Question #5: Did you ever go to the principal's office?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Question #5: Did you ever go to the principal's office?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Is it just us, or are there others out there who are also addicted to electronic media?
Anything electronic is just so much FUN! And time spent at the computer really feels like minutes; it’s always shocking to discover just how much time has passed while we’ve been mesmerized by our monitors. Here are my personal addictions (and I know there are many others I haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing)…
- Blogging – Posting, bloghopping, checking followed-blog posts, viewing the fabulous new Blog of Note, finding a comment, leaving a comment, commenting on a comment, thinking up new post ideas, re-arranging page elements, finding and adding a new gadget.
- Stats Tools – It’s a fair guess to say that about 50% of the blogs I visit have some type of statistics tool, and about 50% don’t. If you DO use a stats tracker of any kind, you know what I mean about it being fascinating to see what part of the world your visitors come from, and what posts are most appealing to the public. (Without a doubt, our first-hand accounts of the Inauguration have been the most popular so far.) And I probably don't even have to tell you how crazy good Google Analytics is.
- Twitter – I first signed up for Twitter in order to upload quick updates from my cell phone, which would enable us to keep our Inaugural posts fresh while we were away from the computer. But now, I find I can’t stop Tweeting! It’s fun to send my own updates, to read others’ Tweets, and to click on "Everyone" to see what the whole world is saying. Somebody stop me!
- Internet – is there anything that can’t be accomplished by going to the Internet first? It’s where we look up phone numbers, addresses, get directions, find hotels and restaurants, and ask “how to…” do just about anything, and usually find a useful answer. And, of course, most shopping can be done there, too. I just wish PeaPod had local service!
I would imagine that at some point, there will be therapists who specialize in dealing with Electronics addictions. I know that there are currently many business articles written for people who feel possessed to check their email inboxes every few minutes, and respond immediately to anything they find there. In fact, NOT checking their email eats away at them, and they finally break down and open the inbox. I’m guessing we’ll soon be seeing articles like this about easing off on Blogger, Twitter and other e-addictions.
I don’t dare get a Blackberry or an iPhone – I think I’d never get ANYTHING practical done (like feeding my child!).
PS - I found this very interesting article by Steve Tuttle about his Facebook addiction, which I think he's now overcome..."You Can't Friend Me, I Quit!"...REALY FUNNY.
Monday, January 26, 2009
C is for...the Cats, Calvin & Chloe.
He was an absolute joy from the start - charming, affectionate, well-behaved. We renamed him Calvin Pelle (Calvin after the clever little boy in the comic strip and Pelle after the brave boy in the movie "Pelle the Conqueror"). We all enjoyed each other's company tremendously.
After a while, we thought Calvin might like a playmate so he wasn't lonely while we were gone during the day or when we went off on vacation. We contemplated going to the shelter again, but then we heard about a family that had one cat too many.
This family had just moved to the Berkshires from Louisiana. When they opened their moving van here, they discovered a hungry little kitten. They kept her and tried to integrate her with their other pets, but they had many pets already, and this kitten was just a bit ferocious. They had finally decided they couldn't keep her and were planning to take her to the shelter, when we heard about her and said we'd give her a home. My daughter promptly changed her name from L.T. (Lil' Trucker / Lil' Terror) to Chloe.
That's the point when Calvin's life changed dramatically! He is now chased about the house all the time, we have to put him in an area away from Chloe at mealtime so he can eat, and he's extremely skittish from being pounced on unexpectedly and repeatedly. Chloe is adorable and loving with us, but fierce with anyone she doesn't know. She is sometimes pleasant and playful with Calvin, and sometimes beastly. And, yes, she does like to lounge in the bathroom sink.
Are all cats from Louisiana like this?
Sometimes Blogspot won't do exactly what you want it to, so you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to get it to do your bidding.
If you think you've added spaces between your paragraphs, but when you publish your post, your paragraphs are all right on top of each other, here's what you do:
- In Edit Posts mode, move your cursor to the beginning of the paragraph you'd like spaced down a line.
- Hold down the Shift key and press Enter until your paragraph is spaced the way you like it.
- Publish Post.
- View Blog, and make sure the space is there. If not, repeat this process, and it should look just the way you want it.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The closest Markets we've found are just outside of Northampton, in Hadley. We're in need of a few ingredients for Indian Samosas.
Then, after a quick lunch at Fitzwilly's and a stop at Faces, where you can stand around in aisles laughing to yourself without feeling funny because everyone else is doing it too, we headed home.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm discovering some interesting Inauguration stories on fellow blogger sites. Check these out...
We also have more photos to post on our ImageLoop Inauguration 2009 slide show, but we still need to get them moved over from my daughter's laptop and onto my computer. Stay tuned...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Well, it was a pretty easy and straightforward trip home. We made it quickly and easily out of DC - we were thinking there would be traffic jams but didn't come upon any as we were leaving at 9 am.
