Friday, December 19, 2008

Wow! It's December 19 and there is Snow on EVERYTHING!

Okay...if this post cuts off abruptly, don't think anything of it. I have vowed that no matter what I have said or haven't said, I will be posting this before I put this box down for more than just going back and refilling my glass. That's right ... no more of these tired-ass, posted three weeks later posts...

Okay, I have no idea what I'm gonna talk about...oh wait! Yes I do! Almost all of the presents are wrapped and ready to go. The tree looks really good - all full and shit. But tomorrow it will start to get depleated. Oh! And did I mention that I am drinking for the first time in about a year? No? Well, I am. I haven't drank because of the meds I was on, but I've been off of those for nearly two months, and so now I can have a drink again. Okay...a drink or five. I had a crazy assed craving for whiskey sours today, so I cracked at the mix and am on my, well, when I get up to refill it, my third drink. I have a giant bowl of popcorn sitting next to me and that's tasty too. The housetops that I can see out our picture window are all white and fluffy, and the blue and crystal tree is awesome as well. Life is good. I'm trying to decide whether I want to go out for a walk.

I'm looking forward to all the Yule and Christmas doin's we've got scheduled coming up. I don't have any pics to post . . . but I'm going to have to post anyway. ha ha!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

And a Couple of Birthdays Come and Almost Gone

It seems like everything has been set on fast forward these past many, many weeks. Today is December 9 (REALITY CHECK: It is actually December 19 - 11 friggin' days after I wrote this post - but I refuse to delete it entirely since I can't remember what I was thinking at the time), and it's my birthday. It's been a really good one too. Quiet and simple as far as celebration goes, and yet, not at all.

Also covered by this post is Andrea's birthay which was a whopping TWO WEEKS ago. Here's a picture from it:

Needless to say, I'm a little behind. With good reason. I had a class to create on a piece of very complicated software for a presentation that happened yesterday. That had me riding pretty high on adreniline for most of the referenced two weeks. As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I hit the trenches in earnest with that and didn't let up until it was done...and it wasn't done until around midnight on Sunday. All worth it though.

So...back to birthdays. Mine was good, as I've already said. And it was good despite the fact that I had a 6:30 spinal relief clinic appointment, a toe-nail removal at 8:30, (this required getting a deadening shot in the toe which is a form of torture that is legal for podiatrists to use in this country - apparently), and a holiday party at the office for which I had agreed to sing at 12:30. It was quite the busy day, lemme tell ya. But everything worked out wonderfully. Even though I was late for my spine appointment - and late because I thought that I missed my exit and got myself all turned around so I could come back the other way on 405 and re-approach it - only to realize that I hadn't overshot it in the first place. Did I mention that it was about 6:15 a.m. and I'd had maybe five hours sleep the night before? Hmm? Anyway, the folks at the Spinal Relief Center always make me feel pretty good about my day (I'm really gonna miss 'em when the treatments are all completed) - but I digress . . . as USUAL.

At work I had to hurry up and get shit done because we had our office party today and it started at noon. I couldn't get out of there 'til 12:30, but made it over to the party just in time for the food to be delivered. Time enough, I guess. The Figgy Pudding carrolers got back together for a command performance and that was fun. If you don't know what I'm talking about,'s really kinda sad. Anyway, then I stopped off by GameStop to pick up a case for the PSP. Yesterday all I did was charge the thing - today, I actualy played it. :) I played some God of War and it was really cool. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself now! I can't seem to win...I either run completely off course, or get ahead of myself. Anyway, fuck it! I had some lovely roses and cupcakes a couple of books I'd put on my Amazon list waiting for me when I got home to the little man. Here's the pic:

We were going to a movie, but I opted for staying home and playing with my PSP.

Okay . . . given the fact that it's actually 12-19, and not 12-09 anymore - I think I'm gonna post this friggin' thing

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Man...All He Wanted Was a Red Rider BB Gun!

Well, it's that time of year again . . . yep. Christmas time is here. The one time of year we encourage our kids to sit on the laps of funny-smelling old men, stroke their beards and take candy from them. Yep. The American Christmas - nothin' quite like it.

I just thought I'd share these precious-moment photos of a friend's kid getting into the spirit of things.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving A-Plenty!

Well, we've had our Thanksgiving holiday, and lots of it. It started last weekend when Tim Allen, Polly, Andrea and her new beau, Bill, came over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. It had been a couple of years since I cooked one, so I went NUTSO! I've got a bunch of pics to prove what a nut case I am too! I thought I'd do a little show and tell. Who knows? One of you may need to reference this page to cook your own turkey one day. (Possibly even one of my children)

Okay, the first thing I did is bake my own bread especially for the purpose of staling it and using it in the cornbread stuffing the following weekend. So this rising bread here was done 7 days prior to the dinner.

This may seem a little bit much for some of you, but I want you to know that it DOES make a difference in the way the stuffing comes out. The bread has to have a lot of body so that it doesn't get soggy. I HATE soggy stuffing.

I also made a carrot cake for one of the desserts. Here my ceramic kitchen buddies look on approvingling.

So after I got the desserts taken care of, and I didn't take pics of all of them, but I did a Bavarian salad the night before as well as two pumpkin pies, I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning and began working on the turkey. The first thing to do with a turkey is to take it out of the bag and wash it. After washing it in the sink with room temperature water, you need to give it a salt bath. Check out yon pictures.

So after you've rinsed out all the simply need to pour salt into the cavity of the bird, and vigorously rub the insides. You are using this as an abrasive and thoroughly cleaning the inside of the bird that is going to become the roasting cavity for the stuffing.

Speaking of stuffing, you need to have it all ready and sitting somewhere near the turkey so you can get it all stuffed in. I use a nice serving spoon and shovel it gently into the cavity. The main cavity isn't the only place I stuff either. I also stuff the back cavity so that I don't have a turkey with that weird indentation when I get finished.

Another thing thing you need to do is to take care of the neck and giblets (the heart and liver). Put them into a sauce pan with lots of water. This is later going to become the liquid for your giblet gravy, and to moisten the stuffing that goes into the oven to cook outside of the bird.

After the turkey is stuffed in the main cavity, and the back cavity, then it's time to do a little surgical sewing on it. I had to sew the back flap closed so that it wouldn't come open and look strange. So it's a needle and thread and get to sewin!

The best way to finish, is to get the turkey on the roaster rack, dry it off with a paper towel, then oil it with olive oil. I also ground some fresh black pepper on it before it went into the oven. I cooked it at 350 for the first 1/2 hour, then turned it down to 325. You cook turkey for basically 15 minutes per pound. This was a 20 pound turkey, so we were down for 5 hours.

Here's what the turkey looked like cooking.

So after the turkey had been cooking for a few hours, and just before the kids got there, I set up the appetizers. Really wish I wasn't one of THE worst photographers ever. I'm trying, but my improvement is slow and barely perceptible.

So here's Andrea and Bill, and the little baby dog Trixie. They got there just before noon.

Here's Kris and Tim Allen basting the turkey.

Andrea and Polly snacking on stuff before dinner. There were veggies, a cheese ball, and Hickory Farms crackers and dates, and cream cheese with olives in celery. Yum!

I'm not sure if this was supposed to be a commentary on the turkey or what! lol! Actually, I know it wasn't...she's just a little turd!

And here's me....ready to cut the bird!

And so a slicin' we will go...

And here's my son trying to get across the kitchen without getting his picture taken. Tough luck!

