Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Breaking the rules on dinner conversation topics...

Admiral Pooper Scooper, on his blog (click the title) said;
"This is Jesus’ teaching as I understand it: to love and treat others as myself; that in the eyes of God we are all equal; and not to fault others until I am myself faultless. He tells me to do the best I can, and it is really hard sometimes, but I try to spread this “good news”, this Gospel, by my words, deeds, and actions—by example, rather than by big mouth."

Hear, hear! For me, my faith is an intensely personal and private thing. I wasn't raised in any one particular branch of the Christian faith, but to attempt to embody the best aspects of many. Values like compassion, honesty, love and charity should be universal. I don't profess to have a full or complete knowledge of most of the world's religions, and am interested in learning more abut many of them. But from what I do know, these seem to be central values to all.

I have seen some incredible hyprocrasy in my life from people professing they are only doing what their religion calls for them to do. I have been blessed to know some incredible people, doing absolutely what their religion's beliefs call for, with more compassion, love and duty than you can imagine, and seen them excoriated by members of their own church.

To the hypocrites, I hope you find you way to being a happy, loving person, capable of being the person you believe yourself to be. To the good, I say the world needs more like you, and I try to live up to the example you have set.

I Love a Long Weekend!

I decided I liked the following concept: Work 4 days, have 4 days off, work 3 days, have 3 days off. What's not to like? So I took last Friday off to combine with the Memorial Day long weekend here in the US. I've got a three day work week and then my first summer hours Friday off this coming Friday. I feel like such a slacker. And I love it!

Friday was mostly spent lazing around our place and relaxing. Picked up movie tickets in the afternoon and did a little shopping, but that's about it. We went with John, Jen and David to see X-Men 3 at a late show (10:30pm, so I'm getting old, but that's late for me!). It was fun, but not a "great movie". Just a fun action picture. Nothing special, but not horrible. Didn't get home and to bed until after 1:30. Ugh. I'm so not up for late nights anymore. Might have something to do with being up at 6:30am now for work. :)

Spencer, our downstairs neighbour, decided to start his usual Saturday morning pounding musicfest at 6:55am. On a SATURDAY!! I just can't comprehend this. As a result, I was up for the day, and then tired for the rest of it. Jen had lived her whole life here on Long Island without going to Roosevelt Fields Mall. This is the largest mall here on LI (which is saying something), and not something that we could allow to continue! Laurie and I took Jen and fixed this on Saturday morning. We had a blast with a girls day out shopping. I came home in the early afternoon with the intention of having a quick nap before the rest of the day, but David was already there and he and Brian were watching a movie, so I joined in on that. We were having a BBQ later in the day, and ended up with John, Jen, Laurie, Eric and David there (and I have a real feeling I've forgotten someone). John was nice enough to bring his Nintendo DS with him for me to try, and all four of the games that have me drooling. You'd think the boy has an idea what I like! I'm sold, but I'll wait until the new DS Lite comes out in June. This was all as prelude to the main plan for the night. Bonnie, I hope you're sitting down… Your big sister went out to a bar! Yes! Shocking, but true! For the first time since before I got married! More than 10 years ago! Poor John couldn't come with us though, he's still only 20 for a few more months. It was so odd when I realized that was why he wasn't coming with us all. Between the drinking age being higher here, and John being mature for his age, we just don't think of it. Jen is friends with a band that was playing at a local bar (starting at 11pm, ouch) and we all went as a group and had fun. The band was pretty good, the place was bouncing and we all had a good time. David, Brian and I left at about 2:30 and it was still going strong. Apparently, last call here is 3:45am! I so could NOT handle trying to make it for that… But we had a lot of fun! I hereby voluntarily join the old-foogies club.

Sunday we slept in until about 10am, followed by a trip to IKEA to replace the cushion on our Poang chair. We've talked about getting a new one for a while, and having a full glass of soda spilled on it Saturday night was the final nail. We've washed the cover on the old one and are holding onto it for now. Not much else accomplished beyond that. I had intended to do a bunch of stitching since we've bought several new DVD's lately, but knew I was waayyy too tired to try to stitch on Flosstitute. I'd end up spending longer unstitching what I'd done!

