkeyes... that was brutal. Geoff came home pretty early and then we worked on the puzzle while we watched the University of Oregon / Arizona State game. Saturday night we went out to dinner at a place called Bugatti's and in came the Roloff parents with some friends and their film crew! It was cool to see that, and watch for us on TV. The only problem is that they had to turn on the lights very brightly in what is normally a very dimly lit restaurant. It wasn't a problem for us, but it sure would be annoying to have to go EVERYWHERE with those bright lights. Yikes! Then we had to tell Addy and Cindy immediately because they both love Little People Big World. Sunday Geoff got up early to have breakfast with his stepdad Gary... they had a good conversation about life, work, etc. They always have a good time at breakfast together. We went to look at new houses (I LOVE looking at new houses, and particularly like this developer). Then Geoff talked to our roommates and told them that we're at a point in our life where we really want to live on our own. They were very gracious and kind and willing to move out. It works out rather nicely timing-wise - my parents are coming to town for Christmas and New Years, so it will be nice to have some space in the house for them. It will be sad for us to have the guys to move out, but overall I think it will be a positive thing for us.

Upcoming for us:
This Wednesday: RV Show! We're taking Geoff's parents with us, I'm ESPECIALLY looking forward to Geoff's mom seeing all of the different types of RVs. We "trained" her pretty well to recognize the different ones outside when we were camping, but she hasn't seen the inside of a lot of them, and I think she'll really enjoy some of them - like the big monstrosities and then the babies like this one.

Friday: a play/dinner fundraiser event at an inner-city church downtown, again with Geoff's parents. I'm excited because I LOVE inner-city churches.

Saturday: I'm hanging out with my friend Katie, I'm SO excited because I haven't seen her in 100 years!

Next weekend: couples weekend! Our friends Kendra and Beau rent a beachhouse every year and invite couples to go along for a weekend of fun with them. We went last year and had an absolute blast, so we're very much looking forward to this. Each couple is in charge of one meal, so they really bring their "best of show" and so it is a weekend of good eating and good friends! (with a trip to the outlet mall thrown in!)

Following weekend: wine weekend! Okay, some might call it Thanksgiving. ;-) Every year at Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, the wineries here host big wine events. Geoff's mom and I have made it a tradition to go. This year, it's getting even better! Geoff and I are taking the camper down to a nice RV park in wine country Wednesday night. Thursday night we'll go to Geoff's parents for Thanksgiving - they have a new kitchen this year and it's her first Thanksgiving in her new oven (well, Thanksgiving itself might not be in the oven). We'll help them clean up afterwards, and then *hopefully* (if all works out) both of Geoff's parents will join us in the camper Thanksgiving night. Friday morning we'll hit our favorite wineries - Kramer is ALWAYS our first stop and over Memorial Day we discovered Carlton Winemakers Studio which we enjoyed and will go to again. We'd normally stop at a few more places, but this year we have SATURDAY TOO!! So Saturday we'll go to new places that are further south than we'd normally go - but because we'll be staying in the area, it will be no big deal. VERY exciting. It will be fun to have a nice relaxing weekend with Geoff and both of his parents. Very much looking forward to it! Should be a great November this year. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Education time!

Alright... here's another pet peeve. People who use "XST" for all of their times, even when we're in Daylight Savings Time. I think a lot of people think "standard time" means like "official time" or something along those lines... it doesn't! In this context, it basically means, non-Daylight Savings Time. And it DOES matter!

In Oregon, from October - March, you should say PST. From March - October you should say PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)! That differentiates. I understand that it doesn't matter 99% of the time, but it does in a few instances.... for example:

Last night, Geoff said "what time is 10 PM MST for us?" I said it's technically 10 PM for us too, because we're still in Daylight Savings Time, so 10 PM MST = 10 PM PDT. But I also told him that MOST people don't use the ST/DT designations correctly, so it was more likely 9 PM PDT, just because of a usage error.

Also - if you're trying to talk to someone in a state like Arizona that doesn't use daylight savings time, the designation also becomes important. If I want to set up a meeting with someone in Arizona and they say it's at 8 AM MST, they really mean it - so it's 8 AM PDT or 9 AM PST.