And here is Andrea and Polly. Andrea took my camera outside to get this one.

We had a wonderful time. I didn't get any more pics because I was busy serving dinner. The Goddess let the food come out good, and everyone was personable and all was calm and wonderful.

We continued our Thanksgiving celebration by heading over to Wenatchee to Nick and Maggie's place for the real event on the real day itself. I didn't get a single picture of Nick and Maggie's Thanksgiving...I have no idea why. I never even thought about getting my camera out - AND I HAD IT WITH ME! I hope we get to go again. I'll do better. Their house was beautiful, the food was great. And OMG! Is it 3:30 in the morning? Yes. Yes it is. I'm goin' to bed. But I did manage to finally get this T-Day blog done! I still need to do an entry with Andrea's birthday pics in it. There are only a few, but they are cute, and they were taken on her 19th birthday.

Whew! Goodnight all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Could Stress be the Next Diet Aid?

As I was sitting at work today with acid reflux riding high, I thought of how I wasn't hungry at all, and how there might be something marketable in this fact. Mind you, I feel like there's a hole burrowing its way through the lining of my breadbasket, but hey! I don't feel like I need food, and I've had like a cup of oatmeal today.

Whatever the case, it would have to be better than friggin' Alli . . . I can't even BELIEVE that people would buy this product. It makes me laugh out loud when I think about the fact that the warnings include things like "may cause anal leakage and spotting." Holy Hell! You may be able to eat a few hundred calos more per day, but you have to start wearing adult diapers. How sexy is THAT? Hey baby....I'll be right out...I just have to change my pants...I seem to have shat myself.. tee hee! Riiiight....

Or maybe we could go back to a turn-of-the-last-century solution and start nom-nommin' tapeworms. Can you imagine? Tapeworms? How DISGUSTING is THAT? I can remember reading about tapeworms when I was a butterball teenager and wishing I could get one. Who knew you could by them in a box in my grandmother's day. Sheeeeet... have another doughnut...ain't no it down with a sterilized tapeworm.

It's really unbelieveable the stress we put on the physique in this country, and then don't have any support system for helping to make it happen for people. For instance, there's the whole magazine ad culture that teenagers are victims and slaves to - however, all over the country, athletic programs in schools are being cut due to lack of funding, and academics are stressed far more than physical fitness. But if you're a fat kid who sits around and reads all day long and makes straight As in school, you're automatically branded as a lazy kid. Huh? And we may want our adult work force to be lookin' good too, but do most companies have provisions for physical fitness during work hours? No.... I'm not talking about the employer actually paying you to buff up, but we are, in fact, alloted only so many waking hours, and it so happens that most of us spend the majority of them doing some kind of meaningless work. Why not encourage some physical health and fitness int he workplace by making it mandatory that employers, especially employers of office workers, who employee over 500 people, make an exercise facility available for employees who want to use it? Hell, we write every other damn nit-pickin' detail into law - why not something that actually would do us some good for a change? I'm just bitter because we have this really nice shower facility here at my work, but if you want to ride an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill, you've gotta go waaaaaay the hell down the road because all the close-by ones (okay...with the exception of the rich old men's health club across the street that costs $5,000 a year to belong to) have closed down.

I'm not sure why I went on this rant...oh yeah...heartburn as the next diet and weight loss solution. That makes about as much sense as having your stomach cut out and your intestines re-wired. Oh wait...that's bariatric surgery which is a multi-million dollar industry in this sad and confused country of ours. (I'm also probably feeling a bit militant because I'm listening to Mudvayne's new stuff). Anyway, there it is. Have a great hump day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Alaska True Cod Toothpaste

You know...once in a while I have a great idea. Today is one of those times. As I was ingesting my 3 tablespoons of fish oil as prescribed by my chiropractor for the disks in my back - I thought "What the Hell? Everthing I eat or drink today is going to taste like this friggin' fish oil...I may as well have brushed with fish oil toothpaste."

I think that the color is about right too, huh? Well, maybe this isn't THE best idea I've ever had. Maybe my idea for a turbo salt-shaker was slightly better. However, I'm in a whimsical mood and felt like sharing it.

This morning saw another early morning back treatment, and all that space between the vertebrae when they're done leaves you feeling a little giddy sometimes. But I'm here at work, so I'd better concentrate on giving Caesar what is Caesar's. Ciao Baby! Happy Tuesday! (I love me some exclaimation points!)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Woo Hoo! A New President and Friday!

It doesn't get much better than this. I'm so happy that Obama won the election. I honestly got up the next morning and felt better about being an American. And many, many of the people that I spoke with on Wednesday felt the same way. I'm hoping that the policies that will be changed, and the actual CHANGES that will no doubt be made in the coming months and years will reveal a more modern and global America.

About the only thing that bothers me about the Obama is the fact that he smokes. I hope he's able to get that under control soon. As an ex-smoker, I know that it is hard. But I have such a hard time believing that someone as smart and talented as he is actually still lights those fuckin' things and puts them in his face.

I was thinking yesterday as I was walking on the streets of Seattle, desperately trying to regain my health so I can feel better and have a better quality of life, that the tobacco companies must be okay with him getting elected. Granted, it would have been a more direct benefit to have McCain pick up the election, but they get the soft benefit of having Obama in there with the tacit acceptance of it being okay to smoke. Both of my kids smoke, and I hate it. I really do. I cannot believe that those two kids, both of them pretty intelligent, are actually SMOKING. Now what am I gonna say, huh? Now that we have a smoking President, how much juice am I goign to lose on our Thanksgiving day when I plan to snipe at both of them for the nasty habit. Thanks, Barrack. Thanks a heap. I think the American Lung Association ought to send him a year's supply of nicotiene patches for good measure.

So today is Friday, but it's also Enbrel injection day. I'm happy that my insurance company okayed this drug and is paying for it. I just wish I didn't feel so jumpy about injecting it. It leaves these coronas around the injection site that make me really uncomfortable. And then there was the problem last week when, several hours after the injection, I began to feel woozy . . . dizzy and sick and feverish. I called my doc's office and the glib nurse told me that I must "have the flu" - and I really wanted to push her face in. I was standing there with my face all flush and hot. I informed her that I hadn't had the friggin' flu since 1988! And then she proceeded to pour upon me her glibbery by telling me how "Well, from the moment you took that first injection of Enbrel, your immune system was compromised..." Thanks bitch! I really needed to hear that. Anyway, turns out I didn't have the flu, and I survived the symptoms - but I was none too eager to inject myself again. I didn't yesterday because I didn't think I actually felt well enough to do it. And one thing that they did tell me when I went for "injection training" is that if you feel sick, don't shoot the stuff. So I did it again today because I didn't feel sick or sickly, but I injected it in my leg instead of my stomach. Looking forward to seeing the giant, red-ass ring around the needle hole there too. Oh! And the coronas on my previous injection sites didn't show up until yesterday, at which time they appeared like some kind of bizarre fading and returning ink. Both of them. The one from the injection several weeks ago, and the one from the most recent.

