Archive for November, 2008

Lights! (Now Hung!)
 

I hit TarJay today to get some lights for the porch and scored. I found icicle lights similar to what we had when I was a kid. These are the plastic kind shaped like icicles that light up, not the hanging strings of lights that go for icicle lights today. I’m so happy that I think I’m gunna hang them up in a few.



So I got the lights up and here is a photo. I do need to remove the porch light, it’s a tad over-powering. Plus only one is working, the other one burned out. I was hoping to find some large flicker bulbs to put in both of them actually.

Vacation Nightmare
 

I had the most bizarre dream last night. We were on our annual cruise, and it was a disaster. For starters for some reason I was with my brother and mom and not the BF. The room was tinier than usual, and we had no bathroom! We had to use a public one where all the showers and toilets were just sitting in the open for the whole world to see you doing your business.

My brother finally found our bathroom though, it was apparently hidden away and somehow we didn’t find it at first. It was a filthy mess of a nightmare and it looked like nobody had cleaned it in forever. So we were left with the dilemma do we use the dirty bathroom or the public bathroom?

My friend Keith was on the cruise with us, and as usual in the room next to us. He started text messaging me to come meet him down at the shops. For some reason he wanted me to buy some jacket or something. However I was unable to text him back. I was getting his texts on a watch, and I had no way to return them. I have no idea what that was about as I don’t even have a watch, I’ve used my phone as one for years. I don’t like wearing them.

The creme de-la-creme was when my mom and brother left for dinner, and I somehow lost my room key-card. For some reason I needed it to do everything, from get on the elevator to get into the dining room. So I had to take the steps all the way down to the pursers office to get a new card. No big deal, as usually the steps on cruise ships are really nice. For some reason though I was condemned to this dank dark stairwell inside the walls of the ship.

I have no idea why I had this dream at all. I think it reflects Black Friday :)

Do You Like Your Wii? Mommy Killed A Man For It. Happy Holidays!
 

At 4:55 a.m., just five minutes before the doors were set to open, a crowd of 2,000 anxious shoppers started pushing, shoving and piling against the locked sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., Nassau County police said. The shoppers broke the doors off their hinges and surged in, toppling a 34-year-old temporary employee who had been waiting with other workers in the store’s entryway.

People did not stop to help the employee as he lay on the ground, and they pushed against other Wal-Mart workers who were trying to aid the man. The crowd kept running into the store even after the police arrived, jostling and pushing officers who were trying to perform CPR, the police said.

Source:NY Times

This story doesn’t have a happy ending, the man died. How sad is it? How pathetic were those people who thought more of getting that sale than another human? I hope it was on store camera and every single one of them goes to jail, or at least have their faces plastered on the news to be made to feel like the scum they are.

I originally had the words “Merry Christmas” at the end of the title of this post, but replaced it with the much loathed “Happy Holidays.” Why? Because we have entered the season where we will yet again have to hear about the “War on Christmas” and how it’s “illegal” for people to say “Merry Christmas” and have to use “Happy Holidays.” Retail stores that use “Holidays” will as usual be boycotted over it by many in this country. I’m sure the American Family ASSociation already has their boycott list up.

Perhaps people should stop worrying and fighting over what retailers or the people on the street call the season or say to each other in passing by and be a little more concerned about how people treat each other. Tis the season for good will and joy among men, but how many people show it? This poor guy and his family will have neither a “Merry Christmas” nor “Happy Holidays” cause he’s dead. He died because people cared more about getting a sale. He died for “Holiday Consumerism.” That right there is the real war on Christmas people should really concern themselves with.

Thanksgiving Day Blogging
 

It’s here, Thanksgiving! Aren’t you just excited for the turkey, stuffing and pie? I thought today I’d do some live blogging throughout the day, updating on what exciting stuff I’m up to. I know you can’t wait to read all about it.

9:00am – Actually got out of bed to watch the Macy’s parade, which I thought had started at 8am.

9:30am – Set a record for turning the parade off as I remembered that it’s pretty boring. Used to be way better as a kid.

9:45am – Turned on Animal Crossing to play.

10:00am – Craved an egg McMuffen, but fried up an egg instead.

10:30am – Walking over to the farm to see how chaotic it is with people picking up pies and turkeys. – Scratch – I played more Animal Crossing.

11:00am – Turkey in the crock pot! Now I’ll go over to the farm like I said I was.

11:30am – Insanity for pie pickups at the farm. Never wait till the last minute!



12:30pm – Put on “I Love Lucy” marathon.

2:00pm – Things winding down at the farm, Turkey smell finally hitting the house. The dogs are sniffing and whining.

2:30pm – Back to Animal Crossing. Waiting for the big Harvest Day feast and special guest at 3pm.

4:00pm – Finally starting the rolls, stuffing and gravy. Turkey should be done within the hour, hopefully!

4:45pm – Dinner is served! Later some movies, probably Wall-E or Mirror Mask.

- – - Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may God have mercy on your soul if you plan to go out tomorrow on Black Friday and shop. Start praying to the saint of good parking spaces and short lines now!

Christmas Villages!
 

I have put up all three of my Christmas villages, so I thought I’d share some photos. These aren’t of the highest quality mind you. I took them on my iPhone to upload online to Twitter.


First up is my Grandma’s classic cardboard village from the 50s/60s. They used to set this up and light it up (it’s in such bad shape to try that now), as well as have a Christmas train going around it. No idea where the train is now. It was probably just a regular toy train.

Next is Sparkletown, an updated classic of my grandma’s cardboard village. It’s made out of much sturdier materials. This was a gift from the BF last year.

Finally Christmas Town, which is in fact the town from the old Bankin-Rass Santa/Rudloph specials.

Thanksgiving Dinner
 

This year I’m cooking my very first Thanksgiving Dinner! It’s just for myself, the BF and his brother, so I’m not doing too much. Plus most of it’s prepared, I just need to heat it up :P On the menu is:

Turkey Breast (I don’t need a whole turkey)
Ham (cause I like it better than turkey)
Spiced Apples
Garlic Mash Potatoes
Creamed Spinach
Stuffing
Rolls/Crescents
A pie for desert (whatever is left at the farm, no pumpkin or pecan, bleck!)

I have in fact left off cranberries. I know it’s tradition, but I can’t stand them! I have never liked them, especially the canned jellied kind. YUCK!

Moving On Up!
 

So today I moved my mail and important documents over to the Mac, making the move complete. Well almost. Like I said there are a few programs (access) I still need on the PC. However I did switch the positions of my puters on the desk/table, putting the Mac front and center and the laptop to the side. I’m forcing myself to use the Mac and learn it.

My cold is slowly getting better. It’s gone to my ears at the moment, they are all plugged up. Yucky! It’s just pressure though, not an infection. Today was the first day I was able to get out of the house, as I needed to do some shopping. I bought some new warm jammies!

Why did I buy warm jammies? Well our heat decided to break the other day. The heater repairman had to come out today and fixed it the best he could, which means there could be more issues down the road. I’m sure we’ll get charged a pretty penny, but the heat is back for now. It’s bitterly cold here now, so I did not enjoy being without heat. We had space heaters, but they only work well in the small enclosed bedrooms. The living area was like an ice box.

Finally the Madonna concert was amazing. I hope though that it comes out on DVD, as I’d really like to see it without the distractions. Let’s just say there was some drama from some audience members around us. At times it was hard to figure out which show to watch.

Lets see first there were the two guys in front of us. One was clearly gay, the other it was obvious wasn’t sure. He certainly didn’t look it or sound it. He was a southern boy and he looked like he should be out hunting something. He insisted that he was only at the concert because the ticket was given to him, it was free. He then started flirting with the girls next to us. He was pretty toasted and when climbing over seats to get out, joked he might fall and his face could end up in their lap. Later however when he was smashed, he was all about grinding with his buddy and I believe there was even a quick peck. Then they disappeared for a very very long time. Bathroom stall break? When they came back suddenly the guy was more interested in the girls next to us, getting their numbers, chatting with them. He was totally ignoring his friend. I think someone had to prove his straightness! Of course he blew it when Madonna did an Evita number and he started singing it to the girls. I love Evita, but I was sober and I couldn’t even remember the words as well as he did!

Then there was another set of people near us who, oh lord, well it was a sad story. This woman’s husband had recently died, he was in the navy. She and her two gay friends were using the money to travel around and see Madonna, as she was a lifelong fan. She had a 9 month old baby, which she brought to this show, as it would be his first concert. Yes, she brought a 9 month old to a concert, a loud one. It soon became apparent that she and one of her friends were pretty high on something. They showed up smelling like pot actually. At one point she strips down to her bra, I guess she was hot? Had hot flashes? Well she got in trouble for that. Then at one point the baby gets hungry, so she whips out a tit to breast feed him. Oh it gets better, she has one of her friends take a photo of this! Yes, they needed to document breast feeding the kid at the Madonna concert. There was a lot more tragedy going on with them, but I’ll save it. Those were the highlights.

This is why I need the concert on DVD, I was rather distracted a lot :)

Mac, Madonna and a Cold
 

So yesterday the iMac arrived. I dragged my sick ass out of bed onto the couch thinking the Fed-Ex man would arrive as early as possible, which he did. I got it, then went back to bed. Yeah, I am sick. I somehow, from someone, got a lovely cold. When I find out who gave it to me, they will be punished.

I eventually did set the mac up, then giggled a lot. It’s big, so big, obscenely big. It dwarfs my laptop, which I always thought was rather too large for a laptop (it’s more of a desktop replacement really).