The lesson learned here is just be aware of your ST/DT designations and realize that they DO mean something different. If everyone starts using them correctly, then we can actually use them for what they're intended for. YAY!

Edited: one more thing I thought of. When in doubt - just say PT/MT/CT/ET. No reason to specify standard or Daylight time if you're not sure!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stuff

First of all, I'm sick of coming up with blog titles. I rarely blog about something that can be neatly wrapped up into some small little title. Nuts.

Moving on, I have a confession. I am actively avoiding someone who works in the same building as me. It's a sad situation. I know when he/she eats lunch, so I have REARRANGED my lunch schedule so that I eat at a seperate time. Like I'm seriously afraid to see him/her in the cafe! Only I'm not really afraid... it's like I know this person as an acquaintance but don't really have anything in common with him/her, so I feel it's awkward when we talk. So instead of chancing running into him/her and talking, I avoid him/her. There is an entire part of our building I won't go to because I know he/she works there. I should just get over myself. What a fool.

I called into a radio show for the very first time this morning! I listen to 104.1 the Fish in Portland, and every morning on the Pete and Brenda show they have the Nearly Impossible Question. I have a decent guess for the answer about 20% of the time, although I'm not always right. And a lot of times they give a hint anyway. So this morning's question was "Up until recently there were very few books written about this topic, but there have been almost 100 in the last 3 years". I got in the car about 10 minutes after they first asked the question, so they were giving a hint when I was driving to work. Tthat clue was “car carriers, car seats, and strollers”. So a bunch of people guessed babies and stuff, which I thought was dumb because think of Dr. Spock in the 70’s! There are tons of books on that. So I was like “you idiots, it’s obviously multiple babies” (cause of all the infertility treatments and stuff). So they gave the phone number and I called it for the very first time!!! Pete himself answered (he’s the host!) and said “Pete and Brenda, nearly impossible question, what’s your guess?” I said “um, multiple babies” (I was thrown off by him answering!) and he said “no” and hung up. DANG!!!! I ran into work (cause I was in the parking lot when I got through on the phone, took about 10 busy signals before I did) and listened on the computer… they didn’t play my answer, but they played someone else who said multiple babies without the um. But it was fun!!! I’m going to call every day now, at least if I have an inkling (I probably have an inkling about once a week). You win great gift certificates to restaurants and stuff!

By the way... the correct answer was "Baby Name Books". LAME.

Patrick sent me the menu for where he works today - it was SHOCKINGLY similar to the menu where I work. I was going to just link the menus, but I'll just post a sample instead:

Patrick's work:

Tuesday
Au Bon Pain Soup - Potato Cheese - $2.39/$2.89
Breakfast - Breakfast Sub - $5.59
Exhibition - Pasta Primavera - $6.29
Wild Greens - Garlic Roasted Shrimp Salad- $7.29
Deli - Roast Turkey, Provolone Cheese and Bacon Stacker - $6.29
Entree - Lemon Pepper Chicken - $5.99 - $6.99
Grill - New York Deli Burger - $6.99

My work:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Soup - Ham and White Bean, Red Bean, Beef and Collar Greens, Cabbage and Rice - $1.80
Breakfast Grill - Breakfast Croissant Sandwich - $2.25
Lunch Grill - Tuna Melt with Fresh Avocado - $3.25
Healthy Grill Entree - Hazelnut Encrusted Chicken Breast with Dijon mustard Sauce - $5.50
Crossroads Menu - Mustard Braised Pork with Roasted Red Potatoes, Vegetarian Leek and corn Stuffed Peppers served with Steamed Broccoli - $5.25/4.95
Personal Pizza - Enchilada Chicken with Grilled Onions and Peppers - $4.25
International Station - Bento Chicken with Jasmine or Brown rice and Stir fry Vegetables - $5.50
M-F Off Shift Crossroads - Chicken cordon bleu with Cream Sauce - $5.25
M-F Off shift Grill - Chipotle Chicken Wrap - $3.75

I was just VERY amused at how similar the two menus were! I guess corporate America is all the same....

