Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of Whitney's sophomore year. It is hard to imagine that in two years she will be graduating and going off to college. This year she has learned to make reasonable arguments and draw her own conclusions about a wide range of topics. Her grasp of US History is great. Dan and her have had many discussions about different things and he has been impressed with discussions. Her knowledge of Spanish is greater than she thinks. She has had a math teacher who made algebra fun. She has also learned that she is not cut out for any job in the medical field thanks to biology. And she also learned that classes are much more interesting when you are with a bunch of kids who want to learn rather than thrown into the mix with those that think school stinks. Next year should hopefully continue the good student mix with two AP classes and advanced math and science and a fourth year of Spanish.

Congratulations Whitney on another good year!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Topsy Turvy Update

I planted the tomatoes about one month ago and since then we've had over 4 inches of rain and not as much sun as I would have liked. Dan moved the plant to get more sun after a week or so because it defintely wasn't getting enough. I can turn the plant so it can get sun and grow evenly. It likes to grow towards the sun so turning is key. Hopefully it will continue to grow and in another month we'll have those 30 pounds of tomatoes to share.

Reflections of the month of May

May is always a busy month in our house. I always have a conference to go to and lots of work to do before the end of the fiscal year. Whitney has the end of school and dance recital plus now she is getting ready to work. Dan just has to put up with both of us being stressed out (a lot of extra work for him there). This month has flown by and I realize that there still is a week left because Memorial Day is early but I still don't think I've accomplished much. Here is what I would like to do but don't know when I can do it.

1. Plant flowers. I always say I'm going to take care of flowers and then it gets hot and I hate to go outside to even water them. I don't really look at them, so I think I'll skip it this year.

2. Take walks outside. I said I would wait until the weather is nicer to walk outside and it is nicer now. How many walks have I taken? Two. One at work during lunch and one after work in the neighborhood. I really need to do more because I'm not working out at all.

3. Exercise on the Wii Fit. I looked at the calendar and I think I've done it three times this month. Definitely not enough for any kind of aerobic benefits. Need to get back to doing that.

4. Write our will. I've owned software for four years to do it ourselves (legal in Oklahoma) and so far I haven't cracked it open. I tried once when I bought it (two computers ago) and it still isn't done. I don't suggest this for anyone out there.

5. Buy a car. I actually did accomplish this one so maybe there is hope for me yet.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My New Car

I finally have time to write about my new car. Last weekend I finally went to test-drive cars. It only took me two months of research to finally have the time to do it. I had it narrowed down to a Honda Civic Coupe and a Hyundai Tiburon. Dan and I went and I drove them. Whitney wasn't there so I had an out on the pushy salesman because I wanted her to see it too before I bought anything. The Honda place was so nice, it is where we bought our last car. The Hyundai place had a nice salesman but the sales manager was your typical pushy guy. I got a good offer before I left but knew I had to go back. So later that day we took Whitney to look at the cars. The Tiburon ended up having a really bad blind spot plus a rattle so I decided against it. But the Civic was good all around. Dan got them to let us take the car home and we would go back Monday with our decision. It was Sunday before I remembered that I was going to be in Oklahoma City at a conference all day and couldn't go back. But Dan talked to them on the phone Monday and actually negotiated the price that I wanted. They said it would be fine to come back on Tuesday. The car just sat in the garage for two days because I didn't want to risk bringing it out without owning it. So Tuesday afternoon I went to the dealer and did all the paperwork and was the proud owner of a silver Honda Civic Coupe. It is maybe not as sporty looking on the outside as it could be but inside it is sporty. And a Honda is always a good purchase. Now it is time for Whitney to get serious to learn how to drive the Stratus. We are officially a three car family. Got to find a place to park the extra car. It is hard since we have a fire hydrant in front of our house.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Coming to the end of the biggest loser

There are only 3 more weigh in days for the biggest loser in our building. So 9am I rolled over to the postage meter scale (got to love our office) and stepped on. I wore my skinny new clothes hoping it would bring me more luck because I wasn't feeling confident. And tada, I lost another pound. So now I'm at 11.25% lost. Wowser. I still need some more pants/shorts/capris but I think I have enough tops now. I think even my feet have lost weight and they were skinny feet to start with.

So to all of those out there trying, there is hope. Just take it one day at a time, don't get discouraged if you splurge every once in awhile, and remember you didn't gain all the weight overnight, so you can't lose it overnight.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lessons from The Lion King

Whitney and I saw The Lion King last night. It was the Broadway touring show and it really was fantastic. I believe there are a few life lessons to be learned from it.

