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Showing posts from January, 2008

Wonder Why I Ever Stay Home

I can't help myself - the butterfly is just meant to migrate.

I had really good intentions of staying near home this year. I travelled a LOT last year and spent a bunch of money doing it. My focus for 2008 was to put aside some of the cash instead and do some more relaxing near the homestead.

Yeah, that plan's not working out so well.

This month, I've gone to Tucson (just for an overnight) and spent a long weekend in Rocky Point.

Next month, I'm going to Las Vegas for the NASCAR race.

Beginning of May brings PHINS To The West in Laughlin

At some point, we're planning a music scouting weekend in Southern California.

And, today I just booked a flight to Salt Lake City in June. Hey, Lewie's going to be on leave and there was a sale on airfare so why the hell not. I saved $60!

Hmmm, wonder what's going on in Minnesota and Iowa?

Stupid MacBook

I had my first "I hate this mac" moment yesterday. When I got back from lunch, the machine was completely frozen and I had to hard boot it. Fortunately, I'd saved everything before I'd left.

When I told the mac lovers, they were of one thought about the issue. That one thought was that I had done something wrong.

Um, no, I hadn't. Unless you consider using the stupid thing in the first place wrong.

In all of the years that I've had my Dell laptop, it's never frozen up on me like that. Next time it happens (and I'm sure there will be a next time) with the macbook, I'm going to make them all come over and see it then ask them to explain why the so-called superior machine is stuck.

Health Nazis

Part of my company's mission statement is "improve world health". Our CEO is an MD and his wife is a DDS so they're pretty much into the healthy stuff and walk the talk.

There's been a lot done over the past few years. We banned smoking on company property but offered on-site smoking cessation classes. When our newest building went up, a gym was put in. We've had Weight Watchers and now Kronos weight management classes on-site. There's a Yoga/Pilates class on some afternoons in my building. Last year, they implemented a policy that you had to get your teeth cleaned or pay a premium on your health insurance.

All good stuff.

But, they've gone too far.

The latest "helping us to be healthy" decision is to phase out all of the "junk" food from the vending machines. They're now loaded with various types of baked chips, pretzels, granola bars, and animal crackers. The only chocolate left are dark M&Ms and chocolate covered rai…

Going To The Dark Side

It's mac versus PC at my work, big time Sugar Daddy and our VP are mac boys, I'm a PC girl and EVERYONE knows it and is well aware we are steadfastly determined to back our machines since we argue about it quite a bit. Most of the time, we can get several other people to chime in on the subject. Geeks argue hardware and operating systems just as passionately as others do religion and politics.

I gave my PC brethren a scare, though. I actually have had a brand new macbook on my desk this week and I've been working on it.

Oh, not to do any real work. Cuz you can't unless you're in the Creative department. I'm editing our year-end employee of the year presentation in iMovie.

So far, there's only been one small episode of Tourette's during the process. I have to admit, the new machine is up to the task. The last film I edited was two years ago on a G4 and I almost threw the thing down several flights of stairs. (Fortunately for the machine, I only h…

A Little Culture Is Good For You

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I'm on the Phoenix Art Museum's email list and they send me all kinds of notices about exhibits, classes, films and lectures. Most of the time, I think, "That would be interesting" then I delete the email. I'm just too busy.

However, they were doing a lecture on Richard Avedon and something made me say, "I need to make time to go to this one". I'd caught Avedon'sIn The American West series years ago but I really still thought of him as a fashion/portrait photographer. I also didn't know anything about him personally. So, I emailed my pal Chris who's also into photography and we made the plan to attend.


The lecture was given by David A. Ross who knew Avedon, or Dick as he called him, for 25 years. I knew I was going to like the guy when he started out joking about the Florida primaries then celebrated that Guiliani is out of the race. Ross came across as a guy I'd like to have a beer and BS with.

It was really fascinating. Avedon was a l…

Baby!

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I love (other people's) babies. They're so warm and snuggly and I don't think there's a prettier sight in the world than seeing a baby sleep. I can watch them for hours.

I got to see my friend Stacey's new baby tonight. She's 9 weeks old and cute as can be (and Stacey will be the first to tell you that). We played chick poker at their house and I was the first to arrive. The baby was in her seat on the dining room table and I made some faces and tickled her. As soon as Stacey was out of the room, I told the baby I was freeing her and broke her out of the seat.