Has anyone else noticed how much bank the Facebook peeps are raking in with the "gifts" they sell each day? They have "today's new gift" every day, and the availability of these gifts is generally 1 - 10 million. At $1 each, that's up to $10 million a day, provided they sell every one. I'm quite sure they don't, but SERIOUSLY! $10 million dollars a day for being able to create a graphic and allow people to select it, pay for it, and post it to someone else's "page". That's nuts. I wish I was so brilliant! And now by mocking this I have probably ruined what little chance I had to work at Facebook.... which is unfortunate, but I guess that's something I'll have to live with. Every time I check they have no jobs for me anyway!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend in review

This weekend was pretty good! Friday night Geoff and I went to PF Changs. Normally I put PF Changs in the same category as Cheesecake Factory - overrated and overpriced! They're decent food, but just because they turn the lights down a little lower than Chili's do they really need to charge twice as much? People seem to rave about these places, and it's just lame to me. Needless to say, PF Changs REALLY hit the spot Friday - I think it was better than it has ever been before on Friday night. Yum! Oh, and we watched Evan Almighty, which was very lame as predicted. Geoff thought it was cute.

Saturday I got up around 8 and went to visit Addy at Target... that was fun! Saturday night Geoff's parents had a birthday dinner for him - his birthday is tomorrow. His mom made tacos - his grandmother is Mexican, so the tacos are super good. I have only had these tacos once before and they are VERY tasty. They're going on the list of things to make in the camper. :) We had a really fun evening with his parents, as well as his grandmother and cousin!

Sunday night we went to Tim and Shannon's (Tim is a coworker of Geoff) for dinner and a movie. They made great steaks, cauliflower with cheese sauce, and salad for dinner. TASTY! And a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing for desert. Then we watched The Holiday. I absolutely adore that movie!

And now it's Monday... 3 and a half more work days until CAMPING!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Update on Google Chat

My sister got it and now we are chatting away from here to Spain!!! LOVE IT!!! Everyone should get it!! Oh and Patrick plugged in his headphones to his microphone jack and left me a voicemail, it worked well.

GOOGLE TALK!

So this morning, while I was doing some user acceptance testing of a new system at work, I was GChating with my friend Andy. As usual, I was lamenting the fact that GChat doesn't blink when you have a new IM, because it was lowering my productivity (I had to check back and forth between what I was doing and the GChat window to see if Andy had said anything). Andy informed me that he used Google Talk to cure just that. I said that I had it at home, but didn't use it much because I don't use my home computer much. I didn't have it at work because you can't easily use most IM services through work because of our firewall. Andy said this was similar to GChat and worked fine. So I installed it - it is the CAT'S MEOW!!!!

Andy had to go run some errands, so I IMed Patrick and forced him to get it too. He got it and then he pressed the "Call" button on there to call me. I answered the call and we were like "what does this do?" Then he said he could hear me typing!!! So I spoke "Hello?" and he typed "I can hear you!!!" He didn't have a microphone so he couldn't talk back, but I yammered at him for a while.

Then I had some meetings and stuff so we had a hiatus... then just a while ago Patrick and I were IMing again and I saw a voicemail option! So I left him a "voicemail" - basically it's just an audio file that is sent to your gmail! It's super cool! And there is a British woman who tells you to leave a message at the "meep". It is too frickin' funny. I absolutely love it. Now I'm trying to get my sister to download it so we can talk while she's in Spain. And by "trying" I mean "sent her one email and she's currently downloading it on the slow Spanish internet". SWEET! Up with Google Talk!!!

The one drawback: the smiley faces don't turn like they do in gchat. But they do turn blue...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just life

First off, I made this recipe for Spicy Bean Soup the other night. VERY tasty! I only used 1/4 cup of chili powder instead of 1/2 cup... 1/2 a cup of chili powder in anything is just nuts!

I moved up to "Full Member" from "New Member" status in the RV forum I've been reading... YEAH!

Tonight is book club... I finished the book on Monday night. It got so intriguing at the end that I couldn't stop and I just kept reading, which is too bad because I rushed through finishing it and I didn't read as thoroughly. It was still good though.

We're going camping a week from today. I can't wait.

