Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moving to ATL?

I know this is not a forum for seeking or posting job opportunities. But an ex-colleague (but still friend) of mine has some people he knows in the A-T-L that are in need of REALLY GOOD procurement folks.

So - 3 companies in Atlanta are seeking procurement managers...let me know if I can provide the contact!!!

And, in case you are thinking of relocating, there is a house on our street for sale, so we could be neighbors!!! (In pretty much the exact same floor plan, hehe!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Death by Firewood

Occasionally, I am known to complain on this blog. Today, I TOTALLY am going to complain a lot, so just close your browser if you don't want to hear about it.

Jeff and I decided it was time to finish up the wood cutting project he and Jason started a few weeks ago. Halved up logs were still in a hefty pile in the backyard and were just getting grosser and grosser with the more rain we got and time that passed.

It started out great - I would set up the logs on the chopping stump, Jeff swung, and then we chucked them towards the stack. After awhile, he convinced me I should try to swing the axe. I did. I was awesome at it (not). That crap is hard! And takes more practice than I want to do!!

Break time. I decided to continue to make myself useful instead of plopping in the chari, and begin stacking up the logs. Then, WHA-BLAM! My low back gave a big ol' pop and tears sprung to my eyes. I involuntarily began weeping and was immobilized because it hurt so bad; I didn't know if standing up, sitting down, or walking was going to help.

Finally I began pacing circles around the fire pit to try and keep things from tightening up. I alternated pacing and sitting for the next hour or so, then went inside (Jeff was still lumberjacking). I put some ice on and sat in my chair, which really took some nice pressure off. I got myself showered and dressed...which was no small feat.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with alternating walking and sitting, lots of ibuprofen and ice. THIS SUCKS!!! And now today at work it hurts SOOOO bad I think I am going to have to go home really early this afternoon. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Birthday!

YEA!!!! I love birthdays...and those people who brought me into the world are having one. Another one (thankfully!).



Have a great August 28th in the Black Hills during Hot Deadwood nights, and have a Lord and Diet for me, will ya!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Apple a Day

Do you know why "they" suggested to have an apple a day to keep the doctor away? Fiber.

Recently Jeff had some health issues (severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) and the doc thought it was either gallbladder related or possibly an obstruction (or something) in the colon. Before requiring gallbladder surgery, he advised Jeff to try and get 25 grams of fiber per day to see if he could get more regular and possible pass whatever was causing him angst.

That's like 25 pieces of whole grain bread. Or an entire box of brown rice. Or 12 apples. Not feasible.

So Jeff tried Fiber One Honey Cluster cereal. And found he really likes how it tastes and the energy he gets in the morning. Not to mention it is like 12 grams of fiber already, so he is well on his way by 10AM.

BUT - you know what ELSE is coming by 10AM? The first BM of the day. Followed by a second. And a third, sometimes. Add in plenty of flatulence in between, and I barely recognize the man I married. He previously disappeared but once a day for 10 minutes, regular like clockwork.

I think we are both ready for this fiber "experiment" to be over!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best night ever, courtesy of Maroon 5

On Saturday night, Jeff and I trekked over an hour to the northern part of the city to go see Maroon 5 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Alpharetta. Yes it was outdoors. In Atlanta. In August. But it was soooooo worth it!!!

We have both concluded this was the BEST concert we have ever been to (sorry Garth). Garth's big stadium show was likely as awesome as Maroon 5, BUT we saw his up close and personal show; which while so very very cool, was not sweating your butt off-electrical sexuality-crazy music-guitar shredding experience that Maroon 5 brought to Atlanta on Saturday.

Adam Levine, their lead singer, must get a lot of tail. A LOT. Because believe me, every female in attendance, from 15 to 55, wanted to take him home. Jeff at some point looked at me and said, "If sex walked around playing a guitar and wearing a wife beater, it'd be Adam Levine." (BTW, Adam started out with a wifebeater, shirt, and another shirt. It rained right before the concert, which just adds humidity to the air so you can taste it, feel it, see it. Over the course of the night, it was so freaking hot and humid he just ended up with a completely soaked wifebeater.)

