Thursday, July 31, 2008


Good conversation lead to great bumper sticker line:

"I'm not happy because the world sucks."

Would work on a t-shirt too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Exciting Time of the Year

So I am a few days away from the big 3-0. I’m fairly excited. 30 sounds fun and promising. 35 sounds a little scary. 40 is way to far away to even imagine.

I love birthdays. Especially mine. When the husband and I first started dating, we would have competitions for each other’s birthdays, to see who could outdo each other. I typically won, but considering that it was his birthday I was planning, we were both winners. He got me a great tv and alarm clock for my birthday once. I still have and use both of them. The alarm clock was one of the best gifts ever because I can wake up to a burbling stream or the sounds of the ocean instead of an annoying beeping. One of my favorite gifts to the husband was a kitten footprint painting. I got a blank canvas, some paint, and I had the kittens Monkey and Major dip their paws in pain and walk all over the canvas. The husband became concerned when he found green stuff on Monkey’s paw. Fortunately the paint was non-toxic (children’s finger paint) and the husband forgot about it until he got the painting.

This year I’ve requested a dinner at Benihanna and an ice cream cake.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend News

Had a great weekend. We didn’t do one big thing but lots of little things that added up to lots of fun. Now granted, most of the fun things we did were very domestic in nature but I guess we’ve moved on to that stage in life. I overheard the husband telling one of his friends that now he would get excited over fancy ranges and huge refrigerators and modern couches and he didn’t understand why. He’s friend responded with “yeah, it’s called a wife.”

Friday I went to Sacramento with my boss for a meeting. We drove 2.5 hours for a 2 hour meeting and lunch and then drove another 2.5 hours to get home. This wasn’t very environmentally conscious, I know, but it was worth it. We had a great meeting and will even get more funding to do more work. Another agency had done work similar to us but had gotten different results, but it turns out that they did a lot of things differently so we would have been comparing apples to oranges. Friday evening we worked out in the husband’s home gym and then went for a walk around the park, which was filled with families and little kids.

On Saturday we went for a 3 hour bike ride. Our mission was to return something to Costco. We took my usual path to work (a hike/bike trail) for most of our ride and had an awesome experience. The hike and bike trail was bustling with cyclists and pedestrians. I typically see about 10 people during my 6 mile ride in to work and on Saturday morning we saw 10 people in the first 30 seconds. I guess the trail is the place to be on Saturday morning. We saw a really cute all black bunny along the side of the trail. He (or she) appeared to be someone’s ex-pet since he wasn’t shy at all until the husband tried to pick him up, and then he only hopped out of reach. The bunny drew quite a crowd and it turns out the bunny and some of his friends have been on the trail for about 1 month. By the time we continued on our trip, there were three ladies who had gone home to get supplies to try to trap and rescue the bunny. When we returned on our way home, we saw some lady walking around with a carrier and some veggies but there was no sign of the bunny.

The rest of Saturday we just hung around and did a few things around the house.

On Sunday we went to The Home Depot and Ikea. We tried The Home Depot closest to us but it’s a smaller store than the one we used to shop at and it didn’t have a big selection of some of the things we were looking for, so we went to our usual Home Depot. We bought a storage/shelve thing for the garage, a tool box for our current tools, and a cat door the husband will hopefully install in the door leading to the laundry room/litter box so that we can keep that door closed to keep out the chills (there’s a big vent in there) and the liter dust. We then went to the Ikea across the street and were exhausted, hungry, and dehydrated by the time we found the exit (and we even took the shortcut). We didn’t buy anything at Ikea.

This morning I rode my bike in to work. It was great a ride. The weather was cool and I felt I was going pretty fast but I still couldn’t get my ride time to less than 35 minutes. Oh well. I feel great right now so we’ll see how I feel in a few hours.