I got the Hood to Coast registration all mailed in yesterday. I didn't go to the actual post office, but I did go to a blue post office box which I believe to be just as good. I dropped it off about 1:15 and pickup was 2:45 so I should be safe. Now we just have to wait 6 weeks... oh, and I'm extra excited because my friend Kathleen from high school is going to run with us! So I am really hoping that it works out for us to run again next year. Some people have run like 25 years in a row... that is just nuts. In the beginning it was obviously easier to get into the relay, but the last 5 or 10 years have been much more difficult. But if you're fast, then it's easy because the top 6 teams from every division get automatically accepted each year. It also helps to be old, because there are fewer teams competing from the older divisions. But as long as you have even one member below 30, you're not eligible for any of the "old" divisions. Ha - I love that, 30 is old. Geoff is only 21... we have at least eight years to go until we can be old. And it's not like we're all of the sudden gonna rock the 30 year olds... maybe when we're all over 50. Just 29 years to go! :) Wow I just spent quite a bit of my life (and yours) on that. Good thing I type fast.

I took a typing test after I wrote that to see how I did. I went to www.typingtest.com and just did all of the defaults - ick! My net speed was 89 words per minute, accuracy 94%, gross speed 94 words per minute. That is not very good for me. I usually come in over 100 words per minute with 98 or higher percent accuracy. Chalk it up to being too early in the morning? Maybe I'll try again in a week or so.

Speaking of typing - yesterday I had a headache (apparently this will be the long winded version of this story) so I went home from work around 1 and slept until 7 PM. I went to bed again around 11 PM and fell asleep, but I was up quite a bit during the night. During one of those times I was awake, I was thinking about how cool it would be if when you were at the dentist's office, you got a little computer that you could type on so you could talk to the hygentist. It's always awkward when she has to be a talk show host and just yammer at you the whole time, it'd be so much cooler if you could just type what you wanted to say and it would talk back to her. Maybe I'll implement that at my dental practice. Which has gone nowhere, by the way.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hood to Coast Day

So today is the day that Hood to Coast entry forms must be mailed in. This morning I double checked my application, had Cindy review it, copied it, added the check, and put it in the envelope. Cindy was like "why'd you wait until the last minute?" No no... this isn't the "last" minute, this is the "only" minute. Only forms that are correctly filled out, have the correct check with them, and are postmarked ON October 17th will be considered. Then it's a lottery from that point. That's why I was so careful about making sure it was done correctly - this is my only chance to get it right! I will have 11 other team members who will be disappointed if we don't get in... and there's still a high chance of that, but I certainly don't want it to be my fault. I will drive to the post office (don't trust the work mail for this one) during lunch to get it mailed off! Scary day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Random Stuff

Yesterday Kristie and I went apple picking (sorta... that's a story for another time) and then made apple pies! We had a blast and they turned out really well. :) Yummy.

Today I sorta felt like taking a drive around... so I went to the Dollar Tree. In the past, I have not been a big dollar store patron, but it is a perfect store for camper items. I have found that the Dollar Tree is much bigger and better than Everything's a Buck, which is much closer to my house. Today I bought ten items - two packages of "snack size" chocolate chip cookie mix (makes like 18 cookies), two bottles of body wash for me (one for home since I'm running low, one for the camper), one small bottle of body wash for Geoff (for camper), a two pack of loofahs (for home, Geoff uses them too), and 6 pack of mini-loofahs (for camper), a little set of tweezers / nail clippers for the camper, a 500 piece puzzle for camper entertainment, and a two pack of small Purell-type stuff... after we're done getting the camper all hitched up to the car and we're ready to go, it'd be nice to clean our dirty hands. I also went to Ross but couldn't find anything the camper couldn't live without. I really am trying NOT to buy too much stuff for the camper, since it really doesn't need the extra weight, but it's so fun to outfit our mini home! Way more fun than the real home. I think because you have to actually think about your space and weight restrictions, so you have to try to find good, small, useful purchases. That's one thing that makes the dollar store so attractive, they have smaller sizes of stuff. I also went to Big Lots the other day... they also have good camper stuff. But nothing I couldn't live without there. Just a place to keep in mind if I do need anything for the camper.