The opening song, "Misery", was their new single off the yet to be released album, and probably you have heard it on the radio. And the concert seriously got better from there...Harder to Breathe, Seven Miles from the Sun, She Will Be Loved, Sunday Morning, Makes Me Wonder, Shiver (Jeff's favorite), Won't Go Home Without You, This Love...which I definitely need to share a clip of here.

This clip is really similar to our concert - the same setup and audience energy / participation. And our seats were pretty good - front section, stage left, probably 25 rows back.

2:32 is my favorite lyrical part. Oh yeah. He is totally my freebie.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Doubletree Cookies

Raise your hand if you have ever had a Doubletree Cookie. Anyone? They are seriously sinful and delicious. And we regularly get them in the office and I bring them home and share with Jeff.

As a matter of fact, here are my top three food items that I suspect also have crack in them:

1. McDonald's Fountain Coke. Seriously. What is better than that? I don't even like Coke normally (I am a Coke Zero person).

2. Doubletree Cookies. Duh.

3. 100-calorie Cheez-Its. One packet is NEVER enough. Unless that's all you packed in your lunchbox and are forced to only have one. (Obviously that's my methodology.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cool Dude Dog

So I got new specs!!! They are super cool - kind of square shaped, half rimmed "gunmetal color", with pink bows. And Dior (of course). And I can see a lot better - bonus!

But that is not the most exciting part of the story. After picking up my glasses, Jeff and I were driving away, following a pickup. Now, new glasses should mean better eyesight. Right?

Jeff says to me, "Hey, did you see that dog in the back of the pickup? I think it was wearing sunglasses."

Me: "You have got to be kidding me. I know I have some depth perception issues, but I CAN still see."

Jeff: "No, seriously. That dog was wearing shades."

Me: "There is no dog! Leave it alone!"

Enter - we stopped at a stoplight. Sure enough, a mutt dog pops it head out of the back of the truck. Wearing sunglasses. And hops up on the toolbox of the truck like the fact it is wearing WRAPAROUND SHADES is the most natural thing in the world.

I love the south. Enjoy laughing your butt off at that visual the rest of the day!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mexican Fiesta Chili

We tried a semi-new recipe...this one is kind of convoluted but try to follow along.

Put the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours with 3 chicken breasts (about 1.7 lbs) and a half cup water

Then shred it, adding 1.5 packages Taco Bell taco seasoning plus 3/4 cup water

Ok - now, Jeff just puts this in a taco shell with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and rice. But here's one step further:

Dump in a pan a can of black beans, a small can of corn niblets, a can of diced tomatos, the remaining half packet of Taco Bell Seasoning, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup salsa. Heat to simmer for 10 minutes and then put in your taco!!!!!!

Leftovers are super yummy with rice, then shredded chicken, then "mexican chili" on top. OOO-EEE!!! Have fun :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Break Point

I do not understand mainstream news media. The story bothering me today is how someone wants to build a mosque 2 blocks from the World Trade Center.

Ok, who wants to build it? And why is it an issue to build it - because it is a mosque, or because it is a place of worship, or because there is no memorial yet built? And then, why is there no memorial yet built?

So all of these questions are burning in my mind...let me add one more. Why don't journalists get the complete story and report THAT? Why do I only hear one set of facts with nothing to string together the whole picture?

(PS. I personally don't see what the big deal to build a mosque there is. Obviously those folks have decided they need a place of worship where one does not exist. Can you imagine, southerners, the opposition to another Baptist church going up? Come on.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back on the Wagon

Well, I am back at it this week. Finally! Some normalcy to my life returns. Items to accomplish in the front part of the week:

Grocery shopping, including perishables which I will actually have time to eat
Watching the latest True Blood and Drop Dead Diva
Cleaning the bathrooms and kitty box
Working out 30 minute cardio for 3 days, and 2 days of weight training
Petting my kitties!!!!
Spending quality time with my honey bear

Who knew ordinary life looked so appealing?

