Thursday, March 30, 2006

Livin' in da Wal-Mart eh?

Ok, so this kid lived in a Wal-Mart store for 41 hours during his spring break. I read the article and aside from finding this kid to be a few crayons short of a full box, I thought he didn’t really try to hard to accomplish his goal. What, does his city have a ghetto Wal-Mart? I think it’s totally possible to live inside Wal-Mart and get pretty much everything you need while there. There’s an entire grocery store and a Subway inside the store. You can get hot food from the deli for most of the day. When they’re closed there’s a myriad of snack foods available. You can buy clothing and personal hygiene products. You can sleep on the futon in the furniture section. There is almost always some movie playing in the electronics section for entertainment. There are also video games and books to occupy your time. The one thing that might be tricky is the bathing issue, but I suppose the sinks in the bathroom might work a little for that. This would be much easier for a guy (since girls generally like to be cleaner than guys do… just an observation.) I don’t know that the Wal-Mart employees would be so observant to notice you never leave. They’d probably just think you really like to shop there… The fact that this guy freaked out and had some paranoia attack after less than 2 days concerns me. Perhaps he should consider spending his spring break with a shrink…

And why is this making national news anyway? *sigh*

Ooh, Creepy!

Adam doesn’t even know this yet but I thought it was… interesting. Either we’re freakishly in sync with each other or he has spies following me. :)

We bought each other the same card.

The other day after I went to the library I stopped by Wal-mart to say hi to him and do some shopping. I picked up a card which I planned to give him in a couple weeks for our anniversary. Yes, I shop early. In any case, when he got home from work later that evening he had gotten a card for me. I opened it and there was the exact same card I had just bought for him a few hours earlier. So weird. Luckily for me I hadn’t written anything in the card I bought so I can return it and hopefully find a different card. I’m not totally sure what to make of this, but I found it to be quite interesting.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Lot O' Nothing

I really don’t have anything to say but I figured I’d post something anyway. The week appears to be going by quickly except for when I’m sitting here at work trying to find something to do. *sigh* Nothing much is going on. The month is almost over and so I’ll be up in New London on Friday. Woo. Sales this month are totally awesome but I’m sure something happened so that the profit will be horrible. I’m saying this with absolutely no knowledge of what the results actually are. I haven’t even looked at recovery reports at all. This is just based on past experience. Whenever I see that sales are much higher than expected something always happens to offset that increase. Then my plant manager asks me why this happens. *sigh* Hopefully things work out differently this month. *crosses fingers* Would be a nice way to end the quarter.

The hamsters are still doing well. Pigster is odd and we’re trying to find a way to position his wheel so it doesn’t bang against the cage. He’s so huge the wheel tips backward as he runs in it and hits the glass. So annoying… but if I move it away from the cage it hits the metal ramp. I turned it on an angle last night and I don’t think it made noise, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’d like to get a bigger cage for him but I don’t know if it’s worth dropping $60ish for a bigger aquarium. I had no idea he’d get so huge. And it’s not all fluffy hair either. He’s a long(ie tall, in hamsterland) thing (which is how he managed to escape before I put the metal top on the aquarium.) Duey has gone from being sweet and cuddly to being the devil’s sidekick. Ok, maybe that’s being slightly melodramatic, but he’s just evil! He’s all bitey now. Adam originally tried to convince me that it was just me until Duey gave him a nice big bite on the finger the other day. He’s still crazy and obsessively runs his circuit around the cage. I just pick him up less. Howie appears to have remained his sweet self. He’s so much calmer than either of the other two. He just kind of goes along with whatever you do. If you pick him up, cool. If not, that’s ok too. Each of these critters definitely has their own personality. Perhaps I’ll get some more pictures of them soon. I have Pigster and Howie as my wallpaper at work and every time the tech guys remote my computer they ask me, “Are those gerbils?” No! They don’t have ugly gerbil tails! *sigh*

There are really no plans to do anything in the near future. Life is kind of boring until mid-April. I went to the library last night to return some books and pick up a new batch. Perhaps I’ll comment on my book challenge progress later. I’ve been slacking off terribly lately. TV has become so tempting. They are showing two episodes of 7th Heaven now on ABC Family each evening so there’s another hour gone. LoL.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Odd Billboard pairings

First off, Happy Birthday to my sister Catherine in New York. It's her 21st today. Have at least one drink (even though I didn't on my 21st...)