On my ride, I was thinking about the differences between conservatives and liberals. I always figured the conservatives are just the people who don’t know – the ones that don’t travel, have lived in the same small town all their lives, don’t have any friends who are different from them, and are probably religious. But I figured that you could still be really religious and liberal, as long as you respected other people and other people’s views. For example, you can be a devout Catholic, but still respect other people’s religious views and understand that this country was founded on religious freedom. Often this respect for other people and their views comes from traveling and meeting other people who are different from you and realizing that while they may attend different churches, have different activities at family reunions, eat different things, they really want the same thing as you – the opportunity to provide the best life for themselves and their families. The thing is that I’ve met quite a few people who are well traveled and have done lots of different things (like the peace corp and living, and not just traveling, in other countries) who are still quite conservative. The only other reason I can think of for being conservative is that you are super rich and you don’t want too much government involvement in your everyday activities. It doesn’t pay to be poor or middle class and a conservative. So that’s my political two-cents for this week. I used to always listen to my ipod on my bike rides, but I’ve been lazy about updating it and charging the battery. So now it's just me and my thoughts.

I can’t believe it’s a Monday again and that it’s another 4 days before the weekend. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blah...Can't Think of a Good Title

My mom was in town over the weekend and it was nice to see her. We mostly just hung out. We went to the farmer’s market and church on Sunday. It had been a long time since I had been to a Catholic mass and it was not as bad as I was expecting. Before each reading, the reader would give context to the meaning by explaining where it came from and what the source was about in general. After the brief introduction, and a long pause, the reader would say, “And now, a reading from…” I found that bit a little silly. The priest’s sermon was also pretty good. It was brief and he discussed some of the major topics of today – capital punishment, gay marriage – without sounding preachy. The priest basically said that the church is starting to get involved in the discussions of today’s important topics and that it may lead towards reform. That would be a good thing.

Noodles has been extremely whiney the past week. We think he misses his little friend Biscuit. Monkey and Major don’t give him any attention and when Noodles gets in their way too much, they tend to beat him up (Major smacks him and Monkey hisses and growls at him). We got Noodles a new toy (a fish with feathers on a string attached to a stick) which he loves, but we have to play with him constantly. We probably played a few hours with him over the weekend (everyone would take turns). He barely got tired and was whiney when we stopped. We are considering fostering another kitten to keep Noodles busy.

I learned a new word today, locavore. A locavore is a person who wants to consume food that is produced locally. And that has generated a new business:

But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Not only does eating locally support the local business, but it’s good for the environment. We were pretty good at killing our plants in the past, but we now have a basil plant that has survived for almost 1 month. The key is to not do anything to it apart from giving it water (in other words, don’t pick it’s leaves).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mostly Uneventful Weekend

We had a nice, relaxing weekend. The weather was pretty good, not too hot. So let’s see, what happened…Biscuit got adopted. A lady had come late last week to visit with Biscuit and she fell in love, so she wanted to adopt him. We arranged to deliver Biscuit during the weekend. The next day we got an email from the lady who had changed her mind after much soul-searching. Oh well. On Sunday, a very nice couple from the city drove down to meet with Biscuit. They immediately fell in love and we were very pleased with them, too. They even brought pictures of their other cats to show off – just the kind of cat people we like. Biscuit was captured pretty late for a kitten – he was probably around 7 weeks old. We had him for about 2.5 weeks and he was still quite shy of us (we would have to be sneaky to catch him). He loved Noodles and would spend his day chasing Noodles around, but while he was interested in us, he preferred to keep his distance. The lady in the couple who adopted Biscuit was very nice and gentle with him. We heard that by the next day, Biscuit was purring away in her lap. We were sad to see Biscuit leave, but we know he found a great, loving home. We couldn’t be more pleased about that. As soon as Biscuit left, Noodles stretched out on the living room floor and took a long nap. He was probably quite relieved to have a good nap without the risk of a kitten attacking him.

We really didn’t do anything over the weekend worth sharing. We had a pretty boring, unsocial weekend. Which was fine with me.

Oh, but the husband did get and partially set up the projector last night and I have to admit that it looks pretty good. Currently it’s sitting on the coffee table and hopefully by this weekend he’ll hang the projector (from the ceiling) and screen (from the wall). Then we have to get a short piece of furniture to place at the base of the screen for the computer, speaker, xbox, and a few media items (probably dvd’s). I wish we had the skill and tools to actually build the furniture, so we could get exactly what we want.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Holy Crap!

Is this guy for real?

