Since I'm the only one not doing homework

Since I'm the only one not doing homework, I feel like I should tell you about some of the neat things on the internet right now.
1. (Not) Motivational Posters, some of which are funny. Some of them are just wrong.
2. After one spin on the bus is about when professional drivers try to operate the metro bus. My favorite line is the "one bedroom apartment" line. And knowing that the bus takes off at 5mph just by lifting off the break should help someone I know understand why buses tend to ooch forward in traffic. I'm sorry, i know you don't like it when they do that.
3. This totally not safe for work picture is what happens when you choose the wrong font for a very large sign.
4. When Amanda and I went out yesterday, I strongly considered a steak burrito. Then I read this and I was glad I chose the chicken.
5. A nice article on SCHIP which does a good job of explaining it. S-CHIP is used by most states to provide health insurance for children who live in near poor families that don't qualify for Medicaid. Since Minnesota rocks, we cover near poor families on Medicaid and use S-CHIP dollars to provide even more Minnesotans health insurance. Only a second term president who doesn't have to worry about re-election would consider a vetoing health insurance for poor people. I don't think this is what Alan Greenspan was talking about when he criticized President Bush for not using his veto power enough.
6. And finally, if the "65 Miles in October" plan works out, this may be the next exercise program I choose to complete. I wonder how long it would take me to go 1625 miles. Maybe I'll keep a log of that as well.


My weekend in pictures

This is the present that Kelly and I picked out for Amanda. She thought it was a scientific calculator (because apparently she also thinks were are the lamest friends ever) until I told her there were two, then three parts. Why three parts? Well, the big one is a printer. Kelly and I wisely remembered a USB cable to attach the computer to the lovely printer. It wasn't until a couple days later when I didn't have enough paper to print something that it occurred to me we might want to get Amanda some paper as well. Apparently we still forgot a part because Amanda had to drive to Eagan (yeah, seriously) to get a cord that wasn't in the box but should have been. I'm glad it all worked out. I was happy to be part of such a cool birthday gift.

What did I do while I wasn't wrapping Amanda's gift in 100% recycled paper? I know, I love that wrapping too. I cleaned the place. For being in such good shape, I had really let it go. Particularly the kitchen which was a zoo. The kitchen didn't actually get cleaned until today. Amanda was using my computer so I really didn't have a whole lot else to do. After Amanda left, I actually organized my closet/recycling station and my tupperware cabinet. They were both a little out of hand (read: total chaos). I had to clean up the rest of the house so I could empty my room in anticipation of painting it a color other than pasty-white. I do mean pasty.

While cleaning out my room, I found lots of treasures. One of the things I do is I have a "pile of lonely socks" in hopes they might one day be reunited with their mates. No such luck for these sad socks. Yes, there are three different black socks in that pile that do not match. The sports socks don't match either. I just can't bring myself to wear mismatched socks, even gym socks. I threw them all away.

Is there anyone reading this blog who can identify this set of keys. I think I don't actually have keys to Kelly's house anymore, and I know these are not the keys to Amanda's. I know I gave my old keys back to Joyce when I moved out. I remember walking up there in the 90* heat. Maybe they go to something here.

After ignoring the keys and throwing away the socks, it was time to start emptying the room and moving stuff around. Most of my clothes and blankets landed in my living room in an amazing pile. I really should have been an architect. (Although stacking big piles may be a skill like getting everything in the dishwasher that doesn't really translate to better spatial relations in any other part of my life.)

A lot of things had to go into the storage closet. A couple of things have made a permanent home there. The new residents of the storage closet I feel most guilty about: the guitars. Those are hard to let go of. I think I might need to put the amp in the closet too. The biggest issue is I have all these boxes in the storage closet that probably need to get broken down or tossed. After all the moves I've been through in the past couple of years (my own and ones I've witnessed) I feel this compulsion to collect boxes because I know they come in handy. Although, I'm not moving anytime soon, and neither is anyone else I know really. (These are the random parts of OCD that you wouldn't know about unless I told you.)

My clothes ate the back of the bathroom door for breakfast. I could barely get in that door with all those clothes there. Maybe this is another odd thing, but I try to keep all my clothes hung up like that until laundry day. Most of them are worn once but not really dirty. I find it gross to dig them out and wear them after they've been in the laundry basket with things that really are dirty.

I took the bed off the risers and pushed it into the middle of the room. I pushed the chair over too. Anything I didn't want to move (anything that would fit really) I put in a pile on the bed. Now you see why I couldn't sleep on it for a little while. Thank goodness the aerobed is so nice. I also realized that I used to lay in bed and watch TV and I don't do that anymore because there's no tv in the bedroom and there won't be because there's no cable hookup in there. It was like old times to fall asleep on the aerobed in the living room.

I got to the important task of removing things from the wall. It was when I started taking the plates off the wall that I discovered the old paint color of the room. See why I hate the pasty white? The lazy bums who painted this place last didn't even take off the switch covers. They painted around them. And then I looked in my closet and realized the closet was not pasty-white. It was in fact, the color of that little bit of wall. I'd lived here over two years and had no idea my closet was not the same color as my walls. I thought that was really funny.

Here's the color of the freshly painted (one coat, everything else got two) closet. It's now the same color as the rest of the room. Another funny thing about the closet? That bottom shelf doesn't come out. I think I need someone with a PhD in mathematics or someone with a big saw to remove it. I painted around it and called it good.

A big pile of newspaper can only mean one thing: I'm done painting and ready to start cleaning up the mess I made. Altogether, it only took me a few hours. I started painting around 10:00 and took a break about 12:30 for lunch. I stopped painting just after 2pm and was at the gym by 3:15. I couldn't believe I got all the painting done. Obivously I didn't move anything back into the room but I was still really pleased the painting was complete. And I got to take the tape off the walls. For some reason, that's my favorite part of any painting job. Maybe that's why I was so into the stripes.

Given the accomplishment of getting that room painted and that project completed in about 24 hours, I thought it would be fun to review the other home improvement projects I've undertaken at this condo. My first home improvement project here ever was with Kelly and involved a doorknob that simply didn't want to be part of the door. That was actually the doorknob to the storage closet. I'll never forget when Kelly shut the door to the storage closet (while she was inside of it) before the doorknob was installed on the outside. I had visions of having to call the fire department to get her out of there. The issue with doorknobs in this building? The hole where the barrel/latching device fits is about 1/8" smaller than standard doorknobs are now made. Did we know this when we bought the doorknob? No. Did we have the proper tool to correct the problem? No again. Are we two smart girls who will try pretty much anything in a home improvement project? (Need I remind you she tried to lock herself in a closet?) So we used a really small drill bit to "sand" the hole to the proper size. This is actually a picture of my bathroom doorknob. I had the same issue with it, but at least I was expecting it that time and knew not to freak out.

Then there's the bathroom itself. Kelly helped edge and paint the walls. The vanity was all me. Although I swear part of Kelly's drill bit is still lodged into the vanity behind one of the hinges. That thing was hard work, especially painting all the different parts. Who knows why I thought that would be a good idea. I like the way it turned out. I also like the fact that I was able to re-hang all four doors so they open and close properly. I had to take a couple of tries on one of them, I think the middle ones or the one on the side by the wall, but I got them all working in the end. (That was one of those times Dad just told me how hard the job was and offered no help or support.)

