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Showing posts from 2008

Public Advocate of the United States Part 1

First, some background from the Loudoun Govt site : Eugene Delgaudio was elected to the Board of Supervisors representing the Sterling District in November 1999, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2007. He serves on the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety/Human Services Committee, and represents Loudoun County (Virginia) on the Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA). He served as Executive Director and is now President of Public Advocate of the U.S., a conservative non-profit organization which supports a program of limited government and reduced taxes. My sister received a packet in the mail, addressed to my father, from the Public Advocate of the U.S.. Included in the packet was a American Morality Survey, and a three page, double-sided letter. Here are some excerpts: The Radical Homosexuals are storming through Washington demanding passage of their agenda. And with the defeat of the Republicans and election of Barack Obama, they say NOW is the time to push their perverse &quo

Basket Boat

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This beautiful basket is a gift from H & B. I'm pretty sure, with a little reinforcement, that it can double as a pool float this summer. The thing is huge and filled with lots and lots of goodies, including several varieties of hot chocolate, boxes and bags of chocolate candy, and a bottle of chocolate liquor. It was opened this morning, just in time for breakfast. Yummy! I'm now looking forward to lunch. Thank you H & B! You two rock!

Would You Like To Come In For A Cookie?

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The annual neighborhood cookie swap was held earlier this month, courtesy of hosts extraordinaire McCheesy and McMeaty . The concept of the swap is that everyone brings 5 dozen cookies to share with the group. In turn, you get to bring home a stash of goodies baked by others. My favorite turned out to be the Pinot Grigio cookie, which was served chilled in a beautiful white wine glass.   McCheesy kept things lively with great food and wonderful conversation. And her cookie contribution this year was outstanding - a delicious lemon cookie sprinkled with gold flakes. I brought enough home to make a ring. McMeaty served up a cooking lesson for the ladies. He showed us how to make a wonderful baked brie inside a pastry crust, sweetened with brown sugar. It was sooo good. I'm not much of a cook but I did learn a few things. For example, I leaned that I am absolutely clueless around a kitchen. Oh wait, I already knew that. Everyone had a really great time. Thank you to McMea

I'm Out Of Legs

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I woke up yesterday with an itch behind my right knee. Probably a little bite I thought, from some critter one of the dogs dragged in or from a spider in the basement. By last night, it was red and swollen. By this morning, even bigger and more red. Before deciding to head off to the ER, I gave my doctor a call. The MD covering told me it was probably some sort of bite, to put some hydrocortisone cream on it, and to come into the office tomorrow if it wasn't better. Good advice, except now there is a ring around the site with is sort of wigging me out a bit. I am currently icing it.  Part two. I went down to the basement to change the filter on the water softening system for the house. The filter sits in a cup like holder that screws onto the tank by some grooves in the top of the holder. I shut off the water, relieved the pressure in the system, and collected the water that dripped out into a dishpan. I then began to unscrew the holder, using the tool that came with the system -

Wine and Wii

Ding Dong

The doorbell rang this morning as I was drinking my strawberry banana smoothie for breakfast. Thinking it was either UPS or a neighbor, I got up, one barking Yorkie tucked under my arm, and opened the door. I was surprised to see a man and a woman, nicely dressed, carrying some literature. "Oh, oh", I thought, "now I'm trapped, like a caged animal." They were very nice. They spoke briefly, offered me a pamphlet, which I accepted, and left. I thought these folks would usually try to work their way into the house in order to try to sell you on their religion. Not this time.  And now I think I know the secret to prevent this from happening. I had answered the door still wearing the white t-shirt I wore to bed. And it was cold out. And I hadn't realized how much the shirt has shrunk. That's one way to get my point across without even opening my mouth.

