Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A long week in my life

Well, it's been over a week since I've written in my blog. Tuesday I woke up after a late night and felt like I was wearing an iron cast suit. I could barely move and awoke with a migraine. So I called in sick and spent most of the day in bed. Wednesday I woke up and ached from head to toe - so figured another day off would help me 'recover' a little bit before heading to my mom's for Thanksgiving.

The drive was long and painful - but, I started taking my darvocet again for the pain, and was able to lay down for a while to ease some of the aches and pains. Thursday passed in a blur, as did Friday. Saturday big A and I went to the movies while little A left with his father to finally meet his grandparents and aunts and uncles ('bout time!).They had a forty-five minute drive each way - and made it back to my mom's before big A and I did after the movie. Which means they probably only spent an hour to an hour and a half at his parent's house. Hmmm.... Nothing like committing time to getting to know the family! I shouldn't get too upset about it, it leaves us more time for him to spend at my parents house. But it does highlight the difference in how we see little A as being part of our lives. I don't know what I really expected when you think about it though - I think he's managed to spend less than 24 hours total with his father since birth and he's 2 1/2 now. So why should he all of a sudden want to spend an entire afternoon together?

We drove home on Sunday and stopped at the outlet mall because I desperately need a new winter coat. I didn't find anything I could stand (although for my budget's sake that required that I NOT go into Wilson's). But managed to get a jacket for big A and some sleepers for little A.

About a half hour after we collapsed at home big A comes walking through the door and a streak of grey shoots for my bedroom. It's Unior!!! My favorite cat in the entire world returning to us! He's very skinny and looks like he hasn't eaten since he'd left, but he's back! He didn't leave my side for about 30 hours after he got home and spent most of the night curled up asleep on my back when I was sleeping on my stomach.

About half an hour after he came home little A tosses up his dinner all down my front, his front, his legs, his back. Into the tub he went - but he screamed the entire time... so he ended up spending most of the evening in my lap until I got him down to bed. Which means btw that he and Unior were fighting over lap space the entire night. Or he was hugging 'kitty' until kitty decided he needed air to breath again and ran off for a minute until he figured out that there might be room on my lap after all. So, I stayed home with little A on Monday... had thought about trying to push off the upset tummy due to the drive - but he woke up with a fever, so no daycare for him. By noon he was his regular self - until about 7pm... when he cried for about 20 minutes straight no matter what I'd say or do and was only happy when he was crying his eyes out on the steps to the basement... who knows what was going on in his head? Anyway - the Incredibles to the rescue. Two hours of mind numbingly boring television to watch a movie I've seen dozens of times to keep him from crying any more.

It's Tuesday and I'm back to work - the project manager for my new project doesn't seem to be in a hurry to put the two data requirements analysts to work - he thinks that we can do the new projects without much modification to the project documentation - even though we're merging data from multiple sources into a single display that's never been done before. That's ok though, my manager is great at setting them straight and it means we might actually have something to do by December. Which is a goal I have. Funny to have a goal to go to work to do something other than surf or blog? Must be that awful Iowa work ethic sneaking up on me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Concern for a friend

I'm still awaiting news of a dear friend who is looking for her two year old son.

She had a business trip come up and had offered her ex-husband the opportunity of "right of first refusal" to baby-sit. He refused so she made other arrangements for her son. She had some 'off' feelings about her ex last week. He was acting weird and off-center. He kept getting confused when he was going to get to see their son and when she was going to be back from her trip. When she talked to me about it, I raised concerns that it sounded like he was 'up to trouble'. But she felt comfortable with the alternative care she had arranged for.

Her ex picked her son up this weekend from the alternative arrangements that she had made, but didn't contact her to let her know that he was going to do this. He called the day care center to tell them that the child wouldn't be coming in today - that he was staying home with him. But, he isn't at his apartment. He isn't answering his phone, his cell phone, nor his work phone. He isn't at his mother's nor his father's home.

He wasn't supposed to have the child this weekend, he turned down the opportunity to take him when it was given to him, he then took him anyway without telling the boy's mother that he was going to do so... and now cannot be located. And mom is in Illinois and unable to do anything. I cannot imagine how horrible this must be!

Ideally this will turn out to be a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications, but the possibilities of other results is too mind-numbingly scary to even consider. NO mother should ever have to doubt for the location and safety of her two year old like this - EVER!

I hope to h*ll she gets him back quickly, and fights like h*ll to restrict her ex's rights to unsupervised visitations so that she never has to go through this ever again.


Her ex phoned her on Monday night so she could talk to their son... and couldn't understand why she was concerned - after all, he'd told the sitter that he was taking the boy, wasn't that enough? Grrr.... he plays headgames, and drives her nuts. I am glad the little one is safe, and that's what matters most - but ugh, it's still extremely frustrating to watch him play with her emotions like this.

A REAL, ACTUAL step forward in potty training!

I almost forgot to post this! Lordy, me!

Friday night when Alex got undressed to take his bath, he sat down on the potty and actually went potty!!! Of course, most of it ended up on the floor in front of the potty because he doesn't quite understand the point down part, but he figured it out and managed to get at least some in the potty. I'm not going to push it, but am very excited that he thought about it!!!

Health update - for my family

As if they read this! Oh, well, whatever, it is what it is. And if no one reads it, that's ok too, at least it's a way to 'express' some of what I'm going through.

