Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A lesson learned...and passed along

Many years ago, when I was in high school and still living under my parents' roof, my dad told me about a homeless man who asked him for some money one day in Nashville.  Dad told the man no, but offered to buy him lunch.  The man gladly accepted. 
Fast forward 5 or 6 years to when I was out on my own and working in Downtown Nashville.  I worked at a building on the corner of 6th and Union Streets and had to walk a few blocks from my parking garage to my office building.  Many days, I was asked for money from homeless people.  Many days, I just walked by or said no.  And many of those times, I was cussed at by the person I had ignored or declined to help.  I had forgotten a lesson taught to me...but then one morning, as I trudged up the hill from the garage to the office building, a woman came up to me and asked for money for food.  I said, "I don't have any small change, but I will buy you breakfast if you want it."  She gladly accepted and we walked to McDonald's a couple blocks away.  She told me her story of why she was here and why she was homeless and asked me not to judge her.  It was hard to hear, but she seemed like she really was trying to get her life turned around.  Well, we got to McD's and I waited in line with her.  We drew a lot of stares...and I just ignored them and talked with the woman, who was obviously nervous.  I told her, "You get as much as you want"...and she did, which made me smile!  She ordered 2 big breakfasts..you know, the ones with pancakes, some orange juice, and another biscut or something like that.  It was a LOT of food...but I bet she was really hungry.  I walked her to a table and told her I had to get on to work.  I have told Benjamin this story and he remembers it and often asks me about it.  I hope he will one day have the opportunity to buy a meal for someone in need. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Dollar for a Newspaper

In Nashville, there is a program to help homeless people become, well, "un-homeless".  Well, there are actually many programs here, but the one I am blogging about is the sales of "The Contributor", a newspaper written by Nashville's own homeless population.  The program is structured to give people back their independence, pride, and life.  The vendors of the newspaper purchase each paper for 25 cents and sell each paper for $1.00 at streetcorners and intersections around town.  They have many requirements of them and must live up to the standards and rules of the program. 
I have seen these vendors at an intersection I stop at every day on my drive to work.  I always think to myself, "Gosh, I should keep some dollar bills handy so I can get a paper".  Well, last week, I happened to have a dollar bill and there just happened to be a vendor at this corner where I must stop.  I asked Benjamin to roll down his window and hold the dollar out.  This man ran up to the car and just beamed at us as he gave us the paper and took the dollar from B.  He told us thank you, said, "Merry Christmas and God Bless You".  The smile on his face was just incredible.  It also gave me another opportunity to explain to Benjamin what the man was doing and why.  B said, "I have dollars at home we can keep in the car for next time."  That really was a special few minutes for me - to see the joy on a man's face, to help out a fellow man, to teach a small lesson to my son and have him understand and want to participate.  What a wonderful day that was. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Non-Technical Christmas

This year, Benjamin asked for an iPod for Christmas.  YIKES!  That's a lot of moolah!  So I suggested that he had a lot of technology in his life an maybe we'd have a non-technology Christmas at our house this year.  He seemed open to this idea and I helped him create a small Christmas list.  I love what he is asking for:

A Monkey Pillow Pet
Second choice is a Frog Pillow Pet
Yo-Yo
Canvases for painting

I think he's made some good choices for non-technical gifts this year.  We also purchased season passes for Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN for the 2011 season for us, so that is part of our Christmas too. 

Benjamin had a non-technical Birthday this year too.  He got a lot of board games, a boomerang, and other outdoor gifts.  What a lucky kid!  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What I find fascinating

I'm reading an article in Esquire magazine called The Brain That Changed Everything.  I just get so enthused when reading about the brain and how it works and what happens when you make changes to the brain through surgery.  The article is about a man, H.M., who had the majority of his hippocampus, along with some surrounding neuronal tissue, surgically removed from both hemispheres of his brain to help alleviate the terrible seizures he began having after being hit by a car at age 7.

I haven't finished the article yet, but I'm fascinated by one part of it that describes how a neuroscientist, Brenda Milner, sat "Henry down at a desk and puts a piece of paper in front of him. The paper has a large drawing of a five-pointed star on it. There is a mirror angled at the star and a curtain over the paper so that Henry can no longer see the star directly but can only see its reflection in the mirror. She asks him to trace the star. It's a hard task for anyone, with any sort of brain, though after a while, with practice, people with normal brains tend to improve their results, mastering the necessary counterintuitive muscle movements. The first time Henry tries it, he performs poorly. But the funny thing is, the next time he tries, he does it a little better. And the next time better still. With each new attempt, he never remembers ever having attempted it before, but soon he's completing the task as well as anyone."  Page 4 of the article.

Obviously, the brain works in very interesting and mysterious ways that we have been trying to understand for decades.  It amazes me that H.M. could not remember doing the tracing task multiple times, but another portion of his brain still learned the pattern and stored that information.  I cannot wait to finish reading this article!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Communication

Different people communicate in different ways.  When I was married to Gregg, we would go over to my sister Jill's house to work on her computer occasionally.  Many times, our conversations about what was wrong and what do do would go something like this:

Me:  "Do you think...."
G:  "Yes, but you..."
Me: "Yep, there it is"
G: "Okay, Good"
Me: "Okay, Jill, it's fixed"
Jill would be standing there either looking dumbfounded or laughing hystercially at what had just transpired. 

When Mark and I worked together at BGA, we often did the same thing.  I'd be researching an issue and I'd find something and mention a couple of words to him, like "Global Catalog", and he would then get on the server and solve the problem.   Sometimes, we would be working on an issue and I'd be at the keyboard at the server and get to a stopping point, then Mark would get on the computer for a few minutes, do some work that he was the "expert" on, then tag me and I'd get back on the server to finish the issue.  It got to be pretty funny sometimes. 

So today, I asked my co-worker if he had begun migrating some accounts from one server to the other.  He said, "No, I'll get right on that".  Then, a few seconds later, he said, "Is it 4343?"  I said, "No, it's 8080", he said, "No, the address is 4343, right?"  Me:  "Yes, I thought you meant the port" and I started laughing because it was such a cryptic conversation that no one else might really understand.  Maybe even you aren't laughing, but that's okay....you will one day.  ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Thanksgiving Funnies

I realize it's been more than a day since I last left you with some giggles.  Work has been busy..in fact, I worked this morning. (aww, poor me...haha)

So I last left you in giggles about Friday evening.  I did forget one part that Mom reminded me of in her comment that is SO worth repeating.  When we were walking through the casino floor, mom saw one of the cocktail waitresses.  They wear uniforms...that are short....very short...and low cut...very low cut.  Mom says, "Oh, they must have run out of fabric when they made her uniform".  I nearly fell over I was laughing so hard.  Sorry I forgot to put that part in the first one! 