When Geoff gets home from work today, we're going to Ikea with Kristie! I love Ikea. :) So might the camper... ;-) Just kidding. Sorta.

A few months ago I started noticing more and more of these little stick people on the back of people's cars. Typically minivans, occasionally an SUV. I mentioned it to my friend Patrick, and he said he'd noticed them a lot too!!! We both think they're absolutely awful. No one needs to know about your family, how many kids you have, and CERTAINLY not how many pets you have! One of us found ourstickfamily.com, where you can even custom order your stick family. Now we always text each other when we see a stick family, especially if it's "custom". The other day I saw a lesiban stick family - they had a rainbow bumper sticker that said "FAMILY" on it... and then above it they had two mommies, two little girls, and a dog in stick family stickers. Patrick replied by text that that seemed dangerous, "you never know what kind of right wing psycho is driving behind you". Funny. Today I texted him to inform him that I saw a stick family all wearing Mickey Mouse ears - no reply yet on that one. And now there probably won't be a reply becuase he won't want me to blog it for the whole world to know. ;-) Anyway, the stick families are taking over the world. Do your part and DON'T buy a stick family! If you do though, be sure it's a custom one of something absolutely ridiculous so I can mock it.

Now back to reading my book for book club - The Drowing Tree by Carol Goodman. It's not bad.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Becoming a dentist

I've been thinking lately about becoming a dentist. I have a couple of issues with this: (a) I never took biology or organic chemistry and (b) my grades aren't good enough. I wish I'd had this brilliant idea while actually in college and I could have done something about it. Although I suppose I could take orgo and bio at Portland State and get As in them, then do well on my DAT and still manage to get into a decent dental school. Volunteering at a dental clinic would also help. I (totally unrelatedly) have a dentist appointment today, so I might talk to them about becoming a dentist. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that though... might just continue to research for now and then go from there.

I'll keep you posted on what I'm going to do with my life...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quick...

Just a few comments from my family (who for some reason refuses to comment) on my pictures from the first camping trip:

"It looks like your bear is passed out from all of the camping fun!" - Mom

"I thought the Tahoe was big, but next to the trailer it looks like a Smart Car!" - Christine

Not much else going on... there is some talk of a gals excursion to go pick apples and maybe bake apple pie this weekend. SO EXCITED! Might even turn it into a camping overnighter, we'll see. :) Fun either way. Have another camping trip planned for the end of October, Geoff's mom is going to join us for a couple of nights on that one. I am planning on taking a quilting class, but I realized I might need to learn to sew first, so I have to stop into Jo Ann's to figure that out. I don't know why I've had a quilt obsession lately. Am I 80 years old? Northwestern won in OT last weekend... wish I was in Evanston to see the purple clock tower. That's all. I want to go for a bike ride but I will probably just go run at the gym instead. Hood to Coast 2008 is in just 10 months... want to run on my team? Email me or comment.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Second camping trip!

We went camping again! We went Thursday through Monday and had an A-MAZ-ING time. Our friends Kendra and Beau joined us for Thursday night through Friday afternoon, then Saturday Geoff went into work (we were camping nearby at a new state park!) and then Sunday we went to a birthday party. But really, we camped. It was so relaxing and nice to just be together. Some pictures...

Kendra, Beau, and I all knew how to play "Mexican Train" dominoes. Geoff did not. So we taught him... and he LOVED it. He was like me when I first learned how to play - wanted to play nonstop. I think that's all I did spring quarter senior year of college. I had Double Nine dominoes that I brought along, and Geoff decided he wanted to get a bigger set. So he got Double Fifteens when we were out on Sunday... this is him unpacking all of his dominoes!

This is the results of a round of Mexican Train Geoff and I played Monday night. Yes, this seriously is from ONE ROUND played by two people. Double Fifteens is nuts!

Our beautiful campsite! :) Number 54 at LL Stub Stewart State Park.

Geoff's early birthday present (his birthday is in two weeks). A fancy new TV in the camper... we used our Costco rebate check for it.

Beau and Geoff. This picture turned out really crummy!

A random shot of our kitchen??

Another campsite shot. This one is mostly for Patrick to mock - note me reading. ;-)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Got the pictures to work!

