Monday, October 22, 2012

Just a Couple Random Funnies and Quotes

I fried my computer... yes, I knew about that fan on the video card going out... it was making noise and working intermittently, but to-do lists and priorities and motivation being what they are, the fan eventually failed.  The video card overheated and blew up the motherboard.  Capacitors melted.  Chaos reigned.
The computer guys said, "If you're going to fry your motherboard, you might as well do it right!"

I love it when computer guys approve of me.

Anyway with all my drafts on a C: that I haven't bothered to remove from the carnage yet, as well as my recent photos since the last backup, I haven't a lot to say.

How about some nonsense?  I love random quotes.  Here we go.

Being old doesn't seem so old now that I'm old.    (Boy ain't that the truth!!!)

To err is human. To ARR is pirate!

In a perfect world, a man could fix all his relationship issues with WD-40 and duct tape.
(But wait a second, can't he?)


Why do they call it "unwanted fat"? Like anyone really wants it.
Old enough to remember when LOL meant absolutely nothing
Help! I'm making mistakes faster than I can learn from them!
Dealing with people like you only makes me stronger.
Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten.
Disturbingly strange, but ultimately loveable.
I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat.
Nice piercings! Good luck finding work.
Now my little voices are texting me!
The older I get, the more ridiculous you all seem.
Will Work For Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
The worst things in life are also free.
Am I the only one here without a tattoo or a fish hook in my face?
Do you take me for an idiot? I get that a lot.
I've reached the age where happy hour is a nap
Having a job interferes with my plans for world domination
Am I fired yet?
Don't worry, our staff is accustomed to dumb questions!
Thank you! We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
Shut up and let me practice my people skills!
I THINK, therefore I'm overqualified to work here.
Talk nerdy to me.
I'm meeting my needs by ignoring your needs.
Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic.
My life is a bizarre combination of chaos and pizza.
It's easier to answer their dumb questions now than to correct their dumb mistakes later! 


Why not? 
My footwear is usually pretty not exciting.  I'm that boring type who will wear comfortable, ugly shoes.

Here's the opposite! 

Andrea wanted to go in Charlotte Russe and try on ridiculous shoes, so I tried some on, too  :-)
The slinky shoes are perfect with the church lady dress, eh? 

At Payless Shoes they had some boots that actually stood out as a possibility.  

Sixty bucks for made you-know-where, and that's a bummer, but I do need them. 
Gone are the days when I used to get a pair of  $200 Land's End boots every couple years, black leather, waterproof-in-the-tanning, Thinsulate and cushioned footbed, made in USA! 
My most recent boots were Timberland, and are still going strong and waterproof, but they do look a bit too biker-chick for me, and are now starting to look old. 
I'd like to have some presentable boots around just in case I suddenly need to go somewhere nice.  So I got them. 

Good luck at the Goodwill, for Karen: 

I was a little jealous!  Those are cute shoes! 
And then next time at the Goodwill, there were some for me...

They are totally ME complete to the topographic maps on the bottom!  They are comfortable!  And they were $10.  Win! 

How I Lost Twenty Pounds Most Recently

Well, it's of interest to me, and "I'm kind of a big deal on my blog!"   :-) 

"Most Recently" because, unfortunately, this is trench warfare.  I'm fighting over ground that was conquered before, and lost. 

Last time was several years ago, when I was excited about Diet Organizer.  That's tracking software that you can enter everything you eat, and it keeps a tally of calories.  It's a really cool program, lets you customize and enter your own foods and your own exercises, and it goes on computer, Palm OS or Windows Mobile. 
Diet + software was a WIN for me because I love any excuse to play with a new program! 
I started entering my foods for a while and was astonished to realize that I was regularly taking in 2100 or 2500 calories a day.  I got it down to 1500 or 1700 calories a day and lost weight steadily, got to a nice weight and was happy. 

I felt good about my victory, figured I could take it from here and stopped using the program. 

What happened next?  BOOM!  Gained it all back on! 
Oh sure, it took a while, but left to myself, my eyeball idea of portion size gradually got bigger, my hazy memory of how long ago it was that I'd last eaten gradually got smaller, and there I was again. 