Monday (Memorial Day) we had planned to go to the park again for a picnic. Mother Nature just didn't want to co-operate with us. It was almost 90 degrees out, plus humidity. And this park is known for the local tick population. I picked on up last time we were there and didn't find it until the next day. Ugh! So, I'm not willing to go there unless I'm in full pants etc. We waited until about 5pm to go for our picnic, and had fun. Spent some time just enjoying the light on the waves and watching the water. David came over after and we watched one of my favourite movies from the 80's "Real Genius". I LOVE that movie. Mmmm… popcorn is calling me….

Monday, May 22, 2006


Happy Victoria Day to my Canadian readers. Victoria Day usually marks the first long weekend of summer. It's when you get the garden planted, fire up the BBQ, and open up the cottage if you're lucky enough.

I miss Sudbury very much. I know this. There are aspects I don't miss, and this is true of anywhere I've lived. But one of the things I generally miss is the winters. Not the extremes (like -105F/-75C windchills!), but the general snow and winter time and the fun involved. I love cross-country skiing (when my knees will allow) and skating. But some things I just don't miss.

Like the fact they had snow yesterday....
Welcome to summer in Sudbury!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Camera buying time

Okay, so I've finally decided that I do need to buy a new digital camera.  The one I have is more than three years old, and has been pretty good to me.  It's just got a low maximum resolution, and can't take video with sound.  So, I'm going to ask you, my blog readers, which cameras have you had and liked or disliked and why.  Even if it's an older camera, it's good to know how a brand is in general.  I'm looking for something of at least 5 MP, movie mode with sound (preferably Quicktime since I love my mac) and it has to have a close-up (macro?) mode.
Thoughts?  Suggestions? Input please!

Drool, drool, lust

MacBook Haiku

I want one, in black.
Evil Apple geniuses,
I can't afford it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Big Weekend!


Well, Joe managed to pull one over on us. Derick had come back for Chris & Colleen's wedding last weekend, and was sticking around until tomorrow. So Joe set it up for Derick to come game with us on Saturday as a surprise. Derick moved to California in January needing a change. It was a big step for him and is clearly proving to have been the right one. He's the great tough-guy with an absolute heart of gold. I miss him. It was great to see him. I need to email him more often! We took a group "we miss you" photo a couple of weekends back that I've been meaning to get everyone to sign to email him. We even had a bottle of his Sunkist standing in as him in the photo. Maybe I'll post it here.

So, for the rest of the weekend, it went something like this:

Thursday night we saw Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie perform. If you've ever seen the TV show "Whose line is it anyways?", they're two of the regulars. It was at the North Fork Theater in Westbury, which is a surprisingly TINY theatre in the round. We had an absolute blast. My cheeks were still hurting through most of Friday at work. If they're coming to a theatre near you, I highly recommend it. It didn't hurt that we had great seats either! I'll go through my photos at some point soon and post any that turned out well. Yep, I've got my camera back, all fixed and (seemingly) working well.

Friday – didn't do anything special. Felt like I was coming down with an ear infection all day and pretty much just lazed on the couch for the evening. I have a feeling I'm forgetting something, so if I remember it, I'll add it.

Saturday – Got up out of bed to a phone call from my Dr's about my blood work. Something's definitely up with my WBC's. Would I please come in sometime this week so we can repeat the test. Decide since I've got the nurse on the phone to ask if there's any chance I can get in this morning as I'm coming down with an ear infection. She checks. Answer: "Get here ASAP and we'll fit you in somewhere. Be prepared for a wait though". I'm perfectly okay with this, and thrilled to not have to wait until Tuesday to see her (she closes Mondays since she's open Saturdays). Hurriedly get dressed, skip the shower, brush my teeth and hair and run out the door, apologizing to Brian that now he'll have to do my share of the cleaning for the "new gamer" coming later. I figure if I make a good first impression, they're more likely to forgive and forget when we don't get the cleaning done. I get to the Dr.'s and there's not a soul in the waiting room. Pretty much right in, see the Dr. and then out. Confirms ear infection, gives me antibiotics just in case given the WBC issues. (She generally is against the overprescription of antibiotics, and that's something I really appreciate. I'm really limited to what ones I can take due to allergies and don't want to risk developing some type of resistant bug. That'd be all I need!) As I'm leaving the waiting room is completely full. Not an empty seat, and several people standing. I'm very glad I didn't take my time in heading over there…
Gaming with Derick (and Helen, Andy, Jen, Joe, Jay, Jess, John, Brian, Rob and probably a few more people I've forgotten and left out). Had fun playing at an APL 10 mod that wasn't insanely hard. Will have to find Steve Hess at a con sometime and thank him. And then kill him for all the bad puns in it… But I wouldn't expect anything less from him.