I'd actually been doing fairly well, few spells of any count and less pain. Still exhausted though. Long weekend in St Louis was both very restful, yet tiring - It took a lot of me on the drive back.

Saturday - I tried to do some cleaning 10 minutes up - 50 minutes down. I had plenty of sleep, but I just can't seem to get anything done. I work for 10 minutes and I can't breath anymore - my chest tightens, the pain in my left underarm strikes - it feels like someone has a saw on the inside of the arm and is ripping it forward and back trying to saw it's way out of my arm. Picture two miniature flannel wearing lumberjacks on either side of a old fashioned tree-downing lumber mill saw working their way out of my armpit.

It takes thirty minutes sitting down before I can feel the pain ease - then another 20 minutes or so to feel like it's worth trying to stand up again, let alone go back to work.

Sunday - forget it. Every time I stood up the pain would return.

I didn't go anywhere to get it checked out - why bother? I know what the answer is. We don't see anything. Obviously whatever is wrong isn't going to kill me... but jeez do you think it would have to hurt so bad in the meantime? And my house, god it's very disgusting. I hate how filthy it has become and not feeling well enough to tackle it. Right now, work I can do - I sit at my desk all day and read documents on a screen. That's easy. The four-five block walk into the office has become a challenge... but I'm able to do it, it's just the last block or two that makes me feel like I'm going to faint.

Anyway - per doctor test results - the final word is I DEFINITELY have protein C deficiency - it's mild, but it's there. My homocysteine levels are currently normal - but I still need to take supplements the rest of my life. Verdict is that the combination of untreated high homocysteine levels, birth control pills and the protein C deficiency caused the pulmonary embolisms last year...

Since I have the homocysteine levels under control and am no longer on birth control pills, my risk factors for blood clots are greatly reduced and therefore - no blood thinner unless I have another clot.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lessons Learned this Week

  • I'm too old for three day out of town weekends without recovery time.
  • Tires Plus really, really sucks with customer service.
  • Progressive Insurance has MORE than impressed me with their fantastic customer service. Here, I was so scared to switch to them from a personal insurance agent this whole time and I cannot be more than pleased with their involvement in getting the Rav4 up and running again.
  • Even insurance agents get fed up with service stations that screw up like Tires Plus.
  • Teenagers shouldn't be allowed to drive until their 30 - seriously.
  • Little A can now say 'naw' as well as 'no' - naw is in answer to a question as in "no, I don't want it" or "no, there isn't a kitty over here" and no means "Don't do that - that's bad" and is usually said as "no, no, no mamaaaaa". Does this sound vaguely like "no, no, no -imagine his name drawn out here - also two syllables and with emphases on the last syllable". LOL - sounding just like his mama these days.
  • I don't sleep as well without Unior!
  • I have serious trust issues with my teenager. Used to be I believed most of the things he told me - nowadays - not much is believable.
  • I've spent $3500 in the past two months between down payments, car payments, insurance, new brakes, and deductible coverage for my Rav4 and am driving a rental - how's that for handling my money well? See earlier tip about raising driving age to 30. No flipping wonder I'm trying to figure out how to buy groceries this month.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Would you go to work?

We actually had this conversation last Thursday at lunch! If you win the lottery - would you go into work?  Here's the group that did - http://www.kcci.com/money/5347335/detail.html.

Me, I'd have to go in for at least an hour to pick up my things, and gloat before saying - see ya! Email me if you have any questions!

Sleep deprivation - root of all evil

So - I overslept today - by about 2 1/2 hours. How, do you say? By taking a pain killer last night. Oh, my, it's good stuff. Too bad I was incredibly late for work!

Good news is that I'm feeling MUCH better - of course, that could also be part of a mighty good pain killer? I need a better nickname. My anti-depressants have already taken the title of "happy pills" so I can't use that for my pain killers...

"all is right with the world pills" is too wordy

"feeling good pills" is closer, but not quite there yet.

...hmmm ... wonder if they're making me feel this good that it's probably a sign that I shouldn't be taking them???

Anyway - these pain killers didn't let me get out of bed until after 7am... but then, I got up, got around - ok, I left the house without my purse and had to turn around and go back for it - only after leaving my cell phone as collateral at the gas station where I'd already filled the gas tank, which as anyone who knows me knows that that's when I realized I didn't have my purse with me! But otherwise, I feel like I haven't felt since before I became ill last year. I'm NOT tired today! I got about 10 hours of sleep and I feel like a productive human being.

So, I've decided to like my pill (not take it every day - but as I need it - last night was the first time I've taken one in over 2 months) and sleep if I need to... but in order to do that I must become rich or self-employed so that I can sleep in as long as I want to in the morning....

So here goes - help me weed out the failure ideas on making it rich...

  • Writing novels - doesn't work for most folks, but hey, I could be the next Danielle Steele - ok, maybe not this idea
  • Invent a magical web site that allows people to download music for free - and allows musicians to make money for having their music on the web site and lets us get beyond the issues where grandparents are fined thousands for their grandchildren downloading free music on their pc's
  • Create 'templates' and/or payment methods for the new Google searchable database that I can 'sell' or 'rent' to users
  • Open a Super Target in downtown Des Moines - ok, this might take some money that I don't have - but I bet it would do well anyway
  • Create better internet-based training interactivity systems so that taking an on-line course becomes enjoyable and interesting instead of just 'uck' and doing the work without interaction with people

Help me brainstorm - what else can I do to become a mini-millionaire in next to no time so that I can actually sleep in in the morning?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I found an article where they plan to do a study to try to identify the appallingly low graduation rates from four year universities - http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/11/16/colleges.graduating.ap/index.html.