Anyway, the original point of this post was to comment on this billboard I see every day while driving home from work. On one side is a Cost Cutters ad - a pouty blonde woman posing with her great new haircut. Unfortunately, on the other side is an ad for M. Schettl sales - a huge outlet type store in Oshkosh that sells all kinds of weird stuff like lawn ornaments and the such. Their recognizable logo is this big moose head. As fate would have it, the antlers stick up over the top of the billboard and they just happen to be right where the woman's head is on the other side of the billboard. So it looks like the lady in the Cost Cutter ad has antlers. It makes me snicker every time I see it...

There's another odd pairing that Adam is always pointing out but I can't remember what it is... something with an adult bookstore...with McDonald's or something

You'd think they'd think about these placements before plastering up this huge picture.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Time is Flying

Wow. This week has just flown by. It’s kind of sad, considering I really didn’t do all that much. Monday was an average day, minus a 7th Heaven episode. Adam worked again so I taped The Apprentice for him. It was an interesting episode. Brent is a psycho and I’m sure he believes all the stupid stuff that was coming out of his mouth. I’m glad he’s gone. Perhaps things will be normal now. The previews for this coming week suggest otherwise, but we’ll see.

Tuesday was my IMA meeting. It was student night so the meeting was held down in Oshkosh. The speakers were two republicans running for governor – Scott Walker and Mark Green. Well, Mr. Green wasn’t there, but Rep. Underheim came and filled in for him. There were about 30 students and maybe 20 IMA members in attendance. All in all, a fairly big crowd. The politicians had been instructed to shy away from campaign-like speeches and instead focus on items of interest for people in the accounting/finance field – budgeting, tax issues, etc. Needless to say, this didn’t happen and it turned into a kind of mudslinging forum for the candidates to promote themselves (or in Green’s case, for Underheim to promote him.) This ticked a few members off and emails were flying on Wednesday morning. It’s been interesting, being on the “inside” of a group like this. I generally had a good time and had my first successful mystery guest contest. Sweet!

Wednesday I headed up to Denmark with Angie and Tina and Mike (that is, my boss, her boss, and her boss’ boss. Whew!) We went up there to help the ladies in their accounting department clean out all their files. They had stuff from the ‘80s hanging around in their file cabinets. We all got dirty and dusty and got plenty of exercise hauling boxes around all day. The afternoon was actually spent mostly helping out the HR department. Mike and I boxed up hundreds of terminated employee files that dated back to the ‘50s! I got plenty of paper cuts and thoroughly despise hanging folders after that experience. We finished faster than expected and only spent that one day there. I came home from the plant and pretty much crashed. I was so sore on Thursday.

Thursday was pretty boring. I was back at corporate and not much happened. I went grocery shopping after work and once again found myself lying in bed at an early hour. *sigh*

And today is Friday. My day at work has been pretty laid back. I’m still working on a special request from Jerry (my plant manager) but I’m kind of at a standstill waiting to hear back from the invoicing department out at Curwood. Other than that I’m just trying to prep as much as I can for month-end and quarter-end. My financial reporting system was down from Tuesday morning until yesterday so I had some catching up to do. Yeah, they migrated me to the new server and erased all my profiles in the process so they had to redo everything before it would let me into any of the systems. *sigh* again. Also mysteriously gone is my personal folder on my U: drive. I’m kind of ticked about that since all my IMA stuff was on it but I haven’t called up to the help desk yet. Meh.

Tonight we hang. Adam plans to stop at the video store on the way home and rent The Squid and the Whale which is a movie I’ve wanted to see for a while now. We’ll be having fish (it’s Friday after all) and he wants me to make some more of the dill fries I made last week. (See the cooking blog if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) I also hope to give our new bar and martini glass sets a spin. I bought Godiva liquor last weekend and am planning to make a chocolate martini. :) Maybe I’ll take a picture of that too. Other than that, I’m not sure what’s on the docket. We’ll be going to the casino tomorrow and one of Adam’s co-workers is coming over to clean the carpets (it’s his second job or something.) Adam works on Sunday so I don’t know what I’ll be up to then. It’s just a go with the flow kind of weekend I guess.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Mikado

