Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year 2012

Yes, I'm making resolutions for 2012.

Yes, I'll probably abandon most of them by March.

Going through the motions anyway. :)

1. Get healthy & lose weight again.

2. Be more positive.

3. Volunteer somewhere.

4. Stop wasting money.

That should be more than enough to keep me busy this year. Can't wait to see how well I do.


Friday, December 16, 2011

My Stalker

Amazingly, someone found my blog posts about the training concerns I had and sent it to my new boss. What is the most amazing in this story is that I'm pretty sure it is the social media "expert" at my new company. It can't be a coincidence that 2 weeks after I started following the company twitter account, my blog is accessed and reported...for something I posted over a month ago?

No, I don't believe in coincidence. The person that manages the company twitter account saw that I followed the company, got my blog address from my profile and decided to check it out.

No big deal, blog is now private, tweets are protected and the company twitter account has been blocked. So sad that I have to do that because people don't want me to express my opinion. I didn't even list names of people or the company! Sad, really!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Here goes nothing...

Tomorrow, I go to the doctor to discuss several issues with my health & get blood work done to check all my levels. It is my sincere hope that I can start over tomorrow and lose this weight...again. The stress level is making the weight hang on for dear life so I'm going to have to really find a way to relax more and eliminate the stress from my life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A butter & chocolate diet for me!?

I've had arthritis since high school...brought on by my weekly volleyball games where I'd dive for any ball that was within 20 feet of me. I probably spent more time on my knees than a $2 hooker. :)

Anyway, at one point, I tore the cartilage in my knee and it's never quite been the same.

Lately, as my weight has yo yo'd up and down I've noticed that I've developed an occasional pain in my left big toe that makes it nearly impossible to even bend that toe. Forget about wearing heals, I can't get my foot in the correct position for that.

I've always suspected that I have gout, brought on by the extra weight that I carry. I'm pretty convinced of this because when I lost 90 pounds a few years ago, the pain went away.

Anyway, I've been doing some research and here is a list of foods that WebMD suggests to help deal with gout. The first few I can understand but how am I suppose to lose weight, as they suggest, if I'm eating butter, cheese, chocolate, sodas & peanut butter?

Foods that are safe to eat (low in purines):
  • Green vegetables and tomatoes
  • Fruits and fruit juices
  • Breads and cereals that are not whole-grain
  • Butter, buttermilk, cheese, and eggs
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages
  • Peanut butter and nuts
I'm totally ok with eating these items, the trick is to find that happy balance between calories and low purines. We'll see what we can do. A butter & chocolate diet it is! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dealing with disappointment

I know that children will eventually do things that disappoint their parents. What I didn't expect was a time when EVERY single action would throw me into an anxiety attack. I pray that someone can tell me a short bout of aggressiveness is normal for all teen boys & that it'll end quickly. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone will be able to give me any assurance that we'll both make it through this unscathed.

The timing couldn't have been much worse. 1 month into my new job & Josh has already been suspended from school twice, for a total of 9 days. Today was his first day back & I get a call that he's no longer allowed to ride the bus because of his behavior. How am I supposed to leave in the middle of the afternoon to pick him up?

Tomorrow I'm taking him to Crosspointe for counseling. I hope with all my being that we are able to find something that gets through to him. He doesn't even understand how many other people are impacted by his obnoxious behavior.

I'm at my wits end with him. I feel bad because I frequently feel like I wouldn't be upset if he were to move away & live with his dad or if he were to go away to boarding school. I don't like feeling that way but more and more often I wonder what would have happened if I'd never gone to Colorado, never gotten married, never had a child. How horrible that I have those thoughts...but I just can't help it!

I hope counseling will help us both.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Screaming at the rear view mirror will not make that guy tailgating you a better driver

On rare occasions, I turn over control to another person and ride in the passenger seat. I don't do it often because I get motion sickness easily and, frankly, I can't stand not being in control.

Lately, I've noticed that one particular driver I've ridden with has a terrible habit of yelling at her rear view mirror when another driver gets, what she thinks is, too close to her bumper. Granted, I've been known to "talk" to other drivers as we pass on the road but I've never actually looked at the mirror as if looking into their eyes when I do it.

Not to mention that this person often stops in the middle of a conversation inside the car to freak out on a driver who, not only can't hear her but, probably isn't as close to her bumper as she thinks.

At any rate, it makes me very uncomfortable and makes me want to reach over and smack her until she realizes how stupid she sounds. Yes, I have passenger road rage...I can't help it. Stupid drivers is one of my biggest pet peeves and it's so prevelent these days that I can barely function on the road without wanting to take a ball bat to a windshield.

I'm just kidding, I don't really have that much road rage...not all the time, anyway!

BBQ Pulled Pork...for dummies!

I'm not a good cook. I wish I was. I can follow a recipe if it's not too complicated but I'm not good at creating recipes or altering those that are already available. Today, I want to share my BBQ Pork recipe with all of you that are in the same boat.

Place the pork butt in the crockpot. I use boneless, rolled and try to buy them when they are on sale.

Dump in enough rotel tomatoes (with the juice) to almost cover the pork.

Add a regular sized bottle of BBQ sauce to the mix. I love Sweet Baby Rays!

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours depending on the size of your butt. :)
     *You'll be able to tell it's done when the meat falls apart when you poke it with a fork

Take it out, shred it with 2 forks (or cut it in small pieces if you prefer)
Toss it with a little more BBQ sauce and serve

Totally quick, easy and pretty much foolproof...unless you turn the crockpot on high & leave all day. That will ruin your dinner plans!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New job weight gain?!?!

On 9/19/11 I started a new job. The layout of the facility means I have to walk a decent distance to the entrance and up 3 flights of stairs to get to my desk. If I leave for lunch or go outside on break, I get the stair workout again. I was hopeful that this daily routine would help me get back on track with my weight loss.

Unfortunately, that is not happening. I have actually gained about 5 pounds since I went back to work and it's getting frustrating. I confess that I haven't been 100% faithful with food tracking & that is probably the biggest issue. But I have to wonder if the repetitive walking & stairs is causing my joints to retain more fluid than usual. The arthritis pain has been more noticeable than before and my left ankle is really feeling the strain.

Of course, it could also be the fact that, other than the "commute" from the car, I sit on my butt all day. I'm going to have to make a conscious effort to get up and walk around more. Maybe get out at lunch and walk a couple laps around the block. It would sure help the circulation if nothing else.

Not sure what else to try right now but I know I must keep better track of my food intake. First plan is to cut out regular soda. I've been drinking those a lot while in training and I need to cut back. Think I'll start at diet soda first & then slowly omit them entirely. I've been drinking tons of water at work, so I just need to continue that.

I think I might wear my heart rate monitor to work one day and see how many calories the walk & stairs really makes. May not be as much as I think. Here goes nothing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Snide or Clueless

Things that have been said to or around me lately that make me wonder if this person is just totally clueless or if they are being purposely snide & obnoxious.

"The muffins have whey protein in them. I would bring some in but they're for people that work out."

"I saw a picture of Heidi Klum the other day. She was looking BIG."

"I love to shop at ___ but their clothes aren't small enough."

"You don't go to the mall? But where do you buy clothes?"

"They brought donuts in for you guys." (Said as she was eating her yogurt & apple)

New Job Self-Service Training

Is this a new trend where companies sit new employees in front of a computer and tell them to train themselves via computer based training? I can see where using this for part of the training information can be helpful; however, I do not suggest this be the majority of the training program.

On September 19th, I started a new job and, what is scheduled to be, 6 weeks of training. So far, about 80% of it has been self taught. Don't get me wrong, I don't need constant supervision and I like to have some time to review and learn on my own but we spent 6+ days working on the same set of curriculum. It took me less than 1/2 a day to get through the computer based training so the rest of the time I was left to "practice" in the system and find my own way to learn other things about the system we will  be using. A couple of us actually started making copies of live purchase orders from the other reps so we could practice what we will be doing once we get out of training.

I don't know about anyone else but we need more training intervention to keep the entire group on track and at the same pace. Because we weren't all progressing at the same level some of us had more "free time" than others. Basically, we covered entering a sales order and the various steps and processes involved in a new order. It really wasn't something that I think needed a weeks worth of practice.