So as we're getting on the elevator to the parking garage so I can send Mom and Dad home, the guy on the elevator said something about "which way are you going?" One of us said up to get our car and one of us said something about the 23rd floor. I remember the guy saying "You're parked on the 23rd floor!!? Mom said, "Yea, he's got a hot air balloon up there on the 23rd floor."   We can't remember what that guy said, but Dad said, "Yea, I have a pilots license."   Somehow we made it up to the car on the 3rd floor of the garage and they made it home.  I called them to check and be sure!  LOL

Saturday morning, Mom and Dad were coming back over to meet us...and I called them....and mom was laughing...because they couldn't find where they parked the truck!  I said, "Gee, I didn't think you guys were drunk last night!"  (They weren't, for the record!)  I don't recall when I have laughed so hard about so many goofy and funny things.  Definitely a Thanksgiving to remember! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wine, Football, and Giggles

The Friday after Thanksgiving in Biloxi was cold and rainy...quite a change from the day before.  But we were not to be deterred from exploring.  Dad wanted to see if we could find the Old Spanish Fort.  We also thought about doing some shopping in Ocean Springs, but with the weather being so uncooperative, we opted for lunch at Aunt Jenny's in Ocean Springs, where we had catfish and shrimp - yumm!  After lunch, we drove to Pascagoula, MS to find the Old Spanish Fort.  It was located in a residential area, so we drove around the small streets and found the Fort, but it was closed.  We walked around, hoping to find another entrance, but the fence was surrounding the fort and there were no small openings we could sneak through.  So we opted to drive around the neighborhood, looking at the very interesting homes.  Later, we decided we would head back to the hotel and nap for a bit.  Friday evening, Mom and Dad came back over to our hotel and we shared a bottle of wine and watched some football before Jim called to let us know he was at the tournament registration and asked if we wanted to come have a drink with him.  Well, why not!?!  So the three of us ventured down to the casino and up to the conference rooms to meet Jim.  I guess the wine we had was catching up with us, because Dad was getting a little frisky with Mom and from this point on, it was a pretty funny evening.  Mom had a close encounter with a woman who had too much to drink and nearly walked into us, causing us to giggle some.  Dad tried to impress some man on how we was going to pick up a couple of women (me and Mom), but the man was unimpressed.  More giggles.  We shared a drink with Jim and then we decided we should probably eat something, so the 4 of us went to one of the restaurants in the casino and ate some really yummy chicken nachos and watched some college football for a bit and were well-behaved at this point.  Afterwards, Mom and Dad decided to head on back to their hotel, so I went with them to our room to get Mom's purse.  I do not recall what got us giggling on the elevator, but the three of us got to laughing so hard, we were nearly in tears.  As we got off the elevator, still laughing, I noticed a security guard on our floor.  I said in a VERY loud whisper, "Oh, there's SECURITY!  We'd better behave" and we began laughing again.  The really funny part was when the security guard started laughing!  They really try to keep a straight face, so we must have been pretty darned funny to make him laugh.  Well, we somewhat recoverd and found the room (Thanks, Dad!), got Mom's purse, and then headed to the garage.  I will finish this part of the blog tomorrow as I am running out of time and want to make sure I get this next part correct. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving on the Beach

We spent Thanksgiving in Biloxi, MS this year.  Jim and I arrived Wednesday night around 9pm and the temperature was a wonderful 70 degrees.  Thursday morning, we had breakfast on the beach.  Oh, nothing fancy...McDonald's "to go", but it sure was nice to eat on the beach in the partly-sunny morning with a temperature in the 70s and rising.  Mom and Dad were on their way and would arrive within 30 minutes.  Finally they found us on the beach and we all walked the shoreline for awhile.  We found some shells and a few hermit crabs that were in them.  I found an empty hermit crab shell and gave it to mom to take with her.  A few minutes later, she screamed and THREW the shell!  Woops, it wasn't empty!  Sorry, Mom!  It wasn't intentional.  We didn't find any buried treasure, but I think we all enjoyed the time in the warm sun and sand. 
Later, we came up to our hotel room and had a Thanskgiving toast with some nice cabernet.  After that, we all stuffed ourselves at the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Beau Rivage.  It was a great day and wonderful evening spent with family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Moon over Nashville

Last night (11/23/2010) around 6:30, I was travelling Eastbound on I-40 in Downtown Nashville and the moon was INCREDIBLE!  I had never seen a moon look that large...EVER!  It was just over the horizon and was yellow/white and nearly full, but waning.  After sitting in traffic for 20 minutes to merge from 4 lanes down to 1 to go around an accident, I wasn't very happy about the rest of the drive home, but then the moon caught my eyes and it just amazed me.  I wish I could find a picture of it to share, but alas, none to be found. 
It looked like if I drive about 30 miles further East, I could reach it...just amazing. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Clean Fun

Last night, Benjamin and I started watching "Bill Cosby: Himself" on TV.  I have seen and heard this bit many times over and it's still funny.  What is so great is that Benjamin thought it was funny too.  With so much crap on TV now, I find it refreshing that Bill Cosby's humor is still entertaining and brings laughter to my child.  We only made it through "The Dentist" bit, so there's more to enjoy.  Benjamin was impressed with the way Mr. Cosby spoke to the dentist, imitating a person who has had novicane.  "Obeekabee"  He also thought it was funny that his dentist tells him to rinse just like Mr. Cosby was telling about.  "Hey, my dentist does that too!" 

I told Benjamin that he will recognize one of the bits later in the show...because there are many times I say, "Benjamin... here, Here, HERE!"  I can't wait to see the look on his face when he hears this one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Crazy

I thought that the full moon occuring on Saturday night (right?) would alleviate some of the craziness of the past week.  I mean, Thursday's and Friday's traffic in Nashville was completely nuts - you would have thought everyone on the road only had a learner's permit!  :D
So I was hoping for a nice, "holiday week Monday"...meaning not too many on the road and not too many in the office.  WRONG!  For starters, people not letting me merge...then a horrible smell that made me pull over for fear MY car had something burning (it didn't).  Then, some crazed lunatic in a BMW decided that he would drive 90+ MPH in rush hour traffic and swerve in and out of 4 lanes.  THAT was exciting to watch...he actually didn't cause or get into an accident. 
Then the day began at work...H O L Y   M O L Y!  It was just one thing after another after another.  At 11:30, I said, "I am leaving and WILL be back...but I'm leaving so I do not blow a gasket at someone who doesn't deserve it" and I left the building and went to get my hair trimmed.  :)  How nice to have my scalp massaged and a little pampering for a few minutes.  *SIGH*
Even the guy who works with me said, "You have a smile on your face now!" when I returned. He's such a good kid!  :)
And I am VERY EXCITED about spending Thanksgiving with Mom and Dad in Biloxi this year!  I really hate it that B will be with his Dad....maybe next year we'll all get together. 
Hopefully the tides have turned and things will be smooth sailing for awhile.  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I survived