I forgot to mention this before: We got tickets to go see The Mikado in April at the PAC. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to a performance of any kind and it’s been years since I’ve seen this one live. Was probably at South High the last time… Anyway, Adam knows nothing about it but I’ve assured him it’s funny. I’ve never been to the PAC so it should be a good time. Coincidentally (?) enough we’ll be going the day after our 1 year anniversary (just under a month away!) It just kind of worked out that way. We originally thought about going to Annie which is playing around the same time. Then I noticed that it was part of their “Kids on Broadway” series and decided it probably wasn’t the best idea. Plus it was more expensive. :) So we opted for some Gilbert and Sullivan. Let’s hear it for Yum-Yum and the other two little maids from school. Heh. I’m not sure what else will be going on for that occasion. We both have off the day AFTER our anniversary but not the day OF. Adam has an eye doctor appointment in the morning (he wanted me to be able to come with him so this was kind of the only option.) Meh. I don’t know. Guess I’ll see how things go when the time comes.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mind boggling politics

This is absolutely ridiculous.

Senate votes debt limit hike to $8.965 trillion

Notable quotes:

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a $781 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority aimed at averting a possible government default on debt this month.

Treasury Secretary John Snow applauded passage of the legislation saying it "ensures that the U.S. can deliver on promises already made, such as Social Security and Medicare payments and aid for the victims of the 2005 hurricanes."

Must be nice to have that kind of power…

(**Martha at bank counter**)
"Uhm, yeah, I’d like to take out a $781 billion loan please. I’m afraid I might not be able to pay the bills I already have (including my other loan payments) so I need to borrow some more to pay back what I’ve already borrowed."

Completely defies all logic! This doesn’t “avert a possible government default on debt.” This just raises the credit limit on the national credit card! If you can’t even pay your minimum amounts now how is giving you a higher limit going to help? I just don’t get it! And they wonder why so many Americans are drowning in debt...

Adventures in Banking

And now, for your reading pleasure, we present "The Adventures of Martha's Lunch Hour."

Went to the post office to pick up mail / send Catherine's gift. (Shhhh, don’t tell her.) Figured I'd just buy a mailing envelope at the post office and kind of kill two birds with one stone. As I was filling out the envelope with the address and all, this lady comes in and slips into the line before me. She had 5 medium-sized boxes. Each one was being sent internationally. Each one was being sent to a different country. *sigh* It figures that one of the only times I actually have to go up to the window I'd get stuck behind someone like that. The other window was occupied by another lady sending multiple packages. Her problem was the fact that she barely spoke English. *sigh* again. Oh well, I eventually got the thing sent.

I had planned to go to the bank branch on campus to avoid Mean Lady. So I headed down Algoma and was tailed by a cop most of the way. He turned at Wisconsin though (whew) and I continued to the campus. When I got there, there was absolutely no parking. So much for my spring break theory. I don't know where all the cars were from, but there was not one space open. Not even a handicapped one. So I headed back to the main branch. I entered and of course the only window open was manned by Mean Lady. I tell her I want to close my account and she tells me that they need to have my debit card for at least a week before they can close it. I tell her to look at my account and take note that there has been no activity of any kind in over 2 weeks. The last activity was my directly deposited paycheck. The last of MY activity was over a month ago. She decides to be nice since "I look honest" and tells me to just cut the card up and she'll close the accounts and give me all the money today. She did say that if I ever came back and wanted to open an account again I should be sure to mention I had one there before. *sigh*

So that's all done and taken care of. I’m rather happy to be out of there. In addition to all the other reasons I’ve cited previously for leaving, another one came to me today: They weren’t too good with making me feel that my money was secure. I didn’t have any kind of account card. When you go into the bank you just tell them your account number. The last two times I went there was to withdraw sizable sums of money and they just handed it over without asking for any identification. Of course you have to sign the slip, but I could be someone else pretending to be me… At least at Capital they have member cards and you have to have it to do anything. I get so pissed when places are so lax about this kind of thing. Especially places like banks. I mean we used a debit card at KFC the other day and they asked for identification. If KFC can do it, why can’t everyone else? Geesh! I mean, sure, they torture and kill chickens in horrific ways, but at least they ensure their customers are who they say they are.

Still feeling like crap and wish the cold would just come full force already so it can proceed to go away.