For the first 1/3 of the trip, it was fun to be driving among fellow Inaugural attendees - they were easy to spot because of the ultra dirty car exterior (just like ours!), the many Obama stickers, and the writing on the windows, like the one on the right from Oklahoma. And, they filled the rest stops along the way, still abuzz with excitement and wearing their Obama gear. As the miles passed, though, everyone dispersed and headed off in different directions and we only spotted a fellow attendee every once in awhile. So ends our exciting adventure to DC.
When we arrived home, we were happy to discover that the cats had gone easy on each other, they hadn't eaten the fish, and the house was as snug as ever. Tomorrow...back to school and work!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Yahoo - what a wonderful day! Overall, we had a wonderful experience and are very happy we were able to be here and be a part of history. Here are some of the details of our very busy day...
It was pretty full in the Takoma station, and the train was jammed. We had some fun and funny trainmates - they called out to all the riders, "This is the Obama train; it's only going forward and it's not stopping!" Everyone was greeting everyone else, and when we got off the metro, greeters were at the exits saying "Good morning! Isn't this a good morning, and a great day in America."
Mall or Parade?
- "Now, don't try to be brave today...just buy some handwarmers."
- "Help stimulate the economy and buy a t-shirt."
- "There's only one hero here today, and his name is Barack Obama. So don't try to be a hero - just buy some gloves."
During the swearing in ceremony, everyone was spellbound as we watched this historic transition of power. And, of course, there was a mighty cheer when Obama offically became the President. From our spot, the ongoing cheering was a roar, and we couldn't help but wonder how it sounded to everyone at the Capitol. Everyone in the crowd around us was so happy and people were hugging each other; as I glanced at the man next to me, tears were streaming down his face.
We discovered that we wouldn't be able to get through to where we were headed because the street was temporarily shut down for some dignitary that would be coming by. To pass the time, we chatted with those around us and the military personnel who were guarding the street and managing the crowds. We want to thank the very pleasant SSG Chavez, of Bravo Troop I-158 Cav of Easton, MD - here's his advice to my daughter: "The doors of success are opened with the keys of responsibility." All of the military personnel (Temporary Police) were very pleasant.
The road closure lasted MUCH longer than we'd anticipated. We finally decided to walk several blocks to get around the blockade (we're pretty sore from all the walking and standing today!). We stopped in to the Free Gallery of Art building right next to the Castle and used the very clean (and WARM) restrooms. While my daughter relaxed and listened to her iPod, I had a chance to view the "Road to Freedom" exhibit on the lower levels. Moving.
Yikes - the Metro
Finally, at 5:00 (by this time, we were really cold and tired) we decided to try the Smithsonian Metro station again. When we got there, we found a very long line and learned that it wouldn't be opening until 6:30. Someone else was heading to L'Enfant Plaza station, so we tried that too. It was open, but the line was incredibly long. We finally got inside in a crush of people. Everyone was raising their digital cameras and cell phones up high to try to take photos of the unbelievable mass of people - it's something that must be experienced to be understood! My daughter's coat will probably have a permant mark on it from where I was holding onto her very tightly! We made it onto all the right trains, and finally got into the quiet Takoma station.
We stopped at the Nomad for a chamomile tea and a cookie, and then made our final hike to our hotel. We had a really great day, and are glad we went. We're very tired...and very happy for the United States.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today was completely fun, full of adventure, and nice people from everywhere.
After enjoying the crowds, the sights, and the good feelings for several hours, we then hopped back on the Metro (old pros at this point!) and zipped over to Chinatown. The Metro exit there is gorgeous - over the escalators is a huge fan shape with very colorful lights - couldn't stop taking pictures.
PS - Thank you to Brian, George & Nancy, Betsy, Jen and Eleanor for your thoughtful phone calls and emails! And thanks to "Ace Bissell" for the photography today!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We stopped at the Maryland Information Center (which was very nice, but we do have to give props to the state of New York for their very good-looking Adirondack Lodge-style rest stops - very clean and roomy). While there, one of the pleasant gentlemen working at the information desk asked us where we were staying. When he heard we would be on Georgia Ave, he recommended the Crisfield Restaurant to us, as a very good seafood restaurant that was also very close to our hotel.
We got checked in to our hotel, surveyed our room and were pleasantly surprised, then headed out to dinner. The Crisfield Restaurant is totally charming from the outside, and equally as quaint inside. It has old tiled walls and floors, a beautiful collection of vintage china oyster serving plates, and a no-nonsense manner. I had a wonderful plate of sea scallops with the best tartar sauce I have ever had (I'd love that recipe), terrific coleslaw with just a touch of sweet and topped with a bread-and-butter pickle, and applesauce. My daughter had a bowl of oyster stew, with bits of butter swimming on top and oyster crackers on the side. We were both very pleased with our choices and had just the right amount to eat. I would highly recommend this place for both its ambience and its food.
