Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Little Tree that Could

leftover picture from Birthday - wish at the lake

And into the holidays

Sunday already! This 4 day holiday isn't long enough. Thanksgiving
was quiet, we didn't get invited anywhere this year, so we make a
turkey breast and some stuffing at home and played some video games.

Friday was even quieter, just me and the pets - Cay was off at a live
Drinking With Ian shoot at First Avenue for most of the day. He got to
star in a sketch he wrote for them, and he we pretty excited. I tried
to pick up my dulcimer again, and didn't get far. So I did most of my
Christmas shopping on the internet. Lots easier than going out there
on Black Friday.

The deals were pretty amazing, I think I saved $200 in discounts.
It was a good day for the retailers but not much in the way of profits,
I think. So I suppose this x-mas season is still going to be tough
for them.

The economy worries me a lot, everyday I'm thankful I have a job and
hope it stays that way! I think I've been through 4 of these recessions
now and somehow survived them all. I can't tell if this one is
actually worse than the others, or if the media is just hyping it
more, and people are panicking more.

What is with America, and this panic driven society these days? Didn't
we used to be the tough individualists? Since the terrorist attacks in
2001, it seems we've become terrified of everything - running around
screaming "The sky is falling" at every little thing. The stock market
is the worst of the lot, causing more problems than it is worth.
I miss the "stoic" America of the past. Great, now I am getting old....

Yesterday was spent putting up Christmas lights in the yard. We
replaced about half the lights with the new LED lights, hoping that
it would drive down the electric costs a bit. Course they cost a lot
more, so it will be a few years to recoup the cost of the lights - if
they last that long! Well, it is another tiny effort on our part to
be more "green". We have already replaced most of the indoor
lighting with florescent.

Then we were off to a friends house to sample his cooking - (why are
most of our male friends really good cooks? Horrible for the diet!)
he made leftover Turkey Tacos. They were really good! I never would
have thought of doing that with turkey. (We threw ours in the freezer
because we couldn't think of anything interesting to do with it.)
We watched some old anime shows and had a lovely evening. We
really don't get out enough. We keep saying we will be more social,
but life kind of gets in the way.

Today we are getting a cord of wood delivered, so we'll be stacking
it in the shed. It snowed last night, about an inch - the 1st real
snow that might stick, so the wood stove will be running more from
now on. It's nice the snow held off until the end of November,
hopefully it will make winter seem shorter this year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Out of the Closet

So the local T.V. show "Drinking With Ian" was filming a sketch
at my house last week while I was at work. Cay reached into our
bedroom closet to get one of my shirts for a costume he needed
to wear, and the entire closet came apart. The shelves came down,
the clothes rod and all the clothes, pulling out all the wall
anchors and parts of the walls.

Thus, the weekend project was "what to do about the closet".
It just didn't look like new wall anchors would hold, so after
a little research, I decided to build a nifty wardrobe rack that
could be rolled in and out of the space.

It took a $69 chrome wire rack from Menards, some casters and a
wardrobe rod and brackets from Storables, and voila! We made a
very nice free standing unit that fits perfectly in the closet
opening.

Of course the rest of the weekend was spent packing up old clothes
and reorganizing all things clothing. Not exciting, but a feeling
of accomplishment was had by all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Burning pockets

No - not the fires in L.A. Though the fires remind me of why
I'm glad I'm not living there anymore. The Sylmar fires aren't
that far from where I used to live. I remember the smell of
the hills on fire, all too well.

No, the burning pockets refer to a small amount of cash I had
saved up that was burning hole in said pocket. So I did the
sensible thing and bought an Acer Aspire One laptop (the
6 cell battery one, $399!) ;-)

It's not that I totally needed it, though I really wanted it
for work, it is that it is a tiny laptop computer gadget thing.
What Geek could resist? (I know, I don't have an iphone -- yet,
maybe next Christmas...)

Anyways, totally love the little Acer laptop! It weighs 2 lbs
and is as cute as a button. Seems to work well. But you wouldn't
want to do any major work on it - the 8.9 inch screen is very
clear but very small for old eyes. Yes, I could make the fonts
larger, but then the pages won't fit and you're scrolling all
over the place.

I guess that would prepare me for that iphone, though.
I played with an iphone in the store - and while cool, trying
to read a web page on it drove me nuts. All the littles apps,
you can load up on it, are pretty neat. I was born in the right
time. For a woman who loves gadgets, this is the best!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What a week that was!

Elections are over, and what a week it was. That is the most interest
I've seen anyone take in politics for a long time. I still find
myself thinking of the social implications of electing Obama, and
I'm pleased that America managed to surprise me by doing something
I never thought they would do in my lifetime. I hope racism fizzles
out of the American consciousness, and we all look at each other
with a new respect and hope.

But then, that is probably a Pollyanna attitude, and we'll still
have to fight and slug through the same amount of hate and anger
that have become so tiresome. And we have to fight for the Gays all
over again - I thought we were past that.

Liberty and freedom are wonderful ideals, but it is sad how fragile
it is, and how easy it is to loose it. It seems that it should just
"make sense" and be the natural order of things - instead of
something you have to fight for every day.

And then there is the economy... What a mess the new Pres. is
inheriting. I don't see a clear way out of that one. I just hope
that I keep my job, and we ride it out somehow. I haven't had to
think about Plans B and C (what I'm going to do if all the jobs dry
up - how my family will survive) since 2001. May our new President
somehow pull the world closer together, and fulfill the hopes we
have, against all odds. Godspeed Mr. Obama!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Voting Mania

There, I finally posted a few pictures from my week off "Vacation in
town". I don't have any pictures from the Mall of America and
Underwater Adventures, or various other small drives we took -
but you get the idea.

I started reading a huge pile of documents for my next project at
work, (ow! my head hurts!), and got a big haircut (about 4 inches
off!). The roommate came back from training and packed his stuff
up and moved to Miami. It is really quiet around here - we miss
him already.

I spent last night researching for the election. (About time....)
I knew the major candidates I was going to vote for, but there are
3 referendums, and six contested Judges that I knew nothing about.
Cayenne convinced me that judges were important.

And boy are they! In my reading up on them, a couple of the
challengers to the incumbents are real nutcases. Randomly voting
for one of those guys would be not a good thing to do!

So I feel totally ready for the election. I'm kind of excited about it.
I never cared a whit for politics, and try to ignore it whenever I can,
because the candidates were all so awful. This time I'm actually going
to vote "for" someone, instead of "against the other guy" like usual.

And we are having amazing weather for the election. It is normally
blustery and cold on election day, but we are having a spate of sunny,
warm days until next Friday. We have all the windows wide open in
November, right now. Glorious!

Pictures from my week off - Swedish Institute


Pictures from my week off - Arboritum



Pictures from my week off - Falconer Vineyard and Arts Fair in Red Wing, MN