Of course there's the hallway. Another time Dad just told me how hard the job was and how much work it was and how he'd never do it. Although the whole time he complained he had a paintbrush in his hand and was edging. I'm calling that progress. Kelly also helped painting the hallway. I just realized my bedroom may be the first room I've painted entirely on my own. (Although Kelly still picked the color for me. I'm not totally independent yet.)

What project awaits me? That's right, the kitchen. And these stupid cabinets will finally be history. I cannot wait for that to happen. I think my sink might get moved about six inches to the right as well. I've always thought in my head that I'll know I'm done with the painting and decorating when my kitchen is redone and I can paint my living room. And when I paint my living room, I will need your help again Kelly. I'm saying Kelly because Amanda has made her feelings about the engineering of this piece of furniture quite clear. Amanda, you'd be great at the painting. You come and do that. Or cooking, come cook in my new kitchen while Kelly and I disassemble shelving.

Mission: Accomplished

Remember when I decided that I'd like to run 65 miles for the month of October? And then I decided that this week (my weeks run from Monday to Sunday like they do in Europe and most of the rest of the world) I would run 15 miles as a test week to make sure it was possible. I just got back from running 3.3 miles in possibly my slowest time ever of almost 12:00 miles. That brings my weekly total up to 15.1 miles. I decided it was fine to be slow today for several reasons:
1. I had a burrito for lunch.
2. I was up late last night.
3. I ate crap and had a beer yesterday so I'm not even playing with the right kind of fuel (although you'd think the beans would have provided some propulsion)
4. I worked my tail off the past two days. Yesterday in particular was a lot of physical labor. Painting a room doesn't sound that hard and it's really not. But I spent a lot of time bending and stretching my back and my legs in odd ways because of the position I needed to be in to paint. (Yeah, I wish I was doing other stuff with the bending and the stretching. Sadly your mom was busy.)
5. I have never run into a head-wind quite like the one I was running into today. That was exciting.

I've determined that this goal is both challenging and can be accomplished. I've picked up some other things as well:
1. 15 miles is a good distance. It requires me to run four days per week.
2. 15 miles is also a good distance because if my life gets really crazy, I can go 15 miles in three days. I just have to plan for it.
3. I think at least one of those runs should be on the track at the Y. I run faster on the track and I keep a steadier pace.
4. At least one of the runs should be over 4 miles. It's a nice distance. Also, it makes the last run of the week much shorter.

While I was running, I also thought it would be fun to spend the month of October only eating at locally owned restaurants (read: No Olive Garden). I haven't decided if I'm going to do it or not because I first need to determine if Caribou Coffee counts as locally owned. They are a Minnesota company. I also like that they give a lot of money to Breast Cancer research so it seems like October is the wrong month to not go to Caribou. I also thought the "eat locally" thing would make me spend considerably less at restaurants because it so severely limits the number of places I can go. And then I realized that I have some friends who live in the suburbs and I don't know if they could play this game. I certainly can because I have Mercado Central, Global Market, so delis on West 7th, and the place I had a burrito at last week, and that's just what I can think of right now. When I go see Michelle (read: Burnsville) all the restaurants out there are chains. I'd still like to see those people. I'll have to take this under advisement.

So funny and so wrong at the same time


I'm not sure where I'm going to sleep tonight

I'm not sure where I'm going to sleep tonight. Before you get too worried, it's a choice between my bed and my aerobed. I'm not sure my room will be put together again by tonight. I still need to do a small touch-up on the radiator and scrape my mistakes off the woodwork. Then I need to move everything back into my bedroom. I realized at this point the bed has to go back up on the risers. For a while I thought about leaving it off because it's a pain to move when it's on the risers. Then I realized the skirt is made to fit the risers and is too long without them.

I had a nice time at Amanda's drinking fest, I mean happy hour. The ladies she works (worked) with are really funny. I saw more girls wiggling their boobs tonight... I'm a straight girl. It does nothing for me.

In honor of not working too hard, I took a little break before going back to the bedroom where I've spent my entire day. Hey, I just realized how that sounded. I wish I was having that much fun in my bedroom. Check out some of the stuff I found today. For some reason, there were a lot of environmental stories on the web today.

1. Ethanol Schmethanol is a story about why Ethanol really isn't that good. It's a fairly technical article. I've seen a few other articles about why ethanol sucks lately. It will be interesting to see what happens when Iowa is no longer the first state to hold presidential caucus (that means primary but it's a different system). A lot of things I've seen have talked about how no one will vote against ethanol if they want to run for president because they'll get killed in Iowa. If Iowa isn't first, candidates have more time to make people from Iowa (who grow the corn and sell the corn that makes the ethanol) like them for other reasons. Ethanol is a pretty big industry here in Minnesota as well. I also saw a link between the use of ethanol and crop killing insects, like the more corn we grow... The salient details escape me, but the article was making another point about how growing more corn is killing the environment.

2. 50 Green Tips for the Earth and Beyond. I will give each of you one point for every item on the list you've done in the past week. I get 25 out of 50 points. I was happy to win points for building a green home. And I think Carribou serves fair trade coffee so I can feel ok about the amount of it I drink. I know May Day has fair trade coffee as well.

3. Weird and Wacky Fitness Gadgets and Weight Loss Gimmicks. Even if you don't read the article, just look at the barbell phone. Hilarious.

4. 101 Zen Stories that I can't wait to read.

5. A spiral cut, fried, whole potato. How good does that look? Yum.

6. The Home Pub Fridge won't be going in my home anytime soon. I wanted to put it up because I thought some of you might enjoy it.

7. If the fridge doesn't work out, why don't you put a toilet flushing lego robot in your house?

8. I was skimming a list of Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time rejoicing in the fact I've missed most of them, when I stumbled onto number 15. Pleasentville. Seriously?


A few more things for you to read

I was looking through my RSS feeds when I saw an article titled Can a High Fat Diet Beat Cancer? and I thought here's a diet I can get behind. No, it's not like that at all. They won't let you have carbs. My brain runs on carbs.

Then I found this great video that you should watch is you have three minutes. Safe for work. Can you imagine how long it took to make all that?

Finally, read a sad yet funny and ridiculous story about the dumbing down of the American presidency. Caracas? Seriously. Why don't they phonetically spell "New-cle-ar"? It's not that he can't pronounce the names (or nuclear). The image is that it's a good thing when the President can't pronounce unfamiliar names, or doesn't know the name of the president of Pakistan. Like it's a good thing the president hasn't applied himself enough to master pronouncing the name of the capital of Venezuela, an important oil producing nation. No wonder the No Child Left Behind act and other initiatives meant to inspire academic greatness are so overwhelmingly successful.

The Most Productive Day Ever

I have lived one of the most productive days in my life.
5:50a - Wake up. Wow, it's really early for a day I don't have to go to work. It's early for any day really.

6:00a - Run. Run fast. Come back and write about running fast.