My last blog was about my fear of flying.  Well, I survived both legs of the journey with very little anxiety.  The first leg from Nashville to Vegas was aided by some wine before take-off and Jim so kindly distracting me with a discussion about roller coasters we had ridden this past summer.  Wait, I will ride a roller coaster, but I have anxiety about flying?  Well, see, the roller coaster is also about fear and anxiety, but it's over quicker and I am somewhat connected to the ground through the ride, correct?  Yes, but if that ride throws a bolt, you are REALLY gonna be dead meat if the coaster flies off the tracks and goes sailing through the air.  Yes, the logic behind my fears of flying and roller-coasters seem to be "off", huh?  The wonders of the mind never cease.
So Las Vegas was fun, even though I had a nasty sinus thing going on in my ears and throat.  I basically ate, drank, slept, and went to a couple of shows.  Mostly slept and rested.  I wish that I had felt better because the weather was GORGEOUS!  70s and sunny in the daytime...cool and 40-ish in the evening.  We had the Sunday Brunch at Bally's again.  It's pricey, but SOOO worth it.  Champagne (good champangne, not cheap stuff), prime rib, lobster, lamb chops, breakfast foods, fresh fish, sushi, fresh fruit, and pretty much anything you can imagine...plus a formal wait-staff that takes care of your every need. 
The shows we saw were "The Legends" which was the one where people imitate famous singers.  It was really good.  We saw impersonations of Elton John, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin.  I'd go see that show agan!  Monday night, we saw Penn and Teller.  The child in me is still in awe about their tricks, while the adult in me wants to go back again and again to see if I can figure them out!  :)  Definitely want to take Benajmin to see this show at some point. 
Next week, we're headed to Biloxi, MS...a short 8 hour drive from Ridgetop, TN to spend Thanksgiving with the parents!  Looking forward to this trip too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

This evening, I will board a Southwest flight to Las Vegas, Nevada.  I am very excited to be going to Las Vegas, but I absolutely hate to fly.  Well, let me rephrase that....I absolutely hate take-off.  Flying is fine and landing is okay, now that I've seen some successful "belly landings".  But as the plane taxis down the runway and gains speed for take-off, my hands sweat, my body gets hot, and I basically have a panic attack.  I try to control my fear with distractions or good thoughts or a book, but usually I just end up counting to 100 slowly until we're high in the air and I can begin to relax.  I really wish I didn't have this fear.  I mean, I did take college physics...2 sememsters of it...so I understand the physics of flying.  I just cannot help but think that if something were to go wrong during take-off, the time to adjust before hitting the ground is pretty small.  If we're 10,000 feet in the air and something goes wrong, there is time to fly around and make corrections or an emergency landing, right?  So I will once again try to relax before my flight and try this "mind over matter" stuff I keep talking about and maybe I will not be so anxious.  Yes, I've tried medication...I'd rather have a short panic attack than take Xanax again.  UGH!

Oh, yes, we're going to LAS VEGAS tonight!  Hurray!  I am really excited!  We are staying at Caesers Palace this time.  And I won't be able to blog about our trip, because we all know, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."  :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Knew?!

A short, but funny blog for my family who remembers these events.  :)

I come from a family of inventors.  I invented the Pet Rock, but as we all know and love to tease my mom about it, we never made a profit from the invention.  Instead, Gary Dahl became a multi-millionaire from the Pet Rock. 

My brother, Mark, really invented the XBox Kinect.  When he was about 4 years old, he would write in the air to communicate to us sometimes.  I thought my mother would never recover from laughing about him doing this.  Now, people are communicating with the XBox Kinect by signaling to the system through the air. 

Trains!



Benjamin and I went for a hike to the train track and tunnel on Sunday. Benjamin climbed his favorite dead tree up a very steep hillside as he does everytime we go on this hike. It's becoming more challenging as the bark continues to rot and pull away from the trunk, but he really enjoys the challenge. We finally made it to the bottom of the trail as a train was going by.









The Tunnel from a closer view
 

Look closely at the top of the picture - there is a house there.  I wouldn't want to live there!
 
 



We were close to the tracks as the train approached

closer....



Closer....
 


CLOSER!





This valley was under 10 feet of water (at least) in May during the flood



See how little Benjamin looks?  He would have been underwater in May!









Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ridgetop!

I live in a small town, just north of Nashville, TN.  Ridgetop, TN is over 800 feet above sea level on the edge of the Highland Rim.  The house I live in sits on land that once was home to a hospital for tuberculosis patients.  Near our home is a train track and the opening of the L&N Railroad tunnel that runs underneath our little town.  In 1905 it was hailed as one of the longest self-supporting tunnels in the world. It is approximately 4700 feet long and 22 1/2 feet high.  The tuberculosis patients who were transported by train got off at the depot (no longer there) near the tunnel entry, then they were brought by horse and buggy up, up, up the winding path to the hospital.  Over the years, the path was covered by trees, grass, leaves, flowers, and general growth. 

However, on the weekend of May 2, 2010, the rains washed a lot of this cover away, exposing the large slabs of rock that were underneath and the path became much clearer.  It also became much more dangerous in spots because some of the pathway was "sunk", meaning there is a 4' x 4' x 6' sinkhole in part of the path.  No worries, we just scooted around it last time we went exploring. 


Now, if you are down near the tracks and a train comes by, it is L O U D!
The earth and air rumble (yes, the air rumbles) as the train engine roars and the wheels clickety clack along the track. The sound of the whistle makes you cover your ears as it echoes off the hillside and the tunnel.



And then you laugh because it's so freakishly loud. For you see, you have to walk down, down, down to the tracks. So instead of being 800 feet above sea level, you are now quite a bit lower and the hills and trees encompass you.
From our house, the trains can be heard rumbling and whistling, just not as loudly as when you are right next to the tracks.  If you like the sound of a train, as I do, it is actually very enjoyable. 

If you want to know more about my little town, you can visit these webistes:
http://www.webjam.com/ridgetoptn  (more pictures of the tunnel in the EARLY days are at this site)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ideas

At 4:00 this morning, I was awake.  I was not happy to be awake, and tried going back to sleep, but my brain wanted to play.  ;) 

For some reason, I started thinking about ideas.  Where do they come from?  Where do people GET ideas, especially for new inventions or discoveries?  I'm not talking about things like the airplane, which is a great invention, but birds kind of gave us that idea, don't you think?  :)  And fire...figuring out how to make fire probably came from someone witnessing a spark when two flint stones (not The Flintsones) hit each other or lightening struck nearby and ignited some dry brush or grass.  I'm talking about inventing something that was really new and different.  Who was the first person to think of an engine?  I mean, how do you come up with the idea of creating something like that?  How about before the television and radio were invented...who thought of how we can transmit sound and pictures to a "box"?  How about discovering molecules and atoms?  It boggles my mind.  