Do we need to practice to learn? Yes!
Will we benefit from practicing the same 3-4 steps for a week? No!
Will we make mistakes when we go live? Probably.

We need more real life examples of what we should expect when we get out on the floor and start dealing with customers. We had to beg for examples of what would be on the first test and our training refuses to even give us a clue about what is going to be on the 2nd test on Tuesday.

Monday (1 day) will be spent going over a step that we've been practicing on our own all week. As if we've never seen or done it before. I'm just a little confused about the goals here and what is expected. I think if I could sit with someone that has live customers and experience I would learn more about what happens in a real day for them.

Unfortunately, the other reps are new as well, just here a few months, so there aren't any real stable folks to fall  back on and observe. I really hope things calm down and start to make more sense soon. I can do CBT's all day long but until I can actually see what a real request or customer interaction is like I am blind to my new job.

Hoping for patience because we've still got 4 more weeks to go!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Customer Service Review-Romain Crosspoint

Communication is key...unfortunately those channels are clogged at the Romain service center. I called to make an appointment, gave them my name, address, phone #, make & model as well as my requested services. She said they could set me up for Wednesday morning...all was good.

I called Romain to inform them the car was being towed there Tuesday night and gave them all the details from my previously arranged appointment. They said no problem. When the car got there, Romain called my Mom to find out why the car had been dropped off. Seriously?

He had no idea about the previous calls even though he had my name because he referenced it when he called my mom. So I had to call them a 3rd time that day to make sure it was all set up.

Every time I called, they asked for my phone number again because they said it wasn't on file. Each time, the technician was supposed to call me back, they called my mom instead. Twice, the promised to call me back & never did.

When I went to pick up the car the receipt had my name spelled wrong, my phone number wasn't listed anywhere and the address was listed as my moms house. I will never suggest them to anyone and will never use their services again unless forced to.

I can accept mistakes but not the same mistakes over and over again...5 errors in 3 days is not acceptable. On the upside, the people were all really nice. Unfortunately, that doesn't completely make up for the hassle of me having to call back multiple times during my first week of training at a new job.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm a perfectionist...and it sucks!

Ok, let me preface this by saying I'm only an anal retentive, perfectionist at work. :)

At home my dishes sit in the sink for days, dirty clothes overflow the basket & I don't always put clean clothes away. I'm less concerned with perfection because very few people see my house so I'm allowed to be a slob within these walls.

At work, I want everything to be perfect & I cannot stand it when I struggle to find the answer to something.

Today was a prime example of this. We had been given several hours to go through an online, self service training which covered the basics of the system. Then we spent another couple hours walking through it with the trainer and getting a little more detail. Then, we had several hours to "play" in the system. Tomorrow, we have a test on the info covered the last 3 days.

We got a few sample questions and a couple of them were items we had only covered for about 60 seconds. The trainer refused to tell us anything to help us find the answers and I was extremely frustrated with the entire scenario. I get very mad at myself when I can't grasp a new concept or figure out the answer to something.

Right now, I'm going to go through my 30+ pages of notes & screen shots and hope her questions make sense tomorrow so I don't completely bomb the test.

Can't wait til we can actually get into real life scenarios instead of all this hypothetical stuff. I learn much better with real situations to work with.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Being free of debt was nice...for the few months it lasted.

I like to think that things happen for a reason. And while that reason is not always clear I can usually roll with whatever happens. Today, I've encountered the one thing that I just can't handle. My car is out of commission.

I cannot stand being without a car. It's my only source of transportation and I cannot stand being dependent on others. Especially when it means I'm depending on someone else to get me to my new job on time.

On top of the gas leak which will require the gas tank to be replaced, the brake pads need replaced and the transmission is slipping. I can't get another car because I have no money left and I can't get a car loan because I don't have any proof of income.

Throw in this chest pain that I'm dealing with and I'm about to lose my mind.

I guess what really bugs me is that I've lived with tons of debt all my life. I lost my job, got severance, paid it all off & then had to charge a bunch of my credit cards back up to live on since it took so long to find a job. Now, what little credit I have left is gonna be charged up fixing the car so I can get to work to make money to pay off the credit cards. What a vicious freaking cycle.

UPDATE: mom found a 2007 recall that might cover the issue. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

ANY job is not always a Good job!

 Unemployment: A jobs problem or a work problem? – USATODAY.com

The woman interviewed in this article appears to think that people who aren't able to land a job are being too picky and/or aren't trying hard enough. I'm afraid that I must disagree with her observations. She mentions the multiple emails she gets for potential jobs but doesn't say what her area of expertise is. She also doesn't indicate if she actually landed any of those job offers. I think it's unfair of her to make a blanket statement about the job search process because each persons situation is different. Any job is NOT always a good job!

Sure, there are job openings at Burger King, The Dollar Store or Kohl's...but settling for a job making minimum wage is not always the answer. A starting position at those places will get you in the door but will hardly bring home enough money to support a family/household. Unfortunately, some of us only have 1 income to depend on so the rate per hour can be a very important factor in choosing a job...especially when taking a job means you lose your unemployment.

I can understand her thought process to a certain extent but people taking low paying jobs they don't want/like is a huge contributing factor in the poor level of service that consumers receive in almost every area of the U.S. today. See more on my feelings about this issue here.

I had several potential job offers during my 8 months of unemployment but they paid less than what I would make on unemployment and required that I drive to another town to the office. Does that really make sense? When I have set expenses and a child to raise...NO, IT DOESN'T! That may be what is stopping some people from taking jobs that are available.

Or, it could be the overabundance of other job seekers that are just starting out and are willing/able to accept a lower hourly rate because they have another source of income or they are younger and still living at home.

It's also been my experience that people without a degree but lots of experience are at the biggest disadvantage. I believe this is due to us falling in the middle of what employers are looking for...experience with a degree or no experience & willing to start at minimum wage. Unfortunately, I have a family to provide for and minimum wage just isn't gonna cut it..at least not while I can still claim unemployment for more than that!

Luckily, my waiting paid off and I landed a job paying more than unemployment, although not as much as my previous job. I expected that so it wasn't a surprise when I got the offer. At least now I know I can become a productive member of society again and don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay my bills each month.

I hope the job market turns around soon and that all those folks that desperately want to work can find decent paying jobs to support their families.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Job acquired!

On Friday, I finally received the call I was waiting for. Job training starts 9/19/11 and I'll be working with at least 2 folks I've worked with before. Can't wait!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 4 - Almost given up!

It's day 4 of the week that I was supposed to hear something about the job. We are coming up on a 3 day weekend so if I don't hear something today it won't happen until at least Tuesday 9/6/11.

I think if I don't hear anything today I'm going to set up an appointment to talk to Harrison College and see about getting into the next group of classes that start 9/26/11.

Still not sure about my major but I'm thinking accounting...there always seem to be openings that need that sort of experience. We'll see what happens.

I just hope the HR lady didn't go into labor and lose all our information. She was very pregnant about a month ago during my first interview. It would be just my luck that she went into labor on Monday so nothing could be done this week! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 3 - Going Insane

I know it does me no good to dwell on the amount of time I've been waiting. I also know that it's only been 2.5 days of actual waiting time after they said they would begin calling people back. I just can't help but be stressed out about it.

I'm going to try to remain as calm as possible through tomorrow and then, I'm going to have to start looking in other directions. I was so sure this was the one, and it still could be, but I'm really getting anxious about the future.

I don't like it and I need to change it...soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 2-Still no news

I know I shouldn't stress about it but I can't stop. They were supposed to start making calls yesterday and they had less than 25 interviews the first round so there should have been less this time.

I can't help but be anxious. This is the most promising lead I've had and if I don't get this job I'm going to have to change my plans for the future. Just not sure what to do but something has to change soon.

Maybe they'll call tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8 months wasted?

Today is the first day of what could, potentially, be a new road in my life. You may know that I lost my job in January and have been looking for one ever since. Been having a hard time even getting interviews but not really sure why. I think I fall in between what employers think they want...12 years of experience but no college degree so people won't even give me a second thought.