Objects May Have Shifted During Travel

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No use crying over spilled milk. I'm ok with that. But spilled wine, that's a different story. The box was in the back of my SUV. I lifted the hatch and before I could react, the whole case fell on the driveway, leaving me with a look of shock and horror. "This can't be", the voice in my head yelled as my Diamond Light from Truro Vineyards on Cape Cod smashed and bled all over my driveway. I was able to salvage 8 of the 12 bottles. After picking up the shattered glass and and licking the driveway dry, I decided that tonight is probably a good martini night. Wahhhhhhhh!

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge

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From the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge web site: The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, part of The Big Dig Project in Boston, is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world. The Bridge serves as the northern entrance to and exit from Boston. The Bridge is named after civil rights activist Lenny Zakim and the American colonists who fought the British in the Battle of Bunker Hill. I took this picture from the parking garage. I've never actually been over this bridge, I just thought it looked cool in the morning light. As a side note, I still have not given my notice yet. My start date for the new job got moved up to after the first of the year because the University closes for a week at Christmas. I couldn't really start much before that due to obligations at my current employer. So, Monday will be the big day. Yikes.

You Are Hereby Put On Official Notice

...that I am outta City Hall in three weeks. I am giving my notice at work on Monday, something I hate to do. I have been very worried about the economic climate and my continued status as a dependent contractor at my current organization. My position is funded until June, but with a freeze both on hiring and overtime and worsening conditions, I feel I need to get out while I can. Being a contractor affords me no unemployment insurance and if things continue as they are, I think jobs will be harder to come by as June nears. I have accepted a position at a University in the Boston area. The commute will still pretty much stink, but it is a 35 hour week and there is the opportunity to work remotely (i.e. from my dining room) one day a week. I am really looking forward to joining this organization and very excited to be working in higher ed. Giving my notice is going to be very tough. I have been with my current organization, as both a full time employee and a contractor, for over 8 yea

Family Values

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Ahh Thanksgiving - to me it means spending time with family and friends and just taking time to enjoy the people in our lives who really mean so much. You can see the love for me emanating from my niece. I can just tell by the look in her eye that I am her favorite aunt. Being four months pregnant has just given her such a glow don't you think? Just scroll down and take a look for yourself. I am so telling your mother.

Get Your Bird Here

Maybe We Should Shake On That

From my buddy Ronia at The 100 Day Season: Listen you! You better update your blog!!! I'll be blogging in less than 3 days!!! You better get blogging my friend! Make me laugh .... I need to laugh! Sorry about that. I've been interviewing the past couple of weeks and I've been a little stressed out.  I generally do ok with interviewing but I have had some mishaps along the way. I remember one interview I had many years ago when I was moving from the medical field to information technology. To my surprise, I knew one of the woman in the office. We hugged and kissed on the cheek as old friends do. I interviewed with two or three people that day. I was happy with how things went and was fairly certain I would be offered the job. I walked back to my car , all pleased with myself. I got in the car, buckled myself in, and looked in my rear view mirror before backing out of my parking spot. Then I saw it. My friend in the office wore bright red lipstick and apparently though

You Are U-G-L-Y

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I just read on the following on Boston.com about the building in which I work: "Now City Hall, which opened in 1967, is getting some international attention: It tops the list of the "World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings' and Monuments'' compiled by the websiteVirtualTourist.com." Is it that bad? Really? Maybe I am just used to it. It's different looking that's for sure. But ugly? That's rather harsh. I'm curious as to what other's think, especially those that are seeing it here for the first time. What goes through your head when you see this picture?

My PC Got Me PO'd

I got some sort of virus the other day on my Windows laptop. Apparently there is this "go to google" Trojan that is making it's way across the internet . I'm pretty careful. I use anti-virus software and try to stay away from clicking on anything that looks suspicious. And I don't download a heck of a lot of stuff. I haven't been on any porno sites for months. (I'm just kidding - really - just wanted to see if you are paying attention). When this sucker hosed my laptop, which now refuses to even boot up, I got a little frustrated. This incident, combined with the problems my new desktop PC had right out of the box, got me to thinking that maybe all those Mac users were onto something. So I went out and bought a new MacBook . I still have a bit to learn. But so far I am really loving it. And I was able to get it going right out of the box which is nice for a change. So all you Mac users out there - OC , Chewy ,  Janet - any and all tips, tricks, and s

H And The Hair Piece

This is obviously a very sensitive topic for my friend H. Had I known there was a competition in town, I would not even have suggested that we go out. Sadly, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The video below is acting up. Sometimes working, sometimes not. I am working on this.

