Thursday, June 30, 2011

Google AdSense...Worth It?

Months ago I tried to set up an AdSense account for my blog but had serious issues with error messages and finally gave up. I've been trying to get back into it but it just keeps telling me "An AdSense account does not exist for this login, as it is associated with an unapproved application". Once you get that message it's all over with because not even the "AdSense Home" link works. I've posted on their forum to see if I can get some help but I'm wondering if anyone else has had issues with this and should I just give up?

Man boards plane with stolen, expired boarding pass

I'm not sure what concerns me more, the fact that this happened or the comments from some of the readers on the MSNBC website. People can be so insensitive and I don't see how making fun of the TSA system and it's procedures can be beneficial to anyone. It's too bad people don't spend half as much time looking to fix problems as they do making fun of them or complaining about them.

Full MSNBC Article

Doesn't sound like this guy had any dangerous materials on him but it may very well be more terrorists testing the system to see what they can get away with.

In this situation, it's very concerning that this person was able to get through security with an expired pass. The screeners need to continue to be focused on the actual paperwork as well as the pat downs and screening machines that are making all sorts of headlines. :)

In my opinion, not only should he be charged but the screeners that allowed him to pass should be penalized as well. Maybe some unpaid leave will give them time to think about what they have done. As in any job, if you make a mistake, there should be some sort of consequences. Let us hope some good lessons are learned from this.

Motivation Lacking

Anyone that knows me, knows that I've been struggling with my weight forever. I've lost large amounts of weight twice before but always gained it back. On January 1st, 2011 I decided to start again and really focus this time. It's not happening.

I don't know why I can't get the motivation to actually stick with it this time. I think it's because I've gotten so comfortable with who I am and I don't really care what other people think about it...which is good and bad. Semi comfortable and you still want to look nice. Too comfortable and you get to a point where you just don't care what you look like. I think I'm too comfortable.

Originally, I was having serious issues with my feet and arthritis and I wanted to lose the weight to relieve that pain. At this point, the pain is either receding or not so bad so I just can't get my mind to care about losing the weight. I want to do something to get my mind back on track but I can't figure out what that is.

Being out of work for 6+ months would have been the perfect time to get in shape but instead, it just made me more depressed since I wasn't able to find a job and feel like a productive member of society. Maybe when I find that new job it will give me the incentive to get back on track and improve my health and looks.
Let's hope so! :)
This is a fun pic that some friends and I have done when we were in TN about 11 years ago. I doubt I will ever look like this but wouldn't that be nice!?
P.S. I hate my nose...too wide! LOL

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Westboro Church Gets FBI Training?

Wow, I cannot believe that anyone thought this was a good idea. Especially when they say this training was for higher level police and FBI agents...not the general public. Why in the world would they have invited these folks to attend?

Westboro Church Gets FBI Training?

Cited for flipping the bird?

While I agree that people should follow the laws and I'm extremely irritated by those that don't, I think this officer in the story (link below) took things a bit too far.

Driver Cited for Flipping The Bird

My biggest issue with this is the officers comment to the driver, indicating he would have pulled the other guy over if Mr. Pogue hadn't flipped him the bird.

He said, 'Yeah, I was thinking about going after them until I saw you flip them off.'

Seriously? How about we actually uphold the laws that are put in place to avoid people getting harmed, causing traffic problems, etc. Was any one delayed or harmed by a middle finger in the air?

Was the bird in poor taste? YES...Mr. Pogue admitted as much but I don't see where he should be penalized for that. If he had just yelled F*** YOU out the window, would that have been better?

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Attn Employers: TAKE A CHANCE

I'm sure by now everyone is well aware of the state of the economy, the job market, etc. Many people that had long standing careers are now "out on the streets"...working hard to find a new place that will take them in and provide them a decent income to support their families.

In many cases, these folks had 10+ years with their previous employer, often working in multiple roles and departments to learn all they could about the industry they had chosen. All too often, these companies were merged or purchased by larger organizations and changes were made...often leaving tenured employees without a job or security.

Oh sure, there are jobs out there...the problem? Those folks that fall in the me! I've had 12 years of experience in financial services ranging from call center supervision to fraud to client engagement. Yes, I have a good deal of experience (for my age)...what I don't have is a degree.

During the last 6+ months of job hunting I've found that employers seem to want start up folks that will settle for a lower wage or experienced folks with a degree. (Although a degree isn't always a guarantee of higher wages either.) Unfortunately, I fall in the middle. I don't have a degree so I don't even get a call for the higher profile jobs that I'm qualified to do. But I'm considered overqualified to be a bank teller or cashier and can't get a call back for those jobs either. I've been turned down at least 3 times in the last 2 months for bank teller jobs without even being given a chance. Very frustrating.

I think most people in my position understand that they may be taking a pay cut in situations like this. I was spoiled at my last job and made good money. I have no expectation to make that much starting out anywhere else, and that's ok.

All I'm asking for is a chance. Take a moment to speak with me...even if it's just on the phone and find out what my situation is, what I'm looking for and why I might be applying for a lower paying job. I don't want to be on unemployment...I'd much rather work for my money and do something that gives meaning to my life. :)

Think about it, you could be passing up some talented folks that would be an asset to your organization, just because you assume you know what they want. TAKE A CHANCE! I'm worth it!