Not sure what’s going on tomorrow yet since Adam keeps changing his mind. He’s going to attempt to make the fish dish that I was going to make tomorrow tonight since apparently the Pope granted dispensation of the required abstinence for Lent tomorrow so that all those Irish Catholic folk can eat their corned beef.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Banking and other stuff

Adam has an interview at Dick’s tonight so wish him luck. I must say that was an awfully quick couple weeks. :) Hopefully things go well. Other than that, there’s not much planned for this evening. I’ll be making a chicken dish for dinner so look for that on the cooking blog later.

Everything seems to have fallen into place with the new bank accounts. My paycheck was deposited into the Capital account this morning and I ended up calling Toyota last night to see about my car payment. As I was lying in bed reading last night I realized that my car payment hadn’t come out of either of the checking accounts. I logged onto the online account information website and discovered that the payment hadn’t been made and was listed as past due. I called customer service and after a really horrible automated menu and some bad elevator music I spoke with a couple ladies to get things straightened out. Turns out they received my new account information into their system on March 1st but set it up to start deducting in April, thereby missing the March payment. I made the payment by phone and they were “nice enough” to waive the $5 convenience fee. (pfft. It was their fault…) Anyway, with the new account info verified with them and my paycheck going to the right place, I can close the UWO accounts this afternoon. Yay! I’m hoping that mean teller isn’t there. She hates me. (Ok, so I yelled at her a couple times, but she deserved it… I mean randomly changing my address three times? Sending my credit card to New York? Ridiculous!) She always seems to be the one there at noontime though. *sigh* I’m seriously considering just going to the branch in the student union on the UW campus. It’s spring break so there shouldn’t be too many people there.

The Gambler’s game this weekend kind of fell through. There was very little interest and it ended up being just me and Adam and two other people. We decided it wasn’t worth it so we’re going to shuffle plans a bit for the weekend. On Friday I’m going to try out an Alton Brown (of Good Eats fame) fish recipe and then Adam plans to go hang out with his cousin and friends to watch the Final Four or whatever it’s called. Not really my thing so I guess I’ll hang at home and read or something. Since we no longer have the game on Saturday night we plan to go to the casino then and use Adam’s birthday coupon. Original plans were to go Friday. We’ll still be heading down to Sheboygan on Sunday.

I think I’m getting a cold. Combination of crappy weather and not enough sleep probably. Adam tells me I snored like a lumberjack last night… Oh well. I feel pretty icky (and I’m also kinda sore from the treadmill last night) but I’ll survive. Hopefully it will warm up again soon. Last weekend was awesome. I even got out my spring jacket. This was perhaps jumping the gun a bit though seeing as how it’s back to 20 degree weather again.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The couch

As promised, here are pictures of our new couch. Don't ask me what that dark spot on the center cushion is... it's just the way the material was brushed. I'm guessing maybe that's where Adam was sitting earlier. Dunno. It's not a stain though :)

Here's a picture of the treadmill too. Figured I'd snap one of it while it was out this evening.

Martha Cooks!

So I went ahead and created a second blog area devoted to my adventures in cooking. The link will always be to the right or you can click here as well.

Buffalo in May

Ok, so we made all our arrangements for May this past weekend. Finally.

We’ll be leaving from Appleton around 5:30pm on Wednesday the 10th and should get to Buffalo around 10:30. From there we’ll pick up our rental car and head to our hotel – some place called Adam’s Mark Buffalo. It’s pretty much across town from the airport and everything else we’ll be doing, but that’s the way it goes. It was the cheapest option with the next one up being about $100 more. It’ll do. It got good reviews from fellow travelers. Plus, it's named after Adam... It's destiny. Anyway, we’ll be leaving Friday afternoon (the 12th) around 5pm and coming back to Appleton around 8 or 8:30. Everything in between is up in the air pending Catherine’s decisions and what everyone else is doing. But that’s us.

