Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve Plans

Well, the end of the year is upon us and once again I am faced with a difficult decision. What am I doing for New Year's Eve? It's always a stressful decision for me because, of course, not every single person I enjoy hanging out with is going to be at the same place I am at. I try to be a people pleaser, so I always have trouble deciding who might be mad if I show up and who might be mad if I don't. Obviously the best scenario would be to end up somewhere that has the maximum amount of my family and friends as possible. It's just usually hard to arrange because of babysitting issues, availability to stay the night (driving not allowed), whether or not everyone likes everyone who may be there, etc.

But, I believe I have finally figured out what my plans are. Hopefully it will be a blast and I will sing and laugh and frolic the night away while not throwing up. On that note, I hope all of you guys end up having a great New Year's Eve and survive any party you may be going to without throwing up.

AND DON'T DRIVE HOME!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A SpongeBob SquarePants Kind Of Life

Okay, I have the SpongeBob SquarePants edition of Monopoly and now I really have to have this edition of The Game Of Life. How cool does this thing look. Here's the product description found on the Amazon website:

Experience life in Bikini Bottom! You could become a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, move into SpongeBobs pineapple, and adopt a Giant Clam as a pet. Maybe youll get named Champion Bubble Blower, become Planktons friend for the day, and win a years supply of Krabby Patties! But watch out you could also get stung by a jelly fish or have to go to the hospital because you have a bad case of the suds. If youre the one with the most clams at the end of the game, you win! Game comes with Game Board, 4 Plastic Character Pawns SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs, 3 Mountains, Bridge, 6 Buildings, Spinner, Stack of Play Money, 50 Life Tiles, 78 Cards, Bankers Tray, Label Sheet, and Game Instructions. For 2 4 Players, Ages 7 and Up.

Anyone who would like to buy this for me, feel free to do so.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam Hussein Is Dead


Saddam Hussein has been executed in Iraq. The 69 year old former dictator was hanged in Baghdad at 06:05 am Saturday, December 30 which was 09:05 pm Friday, December 29 here in Missouri. It is reported that the execution was videotaped although coverage was not shown live.

Matisyahu

The Hasidic reggae beatboxing superstar. I've known about this guy for quite a while now, but his popularity is growing. He may not look like a reggae rapper, but his beats are awesome and his message is pure. This is a 2 minute video from his performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Missouri Facts I Never Knew

These facts were all found on Legends Of America so I am not responsible for their accuracy.


Called the Brothel Law, it is illegal in Missouri for more than four unrelated persons to occupy the same dwelling.

St. Louis offers more free, major visitor attractions than anyplace outside of the nation's capital. These include the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Cahokia Mounds, Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Grant's Farm and more.

Anyone under the age of 21 who takes out household trash containing even a single empty alcohol beverage container can be charged with illegal possession of alcohol in Missouri.

Missouri was the third most fought-over state in the Civil War, right after Virginia and Tennessee.

The first successful parachute jump to be made from a moving airplane was made by Captain Berry at St. Louis, in 1912.

Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.

St. Louis was the site of the demonic possession incident that inspired the book, and later the movie, "The Exorcist."

Iced Tea was first served at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2009 Camaro




I want one. Nuff said.

Changes Are Coming To Downtown Springfield

Work to start on downtown development

A Thursday groundbreaking is set for the College Station Car Park and urban entertainment complex.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the $20 million project will begin 1:15 p.m. on College Street west of Campbell Avenue.

Bounded roughly by Campbell and Market avenues and McDaniel and Olive streets, the 77,000-square-foot proposed commercial complex has been in the works since 2004.

Guests include Rep. Roy Blunt and John Askew of the Environmental Protection Agency office in Kansas City.


article was found on News-Leader.com

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Update On The War

U.S. military deaths in Iraq pass 9/11 toll
Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:39 PM GMT
By Ibon Villelabeitia

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The deaths of six more American soldiers in Iraq pushed the U.S. death toll to at least 2,978 -- five more than the number killed in the September 11 attacks -- as bombs killed more than 20 people in Baghdad on Tuesday.

At least 89 U.S. soldiers have died so far this month, making it the deadliest this year after October's toll of 106, and adding pressure on President George W. Bush to find a strategy to extricate 135,000 U.S. troops from the messy war.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died since the invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein, which Bush said was an integral part of the "war on terror" following the Sept 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

U.S. officials say 2,973 people were killed in those attacks, excluding the 19 hijackers....



Rest of article from Reuters here

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Video Of Silver Dollar City Christmas Tree

I took this video tonight of the 5 story special effects tree. It's only 2 minutes and 30 seconds long so it should be okay for dial-up (talking to you Bobbie - ya loser).

You'll Never Guess Where I've Been....

Yep, that's right. I went to Silver Dollar City again tonight. I am definitely getting my money's worth out of this year's season pass. Tonight I went with my best friend Bobbie and her two children, Janean and Cordell. We watched the parade, ate smores, did some shopping, took lots of pictures, etc. I'm not gonna bore you with the details because I have several SDC posts on here already. But, I do have a couple of pics to share. And yes, Bobbie, I am emailing these to you so you can use them as wallpaper. And also emailing them to your mom.



Friday, December 22, 2006

I Think I Made It

I believe that I am now officially done with my Christmas shopping. I was finally able to finish up my Dad's gift today and his was the last one I had left to get. I also managed to get my no bake cookies made today that Mom asked me to bring on Sunday. Everything that needed to be wrapped is wrapped and in the car. I think I made it.

A few days ago I didn't think I was going to be able to survive the hustle and bustle of the season, but everything has fallen into place since then. I even received the calendar I ordered for my sister. Don't worry, she doesn't like the internet and I've never told her I have a blog, so she won't see this. I got her a calendar that is personalized with pictures I took of her kids throughout the year. Walgreens.com lets you upload as many pictures as you want, then you choose your calendar design and go through and decide the layout of each page. You can also add personalized text showing birthdays and anniversaries. The calendar cost $19.99 before shipping & handling. I believe my final price was $27.xx, and it was well worth it. That's a unique, creative gift that I know she's gonna flip out over.

Okay, now that I've done some advertising for Walgreens, I'll get back on topic. As I was saying, I'm done. Going to meet some friend in Silver Dollar City tomorrow evening before I go to work. After I get off work Sunday morning I am heading straight down to my Dad's house for a Christmas breakfast and gift exchange with some siblings and neice and nephews. It's gonna be great. I hope that all of you have as much fun spending the holidays with your family as I'm going to have with mine.

Burger King's Xbox Games


Just in case any of you are interested in how good/bad these games may be - here's my opinion. Pocketbike racer is pretty challenging and the graphics are waaaay better than I expected them to be. Granted, I'm not saying they're great. Just that for a $3 game it's way above my expectations. The races are a lot of fun and you can even race against your buddies (or total strangers) online.

BigBumpin is a total blast. There are different types of games you can play with bumper cars, my favorite of which is the hockey style game. It's crazy fun to have 4 players playing red team against blue team and slamming into each other chasing the puck.

Sneak King I have not yet played. I did buy it, but I've had so much fun with the other two that I haven't gotten around to even opening it yet. But I'm sure it's also going to be a great game. I am very impressed with the quality of all three of these games and I can honestly say that each purchase I made was the best $3.99 I've spent in a long time. I highly recommend these games for any Xbox owner out there, because the fun-factor is unbelievable.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

iPod Owners, Beware!

I have a 60G video iPod which is one of my most prized possessions. I am protective of it almost to the point of absurdity. Couple that fact with the knowledge that I have just spent a solid 8 hours of my time repairing, reformatting, and reinstalling thousands of music files to an iPod that crashed big time yesterday and you might see why I decided to warn you guys in advance of a possible problem.