Sunday – Mother's Day – Our local Lego store is closing and everything was 50% off, so we *had* to go and check it out. Did fairly well and only spent $60. And a lot of that was stocking up on gifts for the nieces for upcoming occasions. The store was just starting to get slammed as we left. We called our moms. I deliberately wanted to wait to call mom at lunch time since I knew from Bonnie and John they were going to do the family brunch thing. Called Brian's mom, but got the machine. Tried Elizabeth's place, same thing. I had won tickets to the Long Island Ducks game (baseball) from work for the day, so off we went. We were enjoying the game, but it was cold (50F/10C) to be sitting outside, even dressed in layers. When it started to sprinkle, we decided that going home and being warm and dry was probably the better decision. Walked in the door and check for messages in case Brian's mom had called back. Nope. We hadn't even been in long enough for Brian to get his shoes off when the phone rings. He just looks at me. "The surveillance is starting again I see". Had a nice chat with Janet, and even let Brian talk to her too! Didn't do much for the rest of the day but try to get warm and try to survive being sick.

This bug is really knocking me for a loop. Ear/sinus infection, and moving on to my chest today. I didn't get much sleep last night, and spent most of it propped up in my stitching chair trying not to hock up a lung. I'm surviving work today well-medicated, but wouldn't trust myself to be doing anything involving thought processes. I even (rightly) decided there was no way I should be driving like this, so Brian's on chauffeur duty again. He's being really good to me right now, and I appreciate it. That's all, no stitching to report as, as Brian put it "If I offered you a penny for your thoughts, would I get two cents back?"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ten Unusual things about me

1.  I have a house husband who spoils me absolutely rotten.
2.  I speak English, some French and German, and a little Italian and Spanish.
3.  I am a physicist, but I started university in Mining Engineering.
4.  I married my high school sweetheart.
5.  I've had brain surgery that didn't leave a single exterior scar (including the scalp, which wasn't cut - no shaved head for me!).  Other than the IV that is...
6.  I've broken more bones than many professional football players.  And I don't play sports.
7.  I'm near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the left.  Learning to drive was "fun"!
8.  I only have (had) three wisdom teeth.
9.  I have left my home country with nothing more than what was in my suitcase.  By bus.  At midnight.  (Although Brian did eventually join me and our stuff came shortly thereafter... but it sounds exotic!)
10. I have seven tattoos.  None of them are regularly covered by clothing, and yet I can count on my fingers the number of people that have seen them.

Shamelessly stolen from BlindWandering's blog

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Overheard on the radio traffic report:

"...there's an accident just past Exit Blah-blah in the left lane. Also in the left lane just past the accident is an upright fridge. I'd recommend avoiding Route Blabbity, unless, of course, you need a drink."

Okay, so that didn't work so well

But man, September looks like it's going to be an expensive month...

First the videos, now this...
The first one has to be my all time favourite video game. I can't wait for the second! Which reminds me, I'll have to ask Becky to mail it back. I haven't played in way too long!

It's about time!!!


Finally, and it will include the original versions too....  I can’t wait!


P.S. I’m posting this by email and hope it works!  See how geeked out I am?



Wednesday, May 03, 2006

So I decided to play around with the template...

I can't claim credit for this template (that belongs to Pannasmontata, see the links). I love the overall design and have had fun playing around with a wide variety of templates. I still need to do some work on the sidebar items, but that will come with time. It's been really nice to just sit and play at the computer for once. I also need to figure out how to fix the title links. If I've gotten them working, then clicking on the title of this post will take you to the template designer's website. If you notice anything else broken/not quite right, please leave me messages!

Stitching Photo

As promised, here is the photo of all three versions of Dragon Dream's Fantasy Wedding Blessing.
Thanks Reba!

Jen did hers exactly to pattern, Joanna changed the fabric and charm and I changed the silks. I wanted more impact for the flower colours. I certainly got them!

Monday, May 01, 2006

C is for Cookie

Funniest movie trailer spoof I've ever seen. Will only make sense if you've seen/know about the movie V for Vendetta.

Two weekend reports in one...

We've been a little busy, as you'll see...