The Weekend

The weekend seems to have had its extremes. The weather here was beautiful, getting into the mid to upper 50s on Saturday and lower 50s on Sunday. And then it started raining and poured pretty much all night. Anyway, we had our appointment with the insurance agent late Friday afternoon. We got everything squared away but ended being there until about 6:15 or so. I ended up switching carriers along with Adam. We’ll see how that goes, not that I anticipate ever needing to call upon the insurance people anyway (knock on wood.) We stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond so I could look for a huge saucepan. To my dismay, the one I really liked was only sold in a set (which cost $150 or so.) We ultimately went with a 10 piece set that was on clearance for $30. It also had a $10 rebate. I also had a coupon. We ended up getting a $60 set for only $15. Woo us! We then headed back to Neenah for our 7pm dinner reservation at Gulliver’s. Adam had their all-you-can-eat whitefish special and I had grilled chicken. We also had a buy one get one free coupon for a pitcher of beer. Being the apparent light-weight that I’ve become, I think I got a little tipsy. Anyway, we then headed to Copps to pick up some bacon for breakfast the next morning. Then we went home and fell asleep while watching Prime.

We woke up on Saturday and I made pancakes and the aforementioned bacon for breakfast. We did some shopping and got a Madagascar video game that was on clearance and Adam spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon playing it. For being a children’s game, it’s not all that easy. We left for his birthday lunch around ten to 3. I had refused to tell him where I was taking him although he tried to get it out of me Friday night. I think he was happy with my choice of Outback Steakhouse. We had tried to go there a few times in the past but they always seem to be too busy. I thought if we showed up right when they opened we might have a chance of getting in and out in a decent amount of time. My plan worked. Their food is excellent and I would probably go back. Adam got their special 3 lobster tail dinner while I got grilled chicken (yes, I know, again, but this was much spicier.) We also tried one of their signature bloomin’ onions (also very spicy) and for dessert we got some brownie thing with ice cream and heavenly whipped cream. I think we both ate too much, but it was so good. We then headed to a few places in the area for some shopping. One of those stops was at Dick’s Sporting goods – the scene of one of my financial crimes. Adam wanted to get a new driver because his was dented. So I spent a while sitting on a bench in the golf pro shop while he tried out numerous clubs in their little driving range room. While there I noticed all the signs posted around advertising that they were looking for part-time help in the pro shop. When Adam was done and had selected the club he wanted I told him that I thought he should apply for the position. It’s very fitting for him and I think he might be happier there than at Walmart. He picked up an application on the way out and called the pro shop manager when we got home. He’s pretty much exactly what they’re looking for. He filled out the application and we went back up to Appleton to drop it back off at the store. We weren’t sure if the manager was going to want to talk to him right away so we left pretty early. Turns out he is going to be collecting applications for a few weeks and then will start making calls for interviews. This left us with an hour or so to kill before we needed to be at Skyline. We therefore headed to his parents’ house to bum around until club time. They were watching Nascar so we sat down and chatted with them for awhile. Then we headed to the club. We were seated on the front end of a table about 1/3 of the way back from the stage. I wasn’t fanatical about the location since it was right on the separation of tables where everyone walks to get to the bathrooms. Adam liked it though because he got legroom. We got there around 7:20 so we had some time to kill before the show started. We ordered our first round of drinks – Adam got a banana berry thing and I got a strawberry and cream. They have lots of floofy, girly drinks served with tons of whipped cream and an umbrella. The show itself was excellent. The MC was pretty good and the shrews themselves were hilarious. Definitely not for those easily offended though. It was obvious why it was rated “X.” I won’t go into specifics of their routines since it’s not really appropriate. :) It was a good time though. It was also shorter that expected by about 15 minutes. Meh. Oh well. Adam bought their CD on the way out and the lady in front of us asked a really retarded question (which I won’t repeat) and we wondered if the two shrews would use their answer to her in their second show of the evening. We laughed all the way down the stairs. Adam decided he didn’t want to go out to the bars so we just went home.

Sunday was another day. Adam (and to some extent, I) spent a good deal of the night in the bathroom. We’re not sure what we had to make us sick, but it must have been something. In any case, we were both pretty wiped out for most of Sunday. Adam spent a lot of time laying on the couch yelling at the TV (he was playing the video game again…) I cleaned the kitchen (well, the oven cleaned itself) and did laundry. Also went grocery shopping and cleaned Pigster's cage out. I’m planning on making two more of Rachel Ray’s recipes this week. I should devote an entire entry or maybe an entire blog to that book. Like I said before – it’s great, go buy it. Anyway, after Adam called in to work and found out he didn’t need to be there anyway he took a shower and we went shopping (again.) For some reason no one carries the Lysol ready-brush anymore. They have refills, but not the actual brush. I don’t get it. We got a new bed-in-a-bag set, some seashell inspired thing with greens and blues. It’s a lighter color scheme than our previous one. It caused a lot of struggle last night though with the sheets and comforter still being so stiff from being folded up. Hopefully it will work itself out.