My mother is back in the hospital. She is in Baptist Memorial in Oklahoma City this time. I think they were trying to kill her in that little hokey home-town hospital in Perry, OK. My sister said that they dropped her from the lift TWICE. It caused her to lose a lot of blood by making it pool in her stomach and lungs. Greeaaatt. My sister gives me updates. I'm almost too chicken-shit to call the hospital and get them for myself. I want her to filter them for me. **sigh**

Well, the weekend is here. I hope all reading this are planning a good one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post-Halloween and Election Day

Well, Halloween is all done and over with for another year. It was a good one, but by the time the event itself got here, it was a quiet one for sure. By the time I got done driving home in the traffic that was out that night, it was tempting to just shut all the blinds, turn the porch light off and pretend to not be home. But instead, I got changed out of my witch costume and into some jeans and felt quite a bit better. I cooked pork chops for dinner and we had a nice, relaxing evening watching Halloween-related films and answering the door for the half-dozen or so groups of kids who braved the rain to show up. I wore my "harvest witch" outfit this year that I made in 2006. This will be the last year for that costume to come out. I don't think I'll be able to alter it sufficiently to make it fit me for another year, so it's getting retired. The picture here was taken by a co-worker. It's the only one in existence that I'm aware of. The only reason I care is that this dress was a bitch to make! I have plans for next year, but I will have to get started on it some time next summer. We'll see if anything comes of those plans.

And now, here it is, election day. Eagerly awaited for four years by those of us who have been pulling for the Democrats. Well, I guess that technically, I've been eagerly awaiting this election for the past 8 years. 2000 was such a disillusionment for me, that I thought I might have to look into moving to Canada. Of course there's really nothing I could offer Canada that would be a unique skill (never did master that thing with the ping-pong balls), so I guess I'm gonna have to stay here no matter who wins. But GOD I AM READY FOR A CHANGE AND SOME MUTHA FUCKIN' PROGRESS in this country. We are so woefully behind the rest of the competitive world when it comes to education and health care and just humanity in general that it is mind-boggling. Mind-boggling because there is enough wealth, talent and population in this country that we could and SHOULD lead the entire world....not look like a bunch of retarded school yard bullies. Oh well....I swore I would never again get too emotionally involved (after 2000, that is). I lost my voice that year from all the screaming that I did at the television the night that fuck-tard Bush "won" the election. And when he stole it again in 2004, well, I was just numb by then. Numb, and I honestly couldn't believe it. Honestly COULD NOT. I'm not sure that we won't have out-right rioting in the streets tonight if McCain wins. We'll just have to wait and see. I'm not going to even try to keep up with it this evening on television. I'm going to cook some chicken curry and jasmine rice, make an apple pie in honor of election day and hope for the best. Trust in the process and the American people to make the right decision. We'll see how that works out. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A few pics from the Husband's Birthday and Miscellaneous Ramblings

So we had a birthday party for Kristopher here at the house last Tuesday, and I didn't get any pics put up. I have some really good ones because Jaime was here and he's a great photographer. Unlike myself who sucks the big one! First we have a picture of Kristopher's cake. I thought it was really cute, and he picked it out for himself. We actually went to Albertson's together and he chose the spray on image and asked them to put the really cool pumpkin decoration on it. The pumpkin decoration absolutely MADE the cake. It looks super cute in this picture, but when you saw it in real life, it was like your glasses needed cleaning or something. Still it tasted good.

My husband acts like he doesn't like any of the corny shit like getting a birthday song sung for him or blowing out candles - but I gotta tell you...he did a pretty good job of acting like he was actually enjoying himself.

At the party were Beth and Marvin, Patricia Hedtke, Jian Lakerson, Jaime Forerro (thanks for the pics Jaime!) and Terry (Mom) and Kevin - and, of course, me. It was a nice little gathering and we had Papa John's pizza, a bunch of soda and cake and ice cream. Old-fashioned birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein even had party hats on. While I was cutting the cake, we had a bit of a philosophical discussion about how cool it was to have your birthday so close to such a cool holiday as Halloween. Great to be close, but not exactly ON the day itself. If your birthday is on the 31st, you'll never be able to have just a regular birthday - it will always have to be a Halloween party. But if it's just close...say 10 days before - then you have the opportunity to either embrace all the Halloween kitch, or completely ignore it. So, again, it was decided that the little man had a good thing going with his birthday on Halloween. Here he is opening his card from his Mom.

There are a few more pics, but I think I'll stop here. Everyone had a pretty good time, and it was really cool to have an old school birthday. But my present to Kristopher didn't show up until the next day, and when it did . . . well, it didn't fit as well as it should have. But I did manage to get a picture of him in it before he took it off because it was pulling on his shoulders. Check out my baby in his giant onsie.

Of course it was really weird to not have Nick and Maggie around. This is the first year that they are in their new home in Yakima. We'll be seeing them for Turkey day, but I've been with Kristopher for 8 birthdays now, and I've never not seen Mr. Nick on that day. I know that Kristopher really missed him too. Things change - familes move apart...but that doesn't mean you have to like it.

Okay, that's it for now. Tomorrow is Halloween and I'm really looking forward to it. Quite a few people at the office are dressing for the occasion and I'm going to do my best to get some decent pictures. Hopefully I can get someone with a steady hand to take a few of me as well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fuck Halloween Candy!

Well, I am a great lover of Halloween - and normally, I don't have any trouble resisting the Halloween candy. However, over the course of the past couple of weeks, I seem to have developed quite the taste for the evil shit. I ate 1000 calories worth of it yesterday. Between the evil Halloween candy and my simpering inability to resist eating it and the fact that the doctor has taken me off of all exercises while my disks heal, I should be whale sized by the time my treatments are done. Well, that's not gonna happen. If I so much as look at one piece of that shit tonight, I'm taking the whole lot of it and throwing it in the trash can. Kristopher and I talked about it, and I think he's about ready to do the same thing. We've had enough for this season, that much is certain. (I think that I had enough for the season YESTERDAY!) Okay...I just wanted to check in and say what I had to say. I forgive myself for my infractions to date because I was getting off of pain killers. Okay. I'm all done with those (they are evil of a different color - but evil to be sure - especially when you are having to stop them.

But on the brighter side.... I don't feel like I need sugar OR pain killers today, so I may be out of the woods. And happy to be out of the woods am I.

Alrighty then! Everyone reading this have a great day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Spam Blogs and Remote Car Key Responsibity

My other blog, about my course of spinal treatment, was blocked today as a possible spam blog. Weird. I didn't know what a spam blog was until now. I guess these assholes who have been filling our mailboxes for years now with all manner of crap have taken to automating blog production and blog entry for the purpose of setting link traps to get people to click to go to a single site. How fuckn' stupid can you be? Stop it already, assholes...don't we have ENOUGH meaningless and usesless shit out here? Hmm? Why put more? Knock it the fuck off. Who wants to navigate a trash heap? Another excellent example of how a few assholes can ruin it for everyone else. I think Google is doing a great job by flagging anything that might possibly be one of these sites. I don't mind having my other blog locked where I can't write to it for a couple of days to help keep that kind of lame crap from proliferating all over the Internet. Besides - blogs are cool and it's nice to have them around. If this kind of stuff is allowed to run rampant, even a company as rich as Google won't be able to keep up with the server load demand. Okay...that's all I've got to say about that. Oh, and I'll be sure to put a link to my spinal decompression blog in here later.

And now on to the next topic. Remote repsonsibility for car keys.