I wonder if they'll even remotely connect age as a factor of graduation? So many kids these days are only going to school because the parents say they must - even if they believe they must. But then they do so poorly in class (even when they pass with A's) because they aren't interested in learning more by classroom. They want to go out in the world and start living it. When students have done that and then decide they want to go back to school because now they know what they want to do - they have a MUCH harder time getting started (i.e., between work, family, bills, lack of financial assistance, etc). But, once they start - they do tend to do so much better.

I know when I was teaching my best students were all over 25. I wish I had a way to give my son the opportunity to grow up a little more before he started school.

100 things

I've been tagged. 100 things about me... let's see...

  1. I live for my children.
  2. I grew up on a farm.
  3. My father died when I was three, and my only memories of my earliest childhood are of either being with him in a truck or when I visited him in the hospital before he died.
  4. I saw him in a mirror once when I was 12 and going through teenage angst - it didn't scare me, I only felt 'loved'. I watched him watch me for the longest time before I turned around to only see the chair he was sitting in move, but he had dissappeared.
  5. I heard him whisper in my ear before I went to the ER and then intensive care to get treated for the exact condition that had killed him some 35 years before (only much milder, obviously).
  6. I was a cheerleader in high school.
  7. I was very unpopular in high school.
  8. I was involved with Upward Bound which helped me gain some self-esteem poorly lacking in my life.
  9. I got a job as a waitress my senior year of high school behind my mother's back.
  10. She threatened the owner of the restaurant if he ever yelled or was mean to me (as was his norm).
  11. My first college course was taken during the summer after graduation at Cornell College in Cedar Rapids. I was supposed to take two classes, but somehow got out of doing the second one. I Aced the class.
  12. My first full semester was at UNI where I barely went to class, spent too much time partying, and still passed with a B average by only taking the semester tests.
  13. I quit school after UNI, then went back to Kirkwood for two trimesters - earning an A average.
  14. I finished my undergrad degree with 3 years at Simpson - balancing a B average with a full-time job and supporting by dirt-bag ex-husband.
  15. I spent my senior year at Simpson - working a full-time job(34 hours per week); working 16 hours at an internship at Pioneer Hybrid; carrying a full course load; and pregnant.
  16. I spent the last four months of college homeless thanks to dirt-bag ex-husband.
  17. I broke down in tears in front of the Dean of Business at Simpson when I had to take a make up test the day I found out we were going to be evicted. He gave me $50 out of his own pocket and refused to let me pay him back. Said when I was a millionaire I was to remember Simpson. To this day, I can't thank him enough.
  18. I almost didn't graduate - but the college granted me a three week extension to finish my studies. They gave me a place to stay on campus since I was still homeless.
  19. The class I was most behind in was a 300 series COBOL programming course. I had 11 out of 12 programs to create in the three week extension. My teacher told me at the onset that it would be impossible... which only gave me more reason to prove him wrong. I completed all 11 programs in under three weeks, all compiled and all but one worked perfectly. The one that remained had a small logic error that I didn't get figured out in time. I got an A out of that class.
  20. I graduated when I was nine months pregnant and as big as a house.
  21. I was pregnant at 18 and miscarried within 12 weeks after being seriously ill and unable to keep anything down, and being diagnosed as diabetic before being diagnosed as pregnant.
  22. I'm not diabetic - it was gestational diabetes.
  23. I never got tested for gestational diabetes with my first son - who was born late, 24 inches long and 9 lbs and 9 1/2 oz. At the time I was 21, 5'5" and 120 lbs (pre-pregnancy weight).
  24. I had a natural childbirth with my eldest son over 9 lbs and a c/section with my other son who was only 7 lbs.
  25. My favorite color alternates between blue and purple.
  26. I like to remodel, do diy, and decorate my home even though I'm not very good at it.
  27. I didn't appreciated my good health while I still had it.
  28. I've always wanted to write novels.
  29. I wrote and illustrated a children's story when I was 8. It was never published... it was a bit grim for a children's story - something like survival of the fittest.
  30. I've had a poem and an essay published.
  31. I worked with severely and profoundly handicapped children for five years between junior and senior high school.
  32. I learned and then taught American Sign Language - but remember little now.
  33. I played the piano (poorly), flute (barely), and picolo - but am practically tone death - which anyone listening to me sing, can tell in an instant.
  34. My eldest son was 1 when he asked me to NOT sing to him anymore.
  35. My youngest son just shushes me when I make up songs to sing to him, but hasn't told me to stop yet at 2 1/2.
  36. I took French in college because it was a 'romantic' language... took the professor over two weeks before I pronounced Misseur once to his satisfaction - and he passed me with a C (I assume it was only to make sure he would never, ever see me again).
  37. I have a patent application out there somewhere - no idea what ever happened with it, and doubt the company I was working for at the time will bother to let me know if it ever gets approved.
  38. My first 'real' job after college was working as a temp for a secretary; when the rumors started that they might offer me the position full-time I hinted that I was looking for more challenging work... because it was boring work for me. So I found another job for a whopping $3.25 an hour - and had missed out on the boring, but $10 an hour job... taught me to ALWAYS get the details before making ANY decisions.
  39. My bosses at my next job kept having to give me raises because we were going through a process of raising the minimum wage and they were having trouble keeping me above the minimum wage.
  40. I left that job to do boring data entry at $2 per hour more - and loved it. Boring is ok if it pays the bills.
  41. Doing data entry, however, gave me chronic tendonitis... which I still have now 14 years later.
  42. I taught at a community college for 8 years and thought that it was the most fun I've ever had. Would do it again in a heartbeat if I could pay my bills while doing it.
  43. I'm 90% an indoor person - but I do love to garden - but being ill and not feeling any energy has made it impossible to keep up with my gardens - so they look terrible.
  44. I love to stamp - but again, there's just not enough time and money to do my hobbies.
  45. I enjoy baking - but only give myself the opportunity to do so if the house is cleaned up or it's close to the holidays.
  46. While I'm not a neat freak - I'm not a slob either... I like things kept in their place and the house looking nice - until I get sick - then it all goes to hell in a hand basket, until I'm well again and can clean up again. So, it's really grating to not be well enough to keep my house clean enough for company for almost a year now.
  47. I'm way too lenient with my kids... my mom always gives me grief because I'm too strict, but it only looks like I'm strict. I pick my battles and am only strict about things that I see as critical (i.e., staying alive, keeping healthy, getting an eductaion, and a few politeness things).
  48. I have a major-bad temper, but it takes a LOT to fire it off... but then, watch out!
  49. I don't tend to forgive easily - it's something I have to really work at.
  50. I threw a pitcher of beer at a jerk once - would have gotten myself kicked out of a bar for the first time over it if it hadn't been for the fact that the jerk was trying to keep me from leaving the bar (which was my goal before I lost my temper). And technically, I still hadn't lost my temper at the time - but it was getting there.