That’s about it. It was a relatively busy weekend with ups and downs. This week should be kind of boring. Nothing much is planned. We have a Gambler’s hockey game on Saturday night and we’ll be heading down to Sheboygan to have lunch with my dad and Cheryl on Sunday afternoon, but the actual week looks pretty boring. Maybe I’ll be able to catch up on some sleep.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Book Update (again)

Current Progress as of 3/12/2006
Days Gone: 71 (19.45%)
Books Read: 9(ish) (18.00%)
Pages Read: 2,746 (18.31%)

Just finished Oryx and Crake. It was a good book. I like Margaret Atwood. I also think it's cool that she has invented a pen that allows people to sign autographs from somewhere else. Right now I'm still plugging through the Catholic Church book and I just started Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas. We'll see how that goes. I actually read The Three Muskateers in French once. That was fun. Reading this one in English though. :)

Friday, March 10, 2006


I have a feeling this is going to be a somewhat political post here. This past Tuesday there was a horrible accident on highway 41, just south of Neenah. It was kind of a chain reaction turns into 2 people dying kind of thing. A station wagon was trying to get into the left lane (this particular stretch of road is two lane, divided) to avoid some highway workers who were patching asphalt. The station wagon got hit by a semi already in the left lane, and was pushed into the truck the workers had parked along the shoulder of the road. The semi continued to skid off the road, hitting the two workers and killing them.

This particular accident has created quite a bit of discussion about a few different topics. The most prevalent is speed. Everyone knows that people speed. I myself usually go about 70 or 75 whereas the posted speed limit is 65 - and there are people passing me. This accident has given people fodder to propose lowering the speed limit to 55. Now, come on people. What good would that do? The speed limit now is 65. I don’t follow it. 99% of the other drivers don’t follow it. You could have a speed limit of 100 mph and I’m sure there would still be people driving faster than that. The number posted in black on that white rectangular sign is just a guide so you know where you can set your cruise so that cops won’t pull you over. (The magic number is 7!) I know, this is not the attitude to have about this kind of thing because it can be the difference between life and death, but this is how most people look at it. Lowering the limit would have no effect on the flow of traffic.

So, since lowering the speed limit wouldn’t work, people would like to make the stretch of 41 between Appleton and Oshkosh the biggest speed trap ever (or something like that.) There are certain places that are almost guaranteed to have cops lurking, waiting to bust someone. Thing is, they never bust the people they should be busting. I’d love to have a button on my dash that I could push when I see some dumbass driving crazy. Kind of like the bat signal thing used to call Batman when help is needed - shine the silhouette of a hunky cop up in the sky. There are a lot of people who just shouldn’t be driving. People in Wisconsin suck at it and that’s especially scary considering how many days of the year we have not-so-good driving conditions. Anyway, back to the speed trap. I also don’t think this would be very effective. I’ve never been pulled over for speeding, so I don’t really speak from experience, but my guess is that people who get speeding tickets are freaked out and very cautious for a while after the incident, but soon fall into their old speeding ways. Until there’s a car that can be programmed for the current speed limit and not allow the driver to accelerate above that speed, you can’t stop people from speeding (hmmm, do you think I could sell that idea to an inventing place and make tons of money?.) No amount of fining is going to stop it completely. And how would it be possible to stop and fine everyone who was speeding. Since I’ve already stated that 99% of the people out there are speeding, that’s a hefty group of cops needed to get them all. Doesn’t really seem like good allocation of resources. Although if all the police are busy pulling over speeders, drug dealers and thieves will have a much easier time.

Plans are already in the making to convert this part of the highway into 3 lanes. I’m not sure how this would solve the speeding issue, but it would make my morning drive a whole lot easier. These plans have caused uproars of a different kind, mostly from businesses that are due to be replaced by the new highway. Understandably, they’re not exactly the biggest fans. The city has a history of low-balling the people they buy land from. Anywho, this project is part of some huge road bill thing passed a little while ago. We’ll have to see if it actually happens.