8:20a - leave for Crystal/New Hope/Way-the-heck-away, meet considerable amount of traffic. I was trying to get onto 35W northbound (for a mile to get onto 94) and just couldn't get on. So I went over to Lyndale to take that up. Lyndale is under construction. I don't know why I was surprised. Everything else is under construction as well around here.

9:00a - Meet to look at cabinets. I was surprised to find I really knew what I wanted pretty much. I want wood, natural finish in a door style that is classic. A minimal amount of decoration is acceptable. Too much decoration or glass fronts are not acceptable. No decoration is unacceptable. Eww. I don't know how much they cost yet. It's the missing link in all of this.

10:00a - Get title and tabs for car. I now have my own car. I'm scared that something will happen to it as soon as I don't have the support of my parents to take care of him. I don't know what to do. Yes, my car is a boy. His name is Oscar. The Brookdale Government Center (hey, I was already up there) is actually fairly nice. And a very nice gentlemen helped me get tabs and helped me not have to pay a boatload of sales tax. Thank you sir.

11:30 - It's getting to be time to eat again. I kept thinking I would get a latte but I didn't seem to manage it. Instead I went to a credit union to join. I did. I also learned you can join a credit union and apply for a mortgage on the same day. I applied for a mortgage today. I'm really not all that freaked out. Between that and the cabinets and the car, you'd think I would be, but I'm really fairly calm about everything. The guy was really helpful and helped me find ways to keep my payments a little lower in the beginning.

12:30 - Chipotle. It's so much better when I'm not in a hurry to get back to the office. According to my calculations, this may be one of the last times I eat out. Ever. I haven't completely gone through my budget. It looks like I'm going to have to cut out some discretionary spending. I also decided that if Amanda is going to work on Friday nights, there's no reason I should quit the aquarium just yet. A little extra cash... ya know.

3:00 - I took a break after lunch. Attempt to put plates on car. No success. Both bolts in the back (screws really) were rusted in place. I went to the hardware store to buy paint for the bedroom and something to address this issue as well. It was about then I realized that Kelly and I needed to get the last part of Amanda's gift. I took care of that. (After all, I had the day off.) I got home and sprayed the stuff around the bolts to loosen them up.

4:30 - call Dad. Much better conversation than yesterday.

5:00 - Second attempt to put new plates on the car. Minimal success. I finally got one bolt off. And then I snapped the second one. My back license plate is now secured with one bolt and a lot of duct tape. I thought the duct tape would work because I've applied to various parts of several cars in the course of my life. The duct tape I applied to the front license plate of this car in 2004 was still holding today. By the way, my car now has Minnesota license plates. I will never find it in any parking lot or on any street again. Who has those ribbon magnets that go on cars? I need one. The pink ribbon. I don't think I could handle a yellow or American flag ribbon. I'd put a red ribbon on for HIV awareness. But seriously, the pink ribbon magnets. And how bummed am I that I now have to drive through Wisconsin in a car with Minnesota license plates? Just when I go home but still.... Wisconsin eats Minnesota drivers for breakfast.

5:30 or so. While applying duct tape to license plates someone crashes their bike in the street. Neighbor lady (who I don't know) walking dog sees kid, asks if he is ok, freaks out. Demands a phone from me. Yup, I'll just pull that right out of my shorts... It took a little while to get the kid squared away but he was really fine. That level of freaking out was not necessary. Called Jenny. Talked with Amanda. It takes Amanda 15 minutes to walk one mile from her parking spot by the squirrel to her chem lab in a building that resembles Hogwarts. I was listening.

6:00 - now the real work begins. I started cleaning, knowing I had to clean out my living room. Why? Remember at 3:00 when I bought paint for the bedroom? That's right, it's time for that now. This is my third time painting a room in this condo. I don't have that many left. After the hallway, I feel like I'm in a groove. We'll see how long that lasts. I cleaned the living room. At some point, I opened another bank account, a high yield savings account with ING. Thanks Amanda.
And then I started cleaning out my bedroom. I think I'd like to have my bed not be on stilts for a while. It's just too hard to move while it's like that. It took me longer to prepare my bed for moving than to sheetrock. Sheet rocking takes like two seconds though.. I got my clothes into the front closet with the coats. A couple of things in the bathroom, and some stuff out in the living room. My bed and chair are in the center of my room, covered in stuff I didn't want to move as far. It's a good thing I have an aerobed.
After the moving of the room, I taped the walls. Given my last experience with tape, you may be surprised that I opted for it this time. I taped the woodwork and the ceilings. Woodwork won't peel and I've used this very tape on my ceilings before. I'm not worried. And then I can be slightly messier.
Finally, wash walls. Now I can wake up tomorrow, contemplate running 3.2 miles and then not do it, and start painting. To be clear, I think I'll go to the gym later. Like I might need to shower there depending on the state of my own bathroom, and whether or not it's filled with things from my bedroom.

11:00 - write blog to tell you about my day.

Things accomplished today:
Car title.
Credit union membership
Mortgage initial application
License plate change
Wrapped Amanda's present (since I finally had all the pieces).
Talked with Jenny
Talked with Amanda
Opened ING savings account
Filled documents.
Ordered Christmas presents for two people. Only one of you read this blog and you know what it is already. Although if you can't think of it right now, I'm not helping.
Totally prepared room for painting. That's not true. I have to take down the curtains but I didn't want to do that tonight. You understand.
Now I will set up my aerobed and try to go to sleep as quickly as possible.

As seen on:

What'd I do today? Oh, you know, a little of this, a little of that. I did play around on the web for a while, and found some great things to entertain you!
1. Worst Case Scenario: Quick sand. You may be saying, "Lizzie, this is Minnesota. Quick sand is not a problem here." I agree. Just check out number 9. "Stick (optional)". Oh good, the lifesaving device is the only one that's optional.
2. Ten Cute (read: addictive) Flash Games. Caution, these all have sound. I'm still trying to work out some of them.
3. Grow Nano is one of the games I figured out. This one is the easiest. Website has sound.
4. Grow Ornament game is another one (also with sound) this one has six tiles. I totally haven't figured it out yet. I don't even have a system to figure it out.
5. When I saw the headline, "Condoms infected with HIV" I knew this story was about something going on in Africa. I hadn't heard this was a problem in Mozambique (even though I've technically been there) but I knew about South Africa.
Through travel and living in Africa, I've learned about two of the reasons for the spread of HIV addressed in this article.
One:People don't understand how disease spreads. Not just HIV, any disease. In Malawi, anytime anyone got sick with any symptoms, we would say, "oh he has a little Malaria" because that's the only sickness people know. That works because just about any sickness you have could be a symptom of Malaria. But it's more than that. I used powder to keep ants out of the house. The insecticide was a banned substance in the US. There they called it "ant medicine". My language instructor, a college educated woman five times as smart as I am, asked me why I only used it in my bedroom. I explained that children came into our house and the ant powder would make them sick. Notice how they called it "ant medicine" and not "poison". Even highly educated people don't always understand what they're dealing with.
Two: A very conservative culture. The church doesn't even need to tell people not to use condoms. People don't use them anyways. It's part of the culture. Culture (with or without the church) says you can only have sex when you are married, and if you are married you can only have sex with your spouse. I won't even get started on the bit about women not asking if their husbands have had an affair, especially while traveling for work which is common.
Ouch: I have a greasemonkey extension that suggests tags when I save pages to del.icio.us. The only suggestion when I tried to save this article? Atheism. That's not even what this is about.
6. Alzheimer's is a form of diabetes?. That's news.
7. Nike made a shoe specifically for Native Americans. I had a moment where I thought about some kid in a south east Asian factory wondering why he's putting feather designs on shoes, and then I turned it off.
8. Good vs. Evil in pictures. I love that Macs are Firefox are in the good column. Also love that Fox News is in the bad column. That's not necessarily a political stance, it's more to do with the fact that any time a republican politician winds up in a scandal, Fox News reports the politician's political affiliation as a democrat. That's just unnecessary.
9. Best picture ever. (Safe for work.)
10. 10 Negotiable ways to a fatter wallet. One of them is animal adoptions. If cost is an issue, isn't it just cheaper not to bring additional animals in the home?
11. Coin stacking is really cool. I did that with the kids at the museum before. It's hard enough that even for teenagers, it's an engaging challenge.