It's natural to expect weight gain in my setup.  Living in America, yummy food everywhere, isolated in a house out in the woods, it rains a lot, combined with some really bad depression issues!  Which I tend to self-medicate with chocolate.  It's a disaster waiting to happen and I understand that. 

We're working up to the part I'm cautiously excited about! 
Two things happened recently. 

#1, I had a sin issue that actually started to frighten me.  I couldn't let go of a temptation, even when I had decided I WANTED to-- and it got to the point where I obsessed, no longer about the original wrong thought, but about my inability to not obsess! 
I tried the old classic, stop eating.  Funny how taking in nothing but water for a week or so improves your whole outlook. 
No, really.  It clears the mind.  It lightens the spirits.  It brightens the eyes.  Nothing else really changes, but the garbage flakes off.  There's no fireworks, it's rather like waking up, looking around, and brushing all that nightmare nonsense away.  It feels really good. 

#2, I got worried about my digestive system.  That's another thing I tend to hypochondriac about.  I'm falling apart!  If my tummy hurts at all, then my colon probably has at least three bricks in it and I have weeks to live. Don't laugh, I worry about this stuff! 

I noticed after the fasting how light and clean I felt, how relaxed my whole innards were,  and what a nice feeling that was, and I wondered how I could preserve it at long as possible.  I thought maybe I'd try just eating things that were really easy to digest. 

Funny thing is, eating things that are easy to digest is maintainable! 
And even, delightful! 

I also watched a couple of good videos: 

Fat Head, which is the response to Super Size Me.  The film maker didn't appreciate the premise of Super Size Me, so he proves you can lose weight and get healthy by eating only McDonald's, but using your brain about what you order!  He explains how carbs cause fat and how fat and protein gives energy. 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which is about juicing, which I'm not doing, but it made a lot of good points and was inspirational. 

Food Matters, from which I picked up only the important detail about its being a good idea to drink water first thing in the morning.  I don't know why this is important, but I accept that it's doing me good to have water as the first through-put. 

So here's the diet: 

I get up in the morning and fill a quart jar with water, and drink it while sitting in front of my computer. 
(Note to self, be sure to Go before leaving the house.  Not long ago I downed four cups of water then my vitamins with carrot juice, then hopped in the car and ran errands for a couple hours without paying any extra attention to where the nearest restroom might be, until suddenly I almost had a Serious Problem.) 

Anyway.  The vitamins.  DH gives me a huge pile of them twice a day which I am expected to swallow.  I'm sure they must be good for me; it's a love / hate relationship.  It boils down to swallowing the vitamins being less unfun than listening to him chew on me about it.  So I swallow the blasted vitamins with carrot juice. 

And then, either leftover vegetables from last night, cold from the fridge, or nut mix.  We get these unsalted, raw pecans, cashews, brazil nuts and raisins, awfully pricey mixture, but there's an awful lot of nutrition in it! 
And then brush my teeth.  That's another important point.  It's good to get in a habit of keeping the teeth clean ALL the time-- except when eating-- and then brush again. 

I tried Fit For Life once, but I really can't handle eating fruit in the morning.  Don't know why.  My system just isn't ready for it and fruit doesn't seem appetizing.  I like to eat fruit for the next meal.  So in the afternoon, I head for the kitchen table, where for lack of anywhere better to put it, all that nice fruit from Costco gets piled.  There's no question of amounts.  Eat all the fruit you like. 
And then brush. 

From Fit For Life I learned that four o'clock is chocolate time.  If despair hits and I can't handle it, I go for the chocolate.  Chocolate is actually health food, y'know, if it's dark, especially the beet-sweetened kind like Endangered Species.  It's got antioxidants and bioflavenoids and whatever.  Chow down without guilt.  Or Coconut Secret bars, which are basically coconut wrapped in chocolate wrapped in foil and you pay accordingly, $3 for a little thing, but whatever.  They're delightful. 