Geoff standing in front of the Tahoe (Tara) and the Tango (Todd)

Putting down the jack and stuff...
Rolling out the awning.

The middle of the process of putting things away...



My excellent welcome mat! It's from Wal-Mart


The bed all made up. That is my bear. Don't make fun.


Geoff relaxing and watching TV.


Geoff MORE relaxed with his feet up...
Lying down to watch football.

Cuddling up with a blanket. He claimed it was cold.

Breakfast in the morning!

The library

I've been going to the library lately. They have a lot of RV books and magazines, plus I've been checking out the Sue Grafton alphabet books. I've read most of them, perhaps all of them, but I started in 7th or 8th grade so it's probably been long enough that I can start back at A again. Anyway... here are some camping pictures! I'm sorry that I suck at posting pictures... I know when you click on my pictures, they show up in giant size and it's really pointless. One day I will learn how to resize pictures. I mean, I KNOW how to resize pictures, but it is a huge pain. So one day I will figure out a faster more efficient way that I will actually DO.

Okay, just kidding, I'm not posting pictures because I've tried 3 times and Blogger keeps saying:

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camping!

I know I've been scarse lately. Geoff and I DID end up buying a camper after all. It is SO GREAT! Tonight we are on our "maiden voyage". We are camping in Cannon Beach... if you can call it camping, I AM on the internet after all. (there is free wifi in our campground!) We have had so much fun this past week... getting things all set up with our camper! And if you come visit, we will take you camping. I went to Geoff's mom's today and she donated many things (towels, etc.) to our camping cause. So we're pretty much all set up. Geoff is watching TV (yes, our camper came with a TV and there is cable at this campground too) and we got back a little while ago from the hot tub. We are seriously just having a blast, and it will be great to be able to get away. We are already planning an October camping trip with his parents. And his mom and I go wine tasting every Thanksgiving, so this year we might take the camper and make it a multi-day thing! Hopefully Geoff can get a few days off. :) My parents are coming for Christmas (YAY!) and we will go camping with them too. I LOVE camping (I grew up with it) and I love that you can camp year-round here. I'm so excited about it. I have pictures and I could even post them since there is a card-reader on this computer, but I'm getting tired so I will post them tomorrow or later in the week! I just wanted to share a little bit of my excitement.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"The Greatest Thing I ever did"

I put the title in quotes because it's a HUGE exaggeration. But anyway, the "greatest thing I ever did" was start cooking what I call "Rachael Ray style". Basically, that means "eyeball it". Tonight I made a homemade spinach artichoke dip from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook... and I did it without using a measuring cup! I started doing this a couple of months ago and it's so great. You just dump the right ingredients together and somehow (unless you're baking!) it all works out. I love it... so much simplier, cuts the prep time and cleanup in half. It used to be that if a recipe called for 10 oz of product x and I only had 8 on hand... I'd go buy another can or whatever so I'd have enough. Now I dump in the 8 and call it good. And my food is better than ever. YUM-O

Okay, I'm done talking like Rachael Ray now...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Baby

I bought a 6 pound bag of pretzels from Costco for Hood to Coast. It was really nice to have, salty food is good when you're running. The only problem is it was so big it took up a significant amount of space in the van! We started calling it "the baby" because 6 pounds IS the size of a newborn baby. And it took up even more space than a newborn would... so somebody always had it in his/her lap or else we had to wedge it in somewhere. It was quite amusing.

Needless to say, Geoff and I are still eating the baby. I think there are about 2 - 3 pounds left at this point.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nothing

For once, I'm not not blogging because I have been too busy or just haven't been paying attention to my blog. I'm just boring! I've done a lot around the house lately and it's looking good... but then, it didn't look bad before. Geoff and I have been looking at buying an RV. Well really, we just were looking at RVs for fun because I love them. But then we found a perfect one and at a great price, since it's a 2006. (that and I'm a good negotiator, things to the Negotiations for Engineers that I took in college) Problem is, it's 8' wide, and the spot next to our house is 8' wide... and also where the utility meters are. So we need something that's about 7' wide, which is much harder to find. We're going to go to the RV show this weekend and check it out. Truthfully, I don't see anything happening on this front for a while (while = months - years, don't know exactly). This afternoon I think we're going to go pick out our Christmas tree. Yes, I know it seems early, but Sleighbells in Sherwood will let you go tag yours early and then you just cut it in November or December. My parents are coming for Christmas, YEAH! I dunno... that's about all for now. Oh someone at work asked me how my new last name was pronounced. For those of you who know what it is, that should be pretty funny. More later if anything ever happens in my life...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"there's a rat in the house"