1. Hakanu Matata may work for awhile, but then life catches up with you. As much as you say "No Worries" believe me worries come into play.

2. You cannot escape the past but you can embrace it and learn from it.

3. Family is very important and they love you no matter what.

4. We all have to die but we can make sure that we live on in spirit through our current actions.

5. And if all else fails, have a good funny sidekick who can crack some jokes. :D

Friday, May 8, 2009

VORTEX2 or better known as "Weather Geek Patrol"

There is a huge (and I mean huge) field experiment starting at work Thursday called VORTEX2. It is something about tornado research. You can watch it on the Weather Channel. There are literally hundreds of weather geeks here going to go out throughout the midwest corridor searching for tornadic activity. For six weeks. I know, crazy but they are spending lots of money trying to figure out why some storms cause a tornado and others that look exactly like it don't. So your safety is on their minds.
Anyway today is media day so we have crews from all over the country here getting information about the thing. Plus all of the vehicles are arriving that they are using. There is an entire row of our parking lot filled with radar trucks, mesonet vehicles (those are the ones with funny stuff on the top) and chase cars. I took some pictures so you can get a feel for what they are. So if you see any of these cars in the next six weeks, take cover immediately.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mr. Potato Head

I'm sure you all remember Mr. Potato Head from your youth. It even had a featured role in Toy Story. I think that the movie actually inspired a resurgence of the toy. So imagine my surprise when someone I know from work had a Mr. Potato Head in a Houston Astros outfit. I just had to have one in a Atlanta Braves outfit. My work neighbor said he had one for the Chicago White Sox. So I searched online and found one that was brand new and not too expensive. So I waited patiently for it to arrive (well not patiently but not much I could do). As soon as it got here, I decided we needed a Mr. Potato Head party so here is the result of that. The three amigos as it were. We open our party to any sports Mr. Potato Head in the building, we are a non-discriminatory organization.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What's in the Crate?

I feel like this should be Where's Waldo? We received this crate at the office last week and I had to take a picture. Everything (packages and mail) have to be x-rayed in our building before delivery. My assistant was called down to the xray machine when this arrived because we had to explain what it was. The x-ray was showing over 200 nails holding it together and they couldn't figure out what was in it. The answer: a bottle of water. Yes, I know it sounds very strange. And it is very strange. Last year we had shipped a bottle of Gulf of Mexico water to Germany to be part of a museum exhibit. Long story but basically a researcher had gone and gotten it and wrote about it and the museum wanted it for an exhibit about weather stuff. Crazy. So we had shipped this perfume bottle of water to them. We didn't ship it quite so fancy. But it came back like this. And after we opened the box, we found out that the Germans had added more water and sealed the bottle. So it isn't even what we sent them. I can't imagine what it cost to ship but it sure makes an interesting story.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to make Shakespeare interesting

I bought season tickets to the university's drama series this year. It included musicals (Chicago is the reason for the tickets), dance (ballet, modern mostly for Whitney) and plays. Yesterday was the last one in the series and it was William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Now I'm not a big Shakespeare person. Whitney had to read this one last year in school and didn't like it. So I was sort of dreading it. I ended up going by myself as Whitney had dance pictures. We have really good seats, fifth row right in the middle. But when I got there, the audience was set up slightly different. They had taken out some of the seats to have stairs go underneath and then it looked like there would be audience interaction. I was sitting right next to the downstairs. Then I read the program and the director said that he wanted to make it more approachable to college students so he set it in modern day New York City. They still spoke the lines like Shakespeare wrote but they were portrayed as the ultra-rich. One of them even carried around her little dog. But the most interesting thing was "The Woods". Rather than being a real woods, it was a nightclub. We had all sorts of techno music and popular cultures songs. Many of which may have been inappropriate for young children. The audience was a mix of college aged and old people so they must have been shocked. The "fairies" were dressed up like nightclubbers in very skimpy outfits. I don't think that is what Shakespeare had in mind. They even had a beat-boxing Puck and a rapping Oberon.
(Photos are from the OU Fine Arts website)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

Another weigh in day and another success story. I have now lost 10.6% of my original weight and lots of people are noticing. I definitely need to get some new clothes. This really hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I'm not going to win (there is one guy who is at 16% and still losing) but I did lower my cholesterol and think I've lowered my "health age".