Posted for a job at a company where a previous co-worker is employed and got an interview because she put in a good word for me. Luckily, I also managed to get a 2nd interview last week. I thought both went well even though I was very nervous at the beginning of both. It's hard to get back into the interview process when you haven't done one in 12 years. I feel like I'm a little rusty. :)

Anyway, interviews were to be completed Monday and calls to be made Tuesday or Wednesday. I haven't heard back yet. I know it's just the first day but I have placed all my hope in this one position because it's one of the 2 that have been promising in the 8 months that I've been looking. If I don't get this, I'm pretty sure there will be tears and self loathing while I try to determine what I did that was so wrong to prevent me from getting an offer.

The next thing I have to consider is what I'm going to do if I don't get this job. Obviously, I'll have to keep looking but I may be at a point where I have no choice but to go back to school to get that degree that employers are apparently so concerned about. Now, what should I study?

It will have to be something I can do online because unemployment won't last forever and I have a kid and household to support. I was thinking about accounting. There always seem to be jobs that require this sort of degree and I like numbers, even if I'm not all that good with them. Maybe going to school for it would be a good thing and accounting degrees could be general enough to carry over to other job areas too, right?

I just don't know...of course, it all depends on the financial aid. I can't afford to pay anything so if I can't get enough financial aid to pay for it 100% + books I can't do it! I hope I didn't waste the last 8 months when I could/should have been going to school. Just not sure what to do!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breaking the rules won't change them

I've observed a severe disregard for rules and laws lately that greatly concerns me. I don't know if it's the parents or the environment that are to blame but I feel it has reached an unacceptable level.

Children and many adults have no regard for rules, whether they be written or understood, and it's making our society a conflict filled place. It seems everyone is out to prove a point and challenge the rules and laws that are currently in place. Instead of going through the proper channels to make a difference, people break the rules and then try to work it out in court by suing people or causing a huge scene for the tabloids. That achieves nothing except making yourself look bad.

If you feel there are laws or rules in place that are unfair, challenge them but don't do so by breaking them. There are proper channels to make changes...breaking the rules will only make you look foolish and set a poor example for your children.

I found this article on Twitter today and feel that this sort of atitude is exactly what is wrong with the world. Yes, if your kids aren't hurting anyone it's not a big deal to go up the slide; however, when you are out in public, the rules of behavior change. You can't just think of yourself and what you want to teach your children. By letting them think it's ok to break the rules if their judgment tells them it's ok you are opening up the chance for them to test those boundaries in other areas, which could be more dangerous.

Bottom line, children need to be taught that while not all rules or laws make sense in all situations they should be followed unless they could cause bodily harm to someone. Since rules are usually in place to prevent harm, it's best to follow the rules as written and take the appropriate steps to change them if you feel it's necessary.

Too many kids are getting the lesson that it's ok to break the rules if you think they aren't right...IT'S NOT! A world without rules would be complete chaos and it could be dangerous in many situations.

Please, think of the children. They can still be free thinkers without being law breakers as well. Teach them how to change the world, not just how to complain about it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weigh In 08/27/11

Tried to start over last week but stopped tracking before the middle of the week. Was sure I'd have a gain but the scale says I'm down 1 pound so I will take that. Trying to refocus again this week and stay on track. It's ridiculous that I can't do this.

Parental Bargaining...and a little bribery!

Josh wants a smart phone. I know, what teen doesn't. I have no issues with him having one; however, he has "broken" at least 6 cell phones in the last few years and he is out of upgrades. Now, when I say broken I mean they have non-functioning screens, loose hinges or they've been taken swimming. Basically, he's very hard on his phones and he has yet to learn how to take care of things. It's finally time he learned some responsibility and priorities.

I found a phone that we can both agree on; however, I refuse to buy it "for no reason" so he has to wait until at least Christmas. I figured that gives him several months to prove to me that he is able to take care of it, among other things, and be responsible in other areas (school).

We are making an official chore chart, establishing a weekly allowance if things are met and he must improve his grades. Shouldn't be hard since he's at a D or below in almost everything already. All because he doesn't want to do his homework! Why is it so hard to understand that homework must be done and that it's not that big of a deal?

Heck, I'll even help but he's got to tell me what he has and actually try. Guess we'll see how this goes and if he actually earns his new phone at Christmas time. I hope he can get some motivation and I hope I can stand my ground and not give in because he decides to throw a fit. Unfortunately, I do that alot...I know it's one of my flaws but I'm trying to correct it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What might have been

Let me preface this by saying I'm not suicidal or homicidal. I just needed to get some things off my chest since I can't afford a shrink.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what my life would be like if my past had been different. Just thinking about the coming school year and the struggles that are already starting, makes me want to go to sleep and never wake up.

I have to find a job soon but I don't know that I can trust Josh to stay home & out of trouble while I'm at work. Also, how many hours will we spend each night fighting over homework that he doesn't want to do?

I want to cry just thinking about it. I only have 1 kid to deal with. It shouldn't be so hard for him to just do what he is supposed to, be truthful & stop being an ass!

I just want things to work out and for the hassles to decrease for a change. I sure hope the 7 months of unemployment wasn't my rest period because that was not restful at all.

I just want some peace & cooperation.

Far be it from me to stop you from ruining your life, I'm only your mother!

3rd week of school and the inevitable has happened. I got an email from one of Josh's teachers because he is failing to do his work. I should have expected it but I'm extremely disappointed. I've had several conversations with him about being truthful with me and not lying about anything. Apparently, that means nothing. Lying is one thing that I absolutely cannot tolerate and my son has been lying to me every friggin' day!

Every day I ask if he has homework and he says NO. I even check his agenda and his backpack to make sure there aren't things he has "forgotten" about and there is never anything in there but the occasional graded paper. This means that he's purposely omitting his assignments from his agenda so I won't know that he's not doing his work until it's too late! This must stop right now! I'm so sick of spending every school year, checking his grades online, digging through his pockets and backpack, looking for homework that just isn't there. I don't know what he is doing with it but he's NOT bringing it home.

I don't understand why anyone would want to fail simply because they didn't try. That is probably my 2nd biggest pet peeve...people that don't even try. Being lazy about something that is so simple really makes me angry.

At what point do you say "If you want to ruin your life, be a moron, flunk out of school and live on welfare forever...that's your problem". I don't know how much more of this I can take. If things don't change soon, something drastic may have to happen. Anyone know any good military schools? I'm not kidding! :(

What the hell is wrong with me?

I was so confident that I would start out this week, watch what I ate, log every single bite and work out. Yeah, that's not been happening. I don't know why I can't get my willpower to actually do its' job and stop me from eating crap that I know I shouldn't? It's like my brain is completely out of control and it wants me to eat everything!

Right now I'm sitting here thinking I'd love nothing more than some cheddar cheese, boneless wings from BWW and a can of pringles! I'm even bargaining with myself about how much exercise I need to do to eat all that! Ridiculous, I know but it's how my brain works right now.

Tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm pretty sure that it's not going to be pretty. I guess I could just eat nothing the rest of the day so there's nothing in my stomach to weigh me down. That just seems extreme. So frustrated with myself right now.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Poker Run - September 17th, 2011

My aunt Leah has been waiting for a liver transplant for a long time. Due to some serious errors with her previous transplant coordinator, she is finally back on the waiting list. She has been getting worse each week/month and needs a transplant soon. To raise money to pay for medical expenses, her daughter is planning a poker run on September 17th. Please see the flier below and feel free to share with your friends and family that might be interested.

There will be live music, food and prizes! Please join us if you can. We'll be posting more information as it becomes available. You can also contact Angelica (daughter) at angelica@pixievacations.com or Join our group on Facebook for more info. Here is a link to the Facebook event.

Sign in 10am-Noon at $10 a hand @ Doc's (1305 N Stringtown Road)

12pm – Poker Run starts
12pm – Live Music from BAND OF BROTHERS
3pm – Live Auction (more details to come)
4pm – Steve Tyner & William Lendrum
5pm – Live Music from TEN STORY
* All activities other than sign up and start of the ride will take place at Lamasco Bar & Grill at 1331 W Franklin Street

Steptos Barbecue will be serving pulled pork, baked beans, and cole slaw at $7.50 a plate!



Also, if you are not an organ donor, please go to the right link/photo on my main page and get all the details about organ donation! You can make a huge difference in the lives of others even after you are gone. Thank you

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm ashamed of my behavior!