First, I am completely ridiculous. After I called my insurance company to add Geoff to my policy last week, they had the names printed on our cards like this:

Geoffrey George Garrison Martin
Kelly Rumquist

So BOTH of Geoff's middle names (the middle and last names are not real (correct initials though)... and story on the two middle names in a minute) and not even my middle initial! It looked so silly.. his name being so long and mine being so short. So since yesterday I had to call to tell them that I got my name changed on my drivers license and I needed a new card with my new name on it (they are cool, they will email you the cards or you can get them on the website anytime, love it!) and I said "I know this is so silly and picky, but can you change the names to either add my middle name or change his to just a middle initial? They did! So now it looks like:

Geoffrey G Martin
Kelly E Martin

It just looks shorter and cleaner. I don't know why I'm so particular. But I really appreciate them for satisfying my whims! I would have been like "no, you're ridiculous, goodbye". Okay, not really, but I would have thought it in my head. And probably blogged about the fool later. So I guess it's good that I'm blogging about the fool (myself) anyway. What fun is a blog if you don't make fun of yourself equally with others?

Story on the middle names: Geoff's great grandfather had no middle name. As he was growing up, it was always frustrating to him because he'd have to explain to people he had no middle name, he never had anything to put in the middle name box, etc. So when he had kids (6) he decided to give them all TWO middle names, each starting with the same letter as their first name. For example Emily Emma Elizabeth Martin, or Julie Jane Judith Martin (wow those names aren't really very good combinations together, but you get the idea!). Geoff's grandparents really thought that was cool, so when they had kids (5), they did the same thing. Then Geoff's parents thought that was cool as well, so when they had kids (2) they did it as well. I'm not really sure how many other members of the family (like of the 6 people in Geoff's grandfather's generation, or the 5 people in his dad's generation) did the same thing, but I know not all of them did/will. To me, it seems like MORE of a pain to have to have two middle names... like it's funny to me that the first dude had no middle name so he gave his kid two middle names... but that can be a problem logistically, explaining to people, etc. too. So it fixed one problem but created another one! :) Geoff and I have (for the most part, subject to change) decided that if we have kids, we will probably do one with the two middle names and others without it. There's a reason behind that too but I'm not quite ready to blog it just yet.

And now my last story for now. At work we have this area of little "cubby" type things where you can drop off outgoing stamped mail (personal or work related), interoffice mail, etc. I frequently take advantage of it, it's picked up between 10 and 11 AM and it's very handy. Well yesterday I go to drop off some mail and I see this sign:

"To the Netflix thief: watch the movies and then put them back in the mail!
To all others: don't put anything in here that you really care about! There's a rat in the house."

Yikes... I hope the "rat" doesn't care about my thank you notes and my letters requesting my name changed... if anyone hasn't received a thank you note, now you know why! :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Oh crap, I lost Kelly"

Last night was interesting. Geoff woke me up at 4 AM and then ripped the pillow out from underneath my head. Um, okay. That must be some weird dream. He felt ready bad about it this morning when I gave him a hard time about it. ;-)

Also, he said that when I woke up to shower this morning, he woke up a few minutes after me and looked over and didn't see me and thought "Oh crap, I lost Kelly! Where did she go?" Then he heard the shower. Hehe.

And my mom had a dream that Julie and Gary (Geoff's parents) were moving all of our stuff for us... but she didn't know why. And it was just a bunch of teeny tiny little things.

Strange happenings...