Dinner is meat and veggies. I get a nice big pile on the plate, but it really doesn't take that much of a nice steak, or chicken sausage, or salmon, to feel like good eating.  Cooked carrots, beets, squash, peas, I actually love 'em with salt and butter.  I make sure to cook more than necessary so there'll be leftovers to eat cold the next morning. 

I didn't set out to lose weight, I was worried about my mind and guts, and voila, the rest took care of itself   :-) 

I feel, right now, like I could do this from now on.  I have zero desire to eat the bread products-- I just don't miss them!  Something made with wheat crosses my lips now and again, it's not forbidden or anything.  But I don't miss it.  Even cinnamon rolls don't attract me.  Yuck, I remember how it feels after eating those things! 
I love the cashews, avocadoes, cooked carrots, they're my favorite so why would I need anything else? 

I'm learning, finally, that if the question crosses my mind, "Should I be eating this?"  the answer is No, and then to actually not eat it!  If the question crosses my mind, "Is this going to do me any good or not?"  That it won't, and to not eat it.  I'm doing better at that. 

We'll have to check in later to see if the news is still good but-- that's another mindset I find is gradually changing these days.  I'm much less concerned for the future.  I'm already old enough to see that the future is HERE, and today is not worth ruining with worries about tomorrow. 

In case you ever wondered what the inside of a Goodwill dressing room looks like  :-)
No idea where I could ever wear that dress, but I bought it anyway!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beach Rocks with Colored Pencil

smooth black and grey pebbles from beachwhite pebble with a little drawing
I picked up some smooth little rocks at the beach, with the nifty idea of coloring on them with colored pencil.  Wouldn't that be pretty?  It didn't work out as lovely as I had imagined, because I'm not much of an artist. 
Then Karen found the rocks and colored pencils where I'd left them...
smooth beach rock with a white water lily and silver decoration smooth black rock from beach with clover and ladybug drawn with colored pencil smooth beach rocks with trees and creek landscape, and floating yellow water lilies

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dave and Mike in the Lakefair Kids 3k

It's part of Olympia's annual Lakefair celebration.  I emailed Ed that there was a race coming up on Saturday at 8:00. 
He replied: "Let's do it. Please get the mowing and watering done. I can get some things done Saturday take a shower, eat and leave at 6:00. Sound good?"
No, no, that would be 8:00 in the morning!

We should have left at seven in the morning, but at seven he was in the shower.  At 7:25 when we finally pulled out a light came on over his head, that 8:00 was when the race starts, not when we should be looking for a place to park!  And he's usually the punctual one! 
Actually the half marathon started at 7:00, the 8k at 8:00 and the 3k at 8:10. 
He made up a few minutes on the way over there, but it was 7:54 when we took the Port of Olympia exit, and Ed told the boys they'd better get ready to miss it. 
Poor little guys... sitting in the back seat, with their running clothes on and shoes carefully tied in double knots. 
I said Legion would be faster, but Legion turned out to have a great ferris wheel in the middle of it.  The next street was blocked for the race; we got a distant glimpse of the herd of 8k runners starting off at 8:00. 
The next street was one-way.  Ed drove as close as State would get and let the boys and me off in the middle of the street.  We cut across in front of traffic which obligingly slowed for us, and RAN. 

I couldn't get my purse strap straightened out so I carried it by one corner and went top speed, heels in the air, with the boys trailing me.  I have the advantage of longer legs!

The next street had a lot of runners gathered.  I asked several of them where the registration table was, and got not a glance in response.  They all had their crowd blinders on.  This is not a moment for politeness-- I grabbed some lady by the bicep and yelled, WHERE IS REGISTRATION??! and she pointed me back towards the park.

We sprinted down there across the grass to the grandstand, found the table. Thank goodness for online registration.  They had envelopes all ready to go, just had to find the boys' names.  The lady handed them to us and said, "Run!"  We ran.
She called after us, "The chip trackers have to go on the shoes!" 

Whose bright idea was it to put the starting line four blocks away from registration?  We ran two more blocks, then emptied the envelopes onto the sidewalk, sorted it out and started getting numbers pinned on shirts.  The tracker had a diagram on it showing how to thread it into the shoelaces before tying. I untied Dave's shoe and threaded the thing on as fast as I could.  Mike did his own and asked me if it was okay.
It looked okay from the hasty glance I took.  
I told Dave to stuff all the junk back into the envelopes while I pinned Mike's number on, then we RAN up the street to the starting line.  The official said three minutes to the start. 