This one requires a little bit of explanation. I shall now provide that. Ready? Of course you are. Remote responsibility for car keys refers to the phenomenon of my daughter believing that it was my fault she locked her car keys in her car on the same day that she asked me to give her my key to her car because she had come so close to locking them in there before. When she asked me earlier that day to give her that set of keys, I simply told that she had to be careful and not do that, because I was not giving her the set of keys I have to her car since I am still a co-signer on the loan for that car. Now I know that is extremely unreasonable of me. Call me crazy. My 18-year old daughter who has shown such vast amounts of responsible behavior could not possibly ever default on that car and put my credit at risk. So yeah...she winds up locking her keys in her car with both her and her dad's dog inside. And then she proceeds to call me up and yell at me with a "hope you're happy" kind of tone. She also informed me that if I wasn't going to give her my key, I should at least have the decency to buy her another one because this lock smith was going to cost her money. Okay. Now there you have it. I am somehow remotely responsible for what she does with her car key, and it is MY fault that she locked that key in her car. Does anyone else see the point here? Does anyone else see that she never once thought about it being HER responsibility to be careful and NOT lock her keys in her car. I don't know. I just wonder about the girl sometimes. Her brother was over here on Sunday and he was talking about how he remembered how when Andrea was little, and basically all through her life until her father and I divorced back in 2001, she pretty much got any and every thing she asked for. She would cry for it if that's what it took, but most of the time when she was with her dad, that was unnecessary. And now the sense of entitlement is enormous. I am seeing that things are getting somewhat better with that sort o thing as she has to struggle to do as she wishes and faces up to the consequences - but we still sometimes get gems like "remote responsibility for car keys."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October 1! Yay! Hallowed-Weenie Approaches!

yay! It's the month of Halloween. Time to put the decorations on the lawn without fear of the neighbors thinking we're a bunch of crack-pots. Of course, they probably ALREADY think that, and what do I care? i really need to work over my main website "" but I haven't had any heart to do much of anything for the past many months. See my other blog on spinal decompression for info on why that is if you're interested. However, fall is here in earnest and I am feeling better and I think I should do a little creative web-crafting. We're having movie nights at our house this month. The first one is Johnny Depp night and I'm hoping we have a good turnout. Even if it's just two or three people, it will be fun to watch "Sleepy Hollow" and "From Hell" with some other peeps. As usual, it will likey just be the broom crew who shows up for this. The conundrum of having no friends outside of Craft is a continuing one. It just seems that there is really no time to form or cultivate friendships anymore. Too much going on and too little time to keep up with all of it.

Well, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. Good progress with my back treatments, the first day of October, and Hallowed-weenie is emminent. Goddess bless us, EVERYONE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Geezuz! September's Almost Over and Here Finally is the Story of Our Ill-Fated Vacation

It's almost time for Halloween again! I love me some Halloween. Last year was a total rip-off since I had to be in Boise for the occasion - but not this year. Nope. Whatever it is that the firm needs done on October 31, can be done by someone else. I'm going to go to work in costume, hang out with my co-workies and enjoy the day.

Lots has happened since I last updated this blog. I guess it was June! Daaang. Well, since then we've had a camporee, several church get-togethers, a vacation to Glacier National Park and are down a paycheck since Kristopher's job at Swedish came to an end. Life is generally quite good - I have continued the mission I began at the first of this year and am in pursuit of better health and answers as to how I can deal with/get rid of the pain I feel on a pretty much 24-7 basis. I don't have anything particularly interesting to write about this evening, which makes it pretty much the same as most evenings lately - but, I did promise my sister that I would post the story of our vacation, so that's what I'm about to do here. It's quite long, but here goes:

My Glacier National Park Vacation
Sometimes We Just Need to Get Away – Even if Staying Home Might Technically be a Better Idea
by Maryellen Skelton

I think that it has been about five years since I have taken a regular vacation. Even then, it was not quite a week, so in my mind it doesn’t really count as the full meal deal. Kristopher and I have been married just over six years now, and we haven’t taken a road trip together, so we put our heads together and decided that it was high time we did. So we somehow came up with the idea of going to Glacier National Park in northern Montana. We’d been talking about this trip since back in April, and finally, August came and it was time to go. We both took a week of vacation, got our good friend Kathie to look in on our kitties and that was that.
We had a great trip planned:
Day 1: Leave the house at 7:30 a.m. and drive for 9 or 10 hours until we arrive at Glacier National Park, where we have reservations at an Inn on the East side of the park. We should be arriving late – between 7 and 9 p.m. because there are a few things we still need to buy along the way – like food for camping out, and a small Weber grill for grilling steaks and chicken and such for two - but that’s alright because we have a full day of fun scheduled for the next day.
Day 2: Awake refreshed from a good night’s sleep and find a camping spot somewhere in a campground called Many Glacier. At 2:00 p.m., take a scenic boat tour from the historic Many Glacier Hotel of two of the lakes there. Afterward, find or make some dinner and enjoy an evening by the camp fire.
Day 3: MMMmmMm smell that clean mountain air! Wake up early, pack up camp and head for a place called Two Medicine – one of the older spots in the park with a lake that will allow motorized craft. Arrange for a tour of that lake, then spend any available daylight cruising around on that lake in a rented motor boat. After a great day of all these outdoor activities, another evening spent by the camp fire, gazing at the star strewn Montana sky, and an early bed time will ensure an even better Thursday.
Day 4: Heading for the west side of the park, we will take the famed “Road to the Sun” – according to Fodor’s guide “arguably the most scenically spectacular drive in the country”, to a place called Sprague Creek – which has a nice camp ground and nice hiking trails nearby. Being prepared for Sprague Creek to be filled, we have a back-up plan of going to Apgar or another nearby campground just in case. There’s no real plan for Thursday, but it will be our last evening in the park, so I’m sure we’ll enjoy ourselves. Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, no doubt.
Day 5: Bid farewell to the glorious park, and begin making our way to Missoula where we have a reservation at a Staybridge Suites for Friday night. Even though we will have had a wonderful time in the park, and rainbows are appearing over our assholes, we will no doubt be ready for some nice clean sheets and other civilized amenities.
Day 6: Wake up early and head for home. Stop along the way and see Kristopher’s brother’s new home in Wenatchee and regale him and his wife with tales of our great vacation. Oh, and if it’s not too late, we’ll stop off at my friend Tracy’s house for a housewarming. La la la ….tra-la-la….
Like so many things in life . . . the reality worked out to be somewhat different from the plan.
Day 1 (Monday): Had to go to work for about four hours on Sunday, so didn’t get the stuff packed up in the car until after midnight. As a consequence, we got up later than expected and didn’t get out of the house to hit the road until 10:00 a.m. Right there we’re gettin’ a different start. But we are in a good mood and happy to get started on our vacation, so it’s all good. We get some breakfast at Jack-in-the-Box and filled up our car and headed down the road. Spirits were high for the first couple of hours. We had decided to take the route of Highway 2 all the way to our destination, pretty much anyway. It was going to be more scenic – and, in the end, we believed more direct. At the very last minute I had a twinge that this might not be the best course of action and I shared those sentiments with Kristopher who assured me that it was as there was an accident on I5 that morning that would have held us back from getting to I90 by about 45 minutes or more. So we headed down that road. By the time we got to Leavenworth, a mere 185 miles down the road, we had been driving for over four hours. And here is what Leavenworth looks like in the summer:
Anyway, I began to recalculate the drive time while we sat behind a line of cars that was being held up for road construction, I began to be afraid that this trip was going to take more along the lines of 10 to 12 hours to drive. No matter – it would be late when we got there, but we would still get there. So on we drove. And we drove, and we drove, and we drove drove drove. Late in the evening, I began to get concerned about my plan that we were going to enter on the West side of the park, take the Going to the Sun Road to our destination on the East side of the park – so, just before we got out of Washington, which was almost 7:00 p.m. (not even out of WASHINGTON yet, you see where this is going?) , I called and spoke to Lindsey at that desk of the Swiftwater Motel where we were going to be staying and she said that she would not attempt to take that road after dark. That during this time of the year, road crews would shut down that road for four hours at a time. Whew! I thought….we’ve dodged a bullet. Nevermind the fact that the alternate route we would have to take would be at the very least another 120 miles farther. No matter – we would get there. So, for the next hour or so, I felt pretty darn good about myself that I’d made that phone call. And on we drove in denial. As it approached 11:00 p.m., I called Lindsey again and let her know that we were not going to make it before her shift ended at 11:00. She said that she would let the security guard know and that he would let us in when we arrived. At about 1:00 a.m., we stopped to get some gas - completely punchy from having been on the road for fourteen hours (we had a time change), and Kristopher told me that I needed to turn around because I’d missed a sign. I was looking at a sign a couple of blocks away and it wasn’t the right one, and he flipped out and told me to get out of the car – that he would drive, and oh baby…it was ON then. For the next hour, over the most twisty, pathetically pot-hole ridden dark-ass roads you’ve ever seen, we fought. And I mean I was MAD! During about the last 8 miles of the trip, I realized that I was still bitching at Kris just to keep myself awake! By the time we got to the hotel, I was ready to start pounding on the goddamn glass to get the security guard to come out. But he did come out and I didn’t even have to vandalize the place to make it happen. We got to bed finally, and, though we were both completely wiped-out from the all day marathon in the car we went to sleep with a sense of well-being. All would be well. We had made it! We were in Glacier National Park and some time tomorrow, we would actually get to SEE it!
Day 2 (Tuesday): We got up fairly early and got our clothing bags packed up in the car, and went to breakfast. Should have known that there was gonna be trouble that day when the waitress told us that the restaurant was closed when we went in. Despite the fact there were several people sitting there in front of us eating. The waitress went on to explain that they served breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., then closed for an hour to tool-up for the switch to lunch and open again at 11:00 a.m. Okay then. Of course Kristopher was pretty pissy about that, but he got over it pretty quickly when we went next door and found some microwavable breakfast and I got some coffee. It was gonna be okay. Oh! And I forgot to mention that on our way to the park, on that lovely, lovely drive, I started my period. Oh yea….. Gonna be camping in bear country on my period. Woooo hooo! “Dumbass woman on menstrual cycle camps in bear inhabited national park and is mauled by a grizzly. Film at 11:00.”
Anyway, the next stop that morning was to pay our park fee. Since we came in late and basically through a little-used entrance, we got in for free – but being the honest assholes that we are, we had to drive back over to the entrance gate and pay our $25 fee for the week. Of course we wanted to pay for the week, because we were going to be there a week, right? Well, read on. After we paid our $25, we turned around and went back to the ranger station at Many Glacier so I could talk to a lady ranger and ask about camping while I was on my period. Evidently, all the stuff we had heard about people being attacked by bears because the woman was on her period at the time had no basis in truth – so, although it would be a pain in the ass for me to be on my period, it shouldn’t get us both killed. Hurray for that! Anyway, things were definitely looking up when we were able to get a camping spot at the Many Glacier campground. We were just there at the right time, just like we thought we would be with our planning, and we got one. It was basically on the same land as the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn where we had spent the previous night and we could just walk to the little store and get anything we needed. The rangers stopped by and told us about the rules about cooking and food storage, and told us about a great little camp program that was happening that evening and everything sounded wonderful. We got the tent all set up – we could have left it in the car, but spots at this campground are at such a premium, I wanted to get everything all set up so we wouldn’t have to worry about it after we got back from our boat ride extravaganza.

