Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tidbits about Me

My sweet friend over at Okie Okasan tagged me (Yikes!). I felt a bit intimidated at first, but after giving it some thought I decided to play. So here are the rules:
  • Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
  • The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
  • At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
My Tidbits
  • Certified scuba diver when I was in the 7th grade. The scariest yet most exciting dive was the 30 ft emergency ascent which was required for certification. We removed our respirators and then ascended while blowing little bubbles through our lips.

  • Dreamed about being an Olympic skier when I was younger. Although I can ski the bumps, I wasn't near good enough nor competitive enough. T'was fun to dream though.

  • My biggest regret as a young teen was quitting piano lessons while in junior high. Soccer practice conflicted with lessons and of course piano practice was like pulling teeth.

  • I married my best friend. B and I met for coffee every week for three years before we ever started dating. The funny thing is, his brother knew we took a liking to each other even before we knew. I met his brother and sister-in-law during a lunch get-together on our way to a Red Rocks concert. Apparently, B's brother saw something different in his little brother when he was around me. A year later we started dating. Ha!

  • Over the years I've dabbled in several different types of art. I took drawing and painting lessons, but quilting is the most satisfying to me. I love the colors, textures, planning, measuring, rotary cutting, fitting, sewing, even the ripping doesn't bother me. Some day I'd like to start drawing again. My favorite medium is pencil.

  • I only missed one day of school during K-12. Don't ask me how this was even possible. Either I went to school when I really should have stayed home or my parents passed along resilient genes. Probably a little bit of both.

  • My first all nighter was my senior year in high school. I had a take home calculus exam and research paper due Monday morning. (Yes, I'm a bit of a procrastinator). I'm pretty sure I completed most of my research and I'd like to think I'd written at least an outline, but I can't remember. Luckily, I did well on both. Whew! Unfortunately, Monday evening was the National Honor Society induction ceremony. I was president of our chapter and aside from the fact that I'm incredibly nervous speaking in pubic, I was so exhausted that I sped through my portion of the ceremony. We were finished in 15 minutes. It was horrible. I asked my mom how things went after the ceremony, and she said, "well that was the fastest induction I've ever seen". Later that night (did I think I was superwoman or what) I fell asleep while talking on the phone. Jeesh!

  • I am named after my grandmothers. I share my paternal grandmother's first name and my maternal grandmother's middle name. For many, many years I felt tremendously ashamed for not being male in order to carry on the family name. I am the youngest of three girls and my father and grandfather were the only males of their respective generations. It seems crazy now that I took on this expectation. In a sweet glimpse of goodness about 10 years ago it dawned on me that indeed I am carrying on the family name. It's just on the maternal side.
That wasn't so scary and really kinda fun. Now for the last rule. Although I read a number of blogs, I'm an infrequent commenter (just like my blogging), so I'm only tagging these three "lucky" bloggers.

Streak at Streak's Blog
Anglican at A New Anglican's Journey
Nina at TheArtofIt

Friday, September 28, 2007

Guilty Food Pleasures

Earlier this afternoon I picked up "will call" tickets for a concert we are attending tonight. Right across the street is a Sonic drive-in which sells my favorite guilty food pleasure.

If you haven't tried Ched 'R' Peppers you don't know what you're missing. I'd never heard of these little things until we visited some friends in Houston a number of years back. We ordered take out at a local restaurant and they said we MUST try these little devils. They were wonderful. Jalapenos stuffed with cheddar cheese and deep fat fried. To die for!!!

Although Sonic's are not quite as good as those originals (not HOT enough), nonetheless, do they ever hit the spot!! Yum, Yum, Yum.

P.S. Yes I did stop and I did order. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bald Tires...Already?

I took my car in for service this morning because the brakes were squealing a bit. I noticed it mostly when I pulled out of the driveway in the morning. They also seemed a little "hard" when I pressed the peddle. Turns out the mechanic knew exactly what that symptom meant. All four brake pads were shot, the rotors on the front needed to be resurfaced, and the back rotors replaced altogether as they were worn past the recommended limit. The service guy also discovered that I was missing one of the lug bolts on a back tire. Scary!!