Luckily for me, the iPod that crashed yesterday wasn't mine. Unluckily, the iPod that crashed that wasn't mine, was in my possession at the time the major breakage occured. See, I had a friends iPod because she was seriously lacking in music and I have an abundance. So, I brought hers home with me so that I could beef her music selection up again. I have actually hacked my iPod with a program that allows me to transfer my music to any pc and transfer music off of anyone elses pc to my iPod. Shhhh! Don't tell Apple!

She told me when she sent her player home with me that it wasn't charged. So, I decided the first thing I would do is get it all charged up before I began. I plugged it into the computer and iTunes opened up like normal. But a notice immediately popped up that a new firmware version was available for her iPod. I chose to download it, realizing that my friend is bad with computers and probably had needed to upgrade the firmware but maybe didn't know how. I could do this for her. So I did.

Then I noticed that after the firmware upgrade was complete, her list of songs never showed up in iTunes. So, I disconnected the iPod and reconnected it to allow iTunes to refresh it's connection. Now her songs popped up correctly. But wait, there are little exclamation points next to each song title. I click on one to play it and get a message that the "file cannot be found". ????? So, I click on several more random songs and get the same message. Wow, does she really have this many corrupt songs on here? Where did she get these, maybe she downloaded some corrupt files.

Soon I realize all her files give the same message. I look over at her iPod screen (which I had never done yet) and notice a warning icon on the screen instead of the usual "do not disconnect" flashing message. ????? Apparently her iPod doesn't work right. Something is wrong. I start looking up info on the internet about technical help with iPods and discover that a whole lot of people are having a huge issue with their players right now. Some are unable to find their files (like the one I broke), some are unable to sync up with the pc, some are not recognized by the computer, some give a "read/write failure", etc., etc., etc.

Basically, what it boiled down to is that recently a new version of iTunes was released (Version 7.0) and a new firmware version for the iPods was released (Version 1.2.1). No one is real sure exactly which of the two is the main problem, but somehow one, or possibly both, of these upgrades is causing the players to crash. Yet amazingly, Apple has not yet released any type of fix for the issue their upgrades have caused - or even acknowledged it in any way that I could find. People who were having these major issues were posting on forums from as far back as September that their machines were crashing after the upgrades. I think I finally got the one I broke restored, but it sure did take a lot of work. Don't get me wrong - I'd rather spend hours working on fixing it than spend the money it would have taken to replace it for my friend.

Either way, let this be a warning to you. Do not upgrade your iPod or your iTunes for a while. It could cause some serious damage. And really piss you off. And scare you into thinking you're going to have to spend a lot of money to buy a new one. If your iPod is working, don't try to fix it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Catholic Priest Accused Of Sexual Misconduct....25 Years After Death

According to an article in the Monett Times, Father Eugene Deragowski, has been accused of sexual abuse involving a minor. Father Deragowski served at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church of Pulaskifield, MO from 1965 to 1971. During his service there, there are no records of him being accused of any type of misconduct. He passed away in 1981 and in October of this year the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau received the accusation of sexual abuse.

The Diocese has met with the complainant and followed all proper procedures required to handle such a claim, including contacting the appropriate law enforcement agencies. I just thought this was an interesting case because of the timing involved.

The Freedom Tower

Yesterday, two 25-ton steel columns were erected at the former site of the World Trade Center. Construction of the Freedom Tower has now begun. The tower will be 1,776 feet high and is expected to be opened in 2011.

You won't find me having very many strong opinions on this website because I try not to use this space to beat you to death with my feelings and beliefs. However, I do have an opinion about the Freedom Tower. I hate it.

I strongly believe that as soon as the rubble was finally cleared from Ground Zero, construction should have began to replace the Twin Towers with exact replicas of what they used to be. Not to have offices and people in them ever again, but simply to show the terrorists who took them away that this is America and we will not be forced to cower and change our ways out of fear. The same size and height, the same skyline symbols that they used to be, with the biggest American Flag ever created flying from the top of both buildings. That's what should be in that spot. That is how we should honor the people who died there. Those people never saw the Freedom Tower, how is that supposed to become their symbol. They died in the Twin Towers, so let the Twin Towers become their memorial. We are the greatest country on this earth, but by building a park and a Freedom Tower I believe we are showing the world that the terrorists have us scared.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Is Gaining On Me

I started off so good this Holiday season, I just knew I was getting everything accomplished early. But alas, I am officially "behind schedule". I do not have everything purchased, I do not have every item wrapped, I haven't even bought ingredients yet for the stuff I'm supposed to make.

My blog is suffering because of my ineptitude. Christmas is not only gaining on me, it is getting ready to run me over. I apologize for the gap in posts here. I just simply have not had time. But rest assured, tomorrow night I go back to work and while I'm stuck at my desk I have plenty of time. So, I will post more then.
Until then, I have to get back to wrapping gifts.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Congratulations Bobbie!

Today, my best friend graduated from MSU here in Springfield with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. Today also marked the end of her first week as a state employee because she is so damn smart she has already been hired into her professional field.

I will not reveal Bobbie's true age, but let's just say she's not young. LOL. Actually she's only in her mid-30's, but she went back to college and earned her degree while working full-time and being a single mother. In fact, 2 years ago she earned her Associates Degree while working 56 hours a week. Bobbie and I used to work together and in our early 30's we convinced each other to return to college. Both of us had attended before, but had never finished because life happened. I took the easy way out and chose an Information Technology degree that I completed in 2 years. But Bobbie is in for the long haul. Now that she has received her Bachelor's, she will be taking a small break to concentrate on her new job for a while. But she will soon be working towards her Masters Degree and is considering getting a PhD. I'm hoping she does, because I wanna call her Dr. Bob.

Anyway, Congratulations Bobbie! You worked hard, you sacrificed much and YOU DID IT. I knew you could. I am proud of you.

As soon as I get a chance, I will add a picture of the graduate here - unless, of course, she tells me not to.

**UPDATE** Posted picture as promised

Well, It Was Bound To Happen

Nintendo has just announced that they are recalling 3.2 million wrist straps for their new Wii remote controller. The current wrist straps have a diameter of 0.024 inches and can be exchanged at any local Nintendo service-center for a new wrist strap which measures 0.04 inches in diameter.

The recall came about after several users reported having the controllers fly out of their hands during gameplay and cause damage to tv's, walls, and even people. What I can't figure out is that most of the instances where damage occurs mentions that users have lost their grip on the remote, or actually hit a person, wall, or coffee table while swinging the remote. But so far, I've only read one story that actually confirms a wrist strap breaking and the user admitted that she glanced the controller off of the coffee table during one of her moves. After contact was made with the coffee table, then the wrist strap broke. So why does Nintendo have to spend so much time and money replacing wrist straps? Does anyone know how many people who have lost control of the remotes were even using the wrist strap?

Oddly enough, all of these stories about injuries and damages have not hurt sales of the Wii console. In fact, the publicity seems to be having more of a positive effect than a negative one. The reports make it obvious that the games are so fun it is easy to get a bit carried away. And we all know that the fun factor is the most important part of a gaming system.

Santa Claus Fell And Broke His Leg...

on December 3 after the 52nd annual Nixa Christmas parade. In a strange coincidence, so did Nixa City Alderman, Steve Tallaksen. No one is sure how Alderman Tallaksen suffered his injury, but several witnesses watched in horror as Santa fell from the back of the fire truck he had been riding on.

The strange happenings continued as both men spent about 5 days in the same St. John's hospital room and both broke their femur in 4 places requiring a rod, pins and screws to set the leg. Reports are that the hospital was flooded with calls from children expressing their concern for Santa, but I am unsure how many phone calls Mr. Tallaksen received.

Both men are on the road to recovery and Santa wants to ensure everyone this will not disrupt Christmas in the least. He encourages all children to remain being good boys and girls and to expect him as normal on Christmas.