The Wednesday Mind Hump

My mind was so fried last night, I obviously couldn't have handled this, but today I'm feeling better. I just ran 3.6 miles bringing my total for the week to 11.8 miles. 3.2 miles (or the distance of a 5K race) left to complete my running goal for the week. I ran this morning in 11:35 miles, which is a little faster than usual. Could be because I was daydreaming the whole time about other stuff. And now, for the Mind Hump...

Today is Tool Day on the Mind Hump. Tools are all around us, so tell me your favorite or most used . . .

1. Kitchen tool: Hands down, the food processor. It helps me make all kinds of wonderful food including guacamole, dressings, and, most importantly, smoothies.
2. Computer/internet tool: Firefox
3. Relaxation tool: I like my iPod. It plays music and podcasts. Is it wrong that I find Cartalk relaxing?
4. Organizational tool: My MacBook. I dare someone to tell me that a computer isn't an organizational tool.
5. "Tool" tool (things you'd buy at a hardware store). My first response was "hammer" because I've been using it to put up nails to hang paintings, although the more important thing lately is probably the paint brush.

I am in no kind of shape

I am exhausted. Three day weeks sound really nice, and for the most part they are, except that the three days I'm working, I am working. And then I got home and talked to Dad about the whole kitchen remodeling business. And he nearly gave me a panic attack from which I have not yet recovered. I looked at my spending habits, which only increased the anxiety. And then I started doing my budget for the kitchen remodel, and this is where a little information goes a long way. (And then I found out they turned the heat on and that set me back to where I was when I hung up with Dad.)

Although I flipped when I figured out the cheapest "slide in" stove, really the only models are about double the price of a freestanding range (which is silly) a lot of other things weren't as expensive as I expected them to be. And I included a dishwasher (which is the appliance that concerns me the least right now) into the budget. I'm going tomorrow morning to look at cabinets.

That will be followed shortly by getting my butt handed to me by the state of Minnesota when I get a new car title, license plate, and tabs. And then I'll go join a credit union and talk with them about a mortgage. The really interesting thing will be learning about "mortgage insurance" for not putting any money down. Sucks.

The kitchen is coming together. I'm thinking black appliances. I know originally I said white, but I don't really like white. I don't want stainless steel because they are just needlessly more expensive. I'm also thinking that birch/light stained wood floors and cabinets and new lighting will make it bright enough that the black stove, fridge, dishwasher and microwave won't be oppressive. (Side note: Kelly, do I sense you cringing as you read this? I know you like white.) Hey, maybe when I get this done I can convince Kelly and Amanda to spend more time at my place. Hey, maybe when I get this done I'll keep my kitchen cleaner... Other requirements are a garbage disposal, new sink, and one of those fancy new drawers that holds a garbage can. Microwave over the oven. I can't wait 'till those stupid cabinets are no longer blocking the kitchen from the living room. Exciting.

Now I'm going to go watch a show I taped earlier and try to sleep. Tomorrow I'm going to get up and run (she says at 12:15 am, that's like in five hours you know).


Great stuff I found today

1. Target's sales are down. My reaction: It's no shock their sales are down. Anyone in the Twin Cities who has tried to shop at a Target lately knows the same thing I do: they're all closed to be remodeled into Super Target stores. At one point in my life the Midway (St. Paul) and Edina Targets that I usually patronize were both closed and I had to watch them build another Target at Cedar and 66th that won't be open until October (at which point Angels will sing).

2. Another way not to kill the earth.

3. How much is organic worth? I wanted a bit more from this article. It explores how organic food is produced. I wish it would have explored the long term benefits of eating organic food (like a decreased risk for cancer) and potential savings in those areas against the cost of food.

4. Ways to improve your brainpower. I was excited to see I already do the first item, switching the mouse. I use a left-handed mouse at work and my right hand on the trackpad at home.

5. This story if for Kelly who is perpetually jealous of the amount of sleep I get. Too much sleep is as dangerous as too little. Also, I was jealous of the amount of sleep you got while I was in school for a long time.

6. I was all about these new light bulbs until today when I learned they have mercury in them? Can that be right?

7. Lucky 7 is for Amanda. 19 Technologies that changed nursing forever. Bonus points to anyone who can correctly pronounce number two.

8. I don't know why, but it's no surprise to me to learn that men are both smarter and dumber than women at the same time. Anyone else shocked? The guys I know can be wonderful and I'm really lucky to know them. But I have heard stories...

9. I saw the headline Saudi religious police attacked by girls and I thought, "it's about time they fought back". It's terribly American of me I know. It's also not a helpful reaction and not respectful of the culture. Nonetheless, I need to own that reaction. I think that things in the world are moving more towards my line of thinking and away from the other line anyways.

10. This title speaks for itself. I love BoingBoing.

11. Ten future web trends. Interesting to think about these things, most interesting to me is using the internet to go "hyperlocal" with GPS and similar technologies.

12. The most complicated logic puzzle ever. I think Cindee would be good at this. Hi Cindee, how is grad school by the way.

13. Pictures of the tallest buildings from every state in one skyline. It's a great picture. I'm happy to report I could pick out the tallest building in Minnesota quite easily. Not from Ohio. I'm sure Ohio's tallest building is in Columbus or Cleveland so I don't see it, maybe have never seen it. I could also pick out New York and Illinois but really, who couldn't?

Introducing my new TV

I have a new TV tonight. I've named it "Hoss". Hoss is about twenty pounds heavier and twice as large as my old television. Conveniently Hoss is the same brand so I don't have to reprogram any remotes. Also, Hoss' AV inputs are the in back instead of the front which is much more pleasing aesthetically. Hoss came home with me tonight after Kelly and I did some shopping for an early birthday present. Note, now that we've made the purchase, please heed the caution I gave you earlier about technologically related purchases.