In With The Good Air, Out With The Bad

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The thing with pool floats is that they all have that fancy one way valve so the air does not escape when you are inflating them. Good for the start of the season, not so good for the end. Every year I find myself wrestling with the floats, trying to pinch open the valve while pushing the air towards the exit. My neighbor has a clear view of my deck. I was wondering if he thought I had passed out on top of the float, or if I was getting kinky with the pool toys. Either way, it makes me smirk to picture him looking out the window wondering just what the heck I am doing. I can hear him now - "Honey, you gotta see this. It's that crazy lesbian next door and she's at it with the inflatables again."

A Halloween Riddle

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Why couldn't the witch have any babies? Because her husband had a Halloweenie! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Random and weird?

I was tagged for a meme by J at Mid Life Clarity (a great read by the way). I've been thinking about this one. I may have posted a similar list like this at one time, but it's been while. So here goes: Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. * Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird. * Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog. * Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.1. 1. I spend a work day and a half (based on an 8 hour day) in the car commuting to work three days a week. I've pretty much decided that 4 hours a day in the car isn't worth the toll it is taking (and the tolls I'm paying) . 2. Watches are probably my favorite type of jewelery and I spend too much money on them. 3. I threw up cream of mushroom soup on the desk in kindergarten and have not been able to eat it since. 4. Northampton is one of my favorite towns in the Unit

Beware - The Cell Phone Camera

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My little buddy at work, Mr. Vo , took this picture of me in a meeting yesterday. He's thinks it's fun to snap pictures and videos with that fancy phone of his without us knowing while we are at work or out to lunch. Luckily I saw him and was able to at least give him half a smirk. And he caught me on a good day - my socks match my sweater. Sometimes my socks don't even match each other. This is my "I look like crap because I have been up since 4:00 AM look". It gets worse as the week goes on. Fortunately today is my last day to drive in for the week and tomorrow I work from home.

Apple Pie Festival, Dummerston, VT

Subject:New Presidential Candidate... It's someone we know! Hi, There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee: http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=46832&altf=Nbsujoj1DK&altl=Dbsuxiffmt Jot back a note to let me know what you think!

Going, Going, Gone

I finally did it. I sold my mutual fund yesterday. And I'm feeling pretty sick today about the $10,000 I just lost. Not $10,000 that I had earned on the fund over the course of the 7 months I owned it. No, this was a loss of 20% of my original investment. I know, I know - market investments are supposed to be for the long haul, it's going to be difficult to make it back now, yadda yadda yadda. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't watch the value of my house slide and the value of my 401K and this fund all at once. It was killing me. So I went with those "experts" who were preaching more years of market doom and advising folks to take any money you may need in the next five years out of stocks. I'm pissed. Pissed that lending institutions got so greedy and gambled on risky loans and investments and sent my money down the toilet. Pissed that these are the same folks getting millions of dollars in severance packages for doing a bad job. Pissed that this market

Stiffy Strikes Again

I Feel Good!

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I went a little over-board at the vitamin store. That tall yellow bottle - that's the lemonade diet/detox concentrate. It's made from lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. You're supposed to have two tablespoons in 8 ounces of water eight times a day for four days. It took me three glasses to realize it tastes like shit. I figured it would hurt more coming back out then going in so I stopped. Those two big canisters are a super food powder in garden berry flavor. It has something like 19 servings of fruits and vegetables. I thought it would be a good supplement since I don't always eat so well during the week. The powder smells a bit like a barnyard. The instructions say mix one scoop in 8 ounces of your favorite beverage. Since I wasn't' sure how garden berry would go with Sam Adams Oktoberfest, I used water instead. I didn't throw up (yet) so I guess I will try to have one glass every day. The other things are vitamins, fish oil (love those fish

I Turn My Back For One Minute

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It seems as though a fun loving group of Ambystoma maculatum (Yellow Spotted Salamander) have decided to use the pool for a little play time. I'm ok with it, as long as they don't pee in the water or play the stereo in the pool shed too loud. But if I catch them wearing my swim goggles or using the gas grill, I am kicking them all out. And yes, the little dudes in both of these pictures are alive and well.