Alderman Tallaksen, however, doesn't have the advantage of the magical qualities that Santa possess, and he must not put any weight on his leg for at least 30 days. I wish both men a speedy recovery and I hope they both have a SAFE holiday.

article here

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Fudge

INGREDIENTS
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
DIRECTIONS
In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with EAGLE BRAND® and vanilla, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat. Add peanut butter chips; stir just to distribute chips throughout mixture.
Spread evenly into wax paper lined 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into squares. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lamar Hunt Dies - What A Depressing News Week

Chiefs founder, AFL pioneer Lamar Hunt dies

"Lamar Hunt was a sportsman. A visionary. An entrepreneur. A gentleman. And a bit of a rebel.

Hunt, founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and one of America’s most innovative and creative sports figures of the past half-century, died about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday at a Dallas hospital of complications from prostate cancer. He was 74.

Hunt’s decision to relocate the Dallas Texans of the fledgling and struggling American Football League and rename them the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963 helped establish the region as a major-league community and ensured big-time sports would continue here for generations to come.

His belief in Kansas City was rewarded by the club’s appearance in two of the first four Super Bowls, with the Chiefs winning the NFL championship in 1970."


...rest of article here

Christmas Program

Tuesday night I attended a Christmas program at Southwest R-5 in Washburn, MO and unfortunately I have to report that it sucked. The program featured K-6 grade and in theory was very cute. All about Santa, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and his elves going to Branson and performing in a theatre to make some extra money so that he doesn't have to close his toy shop. Okay, well it was kinda cute, but not really.

Anyway, none of that mattered at all because of the absolutely irritating way the whole program was handled. First of all, that's a lot of kids to feature in just one night. They should have seperated them K-3 and 4-6 or something and had two concerts on two separate nights. But they didn't. So the first problem that was encountered was the traffic and parking, both of which was a total nightmare. I don't know exactly how many students there are in K-6, but it sure did make for an outrageous number of parents and grandparents.

The second problem was the fact that the event took place inside a full-sized basketball gym and the kids were placed on their knees on the floor in front of the stage at the north end of the building, while the viewers were seated in the bleachers (and some limited folding-chair floor seating) around the gym floor - but not past the half-court line. So, picture yourself sitting at half court and trying to see a tiny 4 foot person among hundreds of other little people sitting underneath the far basket. Now that you can see how difficult it would be to spot your child, imagine you are not one of the lucky few who got the closest seats. Now picture yourself underneath one of the baskets trying to see the little people seated on their knees under the opposite basket.

Most annoyingly of all, the only lights on in the entire gymnasium were the two lights directly above the kids. I guess they thought this would focus more attention on the kids, but what it really did was make all cameras and videocameras ineffective. Even though I got there 30 minutes early, I was already stuck at the far end of the bleachers and even though my digital camera could zoom in on the kids good enough to actually recognize them, the surrounding darkness sucked up my flash so quickly that I couldn't even get a good picture of the back of the head in front of me. Before the show started I even walked down onto the floor and stood at the closest point they would let me go and tried to snap a picture. It looked like I was shooting through lake water. I was so pissed off at this point I could have screamed. So, I stumbled back through the darkness to my seat and mumbled to myself through the entire program that it sure would be nice to be able to see or hear anything.

A lot of the older people had trouble with the darkness too. The gym was over-crowded, with people lining the walls and cramming the entrances because all available seats were full, and the older people were having trouble watching where they were stepping or even seeing where they were going. It was kind of a safety hazard in my opinion. But not as much of a safety hazard as what occurred after the program was over. See, when the students first arrived at the gym they had to meet up with their classes on the floor and get into the proper position. This, of course, meant that none of them were with their parents when the parents picked a place to sit. Are you following me here? The kids had no idea where their parents were sitting. And it's dark. Real dark. And they are way far away from the audience.

After all the singing was done, the elementary principle made a few announcements, thanked several people for helping and then told the kids to go find their parents. Without turning the lights on first. Picture hundreds of small children surging forward into the darkness not having any idea where they are going. Now picture hundreds of parents trying to descend down onto the floor from 3 different directions, trying not to trip and die in the darkness. Can you see what havoc this might create? I was there to watch my neice Jessica (4th grade), my nephew Charlie (1st grade) and Cordell (3rd grade). My mom and my brother & sister-in-law were right beside me. We were at the top of the bleachers near the entrance. I guess I should tell you that it is a gym you step down into. When you walk in the doors you are at the top of the bleachers and the floor is sunken. So, we stayed at the top in our spots so we could watch the doors and the floor for the kids. Cordell and Jessica, being in 3rd & 4th grade had been seated near each other and were smart enough to stick together and calmly look for us. I spotted Jessica first and got her attention. Her and Cordell came right to us.

But we can't find our little first grader, Charlie. About that time, my brother spots Charlie getting pushed out the doors in a wave of people. I'm not even joking when I say that. If anyone had fallen, they would have been trampled to death for sure. I guess because of the traffic congestion problems and the fact that people were already pissed about the whole thing, parents were grabbing their kids and just pushing and running towards the doors. I've never seen such chaos. I was closest to the entrance so I had to jump in there and try to find Charlie. I'm a pretty big girl, so I was able to bully my way through the crowd and discovered Charlie in the lobby pressed up against a wall. I grabbed his hand and put him behind me as I turned against the tide and shoved my way back through a wall of people. It was the most retarded thing I have ever seen. I cannot believe the principle didn't know better than to release the kids on their own all at once like that. What she should have done is had their teachers just take them back to their classrooms and after they were all out of the gym, release the parents to go to their classrooms and get them. Now I'm mad all over again just thinking about it. I normally love this school, but this is one time where I am ashamed of the way things were handled.

The Million Dollar Homepage

Have you guys ever seen this? Apparently it made news a year ago this month, but I just accidentally stumbled across it during the weekend.

The 21 year old who created the website was a millionaire just a few short months after he first hatched the idea. What he did was registered the domain name and began selling pixels to his friends and family. There are a million pixels on the page and a minimum purchase of $100 is required (that would be a 10 x 10 square of pixels). The design or logo which was placed on the purchased pixels would act as a link carrying visitors to the advertised spots. After the first $1000 dollars was made from people he knew, he spent money on advertising and the whole thing just started snowballing out of hand.

Pure genius! I am jealous that I cannot ever think of anything quite so clever.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle Dies - I Loved This Guy

Peter Boyle, Ray Romano's TV dad, dies at 71

"Actor Peter Boyle, who played the Creature in Mel Brooks' hilarious Young Frankenstein and most recently was Ray Romano's TV dad on Everybody Loves Raymond, has died at age 71.
According to news reports, Boyle had been suffering from myeloma (tumours arising in the bone marrow) and heart disease.

He passed away on Tuesday night at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Boyle, who was born in 1935, had a stint in the army and later was a monk for three years before turning to acting. According to Zap2It.com, he took mostly stage roles and won fame in the 1970s' movie Joe in which he played an angry bigot.

Not wanting to be associated with violent roles, he tried his hand at comedy with hilarious effect in the Brooks film. Numerous film and TV roles followed, ranging from fare like Taxi Driver to fluff like Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

Boyle was nominated seven times for an Emmy for his work on Raymond but never won. In the mid-90s, he bagged an Emmy for one of The X-Files' best-ever episodes, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, as an insurance salesman who could see anyone's moment of death.

Boyle is survived by his wife Lorraine and their two daughters."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

SDC...Again

For the second Sunday in a row, I got a chance to visit Silver Dollar City during their "Old Time Christmas" celebration. Last week with my mother, this week with my brother Scott, my sister Wendy, and Emma, Marshall and Dillon who are my neice and nephews. I know it's confusing, but none of these people are related to my mom so that is why we didn't all go together.

Anyway, the city was a little busier this week than it was last week but was still truly enjoyable despite the increase in visitors. It's something Wendy takes the kids to every year, but that didn't stop them from being in awe of the lights and decorations. It's always a great experience to witness things through the eyes of a child.

