Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Fragments - I'm Still Here

It has been another week of craziness and I can't believe this is the first blog post I've written in a week. Yikes. Thank goodness Mrs. 4444 hosts us for lots of randomness because that is what this one will be.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Last Saturday we went shopping for a chair. We came out of the furniture store with a dresser, nightstand, loveseat and dining room set. What's up with that? So I've spent the week posting the used furniture on a variety of websites to try and sell it. I think someone is at the house right now picking up the old bedroom furniture. The dining room table was supposed to be gone last night but the people didn't come. I hope it is gone this weekend.

This is what Whitney's room looks like right now with piles of furniture in it. Good thing she isn't going to be home for a couple of weeks.

 Our new dining room set. Bar stool height means we can pull up a chair to the counter while someone is cooking.

We consolidated a chest and stand up dresser into this. It was clearanced and slightly dinged but exactly what we wanted.

The matching nightstand has drawers so some clothes moved into here. It is taller than my old one. It had one ding in it but you couldn't buy a smaller new one out of a box for less money. I'll take the storage.

We wanted a seating area in our bedroom and this was perfect. Another clearanced item but not the floor model so it is perfectly new.

Now we have to paint the bedroom because the tv left a black mark where it had been (different height). Time to get rid of the floral wallpaper too.

I was able to cook last weekend. We made risotto which I used a recipe but changed things up. It was probably the best I've ever made. 

We also got to meet our new neighbor. It only took 8 months. We had her over for dinner on Sunday. Quite a story and so glad that isn't my life. That's all I'll say about that one.

This week has been so crazy busy at work since I've been covering for my boss's assistant all week. Needless to say I am counting down until the weekend where I will once again not read work emails.

Next week I am off to Seattle for a work trip. Yes it is work but it is away from here where I will be out of touch for awhile. Thank goodness. I'm looking forward to eating as much seafood as I can legally eat.

And we'll end with a stupid criminal. A guy thought it would be a good idea to get an alarm system that would notify the police when it went off. Great except for the fact that he was growing marijuana in the house. And when the police arrived when there was a false alarm they found it. Needless to say, the alarm worked...just not how he hoped it would.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Fragments - Crazy Week

You know it is crazy when it is afternoon before I get these posted. But I couldn't let the folks with Mrs. 4444 down.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

The week has been crazy at work. I can't wait until 5pm and then I am not thinking about this place for two days. And I mean that.

Mom's cataract surgery went ok except that now she's had to go in because of excess pressure on the eye once and is feeling it again. The doctor goes on vacation Tuesday so hopefully all the pressure will be regulated by then.

I've been eating too many processed dinners this week. Way too tired to cook and I really don't have any leftovers in the freezer to thaw out. Guess this weekend should mean time to cook.

Sorry no stupid criminal this week. Not that there probably weren't any but I just didn't hear of anything stupid enough to write about. :)

I've got my two trips booked for March. I get to go to both coasts. I've already started to plot my restaurant trips. Isn't that what work trips are for?

I'm obsessed with this song. When I can sing all the words to a song without a mistake, you know I'm obsessed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Funny for the Day

I've been taping the new Tonight Show and am enjoying it. I watch the monologue when I get ready in the morning. Last night's episode has one of his bits where he takes Brian Williams clips and makes a rap song out of it. It was super funny.

This is from the Tonight Show's Youtube feed. I could probably spend hours just watching them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hodgepodge-Late to the Party

I'm running late on today's set of questions by Joyce. But that doesn't mean the others were as behind as me. Go see their answers.

1. What's the biggest change since your childhood in the way people think or act?

People aren't as polite and respectful of other's space as they used to be. I like my bubble and don't enter it...please.

2. The Olympic Biathlon involves cross country skiing broken up with either two or four rounds of target shooting. Which part of that would stress you out more? Or would you love them both equally?

I love this event. I keep watching it every morning it is on. I'm not sure how they get their heart rate down so quickly to be able to shoot but I applaud their athleticism. I think the shooting is the hardest part mainly because if you miss you get a minute added onto your skiing time (or do a penalty lap in the team event).

3. February is National Canned Food Month...what is your most often purchased canned food item? What was in the last can you opened?

I think I buy lots of diced tomatoes. Which is probably the last can I opened. We use them in lots of cooking.

4. What river (anywhere in the world) would you most like to cruise?

Maybe the Danube?

5. It's the middle of the night and you can't sleep...what do you do? Count sheep? Toss and turn? Watch television? Or do you get up and do something productive?