When did mediocrity become the norm?

Perhaps it's because I'm frustrated with my lack of direction lately. Most certainly it's because I have become more critical of employees in the service industry that have jobs, yet provide poor service when I cannot land a job to save my life.

What I cannot understand is why employers and even employees themselves feel that mediocre service is acceptable today. People don't seem to take pride in their work anymore and employers don't seem to care. Maybe it's not that they don't care, it's that they are so used to poor performance they don't know how to stop it.

It comes down to a matter of respect. Respect for your job, your employer and yourself. Why would you purposely take a job in a service industry and then make yourself and your employer look horrendous by providing poor service to the public? Every job is worth doing well...if you don't like what you are doing, find something else. Hating your job is no excuse for making someone else miserable.

At the suggestion of some friends I'm going to begin blogging about my experiences with people in the service industry. Maybe I'll even include some stories about my job hunting if that continues any longer, although I'm hoping I can remove unemployment expert from my resume some time soon.

Check back frequently for some stories and such from me if you are interested. I'd be very interested in hearing your stories and feedback as well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do you have klout?

Found this website today about how to judge the extent of your online influence. Decided to sign up and see what happens. Apparently, I mention pizza alot and I talk alot about my family. No surprise to anyone that knows me, I guess! It's an interesting site that allows you to compare yourself to others and even give more klout points to people that have influenced you in one area or another.

Can't wait to see how this turns out in a few weeks or months. Could be awesome or I could lose every bit of self confidence I have. Either way, it should be interesting. Join and compare yourself to others today. Click the widget on my home page to get there and sign up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What the funk!?

Ever since I was laid off the beginning of the year I've been slowing spiraling out of control. I started out optimistic but that has dwindled to despair this week. It started out well with me being positive that I would be able to find a job in a short period of time. Well, that didn't happen.

The longer I was unemployed, the worse things got. I started to feel useless and desperate for something to do that would make life worthwhile again. On top of that, Josh began to rebel and has been a holy terror for the last couple months.

Yesterday, everything culminated into a day of nearly constant tears and terrifying thoughts. I can't imagine I would ever act on some of the thoughts that were in my head but they scared me anyway. I just need some time away but that will never happen. Being a single mom sucks.

I've tried so hard to be a good example for Josh and show him how to behave but there are many times when he exhibits every trait that I detest in people. I don't understand why he does some of the things he does. It is so frustrating to deal with and I'm so tired of it. I just don't know what to do anymore.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Words to read often and remember

Found this on twitter today and decided it was worthy of being printed, framed and hung in my house. It is something that we should read often and remember.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weigh In 06/11/11

After completely missing last weeks weigh in, I remembered to step on the scale this morning. Unfortunately, I gained 5.3 lbs in the last 2 weeks according to my scale. I am NOT happy about that but it isn't a total surprise since I didn't keep track of everything I ate.

I'm hoping to get back on the wagon starting today and move forward with a lot more willpower. I sure hope it doesn't fail me now because I need it to make it through this!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vacation Planning

A couple of weeks ago, I won a Sun & Fun Vacation from a local radio station, WIKY. I finally made it in to pick up my certificate and a list of places I can choose from as well as activities they will cover while we are there. Here is where my dilemma begins, there are about 20 locations to choose from that range from Texas to Florida to Canada. Unfortunately, the prize only covers the hotel and the cost of some activities...we still have to get to the chosen location ourselves.

Since we don't have to cover the hotel (3-5 days depending on location) we can use a little extra money for gas but I'm not too excited about a 10-13 hour car ride there and back...even if we can go to the beach. I've narrowed it down to the locations that have activities that I think would be fun for me and Josh...let me know where you think we should go and if there are any other activities in those areas we should include in our plans.

Branson, MO - 5 days
- Ride The Ducks (not sure what this is and it's the only activity that is provided so I guess the hotel is more expensive than the others...or there isn't much to do in Branson???)

Cleveland, OH - 4 days
- Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
- Goodtime III Excursion Cruise
- Hard Rock Dinner Certificate

Kansas City, MO - 4 days
- World of fun amusement park
- Oceans of fun water park
- Science city
- KC Rail experience
- Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium
- City extreme screen theater

Savannah, GA - 4 days
- Blue Trolley Tour
- Horse & Carriage tour
- Savannah River Queen Cruise

Washington, DC - 4 days
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Lincoln Memorial
- National Archives
- National gallery of art
- Capital Building
- Washington Monument
- White House

New Orleans, LA - 4 days
- Steamboat Natchez Jazz Harbor Cruise
- Aquarium
- Imax
- Zoo
- Horse & Carriage tour of the French Quarter

Orlando/Daytona - 5 nights
- Sun Cruz Casino Boat (may not be appropriate for Josh)

Niagara Falls - 4 days
- Maid of Mist boat ride to the falls
- Journey behind the falls
- Butterfly conservatory
- Whitewater walk
- Ripley's Museum & Moving Theater

Panama City Beach - 4 days
- Helicopter beach tour (only 1 activity)

Nashville, TN - 5 days
- Science center
- Zoo
- Ryman Auditorium
- General Jackson Cruise
- The Parthenon
- Country music hall of fame
- Musicians hall of fame

St. Augustine, FL - 5 days
- Scenic Cruises
- Sightseeing Train

There are some others that are just too far or not something that would keep Josh interested like Montreal, Toronto, NY, Boston, etc.