Chris showed up and I offered to hand the baby over (even thought I didn't want to). She got fussy pretty quickly so Chris passed her back. The key to keeping a baby happy is to keep them moving. I did a lot of swaying back and forth and some light jiggling and all was well.

Princess in training.

Apparently, she's kinda fussy for a lot of people (inculding family members) but loved me. That didn't…

Silly and Stubborn

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There's a Buffett song called Last Man Standing and it's become my party motto. Unless I hit a wall and put myself to bed, I'm one of the last people up partying no matter how late it gets. I don't want to miss any of the fun and I certainly don't want people to think I'm not up the challenge of hanging.

Catnip is just like me. We have spent many evenings carrying on until the morn. He's actually outlasted me a few times.

Pirate Rick and Julie are like us in that regard, too.

Annette? Not so much with the staying up. She goes to bed but she's added a new trick to it so we don't know for sure if she's bailing. She makes herself a drink so we think she's staying up but then she sneaks off.

The Rocket Scientist has a strict 10 PM bedtime on school nights but he's been known to stay up with the rest of us on party nights.

OK, background out of the way, here's the story. We had stopped at the border to get some liquor and Pirate Rick and Julie…

Typical

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Pirate Rick is a camera ho with uncanny instincts. You just have to turn the lense in his general direction and he's "on". And by "on", I mean he's posing with the full cheesy smile.

It doesn't even matter if the picture is supposed to include him or not...see below:

Nice picture of The Rocket Scientist and Mark Mulligan, isn't it?

I Want One Of These...

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Kelly McGuire and SammyI've been thinking about getting an acoustic bass. They sound great and I think it would be a cool instrument to learn. Not that I have any rhythm or musical talent so I'm sure I wouldn't actually be good but I can dream.

Sunday afternoon in Rocky Point, we took in Kelly McGuire's show. Our own Sammy joined him on stage for a few songs which was great. It was a beautiful afternoon, Kelly was very entertaining (and his girls keep getting younger and younger) and we had a wonderful time.

I was totally enthralled with Kelly's guitar during the entire show. He borrowed it from the guitar player in his band. The top piece comes off so it's perfect for travel. It sounds awesome, too!

Might have to spend some of my tax return money on one of those guitars and the bass may have to wait...

Senor Amigo's - Ruined!

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Here's a picture from my last trip to Rocky Point. It was taken on the roof of Senor Amigo's. It was nice and open with a big palapa on it. The tables and chairs were plastic and it was very casual and fun. The downstairs was pretty much the same but without the palapa.


We went there this weekend and it's all changed. The entire top floor is covered so no tables in the sun anymore. The downstairs is enclosed and fancy schmancy. Here's a picture:


All wood and fancy tile and, well, dang, not what it used to be at all! OK, the food was still good but the whole atmosphere has changed.

Progress is not always positive.

Who Knew?

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Alert the media - Mark Mulligan actually has a butt! Not only that, but it's pretty nice, too.

I've known Mark for years and we've actually discussed his butt on a few occasions. Well, we discussed his lack of one, to be honest. He usually wears shorts and they always look a little baggy because he doesn't really have a lot of material back there to fill them out.

So, we're down in Rocky Point and Mark was wearing jeans on Friday night (along with a pretty snazzy shirt). I don't think I've ever seen him in long pants. I gotta tell you, he looked good!

I felt compelled to take a picture. I also felt compelled to stop and look at the picture every time I scrolled through what was on my camera. The Rocket Scientist actually busted me on it.

What can I say? There's something about a man in Wranglers...

Lady In Red

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For those wondering how the red hair looks without the pirate hat...

This is a pic from my past weekend in Rocky Point. Stories to follow...

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The Rocket Scientist and I went out to Rula Bula (local Irish pub) last night. Apparently, Wednesday is Pub Quiz night which is so popular that all the inside tables were reserved. The hostess told us we could sit outside and that there were heaters so we decided to go for it. The lure of Guinness was that strong.It wasn't too bad at first but I swear they moved the heater further away at some point. The wind was gusting through strong enough to send coasters flying off the bar. OK, they were only the thick paper ones, but still.Hunkering down in my leather jacket wasn't keeping me warm enough so I finally had to break out the gloves. We left after two beers and some cold fish and chips (cold because of the weather, I think they were actually warm when we got served) and headed to a toasty warm bookstore.It was probably in the low 40s which sounded really cold to me until I got the weather report from Dawnie for Des Moines:Friday Night: mostly cloudy in the evening then …

If This Was A Surprise To Anyone, They Don't Know Me Very Well

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You Go For Brains!
You want a guy with a big... brain.
And of course it would be nice if he were a total hottie, but you're not counting on it.
What's on the inside is what counts for you. (Besides, you can always change the outside later!)Do You Go For A Guy's Brains or Body?