  51. My first husband cared too much - he was abusive, controlling and willing to do anything to keep me from leaving except the one thing he needed to do - which was stop the abuse.
  52. My divorce from dirt-bag first husband left me alone with a newborn, over $45,000 in debt which he didn't pay a dime of, and the clothes on my back. It took me ten years to pay off my debt, but I did it. He's paid less than $500 in back child support and currently owes me over $50,000. I'll never see another dime.
  53. My second husband didn't care - he didn't care about me or my son, he didn't care about the house, the car, his first comment when I told him I was moving out was that "he'd have to replace the tires on the truck so he could help me move" and then "I thought you would have moved out before now"... hmm? gee, sorry to see me go?
  54. The first guy I dated after my second marriage swore up and down that he was afraid of commitment (though he might have only done so to get me into the sack - as it was a requirement of mine). Then asked me to marry him after dating for a few months - only one month after my divorce was final.... umm can you say "are you nuts?"
  55. The next guy I dated broke up with me because he thought I wanted marriage - even though I didn't. But it was a long distance relationship which never works out anyway.
  56. The next guy I dated refused to marry me when I got pregnant - which is good, because I would have refused to marry him too if given a chance too - lol! But at least he's on time with child support payments, even if he doesn't spend enough time visiting his son.
  57. I haven't had a single date in three years and don't miss it too much anyway.
  58. If I ran into the guy from #54 again and he asked me to marry him, I would consider it. Probably wouldn't, but I would at least consider it. Which is more than I did last time. And nuts since I haven't heard from him in years.
  59. Guy from #54and #58 was the best sex I ever had... and then some.
  60. I never had a weight problem until I hit my 30's... I could eat anything and still stay skinny... but I had no figure to speak of.
  61. I gained 10 lbs when I turned 30 - and my husband (ex number 2) started to care about something. He decided to deny me sex because I was FAT... at 130 lbs and 5'5", now, I know I wasn't skinny, but I wasn't FAT either... I finally had a figure.
  62. I didn't try to lose the weight until after our divorce - when I dropped it all off just for spite.
  63. I went on depo for birth control while dating, and gained my 10 pounds plus another 25 for good measure in less than 6 months.
  64. I stayed on depo and tried to lose weight - ha! Starved myself for six months and couldn't budge even 5 pounds off.
  65. After I quit depo, I lost 25 lbs in only six months.... which I figured was pretty fantastic... and I'm ok with being a little overweight at 130-135 lbs if it means I can maintain it without having to diet all the time.
  66. I never lost my little tummy after my first son was born until I started taking Pilates when he was 14 years old.
  67. I got pregnant with baby number 2 within two months of losing my little tummy.
  68. I haven't lost my tummy from baby number 2 - think it'll take another 14 years?
  69. I wish I could get selected for What Not to Wear - not that I think I dress so badly - but because my wardrobe desparately needs help and it's not a priority.
  70. I never had a credit card balance for more than two months until three years ago.
  71. Now, I've got six credit cards maxed out... and I hate it.
  72. But, I've got all my medical bills paid for (that I've received anyway).
  73. And I've got a plan to get my credit cards paid off - though I think I'm being a bit optimistic in that respect.
  74. I haven't saved enough money for my first child to go to college. Almost all of his father's child support (what there is of it) has been matched by me and put in a college fund though.
  75. I love flashy jewelry, although I rarely take the time to wear it.
  76. I'm alergic to nickel which is in the solder of most earings - so even though I have pierced ears, they're eternally infected even when I go years without wearing earings. I inherited this from a paternal grandmother who said that was why she never pierced her ears.
  77. I also have a problem with magnetic energy - I can't wear a watch... if it's digital the display will blank out, if it's analog, the gears will become magnetized and stop working forever. I inherited this from my maternal grandmother who also could never wear a watch. Though, out of her 11 children, and 40-50 grand-children (is this number right?) as far as I know, I'm the only one who has this issue.
  78. I love Holiday traditions - and want to make sure that I keep and make new ones with my family that will carry on and help my children enjoy the holidays.
  79. I make Christmas ornaments every year for my nieces and nephews and 'adopted' nephews.
  80. My first Christmas with my son, I could only afford to buy a few clothes for him... and was given several gifts from anonymous donors so that we could have toys, clothes for me and a dinner as well.
  81. I've never forgotten that generousity and as tough as times may get I always 'adopt' a child or two at Christmas to return the favor tenfold each of the 16 years since that first Christmas.
  82. I like to listen to Christmas Carols - but only after Thanksgiving - what's with playing them starting before Halloween is even over?
  83. I miss having a dog, but know that I don't have enough time for one right now. Someday I want to work from home and have a couple of lap dogs and a couple of lap cats as well.
  84. I believe that cats have the ability to sense illness and sickness and try to help ease the pain of those they love.
  85. I believe that my current house is haunted by a young boy. He seems to have a fasination with keeping the bathroom door shut and my bedroom light off. I've seen him twice now, my teenager saw him once, and I think that he might be the reason my two year old refuses to sleep in his own bed now.
  86. I'm a sucker for sappy stories - I can't watch Extreme Makeover Home edition without crying.
  87. I love to travel - I've been internationally to Canada, Bahamas, England and France.
  88. I want to see Holland and Venice before I die - or before they drown.
  89. I also want to see the geysers in Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.
  90. I find great peace within myself when I am near a body of water and dream of owning a home overlooking a river some day.
  91. I greatly miss my last house that had a sun room with a hot tub in it - which was like having a mini vacation every day of my life.
  92. I loved being in a hot tub during a snow storm, a lightning storm, even on a sunny winter day when it felt like summer in my sun room.
  93. I'm addicted to TIVO.... being able to watch what I want when I want has revolutionized my relaxation time and I'm not sure I can go back to scheduled television.
  94. I'm definitely a realist - I don't believe in miracles nor prince charmings... after all, how charming will the guy be if he's rich, handsome, and available - pretty sure that means either he's gay or he's a butt head... either way, that's not too terribly charming.
  95. I am definitely too picky about men anymore. I thought I was before I had my second son, but without dating for three years I can honestly say that I haven't met a single man since that has tripped the interest level high enough to even consider dating again.
  96. I have not always been so picky. I officially do not keep a count of the number of men I have *ahem* dated. Safest that way.
  97. I can, however, count on one hand the number of lesbians that have hit on me.
  98. I can count on one hand the number of times that my dirt-bag ex-husband got me drunk in an attempt to get me to do a three some with the first lesbian that hit on me and was a prostitute. Not sure if she charged that night or if it was supposed to be a three some. BTW I slept through the whole thing.
  99. I can count on one hand the number of people that I know that have been paid for sex (who admits that ???)
  100. I HATE playing strip poker - the men always ALWAYS cheat!