The other thing that was going through my mind at 4am was the idea of infinity.  I used to lie awake as a child and think about the fact that space is never-ending.  I would imagine the night sky in my mind and then go beyond that, thinking past the planets and galaxies in space and what it might feel like to travel in a straight line forever.  Yeah, my brain is warped.  ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mind Power

The whole idea of the mind and thoughts being able to have an effect (affect?) on physical matter is something I've always been interested in learning more about and also trying to unlock the powers in my mind that exist there.  Noetic Science is probably a bit "out there" for most of us, but it's really applied more than people realize.  Ever hear of "the power of prayer"?  How about "mind over matter"? 

I've always had an interest in the brain.  In 3rd grade, I did a report on the brain and was hooked.  I remember having the encyclopedia out and tracing the brain on a thin piece of paper and transferring that to a piece of white felt for part of my report.  Later, I began reading books by Tori Hayden which were about her real-life experiences teaching "special" children, including gifted and autistic children.  What initrigued me was how the autistic person in her stories seemed "locked away" by her mind and how she tried to break through to the children.  It made me want to be a brain surgeon (I like to fix things), but I didn't take that route in life.  I also wanted to be a special education teacher, specializing in Learning Disabled/Behaviorally Disordered children.  I started down that path, then changed direction when I got too attached to some kids in a classroom I worked in.  Instead, I now try to figure out what is wrong with computers and networks and keep them up and running.  I work with mechanical brains, which are much less powerful and much less emotional than human brains. 
I still do a lot of thinking about how I would like to tap into the real power of my mind.  I know that I make a lot of decisions on facts, but I always try to listen to my gut...the hunch that comes with a decision.  I want to see if I can tap into that inner voice more.  After I finish (or maybe even while I'm still reading) The Lost Symbol, I will do some research and learning about Noetic Science.  It's something that has interested me for a week now, and many things just do not hold my attention that long anymore.  ;)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Love Halloween

I love Halloween.  I love the spookiness and the scary stories and dressing up and being scared and scaring others.  5 years ago, when I was married to Tom, we lived in a neighborhood that had a LOT of kids.  Tom and I decided to decorate our entry way and also to dress up to hand out candy to the kids.  Tom was dressed as the guy from the movie "Scream" and I was a zombie...a really scary zombie...with a really scary mask that even *I* didn't like looking at in the mirror.  PERFECT!  So we handed out candy, scared some kids a little and even REALLY scared a little 4 year old girl, which made me sad, not happy.  I felt REALLY bad for her. 
What I loved was that down the street, you could hear some teenage girls screaming and acting silly...like 14 year old girls do.  I couldn't wait for them to get to our house.  Tom was standing by the porch outside...just standing...not moving....and I was lying (laying?) in the grass near the walkway by the porch.  I could see a little bit out my mask and as the girls came up the walkway, they saw me in the shadows and kind of jumped, then said, "Is that REAL?"  One of the girls kicked me in the side.  I just rolled a little, like a rag doll.  Then she swung her leg back to kick me again.  That's when I lifted up, outstretched my arms, and yelled, "RAAAWWWWRRRR!"  I had never seen a human fly, but these girls FLEW out of the yard, screaming.  They were so scared, they forgot the candy...and they kept running.  I laughed so hard!  Later on, after we had changed out of our costumes and had gone inside (it was getting chilly), the doorbell rang and it was a couple of the girls.  They said, "Where is the guy that was out here earlier?"  I said, "Oh, that was me." Her: "That was YOU?" Me: (grinning) "Yes...and you are the one that kicked me". She said, "Oh, gosh, sorry...um, we forgot to get candy...can we have some candy?"  I had to laugh again as I gave them some candy.  I think that was one of my favorite Halloween's. 
I hope you all get lots of treats and no tricks this Halloween. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

If I knew then what I know now

I finished reading a book called The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch a couple of days ago.  It's an easy read and was pretty interesting, even though the ending was predictable.  It got me thinking about what I would change or do differently if I could go back in time.  I don't necessarily have a lot of regrets...I mean, I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't lived my life the way I have lived it, but I think I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and money if I could go back some years and make some changes.  I guess if I could go back, I wouldn't want to know the future necessarily, but I would like to know the lessons I have learned over the years.  Just the knowledge that I didn't have to do certain things in my life to be happy....that I could have made different choices and had a better outcome.  But then I have to think about "the butterfly effect"...if I had NOT done this one thing, for example, would that REALLY effect where I am today? Well, one thing I know is that I would sure buy that VW EOS again...that's how I met Jim and I would really be sad if my life didn't inlcude him.  :)

My latest venture in reading is The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  So far, it's very interesting.  I have learned that there is a thing called Noetic Science that I would like to learn more about.  I guess I'll continue reading this book and start doing some research later.  Maybe I could learn how to change things using my brain power...hmm....there's a thought! 
(HA HA)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A masterpiece in the sky

Once again, I sit here wondering what to write about...feeling like I'm letting my readers down by not blogging more regularly.  I think highly of myself and my blogs, huh?  :D  I like to write about funny stuff....it keeps me from griping about the things that bug me and I think I like myself better when I'm funny and thoughtful rather than grumpy and bitchy.   And right now, I have something I want to gripe about, but I'm trying REALLY hard to just let it go, as I cannot control the issue/person/situation.  *SIGH*

*** A few minutes pass ***

Yesterday, there were some storms in the area.  Not as bad as they predicted for Nashville, but still very windy and rainy and there was some damage in areas around here.  After I picked Benjamin up from school, we were driving home.  As we got past the I-24/I-65 split north of Nashville, the sky looked so beautiful to the North.  It was pinkish purple and the clouds were very interesting looking.  Benjamin even said they looked really neat and appreciated the color.  Then, I saw in my side mirror the Southwest where the sun was setting and it was a gorgeous orange/pink.  Benjamin turned around in the car and said, "Oh, that's really pretty!  Kind of NEON!"  I love it that he can appreciate these natural masterpieces at a young age.  I hope he continues to be able to appreciate these little things in life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Deep Thoughts with Benjamin

This past week, I watched a show on Showtime called "The Big C", which is about a woman who has terminal cancer and how she is dealing with it.  It's actually a comedy and quite funny and often thought-provoking.  In the last episode, she had taken some Ecstacy and had come to the realization she didn't need to be afraid (of anything) anymore.  She went on to say she wondered where we went when we died and had a conversation with another character on the show about his beliefs. 