Crazy feedback lady

I have become crazy feedback lady. As I run into roadblocks with the name change process, I am trying to provide feedback to the companies/agencies that I have difficulties with. I'm not angry or trying to be mean to people (especially the customer service representatives), I just honestly want to make the process easier for others! It's already time consuming enough as it is without getting wrong information or having to do extra things to get it done. So I wrote a letter to Comcast Corporate Headquarters (in process, to be published on blog at later date) to inform them that I thought their process was too complicated. And I just submitted this form as feedback to the Oregon DMV:

Form Confirmation
Thank you for submitting the following information:
Reason: Web Site ContentProblem_Page: Info_Found:
Specify_if_Other
Comments
I am going through the process of changing my name due to marriage. One of the things I need to do per DMV guideline is change the title on my car. At the name change website: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/dv/chgname.shtml it says to use the "Request for Correction of Title Records" to change one's name on your title. However, in person at the Tanasbourne Express DMV office as well as on the phone at the DMV Portland metro phone number, I was advised to use the "Application for Title and Registration" to change my name. Sounds like the website might need to be updated. :)
Unable_to_find
Return to the form.


Friendly enough? I hope so.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quick Comcast Rant

No one likes Comcast. Seriously, read online forums and you will see a lot of "Com-crap" and such, people think they are a monopoly, overpriced, bad customer service, etc.

Here are my two recent vents about Comcast:
1. Refusal to carry the Big 10 Network. I'm not anxious to switch to Direct TV and we don't have FIOS TV available in my area, so I am stuck having to go elsewhere to watch Northwestern football games this season.

2. Requiring an in person visit to their service center to change one's name. SERIOUSLY!? You won't even let me mail you in a copy of my marriage certificate like the other 40+ agencies I've already talked to will? Seriously, I can understand you not wanting to let me do it online, or even on the phone... but at least let me do it by mail. Your nearest service center is 25 minutes away from where I live! What if the other 40 establishments all wanted me to visit them too? I think my credit card companies and banks would be slightly more particular about my name than a random utility, but they seem to have been fine with either a phone call or a letter with a marriage certificate. Ridiculous.

Fun on the phone...

Okay, so I'm on a conference call, and keep having to loudly blow my nose. Every time I start to blow, I remember I'm on the phone and look frantically at my phone (mid-blow) to make sure the mute button is still blinking. Luckily, I've been safe so far. :)

Also, I've been on this call for about 45 minutes. One of my suppliers has called THREE TIMES in that 45 minute period (I have caller ID). They also have not left a message (I have a voicemail light that lights up). Just leave me a message, I'll call you back! Or, better yet, just send me an email... then I'd get back to you right now, since I can obviously be on the computer right not but I can't be on the phone while I'm on the phone!

Wow two entries in a day... it is pretty fun to just share all of my crazy little thoughts with you people...

Thai Food

Geoff and I went to my favorite Thai place, Thai Princess, approximately a year ago (it was probably even longer than that, I don't know for sure). We both got medium spicy Pad Thai. He thought it was way too spicy and he hated it and refused to eat Thai again for the longest time. I have only had Thai on rare occasion for the past year, whenever I could convince a friend to go with me. For some reason, last week he agreed to meet me at Thai Princess for lunch. He had mild spicy Pad Thai... and LOVED IT. We've had Thai 3 times in the past week. He can't get enough of it. He says it's my fault for making him order medium spicy last time... apparently, since I ordered it, he had to order it too because it wouldn't be "manly" to order a less spicy food than your girlfriend. LAME!!! I can't believe I missed out on a year's worth of Thai food because of this. I told him I might cut him off for the next year to see how he likes it... although, at this rate, I'm going "catch up" from the entire year in a month. I'm sick of Thai already! Although that Thai cookbook my mom got me will come in handy now... :)

The process of changing your name is so interesting. Nerd that I am, I have made a fancy tracker in Excel. I put in the place I need to change it, method of change (sending a letter, phone call, visiting an office in person, etc.), and date of change. When the date is in, it adds it to my "percent completed". As of this morning I am at 43% completed. Yes, I am a total complete dork and I realize this. Secretly, I think I am cooler than anyone else who changes his/her name... I have a colorful, fancy tracker. It even has weird random stuff, like changing my name on Noodlegrams (the emails I get from Noodles & Company). There are 59 items on it currently... I know I will continue to think of more! Yaaaaaaaaay for dorks! :)