Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day quotes

Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt. -Bergen Evans

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard

Thanks to all of our service men and women.

Friday, May 28, 2010

3-day weekend!

We are looking forward to a long weekend of doing nothing!!! Well, most likely we will do SOMETHING, but it is yet to be determined what.

UPDATE: bought Jeff new tennis shoes for the first time in like, 10 years. Way overdue but hopefully he likes them. (Sidenote - what do you guys call tennis shoes? Sneakers? Tennies? Technical Performance shoes? (That's what the douche sales guy called them. And looked at us funny when we asked about tennis shoes.))

UPDATE: watched The Time Traveler's Wife. Wow. Beautiful love story. And very sad. But worth it to watch.

UPDATE: Target trip complete.

UPDATE: the house is fully cleaned. And more than just dusted and vacuummed and bathrooms done (thanks Jeff). I took Liquid Gold to our Hartman table, end table, and piano. I also wiped down walls and light switches with no-rinse TSP - the paint job looks new!

UPDATE: gearing up for True Blood this summer. Watched episodes 1 & 2 from Season One.

UPDATE: YUMMY egg salad sandwiches - summertime!!! And a trip to DQ.

UPDATE: Found Bella's boomerang toy. She freaking loves that thing. Been playing with her.

All in all, I LOVE weekends at home!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Griping about Griping

I was listening to NPR yesterday (on my super awesome XM radio), and there were several callers and experts criticizing the federal government and President Obama for the response to the BP oil spill.

They thought the government should have done more to aid the cleanup, should be calling the shots, and should have proposed several ideas to cap the deluge. They thought it ludicrous that the company responsible for the spill was also relying on their own in-house experts to brainstorm and coordinate the efforts.

What the critics don't realize is this - the brainiacs of science and engineering do not typically lie within the government. They go to work in industry. Or in universities. Or both. Or a combination thereof, as contractors or recipients of federal research grants. If we relied on the government experts to engineer and design a plan to cap the leak, we'd still be in assessment mode.

Should BP have had a better emergency response plan? You bet. Should they have had a Plan B, period, in case of a spill? Of course. But does BP have the best people, equipment, ideas, and resources to get themselves out of this mess? Most likely yes.

The world is watching. I hope the privitazation and free market concepts of the oil and gas industry don't let us down.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painting fools

In preparation for our elliptical delivery today, Jeff and I prepped and painted the workout room a bright, new, shiny beige. This is much different from the darker beige it used to be. Honestly. You may think I'm joking - but it's amazing what a lighter shade can do!

Anyway, we did all the prep work - filling holes, sanding the blue stripe down, and wiping down the walls with no-rinse TSP on Monday night. Then on Tuesday, Jeff did the first coat all by himself, in the 100 degree heat of that room. I cannot BELIEVE how hot it is in that room. He said it presented "unique challenges" because it dried SO FAST because it was so hot. I think he got kind of frustrated at various times, but persevered.

When I got home on Tuesday, Jeff was just finishing the first coat and we needed another gallon. So, off to Home Depot while it dried. Upon our return, we put up the second coat and got done about 11pm last night.

In the beautiful light of morning bliss all of our hard work was rewarded - it looked great this morning! I can't wait to see how the new elliptical looks in there.

Monday, May 24, 2010

8 Week Challenge: COMPLETE

On Friday, I completed my 8 Week Challenge!!!!!!

The Challenge was to walk for at least 20 minutes, at least 4 times a week. No excuses because of travel or tiredness or busyness, and 20 minutes isn't that long so don't lie to yourself and say it is.


It feels great. And honestly, I didn't work out on Saturday or Sunday as a reward to myself (and we were busy). But it felt weird not to. And I think that's a good thing.

Jeff also completed his 5 Week Challenge (I like to think I motivated him to start up as well). His Challenge was to lift weights 3 times a week, for 20 minutes. Same premise, but with weightlifting instead of cardio.

And here's the Reward for Good Behaviour. I can't wait to start using it when it's delivered on Wednesday!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Da Block Party

Yesterday, Jeff and I went to the local Block Party, held in the parking lot of the offices where I work. It was super fun!

We left home about 11:30 (and it was already 82). It had rained the night before, so puddles were still on the ground it was really humid.

When we arrived - with a primo parking spot - we meandered over to the entrance. WOW - totally not what I expected. First of all, FREE EVERYTHING. That alone was awesome, but wait till you hear what the FREE included...

Some of the highlights - Beer Tent, Coca-Cola products on ice absolutely everywhere, a center stage with live entertainment - with Sister Hazel as the headliner, blow-up jumparound things for the kids, tons of triva booths for kids and adults, lots of Employee Groups' booths (like Hispanic, Scuba Dive, and Gay/Lesbian groups), tons of vendors with freebies to hand out, Minute Maid frozen goodies, Cotton Candy, MINI DONUTS (thank you for transplanting from MN, whoever is in charge), Chick-Fil-A, burgers, hot dogs, pork sandwiches, a private plane tour, museum tours, karoake, wine tasting with Andrea Robinson, and 10 million porta potties.