Nature's Organ

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Of all the places this fungus could pick, It was in my yard it decided to stick. There will be no prize, For it's shape or it's size. In fact the look of it is making me sick. Ok, fess up. Who thought I was going to rhyme pick with trick?

Wanna Go For A Ride

I'm experimenting with some new video software. I have a long way to go to master this. In the mean time, here is a boring little video that I have been playing with. For you Mac owners, if you can't view this, could you please let me know. I never can quite figure out in which format to render these. Thanks all!

I'm Finally Full

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I'm done, stick a fork in me. Prior to the above maple cream cones, apple pie with cheddar cheese, and Maine lobster roll, there was the ham and cheese sandwich, nachos, and beer. I'm good now. It is going to be a very rainy weekend here and chances are I will not be going back to the Big E for a round 4. If it was sunny, there is a chance that I would as I could always manage to fit in just one more Polish plate. But I think I have had enough fair-ground food to last me until next fall. What do you say ass and thighs? Ready to call it quits? Or would you rather I just throw on some bigger jeans?

More Adventures At The Big E

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I had one of those days on Friday where you set out to do one thing and by the end of the night find yourself somewhere totally unexpected. The afternoon started off with another trip to the Big E. The weather was perfect for sitting outside with friends, enjoying a nice micro brew. After that, it was time for some supper so we headed off to find some non-fried food. Not many choices in that category except for the fare over at the Sam Adams Beer Garden. Oh well, if we must. After eating and continuing to explore the fair, it was time for a little pick me up. We ran into a group of friends who were kind enough to point us in the right direction. And yes, fried Oreos were just the ticket: Then time for a trip down the giant slide: As luck would then have it, while checking out the hot tubs, we were fortunate to hook up with another group of our buddies. Seems the thing to do here in Western Mass on a Friday night is go to the Big E. And what do friends do when they all meet up

Your Star

There is a wonderful website called Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) where for only one dollar you can launch a star to honor someone who has had a cancer diagnosis. I launched one for my Dad today. He passed in 2003 to a rare form of cancer called Esthesioneuroblastoma. You can leave messages on stars that were already created or launch one of your own. Either way, it's a nice way to pay tribute to someone you care about. Here is the link to my Dad's star: http://www.standup2cancer.org/constellation-launch?starId=13876 .

7:00 AM In Boston

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Back in May and June, the sun was up at 5:15 as I left my house to drive to work. This is a more challenging time of year - driving east as the sun is coming over the horizon and driving west as the sun is going down. The sun came up at 6:30 today in Boston, and was starting to spread across Government Center as I was walking from the parking garage to my building. This is a picture of Faneuil Hall, which was built in 1742. Yes, this is a rather boring post. But I'm tired. Hey, at least I posted a pic.

Eating My Way Through The Big E, Part 1

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It's that time of year again - the Big E started last Friday. The Big E, or the The Eastern States Exposition, is the biggest fair in the northeast. Here's a sampling of some of the goodies I had on Friday when I hit the fair with my buddy Bill. First, it was off to the Maine building to get in line for a Maine baked potato. To make things easier on the potato ladies, I just ask for one with everything. Delicious and low fat. This of course made us thirsty so we had to go across the street to the Sam Adams Beer Garden: From there it was off to walk around the fair. The Big E covers a lot of ground. And so, we got thirsty again. Time for a snack. A Polish plate was just the thing we needed. It came complete with pierogi , kapusta , and kielbasa. Now all I needed was some food to go in case I got hungry when I got home. Back down to the Avenue Of States to the New Hampshire building for some kettle corn. Bill got some too. I opted for the large economy size bag h