See? Isn't that just the cutest little campsite you ever saw? Also, it was about 80 degrees, and pretty darned hot in that tent, so I opened the windows and just left the screening up so the wind could get in. I didn’t want it to be hot and stuffy when we got back. The air mattress was all set up, and it had a down comforter on it, all tucked in with a fitted sheet, our sleeping bags, our clothes bags and our pillows were there. So we got some lunch at the same restaurant that turned us away for breakfast (It’s difficult to have hard feelings about such things when you’re hungry), and we got to the Many Glacier Hotel just in time to get parked and get on the boat. On the way to the hotel, we noticed that there was a light sprinkle getting started. Not to worry – no doubt it would soon stop. By the time we got onto the boat, that sprinkle had turned into genuine rain. No worry. No doubt it would stop soon. We got out on the lake, and the rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t open the windows without getting soaked. So I was getting very disappointed and kinda pouty, but Kristopher was trying to stay positive. So that was nice and I tried as well. Now this boat ride we were taking was a combo boat ride and optional hike. And we were also going to be touring 2 lakes, not just one. We had to disembark the first boat and take a short hike to another boat and tour another lake. Lake Josephine. Anyway, the rain was coming down pretty good by the time we came to the first shore where we were to change boats, and the skipper asked who wanted to go on the hike as planned, and we definitely did not volunteer. Another thing I neglected to mention is that we, the husband and I, did not bring a single thing to deal with any kind of inclimate weather. Not an umbrella, not a rain poncho, not even so much as a jacket or sweatshirt. Oh yeah…. So, we weren’t gonna be the best candidates to go on the 2 mile hike in the rain. So, we went over and got on the next boat to tour lake Josephine. The walk to the other boat was up a fairly steep hill, and there was a bit of a wait while standing in the rain for the second boat. That was all very interesting, let me tell you. The rain, which was now coming down in buckets, was also coming down at a 90-degree angle. wind had kicked up and was driving this thing right into the realm of a significant summer storm. I began to get concerned for the tent and was wondering how it was fairing the storm. I wasn’t too worried at this point, thinking that it was likely that the weather was a lot worse here on the lake. So it went on. By now, I was just hoping to get through it quickly. We got finished with the tour of Lake Josephine, and were on the trail back to the other boat (for which we left the boat early because the rides were so crowded there was a chance you would not be able to get a seat if you didn’t get there quickly), and Kristopher said something crappy to me, and I hit him in the back of the neck with a water bottle that had about 3 ounces of water in it, and he turned around and was MAD. He said something hateful and we went back to the campground in a silent car. I was wet, cold, disappointed and seething. The plan was to go back to the tent, lie down for a while and try to recoup and hopefully not say anything about anything and thereby avoid getting a giant fight started. But we went back to the campground to find our tent soaked and all the stuff standing in a couple inches of water in places. The packed bags with our clothes were in the tent, the sleeping bags, the down comforter, the quilt, the air mattress and basically anything and everything that was made of cloth and would be very inconvenient to have wet when you have no handy way to get them dry again - were in the tent. And all of it – all of it was wet. This, of course, coupled with the still persistent rain, magnified the significance of what happened on the trail on the way from Lake Josephine, and there was some uncomfortable time in the car. Finally, the rain subsided and we began the process of pulling all of the stuff out of the tent and setting it up to dry somewhere on the campsite. Kristopher, thank God, brought a huge length of rope, probably 80 ft. of it, and strung it between some of the trees on the site. We were talking about going to the dryers at the Swiftcurrent Motel and putting in some of the wettest pieces when a guy passed by (never knew who this guy was or where he came from) that told us we could use the dryers ‘if the electricity wasn’t out in the whole valley’ – and other things like we were soon going to be out of water in the campground because none of the pumps were going to be working. Swell. So the feather mattress that was soaked, and all of Kristopher’s clothes that were also soaked in their bag and both sleeping bags and all the other cloth in the tent was strung out over the lines that Kristopher put up, and the hammock (which got plenty wet itself) and the bushes and everything else that would hold . Not wanting to sit there and look at the soaking wet stuff any longer, we headed to Babb for dinner. I was still feeling very down and like nothing was ever going to work out again even after we got there and right after we ordered our food, but then it started to get some better, and it wasn’t raining again, and things were looking up. The sun had been out for long enough that by the time dinner was over, I was sure that most of what we had was going to be dry enough to be passable and that the worst of it was done and over. That, as it turned out, was very true. There was nothing again on the trip quite like the sideways driving rain boat trip or the 2 inches of water in the tent and all the stuff wet while we were soaked to the bone and cold. However, we ain’t done yet. And, in the event it has escaped your attention, I am on day 2 of my period while camping here in bear country. So we have a great steak dinner at this cool steakhouse. I have a New York strip and Kristopher has a buffalo steak and we get free cheesecake to go for dessert, and we go back to the campsite. We have a nice fire, and hold our pillows in front of the fire to get them dry. We get out the Coleman stove and I heat up some water for hot tea (can’t have anything with sugar in it, or anything that might look like food or actual cooking after dark while camping in bear country). We have cheesecake and by the time we tuck in for the night, we are sleeping warm and comfy. And that’s a good thing because, about 30 minutes after we went to bed, it started raining. But again, we were warm and dry.