shhh - don't tell my mother

Oh, wait... she already knows. Must be why she still tells my elder sister what to do and not do and when asked why she doesn't do the same for me - responds with "I've given up on her!"

You Are a Bad Girl
You are 30% Good and 70% Bad
You're a total bad girl, from your wild hair to tattooed toes.
But you're too badass to even care if you're labeled "bad"!

Winter - after a weekend without even a jacket!

Well, today I slept in a little bit - should have gotten up extra early to deal with slippery icy roads and ride the van to work. But, I felt lousy and knowing that I still don't have anything to do at work until 10:00 and just couldn't motivate myself up and out of bed. I counted 13 cars/semi's in the ditch on the way in. I started off at 70 miles per hour (in the 70 mph speed limit) which is at least 10 miles slower than I normally drive that interstate. Saw the first car in the ditch - slowed to 65. Then I hit a bit of a slick spot, drove 35-40 through the rest of the cars in the ditch. Then by the time the roadway was no longer icy, I was close enough to town to have to drive 40 anyway because of traffic. But, I still managed to get to work in under an hour, which I figure is a good idea considering that the roads really weren't very good.

I do have a rental car to drive - Wahoo! No longer feeling destitute and not having to walk in 20 degree temperatures is a very good thing. Plus, I would have been stranded by oversleeping without it.

I still haven't found my Unior - I can only hope some kind neighbor has taken him in and is sheltering him from this winter storm. I'd rather see him with someone else than freezing to death. It's probably the same neighbor who tried to steal Jasmine - the cat that is now residing with my niece to keep her out of the neighbor's clutches.

Tucker - the ornery cat my sister SWORE was house-trained, is trying to become my lap kitty, but he isn't the same. Plus I'm still ticked off at him for peeing on my leather coat (twice, in front of me!). Albeit, it was an ugly leather coat and it only cost me $.50 so it's not like I'm out the money. Doesn't mean I'm any less pissed off at him. But a good excuse to go winter coat shopping!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Can you say ooops?

You know the project that just ended? We were asked to document everything online? Well, someone (someone outside my department) got the bright idea to rearrange and clean up directories after we completed our documentation, and managed to delete all of our documentation.

