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June 2007 Archives

June 5, 2007

Don't wanna come home

Vaca is going very well and I don't wanna come back home yet!! Everywhere we go, people ask where we're from and they always say something about corn or cows. Eva says "That's our job! We feed the rest of America!" I think Iowa needs a better gimmick.

June 7, 2007

Almost home

Leaving the last motel and in a few hours we'll be back. I am not looking forward to the many loads of laundry that await me. Six people generate a ton of dirty clothes!

June 8, 2007

Aging eyes and the diseases that can blind

Now that I have hit FORTY I have started to really keep track of my health from head to toe in hopes of not getting ill. I do not fear death at all but I am afraid of old age and the things that go wrong when our bodies wear out. My biggest fear is blindnesss so I've been reading some at Eye Digest about various diseases that can afflict tired, old eyes.

My dad had macular degeneration and by the time he was 67, he couldn't see well enough to drive and by 68 he could no longer read. His last four years were spent not seeing much of anything at all unless he held his head at a certain angle. They've made great progress in treatment in the last decade but it still scares me to death. At my last eye exam, the doctor warned me about hereditary eye diseases and said I should wear very dark sunglasses outside and of course take a zinc supplement.

Being at the computer all day every day has already led to dry eyes which I treat with some Visine and vision breaks to force myself to look away from the screen and focus far away for a couple of minutes. I took the test linked to in the dry eyes section and according to it I don't have the clinical definition of dry eyes.

Prior to researching, all I knew about glaucoma was that it tested for by dilating the eyes and I'd never had that done. I don't believe I have any family instances of that disease. My mother had her nearsightedness correct with LASIK I think and also had her eyelids operated on. Many in my family have heavy eyelids that sag and block normal vision. There are some cool (but not for the squeamish) videos of LASIK, Epi-LASIK & Sub-Bowmans laser surgery.

I am not really knowledgeable on cataracts but I know that is also a disease where the treatments have progressed a lot in my lifetime. If memory serves me right it used to be quite a process and now is an outpatient procedure that heals very quickly. Amazing how fast medical techniques progress.

There are just so many things that can go wrong with the eyes and eye health is usually not on the radar for most folks until their vision has greatly diminished already. I have given up on trying to get all my friends to quit smoking but won't you please listen to me and educate yourselves about eye diseases and have regular eye exams so you can see me age gracefully? I plan to get more beautiful by FIFTY and it would be nice if you all could see that. ha!

Aunt Rose, you know I'm thinking of you as I write this and I am hoping you will attest to taking care of your eyes.

I'm back and believe me, I'm not in as good as shape as I thought!

We're back from Tennessee all safe and sound and SORE. I had this bright idea that we should do a lot of hiking. You know, because I am a fitness freak and in such good shape. I can hike around the lake so show me a mountain trail and watch me go! *ahem*

I generally walk/jog/run quite a few miles every day and a lot of this is on the steep hills by the lake dam. The trail to the highest point in Tennessee is paved and only half a mile long. I knock off a half mile in six minutes or less every day on steep hills. Geography must have flew right by me in school because there are hills and then there are mountains. BIG difference. For one thing, I can see the top of the hill I tromp around on here. There are no twisty turns or steep drop offs.

Although it might be really windy on top and not so much at the bottom, the temperature stays the same. Not so on a mountain trail. There will be wind, calm, sunshine, fog and rain all within a mile or less. The brochures said to be prepared for extreme differences in weather and temperature and dress accordingly. We all read that and yet still showed up in shorts and tank tops. It was 88 degrees on the bottom and a cool, damp 56 on top. The hike was so steep that I kept getting winded and had to stop to catch my breath. The next morning everyone had sore butt and calf muscles I think. It was quite the climb. Beautiful but I don't know that I would do it again.

Same way with the hike up the mountain to the waterfall. It just went on forever and ever and no one seemed enlightened on their way down despite the brochure talking up the negative ions of a waterfall and how good it was for the spirit. We pressed on and made it to the top and took pics of the waterfall. Again, a beautiful site but I probably wouldn't do it again. On the way down we passed a young man pushing an elderly fellow up the trail in a wheelchair!!

There was one tragedy while we were there which deflated us all for several hours. We had stopped at one of the swimming holes on the river to let the boys get in and wade around. A deputy sheriff pulled up alongside Todd and asked if he had a cellphone signal. Someone had drowned and they were searching the river. I hoped and prayed that it wasn't someone who fell in because there are signs and postings everywhere about how slippery the rocks are and that drowning is the second leading cause of death in the park. For whatever reason, preventable deaths really shake me up.

We got back to civilization that night and found the news story that indeed someone did slip on the rocks and fall in. So incredibly sad for his family and friends. I kept imagining what it would be like if it had been one of us. Our loved ones would be waiting here for us to come home with our travel tales and instead would be notified that there had been an accident. How absolutely awful that must have been for those who knew him.

To wash the sadness away I will leave you with a funny story from our trip. Eva and I both really love rap music and that whole culture and frequently emulate it. We had no idea how closely little Benjamin had been listening to us sing and shout out things as we traveled along until we got into Sevierville to meet the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Les Jones for lunch at Bass Pro Shops. We couldn't see the store and everyone was looking around as Todd drove along. Suddenly Ben yells from the back seat "Right there's Bass Pro. HOLLA!" Too freakin' funny!

June 9, 2007

Don't stand so close to me

You know how certain songs can trigger a memory from way back? A song that you haven't heard for years yet you remember all the lyrics? As you sing along the memory comes into focus and even though you haven't thought of it for so long, it's suddenly as clear as if it had happened yesterday?