I don't know why I let myself get drawn into these snipe-fests that happen on Facebook! 14WFIE posted an article about IL Meth Dealers being billed for the clean up of any fires that they start. They asked if we had any other ideas about ways to decrease the drug problem in the area. Here is my response:

Require drug testing for those on welfare, unemployment or other government issued benefits. I have to pass a drug test to get a job, why shouldn't they have to be clean to live off my tax money? I know not all folks getting assistance are on drugs but there are enough that ARE to make this a good idea.

8 other people liked my comment and about half the other posters had similar feedback. However, I was the only one that was being attacked for my comments...from 3 different people. I do not understand why people have to be so rude and obnoxious to each other.

Unfortunately, I fell into the trap and made some comments back. Pointing out the error of their comments and defending my opinion. I was snide and should never have bothered going back to see what else was said. I don't know why this particular posting made me keep going back to comment. Normally, I make my comment and then never go back because I don't care what anyone else thinks about my opinion. This time, it really irritated me because the comments I got back were so insanely idiotic that I just couldn't resist responding.

I cannot abide people that blindly attack others. It was my opinion, that's what the news station asked for. Give your opinion and then shut the hell up and mind your business. It was not supposed to be an open debate forum.

Sadly, I am embarrassed that I participated in so childish an interaction so I deleted all but my comments and blocked those 3 users that felt it was ok to attack someone they don't even know.

Lesson learned, don't get involved in childish "discussions" about what other people think. We are all entitled to our opinions. If asked, state your position and then move on. Don't worry about what other people think. The world is full of assholes and the comments on facebook prove it.

It didn't last long

Less than 2 weeks into the new school year and Josh has already gotten into a fight. He said some kid was hitting him in the crotch so he retaliated by putting him in a headlock. I guess I'd do the same thing if I was in his position but this crap is really getting old. I don't believe for a second that he was an innocent in this situation. I'm sure he was mouthing off about something and instigated the attack he received.

I swear that if he gets suspended I may just kick his ass up and down the street. We ended last year with a 2 week expulsion. I do not want to start the year off that way. Wonder how much military school costs now?

What's for lunch?

Here's a pic of what I plan to have for "lunch" today. Since I'm still unemployed I have a little more freedom to eat whenever I want so this will probably be spread out over the next few hours.

I know it looks like an odd combo but it's only 420 calories for everything and I get fruit, veggies & fiber. Plus, I need to eat what we have on hand...no more money spending right now.

I was supposed to be back on the health wagon Saturday but until today I've been way off track. :( Gotta focus!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Drug testing required for welfare recipients?

This has got to one of my favorite laws ever. Anyone that says this is bad is crazy. To get a job, and often keep it, workers may be required to prove they are drug free. If I'm required to be drug free to work/pay to support the folks on welfare then they should have to do the same to live off my tax money.

I don't know how anyone could be against this unless they are on welfare & drugs and know they would lose their benefits. If you are going to break the law by doing drugs then you get no help from others.

Call me terrible but there is no reason to allow the abusers of the system to live off the rest of us.

Florida governor defends measure requiring drug tests for welfare - CNN http://articles.cnn.com/2011-06-05/politics/florida.welfare.drug.testing_1_drug-testing-tanf-welfare-recipients?_s=PM:POLITICS

Starting Over...Again!

Today, I start over as I try to lose this weight. Starting weight is back up to 274. Not good but it can only go down from here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My goal body

I think most people that are trying to lose weight have a person that they consider the ideal body. Someone that they can picture in their mind as they work toward losing weight and getting fit. Do you know a goal body? Is it a celebrity or someone you know personally? Do you have a picture of them posted in your kitchen or do you just keep a mental image of them on hand for motivation? 

After several attempts to get to a healthy weight/size I'm realistic enough to know that I will NEVER look like this:

I have no illusions about being able to wear a bikini or skinny jeans and I doubt I will EVER show my stomach to the world. Right now, my goal is to be able to wear a pair of jeans or pants with my shirt tucked in and not worry about my stomach sticking out. I don't want to buy clothes that are enormously baggy in an attempt to hide the fat that has taken over my body!

Therefore, I will NOT make one of these bodies my goal body for this round of my journey. No, I think THIS is more appropriate for my current goals! Sorry about the naked photo but it really illustrates my point. She's not stick thin but she is beautiful. (Crystal Renn)







I also love Whitney from America's Next Top Model. Either of these ladies are good "goal models" for me right now.

When you just don't give a $h!t

I've been trying to lose weight for years...and I mean years! Since before my son was born 13+ years ago! I was bigger than most kids in grade school and I just continued to gain weight in middle & high school! I was still under 200 lbs in high school so I thought I was ok but it's amazing how those pounds can seem to creep up on you. How did I not stop this sooner and why can't I focus on losing the weight?

I know what I need to do...I've done it before...I've just lost my willpower. I'm to the point where I really don't care what I look like because I don't care what anyone thinks of me. That is a really sad place to be. Being confident in yourself is one thing, not giving a shit is another thing entirely! I need to find a happy balance.

I've almost always started my weigh in/diet weeks on Saturdays so I have the weekdays to "fix" any lapses I made over the weekend. Tomorrow, I will start again. Going to give myself today to get a plan in place and get any food fixes out of my system. I'm not going to gorge myself but I just need a day to be a little free before I hit it hard again!

I don't even want to know what the scale says tomorrow but this has got to be done. I want to get back under 200 lbs at the very least! I've done it before, I should be able to do it again!

Below is a pic of my lowest, around 180, in October 2008. The sad thing is that I still didn't feel like I was thinner after losing 80 pounds. I was still only able to get into a size 16/18 and I was so mad that I still had to shop in the plus size department. In the midst of that, I had just started a new job that had a much higher stress level and my health was no longer as high a priority! I've got to make it important from now on.


Here's a pic from December 2008. When I saw this one, I realized that I was actually thinner...too bad I didn't realize it at the time. Note the pumpkins and Christmas cards all displayed at the same time. :)


Topless women in public?

I saw this on the news and I am appalled. The person that founded this organization claims he/she was abducted by aliens so that should be one clue that they might not be right. Frankly, I'm shocked that so many women fell for this ploy to see them half naked.

I do agree that there are many men that should not take their shirt off in public but I don't think their approach is going to be effective in resolving that issue. Until people learn to cover up their disgustingness we will continue to see more skin than we would like.

What do you think? Should women be allowed to walk around topless/shirtless like men?
I say NO!!!! I don't want to see that...put them away, that goes for a lot of men too!

(Warning: this website shows topless women, uncensored.)
GoTopless http://www.gotopless.org/

Monday, August 15, 2011

Extended Battery & Case for Thunderbolt-Review

Today, I received my 3200mAh extended battery and the Seidio protective case to cover it. Previously I had the stock battery and the otterbox case (LOVE OTTERBOX). Unfortunately, Seidio is the only brand that I found that makes a case to accommodate the extended battery...which is apparently a must for this phone.

Maybe it's because I use WiFi at home but the battery is dead in 2-3 hours of use and drains almost completely while it sits, untouched on my bedside table overnight. That is not acceptable so I decided to spend the money and get the battery. I will not do without a protective case so the Seidio seemed like my best bet.

Here is my initial review: (+) = positive; (-) = negative; (N/A) = no preference

BATTERY:
This sucker is huge and heavy compared to the stock version and does make your phone look like it's got a tumor, as someone else mentioned in a forum. We'll see how much it improves the life of the phone in a week or 2. The phone is definitely heavier than normal but that is ok for me...I never did like those tiny little phones that you could lose easily.

CASE:
This case is similar to the otterbox defender series with a few exceptions. Seidio case has 3 parts: backer, rubber case, plastic skeleton...not including the holster. Here are some other findings.