Day 3 (Wednesday): It’s good to have a plan so you have something to abandon. We managed to get up and get to the restaurant before they stopped serving breakfast – so already we’re stoked about that. We have a decent breakfast at the Swiftwater Motor Inn’s restaurant, and we went to the gift shop where we picked out rain jackets, hats and emergency ponchos. They were nice jackets and they were reasonably priced, and the hat that we found for Kristopher made him look like Mr. Wilderness himself. We were going to deal with the rain, and do so with a smile if we could. We read a weather report on the counter of the restaurant and it basically said that it was raining on the east side of the park, and it was raining on the west side of the park. So it really didn’t matter where we went. As such, we thought we would abandon the idea of going to Two Medicine and go ahead and take the Going to the Sun road to the west side of the park. At least we would have a beautiful drive, and likely we would find more to do on the west side of the park with the Apgar center there and so forth. So, we set out. The Going to the Sun road is a marvel of engineering – carved out of the side of the mountains and winding around the rock faces to incredible heights until ultimately crossing the continental divide, the views are reportedly breathtaking. We drove through St. Mary and picked up some cash, and started along the road. It was still raining, but not hard – certainly nothing we weren’t accustomed to seeing having come from Seattle. In fact, as we continued along the road we both remarked about how much this place we were in looked like Mt. Baker state park about 40 miles from home. In fact, the only things we could see due to the reduced visibility brought about by the cloud cover, were ALL very similar to the parks we see and drive through any time we feel like it. And we drove 14 hours on shitty Highway 2 to get here. Hmm. Smart. As we continued on our way on the Going to the Sun Road, the weather took a turn for the worse. The rain increased, and, when we were at the peak, the clouds began to roll in. Actual clouds. Not just fog, but the really think kind of white, cotton clouds that you sometimes get in when you’re flying. Except we weren’t flying. We were driving. To be more specific, I was driving. So the visibility that was diminished for sight-seeing, now became virtually nil, and the visibility for driving and seeing the road, went right along with it. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could only see about 7 inches in front of the hood. We were on the inside track, right next to the rock face and I was concentrating on staying just to the right of the center line, as I could not see a right-side line most of the time. Of course, oncoming traffic had the outside track, and they were worried about not falling off the side of the mountain so some of them were watching the center line and concentrating, no doubt, on staying right on it. Anyway, it was quite harrowing, and there was quite a bit of it. The one good thing about it is that we had abandoned bitching because the only scenery we could see looked an awful lot like Seattle, and started being grateful to be making it out alive. When we regained some visibility, we got stopped by the road construction crew. The road was narrowing to a one lane now. Yay. The rest of the drive down was uneventful, but took quite a bit of time. It was about 2.5 hours of stress and no views. We stopped at Lake McDonald where there was a lodge, and a place to have pizza. We looked around at the lodge and went to enquire about a room for the night at the lodge. I really hated to leave the park. Of course, there was no room at the lodge as they are booked well in advance – but we tried. The pizza was pretty good, and it should have been for the price of it. Anyway, whatever. We decided to give it up and leave the park. So goodbye to Glacier, and it was only Wednesday. On we drove, south toward Missoula. We planned to stop along the way and camp somewhere on Flathead lake. Luckily, that worked out and we found a nice place to stop for the night. I kept hoping that we would out run the rain, but we weren’t able to do that. It did actually stop raining long enough for us to get the tent set up, and to go into town (Polson) about 12 miles down the road and pick up some groceries and a tarp. So that’s what we did, and we found a little Weber like I wanted at the Ace Hardware store, and we bought some steaks at the grocery store next door. We went back to the campsite – it was dark by now – but we had a nice dinner there by the lake. Kristopher built a fire for us and the moon, just full on Saturday night, rose above the lake and gave some beautiful views. By the time we finished eating and put the dishes and other stuff away, it started to rain. We didn’t mind because we were tired and ready to go to bed anyway. And so it rained – and it rained all night long. That was okay because we stayed nice and dry inside our little Sir Edmond Hillary tent.