Friday, August 13, 2010

NBTA Conference!

Spent the whole last week in Houston at the National Business Travel Association conference. With 6,000 of my closest friends, we were educated, entertained, and enlightened about all things business-travel related.

I personally had a great time networking with my hotel partner contacts, other airline professionals, and met some wonderful people who bestowed their knowledge on me. I attended 5 or six hour to hour-and-a-half educational sessions and learned everything from international security recommendations at hotels to strategic meetings management to leadership characteristics.

Some really fantastic speakers attended as well - highlights were Condoleeza Rice, Richard Branson, and Lance Armstrong each giving keynote addresses during lunch.

Every day started at 8:30, and went till after midnight. There were also at least 3 to 4 hours of expo time during the day, and then the evenings were also jam-packed. Happy hours, dinners, and parties abounded - and of course my group had to make an appearance at all of them to avoid looking like were playing favorites. (Of course.)

The highlights include: a Studio-54 themed party, complete with martini bar, live band, Cher impersonators, and professional dancers in cages, and really great dancing; and another party with 5 levels of fun including a pulsing floor to DJ beats, contortionist and fire throwers, living art via a naked guy in a bathtub of olives (!), henna tattoos, star in your own music video, and more!

Thanks to all my new friends and colleagues for a GREAT conference! (But boy does it feel good to be home. Trip was Sunday till Friday.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


From one of my favorite blog writers, Seth Godin, wrote a post today that I had to share...I work mostly with internal customers, which I think this perfectly applies to, as well as even family members and friends.

Train your Customers

Yes, you can train them. By rewarding some behaviors over others, by keeping some promises not others, by having some expectations instead of others, you get the audience you deserve. Some things you can train customers to do:

Be respectful
Be patient
Keep their satisfaction to themselves
Be selfish
Be focused on a superstar
Demand personal service
Be calm
Never settle for the current iteration
Be cheap
Embrace acceptance
Spread the word
Expect pampering
Demand free
Be eager to switch brands to save a buck
Value and honor long-term loyalty
Be skeptical

The customers you fire and those you pay attention to all send signals to the rest of the group.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Hartmans

We sent Jason (Jeff's brother) on his way back to South Dakota today. He has spent the better part of this past week at our house (yes, even while I was gone) and I think Jeff got every honey-do off the list that he had been saving up for the tall, skinny kid.

They did a perfect job manicuring the lawn, even mowing the opposite way, while also trimming like crazy, and pulling weeds in all my beds. (Jason actually mowed twice while he was here, the first day and the second to last.) They hauled up probably 5 or 6 wheelbarrows full of mulch to add to my gardenia bed, my rose bed, and the front mailbox bed of dwarf plumbago and dwarf bamboo (which is not really bamboo).

They "played" in the backyard...although I guess once you are older you graduate from swingsets to chainsaws. They cut up a ton of wood and even chopped down a full tree (I was told that was extremely exciting and a bit of a rush). Then they tossed the logs into our backyard, chopped it into firepit worthy quarters (this part took several mornings), and placed it into the newly built firewood holder. They re-landscaped my mulch pit so it's not so squishy and evened out another path to my new garden bench. They also put up markers for all my new plants so we don't accidentally Round-Up them in the fall.

Keep in mind, last week there was a heat advisory all week. Because the Heat Index was around 110 every day - it was in the 90s and just about as humid as I've ever seen. Literally all the windows in our house were dripping just like a bathroom window after a shower would.

I guess they cooled off in the afternoons and evenings by playing STARCRAFT 2! I am not a computer gamer, but after purchasing the game they decided both the computer monitor and the video card needed upgrading (this took 4 trips to Best Buy).

Do you think those boys had fun? I think Jeff will miss his buddy ;)