Nooooooo! I Want To Be!

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You Are Not Scary
Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?How Scary Are You?

I Like The Boots

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Your Inner European is Italian!
Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.Who's Your Inner European?

The Rocket Scientist made a comment about how that description matches my hair...he will pay, oh yes, he will pay.

"Charming" That's Totally Me

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Guys Like That You're Charming
You're the girl most guys can't get out of their heads
Even if they met you on a bad hair day :-)
You just seem to "click" with everyone you meet
So even if a guy forgets about you for a second... his friends haven't!What Do Guys Like About You?

Well, Of Course I Can Be A Princess

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You Are a Bit Prissy
From time to time you can be a princess, but these days, who isn't a little high maintenance?
You know what you want, and you're definitely not afraid to ask for it.
(Just refrain from having a temper tantrum if you don't get your way!)
There's nothing wrong with having high standards... as long as they're occasionally low enough to allow spontaneity and fun!How Prissy Are You?

Good To Know

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You Are 20% Sociopath
You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective.
In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!Are You A Sociopath?

Quite True

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You Are A Realist
When it comes to romance, you tend to take a realistic approach.
You believe that love takes time, and it's something you have to work hard for.
A bit cynical, over the top romance tends to get under your skin.
Your heart is difficult to win ... but it's totally worth it.Are You Romantic or Realistic?

Tortured? Only Sometimes.

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You Are 75% Tortured Genius
You are smart. Brilliant in fact. And while it's a blessing, it's also a curse.
Your head is filled with everything - grand ideas, insufferable worries, and a good deal of angst.Are You a Tortured Genius?

I'd Like To Think I'm Rare

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Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ENFP)
Your personality type is enthusiastic, giving, cautious, and loyal.

Only about 8% of all people have your personality, including 9% of all women and 6% of all men
You are Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.How Rare Is Your Personality?

Well, If They Say So...

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You Are a Total Brainiac
You're amazingly brilliant. Some would even say genius.
You're curious, thoughtful, analytical, and confident.

You take on difficult subjects because you want to... not because you have to.
No field of knowledge is too complicated or intimidating for you.

You've got the brains to do anything you want.
It's possible you end up doing everything you want.Are You a Brainiac?

I Like Being Called Naughty

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Your Mind is PG-13 Rated
Your mind is definitely a little dirty. You're naughty, but not trashy.
You don't shy away from a dirty joke, and you're clearly not a prude.Do You Have a Dirty Mind?

Um, Not Usually...

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You Are Incredibly Logical
Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!How Logical Are You? The Rocket Scientist found this one and I think he was not happy that I scored the same as he. I'm the Expressive, he's the Analytical. Or, so we think.

I Knew This Already...

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You Are 70% Psychic
You are pretty psychic.
While you aren't Miss Cleo, you've got a little ESP going on.
And although you're sometimes off on your predictions...
You're more often right than wrong
So go with your instincts - you know more than you thinkAre You Psychic?

I Didn't Run So Why Am I Limping?

The Arizona Parrot Head Club worked a water station at the PF Chang's Rock "n" Roll Marathon on Sunday. We had the last water station on the full marathon route so by the time the athletes got to us, they were pretty zoned out.

The water station workers were pretty zoned out, too.

I figured out later the only time I sat down between the hours of 6:30 AM and 3:00 PM were my few trips to the Porta-John. I guess that explains why my legs feel so stiff.

I have a problematic left leg with a sciatic nerve issue and a painful heel. Usually, it's only sore first thing in the morning. I limp out of the house and by an hour or so into the work day, I'm good to go.

Yesterday and today, I've been sore every time I've gotten up to walk. I limp along for a few minutes then it works itself out and I'm okay.