I ran this morning, 4.2 miles. I had an interesting experience with the pedometer (See "Google maps pedometer" link on right under "for runners") while I was trying to map out my route. I've never gotten the same distance result twice with that program. It's not usually as far off as it was today though. I think the Nike+ site thought the run was about 4.4 miles. That also uses the google pedometer system just so you know. It's a smaller map with less detail and therefore less accuracy. The actual pedometer gave me between 4.185 and 4.215.... I thought it was around 4.2 so I'm calling it good. I wonder if the inaccuracies in measuring are making me thing I run slower than I do. At the Y yesterday I ran like 11:00 miles or so and this morning I ran 11:40 miles. I think some of the slowdown is traffic and some of it is that in the early morning I move slower on the sidewalks because I'm afraid of falling. I do have some history with that. Last year I fell while running one day and then had to stop for like a month. It sucked. Total miles this week: 8.2 Miles still to run: 6.8 Is it wrong I had to have a calculator to accurately complete that calculation? I probably could have done it without, but it was handy.

This morning after running, I had coffee with a former field instructor and her new interns. It was fun. Although I think the Latte on no breakfast screwed up my eating for the entire day. Normally when I have a latte, I've already had breakfast, or will have breakfast soon. Not so much today. The problem: Latte's make me not hungry, which meant I was not hungry on an empty stomach. After running 4.2 miles. Obviously, no good came of it.

After work, while still feeling hungry and slightly off, I went shopping as mentioned above and then adopted a tv. Anyone need a 17" (or so) tv? Comes with remote. I knew there was no hope of me cooking so I stopped at this place that I heard has good burritos. No, not Chipotle. The burrito was ok. The rice and beans were outside the burrito though so I didn't like it as much. I miss Chipotle but I take issue with the location closest to me. I like the downtown St. Paul and West St. Paul locations much better. I'm funny that way.

It's 9:30 and I'm thinking about sleep. Kelly, how much do you love me at this moment?
One last thing. What's great about this photo? The political statement? The sentiment? Nope, my favorite thing is that I can understand it.

My very own "overheard..." moment

I had my very own Overheard in the Office moment today.

Person on phone: I personally bought you that chemistry book. You better pick it up and remove the squirrel.

Overheard by: Well, it was me who said it. Do you want to know the whole story? Isn't it more fun to imagine. I think at least one of you reading this will know who I was talking to when I said it.

And, a day late, Monday's a B!tch:
1.Which category of Trivial Pursuit would you say you're most knowledgeable in?
Definitely history. Science is second. I usually rely on Kelly for the current events / famous people category that asks questions like "who won the academy award for best actress in their 1973 breakthrough role..." She always knows them.

2.Did you go to your High School Prom? What was it like?
I did not go to prom. I really wasn't all that disappointed because I was single at the time. Also, I was really good friends with the people where I worked and didn't have very many close friends at school. It just didn't sound fun to me. Ten years later I still don't regret it.
3.If you were one of the five senses which would you be?
Hearing I'm sure, because that's the way I interact with the world the most. I love to listen to music, I love television shows and movies with great dialog, and I have a job where I talk to people and listen to what they tell me.
4.Have you ever gone downhill skiing?
No. I had the chance in high school but I played soccer and was very afraid of hurting my knees in the off season. To make up for it, I went caving all the time. That's my chosen adventure sport. Sad for me because now I live in Minnesota where skiing is easy and accessible and caving is not.
5.What's your favourite kind of nut?
I just read this and the first thing that popped into my mind was "Amanda". I'm not sure if that's sweet or wrong. Could be both. I like pistachios and hazelnuts. Mmmn, hazelnuts. Yum.


15 miles in one week is a lot

I decided earlier, I'd like to run 65 miles in October, which is basically 15 miles per week. I decided this would be a good trial week. What I've discovered: 15 miles per week is actually quite a lot for my current exercise schedule. I'd like to only run four days per week, which is about twice as much as what I had been doing. And at least two of those days need to be 4 mile runs. So I ran 4 miles this morning. That's only 11 miles to go for the week. It feels like quite a distance from this side.

Also today, I talked with a friend from Seattle. Totally forgot to ask him about the great name for rapid transit they've got going on. It's good to talk to him. We spent a long time remembering days of old. It's good to have someone who knew me in high school to remind me of the things I liked about myself from back then.

He's also the person who gives me advice from a guys perspective. Like this situation: There's an interesting history of how I first went out with this guy but we went out, had a totally nice time, and then nothing. I also didn't write an email or pick up the phone. Nothing. Much like a previous email I sent him and I knew he was super busy. Another person's advice was just to send him an email, which I did, and he answered right away. The issue: I have no idea. I had a really nice time at dinner, so even if it's not ever going to be like a dating relationship, I guess it's good that I'm putting in the effort to stay in touch. It was my Seattle-friend's advice that got me to write the second email which resulted in the going out to dinner in the first place. Why am I not using names? Because Seattle-dude and guy-I-went-out-with have the same name. It's too confusing even for me.

What'd I see on the internet today while I was hanging out? Not Kelly's blog. What the heck? The rest of the site works just fine.
1. I would like someone to make this for me. How good does that look? Yum. It's food Kelly, not something you need to knit.
2. Review of television shows for geeks. I watched "Chuck" for a bit. I couldn't get interested. Too much action for me I think.
3. Caffeine Facts including
"If you manage to consume the equivalent of 70 - 100 cups of coffee in one sitting, you’ll experience convulsions, and may even die."

70 - 100 cups?
4. A study that may appeal only to me but is fascinating nonetheless.
5. The poster said this Ikea sign didn't make any sense but I understood it perfectly. I wonder what that means for me.
6. JFK Quotes you haven't heard for my friend who is learning about Econ right now and probably misses history.
7. Yup, that's how I feel about that too.
8. Cool pictures of insects.

Three Things:

1. When I woke up this morning, my arms hurt.  It was almost as if they were saying, "what were you thinking climbing up in that tree?  
It wasn't from the one I hung upsidedown in, it was from the one that defeated me.   That was a hard moment because there was a long time in my life when I could have done that easily.  I took gymnastics for seven or eight years.  It was my body saying, "nope, I don't work like that anymore".  That's harsh.
2. I'm saying as a goal that I'd like to run 65 miles in October.  That's about 15 miles a week.  I think I need to be runing more than I am.  It is a wonderful way to exercise.  I ran 4 miles this morning (11:13 miles).  My arms are still sore.
3. I love the blogger widget for macs.  I'm predicting it will result in many short posts like this one that I can write before work.

Bonus: who's got a good recipe for apple sauce that does no require a mill?  


There's a blogger widget for Mac.  How happy am I?

The best thing about apple picking....

There are so many things I enjoy about apple picking:
A nice day to hang out and enjoy friends.
Eating the apples in the field.
Climbing trees.
This year I think we can include the corn pancakes we had before apple picking.

But one of my favorite things about apple picking is: the pictures

No one knows exactly what Amanda was thinking when this shot was taken. Does it matter really? I find it just as fun to think "what context, what set of details, what circumstance would make this picture ok?"
All possibilities are hysterical.

There's a good one. It was really hot. Given our history of apple picking when it's like -20*, today was like walking on the sun.

There were also pumpkins there. I got one. I cannot wait to roast pumpkin seeds. Again, why is it 85* on the first day of fall? I have to wait 'till it cools down before I can turn my oven on long enough to bake the things. I'm also strongly considering making pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin. Special note: I don't think I'm allowed to have a jack-o-lantern here because it will attract squirrels and other vermin, so it's really the best use.