Wildfire, PowderKeg and Fire In The Hole were some of their favorite stops, but we also went to see SDC's presentation of "A Christmas Carol". I had seen it last week, but enjoyed it so much I was more than willing to see it again. The show is about an hour long (so is the wait to get in the door) and I was concerned that maybe the twins would get a little bored with it. It is, after all, a musical and I normally wouldn't expect 10 year old boys to enjoy that. But everyone absolutely loved it, especially Dillon. I don't want to give anything away about the production because if you haven't seen it you need to be surprised, but they especially liked the ending. After seeing it twice in a week, I really must insist that anyone who is able to go should definately check this show out. It's amazing.

While at the park we enjoyed hot chocolate with "the works", giant chocolate-chip cookies that were served warm, corn dogs and french fries and, of course, a funnel cake. We took lots of pictures and truly enjoyed being together. In the following pics we have Emma first, then Marshall and last, but not least, Dillon.





I Still Hate Spiders

I am an arachnaphobe and I am very serious about it. I fear spiders way more than I fear snakes or other things most people are typically scared of. So, I was all excited when I spotted the MSN headline "Woman bitten by spider loses 10 lbs. of skin". I was not excited because a woman was injured, I am sorry to hear about her ordeal, but because most people think it is silly to be afraid of spiders and this story would have helped me prove there is a reason to be scared.

Unfortunately, I am dedicated to trying to ensure my blog entries are accurate, so before I typed up a huge "spiders suck" post, I decided to read more stories about the incident to get all of the facts correct. And what I found was this article - "Creeping suspicions about story of hobo spider bite". Apparently, the hobo spider has never really been known to cause such a severe injury before, so no one is positive that's what happened. But this second article does mention the seriousness of a brown recluse bite (which we have an abundance of in this area) and the fact that black widows can be fatal.

So, I still have a legitimite reason to be terrified of spiders. And trust me when I say I am. All spiders, any size. And their webs. Nothing is worse than walking to your car at night and hitting a spider web across the face. I immediately lapse into screaming hysterics.

Some of you may share my fear of spiders, some of you may be laughing and making fun of me. But, I am not scared of worms, crickets, cute little furry mice, etc. So, don't make too much fun of me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Grrrr.....

Do me a favor people. Try and remember I work 3rd shift, so my days and times get a little skewed. I need you guys to remind me of important area events. I had wanted to try and attend the Springfield Christmas parade, but unfortunately I forgot all about it. I spent the day sleeping, doing dishes and washing a load of laundry. I do believe the parade would have been much more enjoyable.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Do You Like Caves?

Recently, the Caverns Of Sonora in Texas was vandalized. This show cave is a National Natural Landmark and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful caves in the world. It's most known for the world-famous Butterfly Formation. But now, the Butterfly Formation has been damaged. Maybe irreversibly.

Read a news article about the vandalism (complete with before and after pictures) here.

If you are someone who enjoys visiting "show caves" and you believe that all caves should be protected from damage, read this to offer some help.

Are You Serious?

Apparently, the new Nintendo Wii video game is starting to catch some flack because the remote/controller that the user holds onto and moves to interact with the game console has flown out of peoples hands and caused damage to several TV's as well as posing a threat of bodily harm to other people who may be nearby.

Are you serious? This is considered a safety-hazard? Really? Now Nintendo has to either redesign the remote or the wrist strap attached to it to ensure it can be held onto easier. Or they have to make sure consumers are educated about how to correctly handle their Nintendo Wii remotes so that this type of potential hazard ceases to exist.

My head is spinning. This is how we end up with all those stupid warning labels like a can of mixed nuts that warns it may contain nuts, or a hair dryer that tells us to never use it in the shower. How is it Nintendo's fault, or the Wii controller's fault, that it slipped out of your hands? If you were playing doubles tennis and got a little carried away and your tennis racket slipped out of your hand, flew towards your partner and bounced off of their leg would you blame the manufacturer of the racket? Would you need them to put a sticker on your tennis racket warning you about how to properly hold your racket? No, you wouldn't. In fact, if you are anything like me you would make sure your partner wasn't actually injured - then point and laugh at him.

I just don't understand how this is becoming a problem for Nintendo. I can't keep ahold of my car keys, I seem to drop them all the time. Maybe I should be mad at someone for it. Maybe someone should have educated me on how to properly handle my keys. Give me a break.

I Don't Understand

I don't understand. I never have understood. Someone please explain it to me - what the hell is so exciting about the mall that causes gangs of teenagers to congregate there? Maybe it's because they have the Great American Cookie Co. and no one can resist a big ole pizza-sized slice of chocolate gooey goodness (with yummylicious icing on top). Nah, that's why I go there but it's probably not what attracts the teenagers.

Perhaps they are all flocking to Starbucks. But then again, everytime I walk by there I see mostly women my age and we are nowhere near being teenagers. Besides, there are Starbuck locations all over town, so that's probably not it. What else could it be? Why do teenagers seem to spend so many of their peak social hours walking around the mall? Wait...that's it! Maybe they are just worried about their health and nutrition and have decided to become mall walkers to ensure they get proper exercise. Oops, I forgot mall walkers are usually old (and most kids don't worry about health and nutrition).

I know there are quite a few clothing stores that cater to the 12-25 age group. And there are also several stores dedicated to entertainment. There's even a Spencers (cool gift ideas) and a Hot Topic (one of my fave stores). Yet I don't ever see herds of teenagers inside the actual stores, I just always see them walking. And they're always grouped up, making it impossible to get around them if you happen to come up behind them. Making it impossible to pass by them without veering out of their way if you happen to be walking towards them.

Why do they travel in packs like that? I understand not going to the mall by yourself, who would want to? You need a friend or two, sometimes even three, to go with you and help you decide which pants DO NOT make your butt look big. But these teens travel with an entire posse. We're talking like groups of 10 or 12 kids walking along together, looking like the Jesse James gang with their long black trenchcoats. It seems to me it would be more fun for them to meet their friends at the movies, or maybe go bowling. They could each spend $5 and play old-school video games all night at 1984. Do something other than make me ponder their existance in the mall, because you know what? I don't understand it.

You've probably guessed by now that I had to make a trip to the mall today. I went to JC Penny's and picked up a Christmas gift, then I went to Sears to make a payment on my charge card. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? All the teenagers there thought it was.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Random Thoughts I Had Today

It's too freakin cold to run errands, I'll do them tomorrow.

Awesome, Chuck came over to play.

I need to buy diswashing liquid.

Transferring contacts over to a new cell phone really sucks ass.

Must remember to take DJ's book back to him and pretend I actually read the whole thing.

Why is it that when I go Christmas shopping I always find more stuff for me than I do for anyone else?

I work in the coldest office in the history of the world!

I need to remember to get some more lotion for all of my winter skin.

Yummy....eggnog.

My sister is going to love her gift.

Saints Row is a pretty kick ass video game.

Cake Balls


I have not tried this recipe yet, but it sounds absolutely wonderful. I would probably use the cream cheese cake icing, but here's the recipe in its original form:

Original recipe yield: 3 dozen
PREP TIME 40 Min
COOK TIME 30 Min
READY IN 1 Hr 10 Min

INGREDIENTS
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (16 ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting
1 (3 ounce) bar chocolate flavored confectioners coating
DIRECTIONS
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
Melt chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.

Finishing The Branson Story

So, I mentioned yesterday that I would tell you guys more about my trip to Branson earlier this week. What I didn't realize at the time is that there's really not much left to tell. After leaving Silver Dollar City on Sunday night, we ran down to the new Branson Landing to see all the pretty lights and freeze our butts off by walking amongst all the closed stores.

Then we headed back to the hotel and got all warm and cozy in our pajamas. Mom made fun of me because I always completely destroy hotel beds when I sleep in them. I don't know why, but I hate sleeping under a sheet. Blankets only for me, thank you! I also hate sleeping in a bed where the covers have been tucked into the sides. It seems to make it harder to toss and turn, which I do a lot of. So, while Mom simply turned back the covers on her bed and hopped right in, I had to rip everything completely off of mine and then grab the blanket off of the floor to curl up under.