PS - photos courtesy of my daughter - the ace photographer.
But, our trip to DC is taking us in a slightly different direction this morning, and we can't make our usual stop. We have to head over into New York first thing, so today we'll try the mini mart on Elm Street (our everyday errand stop), and eat at the McDonalds on the road out of town.
PS - WEbook...thank you for the "Jan 20 2009 Correspondent" notepad...very cool and much appreciated!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
- Sunday (our driving day)...38 degrees (practically a heat wave!), light snow possible
- Monday (our learn-the-Metro day)...33 degrees and cloudy
- Tuesday (Inauguration Day)...30 degrees and cloudy
- Wednesday (driving home day)...36 degrees and cloudy
Okay, why are all the heat waves happening while we're cozied up in our HEATED car, sitting on HEATED seats, sipping HOT chocolate?
Friday, January 16, 2009
- Map...we don't want to have to walk too far or search too hard to find it. And, we need a nearby Metro station for getting back to our hotel.
- Menu...my daughter has slightly different tastes than I do (healthier, actually) and needs her salads and fruits and vegetables.
- Time...we want enough time to see all of the Inaugural activities, but don't want to wait toooo long, as we'll probably be famished.
Our reservation is at Tuscana West at 4:45. Yum.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
B is for...Berkshire County.
The Colonial Theatre: this is a restored theatre originally built in 1903. It was closed down and hidden for quite some time, boarded up behind an art store (where I used to buy my art supplies for school). It's since been beautifully restored. We went not long ago when my daughter entered a 24-hour film festival, and won 3rd place (on her very FIRST film ever)! The film showing and awards were presented in the Colonial.
On Sunday evening, January 11, I placed an online order for 2 of the commemorative Metro passes, each loaded with $10 for fares. When placing the order, I had to check a box that said I understood that: For orders placed after 11:59 pm on Friday, January 9, 2009, you must click this box to indicate that you are aware that delivery by January 16th cannot be guaranteed.
PS - everyone and their brother is searching online for the same type of disposable hand warmers we were lucky enough to find at Wal Mart! Another good find we discovered there are Snickers Protein Bars. They're tasty, pack a whopping 20 grams of protein per bar, and we're hoping they sustain us as we're standing in the crowds (where we will also be limiting our beverage intake, for obvious reasons).
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
On Inauguration Day, I put one hand warmer in each of my back pockets to help manage the cold, and everything seemed fine. But apparently we don't have the same type of nerve receptors in that area - I didn't feel any discomfort, but at the end of the day, I had 2 rectangular temporary tattoos!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've known for some time that my Honda's 4 tires AND front and rear brakes needed replacing, but I've been putting it off because of the incredible expense. But, because we're going to be on the road so far from home, two damsels on our own, I want to be sure the car is ready to roll.
So, when I went in for my $60 lube/oil/filter/topup/etc, I asked them to look at these items and tell me what was absolutely critical. The rear brakes were the winner. So, $474 later, we're ready for our road trip to DC.
Here's what was done for all that moolah...
(Thank you to SuTree for the how-to video!)
Monday, January 12, 2009
Well, we're making progress! Here's where we left off...and here's what was accomplished this past weekend:
- The car is scheduled for service on Tuesday evening.
- I scheduled the mail hold with the post office, and they'll deliver my usual stack of bills on Thursday.
- There doesn't seem to be any info available on the Sunday welcome event at the Lincoln Memorial; I'll keep checking.
- We're getting closer to understanding the DC Metro; I purchased 2 commemorative Metro passes online, each loaded with $10, which should cover all fares while we're there. We have a good sense of where to find our Metro stop near our hotel, and which line to ride and where to get off. According to online info, it's just a few minutes walk from our hotel to the Takoma station. Of course this is all theoretical at this point - we'll have to see how it goes in real life!
- We were one of apparently thousands who were logged in to Ticketmaster to buy $25 parade bleacher seat tickets. All 5,000 tickets were sold in under a minute! I know this first-hand because I was waiting on the Ticketmaster site at 12:59, and must be too slow on the keyboard - by the time I clicked on my selections, it was 1:01, and the tickets were sold out! Looks like we'll be standing around with a million other people.
- According to the security regulations for the day, any bags we carry must be no larger than 8" x 6" x 4". Yikes - I can't fit ANYTHING into something that small. We may end up buying food and drinks there - I was hoping not to, as I'm sure even a water bottle will be $5 or more. Oh well.
- Still working on exchanging the binoculars and finding more hand warmers...