* This case does not include a cover for the screen so it's a good idea to make sure you have a screen protector on the phone before putting the case on. The cover I bought actually came with screen protectors but I already had one on since the day I bought the phone. (N/A)

* The rubber "plug" that covers the camera is annoying. Great to protect it if you don't use the camera much but you have to unhook it and then push it into the plug holder before taking a picture if you don't want the cover to be in the way. I actually cut mine off (snip) because I use the camera alot and don't want to mess with it. (N/A)

* The rubber part of the cover seems a lot more slick than the otterbox so I'm hoping that doesn't mean I'll be more apt to drop it. (N/A)

* The Seidio has a separate kick stand that is smaller than the original on the phone and a much more flimsy plastic. The phone kick stand is far superior but I barely use it anyway so that's not a huge deal.  (-)

* The plastic cover actually completely covers the speaker on the back but it doesn't appear to have much impact on the overall sound quality. (N/A)

* The Seidio holster is created to allow better removal than the otterbox, which often caused me to miss calls because the phone was so tightly held by the clip. Hopefully, this doesn't mean the phone is prone to falling out of the holster without provocation. (+)

* The button on the top of the case that you have to use to "wake up" the phone before you can unlock the screen is much better on the Seidio case. It's not as thick and doesn't require that you press down directly in order to make contact with the button on the phone. (+)

I know I'm supposed to leave it plugged in for at least 8 hours on the first charge but it's been plugged in for about 15 minutes and says it's already at 90% charge. That is a good sign, I hope! After I've had it for a few weeks I'll be able to give more feedback on the battery life itself. The design of the case isn't that much different than the otterbox so I don't think my opinion of that will change much. I will let you know if I end up dropping the slippery thing too much! :)

(Photos from www.amazon.com)








Saturday, August 13, 2011

How To Treat Others - Great Advice

I found this post RT'd by Dana M Nelson on Twitter this morning and felt that it was worth sharing. These are words that everyone should read and live by!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New school, new building, new chaos

The beginning of this school year has been interesting. Lots of chaos, delayed info and incorrect info. I blame it on the huge changes with the schools and leadership. It's hard to maintain control over the changes when there are so many of them & the "man In charge" has changed.

From the wrong orientation info being posted, delays in announcing fees & a huge mess with netbooks I feel like I've been in the dark a lot.

Yesterday, I spent 6+ hours untangling & securing charger cords for the netbook docking stations. Whoever helped Monday & Tuesday got bad instructions or doesn't listen well. Either way, it increased processing time for what we had to do yesterday. Tracey & I stayed all day and worked through every tower. Now, we just have to scan them all into the system and then I guess they can be delivered to the kids.

Lots of kids spent yesterday lost and/fighting with stuck lockers. Hopefully, it'll be better today. They discovered yesterday that all the cafeteria tables wouldn't fit into the cafeteria so they have several in the hall and had to break up each period in half so the kids could eat. I have to wonder how you don't know the tables wouldn't fit until the first day of school. Seems like a failure by the designer or whoever should have measured before ordering.

At any rate, the school is nice & Josh is not totally opposed to going so I'm gonna try to remain optimistic. He was actually heading to the bus stop 20+ minutes early this morning. Hope he actually got on the bus. :)

Here is a pic of one of the docking towers I worked on yesterday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Don't knock...we're sleeping!

Seriously, this is a sign that I'm forced to put on the door every morning unless I want to be awakened by, what sounds like, Dog the bounty hunter coming to get me.

I forgot to put the sign up last night so I was woken up by the banging...again. I don't know if the kids are incredibly rude or if they just think we are deaf but they will stand outside and bang on the door 3 or 4 times if we don't immediately answer.

I'm voting for "rude" because my house is full of signs w/common sense instructions that these kids don't know. CLOSE THE DOOR, DON'T EAT ALL MY FOOD, PUT TRASH IN THE TRASH, DON'T UNPLUG MY OUTLETS, TURN THE TV OFF.

It's ridiculous that these teenagers don't have any common sense or courtesy whatsoever. What are parents doing today? I know they all work but kids learn by example so what kind of parents do these kids have? I'm scared for their futures.



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dream Job Averted

Ok, it wasn't exactly my dream job but it was the closest thing to what I had done over the last 12 years and I knew I could do it. I know several people that work for the company and I landed an interview a little over a month ago. I felt it went well, but then...I waited! After nearly 3 weeks I sent a follow up email, hoping it would at least elicit a response if the job had been filled or I was no longer being considered. I got nothing.

I expect to get nothing when I submit a blind application. I can even accept getting no response after a phone interview. However, once I've made the trip to your business to have a face to face interview I'd expect at least a response to my email. At any rate, I got nothing whatsoever to indicate my standings in the hiring process.

Maybe I was just a courtesy interview because I knew someone that put in a good word with the CEO. I don't care...is a response too much to expect? Even if you had no intention of calling all the rejected applicants shouldn't I at least have expected a simple response to my follow up email?

At any rate, I've been hanging on, all this time, hoping that somehow I'd gotten the job. At precisely 7:40pm CST tonight all those hopes were dashed thanks to Facebook! My previous boss updated her current employer and she had taken my job! The job I applied for. The job I interviewed for...twice. The job I knew about before her because my neighbor works there and told me about it 3 weeks before it was even posted.

Of course, as soon as I saw her post her new employer I had to call her up and let her know that she had stolen my job! Boy, does it pay to be on good terms with your previous boss so you can actually have those conversations without anyone getting ticked off. All seriousness aside...I'm ok with her getting the job over me. She has a lot more experience and will do a fantastic job. Not to mention that I wasn't completely excited about having people reporting to me again. I can do it...but it's not my favorite form of torture.




I'm gonna take that as a sign that there is something better out there for me.









I'm gonna remain hopeful that this was just practice for something bigger and better that is coming my way. I just hope that "something" gets here soon!

Is god just a reason to be ok with death?

Just bear with me...this might be a little different than what you're used to seeing me blog about. Your feedback is appreciated at the end. Thanks


I've struggled with faith for a long time. I was christened as a Lutheran and went through confirmation classes but quit before "graduation". I was out of church for a few years, then got back in by joining the choir in high school. Made some great friends during those years and did lots of things I'm sure our youth sponsors would be horrified to know about, if they don't already. In my 20's I was out of the church and did the usual 20's things; partying, staying out late, got pregnant, then married...you know, normal stuff. :)  Around 30 I was part of a Christian band and we did worship at several churches in our area. I'm 35 now and the mental struggle is worse than ever before.

Over the last several years I've been struggling to decide what I believe in. I loved the idea of going to a church where I could form close friendships and bond with other people that had the same beliefs. Problem is, I don't know what my beliefs are anymore. I am very pessimistic and find it hard to believe in intangible things.

Some of the stories in the bible are so far fetched that it's almost impossible to believe. There are so many churches that don't even preach what is in the bible and others that say you will all go to heaven no matter how bad you are if you repent. If that is true, then why even bother living a noble life? Just repent before the end and you still get into heaven, right? Seems like a lot of people are living by this example, doesn't it?

What am I supposed to believe? Heaven, Hell, Nothing? I begin to wonder if I only "believe" in God because knowing that I'll go to a "better place" when I die is better than believing that there is nothing after death. I must admit that when I cannot convince myself that God is real I'm terrified of what might happen when I die.

On the flip side, what if God is real, heaven & hell exist, and I've made a huge mistake? Thinking about being condemned to hell for eternity is even more horrific than thinking there is nothing after death. And what is heaven is real and I get there only to find out that the people I've left behind aren't going to get in? More importantly, what if I get there and all the annoying people I hated in life were let in because they repented at the very end? Seriously? :)

Right now, I'm looking for all opinions on the subject of religion. I'm very interested in all points of view...what you believe and why. Just keep it friendly. No attacking other people for their opinions, please.

Thanks in advance for your help in my quest for the truth.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Weigh In 08/01/11

I've been off schedule because of traveling and people in the hospital so I haven't been weighing in on the right days and not every week. Today I registered 1.4 lbs less than the last time which was actually last Monday I think. Who knows, it's been about a week this time. Almost 18 lbs gone but it's taking a really long time this go around.

Gas cans w/safety features are evil

I've had the same old, broken gas can for several years. It's small and the nozzle cracked in half...but it works. At Menards I found a 5 gallon can for about $5 & thought I was getting a deal.

The nozzle has a safety feature that keeps gas from spilling out unless the cap is pushed against the side of the gas tank and pushed down to open the end of the dispenser.

The problem?
1. The nozzle has a flat tip & when the gas comes out it hits the flat tip and splatters back toward whoever had the misfortune of holding the canister.