I had not been to sleep since before I went to work Saturday night. In fact, I got up at 3:30 Saturday afternoon, so by 09:30 Sunday night after walking up and down the hills in Silver Dollar City, I was ready to go to sleep. Mom, of course, had only been up since Sunday morning and was not as tired as I was. She had turned the TV on and was watching the National Finals Rodeo. It only took me a few minutes to start dozing off, but I was apparently curled up in a way that prevented her from seeing that my eyes were closed because I would feel myself start to fade out and she would say something like "boy, he didn't stay on that bull long, did he?" I was trying to be polite and not ignore her so I would answer her even though I hadn't seen anything. "Yep, that was pretty short."

Silence for several minutes. I was starting to dream when suddenly I hear "That guy will be lucky if he didn't break a bone, won't he?" I try to snap myself back awake long enough to reply "Yeah, that looked pretty painful." In reality, I hadn't even seen what she was talking about. Then several more minutes of silence would pass and the old familiar grogginess of sleep would invade my head again. Suddenly there's "Wow. That was a good ride. I bet he's in first place, don't you?" I scramble for some sort of coherent answer. "Yep" is all I could come up with. I close my eyes again and try to remember what I was beginning to dream about when I hear "That bull stepped on his leg, do you think he's OK?" Once again, I wake myself up long enough to try and politely answer her. But all I could do was laugh. I rolled over towards her bed and giggled while asking her to please shut the heck up because I was trying to sleep. She laughed back and said that would explain why it kept sounding like I was snoring. Then she turned the lights and TV off and the rest of my night was good.

In the morning we had breakfast at Denny's and then spent the day participating in much shopping madness. Before heading home we filled our bellies at Cracker Barrel and that concluded our time in Branson.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kids And Their Damn Shoes

I love kids, I really do. And I actually spend quite a bit of time with kids. I'm sure you noticed how many of my posts have been about neices and nephews and the like. It's almost unnatural how much I end up hanging out with children when you consider I don't actually have any.

Of course, as much as I enjoy these small people, it is difficult to spend so much time around them and not have a few complaints. Right now I'm trying to figure out what is with kids and their damn shoes. They always take them off immediately upon entering the house. Why? The minute a kid steps into my house (which is always before me because I am a nice adult and hold the door for them while they take their time actually getting to the door because they are petting the dog or looking at a shiny rock that has only been in the driveway for YEARS), off come the shoes. A lot of times shoes are kicked off in the entryway just so that I can have the added bonus of tripping over them on my way in the door carrying all of the child's belongings because the child already had 1 hand full and could not possibly carry anything else.

But, it's not the tripping over shoes that irritates me. It's the fact that they are not on the kids feet. I mean, do children assume that walking in the door of my house means they are there to stay for unlimited hours? I am usually a very busy person. I do a tremendous amount of running around. Sometimes, small people are at my house simply because I am actually transporting them elsewhere but I needed to take 10 minutes to check my email. It's amazing how fast shoes can be kicked off, yet nothing at all is fast about the process of putting them back on. First the child has to untie the triple knot they wittingly jumbled their shoelaces into. Then, the socks need to be adjusted for comfort multiple times. Then the foot is placed into the shoe, but not correctly because the child is too busy staring at the cartoons I never said they could turn on. And then finally, even though the shoes were previously in triple knots, the little people can't figure out how to tie even a single knot that will actually stay.

Still, all of this is not the main thing that irritates me. It's just that I don't understand why they think I might not need something. I mean, I don't take my shoes off until it's pajama time because I know I may need to go outside and smoke a cigarette to escape the kid. Or I may decide I don't want to cook dinner so I need to run into town to grab us some hamburgers. Whatever may come up, I am prepared for immediate flight because I have my shoes on.

Just the other day, I was sitting in the recliner with my shoes on like a responsible adult and decided I needed Cordell to go to my car for me and find an item I desperately needed at the time. But of course, the kid had no shoes on AND he was watching cartoons. Sheesh! It took him 10 minutes to get all his stuff together just so he could go 20 feet out the door and fetch my purse for me from my front seat. And as soon as he came in (act surprised) he took his shoes off. By the time I finally got my purse I could have made 17 trips back & forth to my car. Maybe I should keep several pairs of kid-sized slip-on houseshoes in the living room so that I won't have to be so inconvenienced next time.

Silly Kids! (I still love them)

New Ways To Help Soldiers

Mom collecting Silly String for troops in Iraq
By REBECCA SANTANA
Associated Press
In an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes it's the simplest ideas that can save lives. Which is why a New Jersey mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.

American troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver of Stratford, Camden County, learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq. Before entering a building, troops squirt the plastic goo, which can shoot strands about 10 to 12 feet, across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.

Now, 1,000 cans of the neon-colored plastic goop are packed into Shriver's one-car garage, ready to be shipped to the Middle East thanks to two churches and a pilot who heard about the drive. "If I turn on the TV and see a soldier with a can of this on his vest, that would make this all worth it," said Shriver, 57, an office manager. The maker of Silly String, Just for Kicks Inc., of Watertown, N.Y., has contacted the Shrivers about donating some.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said soldiers and Marines are not forbidden to come up with new ways to do their jobs, especially in Iraq's ever-evolving battlefield. In other cases of battlefield improvisation in Iraq, GIs have bolted scrap metal to Humvees in what has come to be known as "Hillybilly Armor " and have welded old bulletproof windshields to the tops of Humvees to give gunners extra protection.

Medics use tampons to plug bullet holes in the wounded until they can be patched up. Also, soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around their rifle muzzles to keep out sand.

In an October call to his mother, Army Spc. Todd Shriver explained how his unit in the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi had learned from Marines to use Silly String on patrol to detect boobytraps. After sending some cans to her 28-year-old son, Shriver posted notices in her church, St. Luke's in Stratford, and in its newsletter. From there, the effort took off, with money and silly string flowing in.

Shriver said she and her husband, Ronald, 59, a retired salesman, will continue the campaign as long as her son is overseas and she has Silly String to send. "I know that he's going come through this," she said. "I hope they all do."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spending Time In Branson

After I got off work Sunday morning, I headed down to my mother's house, loaded her up and headed over to Branson to enjoy some Christmas spirit and do some much-needed Christmas shopping. We checked into our hotel @ 01:00pm and dropped off our baggage before heading over to Silver Dollar City. Both of us were wearing plenty of layers to combat the cold weather and since "the City" was not very busy it turned out to be an excellent night to go.

I finally got to see their production of "A Christmas Carol" and truly enjoyed it. I had seen the live play before, but never at SDC. But, the main reason I go to the city at Christmas is to experience the lighting of the five-story Special Effects Christmas Tree. I don't know why, but I am drawn to that tree like a moth to a flame. I go and see it every year during the holidays and even though I've seen it before I can't take my eyes off of it. One of the reasons is that "Carol of the Bells" is my fave Christmas song and one of my all-time favorite songs period. The version of the song they use for the tree is the best version I've ever heard.

Anywho, I'll post more about the other things we did on our Branson trip a little later. For now, here's a few pictures of Silver Dollar City:




Sunday, December 03, 2006

BTW...

Here's a pic of my neice Emma walking on her hands along the parade route.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Redneck Christmas Parade

Tonight I went to the Christmas Parade in Cassville, MO to watch my neice do tumbling with her gymnastics team. Now, Cassville is where most of my family lives so I have been attending their Christmas parades ever since I was a little girl. But now that I am a resident of the "big" city of Springfield, it struck me how redneck the little hometown parade must seem to outsiders. Maybe not necessarily Springfieldians, because we are surrounded by small towns, but certainly people from St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, etc. have never seen parades that featured these types of things:




Want To Work In A Prison?

If you're in the Health care field and you feel like living dangerously, now's your chance. The Fed Med here in Springfield is holding a job fair. They are looking to hire registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurses' assistants and dialysis technicians. The job fair will be held on-site at the prison in the Staff Development Center outside the security perimeter gate. The entrance is off of Kansas Expressway.