For some reason, Amanda climbed all of the trees today. My only tree exploit came later on. Can you find her in there? She's well camouflaged.

When I look through my pictures of Amanda and Kelly and I and there are many I seem not to have too many of just Kelly and I. Tons of Amanda and Kelly, boatloads of Amanda and I, but like three of Kelly and I. There's the one taken ages ago with one of Amanda's old phones. There's the one of us camping. I think there are some from your wedding that were taken by the photographer, and of all the ones we took today, I think this is the best. I think I don't have so many pictures of just you and I because for a while you were the only one with a camera so you were always taking pictures of Amanda and I. And then when I got a camera, I learned you didn't like to have your picture taken and now I fear you.

As you can see, we don't have one picture of all three of us from this event. What did we do instead? Acted like monkeys of course. While this idea was all Amanda, I'm amused that Kelly was actually the first one to successfully pull it off. I found the most graceful way to get down from the tree so we all added our own touch.

Let's play the game...

Let's the play the game where everyone finishes my sentences for me. Ready?

Liz, this "mashable" thing means.... Seriously, I keep seeing this all over the place. I don't get it. I think it's something about connecting data from two different web pages, but I don't get it. I think this is somehow related to Yahoo Pipes. Maybe I'll spend some time playing with that. It seems like with the amount of time I spend on the web, I should be able to make use of this service somehow. I just have to discover it, much like Del.icio.us which some of us fail to properly value.

Y'all did good on that one. Ready for the next one?
Liz, the best place to buy a new appliance is.... I'm trying to avoid Best Buy. Is Sears still good? I need to think about kitchen appliances. White kitchen appliances to be clear. Not cream. White. Not stainless steal. I'd do black too I guess. Black might be nice.
Liz, you can look at a black refrigerator at..... (Websites or stores will be fine.)
Liz, the meaning of this sign is...

I'm thinking we might need to play this game more.

While I was contemplating this game, I found some neat stuff on the web.

Speaking of "mashable" and that stuff, I found The 10 Google Services That Get No Love. I know Google Labs is really cool. One of the things you can do is see what searches are popular based on a specific geographic area (say Minneapolis). Like, in Minneapolis, the Science Museum of Minnesota got searched a lot during certain really popular exhibits. It'll probably be just as popular when Star Wars comes. Is it wrong that I'm totally looking forward to that? In my defense, I think it means some Cincinnati friends may come for a visit.

Did you know that T-Mobile will unlock an iPhone for me? Me neither. I wonder how long that offer will last. The sad part (for me) is that T-Mobile has the carrier contract in Europe. That's not helping me at all people.

When I saw the headline for this story I thought of a friend who is changing jobs. I felt really bad when I saw the picture though. Mildly amused too.

One of the ways Firefox is inferior. Gasp! That's really sad though, especially considering the number of pictures I look at when I'm browsing. Will they fix this in Firefox 3? Is this an issue in Internet Explorer? Yes, they have that for Macs, although no one knows quite why.

Another gift from Japan? Could be anywhere.

An add for an old laptop. Explain to me why anyone would name a laptop "wet dry". That's just tempting fate.

And the case for public transportation. I think this would be a great idea, especially given how much people in the Twin Cities pay per ride to use public transit. My personal nitpick with Metro Transit is that if a person doesn't have bus fare, the driver usually lets them ride for free. If a person doesn't have fair on the light rail, they'll get a $180 fine. That's just silly.


Unconscious Mutterings

1. Singles :: that old TV show
2. Blaze :: wasn't there a TV show with that name too, Blaze of Glory, Blazing Saddles
3. Sandwich :: my lunch, yum, with the turkey and the hummus
4. Outside :: apple picking
5. Gooey :: some good food is gooey
6. Industry :: pollution, military industrial complex
7. Exclusive :: news, breaking news, something I really don't want to know
8. Warranty :: my food processor, yeah, that's total free association
9. Magical :: Harry Potter, other fun magic things
10. Heels :: the shoes I wore to Kelly's wedding

By special request

I had a special request for more pictures from Kelly and Eric's wedding:

The day before the wedding the three of us went to get manicures and pedicures. My manicure lasted about four days before it started to chip, and about seven before I just had to be done with it. My toenails on the other hand, are still going strong with the nail polish. My conclusion: Pedicure - totally worth it. Manicure - not so much.

We had the rehearsal dinner at Bucca di Beppo which serves basically enough food for the whole city to a table of four. It was great food. I also felt like I did a good job of keeping my portions reasonable. I only had one plateful and seconds of alfredo. Trust me, that's really good for this place. There was also a big chocolate cake. I had to turn my face to hide my momentary disappointment after I was lead to believe there would be tiramisu. (Sidenote: Firefox thinks "tiramisu" isn't a word. I guess it's really not in English. Firefox doesn't like "alfredo" either.)

Why aren't the guys wearing the boutonneers during the ceremony? We were keeping them nice for the pictures after. It's a good thing too, because I don't think Eric's arrangement could've withstood that kiss at the end.

At the reception we had lots of fun with scrabble tiles. That mess is not mine, I was just the photographer.

I felt like I needed a picture of my hair before kickball. It didn't actually take that long. It was nice to have somebody doing my hair too, it kept me nice and relaxed.

First wedding I've been to with kick ball. This picture was taken right before I went to bat. The remarkable thing about that bat? I heard one of the guys say, "that girls got a foot". Again, I accuse Amanda of being wildly competitive, but I have a problem too because I thought that was pretty cool. I did play soccer for ten years. Hopefully I've retained something.

Kelly, obviously not playing in that beautiful dress. She was watching my awesome kick.

And a sure sign that anyone over 65 has left, Kelly goes casual as well.

Brought to you by the saturday 8

First, an update on my progress at Amanda's map game: I got 50 out of 51 correct any my average error was one mile. Stupid Kansas.

Now, the Saturday 8:

when was the last time:
1. a restaurant was out of the food you wanted? I'm sure it was a dessert somewhere. All that's coming to mind is when Amanda and I wanted Mango sticky rice, but that was around two years ago. Somebody must have run out of my favorite food after that...

2. you were dumped/divorced by a significant other/spouse? I was the dumper about a year ago. Since I was the dumpeee, I think high school. I've been turned down for dates more recently than that though. (Been said yes to as well.)

3. you were denied a promotion? When was the last time I stayed at a job long enough to get promoted? I haven't been denied a promotion I've actually requested.

4. you didn't get the job you applied for? Not long ago at all. See the "Liz Gets Herself a Job" series on this blog.

5. a friend cancelled a lunch date (or other meeting) on you? There were about five misunderstandings in a row that resulted in me running the Milk Run alone this year. I was worried about it, but wound up having a real nice time.

6. someone took credit for something YOU did? Like I would allow that happen.

7. an appliance (or something in your home) broke? We are not putting that out there in the universe.

8. you were denied something credit-related? (loan, credit card, a rental, etc.) Denied. Ha.

Wow, I feel good

I went to the gym today, after not quite knowing how to get the appropriate exercise. I wanted to run, but then I knew there was a race at Lake Nokomis. And then I wanted to go to the gym, but that place is crazy on Saturday morning. The solution? I went grocery shopping first and then to the gym after it emptied out. I feel much better after not exercising too many days in a row. I still plan on getting up tomorrow morning to run before apple picking. We'll see.