But the biggest tires were bald. Seems like I just got new tires. I was a bit skeptical, but after searching through my service records I discovered the tires had 70,000 miles on them and they had a 50,000 warranty. Well, I guess commuting (23 miles) and a couple of trips across the country adds up. Turns out I bought them almost 4.5 years ago. He mentioned that they had even wear. I was please to hear this. This was not the case with my last set of tires. I only rotated them once toward the end of their life which is not a good practice. I'm pretty good about keeping up with the maintenance schedule, but for some reason rotating the tires slips my mind.

Not looking forward to getting this credit card bill. Oh well. But, I'm glad for the new tires. I was amazed at the difference when I drove the car. It turns better, sounds quieter, and it's just a whole lot smoother.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What is "Stree?"

We went to PetsMart the other day and a funny thing happened on the way home. We bought 4 rosey red minnows as they are supposed to eat mosquito larva. Last week one of our biology friends came by to see the pond and fountain. Very nicely, but strongly, he suggested we get some fish...and fast. (We are using mosquito dunks, but it seems like they disintegrate very quickly perhaps because we recirculate the water. We want to stock the pond with native fish and hopefully we'll get our supply soon.)

So, on the way home I was reading the pet care instructions on the fish bag. The conversation went something like this.

(Reading from bag.) "'Responsible pet ownership begins on the trip home....If you have more shopping or errands to complete, consider picking up your pet last. This will ensure your pet encounters the least amount of stree possible.' Looking up from the bag I asked my husband, "What is stree?"


"What is stree? That's what the bag says, 'This will ensure your pet encounters the least amount of stree possible.'"

"'Stree' is not a word."

"But it says it right here."

"Probably should be 'stress'. It's a typo."

The pet instruction bag maker really should use a spellchecker.

We got the little guys home (no extra errands) and I let the bag float in the pond for about 15 minutes to acclimate the fish to the pond water temperature as directed on the bag. I opened the bag and gently let them loose. It was kinda fun to watch them scurry away.

The next day we located two of the little guys and we hope the other two survived. They are only about 1 in long, so they are hard to see. Unfortunately, we don't have a screen on the skimmer so they could get sucked into the pump. We are working on that. But as B and I said...these are not pets! These guys are work for a living. They better eat the larva and they better grow fast!!


Well, today we can't find any of the fish. Bummer! We now wonder if they experienced too much "stree" from being sucked into the pond pump, torpedoed out the fountain hole after swirling through 20 feet of pipe. Drag...Off to the pet store for more fish.

MyTunes, MP3s, and fertilizer

(They really are related. I promise!)

Found something cool on Wired while reading my "news blogs". Someone figured out how to compress MP3 files even smaller. The product is called ShrinkMyTunes and compresses the file through a patented algorithm. Although I can hold quite a bit of music on my nano, I need to pick and choose from my iTunes collection (actually most is from my music lover husband's collection).

I was telling my husband and read part of the article to him. I came to the sentence, "To the trained ear, the converted MP3s sound like they have a medium amount of variable-bitrate (VBR) compression applied."

Well, I learned to read using phonics, so when I got to the word "bitrate" I pronounced it bi-trate with a long /i/. My funny husband (while looking over my shoulder) said, "bit-rate. It's not a fertilizer."

Ha! See the subjects really do tie together. :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hard Drive Screech

A week ago last Saturday my hard drive took a dive. For the last few weeks I noticed an occasional ever so slight screeching sound (which is never good). By Sunday it took 10 minutes to load a web page and the hard drive sounded like it was gasping for air and ready to grind to a halt.

I called Apple and the Customer Service Representative led me through some diagnostics, but it was clear the hard drive was failing. Luckily I was able to backup all my data (except I forgot to save my browser favorites). She suggested I send it in for maintenance. Apple sent a special box that I received Tuesday morning. I packaged it up Tuesday afternoon and dropped it off for DHL pickup.

Lo and behold guess what was waiting for me Thursday evening when I got home from work? Is that service or what! As an extra bonus I noticed I had a new keyboard, too. I'd worn off some of the letters and a few keys were sticking. Because we purchased Apple Care (extended warranty) I was not charged for the new hard drive or keyboard. (I'm usually skeptical of extended warranties. My belief is if you buy quality, then you don't need these things. However my sweet husband has convinced me they make sense when there are a lot of moving or electronic parts, but I hate spending money on these things.)

Anyway, I'm happy as a clam to have my laptop back and all my data restored. Yippee!

I love my Mac.