I usually toss and turn some. Very rarely will I get up. I read where that is the worst thing to do if you are trying to go back to sleep. Mainly because you trick your body into thinking it needs to be awake. Where if you are laying in bed it thinks sleep.

6. How important is keeping your cool?

If you blow your cool things get said that really should not be said. Have an internal conversation and save yourself some grief.

7. I've got white stuff on the brain so why not run with it? White lie, wave the white flag, white knuckle it, white wash a situation, or white as a sheet...which phrase could most recently apply to your own life in some way?

What as a sheet...because I'm always so pale. :)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I took mom to have cataract surgery this morning (my excuse for lateness). The doctor was running behind (how this happens I don't know) so she waited an extra hour. Her blood pressure was sky high. I really didn't know people could get that high without dying. But some good calming drugs, 15 minutes in surgery and it was back down to manageable amounts. I took her home and went to work to deal with fires that popped up here. I sort of wish I was back in a waiting room reading a book.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday - Fabulous Weekend

It was quite a full weekend.

I cooked lobster for the first time! I decided to give it a try. Lobster tails were on sale so every once in a while you must go for it.

Here I am about to put the tail in the boiling water. Really that's all it took...boiling salted water for about 5 minutes.

My apron says the wine is making me awesome!

Here's the finished product along with twice baked potatoes I made. It was the best lobster I've ever had. It took awhile to get it out of the shell (probably would help if I had cooking shears). But well worth the effort.

On Sunday we went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was my mother-in-law's first time to see a big production of anything. The show was very good and the woman playing Belle was an excellent singer. My favorite though was Gaston. Perfect voice and funny. We went to the matinee and there were so many girls dressed up like Belle or in their fancy dresses. The thing that impressed me was that the show has so many jokes the kids were amused. But Belle's dress was just wrong at the end. It wasn't the lovely golden yellow but more of a pale cream. That just wasn't right.

Of course I watched Olympics. Good news is Bob Costas will be back tonight. I miss Bob's style.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Fragments - Happy Valentine's Day

Mrs. 4444 is under the weather and yet she still puts out our weekly blog hop. Get better soon!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Happy Valentine's Day! A lovely made up holiday. For which I'm doing nothing. Tomorrow I decided we are going to make lobster for the first time. Now to figure out a side dish to go with it.

On Sunday I'm taking Whitney, my mom and my mother-in-law to Beauty and the Beast, one of the Broadway touring companies. It was Christmas presents for everyone so we are looking forward to it.

I feel sorry for all you people suffering from feet of snow but it was 55 yesterday and will be in the 60's all weekend long. Yes Oklahoma has fickle weather but mostly on the positive end right now. The warmer weather does not mean my office is any warmer though. I still need my space heater on.

I love being able to watch Olympics in the morning at work on my ipad while I work. Yes I can multi-task. I do it at home so doing it at work isn't any big deal.

Did you know in biathalon when they shoot laying down the target is smaller than when they are standing? Its because it is harder to keep your rifle steady when you are standing. Of course we are talking about targets that are only 4 1/2 inches for standing and 4.5 cm for laying down. That is pretty darn small.

Stupid criminal this week was the woman who stabbed her fiance when he wouldn't take her to the liquor store. He told her he was drunk and couldn't drive so she stabbed him. I don't think they are going to get married anymore.

There is a state in Mexico (Sonora) that has banned a list of 61 baby names. These banned names include: Twitter, Scrotum, Robocop, Spinach, Panties, Harry Potter, James Bond and Mistress. Now why anyone would choose these names is beyond me to begin with. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Olympic Moments

Earlier this week I mentioned I had watched a cross-country skier fall down and then someone help him with a new ski. I wasn't the only one who was touched by this story. It went viral. It was a Russian skier and a Canadian coach.

And then there was the gem of the Russian curler faceplanting during a match. You'll have to go to NBC Olympics to watch it.

Today they are having a new sport...Team Luge. At first I didn't understand it but after watching the video about the rules, this looks like a major adrenaline rush. Think swimming relay. The team is a woman, a man and a doubles team. The woman goes down the course first. When she finishes, she high-fives a button over the finish line which opens up the gate at the start for the man to come down. The man does the same thing to start the doubles team. The time stops when the doubles team hits the button. Doesn't that sound exciting? I'm really pumped about it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Lovely Version of Hodgepodge

Thank you Joyce for another week's worth of questions.