Usually, I would just chalk it all up to "It's hell getting old" but Steven complained yesterday about his sore ass (I think he meant his upper l…

Unfathomable

I just saw this headline:

Citi loses almost $10B, slashes dividend

Citigroup lost nearly 10 billion dollars in the 4th quarter of 2007. That's an unbelievable number and mostly attributed to the housing slump.

Unusual Weather

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As I was driving back from Tucson last weekend, it started raining pretty heavily. I was going by Picacho Peak when I noticed the cloud level was really low. Like nearly ground level. It was way cool to see.

If I were a serious photographer, I would have pulled over to take pictures. But, I'm not and I really didn't have any extra time since I was headed to a BOD meeting and Pirate Rick had already told me they wouldn't wait for me if I was running late.

So, I did something fairly dangerous. I grabbed my camera and took pictures while I was driving. Pretty much, I just held the camera up the side window and clicked and hoped that they came out.

There were OK, though not as dramatic as how it looked in real life. Here they are:



A Color Not Found In Nature

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Many, many moons ago, I used to be a redhead. I'm actually a natural brunette. I can tell you that there's some real basis to stereotypes.

When I was a brunette, people thought I was smart. Red? I was assumed to be funny. Blonde? Well, yes blondes have more fun because when I went blonde I had lots of boys suddenly hitting on me.

When I was driving back from Tucson last week, I thought seriously going back to red. When I went to get my hair done yesterday, I told Cheryl that next time I wanted to go back to red. That turned into a decision to just go ahead and do it. We headed off to the cosmetology place to pick out hair colors and I selected a nice auburn color. Not too orange, not too red.

I knew there was going to be a challenge with trying to put the right shade of red over the blonde. Cheryl put filler (whatever the heck that is) on my hair so it would have a darker base. Then, she mixed up a combo of the colors we picked out and applied that. I waited for that to set in th…

Book Review - Punching In

Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee by Alex Frankel intrigued me when I read the synopsis so I checked it out from the library.

The author is a journalist and he decided to go "undercover" at various companies to see how they attempt to bring their employees into their corporate cultures. He worked for UPS, The Gap, Apple Store, Starbucks, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and applied for several other jobs.

I liked the way he described the testing, training and on the job life at each company. It brought back memories of my part-time book selling job.

The company that he felt truly made their employees part and parcel of the culture was UPS. BTW, no pun intended on that parcel reference.

Good story, good book.

Clearly, It's Me

I was driving to lunch today with Sugar Daddy. On our way to one of our favorite restaurants, we got stuck in a long line of traffic. Fortunately, I got into the correct lane this time because there was a nasty looking accident backing everything up.

On the way back to the office, we got detoured off of McDowell and had to meander through the barrio before we could get back to work. I have no idea why but it was closed off going both East and West between 4oth and 36th streets.

I think I need to get a helicopter.

Movie Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

A few words come to mind to describe the third Pirates movie.

Dark. Bizarre. Violent.

I don't mean any of those in a good or entertaining way. What a disappointment.

I felt like I should have dropped acid before the scene where they show Jack in the afterworld. Maybe I did and that's why it was so weird.

The first Pirates movie was funny and charming. There was little humor in this one and it felt forced. Almost like someone said, "Oh yeah, we're supposed to be funny in here, throw in some little visual joke to cover that."

The end felt unsettled and left it open for yet another movie. I really, really hope they don't. I think they jumped the shark on this one.

The worst thing? They made Chow Yun-Fat unsexy. Inconceivable! (I watched The Princess Bride last week for the nth time. Now, that is a great movie!)

I Need a Drink...Make That Two

As I was driving to work this morning, I noticed that they had McClintock closed off going South and that the West side of the road was filled with water. I even saw some water bubbling up. Since they're ALWAYS doing construction near my house (and my work, too), I didn't think much of it.

The Rocket Scientist sent me a link today that said there was a water leak and they were closing the intersection down completely. Being a careful type, I looked for an update on the repairs before leaving work.

The leak is on the NW corner of McClintock and University. I live on the SE corner so I was concerned about how I was going to get home. The article I found said the intersection was completely closed and so was University from Smith to Rural.

So, I decided to take Rural to Apache (which is a mile South of University for the out of towners) then turn left on McClintock and get into my neighborhood that way.