We totally scored 2 plastic eco-friendly water bottles, 2 koozies, a binder, a pink visor sunhat (for me) well as sampled everything listed above.

But truly the best part? Seeing 21,000 employees from all walks of life, enjoying the same activities at the same time, and all sponsored by the company. I felt very proud and lucky to have my job.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

O Canada

Hello, Winnipeg!

Winnipeg is a prairie city, situated about 4 hours north of Fargo, ND, and approximately 7 hours north of my hometown. So, I felt right at home in the flatlands and hot, dry, weather of Central Canada.

The residents of this 700,000 person town also struck me to be a lot like West River South and North Dakota - the whole gamut of business folks, ag people, ranchers in cowboy hats, Native Americans, and even artists, musicians, and actors were a-plenty downtown.

Only 2 negatives occurred during my visit - my colleague was propositioned, and the sun came up at 5am and went down at 10pm which messed with me.

But that was all made better by the presence of my favorite fast food chain in the world - TIM HORTON'S!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New York Minute

Ok, a sweet perk of my job: I get to do awesome things.

On Friday morning, I flew (Company Business) to NEW YORK CITY to take in a game between my Twinkies and the Yankees.

Sitting in a Skybox, sipping free drinks and eating free food, all along the 3rd baseline...what could be better? Oh, I know. A chauffeured tour of NYC at midnight...hello Times Square!

Photos are coming - I of course forgot my camera so had a friend take my photos for me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


"I'm like Tinkerbell. I need applause to live."

This was my favorite quote on Glee last night, and perhaps my favorite quote of all time.

Here's why: who doesn't like an 'atta boy', a pat on the back, a word or look of approval from someone you admire.

But in order to get it back, you need to give it away. After all, if you never said anything good about anyone else, why would you ever expect people to say nice things period? ("Someone else won't always do it." This idea that others WILL is a social pet peeve of mine. Perfect example - give to NPR if you listen. The other guy might not.)

Rewarding other people for things you like, things they did, who they are, or what they believe does not show weakness on your part. At first it might seem like you are giving all the credit away.

But in the long term, those whose words, deeds, actions, and mantras you call out as admirable, thoughtful, or just plain awesome in your eyes will breed loyalty, respect, and above all, humanity.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Insurance companies are irrational

Let me paint the picture of what just happened.

I went to the doctor for my annual physical about 2-1/2 months ago. At that time, she gave me new prescriptions for all of my asthma meds. I had run really low on Singulair and decided to fill my last refill prescription locally instead of through the mail-order service since I needed it right away.

I knew though, that my cost would go up by continuing to fill it locally, and so I knew I should transfer it to the mail-order company. I tried to send in the newly written prescription about a month ago and they mailed it back to me with a crypic note. Jeff called and after 30 minutes on the phone they discovered it had really been returned because it was too soon to fill (so much for trying to be proactive). So I waited. And ran out of my meds again while on a trip to Pennsylvania.

I still had the 3-month written prescription in my purse so I went to a Walgreens in Bethlehem, PA and filled a month's worth to get me by.

At this point I had basically filled 2 months in a row at a local pharmacy and so received a nice reminder from my mail-order service that I should transfer the prescription to them to save myself some money.

So I logged on and put a little check mark by Singulair and hit "Transfer to Medco".

Six days later I received the note that this could not be transferred and the prescription had been voided. I called to find out what was happening. After 2 transfers, the customer service rep told me it was "too early to fill" since I had tried to transfer my Rx which really triggered a refill request.

She told me in order to get the refill I had to wait until May 26th - no sooner - as that day I would have 7 days left of my medicine and would not get the "too early to fill" error. The catch? They couldn't just renew what I had already sent in.

Since the prescription was voided, here's the steps I need to take since I was TOO proactive with my health: 1) call the doctor and explain the situation; 2) the doctor has to call their 800 number; 3) the doctor must choose option 3 to request a new form; 4) the doctor must print a new prescription and fax (really?) my prescription to them (mind you, which I already sent). This must all occur perfectly - as remember, there are only 7 days left before I run out (again).

Seriously? People. This is stupid. Beaurocracies...are mostly ok when for the greater good. But in this case they are just plain dumb, a waste of time, and illogical.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mama visit

Happy Almost Mother's Day!

My mom made it down to visit us this weekend and we are having a blast! We have no plans other than to hang out, make a Mother's Day brunch, go out to dinner at Carrabbas, roast marshmallows under the stars with our fire pit, shop for garden knick-knacks and a porch set, read books, and relax.

The weather is supposed to be great - temps in the low to mid 70s, no humidity, and sunshine. It will be wonderful!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEE

Yes, it is both ego-centric and diva-like to give yourself a shout-out on your own blog (and to talk about yourself in the 3rd person).

But who cares? It's MY BIRTHDAY, and I can do what I wanna!!!

So - shout out to Jessica for her 29th birthday!
(And also to Maddie, my ever-present helper.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

I think Americans just like a reason to party. Why else would we adopt a south-of-the-border holiday yet not have a clear pathway to citizenship for working illegal immigrants?

Anyway, I digress. Have a margarita!!! I, myself, prefer the traditional lime margarita with salt, on the rocks - and not blended.