1.What makes love last?

Boy if I knew the answer to this I could write a book, make millions and there would be no problems in the world. I think an important aspect is honesty and respect. Of course love works differently for everyone but I think those would be important in all love relationships.

2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?

I'm not a huge Beatles fan. It's ok but not it was before my time.

3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you?

This is a day made up by card, chocolate and floral companies. You shouldn't have to have one day to show someone you love them. If you wait a week, you can get a lovely bouquet of flowers for a lot cheaper and you still show you love someone. That being said, a card and chocolate are always appreciated.

4. Steak or have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it?

I'll take a burger, medium-rare, with cheese, catsup and pickles. We aren't fancy at home.

5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.' Do you agree? Why or why not?

Well that Lincoln was quite the statesman. I think power goes to a lot of people's heads so he was probably right on that to test character.

6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)? It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?

I don't like pennies (or any coins). They are dirty and make your hands stink if you have to handle a bunch of them. I usually end up spending them at 7/11 to buy a big gulp. And I get rid of everything I can when I go there.

7. Do you think pop culture deserves serious study?

I think a lot can be learned from pop culture and I'm sure many thesis and dissertations have been and will be written on it. And I'm sure many of those people will compare it to ancient civilizations and cultures. Because really so much is the same even though times change.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Did you see the story about the US bobsledder (Johnny Quinn) who got stuck in his bathroom in the Olympic dorm and had to break the door down?

And then he got stuck in an elevator?

I think the Russians may have it in for him.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Love the Winter Olympics

I'm an Olympics junkie. I admit it. There is just something about watching these events that never get shown on tv that makes me happy. And I applaud NBC for having everything live online or even on NBC Sports in the morning so I can pick what I want to see.

Here's a review so far of my highlights.


This is the sport that combines cross country skiing and shooting. I never knew that in the "sprint" they have to shoot once laying down and once standing. And the standing one is after they have skiied like 8-9km. That is just crazy.

Freestyle Moguls

This is one of those X-Games type events. But as I watched it yesterday morning I saw the craziest jump ever. The guy did a face first flying flip. It looked like he was superman. Totally awesome and crazy.

Cross Country Sprint

This morning had the cross country sprint for both men and women. I really don't know how they do it. Basically it is a spring on skis around the track with a big hill and downhill. When I turned it on they were on the semi-finals and one of the guys had destroyed a ski. He was trying to finish the course but basically it fell apart. Someone came up and gave him a different ski since he wasn't going to advance but that is just agony. The skiers actually have to race four times (about a 3 minute race) in a very short time frame. By the finals they are exhausted. The final was super exciting. Of course these are all world class athletes. The downhill section had been really claiming a lot of skiers. When they got to the top of the hill, one of the skiers basically quit. He was wiped out. Then the first two made it through and then BOOM one slipped and fell down. Then another one. And then the third one ran into both of them and crashed. The fellow who had quit decided to keep going and he ended up with the bronze medal.

This is what they look like at the end of a race. They have given it their all.

So what am I looking forward to? Well the craziest sport I think is skeleton. That's where they go down face first on the sled. Have you seen some of the crazy helmets they are wearing? I think it says a lot of about your mentality to do that sport?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Fragments - Opening Ceremony

Mrs. 4444 hosts our weekly meetup. Go see her and all the others who participate. Look she made a new button too.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Stupid criminal this week was a man who tried to rob a woman of her car. He went into her garage and demanded the key. She gave it to him and went back into the house closing the garage door after her. She called police. Police arrived and man was still in garage. I'm guessing alcohol was involved since he never tried to leave the garage.

Anyone catch the new Olympic sport team figure skating last night? I actually sort of got excited watching it (the Japanese male skater was awesome). I'm going to have to explain this concept over and over to many people I think. Tonight is opening ceremony and Whitney will be home to watch it with me. Woohoo!

You can watch all the events online live if you want to or you can watch the compilation that NBC puts together at night. Nothing will be live at night since they are 9-13 hours ahead (depending on where you live in the US).

Our new bible study got cancelled this week because of weather but that works out because my group added a second choice and this will give me time to have the book shipped to me. I wasn't excited about the first choice but was going to go only to have time with my friends. But now we are going to do Beth Moore's study on Daniel. This sounds much more what I want in a bible study.