Last weekend (April 22-24th):
Saturday we went to NJ with Jen to join up with J&J, T&N and A&B. Had a blast at CrossStitchUnlimited (our not-so-LNS) and enjoyed showing off three very different finishes of the same piece. If Reba ever sends me the photo, I’ll post it here. The guys were very patient with us at the stitching store. Then to Gamer’s Realm so that we could all hit a store we all enjoyed. I was very good at both stores. I bought three specialty flosses (threads) at the stitching store, and a card game I’d been eyeing since ConnCon. After that we headed out to Quakerbridge Mall to kill some time before meeting up at Mastori’s for dinner with Bob and Sue joining up with the huge crowd. Somehow on the way to QBM, we lost T&N, who were following us. I feel horrible about it, and have no idea where we lost them. They were behind me, and then they weren’t! Not good. Had an awesome dinner at Mastori’s, but didn’t get to spend as much time talking to folks as I might have liked. I think the group was a little too big, but all good people! Brian’s older brother had been working in Bordentown (where Mastori’s is) for the week and was going to join us for dinner, but ended up flying back on the Saturday morning. The drive back to NY after dinner was YUCKY! Heavy, heavy rain, with the speed limit on the NJ turnpike reduced to 35 mph for large sections of it. Makes for a much longer, more unpleasant drive. And the batteries on Jen’s/Joe’s Gameboy ran out just as I was about to clear out level 15 on Dr. Mario. Just not fair! But a fun day overall.
Sunday it continued to rain horribly all day. Truly disgusting weather. Spent the day stitching on Butterfly Song and got a lot done! Went to IKEA in the afternoon to try to find something useful to do with the space vacated by our now gone freezer. Decided what I want, but don’t want to drive it home roped to the roof of the car in pouring rain. By Sunday night we ha gotten over 8 inches of rain on the island.
Monday, surprised Brian by not getting out of bed! I’ve been rather burnt out at work lately and decided to book the day off to relax. Too bad the weather didn’t co-operate. Spent the day indoors and watched a couple of the DVD’s Brian had gotten for his birthday. Finished all the stitching on Butterfly Song and realized I’d need to go out to get the beads to finish it completely. Got out the camera to photograph BFS as finished stitching to post to blog. Camera glitched... Now, we’ve had an intermittant problem with this camera for well over a year now, but without actually taking it into the store while it was malfunctioning, they wouldn’t do anything. Haul ourselves to Best Buy as I frantically try to keep it from auto-shutting off. Deal with really nice guy in service department. Too bad their computers don’t all show the same info on what products are covered! Long story short, it took 3 hrs, but they sent my camera out to get fixed. Now I just have to wait for it to come back. In 3-8 weeks!!! ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!! No photos for a while. :( Remembered to pick up the beads though!

This past weekend (April 29-30th):
Friday night: finally planted much of my garden that's to be grown from seed. Planted peas, catnip, marigolds and alyssum (sp?). Will need to pick up some more veggie plants from greenhouse at some point.
Saturday we went back to NJ to CSU again for Jen to pick up her framed piece. Took Jess with us this time. Have managed to thoroughly addict her to stitching too. :) She chose a lovely celtic piece for her next project. I still think she should have choosen Bunny Battle! I had planned to be very good and work on projects I already have the pattern/supplies for. I bought fabric for Winter in My Garden and the Castle Sampler as well as a couple more flosses I need for existing WIP (Works in Progress). Then I broke my promise to be good. I fell in love with a pattern we ALL agreed was perfect for me. I give you: FLOSSTITUTE . I’m changing the colours around (a subtle blue-purple mix on black fabric) as a true flosstitue would. Had a late lunch at Mastori's. Do you see a pattern here? Skipped dessert at the restaurant, but brought home a delightful cherry pie. Great weather all day and an easy drive for Jen. Flosstitute’s had a good start already in the car on the way back. Saturday evening Harry came over and I got him and Brian hooked into Three Dragon Ante (the card game I’d bought the weekend before).
Sunday morning I stitched on Flosstitute until Brian got up. We had a relaxing brunch and then headed out to Heckscher State Park for a 5 mile walk. Beautiful clear sunny day, and just warm enough I didn’t need my coat. Then we used our free movie coupons to go see the new Robin Williams movie RV. Meh. It was okay at best, and highly predictible. Strongly a "wait for the DVD" movie. But hey, we had free tickets, so nothing lost. Then home and Brian made wonderful lemon-garlic shrimp for dinner. Yummy!

Phew! I'm tired from just writing it all out. Hope everyone else is having a great time!