Well, I got on Rural and was in the left lane (since I was going to turn lef…

Today's Horoscope

Taurus (4/20-5/20)
Get ready for one of your old friends to become a new cheerleader in your life! Whether they are back in your circle of friends or not, they are out there singing your praises and telling some very important people how talented you are. This could lead to a very promising lead with a career opportunity, or they could be working hard to hook you up with a very exciting candidate for your next romantic adventure! Keep waiting. You'll be rewarded.

If one more person tells me to keep waiting, I might have to punch them in the head. ;-)

After this week, I would welcome equally a new job or a romantic adventure.

I Couldn't Have Done This If I Tried

One of the guys at work started a College Bowl Mania pool for all of the bowl games. The deal is you pick the winner of each game and assign unique confidence points on each. There were 32 games so you assign from 1 to 32. Get it?


Anywhoo, after the first few games I was in first place. By a lot. It was mostly thanks to my faith in Utah and BYU. After the first week, I was in the top 5 but still doing well.


Then, it all went to hell. It started with ASU whom I had put 27 points on. After that, it was just one loss after another.


I was the only one who didn't even pick 50% of the winners. I ended up at 13-19 with 217 points out of a possible 498. The winner was 25-7 with 418 points.


The worst part is that I actually put some research into my picks. So, I can only conclude that I suck.



Sigh.

A Hot Date Turns into a Menage a Trois

I got propositioned on New Year's Eve. That hasn't happened for a few years...damn.

Tkay told me the Desert Sharks (the Tucson Parrot Head Club) was having their holiday party this past Saturday and that Russ was going to be out of town. She then invited me to come down for the party and be her "Hot Date". I can't recall if this was before or after we discussed what women we would consider going lesbian for so I guess I can't be sure just how she meant it. ;-)

I thought about it for a few days. We were going to paint decorations for our Rock N Roll Marathon water station on Saturday and had a BOD meeting at noon on Sunday and I still had all of my Christmas stuff up and it really needed to go down. That was really all too much for one weekend, especially adding in an overnight trip.

I don't know why I even pretended to think about it. It's a party and I'm a butterfly. Of course, I was going.

I'm glad I went because there were a lot of folks there …

Book Review - The Venetian Betrayal

This book has been getting a lot of good press so I decided to check it out. I realized in the first few chapters that it's a sequel but I decided to read it all anyway though usually I would have stopped and read the previous book(s) first.

It didn't seem to hurt the story at all that I popped in on this book. I liked the historical bent (searching for Alexander the Great's tomb), the political (a fictional Asian nation built out of some of the former USSR states) and the science (viral warfare).

What I didn't like was a plot advancement device. There were too many places where pertinent facts were divulged with a "we couldn't say this earlier but here's what's going on" caveat. The heroes were annoyed when it happened and so was I.

I will check out the rest of Steve Berry's stuff though as this was an enjoyable read.

Interesting Study

There was an article on the front page of The Arizona Republic today about a study that showed that drivers on their cell phones go 2 miles an hour slower than people not on the phone and they don't keep up with the flow of traffic. They also change lanes 20% less so they don't get past slower cars which backs up traffic.

I disagree with the study's result.

My own study on McClintock this morning said it's more than 2 miles. I based that on the cabbie I got stuck behind as he was chatting. He was going 38 in a 45 MPH zone.

So, it's not 2 MPH slower, it's 7.

Of course, that's based on a sample size of 1 so my margin of error may be a little on the high side.

Book Review - Made To Stick

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath was quite interesting. The gist of it is an analysis of why some ideas stick around and others fade. Some sticky examples are the urban myth of the guy who meets a girl in a bar and wakes up in a tub of ice missing a kidney, Jared of Subway fame and JFK's call for a man on the moon.

The authors make some key points that sort of spell out Success: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. Besides explaining the points, they also give some advice on how to recognize stickiness.

Good book for business folks.

Book Review - Double Cross

James Patterson's latest Alex Cross novel, Double Cross (Alex Cross), is a refreshing reminder of why I started reading this series. The action was fast-paced, the villians were scary and Cross has a new girlfriend so there was some sex. In fact, Cross was a surprisingly big horn dog in this book.

I also liked the return of the very evil Kyle Craig. That dude is really creepy. I figured out some of the plot twists ahead of time but not all and Patterson gave his usual "wait until the next book" ending tease that will keep me coming back.

This was a really good read.