Looks like somebody is going to have to do some restoring from tape... boy is management ticked off over this!

Where do I even start?

  • My Unior is missing (like Junior, only missing the J)... he's seven years old, an indoor only cat who spends every minute he can in my lap or sleeping at my feet. He's been gone since Saturday - teenager who was home alone this weekend thinks he might have left the door open for 'a few hours'. GRRRRR Junior has been de-clawed and has never, ever been around mean tomcat's and won't survive this cold weather outside! He doesn't stay outside if he can help it... he might peek outside if no one is around and the door is open, but then he's right back inside his nice, safe, warm home.
  • I won't know the test results for the Protein C Deficiency for a few days - when I asked the nurse about it when they set this appointment up, I had asked if I should go in a few days early to have the blood work done... nope, they'd draw it before the appointment. Of course, she was wrong... it takes a couple of days to get the results. So I saw the doctor long enough for him to tell me, call me for the results. Though I did get to ask him about the hyperhomocystenemia... he's going to do a re-check on it as well to see if I should stay on the supplements or go to B12 shots. So, I'm glad I got a chance to ask him about it anyway I guess. I'll have to remember never to ask that nurse anything ever again - she was wrong about the blood test - and she told me to go to Methodist Hospital, Stoddard Cancer center for my appointment (and my doctor does have offices there) - only my doctor wasn't there - he was at Mercy Hospital which is where my appointment was. Thankfully, I was running ahead of schedule and had time to go to Mercy and get lost in its maze and still make it to my appointment on time.
  • Thank God the Rav4 is due to be out of the shop today (been waiting for parts to fix it since the accident several weeks ago)... because lo and behold - the teenager blew out a rod on the Saturn last night. Since my sitter for the little one is about two miles away - I made the teen get friends to give them both a ride to the sitters before school starts. I walked the mile to the local HyVee to catch the MTA van to work this morning... since we have NO working cars this morning.
  • That means that the $700 I'm spending on car repairs this month alone isn't over yet! Only, it is for now, as I'm not paying to fix that car just yet. Truth be told, since teenager hasn't made a single car payment yet, I've spent $200 already on new brakes for it, and now it'll cost me an arm and a leg - hoping the block isn't damaged - though, with my luck, it's shot too.... I'm thinking I might just send it back to the dealership where we bought it two months ago. I know it'd be a smirch on my credit record - but that's in the ditch anyway with all my hospital bills and so on... why not let them take the car back? Only worse thing I can do to my credit would be to declare bankruptcy and I have to say, that if things continue the way they are... we're heading there anyway.
  • So, up for auction - 1 slightly used, slightly spoiled teenager - close to graduation - I'll start the bidding at $500 that I'll pay you if you take him off my hands!

Monday, November 14, 2005

New project?

Looks like my project that didn't want to die finally kicked the bucket while I was gone this weekend. I got a call from my recruiter on voice mail - saying they want me to come in on Monday to the office like normal, that they'll find something for me. That is, if I want to stay. I love the manager I'm working for, so yep, count me in.

I'm on to my next project... first meeting is going to be on Wednesday - so I'm hunting down info about the project on the intranet to figure out what's up with it. Of the three of us previously on the old project - two of us are moving on to the same new project - and one was sent home. Have to say, I'm glad I was given the option of staying on.

Fun in St Louis

Little A and I took a long, leisurely drive to St Louis to visit our pals Phil and Trevor this weekend. Wasn't sure I'd be up to the trip, but we took our time, spent a little time at a McDonald's playland and it worked out great.

Of course, my friends probably felt a bit over-ran by a two year old fresh from a six hour drive, but other than having to move a dozen posessions up to the mantel, they hid any stress well. Little A had a blast playing rough with Trevor.

Although, hiding the broom might have been a good idea - we just didn't think of it fast enough!

They even suggested the trip to the zoo which was a big hit for Little A. Buzz & Woody got to go as well!

And Little A even got to chase a peacock or two around for a little while.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lessons Learned this Week

Posted early since I'm out of town tomorrow.

  • I LOVE being a contractor. I love the fact that when things are slow, I can pick up and take extra time off. I love the fact that even though the project is in uproar, the worst that can happen is they pay me to do next to nothing, let me take time off without penalty, or they let me leave and I get a week or two of pay sitting at home and going on interviews for my next job. I am not emotionally invested in the project and they can do whatever they want. If I decide I don't like it eventually I can always call my recruiter up and say - find me something new. That's cool.
  • I learned that I need to make a better mental note to ensure that friends that haven't had dinner and don't normally drink don't get eight glasses of wine. Cut them off before they seem drunk.
  • I learned that Clorox wipes clean vomit out of a spa tub well enough that the owner of said tub and vomit don't remember the experience. I still love you, but have to enjoy the comedy that came with the experience!
  • I learned that I too love cashmere! Too bad I can't afford more of it.
  • I learned that the person who recommended the local Tire's Plus service station to me for 'all types of repairs' was cruel and inhumane. Who waits four weeks for parts, then when you stop in demanding to know what's taking so f*cking long - they finally call the parts supplier only to find out the order was lost????
  • I learned that I've never seen a purple cow ( and say with me now - but I'd rather see than be one ), but now I've seen a green dog... http://www.kcci.com/family/5293927/detail.html

Too hard to victimize in the US? Move to Bahrain

Looks like Michael Jackson is looking for greener pastures to go hunting in.


Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law
The first myth of management is that it exists.

OK - so the other day I was told my project was officially cancelled. Document everything on the network drive, if you have any information you can add to the database do so... but it's kaput.

Then we were told the meeting where we were told that - it wasn't supposed to happen.

Then we were told that the project might not be cancelled, it might just be going in a different direction.

Then we were told that no one knew what was going on and what we did know needed to stay on a need to know basis - that it wouldn't be fair to pass on what we do know since we know so little. How do you like that for managerial logic - LOL?

So, I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing.... And I'm doing nothing.

I sit at my desk and blog and surf since I'm not allowed to talk to anyone to gather any information other than the people I have already talked to. I can't document anything until they respond - even though they too know that the project is on hold/cancelled/or something so they aren't planning to respond. And I've already typed everything I've gotten so far. And I'm not allowed to go to anyone else to ask them for any information. And we have no new 'direction' for anything to do that we are allowed to do. And we are not released from the project (that will not die) so we can work on the other projects waiting for people to work on them, because we have no 'direction' and until we have direction, they want to hang on just in case they might be able to tell us that there is something they want us to do.

Who pays what they're paying my consulting firm for time sitting surfing and blogging? They shot down my request if I could bring a novel to work - so they're stuck with me on the internet instead.

So - after my free lunch this afternoon ('cause who skips a free meal??), I might just call it a day and head on home, finish packing and get out of Dodge for a weekend of escape from my life!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Current work project cancelled

Well, what to do? The project I was hired to do has been cancelled. They've got other jobs lined up for us, I guess, so I'm not too concerned.

But, it's 1:45 pm and until I get asked to do something or work on something - I've got nothing to do until it's time to go home this afternoon. I'm thinking I'm going to drive myself tomorrow and not come in until 7 am... No sense arriving at 6:30 am for half an hour of internet browsing.

Hey - lookie at my step-Uncle running for Councilman in Cedar Rap ids

I didn't have a clue until my mom told me she's going to sit with him until he gets the results - its Pete Hansen...


Can't say I approve of all of the things he's shooting for, but he's a heck of a decent man and really good with people.

Monday, November 07, 2005

No wonder no one has time to investigate child abuse

The cops certainly have better crimes to solve http://www.gazetteonline.com/2005/11/05/Home/News/satellitetvinstallerunderweartheft.htm. I know they're not in charge of investigating for DHS - but it sure seems like they have the time on their hands and could help out more - http://www.globegazette.com/articles/2005/11/07/local/doc436eeff8f2872799854947.txt.

on selling books (or not selling books, and wasting time, more likely)

Out of the blue, I got a call from a Discovery Toys consultant looking for an Usbourne Book Consultant who had found my name and email address online. I have been NOT selling Usbourne Books since this spring. I love the books, and am mostly involved so that I can get discounted books for my son.

But, she had wanted to know if I wanted to participate in a semi-annual event where different consultants get together twice a year, rent a building and hold an open house type of event. It only cost $15 per table, and would be a great opportunity. So I did it - didn't get any interest hardly at all, and with a $15 donation for the free drawing, another free drawing for $10 in books and the $15 rental - I thought, gee, maybe I'm just not cut out for this?

I have another show coming up the weekend after next - it costs $30 - and I'm only going to provide a $5 prize for a drawing, and part of me is thinking - hmmm, maybe I should cut my losses and run???

But, lo and behold - I get an email the other day. There's a woman who wanted to host a Discover Toys and Usbourne books combined show - and the lady from the first show gave her my name... oh, my! My first show where I didn't have to twist a friends arm to hold it! Who knows if it will actually turn out ok, but it's worth a shot, right???

I've got to get my act together though - I've got things to prepare, and my house is a disaster, and I had hopes to go out of town this weekend. But, I've got some excitement to look forward to at least!

Another step forward in potty training? Or more likely, a step backward?

Little A and I sat down to read stories yesterday afternoon before nap time. While he loves to flip through the pages on his own, lately he hasn't had patience to let me read to him... so this was truly a delight for me. He wanted to read "Potty Time" three times. And we discussed the purpose of potty chairs to quite an extent. So, apparently, what he got from this conversation was that diapers are 'ack-ey'. Therefore, he shouldn't wear them? Which meant that he proceeded to take his diaper off repeatedly during the course of the day. Did that mean he was using the potty chair - um no... it meant that if I didn't catch his bare bottom fast enough, I'd have a mess to clean up. So, it was with a heavy sigh I realized that re-affirming the idea that diapers are 'ack-ey' wasn't exactly the right move for the day. Live and learn, I'm off to buy more Luvs and a roll of duck tape to make sure they stay on!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lessons learned this week

  • I learned that my Manager's boss is VERY competitive, and from now on, I am NOT to show her how to solve analytical problems - and I need to pretend not to know how to do it until AFTER she figures it out.
  • I learned that Alex is going to be very conservative with toilet paper usage - should save me a bundle once Adam's out of the house - hint, hint!
  • I learned that the reason no one ever gets my jokes is that I'm too sarcastic and analytical. But that it doesn't make me any less funny.... Just everyone else is too dumb to get it (personality/psychology class today).
  • I learned that if you get a group of geeks together, you're going to become very outgoing within our group (more personality training theory) and noisy and obnoxious.
  • I learned that I CAN "accept the geek within me" - LOL!
  • I learned that even if I only spend 15 minutes an evening on a new style of 'hurry up housekeeping' that it de-stresses me immediately, even if the house is still a bit of a mess... and I don't wear myself out, and I can see an improvement, and heck, even if I'm feeling lousy, I can spend 15 minutes a day on cleaning to feel better about it.
  • I learned to never joke about Meth labs while getting cold medicine - this is hilarious! http://bonanzajellybean.blogs.com/bonanza_jellybean/2005/11/menace_to_socie.html

One step closer to potty training?