Day 4 (Thursday): By morning the rain had subsided, which was good because I really had to go pee. Did I mention that I was on my period while we were camping in bear country? So I got up and went to the bathrooms in the car so I could take a shower. Managed to do that without incident, then went back to the campsite and began the process of cooking breakfast, while Mr. Man got out of the tent and built another fire to burn stuff in. I did, however, take the time to put up the tarp so I could cook without getting wet if it started to rain again. And, as it turned out, it did do a bit of raining so it was a good thing we had it. Anyway, it was fun cooking breakfast, and the lake was beautiful. So it was a good morning. We got the bedding out and got it most of the way dry (yes, a little water got in the tent during the full night of raining), we got the car unpacked and re-packed in a bit better configuration and went down the road. The plan was to find some place to camp for this last night before it got too late. There were still a couple of state parks listed on the map that we could investigate before we got to Missoula. And so we drove on. We stopped and visited St. Ignatious mission in St. Ignatious MT. It was a pretty cool church with beautiful fresco paintings and it was a nice stop. All this time it is still raining as we go southward on our way. We continued on and headed for the bison range since Kristopher wanted to see that. It wasn’t far out of the way, and before entering the bison range, we stopped and had a hamburger from a surly vendor just outside of the range. We also stopped by a curio shop across the street where we got some wallets made from buffalo skin and Kristopher bought me some buffalo earrings. We went to the bison range entrance, and you’ll never guess what happened. It started to pour down RAIN. What a shocker. It was getting kind of late, and so we decided to head on down the road to our next campsite. I had found a place on the map that looked pretty good – it was east of Missoula and if we cut across a road going through the Flathead Reservation, we could be there in a couple of hours. Well, we did just that. Except that when we went through to the road going to Salmon lake (or Lake Placid – there were two to choose from), it was an unimproved road – no challenge for PePe, except that a couple of miles in, the road forked and there was absolutely no indication which was the correct direction to take. The only thing that even approximated a direction was a blue arrow painted by someone with a can of Krylon on the back of a stop sign pointing toward the fork on the right. And so we took it. That fork led us on a meandering path of some farms in the area, and, after about 30 minutes, right back out onto the highway from whence we came. And so, since neither of us was in the mood for much more adventure and Kristopher mapped us out a route to get to these parks that took us on some dependable roads. Dependable, yes. 90 miles more out of the way, yes. By the time we got to these parks to take a look at them, I was about ready to ditch the car and run away to the nearest airport to get home. But I was keepin’ it together. We looked at the first park, which was pretty nice, fairly secluded (if a little dark), and then went down the road (only a couple of miles or I would never have done it) and looked at the second park. When we got there we saw people whippin’ out their rain gear. Yep. It had followed us once again. Not able to bear the thought of having to set up for camping in the rain again, I got inot my back pack and got the file folder on all the arrangements I had made ahead of time and got the information on the hotel. Since we were fortunate enough to have cell phone signal, I called and got the hotel reservation changed to Thursday instead of Friday. So we went to Missoula to the Staybridge Inn, and there we salvaged our vacation. As soon as we checked in they told us about the free buffet that they had going on and how we still had an hour to enjoy it. Not 5 minutes – a whole hour. Ah….. We got our stuff up to the room, and as soon as Kristopher had dropped the bags he was carrying, he started dropping clothes. He hadn’t had a shower since Monday morning when we left home, and he was READY. After his shower, we went downstairs and had some Caesar salad with chicken. It was a decent dinner, but the best part about it was that we didn’t have to get back into the car for anything. We stayed right there and we were happy. They had a big movie room in the common area and we took a movie down there to watch. I also enjoyed the hot tub and pool (more the hot tub than the pool). It was great. We slept quite well in our king sized bed. Some time during the evening we made the decision to stay another night. Actually, it was more me who made the decision because I could not fathom getting up the next morning and getting into the car for another full day of driving. And, although I could see some places to stop and camp on the map, I had quite enough of trying to out run the weather and second guess the roads. So another night at the Staybridge Inn sounded just fine to me.
Day 5 (Friday): Woke up at about 9:00, got dressed in exercise clothes and went to the free breakfast buffet with Kristopher. Walked like I normally do, then after getting dressed went to the Sportsman’s Warehouse with Kristopher and spent just over two hours picking out his hunting gear with him. We went to a great place for ribs – I think it was called “Famous Dave’s” and man, it was gooooood stuff. I had ribs and Kristopher had a steak. Then we took off for downtown and rode the carousel together. We bought some stuff in the gift shop and took pics – then headed off to the mall. I bought a new necklace at Sears – a heart and ruby one, and Kristopher bought some shoe laces. We headed back to the hotel and watched some television and went to bed.
Day 6 (Saturday): Got up at 9:00 again (didn’t take a lot of time to try to figure out why I was sleeping so soundly) and did the free breakfast and walking thing. We took off for home about noon. We made it as far as Superior, MT and had some lunch at a place called Durango’s. We bought some souveniers there – I got a really cool dragon statue and some nice glass earrings. I also bought a dragon statue for Mr. Bill for Yule, and Kristopher a cool box for his God incense (nice little piece of altar gear to go with the water chalice he got at the mall), and a couple of spices that are really bad ass.
After that we pretty much drove straight home with one small stop off at the Coumbia river for some pictures and to stretch our legs.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blogging with Word 2007

So I'm trying something new this evening. I have Word 2007, and it's the new hotness where document authoring tools are concerned, so I'm kickin' the tires on some new features. I haven't posted an entry on this blog in quite a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Quite the opposite. I've hardly had time to catch my breath lately. Busy at work, busy at home. Pretty much that's the way I like it, but I could also use some broccoli time. Kristopher is working on an English paper – the dishes are done, the lawn is weed – eated (for the most part) – I just had a shower and now it's time to play with ye olde computer.

Kristopher bought me a scope for my rifle. I will have to post a picture of her. She's very cool with her Mossy Oak camouflage badness. Her name is "Pinky" and she's a Remington 597. I think that WAS my last blog post, as a matter of fact. I think I posted a picture of pinky the day I ordered her. Well, she's here in all her Mossy Oak glory – but I'm having trouble getting any kind of accuracy out of her at the range. I'm gonna try again this weekend. Last weekend was impossible because I had to finish up getting ready for a class that I was giving at another law firm. My old friend, Susan Barragan, who is now the office administrator for a firm called Tupper Mack Brower, asked me to come over there and do some Adobe Acrobat 8 training. I agreed to do it, and Monday was the day that I went over there and did my three-hour dog-n-pony show. I had to go to work at the firm for the second half of the day. It was hectic, but well worth it. The rest of this week has flown by in a blur of work and watching movies. I was going to watch the third LOTR movie (Return of the King) tonight, but decided instead to come in here and fuck around with my Purple Lappy. Ooops! I just remembered that I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow, and I haven't done one single thing for it. I meant to get out and get a present for Chris Briggs and his wife Rebecca, but I didn't manage to get it done. Dammit! I can't believe I'm so friggin' lame! I'm gonna have to just buy in on the group gift! That sucks a bunch. I'll bet Rebecca doesn't have a bunch of friends runnin' around this city and she isn't really gonna get to open too many gifts and such. Oh well. Who the hell am I feelin' sorry for? I didn't have a shower with either of my children, and with Tim Allen I was back at work 3 days after I had him. I think the time was about the same with Andrea as well. She'll be fine. I'll go in on the group gift and go down to the conference room and watch them eat cake. If I get up early enough, I guess I can go by Fred Meyer before work and get a gift and put it together before the party. I'll have to do that. Group gift is just way too lame. And this way, Kristopher can sign the card too.

Okay – now I'm gonna try to post this thing.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

And Next . . . Pinky!

Well, it seems that my husband has awakened something in me that has been dormant for quite a very long time - in fact, something I had worked pretty hard to actually bury. He has awakened . . . The Cracker! lol!

Seems that Kristopher has been bitten by the firearms bug. Now, I have to tell you that my Dad was a HUGE gun enthusiast when he was alive. Granted, he died when I was 10 years old, but I remember going out to the firing range with him and my mom and brother on a few occassions. I couldn't drive you to that firing range if I was sitting on my ass in a running car in Ardmore, Oklahoma right now, but I can describe it to you quite clearly. Anyway, my Dad died in his shop working on reloading some rounds. He really enjoyed messin' with guns. He was in there with my uncle and croaked. He was 47 years old. My mom sold off his gun collection with the help of my brother, and I know that it paid quite a lot of mom's outstanding bills to do so. After Dad was gone, there was none of the gun stuff in the house any longer, and we had very little contact with my brother, so that "manly" stuff was just out. When I got older and got into guys, I knew that I certainly didn't want the "hunting and fishing and gun sports" type. I didn't want the type that watched football either. I'm not sure what I wanted - I guess someone who was sophisticated - maybe a musician or an artist or whatever other lofty idealistic horseshit I had in my head at the time.