2. The "hook" that is used to depress the safety nozzle gets easily stuck in the tank opening which can cause gas to run every where...trust me, I mean EVERY WHERE!

3. When full, the can is actually pretty awkward to use without making a mess.

I was able to determine that holding the safety cover open with my hand and allowing the gas to come out of 1 side only works much better. Too bad I had to waste about $10 worth of gas figuring that out.

Beware of these "safe" gas cans.


Biden gets paid to be protected?

This is completely unacceptable. I understand they were paying rent elsewhere buy he should have refused it. At the very least he should have donated it to charity. What an ass...

FoxNews.com
Biden Charges Secret Service to Rent Cottage Next to His Home

Saturday, July 30, 2011

West Side Home For Sale-Evansville

2435 Willow Creek Dr Evansville IN

MLS #184698

Realtor.com® http://bit.ly/pZnSWp

Bible Lesson on dating

A friend shared this & I had to pass it on.

For you single ladies: Quick Bible Lesson...in the Bible, Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz. While waiting on your Boaz, don't settle for ANY of his relatives. Brokeaz, Poaz, Lyinaz, Cheatinaz, Dumbaz, Downlowaz, Fakeaz, Cheapaz, Lockedupaz, Goodfornothinaz, Lazyaz, Gayaz, or Marriedaz! And especially his third cousin Beatinyoaz. Please...wait on your Boaz & make sure he respect Yoaz! hahahah!!!

I'm terrified of my teen

I'm not terrified of him physically, but I find myself constantly on edge...wondering when his mood will swing for the worse. He's like most other teens I guess...one minute he loves me and the next he hates me. What I can't stand is the speed at which these feelings change.

I often wonder if there is something wrong with his mind but then worry that I might be imagining an illness that isn't really there. He's already on meds for ADD and that helps his impulse control to a certain extent. What I can't seem to fix is his attention span and his ability to control his anger when his moods swing to the "dark side". It's such a nightmare to deal with and he doesn't always recognize when he is out of control.

I hope he begins to grow out of the childish behavior that is displayed when he gets in a funk. He has to learn to deal with life eventually, right?

I hope we aren't to the point where I give up & make him learn from his mistakes & poor choices. That's not what any mother wants to do but sometimes, you have no choice.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Google +, what do you think?

Honestly, it's not a bad network but it does take some getting used to. Right now, my biggest issue is that there isn't any way to integrate FB & Twitter with google + so I have to update multiple social networks. Also, google+ still doesn't have that many people on it...most of my friends are on FB and I'm not sure how quickly they will all decide to give google+ a try. For that reason, there isn't as much interaction on my end because there aren't that many people out there that I find all that interesting! LOL

I'm still trying to remember to use it but not sure how much longer I will want to update multiple sites. If Tweetdeck could integrate google+ into their settings that would be fantastic. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this happens some time soon...before I give up on it entirely.

They do have a mobile app for android already so that is a big +.

If you aren't on google+ and want an invite, give me your email address and I'll send you an invite.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

OMG, Michelle Obama ate a cheeseburger

So the Globe ran a full page story about the hypocrite Mrs. Obama was because she preaches healthy eating but dared to eat a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake. Heaven forbid she EVER dare to eat something other than carrots and celery sticks. I mean, nobody that promotes healthy eating would ever eat a cheeseburger, right?

Come on folks, she's human and she is going to want to eat fattening foods every once in a while. Their story said she has done this more than once...that doesn't mean every day or every meal so get off your high horse and find something real to report on. I know you're just a trashy tabloid that would rather die than report the truth so I don't know why I'm wasting my blog space. It's not like she is "pigging out" in any of the pictures that were posted. I sure haven't seen any pics where she has eaten so much that her "clothes felt tight" as stated in the story.

I think it's great that she is trying to teach kids how to eat healthier. I don't expect anything she does to stop anyone from wanting to eat a burger now and then. That's life and you should let her live it like the rest of us do.


I hope Michelle is sitting in the White House laughing about their stupidity! You still look great, Michelle...don't listen to them!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

R.I.P. Papaw - 1 Year Ago 7/27/10

My papaw was a character
You would tinker and fuss with any motor you found
Using twist ties and stockings to make things go round
Your truck was a mixture of rust, paint and steel
And you smoked a cigar when behind that big wheel

There's no way around it, you were often quite rude
But could laugh & tell jokes when in a good mood
You were grouchy and gruff and set in your ways
But you loved to watch kids from the daycare at play

An ornery cuss you became, that's for sure
But that sassiness just made me like you much more
And no matter how mean you got there at the end
You will always be papaw, fixer & friend

Another day, another rejection

Is it possible that employers are afraid of people that appear over qualified for a position? I am so tired of being ignored and rejected for jobs that I know I can do. I have 12 years of financial services experience, some of that as a supervisor in a call center but I cannot even get a job as a bank teller or at the registration desk at the hospital.

- Do they suppose I won't be happy and I'll leave soon after being trained? You would think my 12 years with the same company would show that I'm not a job hopper.

- Do they think I would come in and try to change things? Change isn't always bad. :)

- Do they think I want too much money? They might be surprised at what I'm willing to accept.

Maybe I should clean up my resume and make it look like I did almost nothing at my last place of employment. If they think I'm just interested in entry level jobs, maybe I can at least get my foot in the door.

Perhaps I should take a different approach going forward. When I receive a rejection letter, I should respond and ask them for more specifics. Did I not interview well, am I over qualified, did they have someone internal in mind all along? What am I doing wrong that is keeping me on this train of unemployment?

I'm really starting to get frustrated and I don't like it. I have seen the people that are currently working at some of these places I've applied (and been rejected) with. It's a huge blow to my ego knowing some of these people are able to get and keep a job but I can't.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update-Lana

The doctors found a small bowel obstruction and decided to do surgery this evening to remove it. Several hours later and we are still waiting for updates.

We are driving down tomorrow to visit.

Medical History Update

Still have 2 folks in the hospital and 1 that is borderline. Will probably be making a trip to Nashville this weekend to visit and help out where we can since 2 of the sick folks are down there.

Aunt Lana: No concrete details, possibly virus, stomach blockage, currently draining her stomach through a tube in her throat (gross). Will probably be in 2 more days or more because they can't figure out what is/was blocking her stomach from emptying.

Aunt Leah: Possible virus that is making her throw up, even with anti-nausea medication. She is still trying to get back on the transplant list from being removed in error. They removed her and never told her and then her case working lost her test results and she has to do it all again. I think she did her final test to get back on the list this week so hopefully they can get her going and get a new liver. She can't take much more of this.

Uncle Ken: Now on dialysis daily, waiting for a kidney transplant, had a 3rd heart attack a couple weeks ago and is not doing very well according to my aunt. She is still working and they have 2 kids to care for with no family close by.

Will be able to better assess the situation when we get there...I hope!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TSA scanners can be very slimming...

Well, they will be soon. The TSA announced the implementation of new scanner software that will no longer reflect the accurate body shape of the person being scanned. Instead, a "default" body image will appear on the screen and any metallic substances will be reflected on the "body double".

Click here for the article from MSNBC.

With this new software, I might actually volunteer to be scanned, just so I can be thin for once in my life. Instead of the camera adding 10 pounds, the scanner could take off 50+. Maybe they could take screen shots and sell them as souvenirs for folks to buy. Like they do on amusement park rides. If they do, make sure you are making an appropriately freaky face to commemorate the moment.



Sounds like this will improve the process and make things move more smoothly. Let's hope this is a comfort to all the people that are so upset about their invasion of privacy with the current scanners. I would not want to go through the process but still feel that safety is more important than convenience. If you don't like the safety procedures find another way to get to your destination. Your comfort is not worth the sacrifice of my safety.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Extreme Parenting & Birthdays

Josh has a friend that lives around the corner. We'll call him B. Today is B's 13th birthday but we won't be celebrating it with him. Why? Because his parents don't allow non-family birthday parties. In addition, they have refused to let him leave the house today because it's his birthday.

This poor kid is never allowed to do anything. He isn't allowed to come out on the weekends because his cousin (same age) comes to visit and he has to stay there and entertain him. Why they can't both come out and play with the other kids is beyond me. I guess the rest of our kids are heathen and not worthy to interact with them.