PS - Photo above shows where we will NOT be on Inauguration day!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
And, here's Question #3: How many times have you changed careers or line of work?
In High School, I worked for a visiting nurse organization; I did the unskilled work, like helping with bathing and dressing. I found that most of my clients, who were usually elderly and infirm, were less interested in getting help with their physical care, and more interested in having someone to talk to and to listen to them.
In the Army, I was a Medic (91C10, for anyone who knows what that means; this MOS is no longer available, but that's what I was while I was on active duty). My permanent assignment was at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where I worked at DDEAMC on 6West (Labor/Delivery/Post-Partum).
During College, I waitressed and was even promoted to hostess and waitstaff trainer!
With my new Art degree, I went to work in a local framing shop/art gallery. This job was REALLY fun, but I was also married, so didn't need to make enough money to support a family (which I didn't!). I did that for nearly 13 years and loved the work.
After getting divorced and becoming a single mom, I needed to support a family. So, I decided business was the way to go, got myself back to college, and earned a Master of Business Management degree. I then began as a Management Trainee in a bank, and I'm now the Vice President of Marketing for a financial company.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
PS - This Urban Spoon link says that Sushi Thai Garden is in North Adams, but it's actually in Williamstown. All other contact info is correct.
Then, I had to zip home to pick up my daughter and her new boyfriend (!) from the mall movie theatre, and then home to prepare dinner for our guest this evening. Busy day!!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Being a Virgo, I've usually got many lists made at this point in the lead-up to a trip. I think I'm behind on this because of the holidays. Not good. So, I'll take a moment now to get my list organized (since this event is ONLY 2 weeks away!!!!!).
Here's what's already been done to prepare for attending the inauguration:
- Book a DC hotel (at a manageable price).
- Mapquest the driving route TO and FROM our DC hotel.
- Buy binoculars.
- Buy handwarmers and decide what cold-weather gear we'll be bringing.
- Get a universal charger for use in the car (has a regular outlet for a normal type of wall plug).
- Review security dos and don'ts for the day.
Here's what still needs to be done:
- Have the car serviced.
- Find details on Obama's welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, 1/18.
- Learn the DC Metro; use Trip Planner to figure out the route from our hotel to the nearest Metro stop on Pennsylvania Ave.
- Buy commemorative Metro passes (maybe I can get those online?).
- Decide whether or not to return the binoculars - they're not quite what I expected.
- Test the strength of the handwarmers, and get more! Also, find out if there is such a thing as a seat warmer (some type of cushion that heats up), and get some of those too.
- Re-read the regulations about what we can and can't carry to the inauguration.
- Figure out what type of bag we'll take with us for the day (no backpacks allowed), and what types of food and drinks we'll carry in it.
- Prep all our electronic devices and chargers.
Yikes - this is coming up waaaaay tooooo fast. I wonder if Obama feels the same way?
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Okay, so what the heck is a favicon?
A favicon is that little image that appears to the left of a URL or web address. If you'd like a custom one of your choosing on YOUR blogspot site, here's a fairly easy, non-techy way to get one:
- First, you need a website that will both create AND host your favicon. You can do this at IconJ.
- Once on this site, click on "Upload Your Logo/Image/Photo File to Generate the Icon." Browse out to your files and select the image you want to use (you'll want to choose something fairly small and simple, as these icons are TINY and have very little detail). Then, click on "Upload It!"
- You'll now see "FavIcon.Ico Successfully Generated!" and you should see your icon mini image. You don't need to click on "Download It"
- Below "Download It" you should see "Direct Download" or "Host It at IconJ.com: Direct Link"; in the "Host It"section, copy the code you see there.
- Now sign in to your blog and click on "Layout" then "Edit HTML"; Exercise extreme caution on this page!!!!!
- About 10 lines or so down in the code, you'll see a line that has <> at each end; in between these two symbols, you'll find code that says "title data:blog.pageTitle/ /title". At the end of this line of code, enter down once to create a new blank line.
- In this new blank line, paste the code you copied from IconJ.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save Template"
That's it; now click on view blog and you should now have an icon before your blog URL (sometimes it takes a few minutes to appear, so don't worry if it doesn't happen immediately). And, you can change it any time you want too!PS - You won't see your Favicon when you are in Edit Mode.
PPS - Be sure to bookmark the IconJ website, so you can edit your Favicon in the future.
Can you tell what my Favicon is or does it just look like a tannish "thing"?
Saturday, January 3, 2009
My father then felt the need for even more adventure, so he bought an old 1948 flatbed truck, named it John Henry (after that steel drivin' man), and proceeded to build us a home on wheels. I guess you could say it was an early custom RV! We had a wood stove for heat, kerosene lamps for light, no TV, but we did listen to radio shows...I well remember Fibber McGee & Molly!