Help me out here...what would you do if you were me?

Troublesome Teens, Lay Offs, Anxiety

I expected some trouble when my son hit the teen years but the last few months have been almost unbearable. I'm at the point where I just don't want to fight about anything so I just ignore him when he gets into a tirade about something. And curfew??? Forget about it! He still has a week left of school but he just refuses to come home when I tell him to. He's always near the house with his friends that I know so at least he's not out running all over town but I'm really getting tired of him not listening.

I'm sure this is mostly my fault for not having a more structured schedule for him as he was growing up but it's just the 2 of us so I didn't really NEED to have a schedule for every aspect of our lives. I find it more enjoyable to be able to be free to do things on the fly if you want but that has apparently back fired on me.

I think it got worse when I lost my job because since then he has become increasingly combative, refuses to go to school at times and has been late every day for the last week because he just won't get up on time. I know what you are thinking...MAKE HIM GET UP! Yeah, it doesn't work that way when he's 5'6"+ and 175 pounds. I can't just get him dressed and put him in the car anymore. If he refuses to get up there is nothing I can do about it. Well, if he continues to refuse to go the truancy officer may come get him but that is another story entirely. :)

Football workouts start today and I really hope this is something that will get him focused and make him want to work harder so he can stay on the team. I guess we shall see if he can manage to stick with it and learn a little self discipline in the process. I can't wait until this week is over so we don't have to worry about school for a little while. I'm tired of fighting about it.

I'm sure my anxiety about the job situation is not helping either but it's been over 6 months an I can't even get a call back. I'm so frustrated I just don't know what to do. I don't want to take a job making less than what I can get on unemployment but I may not have a choice when that runs out. I just hate doing nothing. I wanted to be a CASA volunteer but once I get a job my schedule might not allow me to take off during the day to go to court and I don't want to commit to them and then have to back out again.

The situation seems bleak sometimes but I just have to keep going and hope the best will eventually come...or at least something mediocre. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Are we becoming lazier?

It seems in this day and age, we are all expecting technology to do everything for us. We can barely function if we have to do something manually and want computer programs to do the thinking for us. I'm using an online program that allows you to track calories in and out as well as interact with others on multiple message boards. I have to say that I am saddened by the number of people on that site that absolutely refuse to try to do anything for themselves.

If they have a question about the program...instead of using the HELP section at the top of each page, they post the question in a forum. This wouldn't be a huge deal except for the fact that the questions have almost all been answered if they would take a moment to look for the answer first. All these duplicate postings make it nearly impossible to find and answer the legitimate questions from folks that really need help.

I also find it irritating when people post "suggestions" that they feel should be made immediately on a website that is being offered to them for free. Here are a few that I've seen on the dieting site that made me chuckle.

1. When I enter a food that is high in calories, the system should suggest healthier food options for me.
    ME: Ok, I can see some benefit to this but this is asking the system to do way too much work. How do these people ever expect to live a healthy life if they can't even make food decisions for themselves?

2. If I only have 400 calories left for the day, the system should tell me what I should eat to stay within my calorie goal.
    ME: Same as #1...people need to stop being so dependent on technology and learn to think for themselves.

3. I've logged into the system for 150 days but my screen only says 35. Please fix this ASAP as it's discouraging not to see the correct number.
    ME: I get that it's encouraging to see how many days you have consistently logged into the system to track your food. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why people place so much importance on silly little things like this. I know people need different types of encouragement but if you are at the point where you want to binge eat because your log-in counter is off, maybe you should seek professional help. Just my opinion! :)

Anyway, enough of this little rant. I deleted all my friends from that site and made my profile private so I can just focus on logging my calories without getting involved in all the drama. Unfortunately, there is no way to hide the links to the forum posts so I have to try really hard to avoid looking at them. I really wanted to be able to help people but the stupid posts overtook the legit ones and I could no longer stand it. I just try to stay away from it if at all possible.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

North High Football Fundraiser

Josh is going to play football for North this coming year and we are already into the first fundraiser of the year. If you would like to buy BBQ to help him support the team, please let me know.

Orders taken through 6/18/11
Pick Up @ Stepto's on 1st Ave 6/25/11 from noon-5pm (we can deliver if needed)
Payment due at time of order

Whole Chicken - $10
Whole Slab Ribs - $20
Boston Pork Butt - $20

Please email your name, phone & order details to no later than midnight 6/18/11. Include your pick up or delivery preference as well. Make checks payable to North Husky Football, Inc and mail to me. I'll provide the address once I get your emailed order.

Some exciting changes happening for this coming year. Check it out at

Thanks all,
Katy & Josh Olson