I guess if you worked at a federal prison which has been known to house some of the most mental criminals of our time, you would always have a good story to tell at parties. I mean, the Fed Med has been home to people like John Gotti (mobster), Timothy McVeigh (OKC bomber), Ramzi Yousef (1993 World Trade Center bomber) and I've even heard rumours that Charles Manson has spent time there.

Friday, December 01, 2006

New Template

Okay, obviously I am trying out a new blog template. What I would really like to do is someday be able to design my own, but I have yet to learn CSS so I am stuck just using the free designs Blogger offers. I am interested in what you guys think about the change. Is this one better than the old one? Let me know.

Also, if any of you guys feel like designing me a new one that's really spiffy I would love to let you.

On another note, I was able to hack my old template so that I could toggle comments on and off below the original post instead of viewing them on a seperate page. But the new template isn't coded like the old one was so I don't know what to change to toggle comments. If anyone is interested in helping me please email me and I will send you a copy of the template code so you can tweak it for me. Then I will talk greatly of you on my blog and make you a local celebrity.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres cracks me up. Really badly. Her and Kathy Griffin are my 2 favorite comedians ever. I know that's an odd combination because they have 2 very different styles, but what can I say *shrug* - they make me ROFLMAO.

So, the point of this story is that I am graciously accepting any donations of any Ellen DeGeneres products that you would like to give me. Simply email me at roseykrh@hotmail.com to arrange a time I can pick up my gift from you.

No?...not falling for that one, huh? Fine, I really am just writing about Ellen because I was attacked by insomnia yesterday morning and ended up being awake long enough to watch her talk show...weekdays @ 11:00 on KY3...and realized I wish I could stay up every day and watch her show. I am always impressed when celebrities give some of their time, money and fame to charity and Ellen is one of the most giving. Currently she is working with Coinstar to accept donations of your loose change through all of their coin machines throughout the nation. Just go to the machine, click on donate, choose the "Ellen fights Hunger" link and empty your pockets of change. 100% of all donations will go directly to America's Second Harvest in order to feed the hungry children and families here in our country this holiday season.

The coin collecting campaign kicked off on Wednesday's show when Ben Afflek donated over $1000 to get her started. On the episode I watched yesterday, before it ended Janet Jackson called in and told Ellen she loved the idea of donating her spare change so she had made a point of gathering up all of her spare change and wanted to donate it to "Ellen fights Hunger". All I know is, I wanna be Janet Jackson's maid, because she claims she raided the couch cushions and desk drawers and was able to donate $10,000 towards the charity. Of course, we know that didn't all come from her couch, a lot of it probably came from the console of her limo.

And this is just one of the many things Ellen is doing this holiday season and continues to do all year long. Next week she will be in New Orleans to do the official lighting of Jackson Square for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. She's a great hollywood role-model and she's pretty darn funny even while doing all these good deeds. Check out her website here for more information regarding all the charities she's involoved with.

Calling All Springfield Bloggers

As you can see on the right side of my page, I have an area dedicated to listing fellow Springfield bloggers. Basically I stole Larry Little's list several weeks ago and got rid of the ones that had not been updated in months.

But, just because my list came from someone else's page does not mean it is complete. Indeed, it may be that there are more of you out there whose links do not yet appear on my site. So, I am cordially inviting you to leave me a comment with a link to your Springfield blog and I will gladly add it to my list. Or, if you know of someone who has been left out you may submit their site for them.

Food For Thought...

A spatula-weilding tarantula is no help to a chicken with a flat tire.

Much Icy Madness

I knew yesterday's and today's weather was going to be rough...rain, freezing rain, rain/sleet/snow mix, etc. The weathermen definitely had me prepared for a variety of moisture today. But, I was expecting the snow to start falling earlier this evening than it actually did. Of course I also expected it to be sleeting when I got off work this morning, but it was still just rain at that time.

Once the sleet did start, I really didn't think we would get 9 or so hours of pure ice before the snow ever got here. The amount of ice on the ground was much greater than I anticipated. I am glad that yesterday I chose to park the new car in the garage and drive my trusty old 4WD Jeep Cherokee to work for the next few days. Not necessarily because of the 4WD aspect, but simply because I know there are always going to be idiots out running around and I would rather risk having an idiot run into my Jeep than into my new car. And before you start denying the existance of idiots in our lovely town I can prove it to you. I live well within city limits and I happen to live very near a golf course. This evening while standing on the front porch checking on the weather, I noticed there were 3 idiots doing donuts on the golf course with their 4 wheelers. There happens to be a 4 wheeler in my garage which my brother was desperately wanting to ride in the ice, but you can't ride them in town. Or at least most people can't!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Before Downloading

courtesy of MarriedToTheSea.com

Quite A Winter Thunderstorm

Wind damages theater in Branson
by Gene Hartley, KY3 News

BRANSON, Mo. -- High winds peeled the roof off part of a theater on Wednesday evening but the performers vowed to go on with the show. Elsewhere in Branson, police had reports of trees blown over and at least one power pole down.

About 6:45, just as people on buses were starting to arrive for a 7:30 show, wind blew the roof off the back of the Jim Stafford Theater. Cameras and other equipment used for special effects during the show are in that area.

One of the theater managers described the sights and sounds as "horrendous." A lot of audience members hadn’t arrived yet, but the staff had to work hard to get people away from windows.

Frantic calls went out to lumber stores for boards to cover the hole. Stafford planned to go on with the show, for an audience of about 800, even if it started late.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Help With Holiday Boredom

Since the holiday season is upon us, we will likely be spending way too much time with extended family members. Here's an article I found on wikihow.com that might be useful. Feel free to use this technique for anyone who bores you, not just your Dad.


How to Entertain Yourself When Your Father Tells the Same Old Tired Story:

As people age they tend to repeat stories a lot. This can be very annoying. Here are some tips on how to entertain yourself while your father is telling the same old tired story again.

Steps -
1. Choose one word and every time he says it, go "ding!" inside your head. Count how many "dings" you get.

2. Pick some fine point of the story and argue about it. Like, if he says that Uncle Felton like to eat hard boiled eggs a lot, say, "Really? Are you sure it wasn't soft boiled eggs? I could have swore..."

3. Play "Bait Dad" with other relatives. This is a game where you try to get him to say certain stories by baiting him. If he has a story about plumbers, you might say, "Boy have I been having trouble with that sink lately!" This can be a very enjoyable drinking game as well.

4. Eat chocolate.

5. Play a variation of "Bait Dad" called "Tangent." In this somewhat more challenging game you have to lead your dad from one story to the next, with no more than one or two transition sentences. This game is best played by advanced players.
Remind yourself of how much you will miss the old man when he's gone.

6. Imagine he is a character in a movie. Things that are just annoying in real life are often entertaining in movies, so imagine that he is acting from a script in a quirky independent film.

Things You'll Need
dad
family members make it more fun too

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Online Friends

Because of the Holiday season, and a few other things that have come up with the family, I have not had as much online time the past 2 weeks as I normally get. And it's because of this that I have began to realize how important my online friends are to me. Maybe it sounds silly to you guys that I could actually miss people I have never even met, but it's true.

There are several people, like Zach, Granny and a few other who have blogs that I am addicted to. There really hasn't been much interaction between myself and them, but if I don't get a chance to read their new postings I get a little anxious about what I may be missing. They are very important to me even if they don't know me.

Then there is Misty, who I have actually met in real life but don't get to see very often because of our schedules. Mostly we talk online at a local forum. If I don't get a chance to login and chat with her I feel like I'm really missing out on visiting with a friend. I will be really thankful when things change enough to allow me more time to actually hang out with Misty - and if you're reading this girl, you need to email me and catch me up on your life.