So anyway, skip to present. My husband has taken an interest in rifle sports and has bought a .22 cal rifle. He also bought gun safety and basic rifle classes for both of us at the Kenmore gun range. Well, we had rifle class this past weekend and I really enjoyed it. Ib even did pretty good shooting. Kris and I have been out shooting since then too. So, itn was only logical that I get a gun so that we can both dive in anbd do our qualification shooting. So, I bought myself a rifle. It's the cutest little Remington .22 cal you've ever seen. In fact, here's a picture of it. :)

Anyway - there she is. She should be in to the firearms dealer by Tuesday. We have a range meeting that night, so there's a chance I'll get to pick her up then. But it's just after 1:00 a.m., and I think I'll go to bed. We didn't eat dinner 'til around 10:00. I miscalculasted the cook time on a big turkey breast I was cooking up for us - so there it is. But still - how late can you stay up?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happiness is a PurpleLappy

Hello! It's been a long time since I put anything at all out on the Internet. The deeper I get into my job, the more cautious I become with what I put out here altogether. I have seen so much crap dug up in the name of electronic discovery, it boggles the mind. I have seen whole web pages recreated, even after their owners thought them to be safely down and inaccessible (thanks to Google's caching function). Scary, to say the least. But I really don't have anything out here that's too off the wall, so for now it stays.

My newest thing is the beautiful purple laptop that I'm typing this post on. Working in the technology field while working for a conservative company has made it necessary that I purchase my first personal computer since 1994. That's right. The last computer I purchased for myself was in 1994, and I bought the hottest thing I could get my hands on. I paid four times what I had to outlay for this one, and it came loaded with Windows 95. That's right! Windows 95. You guys remember that OS? It was a good one. Very strange in the beginning, but once you got accustomed to it, it was da bomb! :) Same holds true of Vista. I think that I bashed it prematurely and without good reason. Now, I just want to use it and learn everything I can about it because it really is cool. They (Microsoft) has put a lot of good stuff in here.

Thanks to my good friend, missy Megan-head, who just finished up a several month stint of work in Mecca (Microsoft), I have a Bill Gates signature edition of Vista (full version, baby....not a friggin' upgrade). Here's a picture that I smoothe stole from someone else's post.

So there you have it. Just a stupid post about nothing in particular with a rather uninsteresting photo of a software box. Stay tuned. I should have some more shit to say soon. Believe me, I haven't been standing still since January. Quite the opposite. I've traveled, gotten another certification for my jobbie-job, and am about to set myself up for another one. This one more spendy than all the others I have put together. And, this next one will be the richest. Certified Hacker Forensic Investigator. CHFI. Oh yeah....

Later gator!

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Random Monday in Early 2008 that Didn't Suck All That Bad

I started to title this post "God Dammit I'm Tired!" but realized that I wasn't really all that tired - just sorta worn down from the day. It was an interesting one at the office where I worked straight through without a break. Makes me kinda retarded when I do that. Don't even say it....

Let's see....I haven't talked about Yule-age and New Year yet, did I?

So, let's start with some Yule-age...shall we? Kristopher and I got home on Friday evening on December 20th and I watched some more Christmas movies and wrapped some more presents. Got up the next morning and I made a nice quiche and we opened out presents with Andrea. It was a great Yule-haul (get it...Yule-Haul...oh's more of that retardation I told you about a minute ago). Anyway, we all got lots of nice stuff. I got a diamond cocktail ring from my sweetie and also the much beloved 'Charlie Brown's Christmas' special from my sweetie-man. First pic is of me opening the moobie.

Andrea seemed to have a good Yule. I like this picture of her opening up her new purse. The reaction seems pretty genuine. If you''d've seen her old purse, you'd KNOW it was.

And here's a picture of my mister-man checking out his new coat. I think it'll keep him warm.

So Saturday morning was a good bit of Yule-age. I can't remember what I cooked for dinner Saturday evening so it must not have been anything special. The next day was spent getting prepared to go to Witchy Hollow and have the Yule celebration. It was the final installment in my Wheel series and I was quite happy to have it done. It's been a wonderful and eventful year. We had a nice circle, then wonderful feasting and opening of gifts. Beth seemed happy with her stuff and damned if I didn't forget the camera when we went over there. :( Kristopher got a cool lightening globe, and I got some candle holders for the yard. They are torchiers, really. Four of 'em. Hmm. Wonder what I'm gonna do with those....Okay, so that brings us to Monday, which was Christmas Eve. I wound up having a few drinks as I nanced around the house and cooked a duck. Yep....cooked a duck. Sorry about that.
It was great and here's what it looks like all cooked up from the perspective of a drunken camera person.
So after we had our lovely duck-dinner, I took off about 6:30 for West Seattle where I picked up my friend and co-worker, Chris Schafer. She was born on Christmas Day, and she is either Catholic or Jack Catholic; but I do know that she loves the iconography and wears the medallions indicative of either being or wanting to be Catholic, so I thought it would be a great idea for us to go to Midnight Mass at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Now it's been about 10 years since I attended a Midnight Mass there, so I called the Cathedral offices on Friday before I left work, and they said that it would be standing room only by 10:00 and if we wanted to get decent seats, we needed to be there by 9:30. Well, we got there by 8:30. I wish I had pictures of the doors to that place! They had replaced them since I had been there last with these outrageous bronzed doors in raised relief. They are really incredible, and, like George Carlin eating a box of oreos while staring at the kitchen clock, we stood and stared at those doors for about 10 minutes out in the cold in front of the cathedral before we went in. I was completely oblivious to what anyone thought of my unabashed wonder at the sight of a hinge about 12 inches high and four inches in diameter. They were unbelievable. friggin' camera. I'm gonna have to make room for it in my purse. Anyway, we got there early and the mass wsa beautiful. I didn't get quite the rush from it as I did the last time (at least to the best of my memory), but I DID say a rosary for my mom without bursting into flames, and we did sing carols with this huge congregation, and it was the highlight of Christmas. I got home about 2:15 or so and went to bed. The following day, we slept in. Andrea went over to have Christmas with her Dad. She wasn't real thrilled when she came back, but then she never really is. He got her a "club" for her car. She had a good Christmas from me and from Kristopher - so she wasn't hurting, but still....I dunno. A friggin' "club" - it's like her Dad doesn't have a clue. Well, that's only partially it. The other part is that he's the cheapest tight-wad on the planet. The next day we went over to Aunt Pat and Uncle Ed's house for Christmas dinner. It was nice. Maggie and Nick were't there because they were on the Penninsula with Maggie's family - so it was quiet and kinda strange but good to see the aunts and uncles. The next bit of Yule-age had to wait until after the longest three-day week in the history of the world. Andrea moved out of the house on Friday the 28th leaving behind a pile of stuff that looked like it was blown in by a hurricane. She did a pretty good job of getting her stuff out with the time she had around her work schedule, but still it took a whole day to clean the trash and debris out of the room and by the time I was finished, I was who-hash. Anyway, I went to Sears that day and bought a new tread-mill and put it in the empty room. I hope it doesn't hurt her feelings that I didn't leave the piles of trash laying there for sentimental purposes, but I thought it best to clear it out. The next day we had the family Christmas over here, and that was my favorite. Maggie and Nick and Terri and Kevin, me, Kristopher and Andrea. We opened gifts, and wow, did we ever make a grand haul that day. Terri went nuts with the gift-giving. And it was extra great that Kevin was here this year. I think if we have to make Christmas at an off-day to have him around every year, that's what we ought to do. It was really nice. Here are some pics from that too.

This first one is of Nick and Maggie - Nick apparently terrified by the small, flat tree that is inexplicably on his plate. The next picture looks like I took it from the back of a ski boat. I have no idea how I got a buncha crap splashed up on the lens, but I managed somehow.
So that was our Christmas experience for 2007. Now my ass is getting numb, so I'm going to get up and get off this computer for now.