And thus ends my mini-essay on speeding on Highway 41.

Birth Records

So, I was browsing through the local papers online this afternoon, looking through the birth records to see if any more of my friends/acquaintances have reproduced. Didn’t find anyone I know, but I found a few entries that I felt like commenting on. This just confuses me…

Jeason Andrew, son of James and Rebecca McElroy of Lomira, was born March 6.
Savannah Jo, daughter of James and Rebecca McElroy of Fond du Lac, was born March 6.

So, there just happened to be two different couples with exactly the same names who just happened to give birth on exactly the same day at the same hospital? Hmm. Odd.
Another one that caught my attention did so for a different reason:

Weston Karl Kramer, son of Karl and Heather Kramer of Oshkosh, was born Feb. 28. Siblings are Amelia, Hannah, and Bethany. Grandparents are Bob and Carol Palmer, and Karl and Brenda Kramer.

My interpretation of this one might be skewed by my whole attitude about the “having kids” thing. In my mind, each time they had a kid, Karl would say, “damn, it’s a girl. Gotta try again!” and Heather would say, *sigh.* This time Karl said, “woo-hoo! A boy!” and Heather said, “It’s about fricken’ time.” In my opinion, two and out seems like the logical option. I mean you’ve got a fifty percent chance of getting a boy each time. If you get two girls, it seems like the boy card is being withheld anyway. But that’s just me. I’m crossing my fingers that the first one I/we have is a boy. That way I can be done with that whole thing. Then again, who knows, I might find being pregnant to be so enjoyable that I’ll want to spend the remainder of my child-bearing years popping them out. Or not.

I will take this opportunity to make no comments about the ridiculous events (somewhat related to this posting) going on in South Dakota and various other (apparently Bushified) states. *sigh* Looks like it might be time to move to Europe soon.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A little bit of everything

Wow, I’ve totally been spending too much money. Throw that previous entry about being financially responsible out the window. Heh. I think I mentioned that I/we bought a treadmill about 2 weeks ago (or not? I don’t see anything about it now that I look.) That was a fun experience. I went into the store (Dick’s Sporting Goods) with the stock number of the one I wanted. We found it and when the salesperson got around to us he proceeded to inform us that the one I had chosen was a piece of crap. Adam had already expressed his preference for a different model – one that was about $100 more than the one I had originally been looking at, but the salesperson said it was an excellent choice. So we went with that one. It didn’t fit in his car so we tracked down his parents who were having dinner with his younger sister and her fiancĂ©. We took their Santa Fe and headed back to the store only to find that it didn’t fit in there either. It was apparently a lot longer than the other one that he had taken measurements on. They ended up shoving it in as far as it would go and tying the trunk down. We went home on the back roads but I still had fears that it would fall out of the way. Adam called his parents back up and asked if they’d want to come down and help get it up the stairs. The model we bought was about 40 pounds heavier than the original planned one was. So his parents came down to our house (in his car, therefore simplifying the swap) and his dad helped him get the monstrosity up the stairs. It was not the easiest thing in the world and Adam got his foot smooshed in the process (he’s ok though.) Once it was upstairs it had to be taken out of the box and assembled. My original thought was to have it in the living room so I could unfold it and watch tv while I was on it. Adam wanted it out of the way, back in our bedroom. So to the bedroom it went. After we got it where he wanted it, he decided he didn’t like it because our bed was no longer centered with the window. So we moved it back out to the living room. Assembly didn’t go too well either. We had cut the straps in the box that said “Do Not Cut” before we noticed they said that (oops) so it didn’t lay flat on the ground like it was supposed to. That was easy enough to fix. The holes drilled to attach the electronic display to the handles were messed up and the wiring kept getting caught. It took a while (and we could only get 3 of the 4 bolts in) but eventually it was put together. I’m sure Adam left quite the feedback on their registration website. So far things are going well. I’m not a fan of the one-touch programs and I usually end up doing my own thing. Adam likes the golf course one… Hopefully I can keep my motivation going.