We made it.  Whew.  I can relax and take pictures now. 

Then Mike tells me the tracker has fallen off his shoe!!!! 
I told him to watch for me as he went by and if I found it I'd hand it to him.  More running!  Of course since the street was blocked off we had veered at will from sidewalk to street and back again, which gave me a lot more area to cover when I ran back to search. 
I found it a block and a half back, then RAN back to the starting line.  I told Mike to just carry it in his hand. 
They had started counting down, 10, 9, 8...

I got a video of the start, then once the whole herd had gone down the street, I wandered to the privacy of the nearest low-hanging tree and burst into tears. 
I heard somebody say, "She's got some kind of pain". 
Yeah, but it's okay, it's just the pain of being alive. 

I'm not a morning person!  I have to get up slowly, and play with my computer for two hours before I'm fully awake and can start doing any kind of work.  If I ignore that and start burning my engines too early, I'll be zonked out and needing a nap by noon.  Or I can sprint in my flipflops for ten minutes at 8:00 am, and there you see the results being commented on by the general public. 
At least I had sunglasses in my purse, so I didn't have to endure any further remark once my act was back together. 

Ed found a parking spot and walked over with the girls, in time to see the boys run down the street.
The 3k went all the way around Capitol Lake and back, to a huge red arch with FINISH on it, very classy. 

Dave was the 4th kid to come in and still going strong.  It was exciting to see him so soon! 
Mike came a few minutes later and was working hard.  With those big shoulders and that taper he's getting on him, he's a magnificent little guy but not a runner! 
I saw them give him a funny look when he just dropped his chip into the basket after carrying it in his hand the whole way. 

They had slices of watermelon, pastries, vitamin water, energy bars for the finishers. Very well set up event, I must say, with all the closing of the streets and the ribbons and all the officials, though I would like to comment on the four blocks between the registration table and the starting line!

I was still breathing heavily fifteen minutes later.  When it was time to walk to the van my poor old knees were turning into mush, and my leg muscles hurt so much I could hardly walk.  Ed kept turning around to wait for me and wonder why I wasn't keeping up.  The next day my legs hurt so much it was all I could do not to yelp every time I had to walk up the stairs. 

What a wuss!  Well, it's nice to know that in case of tsunami, Godzilla, etc, my "run for your life" range is basically twelve blocks.  Any further and I'll just fall over and die.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Titanium Cookware

This year all the health nuts have titanium cookware, apparently.  

eggs and toast cooking in cast iron frying pan 

I did love my cast iron!  It's so well seasoned I hardly ever wash it, only wipe with a paper towel.  Cast iron makes things taste delicious.  Here's a photo of my wonderful breakfast, which I took just for joy of my cast iron pan before I was told I couldn't use it any more.  Why can't I use it any more? 

I went to the doctor, for the first time I can remember.  I don't really like the whole medical subject, it gives me the creeps.  I do the best I can, of course; I watch these videos that tell me what to eat, and I try, because I want to live as long as possible.  But I don't want to know the science and I don't want to hear the bad news.  Better to continue in happy ignorance as long as possible. 

Thanks be to God, there was no bad news.  My test results were all in the middle of normal, except for two results that were out of range:  I had too much "good cholesterol", which made the doctor shake her head and say, "Well, I guess that means you'll never have a heart attack."  And I had too much iron in the blood. 

Cooking with cast iron is good for you because it provides dietary iron, but there can be too much of a good thing (and I have always scraped at it very enthusiastically with the spatula while cooking). 

So I didn't resist the titanium thing too much. 

woll nowo titanium pan 2 

MADE IN GERMANY.  For $100 it had better be magnificent... and it is! 

It's not lightweight.  It's titanium coating over a base of solid aluminum, and is even heavier than the cast iron.   (I've taken note of instances in movies where people use cast iron frypans as weapons.  My favorites are Samwise in LOTR, Marian in Raiders of the Lost Ark (that was so cute), and Martin in Grosse Point Blank.  This pan would be an even more effective conking instrument!)