And there's Amy, who reads my blog and leaves comments and I read her blog and leave comments. For some reason, I feel like I really know Amy even though I have never met her. That sounds silly, but that's the way I feel. The weird thing is that I would love to have even more comments from and to Amy and maybe even several email conversations, but I am afraid to actually meet her in real life. I keep thinking how fun it would be to invite her and the kids to go do something, but at the same time I'm afraid that she'll say "yes" just as much as I'm afraid she will say "no".

But either way, I just wanted to let you guys know that I am so thankful I have online friends. If I weren't so shy and self-conscious I would invite you guys all to meet me (Misty didn't care, she elbowed her way into meeting me), but until then please continue being my online friends. I appreciate it so much.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Customer Support Jokes

You wouldn't believe how accurate these really are:
_____________________

Tech Support: "Where in the building is your printer located?"
Customer: "Middle of my desk."
Tech Support: "If I have to give someone directions, where do I tell them to go?"
Customer: "In the middle of my desk where I work."
_____________________

Customer: "It tries to log in and then gives this error number. I forget what it was...uhm...six one something? Or was it seven...? Four something? Or was it--"
Tech Support: "Ok. Open up 'Dial-Up Networking'."
Customer: "Ok. I double clicked on the icon on my desktop. It's now dialing."
Tech Support: "No sir. Click on 'cancel'."
Customer: "What? There's nothing here that says 'connect'. There's just a 'cancel' button."
Tech Support: "Click on 'cancel' please!"
Customer: "Oh, now it says it couldn't connect due to an error..."
Tech Support: "Click on 'ok' please."
Customer: "...of type 619. I can't click on 'cancel'. There is an 'ok' button."
Tech Support: (sigh) "Click on 'ok' then."
_____________________

Tech Support: "Ok, ma'am, do you see the button on the right hand side of your mouse?"
Customer: "No, there's a printer and a phone on the right hand side of my mouse."
Hmmmm.... Let's try a different approach.
_____________________

Tech Support: "Now I want you to click the right mouse button over the [ISP] icon."
Customer: "Yep."
Tech Support: "Did a menu appear with 'Properties' being listed at the bottom?"
Customer: "No! It just says [ISP], and there's two buttons, 'Connect' and 'Cancel'."
Tech Support: "Ok, let's just try again. You must have double clicked using the left mouse button. No problem, just click 'Cancel'. Now, I'd like you to click the button on the right of the mouse, not the left, and I'd like you to click it only once."
Customer: "Now it says 'Create Shortcut Here'!"
Tech Support: "Ok, click on 'Cancel'."
Customer: "Left or right button?"
Tech Support: "Left, please."
Customer: "Now what?"
Tech Support: "Ok, let's just try this again."
Customer: "All right then, one last time."
Tech Support: "Right, ok, please click the right mouse button over [ISP] and please try and keep the mouse still when doing so."
Customer: "Which button is the left button?"
Tech Support: "Not the left button!"
Customer: "Which one's that?!"
Tech Support: (groan, sigh, urgh)
Customer: "Oh, never mind. 'Properties' is listed."
___________________________

Tech Support: "I need you to click on the 'Start' button."
Customer: "Where is that?"
Tech Support: "It's on the bottom left hand corner of your screen."
Customer: "..."
Tech Support: "Did you find it?"
Customer: "Ahhh.... No. I don't see it."
Tech Support: "Look closely at your screen. In the bottom...left...corner."
Customer: "I don't see it. I only see button that says 'Control'."
Tech Support: "No ma'am, that's on the keyboard. The 'Start' button is on the bottom left corner of your screen. You know, the monitor. The thing that looks like a TV."
Customer: "Aaahhhh, yes!!! Ok."
Tech Support: "..."
Customer: "..."
Tech Support: "Well, did you find it?"
Customer: "No. I still only see 'Control'."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

Yep, I'm one of the idiots who always goes shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, and this year was no exception. Of course, this year I wasn't able to be at Wal-Mart at 4:15 am because I had to work until 7:00 am, but that didn't stop me from going once I got off work. I knew there was no point in trying to get any of the doorbusters that Wal-Mart had advertised because I had gotten such a late start, but I was determined to head over to Target and get some Christmas shopping done.

My sister Wendy and my best friend Bobbie met me at my house around 7:15 and we piled in together and headed that way. They had actually been in line at the James River Wal-Mart at 4:30 am and managed to grab the stuff they needed (in hindsight, I should have asked them to pick up the 1 item I really wanted). They were laughing about the crowds and the long lines and Wendy even had a story about some woman grabbing an item out of her hands. We weren't in a massive hurry because Target wasn't doing any doorbusters. In fact, their sale bill advertised their savings as a "2 day sale", so there was no need to rush. We decided to run into McDonald's real quick and have some breakfast.

After leaving McDonalds it was probably 7:45 and we headed down National towards Primrose on our way to Target. We were shocked to see the huge line of traffic that was backed up down Glenstone waiting to turn in to the parking lot. Because we came up Primrose from the other direction, we got a green arrow at the stoplight and got turned in pretty quickly. But parking was another story altogether. We noticed people were actually parking at Lowe's and walking over. I have no idea why the store was so crazy, they didn't have any doorbusters! But you couldn't tell it by walking inside. It was complete madness. I did manage to pick up some gifts (after fighting my way through the crowds), but some of the stuff that was in Target's toy ad last week and wasn't even on sale this week was already freaking gone. I just don't understand what happened.

Why was Target so busy? I don't know if I'll ever figure it out. Maybe the explanation is they were there for the same reason I was, the early morning stuff at the other stores was already gone, so why not head over to Target and check out their sale items. I don't know. I do know I was disappointed to discover they were sold out of the space age ant farms I had wanted to get for the twins. Maybe they will get more in stock since those weren't a sale item anyway. But, my day was certainly not ruined. I did find several gifts there as well as some stuff for myself. After we left we went to several other stores and had a good day. I decided to treat us all 3 to lunch at Hinodes (yummy!) and then even though I wanted to accompany them to the mall to continue shopping, I had to let them drop me off at my house so I could get some sleep and be ready for work tonight. I didn't get in bed until 12:30 this afternoon and had only 9 hours before time to be at work, but it was well worth it.

I had a good day, ate some good food, was with some of my favorite people, and managed to buy myself 16 DVD's at super low prices. What more could you ask for?

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great day for eating good food and spending time with family and friends. Lucky for me I got to do a lot of both of these things. But Thanksgiving is even better when the Chiefs beat the Bronco's. Woo Hoo. Go Chiefs!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spending The Day With Jessica


So today I got the opportunity to spend the day with my 10 year old neice Jessica because she stayed home from school sick. We spent all day laying on the couch, watching Disney movies and eating junk food. Then I spent some time laughing at her as she died repeatedly playing one of my spongebob games I have. That was fun for me, but probably not so fun for her.

Her dad's on his way to come get her now, so our time together is almost up. I figured I'd spend the last few minutes proving to her I really could post her picture on the internet. So, her it is.

Fassnight Park

So, I had never been to Fassnight Park before and I was really bored last Friday morning after I got off work and decided to check it out. I'm sure most of you are familiar with it, so I'm not gonna bother describing it for ya. But I will say I rather enjoyed it. Sure, it's not very big, but the rock footbridges and the creek are really pretty. Plus, it's a great place to do some bird and squirrel watching.
Also, I liked this photo I managed to snap while I was there.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

CARS!

A few days ago, I sat down with Cordell and watched the new Disney movie Cars. Cordell had already seen it in the theater months ago, but when it was released on DVD recently he just had to have it. I hadn't seen it yet, but I was sure it was going to be just as good as the others and I was not disappointed (Finding Nemo will never be topped - it was the best).

Cars was really cute and touching just like all Disney movies are. It was absolutely amazing to see how the animators did such a great job giving cars and trucks accurate facial expressions. The whole movie was simply delightful...for children. Don't get me wrong, it was delightful for me also; but I just couldn't help noticing that the Disney movie I was watching with an 8 year old was flirting with sexual content. Or maybe it was just me.