"The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

I don't know what to say. Found by Alkaline Earth.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Domestic Bliss

Over the weekend, the husband and I went on a little shopping spree to fill some of our domestic needs. Our first major purchase was an LG washer/dryer set. We have a proper laundry room (doubles as the litter box room) in our new place but for the first two months we continued to go to the Laundromat to get our clothes washed. I considered user reviews online (like at Sear’s and Home Depot) along with professional reviews to settle on the LG brand. I then borrowed a friend’s Consumer Reports and was pleased to find out that LG was three of their top 10 washer models. The washer model we settled on was CR #8; it’s the lower end front-loader (WM2016C). I really wanted the higher-end front loader (CR #1) which was a steam washer but I couldn’t justify the ~$1300 extra it would have cost apart from using the "I really want it" argument (the husband used his veto power). We got the matching dryer, which was not ranked by CR, but getting it would allow us to stack the machines, giving us (and the kitties) more space in the laundry room. So far I’m quite pleased with the machines. The washer has a very long cycle but it uses little water and front loaders are gentler on clothes in general. Ask me in a month how I feel about the machines.

Another item we purchased over the weekend was a new vacuum. It is awesome. It’s the Kenmore Progressive Upright with Inteli-Clean System vacuum. I had always wanted a Dyson vacuum cleaner and swore that when my vacuumed died, I would get a Dyson. However, after reading the consumer reports, I opted for their #1 pick (Dyson was much lower on the list, but still top 15, I think). The bagless version was ranked #2 and about $60 more expensive. The vacuum does a great job with fur and dirt. It has a sensor that tells you how much dirt is left and adjusts sucking power accordingly. The vacuum came with a few really good attachments (although a couple of them do not have a home on the vacuum which is annoying), it has a power switch on the handle which is really convenient, and it’s really easy to roll. It’s a little on the heavy side but since I don’t have to haul up and down the stairs anymore, I don’t care. The vacuum is definitely a step up but so far I’m quite pleased.

Now on to the husband’s new toys…after much begging and pleading from my husband, I finally gave in and let him buy a projector to replace our current, non-digital tv. Our current TV is an old, 50”+ projection tv that works just fine, in my opinion. But now the husband says we’ll have a 110” HD image projected in our living room. I don’t know anything about the projector or surround sound speakers, computer, screen, and projector mount he bought (and I think I’m fine not knowing), but hopefully it will be a pretty sweet system. It will probably be another month or so before everything is up and running so I’ll give an update then and let you know whether I like the system or not.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cat Update

I have a lot of cat news. We are fostering a very cute, very tiny flame point kitten that we’ve name Benjamin Buttermilk Biscuit, or just Biscuit for short. Monkey and Major hate the new, but temporary addition. Noodles took a few days to warm up to him and now he’s usually quite pleased to have him around. I think Noodles likes being an older brother, except when Biscuit is on Noodles like a shadow and Noodles doesn’t want to partake in kitteny things. At times like that Noodles will usually run around and try to loose Biscuit. It works sometimes. Here are some cute pics.

Monkey went out on Friday morning and didn’t come back until this morning. I remember sitting in bed shortly before Monkey arrived, thinking how peaceful the house was. Major was sprawled on the bed at my feet, Noodles was on the cat perch next to the window, and Biscuit was sleeping in a little tent next to the bed. There had been no interruptions in the middle of the night either by Monkey screaming to go out or her banging around in the kitchen being obnoxiously loud. I had obviously worried about Monkey and had gone around the neighborhood Saturday and Sunday evening, looking for her (note to self and others, consider how stupid you sound yelling your pet’s name in the middle of the street when coming up with a new pet name). But aside from my worry, I think the stress level in the house was a lot lower than usual. I am really curious as to where she went. Sometimes when she comes home she’s covered in spider webs. As much as I worry about her when she’s gone for more than 24 hours, that’s just what Monkey does.

Last week we trapped, neutered, and returned our first feral cat. It was a big tomcat that had scratched Monkey a bit and terrorized our back yard. He would visit often in the middle of the night, driving our cats crazy. Major would go insane, yelling and growling at the cat through the kitchen glass door and of course we would all wake up trying to figure out what was going on. The cat was extremely feral and aggressive and so our friend who helped us get him neutered named him Satan. After he got fixed, tested, and vaccinated, we brought him home and later that night we released Satan (I love the sound of that). Over the weekend as I was looking for Monkey, I saw Satan sitting on the front porch a couple houses down, engrossed in a bath.