I've never had a pan that heats up this evenly, or is so beautifully non-stick. 

The most surprising thing was when I saw the edges of the eggs waving back and forth-- they had cooked and then lifted away from the pan, and the edges were blowing in the breeze created by the heat coming from beneath them!  "Well, I never!" 


Baby Chickens

Another batch of chicks with their proud mother hen! 

six black australorp chicks with the mother hen in the straw baby chickens with their mother boys picking up fluffy baby chickens fluffy baby chicks drinking water out of a shriveled rind

Black Australorp chick held up in a hand

Sometimes I wish I had wiiiiings... so I could flyyyy awayyyy...
Sometimes hands are better! 

Baby chick with Mother under shadow of the leaves in the forest

In the warm sunshine... life is good  :-) 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yes, I'm Alive

How about that!  I haven't posted in my blog since June! 
warm kitty basking in the sunshine
Let's have some miscellaneous.  Starting off with warm and silky...
Dave-cat-Magformers-3 Dave-cat-Magformers-7
The world's most tolerant kitty.  Look at the kitty gloves!   

antique-shopping ice cream scoop and strainer
Found in an antique shop: a scoop with metal gears that won't fail six months after buying, and a strainer with the holes only in the bottom, for draining something into a container.  
chevron-dishrag knit
Cotton dishrag x playing =
model train in candy section toy train in candy section
How fiendish can a candy section get?  We stand there and watch the choo-choo train while the sugar communicates with our bloodstream.  Nice.  The word "organic" in the sign means there's better things to eat far over toward the right of the photo, but unfortunately the train is here. 
how Rome parallels the United States how Rome compares to United States
And political commentary!  I found this in a homeschool textbook.  Just cross out Rome and write United States, and isn't this basically what happened? 
Here's me carrying a bouncy inflatable rolling play thingie (no idea what to call it).  The photographer titles this photo, "Thought Bubble." 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our First Geocaching Find!

Was a big deal.  I didn't realize exactly how cool it was going to be until that THERE IT IS!!  moment. 

I thought the geocache was just another detail to add interest to a walk in the park, kind of like bringing a sandwich and cookie along would have.  Nope.  Whole different level of cool. 

This was a true adventure, a whole Hero's Journey, with the Call to Arms, the Helper, being Lost (if not in a cave) and finally Finding the Treasure! 

I don't have a GPS device, but my HP ipaq rx5915 "travel companion" has GPS built in.  It came with a program called TomTom which I've used sometimes.  I've never thought much of GPS since I like maps and prefer to find my own way.  But going to look for something hidden at a certain location sounded cool. 

ppc-hp-ipaq-rx5915 had a listing of several caches only a few miles from us.  One was in a large park we were somewhat familiar with, and said it was a standard size cache (an ammo can) and swapping trinkets sounded like fun. 

I fired up TomTom and figured out that you CAN enter coordinate points into it!  The point appeared on the map along with a way to get there!  Okay, great!  Let's go find this box! 

I actually got miffed at husband because one fine Saturday he "wasn't in the mood" to go looking for a box in the woods right now, and refused to detour to the park even though we were all but going right by it.  I had to put my teeth together.  No point dragging him unwillingly. 

I had to wait pAtIeNtLy until he wasn't around.  Delays like that only serve to increase the want level by a whole lot!  Then the rest of us headed off with heads high and hope in our hearts (at least mine, the kids just went along for a walkie) to find this box.  Lucky thing Ed wasn't with us to observe and comment on the fiasco that followed... let's just say we ran back and forth like idiots and didn't find the box. 

TomTom does not work for geocaching.  It's designed for directing cars along roads.  It was obsessed with trying to get me back in the car and turned around.  At least the little needle was still pointing at a spot--  and I followed it, until it lost signal. 

I don't know what's wrong with the pocket pc.  It takes forever to find the GPS signal.  I have to start TomTom and get it looking for a signal at least ten minutes before I really need it.  It'll work for a while and then lose signal and not refresh for a looooong time.  