Last night, as I was getting little A ready for his bath, we took off the dirty diaper and cleaned him up with baby wipes. Then we trudged naked to the bathroom... once there (with a clean, very naked bottom, mind you) little A would take some toilet paper, use it to wipe himself, hand it to me saying "ack-ey". Thank goodness the bottom was cleaned, because the toilet paper he kept taking to use was smaller than a postage stamp... lol!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Senate won't cap farm subsidies

So, according to this article, this means that the Southern representatives are fully in support of continuing to provide GREATER than $250,000 in subsidies to a single married couple per year. Hmmmm.... Wouldn't I love to have $360,000 extra in income this year over and above what I make on my own? Where do I sign up? - snark... Funny thing is, Grassley was only trying to cut it down to $250,000. Even that isn't chump-change!

A lawsuit over 15 minutes on the toilet

<A href="http://www.kcci.com/news/5239480/detail.html">Man Sues Home Depot After Using Glue-Covered Toilet</A>
OK - after I cleaned up the mess caused by my spitting out my soda after reading the headline and laughing - now, I'm going back on my soap box.

I'm not saying the prank wasn't awful, and that it was a terrible shame. I'm not saying that the clerk shouldn't have reacted sooner, instead of thinking it was a hoax... but, omg! If you are the victim of the prank and it take a whole (15 minutes!) for someone to believe and call for help, hmmmm... isn't that a fairly reasonable response time given the circumstances? Maybe I'm reading the article incorrectly, but it seems like the guy is upset because they didn't help sooner, therefore, they need to be sued. Now, I'll give you, if I thought I was having a heart attack - and someone took 15 minutes and I died - there - we've got reason for a lawsuit - but there didn't seem to be anything wrong other than a sore bottom... which brings to mind, I sure in h*ll hope he was in the restroom and not in the public display area! That brings up a whole different type of scenario to mind.

OK - if they had 'let him rot' for a couple of hours, I could see suing them - but 15 minutes - omg! This is a completely inappropriate lawsuit that will take, I GUARANTEE more than 15 minutes out of the guys life! But, greedy little lawyers are willing to take his money, waste his time, and probably, convince Home Depot to settle out of court which just results in higher prices for all - oh goody!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Quote of the Week

Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children's children
- Noah benShea

Finally catching a small break!

We now have keys to the Rav 4!

I made the trip to the dealership and they were able to provide me with a $2 replacement key that only opens the door. When I went to the Rav 4 last night, it took me a while, but I finally found the keys inside the car, with the tag from the repair shop. I.e., Adam didn't lose the keys... He just locked the car when the repair shop had the keys in it. But, at least we have a complete, good set of keys with remote and all. Which means if we do go get a replacement key and remote it will only cost me about $250 instead of the $1100 to $1500 they were estimating.

But, now that Adam realizes that it will still cost a fortune for a new set of keys, he's decided it's important that we find the missing keys. Ummm... ok, like it wasn't important to find the keys two weeks ago when I asked for his help? Whatever, he's willing to help now. :-)

I'm still planning on posting some Halloween pictures - I finally got Adam to give up the USB cable for my camera - I started to upload the pictures, but got sidelined by a two year old trying to eat 5 suckers simultaneously - kinda cute, I gotta admit. Not that he got his sweet tooth from me or anything, as I sit here polishing off half a bag of caramel cremes..... So much for breakfast!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Officials Say 2,000-Foot Rule Does Not Ensure Public Safety

No kidding! It's just not practical... some quotes I like in particular:

Schmidt said had the 2,000-foot rule been in effect 10 years ago, not one case in the files would have been different.

But, he said a rational solution is needed. He said unless we're willing to execute them in prison, there must be a place for sex offenders to live.

Capt. Mike Brown, head of investigations for the Scott County Sheriff's Department, worries that the public may be lulled into a false sense of security by laws such as the 2,000 foot restriction.


I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the 2,000 foot restriction sounds good... afterall, nobody wants a known sex offender in their neighborhood. And it's a popular viewpoint that all elected officials would like to hop on! But it isn't going to solve anything, it's going to be a nightmare to monitor and keep up!

First, we need to get the RIGHT people on the list - the people who plea bargain, who get away with minimal "counseling" and those likely to re-offend. Eliminate those who were involved with consensual relationships with teens who were close to their own age. Then we have to find a way to protect our children from them... it's not so much where they live, it's what they are doing with their lives - are they in counseling, do they understand what they've done wrong? Are they doing everything possible in their own lives to ensure that they won't re-offend??? Then, we can monitor and pass harsher sentences against those who do re-offend!

I do think that the vast majority of sex offenses are committed by family members, friends of the family, or people in authority who have regular contact with those children who are the biggest threat to those children. How do we protect children from their own family when courts are so tuned into parental rights these days???