Other things I plan to do today:
1. Join the credit union. I need to do this so I'm not forced to get a mortgage from Wells Fargo. I've had the experience, I'm not a fan.
2. Measure out my kitchen and start drawing sketches of what I want in there. My biggest fear: I'm going to fall in love, want to get married, and then have to move the second after the kitchen is remodeled. Seriously, that thought has been haunting me for a while now. Maybe it's the OCD.
3. Clean the place. It's actually in really good shape but we are meeting here tomorrow for apple picking. I can make it a little nicer. At least the hallway looks great.
That's pretty much it.

While putting those things off, I did find some neat stuff on the web. Ironic that I find things that are safe for work on the weekends, and the guy who can undress in under seven seconds when everyone is at their office.
1. 23 Simple Health Tips For Bloggers is about how to get exercise at your desk, and to remind you to walk away from time to time. There's no way that picture isn't photoshopped. The guy has no belly button.
2. Apparently "spreading your toes" is a thing in yoga. Even I, who love flip flops and wear them until there's snow on the ground, could never wear these shoes. ::Makes "Ewwwww" face::
3. Sidewalk drawings with real potential, totally safe for work. It's just really neat street art. Maybe that's what I should have done in the hallway.
4. Vegetable art: proof that cooking is really an art project with food. Although I think the googlie eyes are just cheating.
5. Why bottled water is killing the environment. I love that aquafina is just tap water. It makes me feel superior for drinking actual tap water all this time.
6. Another great thing Japan has given the world: Transparent frogs so that no squeamish ninth grader ever needs to dissect the little guys again.


I can't wait for the weekend

Well, it's the weekend. It's supposed to be ridiculously nice on Sunday for apple picking. I'm looking forward to the weekend and then two three-day work weeks in a row. Yes, yes I do love me job. I'm planning on painting my room next week. At this point I'm a little afraid that the color we picked will make my room look like a robin's egg. After watching what I'm sure is too many episodes of Clean House, I feel like it's ok to have darker colors in the bedroom. I also think it's a very bright bedroom, possible the best lit room in my house, and it would be appropriate for that to get a bit darker. I'm not sure yet. I keep thinking "oh what about red" but I really don't think red is a good bedroom color.

What have I seen on the web today while I was contemplating room colors? Some good stuff:
1. What is your thinking style? I am an Interpersonal thinker which is a real shock given my profession.
2. The Good Food Fight is a fun sight. Sound enabled website for those of you browsing where there are other people. (Read: For Kelly, who might be browsing at work.)
3. How to get undressed in seven seconds. Not safe for work, don't even try. Well, obviously this came from Japan. Amanda, can you translate?
4. An air conditioning service with a great name. I linked to the Digg page because really the comments can be just as good as the pictures sometimes.
5. I'm glad to see some recognition that animated movies targeted at kids are not necessarily kid friendly. A little happy to see Lion King on the list, I think the one where they break out of the zoo should have been on there too.
6. And a photo essay of North Korea.


Oh, my poor achin legs

I went to the gym this morning, a mere ten hours after I was there last night. Wow was I sore. Actually my knee has been bugging me the past few days. It all started Sunday. I shouldn't have been painting like that one day after running a 5k. My knee, at certain times in my life, clicks when I bend it. I can't stand it. It's not pain so much as it freaks me out that my knee is clicking. Still I worked hard and lifted weights. Tomorrow I think I'll run again.

I also went a to a volunteer training tonight. It was nice but sort of stuff I already knew. It was about restorative justice. I've have actually a degree in criminal justice, so it was familiar. I am now trained to facilitate restorative justice panels for the community group. How exciting.

And I talked with Amanda and Kelly. I hadn't actually spoken to Kelly since the wedding. (I missed you too.)

What'd I see on the web today? Some great stuff actually:
1. Obscure Units of Measure. There will be a quiz later. "Score" and "hand" I knew. My favorite new measure is alcohol related. It's amusing to me because it's a ridiculous amount of alcohol, not because it's a potty word.
2. The next place I get my hair done will be at one of these places. Not.
3. An article with a great headline from someone who is undoubtedly full of spite. In other news related to NBC and iTunes not getting along, both Fox and CBS are offering premiers of their popular shows for Free download on iTunes.
4. My next car?


Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things I Do When I Have Nothing Else To Do:
1. Go through my RSS feeds. There's new stuff on digg all the time.
2. Play Euchre or Bridge on Yahoo Games.
3. Read. Mostly Harry Potter lately.
4. Go for a walk.
5. Call friends. I don't do this one very much. Maybe you'd like me to call you more?
6. Sort through my pictures on iPhoto or perhaps take new ones.
7. Clean. Yeah, ok.
8. Eat. I mean seriously...
9. Nap. I don't get to do that one nearly as much as I'd like.
10. Shop. Possibly even more dangerous than number 8.

Oh sleep, I remember that

I should remember sleep. I slept like 10 hours last night. Woops. I was ready for sleep around 8:00, finally gave in around 10:00. Woke up: just before 8:00 this morning. Technically my alarm went off at 5:30am too, but we all know that didn't happen.

I was inspired by the blubber run to be able to run faster than I do now. Seriously. I give Amanda crap about always wanting to win at Jenga but I'm just as bad... So I went back to the Couch Potato Running Plan that I used in 2006 (mentioned here and here among others) and used the same general principle. Instead of walking and running, I ran at a normal to slow pace for the "walk" times and ran at a faster than normal pace for the "run" times. I did that for 20 minutes, and then continued to run until I had run four miles. I seemed to work ok. I'll keep trying it. We'll see if I get faster. I ran those four miles in just under 11:00 miles. Exciting.

I was thinking about running a long way tomorrow morning, but it's still raining. I don't want to get that wet.

What else have I done today? Looked around at wonderful things for you to see of course.
1. Interested in God? You must have a PC. I'm not sure I believe it.
2. One of my best friends lives in Seattle. Chris, is this really true?
3. The Lemon Screw Squeezer. Mind... gutter.
4. Another great thing about Japan? Shock absorbing gel. Maybe we should put this at construction sites around steel workers. Pssst, Amanda. What are they saying?
5. 10 of the funniest sites on the internet. Kelly, how many of these did you already know existed? My personal favorite: Engrish.com.
6. And a great article about modern day sailors and pirates.
Why does this article interest me? I've been through the straits of Malacca on a ship. It was fairly exciting. It was only then I learned there is a brig on our ship. To keep the pirates away, all the crew would take shifts at night keeping watch all around the ship. Their weapons? Fire hoses. No joke. We made it through that water safely but that was the earliest we ever left port before our scheduled time and absolutely the fastest I saw that ship move the whole three months I lived on it. The next day we were going about five knots to make up for our hasty departure from Singapore.


What Did I Do Today?