An Apple A Day

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These are the cider donuts I mentioned on the last post. If you're like me, you may not always have the time or the inclination to grab an apple, wash it, and spend 5 minutes crunching away. That's why I love these little babies. They are made from cider, which of course is basically apples so they must be good for you. And a bag of six cider donuts weighs a lot less than a bag of six apples. Less weight in the bag, less weight in my body right? The weight difference also makes them easier to transport, whether I am carrying a half dozen in the saddlebags on my motorcycle or the saddlebags on my thighs. Yummy!

The First Signs Of Fall

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Mums, twisted yellow bumpy squash thingies, cider donuts, and Berkshire Brewing Company Oktoberfest Lager. I think Autumn may have arrived here in western Massachusetts.

Recycled Wildlife

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I have been bad about posting this week. Just wasn't feeling it I guess. But I am so sick of looking at the ceiling picture. I would much rather look at pictures of my neighbor's cardboard wildlife. There's the moose that sits out in the back-40. He seems kinda lonely out there. And then there are the coyotes that sit in the backyard. They are less noisy than the real one that was coming into the yard when this same neighbor was leaving out chunks of raw, red meat to attract the living, breathing version. There were cardboard bear cubs on the front lawn but I think the cardboard coyotes ate them one night when no one was looking. Come to think of it, I haven't seen my pink flamingo lately either...

No, I Can't Do It

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Screw you HD and your slogan. The only way I can do it and the only way you can help is to come to my house and do it for me. Explaining to me just how easy it is will not make the task simple. I have a spot on my ceiling. I have been to HD three times now. First, for the spray can of Kilz to cover the spot. That made it worse. Next, for the small can of white paint. That didn't match. Yesterday it was for another spray can of some sort of evil pressurized texture paint that was made specifically for touching up popcorn ceilings. I tried it. I shook and shook that freaking can till my hand was sore. Made sure I covered all exposed furniture. I put on a mask. Then I fired away. The stuff flew out of the can like projectile baby vomit flies out of a sick kid. On me, on the tarp, on parts of the floor I did not cover. Now it looks like I have a patch of Quaker Oats on my ceiling. I don't care if this makes me a bad lesbian. I'm leaving this to the professionals who know I c

A Day At SC

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I got to spend the day Friday at my alma mater Springfield College. I graduated from there, as did my two nieces and a great-uncle. My parents attended Learning in Later Life at Springfield College. And my sister and one of my nieces work there. Peanutman, my great-nephew, goes to the day care affiliated with the college. However, it happened to be closed on Friday so his favorite auntie (me!) spent the morning babysitting while his Mom was working. We hung out in the athletic training room while Grammie (my sister) got a compression treatment for a sore foot, ran around the indoor track on the top of the gym (this made Auntie pretty tired), had lunch, and walked around the campus. It was the start of new student orientation that day. I remember doing that 26 years ago in 1982 when I was a freshman. Wow. No wonder I could only do one lap around the track.

Mitt In A Dress?

When I first read that John McCain chose a female VP, I was excited. I saw her picture - she was young and looked a bit like Karen on the show Will and Grace. She must fairly moderate I thought. Then I read the following on Boston.com : In October of 2006, the Anchorage Daily News described Palin's positions on social issues :"A significant part of Palin's base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them)." WTF? It's Mitt Romney in drag! I knew he would get on the ticket somehow. Someone please comfort me and tell me Hillary supporters are not going to jump over the fence and vote

What Goes On At The Wet Spot....

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.....stays at The Wet Spot (and at Martini Cartwheels) Ok girls, you know who you are. And you were all behaving very badly last Saturday night. I am shocked and appalled, as are the neighbors. Next time you leave your beers that close to the edge of the pool (see pic number 1) I am sending you all home. Now think about what you did and get ready for the long weekend.