I’m still getting used to how it works. I did port all my photos and itunes over and was happy I got that far to be honest. I installed open office, which opens everything BUT my access databases. It seems this is an issue with the program right now, not the Mac. So if I need Access I guess I’m still chained to the PC for awhile ;)

For those who also wanted to convert and were looking for thoughts, there is a learning curve. Honestly had I not had a friend online helping me out, I would have been frustrated, especially with how to install programs on it. Programs are downloaded onto like these virtual disks on your desktop (which once you eject go into cyber space and are lost) and you have to move things from them to your applications folder to install them (think the programs folder on a PC). However you have to do it, it’s not done for you like on a PC usually. That took getting used to. I kept wondering where what I just installed went to!

The other thing that took getting used to is that mac interface is pretty much completely drag-n-drop. If you want a photo moved from one program to the other, drag it over to move or copy it, as opposed to the PC where it’s “Open file, select source/directory, select file.” There is something nice about that, yet as a PC user, it takes time to get used to.

The last big hurdle I have is moving my mail over, which I learned how to do today, I’m just not ready to tackle it yet. I might keep my mail on my laptop for the time being until I’m more settled on the mac.

Switching topics, tonight is Madonna! I’m stoked, but at the same time furious. How did I end up with this crummy cold right when Madonna comes to town? Oh I’m going, I just might be icky and miserable at the show. I’m sure I’ll be ready to come home and pass out the minute it’s over too.

Runners World
 

Let me preface this by saying I am not a professional runner at all. However there has been some interest in running in the shoutbox lately, so I thought I’d answer some questions and provide some advice from what I’ve learned (the hard way).

First up, do not try and get into running on your own! I made that mistake, went out and just started running. I hurt for a week after 1 or 2 days. Use a program like the “Couch to 5K” program. You can visit the site at http://www.c25k.com They provide an interval program that gradually gets you into running. You can get their podcasts from the site or on iTunes. Also you can go to iTunes and search for “Podrunner Intervals by DJ Beatsmith,” which is a different person’s podcasts. They all use the same program (c25K) and are free. You might want to get several to mix it up so the music doesn’t become monotonous.

Feel free to repeat weeks! Don’t feel you have to “graduate” every week. Trust me when I say there are weeks you may get stuck on, so just keep doing them over until you can get through them. Week five or six is a total bitch! Once you get far enough into the program, you will probably ditch it like I did. Once I was able to run 20 minutes on my own outside I just began using my own music and judgement.

Outside VS Inside. This is pretty important actually. I began running outside over the summer. I live in a fairly hilly area too. Hills, concrete and temperature will affect you! By time the cold weather came around I decided to move my runs into the gym on the treadmill. This at first was an odd sensation, it took some getting used to and over the feeling I might slip and fall. Once I got the hang of it, I soon found out it was much easier to run in the gym. It’s a controlled climate, the treadmill is flat (you can add incline though) and provides shock absorption. I was running much further inside than out. So remember this depending on where you start and if you move back and forth between the too environments (ie don’t think, crap that run sucked comapred too . . . ).

Proper gear! This one is very important, as I recently found out. When I started running it was outside and I actually just used my swimsuit (clearly I don’t have speedos). When I moved to the gym I started using workout pants. Well let’s just say I found out proper ventilation is a must! Invest in some proper running undies and pants, usually made of anything but cotton. Usually it’s called wick or says the material will wick moisture away from your skin. Trust me, a runners rash is not fun at all and will not clear up unless you stop running for awhile.

Also invest in some good running shoes. Don’t think your plain old tennis shoes will do, unless you want blisters and sore feet and legs. You don’t need the $250 dollar pair either, you can get a decent pair of Nike’s for around 65 bucks at DSW or some similar discount chain store. I do recommend something with a gel or air cushion in the soul (avoid the cheap Reebok’s that don’t seem to have this, we aren’t in the 80s so you won’t be uncool not wearing Reebok.)

If you have an iPod Nano, for 25 bucks you can get the Nike runners attachment. It’s actually really handy and will track your runs, distances, times and calories burned. There is a sensor you put in your shoe under the soul/insert. Many Nike running shoes come with a special pouch built for it (look for the + symbol on the shoe or inside the shoe). I have read with other shoes you can put it under the insert and it will work okay as well, but it might not be as comfortable (I guess you could always carve out a space for it too).

I guess that’s about it, happy running!

Animal Crossing City Folk Friend Codes!
 

I just got my copy of Animal Crossing: City Folk WITH Wii Speak today. I lucked out, not only did I have a 10 dollar gift card, but Best Buy messed up so I got another 10 bucks off, and this purchase put me over a threshold to get another 10 dollar gift card. Woot! Anyway, here are my details. It looks like you only have to register the friend code the game gives you and the town name, but I’m including my console friend code too.

Wii Friend Code (Console Code) : 5820 7419 9273 4529
Animal Crossing Code: 4081 8992 1913
Animal Crossing Town Name : SpringDF

Feel free to leave yours in the comments. Never fear, we BOTH have to register for it to work, so some strange person won’t be able to use what you leave to invade your town or mine :)