This conversation reminded me of one I had with Benjamin when he was around 6 years old.  I have always thought he was an "old soul".  From the day he was born, he seemed to just "know" more about the world and beyond.  On this particular day, he and I were out by the pool in our backyard and he looked at me and said, "I wish I could die, Mom."  He said it "matter-of-factly" and it really freaked me out, but I kept my cool and said, "Well, I sure don't.  Why do you wish you could die?"  He replied, "Then I could go back up there and be born again and stay little."  Me: "So you think that when you die, you go back up there and get born again?"  B: "Yes, that's right."  I never did get him to explain why he thought that or if he had heard it somewhere - he didn't have an answer to that question. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reading in the attic

When I was young and we used to go to my Grandma and Grandad Tingley's house, I would often venture upstairs to the attic.  The doorway to the attic was a small door inside one of the bedrooms.  The ceiling in the attic was pitched with the roof, so even I had to duck down to move around up there.  The attic was filled with treasures.  I never ventured further than the bookshelves up there, though.  (Now I wish I had explored more)  I would sit up there and read the "Reader's Digest Condensed Books" that my grandparents had stored.  At the age of 8 or 9, these were really great books to read and I loved being able to escape to the solitude of the attic.  I wish I could paint or draw the picture that is in my mind of the bookshelves in the attic, although I think that our memories are more special to us individually than trying to share them with others.  Do you know what I mean?  You probably wouldn't feel as "warm" about this memory as I do, because you didn't experience it.  (Although my siblings and parents might have experienced it...I dunno!)   Just rambling thoughts on this nice fall day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

$270,000

Yesterday, I went to the liquor store to buy some wine that was on sale.  I decided to buy a whole case because the price was right and the wine was good and it will keep (although not for long in my house -  ha ha).  So the woman at the register is looking up the price in the computer, makes the selection, totals my cost and it is over $270,000!  She stopped, looked at it a couple of times and we started laughing, because we knew that wasn't right.  The wine she was trying to look up was Louis Martini Cabernet.  She had selected Louis XIII de Rémy Martin (a cognac), which sells for over $2,000 a bottle...and I think she had selected more than 12 bottles.  So she voided the transaction and started over, but we all got a much-needed laugh on a Friday afternoon.
CHEERS!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fartknocker

I use the word "fartknocker" sometimes in various situations. Usually it's to describe someone who is a idiot in traffic or has done or said something stupid. I said it yesterday to describe someone who cut me off in traffic. As usual, Benjamin was with me and asked, "Mom, what's a fartknocker?" I had to laugh because I don't know if I came up with the term or if I heard it somewhere else. So I explained to him why I used that word and that it might not be one he should use in school, although it's much less vulgar than my normal "rush-hour language".

Benjamin then informed me that he had called a kid a fartknocker at Fun Company one afternoon after school. I asked him why he did that and he said that he was playing football with a counselor and some other kids. This "3rd grader" farted, so he called him a fartknocker. Pretty funny if you ask me! He said he didn't get in trouble, but I reiterated that he might want to refrain from repeating his mother's comments while driving. I have a feeling one day I will be called into the principal's office at his school to discuss something Benjamin has said. *SIGH* I really do need to clean up my language while driving. I should probably post more comments on my family's blogs so I can come up with new words.


Footnote: I looked up "fartknocker" on the web and I guess I didn't make it up. Seems it's a widely used word, coined by Beavis and Butthead.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holiday World








Last Saturday, Jim and I took Benjamin, Hailey, and Katy (our nieces) to Holiday World. This was the last weekend of the season and there were NO lines, which was fantastic. In 4 hours, we rode all the rides we wanted to ride as many times as we wanted to ride them. Benjamin and Katy are 3 years apart in age and get along so well. They would go to one ride while Hailey, Jim and I rode a bigger ride and then we'd meet up afterwards. It was perfect. We all rode the bumper cars together and that was really fun, trying to catch up and bump into each other. While we were all getting into our cars, Benjamin looked over at Hailey and said, "What number is yours?" (the cars all had numbers on the back of them) Hailey told him the number, and Benjamin replied, "That one is broken. It doesn't work very well." The ride operator happened to be checking Benjamin's seat belt at that time and looked at him and said, "Does he know something I don't?" I cracked up! Benjamin was trying to get Hailey's goat and nearly did.



The kids rode the Pilgrim's Plunge, the world's tallest water ride at 135-feet tall with a 131-foot descent at a 45 degree angle. They rode it 4 or 5 times and really could have stayed there for hours. That's Katie and Benjamin in the front. -->




Jim, Hailey, and I rode the 3 wooden roller coasters there: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage. The angles of descent on The Voyage vary from 50 degress to 66 degrees. Needless to say, I was really freaked out...terrified....and loved every minute of it! I can't wait until Benjamin is ready to ride these rides with us!






This picture of The Voyage is from http://www.holidayworld.com/
Photo by Dan Feicht


One of my favorite pictures is the expression on Benjamin's and Katy's faces on the log ride:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Websites I Like

I have some favorite websites.

One of them is a recap of the soap opera "Days of our Lives" with some humorous commentary included. If you care to check it out, it can be found here: http://prevuze.blogspot.com/ .
Another site is a random password generator site. http://www.pctools.com/guides/password/ I can generate passwords for accounts on my network here and not have to think them up myself. LOVE IT!
The Oatmeal (http://theoatmeal.com/) is a site I like to go to for some fresh humor. Odd, but fresh.
Fark.com is another humorous website I visit. People contribute current events from online sources and make sarcastic or ironic comments about them. It's a good source for odd news too.

I can use this site at work: http://www.subnet-calculator.com/subnet.php?net_class=C to calculate IP subnets. Another site I frequent at work is http://egret.net/kb__mb.htm that allows me to convert bytes to kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes. I'm sure you'll all rush to these sites and start using them right away! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Woops!

Last week, I shipped a 24" monitor to our Arlington, VA location. I forgot to insure the package and it was damaged....badly! It looked like this delivery company played basketball with the monitor! So I decided to file a claim anyway.

I did that on Thursday and have not heard anything from them. So I contacted the Arlington office to see if they had heard from the delivery company. My co-worker there replied, "Well...the monitor isn't here anymore." Me: "What? Where is it?" Co-worker: "We think the cleaning crew thought it was trash and threw it out." Me: "HOLY CRAP!" and laughter ensued. I couldn't help it. It WAS trash, but we were trying to see if the delivery company would take responsibility for their actions. Maybe the building management will buy us a new monitor instead. It was just so funny to me because it started off by me making a mistake, followed by a series of laughable errors.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Singing Kittens

Some of you know that we have cats. LOTS of cats. I think we have 10 cats and 3 kittens...and more on the way. They are all outdoor cats and a lot of fun, most of the time. We have a white cat that has one blue eye and one green/yellow eye and loves to be petted. AND, if you will pick him up and start scratching his neck behind his ears, he will begin to lay back and just become so relaxed and will stay there as long as you scratch this spot or his back.
However, none of my cats sing or play horns like the cats in this commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5KhP11BRj4

You don't really even need the sound (it's really annoying)...just watch the cats on the left and right "play" their horns. Cracks me up every time!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Highs and Lows