Did you know that Wednesday was National Weatherperson's Day. All of my favorite meteorologists were at their annual convention so I couldn't personally thank them for all that they do. Never blame a meteorologist for bad weather. They don't make it...they only forecast and research it. I know...I work with them every single day.

I'm making a conscious effort to dress better for work. I work in a very casual environment where I wear jeans every day. I've gotten into a bad habit of wearing worn out keds all the time and frankly I'm tired of always looking like a poor college student. So I'm trying to make sure and wear nicer shoes. I'll still be in jeans but definitely need to step it up. Of course it is so cold out today that I wore a sweatshirt and tennis shoes to work but I'm trying to keep warm. 

I'm also trying to have conversations with people. When we moved to this building seven years ago I never see anyone anymore. I spend all my time in my office and never run into anyone unless they come see me. So I need to get out and have conversations with others. 

I have my theme for A-Z Blog Challenge narrowed down to three things. I'm really leaning to one of them but I just need to make sure I can come up with all the letters. If so, I think it will be a great series.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Thanks Joyce for this week's questions.

1. Are we always responsible for our actions? Are there any exceptions?

Well if something is an accident I'm not sure how responsible we are for an action. But for anything that we do on purpose...yes.

2. Has anyone from your home town become famous?

This questions implies that I have a hometown. Which of the six towns I grew up in counts for it? Or maybe from the town I've lived in since I went to college? If I choose the latter, then that would be the actor, James Garner. For you older people, he was in Maverick and The Rockford Files. For you younger people, he was in The Notebook.

They even put a statue of him near the train tracks.

3. January was National Slow Cooker month. Do you own a slow cooker/crock pot? Did you use it last month? What's a favorite dish you make using a slow cooker or crock pot?

I have three crockpots of varying sizes. The small one is good for queso. The middle one is good for meals that have smaller amounts of meat. The big one is for big pots of soup.

I love using them because it is easy to dump and turn on and leave it alone. One of the best things to make is pulled pork. You take a pork butt and season it with salt, pepper and for us Old Bay. Then put it in the crock pot and cook overnight. You can add BBQ sauce early or later after you shred the pork. Delicious and so darn easy.

4. How do you feel about private companies collecting data about you?

It's a way of life now. I assume that everything private about me is public to someone.

5. The Games of the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off with their opening ceremony this coming Friday....will you be watching? Which Winter Olympic event would you most like to see in person? Have you ever been to Russia? Any desire to go, Olympics or otherwise?

I've got the DVR set to tape (actually starting Thursday when team ice skating starts). I never understood why an athlete would want to stand outside in the cold for hours but hey, I'll never be an Olympic athlete. I don't know what event I would want to go to...maybe some short track speed skating. That's indoors so couldn't be too bad.

I've never been to Russia and I really don't want to go there. Of course I never really wanted to go to China and I went so maybe some day we'll co-host a conference there and off I'll go on a jet plane.

6. Share a good or bad sports related memory from your childhood or teen years.

I was not an athlete so all I have is bad memories. I played powder puff flag football for homecoming and ended up dislocating one shoulder at the practice and the other shoulder at the game. I have never played since.

7. What's a must have song for you on a work out play list? If you don't work out, run, swim, bike, walk, or anything else that could be construed as 'exercise', then what's a song that movtivates you to at least get up off the couch?

When I walk on the treadmill I watch a tv show. Sometimes I'll plug into my ipad and just hit play. I only have so many songs on it and I never update the list so it isn't anything memorable.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This was Sunday's snow. Roads/sidewalks melted on Monday but then freezing rain Tuesday. Extreme cold Wednesday/Thursday with more snow possibly on its way. Winter is here. I am not complaining. I do hope that this doesn't counteract the weed spray that went on a couple of weeks ago when we were in the 50's. Oklahoma is just like that you know.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Commercials

Let's face it, this is the only reason I watch the game. For the last two years I've been on the USA Today ad panel rating the commercials. I get to see a lot of them early because of this. Here's my list of best and worst (I won't link those).

1. Puppies and Clydesdales (Budweiser)

I'm a sucker for puppies and then you add in the horses and it is a match made in heaven. This was the number one ad for USA Today. Pretty good when you consider it wasn't shown until the two minute warning in the fourth quarter of a blowout game.

2. Radio Shack

A child of the 80's will always relate to an 80's commercial. Just look at all those icons from the decade.

3. TMobile (part 2)

This was the Tim Tebow commercial that aired in the second quarter. I liked it better than the first one.

The worst in my opinion were and Audi (doberhuahua).