Not run a 5K, that's for sure. Dad and I went to Maria's for breakfast (yum) and then we went to the co-op for groceries. We went to Circuit City (I know, it's not my favorite place either) to get Mom a birthday present. We stopped by Office Depot for graph paper and Michael's for paint brushes. Michael's is having a custom framing sale so I might take my painting in to get it framed (finally). Then we came back and worked on my entry way. And we worked. We had lunch and watched a little golf. And we worked. With little paint brushes, painting the edges. And we worked. And now it's done. I vacuumed and cleaned up the painting supplies and took a shower and it's done. We'll put the plates back on the wall tonight over the light switches and hang some paintings and then it's really done. Hooray.

I also played around with the blog layout a little more. I organized the links a little better and hopefully made the text a bit easier to read. Dad is watching football and I feel like I can't really write a lot when the TV is going. But it's been a fun day. A nice day to hang out with Dad. He's going home tomorrow. I was going to give him his birthday presents tonight. I just realized I don't have a cake for him. I wonder if I can come up with something else. I'll look around while he takes a shower.

While not writing, I found some great things to look at:
1. An insane squirrel obstacle course. I'm amused someone took that much time to find a way to feed a squirrel.
2. The greatest way to get rid of pigeons ever. I can totally see someone spending the time to make this.
3. An IQ test that's supposed to be very accurate. It also takes like 40 minutes or something. I haven't done the whole thing. I feel like the television would distract me. And then the OCD about getting a great score, and not being able to because of the TV, and then things would just go down hill from there.
4. Interesting when gas stations start making statements.

Recent Changes to the Blog

For some reason, the columns were no longer working with my current template. I have no explanation, but I needed a new template so my blog would look right. That seemed like it was going to take too much time to figure out, so I went Pink for October a little early this year. I'm not sure if this is exactly the same (ugly) template I had last year, but it'll do. My favorite thing about the template I used was that the columns were super wide.

Other additions: I've tried to keep the links relatively the same. I still have the link to Raceberry JaM and the Gmap Pedometer because that's the only way I can find those two sites. For two of my dearest friends, I've added a link to "Can You Name All 50 US Presidents?" and what I refer to as "Amanda's Map Game", it's "the 50 states game" in the column on the right. I've also listed some of the blogs I mention on a regular basis. Anyone else have a fun site I should list?

By the way, I'm not sure this color is really pink, but I did use the correct HTML code to get "pink". Maybe it's that whole "macs don't always display colors properly" issue again.


Randomness and other things you should know about:

First, from Randomness

1. what's your favorite color? I'm liking the purple and the maroon right now. Not together. I have a cute light purple cami I just bought, and one of my favorite shirts, as well as the beer run shirt from today are maroon.
2. how many languages do you speak? At different times in my life I could speak Chichewa, Spanish and English and read Latin.
3. who is your best friend? I'm lucky to have a lot of friends. At this particular moment, everyone who asked me to do anything while I was in grad school and heard "no, I have a paper/test/project/group presentation I need to work on", and didn't get discouraged or let their feelings be hurt that I never got to do nice things with them, I don't know what to say. I feel like the tables are turned now. I hope I can be as good to you as you were to me.
4. are you married? Nope.
5. what's your favorite song? "Healing Hands" by Elton John has the highest play count of any song in iTunes, which is saying something because I haven't even owned that song too long. I also like "This Night Won't Last Forever" by Sawyer Brown for some moods, and "Crazy Love" originally by Van Morrison.
6. what is your greatest fear? Heights. I am terribly afraid of heights. Also, eating raw tomatoes. I was going to put something else, but I've had lots of time to think about things, and have come to my senses. Heights are for sure the scariest because I start to loose control of my body.
7. who is your hero? I'm lucky to have lots of people to teach me. I think Mom is pretty cool. I'd say Kelly and Amanda here, but they're too busy hitting "comments" and leaving a "your mom" joke to be reading this part.

Now, the "things you should see" part:
1. There's no way that this thing is a real animal. (Safe for work.) Ewww.
2. I typically regard billboards as a waste of good space, but these billboards may be the exception that proves the rule.
3. There's no way this picture wasn't staged. It's hilarious nonetheless. (Safe for Kelly's work for sure. The rest of you, probably so as well.)

Today was a long day

First, the Blubber Run. I had a really good time running in this event. I ran with Eric who has ridiculously long legs and goes really fast. We ran a 32:08, my fastest 5K time ever. Thanks Eric! This isn't like a normal race, people wear all kinds of costumes and things. There were several Elvis look-alike types, a beer keg, human traffic cones, lumber jacks, vikings, girls in blubber suits (which were surprisingly cool) superheroes, and a people dressed as a bride and groom. I told Eric that with the bride and groom and the grilling out it would be just like last weekend. There were also these people wearing cross country skis. I saw them at the starting line, never did see them again. I wonder how long it took them.

Eric told me last year there was beer stop halfway through the race (no, seriously) but this year they decided to have both of the free beers come at the end of the race. Needless to say, we did not wait in that line. Instead we went to Matt's, home of the Juicy Lucy. It was also fun to have Dad come and see me run. Mom and Dad came to all my soccer games and swim meets when I was a kid, so it's fun when they can still come. It seems like all is right with the world when that happens. Plus, they should get to see what I'm talking about when I mention running races.

After the run and lunch, we came home and vegged out. It was then that I discovered something (and I don't understand what) happened to my blog display. I blame the blogger outage. It all worked fine before that. Ten points to the first person to tell me what's going on. I don't know if I want to fix it or just make it pink again like I did last October. That was so ugly. Anyone got a prettier template I can use? Then there was napping and a not so good meal at Turtle bread. It was fine for me, seemed like not so much for Dad.

We went to the Twin's game and so were unable to take Kelly up on her kind offer for dinner. The Twin's game was exciting. Two things that should go on Overheard in Minneapolis that I personally heard:
9 year old boy: It doesn't hurt to get hit by pitches because when you're older you have more body fat so there's more cushion.

Then, later, same two kids:
7 year old boy: Beer makes you cough.
9 year old boy: How do you know? Have you had it?
7 year old boy: Yes. ::Panicked:: No. I mean no.

Those two kids were pure gold. Sadly, I had to move because an unusually large gentleman came and sat in the seat next to me. It was not his seat. I heard him say so. Ok, people come in different sizes. This is fine. Wait. Nope. The unusually large gentleman also smelled very bad. It took about two seconds for me to find a different seat, where I stayed the rest of the game and was very happy. Even though the Twins lost.

Then Dad and I went to Uptown to go to Chiang Mai Thai, which still had a 20 minute wait at 9:30pm so we went to a Vietnamese place around the corner instead. Now, here I am and I'm beat.


Fun things I saw on the internet

One of the Digg stories was a list of videos of pranks to play on roommates. Here's a few:
1. This girls reaction is about as good as Amanda's would be.
2. Breakfast surprise. It's great when a guy has this reaction. Kelly, NSFW, or listen with your headphones.
3. My personal favorite. Ditto on the NSFW thing. I'm surprised no one did this to any of the annoying roommates when you lived on Asburry. Oh, that was such a long time ago.

In honor of Kelly, and also myself a bit, Curly hair tangles less than straight hair. Finally, something to get excited about.

And finally, for all of us, something I've been saying for a while now. I actually learned this from someone who read Diet for A Small Planet which is in it's 20th anniversary edition, so really the knowledge has been there for most of my life.