He has to be home by 6pm on the rare occasions that they do let him leave the house and rarely do they let him back out after that. It's not even close to being dark til at least 8pm and we live in a quiet neighborhood where you can yell from your porch and the kids can hear you.

He is a relatively good kid but when he gets grounded...watch out! The last time, he was grounded for an entire month for getting bad grades. If I grounded Josh for poor grades he'd never leave the house. :)

I can understand wanting to shelter and protect your children but this is borderline cruelty as far as I'm concerned. Ground them for grades if you want but let them have the opportunity to make friends and what is up with no birthday party?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY B!

   


Monday, July 18, 2011

You're all evil, there's no hope, that's it!

I just had to share this again. Saw this at church over a year ago but it cracks me up every time. Watch all the way to the end...if you can make it through the creepy Jesus voice!


Too bad that fool that posted this has such an atrocious screen name. :(

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bye Bye Blackberry, Hello Thunderbolt (My Intitial Review)

I've been waiting for this day for nearly a month. The charging port on my blackberry had given up on me and you had to tape the cord in just the right place or the phone wouldn't charge. Even then it would take over night to completely charge.

Today was the day that I could finally upgrade at a discounted rate. I did all my research and decided on the HTC thunderbolt. Would have loved to stay with blackberry but the options of touchscreen keyboards was almost non-existent.

First, let me say that the bigger screen is fantastic. Wasn't it just a few years ago that they were trying to see how small they could make cell phones? This baby is a really good size...actually, a little bigger than I'm used to so it'll take some time to get used to the feel of it.

In preparation for my purchase I ordered the otter box case because there is NO WAY I want to take the chance of breaking this phone when it cost me so much money.  I've been playing with it for several hours and here are my pros & cons.

CONS:
* There are WAY TOO MANY apps pre-installed and you can't uninstall them.
* There are WAY TOO MANY apps available in the market place...overwhelming.
* I can't find a way to hide or remove widgets/icons from the home page. There are many I don't want/need but I can't find a way to remove them, or even move them to a lower priority.
* The silicone sleeve of the otter box case doesn't stay attached to the phone as well as the BB case did and it is difficult to get the phone in and out of the holster.
* You cannot watch Netflix movies on your phone...apparently it's not compatible with the thunderbolt model. :(
* The keys on the virtual keyboard seem to be a little bit off from a normal QWERTY keyboard so that is taking some time to get used to.
* The spell check/predictive text is annoying and gets in the way when you are typing.
* There isn't any spellcheck feature that will simply correct the words and not try to predict what you are typing. I want spell check only.
* Transfering songs to your phone is not a straight forward process. You have to download V Cast with Rhapsody, sync the songs to that program from your library and then drag and drop them into your phone queue. Not horrible but not as clean as my BB was.
* Not all apps work in portrait and landscape mode
* The main menu screen only works in portrait...it will not rotate to landscape.
* The manuals tell you absolutely nothing about the phone other than the basics that all Verizon phones include. Just figured out that all the icons at the top are not open apps, they are notifications of things that I need to read from apps such as facebook and then clear off the screen,

PROS:
* The display is a very good size
* It has a kick stand so if you ever actually get any movies loaded you can watch them hands-free.
* You can use songs from your phone as ring tones without downloading an app to create them.
* The sound quality is good when playing music, videos, etc
* There are tons of apps (I know, it's on both lists). :)
* The built in wallpapers and such are pretty good. Nice options and there are even some animated choices.
* Sound quality for calls seems to be very good, although the first call I took sounded like it was on speaker even though it wasn't (it was really loud).
* It has Wi-Fi although I've gone this long without it, I doubt I will ever use it.
* The phone can become a mobile hot spot. Haven't had a chance to use it so I'll have to reserve judgment on that too.
* The keyboard works in portrait and landscape.
* Apps downloaded really quickly
* You can do other things while apps are downloading
* It says you can talk on the phone and do other things as well. I've not tried it yet...we'll see if I'm coordinated enough.

I'm reserving judgement on the battery. I charged it fully and it was dead in less than 3 hours. Granted, I was playing with it almost non-stop so that's probably to be expected...hence my reason for refraining from making a judgment call at this time.  I plan to give it a couple weeks and if it's not any better I plan to buy an extended battery. That means I'll also have to give up the otter box and go without or buy a Seidio as that is the only case I've seen that will accommodate the extended battery.


That's all I've come up with in the last few hours. I know, you are thinking THAT'S ALL?!?!?! I'm sure there will be more. If you have this phone and/or know of any ways to resolve some of the items on my cons list, please let me know!

Thou shalt not covet...

This is such a hard one. Normally, I feel fortunate to have a roof over my head, a decent car, and a job to help pay for things. I try not to worry about what other people have because there are things that I will never be able to afford and it's not worth the time to wish for things that can never be. Lately, it's been a lot more difficult not to feel envious of others and what they have.

I often look at the happy pictures of friends online and wonder what they did so much better than me to enable them to have great jobs, extra money, vacations, well behaved children. :)

I don't want a huge house, I don't need a fancy sports car and I don't need to go on a European vacation several times a year. I just want to be able to afford to take Josh on a nice vacation once in a while. Something that doesn't require we drive and stay within a 4-6 hour radius of home. I'd love to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can afford to pay for repairs should something happen to your house, you get ill, etc.

It's those times when I see how happy and full the lives of others are when I wonder...what did I do so wrong to deserve to struggle like this? Was I such a horrible person over the last 35 years that I can't catch a break and have some security in my life?

I'm not a person prone to depressive thoughts but the last 7 months have been really hard and I'm ready for something good to happen. Even if it's just one thing right now...I'd settle for finding a decent job making enough money for us to live on. I just need someone to give me that chance.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weigh In 07/16/11

Finally got back on the wagon this week. Did lots of yard work and such to burn calories, tried to stay under my calorie goal (which was mostly successful) and walked around the neighborhood several times. Looks like it worked because this week I lost 4.4 lbs.

Now, I just have to keep up this momentum and don't stop tracking and working out as much as possible. I really want to get back to where I was in 2009, or lower. That would be awesome. Took me a year to do it last time. It's taking a lot longer this time because I can't seem to stay focused. Must get to it and stop being lazy about it.

Airport Security vs The 4th Amendment

I get the fact that airport security has gotten a lot more drawn out and intrusive at times. What I don't understand is all the people that are freaking out about the new procedures. I admit that I have never had to go through this new process and do not fly very often. That being said, I prefer my safety over convenience and would suffer through the process to ensure I'm not flying with someone that is carrying any sort of weapon.

I've seen pictures of the scanned images and they are not always flattering; however, it's better to be safe than sorry. Would you rather they let a questionable person get on the plane and then die because you didn't want everyone to be inconvenienced?

I found this site via Twitter and find it to be a rather asinine idea. They even have items for kids that say "Read the 4th amendment, pervert". Really? Terrorists are always adapting to blend in...who is to say they won't use children or "normal" looking people to achieve their goals?

Folks that wear these articles of clothing are just asking for the additional steps to be taken. In my opinion, they are just looking for a way to cause delays and trouble and get attention for a procedure that is trying to keep us safe.

Do some agents go too far at times? Of course...there will always be people, in any line of work, that step over the line. Those people should be reported and dealt with. However; purposely causing trouble during a check point is a huge red flag. If I was a TSA agent and you did this on my shift, I'd make sure you didn't make that flight.

Don't mess with my safety. You and your agenda are not worth it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I hate children...

Seriously, there have been times in the last couple weeks that I have felt that way and had the intense urge to strangle some of them. I used to think that my son (13) was the most ill-mannered, rude child in the neighborhood. This past week, he has appeared (almost) saint-like compared to some of the hooligans that live here.

These kids have no respect for anyone else or their property and are allowed to roam the neighborhood until 1am or later. I can't count the number of red juice stains that I've found on my counters, carpets, etc. Josh's toys always seem to get broken when the other kids are here. They leave electronics and other breakable items laying all over the floor. And they leave the door standing open when the A/C is running. I even put a sign on the door and they still don't close it.