Last night at dinner, Jim suggested we play a family game called "Highs and Lows". It's where each person tells about the high point and low point of their day. So Benjamin went first and said his low point was Social Studies class because it's boring. His high point was lunch. Well, he is 9 years old, so I guess that's a pretty good day. Jim's lows were that his mother is in the hospital with pneumonia and that he had a heck of a time with the new window treatments yesterday and ended up returning them to the store. UGH! His high point was when Benjamin and I came home....aww! :) My low point of the day was when I was notified by our Arlington, VA office that the monitor I shipped up to them was damaged...broken by UPS. It was the FIRST time I did not insure a package...I was in a rush and forgot. UGH! My high point was a funny moment on the drive home with Benjamin. See, he was wearing a teal, black and white plaid short-sleeved shirt...very sharp looking. We were on the interstate when I saw a really bright teal Ford Taurus...and realized it was the same color as his shirt! I started laughing and Benjamin and I joked that I should pull up beside the driver and point to his shirt and then point to the car....but we didn't. It turned out the driver was a young girl and she had "Hello Kitty" stickers on her windows...and we started laughing all over again. Maybe you had to be there, but it was a good high for me to have at the end of a long day.
(Note - this is not the real car, I just found a picture of one online)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On a roll

Last week, one of the women at work stopped me and asked me what was happening on her computer when she would type and the text would not immediately appear, but after a few seconds, it would slowly come across the screen. Somehow, my brain was working quickly that morning, and I said, "It's a delay" and just looked at her. It was pretty funny to see her reaction and then we both laughed and I explained that it happened to me sometimes too. Of course, the problem she was having was chatting online with her husband, so it wasn't work-related and I didn't have to fix it, just explain that "it happens".

Yesterday, I was working on a work-related issue on another computer and the "plant guy" came into our office area and was tending to the plants. He took out his scissors to trim one of the plants and as he snipped it, I said, "OW!" loud enough for him and a few others to hear. Of course, I cracked up laughing and so did the others! The plant guy just said, "Oh, it doesn't hurt them - plants don't have feelings." Which made me laugh harder because he was serious!

I can't wait to see what opportunitites for me to be a smarta$$ present themselves today. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beyond Busy

I have been very busy this week at work..working...working...interviewing people to work with me...and working some more. I have had no time to write, let alone read blogs. So this morning I read the blogs that have gone unread this week. And now I am writing...about nothing, really.

We've had some changes here at work and people are going to be moving to different cubicles, which involves me moving their phones and computers for them. I think we have 14 people that need to move in October at some point. I also have to move my "stuff" one cubicle over. Whatever.

But the great thing was when my boss suggested that we put this new IT person that will work for me in a closet where a large copier/printer/scanner actually is right now. It was suggested that we would move the copier out onto the sales floor and put this new person in there. Before he even finished the sentence, I said, "No." Just flat out "No." I rarely do that at work. I have realized that it pays to listen to the complete thought, but I didn't think this thought had been completed by the executives. I said, "I'm not putting a new IT person in a closet on the sales floor. He would have everyone coming up to him asking for help and I'm not putting a new person in that position." My thoughts were heard loud and clear. I then suggested maybe *I* get the closet...I might like having a door to shut! Of course, when I was later talking to some of the folks out here where I currently sit, we started laughing about me going "in the closet" when so many folks are trying to "come out of the closet". Laughter made the situation much better. And now no one is going in the closet and I think we'll all be happy with our new seating assingments next month.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Everybody's Fine

On Friday, we had the Dish network installed. 200 channels of groovy TV. We've enjoyed watching some shows we haven't been able to watch in the past and right now we get HBO and Showtime for 3 months free. Movies galore!

Last night, we watched "Everybody's Fine", a movie starring Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, and some other actors that I don't know much about. I thought the movie was supposed to be a little more funny than it was, so I was not expecting the storyline that unfolded. However, it was a great story. Basically, a man's wife had passed away 8 months prior and he was now living on his own. He had never really kept in touch much directly with his kids...his wife normally did that. He had invited all 4 kids and their families to his house to get together at the same time, something they hadn't done in awhile. One by one, they all called to say they couldn't make it for one reason or another. So he decides to go visit them...to surprise them. The story unfolds and there is laughter and tears; funny and scary travel scenes; and plenty of people to remind you of your own family members. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'll stop here. I recommend it, but you WILL need a hanky or a kleenex or a sleeve. Definitely a tear jerker, but well worth the time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whump whump whump whump

This morning in rush hour, I hit a huge bump in the road that I hit everyday. It's almost entirely unavoidable. The only difference is that it gave me a flat tire on my front driver side tire today. Thanks!


So I didn't realize it at first, but something sounded and felt a little odd after I hit the bump. As I rounded the turn from I-24 Eastbound onto I-40 Westbound, I still didn't really feel any pull or hear any strange noise...yet I still "felt" something wasn't quite right. So I merge onto I-40 and am getting ready to go south on I-65 and realize, I need to get over now. Of course, no one would allow me to get back over and instead of just stopping on the interstate, like I wanted to do, I drove a little further on. Then, as I rounded the turn onto I-65 Southbound, the "whump whump whump" started and I pulled into the "zebra stripes" between the merging lanes of I-40 East and West to I-65 Southbound. HOLY CRAP! Not a good place to be. Suddenly, I realized there was NO taffic coming from the lanes to my right, so I was able to drive across and get onto the shoulder where it was a bit safer. So I called the non-emergency number for Nashville Metro Police to have them send a TDOT truck to help me change my tire. Oh, who am I kidding, there was no "help" about it, I needed them to actually do all the work. I just didn't have the strength to undo the lugnuts. So I called and told them where I was. About 10 minutes later, I saw the TDOT truck go past me. Woops! I assumed he would go down to the Wedgewood exit and get back on the interstate and come back around to help me. 25 minutes later, no help had arrived, so I called back to tell them to send someone. I gave very explicit instructions that they should get on I-40 going Eastbound and pick up I-65 south and I was right next to the "Bacar Contruction" sign and directly across from the Science museum. I was assured help was on the way.


A few minutes later, a 1970's conversion van pulled in front of me on the shoulder and began to back up. I could see curtains in the windows and a man's face as he had turned around to back up. I was a little afraid at this point, but glad to possibly have some help. This nice man from Marshall County TN came to my window and said, "You're in a bad spot here. I can get your tire changed fast and get you out of here." I agreed and Benjamin and I got out of the card and down in the ditch while this man risked his life to change my tire. I was literally praying he would be safe the entire time. And Benjamin was so good and calm while I was so nervous and worried.


So my flat was changed with at FULL SIZE SPARE! Yeah! I love my VW! I had to put some air in the tire, but we were all set. The nice man wouldn't give me his name or take anything for helping me, so I certainly hope karma comes into play for him soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fire Alarms

Once again, I don't think I have anything to blog about. I have been so busy at work this week doing my job and trying to interview people to fill the position that reports to me. So what am I doing on here now at 4:45 in the afternoon? Just taking a break from reviewing resumes, fixing computer problems, saving the world... you know, the usual. ;)

I saw on FB that my niece, who just started her freshman year in college, had a fire alarm in the middle of the night last night. I couldn't help but laugh and tell her, "Welcome to college". When I was at UTK, there was someone on the guys' side of our dorm that was actually setting fires in a trashcan in the hallway at 3am nearly every night for awhile. And it was winter. So we all got to the point where we'd set our shoes out and sleep in sweats so that we'd be ready when the alarm went off. We'd all trek outside wrapped up in our comforters to stay warm. It took a few weeks for them to catch this guy...not sure why, since you could almost set your clock by the fires. But, it was part of my college experience and allows me to laugh at my niece and remind her how Tingley's show sympathy. (See Mark's post here if you don't remember: http://initialonly.blogspot.com/2010/08/waitwhat.html)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Laughter during rush hour

I am a person who cusses in traffic. My dad taught me to cuss in traffic and I love the words he taught me. I cannot type them here, because this is a family blog and I don't know if children read it or not. However, I am sure that anyone who knows my dad, knows the words I have been taught. He was a sailor, after all!