Occasionally it would refresh, and it was sending us to a point, all right-- the wrong point.  I cannot explain to you how that happened.  We were in the right park but the wrong end of it.  (I had some trouble at first with swapping decimal degrees and degrees, minutes, seconds.  Yet you would think if that was what I did wrong, I would have been even further wrong...)


HP ppc Amazon

We were looking for a boulder.  The boys thought they could find it by searching, but none of the large rocks they came across had anything hidden (except the usual things you find around and under rocks). 

Came home and went to the internet for help.  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, but now I really want it.  I tried downloading different software for the pocket pc.  There was piles of free software that looked eligible, but some required the premium membership to (No!) some I couldn't figure out, some didn't work. 

Pocket Drake emerged as the winner.  I'm not sure if you're supposed to use a Waypoint to enter the bare coordinates from, but that's what ended up working for me, and "whatever works", right? 

I went to Google maps and got GPS coordinates for the various points around my yard so I could test this at home.  It worked!!  -- at first.  It found the spot (in the back yard), told me direction and range and then walked me halfway out there before stalling.  I stood in the back yard waiting to the extent of my patience, and it still didn't reacquire GPS signal.  Why's it doing this?  Don't know. 

Should I post on a PPC tech support forum and see if anybody knows what's wrong?  Or spend some money and buy a real GPS unit?  Or a geocaching premium membership so I can download the cache files and try a different application?  I don't like spending money to solve problems.  I want to make this work with free resources and equipment that I already have. 

I used Google maps to look up the geocache-- I'll find this thing one way or other!  Looked down from above with satellite view, and recognized the area where it was-- oh yeah, I can find that!  So, next time we went by there, we stopped in.  I thought it would be pretty easy to walk right to it now that we knew where it was, and I'd also give the GPS another try.  I hoped maybe when I was on the move instead of standing in one place, Pocket Drake would somehow motivate the unit's GPS to refresh more often. 

As usual, the GPS worked at first, showed a range and direction that looked right and counted down meters as we got nearer.  Then it lost signal, the needle disappeared, and that was it. 

We were still quite far away but I figured I could find it.  At the base of these trees is where I was just SURE the cache would be, based on my three-second, overconfident glimpse of the image.   But all the trails we tried led beyond those trees without getting near them. 

When the GPS briefly reacquired signal, the needle was pointing the other way and saying the cache was behind us.  That couldn't be right, because we weren't at the base of the trees yet!  And it had stopped refreshing and wouldn't show a change no matter how far we went.  So very frustrating!  


The boys explored every random direction while I fiddled with my gizmo. 


This is the Trapped in the Abyss part of the Mythical Journey. 

But it was at this point (of course) that light dawned! 

The GPS is trying to get signals from nine different satellites.  The reason TomTom always took sooooo long must've been because it was waiting for them.  One nice thing about Pocket Drake is that it doesn't wait for all of them, but starts giving results after only acquiring three or four.  But then, of course, it would eventually lose them again and not refresh. 

Well, in Pocket Drake, if I got back out of Waypoints, went to the GPS screen, turned GPS off and back on again, then back to the Waypoints screen and hit Compass again, VOILA, it woke up and gave a fresh reading.  Requires a few extra taps, and it's probably not the RIGHT way to do it, but hey, "If it's stupid but works, it's not stupid!" 

The GPS turned out to be right, the cache was behind us.  We had gone past it during one of the long outages and then lost faith in the device.  By refreshing as necessary, we were able to follow it straight back without any problems. 

Per instructions, I got within 10 meters and then started looking around. 


There's the rock, and there's the cache.  Can't miss it if you're looking for it!!  

I had thought the toys would be the least interesting part of the find, but the boys were just THRILLED with all the trinkets they found in there. 

Mike took a prism kaleidoscope thing and Dave got a gold coin plus somebody's pocket change.  We left a kitty ornament and a toy car, put the whole thing back together and re-hid it.  

Went home HAPPY and can't wait to do this again! 

geocaching6geocaching5 geocaching3geocaching4geocaching2