This morning, one of them egged my house because he was mad at Josh. This afternoon, they tried to convince me to take 7-8 people in the back of my car that only carries 5. They swore they would all hide in the back. We aren't going anywhere unless everyone is buckled. Tonight, a group of them came looking for Josh close to 10pm. They knocked once, twice, three times...then opened the screen door and started banging on the glass. If I'd been asleep I would have gone even more ballistic on them than I did.

Seriously, if you knock twice and the door isn't answered, GO AWAY! Especially when all the lights are off. You rude, inconsiderate piece of...sorry! I'm still extremely irritated at how they have behaved today and I'm about to ban them from the house entirely. I don't know how much more I can take.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Politicians....Dumb It Down!

I'm not a complete moron. I graduated from high school. But I don't understand a thing that the politicians are talking about these days. That's probably the way they want it. Keep the majority of the population confused enough to be herded into the voting booths like sheep so they can blindly vote for whoever "their party" has endorsed.

I'm not an eloquent speaker and I don't have mass quantities of knowledge about anything that I "learned" in high school, I didn't go to college because I knew I wasn't cut out to buckle down and pay attention. Instead, I continued to work & pay taxes, which I have done since I was old enough to legally do so. However, I've never been able to fully embrace the chaos that is politics.

I never even registered to vote until I was over 30 and still haven't voted to this day. Why? Because I don't feel like I know enough about any one that is running for any office to  make an informed, educated decision. I want to weigh the facts and make that decision on my own. Unfortunately, I can't do that because I don't understand most of what the politicians are talking about. They waste so much time and effort trying to speak in big words to make themselves look smart that the average Joe can't keep up, not to mention those of us with attention span problems. I can't make it through any of their debates or speeches because it makes me want to slit my throat 2 minutes in.

If you want us to really understand what is going on and make informed decisions, sit down and speak to us like you would you kids or your friends. Don't try to impress me with your fancy speeches, that just makes you look like a pompous ass.

If your point is to keep us so confused that we don't know who to believe and vote for, you are doing a fantastic job. People complain about the government because they don't understand what or who they voted for. Why does the president need a speech writer? Can he not think and speak for himself? If not, I don't want him running the country.

All I'm asking for is that they behave more like human beings and talk to us like the average American. Not some CEO with 3 Masters degrees that's running some big company and knows all the fancy butt kissing terms. You want my vote, be "normal". I'm sick of feeling like an idiot after hearing you speak!

The Netflix Rate Hike

I have Netflix, we watch it a few times a week. Seems like a waste of $10.69 when you aren't using it daily, right? Well, I think it's worth the cost because I don't have a video club membership elsewhere and I don't want to drive to the store every time I want to rent a movie. I have to remember to return it and burn gas driving there and back...twice. We currently have unlimited streaming and 1 DVD at a time per month. This rate was actually increased within the last 12 months but only by about a $1 or so and I didn't really mind too much.

Now, Netflix has announced a new price hike that is around 60% more if you want to keep the same type of plan. Frankly, my last physical DVD sat on the console for over a month and we never did watch it. I returned that yesterday and went online to change my plan to streaming only. At $7.99 a month, I'm actually going to be saving money thanks to their pricing plan change. :)

Even if I left my plan as is and paid the $16 a month it would still be more convenient than renting from a video store in town. The price of gas & potential late fees, as well as the inconvenience of driving there and back twice per rental is enough to keep me with Netflix.

Yes, their selection is not the best and it can take forever for new releases to actually be available on DVD; however, this never really bothered me. If I liked a movie well enough at the theater, I'll just buy it when it's released on DVD for $15 and then I have it. I usually only watch older movies on Netflix anyway. Things I haven't seen in a while but don't like well enough to buy.

At any rate, I will stick with Netflix and downgrade my account. I didn't expect their plans to remain the same forever. It's no different than cable and internet companies. They are in it to make money, if they stop making money, they have to increase the prices. Unfortunately, that is the way of the world...get used to it!

*Might give Redbox a try one of these days. There is one less than a mile from my house so that might be a good option too!

My Twitter Rules

I'm sure there are "official" rules about how to follow people and get followers on twitter but I haven't read those and don't intend to. I have my own simple set of rules for operating on Twitter and I'll share them below. If you are interested, keep reading. If not, farewell! :)

1. I do NOT auto follow...I check previous tweets and if you aren't interesting or informative you won't make the cut.

2. If I don't know you, don't bother sending me a link. I won't open it...and that will not make me want to follow you. Report Spam & Block!

3. If I follow you and you turn out to be uninteresting, vile or morally reprehensible...you will be gone.

4. I don't follow people that have over 20K tweets in less than a year because they reply to every tweet that shows up in their timeline. If you want to have a conversation, go do so on Facebook or in a chat room. That's not really what Twitter was intended for.

5. I usually block RT's from personal users in my timeline. If I wanted to see what Joe Schmoe tweeted I'd be following him myself. Thanks for not sharing. :)

6. People that tweet every 30 seconds while watching TV or sports drive me crazy and may be un-followed. It clogs up the timeline and I don't like it.

7. I don't follow celebrities just because they are celebrities. I've followed many because I thought they would be interesting only to un-follow them after a week due to one of the other rules above.

You can probably see a theme in these "rules". I like to keep my timeline as clean as possible so I can catch as many tweets as possible. Too much going on and I might miss something important.

People that follow thousands of accounts amaze me. I don't know how you ever get to see half the tweets that they post because they'd be constantly refreshing. If you are working a business account, that's fine. But on a personal level, I want to actually read what people are posting...all of it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Squeezing through 'Da Skinny Gate'

A while back I was singing at a women's conference and the speaker had a bible called Da Jesus Book. It includes several books of the New Testament, all written in Hawaii Pidgin dialect. I immediately went online to find myself a copy because it can be fun to read if you can get the right accent.

By far, the best thing we have found so far is 'Da Skinny Gate' from Matthew 7:13-14. Get your bible and look up the "regular" verbiage if you don't quite get the idea.

Fo go inside God's place, go inside thru da skinny gate. Get one nodda gate dat stay wide an get plenny room. Dass da gate fo da road fo take you to Hell, an get plenny guys going dat way. But da real gate stay skinny and da real road mo smalla. Dass da one fo bring you to God who goin make you live fo real kine, an ony litto bit guys goin pick dat road.

*You know my spell check just blew up on this passage! :)

My first thought was, how in the world am I going to fit my big old butt through 'da skinny gate'? Are they saying all fat people are going to hell? It kinda sounds that way, doesn't it? Guess this could be good motivation for some folks to stick to their diet and lose weight!

At any rate, it's fun to read if you can stumble through the spelling and dialect and add a little accent to it.

The apple doesn't fall...Lord Help Me!

My child has been doomed from the start. With only me as a parental influence, he has picked up all of my crazy habits and more. Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows that I have a strange sense of humor and I often say things without truly thinking.

Josh shares my love of laughter and is working on improving his comedic timing. He never fails to make me laugh but some times he fails to ensure the surroundings and audience are appropriate. He can recite just about every line from any Jim Carey movie and knows the comedy routines of Tim Hawkins and Jeff Dunham verbatim. He's even mastered the voices and facial expressions in many scenarios. It's a bit scary at times. He does this one (Subway), including the moves, perfectly!

Of late, he has been more "body concious" and today he asked me if a mani-pedi was something that had to do with a mans private parts. He didn't word it quite that delicately but, you get the point. I'm thankful he feels able to speak freely to me but somethings...I just don't want to know. Frankly, I could have gone my whole life without him ever knowing what other purposes his penis was created for. :)

Instead, I'm already having talks about sex, girls and body hair. Heck, we were talking about body hair when he was 10.
<----- Thank goodness he hasn't progressed to this point yet. I pray he never does or we will be having the "waxing" conversation as well.
Yesterday, he decided to shave (apparently to impress a girl) and I got the pleasure of watching his reaction the first time he applied aftershave. It.was.hilarious!

There are many times that make me question my sanity and my abilities as a parent but then he throws out a "skit" or impression that makes me laugh so hard I could cry. Although crying is a normal emotion when you are raising teenagers, is it not?

Guess I'll keep plugging along and hope for more of these moments of hilarity! They are much more fun than some of the "other" stuff!