Help me decide - did the movie contain language which was meant to be interpreted a certain way by children and a completely different way by adults, or am I just a gutter-minded pervert? Here's an example of one of the lines in the film. This was spoken by Tow Mater, a tow truck played by Larry the Cable Guy, "Oh man, you get to work with Bessie! I'd give my left two lugnuts to work with something like that!"

Funny line? Yes, it is. I chuckled, it cracked me up. But then I realized that Cordell had laughed also. Not because he understood the implications I understood it to have, but because it was obviously setup to be a joke and he knew it was meant to be a joke, so he laughed. Now, I don't pretend to know much about other 8 year old boys, but I certainly know a lot about this one and he is a kid who likes to tell a joke. He "attempts" to make up jokes constantly. He thinks he's freaking hilarious. So, what would happen if he went to school, the teacher tells him to help Jenny do something and Cordell seizes the opportunity to crack up the class with this joke he heard yesterday. "I have to work with Jenny? I'd give my left two lugnuts to work with Ben instead." Is it funny then?

Now, I'm really not trying to give Disney a hard time here. I know they expect millions of small children to watch their films and they are smart enough to know that the small children cannot drive themselves to the theater or watch the movie by themselves. They understand they are going to have a lot of parents in the audience and they are trying to entertain both age groups. It makes sense that they would have to do that. But, I think the content that is obviously sexual in nature should be left out. We all know kids are nothing more than little parrots and love to repeat anything they hear - especially if they noticed you laughed the first time you heard it.

There were all sorts of other lines in the movies that were aimed at adults that I didn't have a problem with at all. For example:
Lightning McQueen: Wow, this organic fuel is great! Why haven't I heard about it before?
Filmore: It's a conspiracy, man! The oil companies got a grip on the government. They're feeding us a bunch of lies, man!

Lightning McQueen: I'm serious! He's won three Piston Cups!
Mater: [spits out fuel] He did WHAT in a cup?

Filmore: [looking at a stoplight blinking yellow] I'm tellin' ya, man, every third blink is slower.
Sarge: The '60s weren't very good to you, were they?


See, if a kid repeated any of the above, no big deal. So what's the point of putting the lugnut line in there?

Fun With Kids

Stolen from MarriedToTheSea.com (with permission of course)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wow! High Speed Internet Is Super Fast

I was slow to join the internet revolution of people having service at home. Not because I didn't want to, but because in the very rural area I hail from it took years before there was an ISP that wasn't a long distance phone call. But finally, one glorious day about 5 or 6 years ago I was able to have dial-up internet from my very own home. Sure it only offered a speed of 28.8 and didn't always work right in the rain, cold weather, or anytime after 5:00 on Friday and Saturday nights - but hey, I finally had it. And because everyone around me had the same ISP, I didn't really realize how slow it was for quite some time. Heck, I even managed to download music at a rate of 1 song in approx. 37 minutes.

Now, of course, I can't stand to use dial-up. I use high-speed at work and at my house in Springfield and I am addicted to how much sweeter that actually makes the internet. The DSL is hooked up to a wireless router and I am free to move my computer anywhere in my bedroom I want without tripping over cables. Life is good.

There have been the occasional problems, sometimes the wireless signal isn't very strong and one of us, or maybe all 3 of us, will have trouble getting pages to load. But overall, it's been really okay. I mean I'm comparing it to 5 years of dial-up so I think it's awesome.

Then on Thursday, my brother makes a casual comment about a spot on the carpet being caused by the SBC/Yahoo guy. "Why was the SBC guy here?" I ask. "They were checking out the lines to see why the internet acts up so much" he replies. And apparently they discovered that there is a problem with the lines. Not just the ones directly into our house per se, but apparently just the lines going out our direction. And they told him they are going to be immediately working on replacing them at any time. Now, I'm not sure if they already have that work completed or not, but I do know that the internet was not very accessible most of the day yesterday and when it finally reappeared last night it was freaking faster than it had ever been. This whole time I was so happy to be downloading songs in approx. 6 minutes compared to over 30, and suddenly last night I was downloading songs left and right at about 3 minutes each. All I can say is wow - high speed internet is super fast. Even faster than I already thought it was.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Playing In The Park

Last week my little buddy Cordell got a chance to come up and spend some time with me while his mom was busy in town. So, I took advantage of the fact that he had no choice but to go where I made him and dragged him around so I could take some pictures. It was nice having someone to talk to, even if he does talk about Pokemon way too much.

First, we went to Sequiota Park:

We checked out the caves -


Then we got friendly with the animals -


Cordell collected some pretty leaves -


After that we picked up Aunt Jordi and our four-legged friend Sadie and took them with us to Nathaniel Greene Park:

The fall leaves were beautiful that day, so I made them pose -

Happy Feet

Happy Feet opens in movie theaters tonight. This movie looks so adorable. Plus, Robin Williams plays 2 different characters in the film and he usually kicks ass in animated flicks. I won't get a chance to see it until Sunday, but you guys should all go check it out whether you have kids or not.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

When Did I Get So Bland

I have discovered that I love blogging. In fact, excluding the occasional time away from the keyboard, I am completely addicted to it. But sometimes I wonder why I bother. I mean, there are days when I look at my site and I think "how boring". Sure there are all sorts of news stories about a variety of subjects, I throw in a random recipe, some entries are about things going in my life. But overall, it's boring.

I don't know what happened. I used to be more passionate about things. There used to be certain subjects that I actually formed opinions on. Now it just seems like I live my life (not just my blog) in the neutral zone, trying my darndest not to offend anyone. For example, when did I start using the word "darndest"? What a bland word. There was a time not too long ago when I would have said "damndest". Not that I'm condoning using swear words, I am just using that as an example.

Oh man, did you see that? I just apologized for not really using a swear word.

That is exactly what I'm talking about. When did I get so bland. Not that there's anything wrong with trying not to offend people. But, where does it end? Why should I let it take my identity away from me? If you were a personal friend of mine and had known me for years, which would offend you more: reading a curse word in my blog or noticing I had changed and was never quite openly myself around you?

Or what if you are simply a loyal reader of my blog, curious about what new recipe I'm going to post this week, and suddenly you see a post where I rip apart a celebrity or admit my disgust with politics or maybe share a paragraph or two about stem cell research that is the complete opposite viewpoint of the one you have? Would that make you decide you no longer like me? Would it scare you away from my site? Or are most people capable of realizing that I can be a good person and not agree with them all at the same time?

I just can't figure out when I got like this. Is it a direct result of this blog? I know some of my family reads my posts. Am I worried they will spot something they don't like and no longer invite me home? No.

So what's my problem? I think it started with the blog, being aware that anyone can read it, trying to be careful not to upset anyone. But it seems to have carried over into my real life. I'm becoming bland on-line and off. And I don't like it. For one thing, I don't want people to finally figure out I'm getting old.

I do know it's been a strange year for me. Maybe that has something to do with it. I started a new job where I basically work by myself all night, I partially moved half of my life to Springfield, but also still live 2 hours away in Seligman. I've had a huge increase in income and an almost equal increase in my payments (but my new car is worth it!). I've just been all out-of-sorts this year. Nothing about me is settled. I live in 2 houses, own 2 cars and go to work by myself on weekend nights when the rest of the world is out watching movies and hanging with friends.
Plus, I now live with my brother, who for years I had only seen maybe 2 or 3 days out of every month. So that's awkward. He's a cool guy with cool friends so I'm constantly worried about not being dorky, which instead makes me act retarded.

The roommate I've had for several years in Seligman tells me she's so used to having the house to herself when I'm in Springfield 4 days a week, that now when I come home for my 3 days off it's weird having me there and I throw off her schedule. And why am I telling you guys all of this? I don't know. I just think maybe it's all sort of connected. Like my life is in such limbo that the only thing I have going for me is occupying my time with this blog. I want to build a huge audience and apparently I'm afraid to personalize my entries with anything that someone might not like. I'm an idiot.