Today, there were two instances where I used bad language during rush hour. The first was when a large GMC Denali vehicle got very close to my bumper before moving over one lane to pass me. There was no need for this close-up and it made me mad. I said, "What the he** are you doing, you a**h*le!?!?!?!" Of course, Benjamin was in the car with me (Murphy's Law and all) and he cracked up laughing. And I mean REALLY cracked up. He always laughs when I get mad in traffic and sometimes will tell me to just chill out...and then *I* start laughing because he shows me how stupid it is to get mad in traffic. So he's laughing, I'm laughing, and then he starts to imitate this commercial that tore me up on Saturday night. Have you seen the new Geico commercial about the woodchucks chucking wood? If not, you MUST go here to see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjGwusHrOtk

So he's imitating the old man in this commercial and I start laughing so hard that tears are coming out of my eyes. I had to make him stop, otherwise I might have hit someone. Then we'd all have been cussing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A knife in the back

I read my mother's blog this morning and laughed so hard about her remembering when Mark told her that his Kindergarten teacher took them up in a plane and actually had her convinced this really happened. I thought, you know, that's pretty good for a 5 year old! And I realized that Mark and I both have this ability to keep a straight face when telling "stories".

Like the time that Mom was throwing a surprise birthday party for Dad. Aunt Barbara and Uncle Shelby came down to help set up while Mom and Dad were bowling in their league. Mark and I were in Jr. High and home alone. Mom called to be sure Barb and Shelby were there and Shelby had convinced me to tell her they hadn't gotten there yet. Oh, Mom was nearly beside herself and I thought it was really funny, even though I was pretty concerned about getting in trouble.

And then there was the time that Mark and I convinced this guy I was dating that Mark had sustained a big knife injury to his back while in high school. The 3 of us were sitting around in Knoxville talking and I just started off by saying, "Oh, that reminds me of when Mark got into that knife fight...Mark, show him your scar on your back." So Mark proceeds to lift his shirt and show this big scar where he'd actually had lung surgery to repair a collapsed lung when he was 16. Mark beautifully played into the story and began making up this story about a fight in an alley in Nashville where some guy had pulled a knife on him and cut him in his back. We had this guy convinced that this really happened....until I just couldn't stand it anymore and burst out laughing and then Mark did too. We laughed so hard and this guy was just sitting there dumbfounded until he realized we made it all up.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Songs from my memory




I have been humming songs from childhood today. Not sure why, but I have. The first one I started singing in my head was "Going to the Zoo" by Peter, Paul, & Mary. We sang this in Mrs. Wier's music class at Hoose. We sang a LOT of songs in that class through the years - it was one of my favorite classes.









The other song that I have been trying to find an MP3 for is "The Ricky-Tick Song" by Teresa Brewer. I loved that song and would love to have a copy of it. We had this song on a 45 that Mark and I used to listen to all the time. There were some good songs on those old records - I wish I knew where they were. I remember singing and dancing to these songs and I think now maybe Benjamin would get a good laugh from these songs and might even enjoy them!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Huh....

Well, I cannot think of anything to write about. Usually, I am not in a place to write something down when I come up with a good idea and then I forget it. And most of those times, Benjamin is not with me to write down my thoughts as well. Maybe I should carry a little voice recorder, then I could record my thoughts and play them back later. Now there's an idea!
Actually, I've been really busy at work lately. I had to let a guy go a couple weeks ago, so I'm doing a lot of work, reviewing resumes, interviewing people, making notes about the interviews, and generally staying busy. I like being busy at work, so it's not a big deal. I just hate it when a sales person emails and asks if we're still working towards a project they bid on, then I tell them that project has been tabled indefinitely (which it has), but if we do decide to start that project back up, I'll call them. Actually, I don't hate the initial email, it's the one RIGHT AFTER I said, "The project has been tabled indefinitely", meaning there is no way in hell they are getting our business anytime soon, and they want to come to the office to meet with me to talk about the project. I REALLY want to reply back, "What part of 'tabled indefinitely' do you not understand?". But I won't. I will once again explain that I am trying to work 2 jobs, interview people to fill a vacant position, and since the project has been tabled indefinitely, I think we should push our meeting until there is hope for the project to resume or something like that. Any ideas on how to word this that will get the point across in a business-like manner? :D C'mon you guys, I know you all have something clever to say.
Well, it looks like I did have something to blog about today, huh?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sock Monkey Legs

This morning on the way to school, Benjamin was admiring my jeans. He said he liked them, because they were "worn" and he liked the line (seam) down the side of my leg. Then he touched my leg, squeezed it a little and said, "Your leg feels like a sock monkey". I was lucky not to wreck the car since I was laughing so hard. I don't know where he comes up with these things, but very often, he'll say something that just cracks me up.

So I guess I have "sock monkey" legs. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or a good thing. I think it's a good thing, because B didn't say it with disdain and I think I heard a hint of admiration in his voice.




Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knowing Things

I love it that my son can write. I use him as my secretary in the car on the way to school when he is with me. I often think of things I need to do or things I need to buy, so I ask Benjamin to get out a notepad (yes, I keep one in the car) and take notes. Now that he's 9, he can spell most of the words I need him to write. He's made shopping lists for me and sometimes will add something he wants, like a CD, which I find very funny. He's also learned to use the calendar feature on my cell phone to make notes and reminders for me at my direction - very cool, because it reminds me and I don't have to keep track of little notes! :D

This morning, I decided I needed to make a note to look up on a map more of the area I travel coming to Franklin from Ridgetop. I know the general area I am travelling, but yesterday, I realized I needed to know more about where Trinity Lane goes (besides over to I-65), where Douglas Avenue goes, where Briarville Road goes...you get the idea. Why did I need to know this information? Well, as we were getting onto Ellington Parkway from I-65 yesterday, Benjamin said, "Um, Mom, you're not gonna like to hear this.... (long pause)...but I have to go to the bathroom." Yes, this happens often enough that he knows I'm usually not thrilled to have to get off the highway in rush hour, but I have realized there are worse things to deal with. Like not knowing where the hell to go when you get off at Trinity Lane (from Ellington Parkway) and realize, this isn't like over by the interstate where there are lots of hotels, McDonald's, etc. So I ended up seeing this side road with a big gravel lot, a small house-turned-into-business and a man outside working on his truck. I pulled in, parked, and said, "Excuse me, sir? My son needs to use the restroom - could he use the one inside?" The man was so nice and stopped what he was doing and took us inside so B could use the restroom. I know it could have been a bad situation, but at this point, Benjamin NEEDED to go and I had no real choice unless I wanted to buy new clothes for B that morning.