The other major purchase of the past few weeks was a couch. I have a futon that I bought when I moved across the hall to C12 in September 2004. I was trying to put off buying a couch because I wanted to spread out the big purchases a little more. But we went to look at American last weekend and couldn’t resist the sale they had going on. We had seen a couch we liked in their ad in the Sunday paper so we zeroed in on that one. Anything $499.99 and up was 25% off, so we got the couch (plus stain protection and delivery) for less than it would have originally cost without the discount. It was a great price which is the reason I decided to just go for it. It should be delivered tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll take a picture of it. We’ll be storing the futon at Adam’s parents’ house until we move somewhere bigger (which won’t be for a while… and when we do we’re hiring movers!)

Here’s some good news/bad news: Bad News: Somehow a Trojan or some kind of hacker virus got into the computer over the weekend. None of the virus or firewall stuff could repair it or get rid of it so Adam determined the only thing to be done was to reload windows. Argh. Good News: I had backed up the hard-drive so I didn’t lose my addresses! Yay me! But (bad news) my Money file didn’t back-up properly so I lost all my history for that (oddly enough it was just mine that didn’t work. Adam’s and our joint account worked fine… *sigh*) but (good news) luckily I had just opened the new account and had only written 5 checks so it was easy enough to recreate. Woo. (Bad News) It seemed as though all the songs I had just loaded onto the iPod mysteriously disappeared while re-downloading iTunes, but (good news) it turned out they were indeed still on the iPod but just didn’t show up on the listing in iTunes for some reason.

Hmm. Let’s see. Not much else is going on. I’m plodding through the history of the Catholic church still. That book seems to put me to sleep almost as much as Proust did. I’m also in the process of reading Oryx and Crake. I’m not liking it as much as I liked The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s ok.

I’m glad the new season of The Apprentice has begun but I’m not sure I like the fact that it’s on Monday now. I can’t say much right now (Adam hasn’t seen this week’s yet) but so far the season is interesting. I was especially impressed by Ivanka. She seems to have turned out very well despite her upbringing. I’ve watched American Idol a bit and I’m not really too impressed by the choices. I kind of lost interest after the Clay/Ruben catastrophe anyway. (I do own Carrie Underwood’s CD though. Heh.) Apparently one of the guys (Will Makar) is the nephew of someone in Oshkosh so the paper keeps having these articles about him.

I tried out a few more recipes from Rachel Ray’s 365 days of 30 minute meals cookbook. Seriously people, she’s awesome. Pretty much everything I’ve made from the book has been wonderful (scampi excepted…) I also made this beer and cheese soup with broccoli the other day. This was an Emeril recipe. It was good but made me totally sick so Adam gets all the leftovers. I guess I’m going to try and come up with some recipes to try on Friday during Lent to get used to the whole “no meat” thing. Not saying that I won’t be eating meat, but Adam won’t.

Speaking of Adam, his birthday is on Saturday. Since he reads this I won’t go into details of course. We already have reservations at Skyline (comedy club) but the rest of the day is kind of up to me. After this weekend we can go make reservations for May since he’ll be 25 now so we can avoid the huge surcharges on rental cars.

Oh yeah, speaking of cars, we had an appointment last week with his insurance agent to see if putting us both on one policy could save me money. My insurance has continued to go up each year which I find ridiculous since I have the same car in the same place and have never had an accident or a ticket. *Grrr* Anyway, with his current company I ended up paying more but he sure got a reduction. His agent took a look at other companies and found one that saved me a minimal amount, but with his “turning 25 drastic reduction” and the multi-car thing, his rates went way down. We have another appointment on Friday to talk about it some more. The thing is, with this company everyone in the house has to have their insurance. I know he wants to switch because it will save him bundles.

So anyway, as soon as we have confirmed plans for May, I’ll let people know. Hopefully it will be soon. Haven’t checked airfare prices lately, but hopefully they’ve gone down. :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hamster Pictures

I feel like an obnoxious parent. You know the ones. They take all kinds of pictures of their kids and force everyone they know to look at them and ooh and aah over them. Or in my case, hamsters. It's just they're so cute. So get ready for some pictures. :)

This is all three of them. You kind of get a size comparison here. Pigster is the huge one on the left hanging off the house. Next to him is Duey. Howie is the white one on the windowsill.

Here's Pigster and Duey again - you can see their faces this time though.

Here's Howie and Duey. They get along until they notice each other. Then they fight.

Here is Pigster and Duey again. It looks like they're kissing. Awwwwwwww.

Ok, last one. This is Pigster again. Looking adorable. :)