As we were leaving the parking lot heading back to our route, I noticed that there is a police presinct right there. Good to know. I thought, well, maybe I should get to know these side streets and areas better. I probably would have stopped at the police station to see if B could have gone there instead.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hero


Today, I got to be a hero...or more grammatically correct, I got to be a heroine. I walked into the office this morning and someone said one of the women was looking for me. Geez, I hadn't even gotten to my desk and I was needed, but that is the life of the IT Chick here. ;) It seems that she had deleted an entire folder in our Public Folders in our email system. NOT a good thing. So I quickly booted up my laptop and began a search on how to restore public folders in Exchange (the email server program we use here). Amazingly, Microsoft has a tool for just that purpose! So I downloaded this little tool, installed it and quickly read how to use the program. Within 15 minutes, I had restored the folder to its original location and all the messages that were in the folder. Now, if I could just fix the problem with our phone system. Does anyone know a Cisco phone system expert? :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Noserfig


This past Saturday, Jim, Benjamin and I went to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. I was hoping Benjamin would be ready to ride one of the bigger roller coasters, but he's not quite there yet. He is, however, big enough to enjoy the big water slides. The first one we three rode was called "Watubee". We all rode in a big round inner tube down a big, open slide with twists, turns and it's a lot of fun. Benjamin was a little scared at first, but 1/2 way down, he started having fun and laughing. There's another ride similar to this called Zoombabwe and it is the worlds largest enclosed water slide and is pitch black inside, except for a few lighted decorations. This one was a lot of fun and a bit scary, because you have no idea what direction you are going. At some point in the ride, we were screaming and laughing and I heard Benjamin say, "Shit!" which really cracked me up! We had such a fun day and spent most of it at the water park because it was so warm. He did, however, get Jim to ride "Paul Revere's Midnight Ride", which is the octopus-style ride that spins around and goes up and down. I couldn't ride it, but Jim and B had a fantasic time on it. I rode the swings with Benjamin - I love the feeling of flying and that is about as close as I'll get to going around, except for a carousel. I tried to find pictures of these rides, but none do them justice. I guess you'll just have to join us there next time we go!

Oh, and if you are wondering about the title of this post, it was the word I had to type in to leave a comment on my sister Kim's blog today. Maybe I'll write about what a noserfig is tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Vultures

I haven't blogged in awhile. I had a sinus infection and was pretty much in the bed for 4 days straight. It was awful. One night, I woke up feeling like I had firey rocks in my throat. The next night, my sinuses were so swollen I felt like taking a screwdriver and punturing my brain to relieve the pressure. Obviously, I didn't, but I sure felt like doing that! So I got out of the habit of blogging...and by the time I wanted to start back, I was in such a negative mood, I didn't think I wanted to share it with the world.


So now I am back by popular demand...actually, just Kim's request, but I consider that popular demand! ;) And I guess this is a pretty interesting thing to blog about. Today, I was outside for a few minutes at work and suddenly, 2 vultures showed up in the loading dock area. FREAKED ME OUT! They are such big birds and there are quite a few in this area, but I am usually inside or in my car when I see them. This was my first experience with them near me and I really got scared! They just LOOK at you and you think, "WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?" and hope they aren't after you! LOL!
The picture doesn't do it justice...camera phones just aren't all that great, but at least you can see it's a pretty big bird!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Emails from Uncle Gale

My Uncle Gale sends me emails at least once a week. Some of them contain dirty jokes or pictures that are really funny. Others contain nice sentiments. Recently, I received on that was very nostalgic and I'll share some of it with you. The email was entitled "Your Childhood in Pictures".


Metal ice cube trays. I remember getting my fingers stuck to them and it hurt very badly.




My Grandad Tingley had a camera like this one, I think. I just remember him taking pictures and holding this box-like thing and looking down into it. This was in the 70's when there were the Polaroid One Step cameras.

45 RMP spindle! :)



I do not recall this, but it made me laugh. Nothing says Christmas like Cigarettes for Christmas!



Remember 5 cent baseball cards? Remember when they came with that really hard bubble gum?







Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A letter to Santa

Last night, we were looking at some old pictures and in this album was a letter I wrote to Santa in 1976....I was 7 years old. I have read it a few times and laugh so hard that I cry each time. So I had Benjamin read it out loud to Jim and me. (I typed it the way it was written)

"Dear Santa for Chrismas I want the Sunshine family + Baby alive + a box of candy for my mom it's supposed to be a surpise.
I want lots of other thing but I cant think of them love Connie"

At this point, Benjamin was making fun of my spelling and such. Then he read the rest of it and could not finish it, he was laughing so hard. I hope you laugh until you cry too! :)

"P.S. Tell the Dorfs I love them. and I love you toooo"

Monday, August 2, 2010

My back porch


Jim has built a deck over our existing patio and extended it over the walkway to the pool. He has also put together a new canopy over the deck. We sit outside in the mornings and drink coffee while the cats eat and romp and play.
Many times I have thought that our house reminds me of my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Shelby's house in Muncie, IN. It's a ranch house with a similar layout; but then again, most ranch houses are similar.
Also, I remember their back patio had a cover on it and when we visited them, we'd often wake up to find them on the back patio drinking coffee, enjoying the birds eating and frolicking.
So while I enjoy my back porch in the present, it also brings back good memories of childhood visits to my Aunt and Uncle's home.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A good idea gone bad

The story goes like this ......

A kindergarten teacher wanted to teach her students about plants and thought it would be nice to have them grow something easy and put them in a small planter that was suitable for children. Unfortunately, the teacher did not think ahead about what a simple cactus looks like and did not envision the outcome. I think the picture speaks for itself.





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Band Album Cover


Last year on Facebook, my cousin posted his "Band Album Cover" and how to create one. I followed the instructions (below) and mine came out very cool, I think.
To create your band album cover:
1 - Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations"or http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Things you don't expect to see

The restrooms at my office in the 4th floor of our building are being rennovated, so we have to use the restrooms on another floor. So this morning, I pressed the elevator button and as the door opened for me to get on the elevator, I see the head of maintenance on a ladder changing a light bulb in the elevator. Not something I've ever seen before - a man riding an elevator on a ladder changing a light bulb. Then, as I was washing my hands in the restroom, the side door opens and a woman comes into the restroom from an entrance that I thought was just a closet! I kind of stared at her, then asked her what that room was. It's a women's locker room that is actually housed within another company's space, so no one uses it except them. I'm waiting for the 3rd oddity today and if it's a good one, I'll post it later. ;)