That's how it is for me with "Everything She Does Is Magic" by The Police. It was the perfect song for windows down, driving too fast in a hot car on a cool summer night. That's exactly what I was doing on a summer night in 1981 with my cousin and his friends in the big city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I remember the song, the people, the Trans Am and coming down a big hill on a four lane road with little traffic at the late hour and having to stop at a red light. The building tempo of the song lent itself more to blowing right through the red light but my cousin was a responsible young driver. Actually, it was probably more the thought of damaging the cool car that made him stop.

I've briefly read over articles about a reunion but I am very excited over the release of a new police cd. I've been on a kick of buying new releases of music from my past so I can put them on the iPod and feel young again when I run.

I love everything by the Police with one exception; I do not like the song "Roxanne". I believe I don't because so other many people do and therefore my rebellious nature doesn't allow me to even listen. There's really no mistaking when any Police song comes on because of the unique voice of Sting and the overall sound of a little bit of reggae and a big dash of punk that makes them so fabulous. Did you know Sting was a school teacher and that is why the lyrics are so well written? I am curious if the new police cd has a booklet of these facts.

Win a New York fly-away to see The Police live.

(If I win, I'm going to visit a little pug named Boris and his parents.)

Missing: one iPod cable and one pair of capris

Everyone is all unpacked now and the last load of dirty laundry is in the washer. Now we can tally up all the damages and losses. Emily left her new pair of capris in the motel room at Mt. Vernon, Illinois. We'll never see those again.

Finished sorting out the various sacks and bags and seem to be missing one iPod cable. Each night we'd have three iPods, four cellphones, three cameras and two gameboys to plug in and recharge. I'm surprised we're just short the one cable and I'm almost certain we will come across it somewhere.

Finished cleaning out the truck this morning and found Ben's new sunglasses broken in the back seat. Another miracle since we spent over 40 hours with six people crammed in there.

Also gathered all the receipts and notes from everything everyone spent and it seems six people can quite comfortably travel over 2000 miles in a seven day span, stay in nice places. eat three times a day, do some shopping and some other touristy things and still spend under $2000. Not bad at all and definitely on the list to do again.

New dog toy

Both dogs stayed at a gun dog kennel while we were gone with a gazillion other hunting dogs. Dozer was only allowed in as the companian to Lucy since gun dogs are an elite bunch. I think he's smarter than all those dumb hunting dog put together. He knows that instead of bouncing around (breaking fingers) it's much better to save your energy for important things like scaring the mail lady.

He was perfectly content to just lay around for a week but Lucy had so much pent up energy that needed channeled and burned off quickly. I found her a new toy that fits her to a T. It's called a Chewing Orka Jack and is made for aggressive chewers. I suppose you could call her an aggressive chewer. I prefer to call her a complusive chewer as she gets started and can't seem to stop. If you take a chew toy away from her, she will keep chewing on nothing, making her teeth clatter together like a meth addict.

This Orka Jack has made it through two days of complusive/aggressive chewing which is a record. It's also fun to throw as she is the queen of catching things in midair and this baffles her to no end. She goes to where it ought it to land but it's tricky and never goes where she expects. Confusing the "smart" dog = FUN! I would highly recommend the Orka Jack to anyone with a high strung dog who can annihilate your standard chew toy in seconds.

June 14, 2007

PayPerPost News

Big news! PayPerPost has raised another 7 million dollars!

I've been doing this for almost 9 years now and never dreamed there would be such a thing as blogger outreach in a marketing type fashion.

The question floating around is 'what to do with the money?'. I guess I think you need to invest right back in yourself or your company while taking care of those who helped you along the way.

Since I'm in the web business, I love servers. On our vacation I saw a rack of servers in a hotel closet and felt like I needed to run in and hug each one individually. You can never have one fast enough or big enough so I'd use part of the money on the server infrastructure. Maybe some blade servers. Pay me to admin them. HA!

The contests are a great way to build excitement and give back to the community who built this idea into what it is now. When there is a contest running, those new servers will come in handy to balance the load as posties refresh their screens, hoping to hit the big opp. Maybe put some money towards a prize every day. More things at night when I'm available. I am just full of ideas!

Press Release:
The PayPerPost Revolution Accelerates, Sponsored
Blogging Marketplace Secures $7 Million Series B

Draper Fisher Jurvetson leads round and joins Board of Directors

ORLANDO, FL – (June 12, 2007) – PayPerPost, the leading marketplace for advertisers to reach bloggers and other consumer content creators, today announced it has completed a $7 million second round investment led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an investor in the company's Series A and one of the world’s leading high-technology venture capital firms. The financing brings the total amount of capital raised by PayPerPost to over $10 million, giving the company considerable resources for further development as the industry’s leading Consumer Generated Advertising marketplace. Additional participants in the round include existing investors Inflexion Partners and Village Ventures as well as new investor DFJ Gotham. With this investment, DFJ Managing Director Josh Stein also joins PayPerPost’s Board of Directors.

“PayPerPost created this exciting new advertising space and has established itself as the industry leader,” said Ted Murphy, chief executive officer of PayPerPost. “Although we’ve only used a portion of our first round capital, this added support from investors unlocks significant growth potential. Our content creator and advertiser ROI metrics clearly demonstrate the upside for PayPerPost’s model. We intend to use this capital to build the infrastructure, visibility and professional expertise necessary to reach and retain a greater network of advertisers and content creators than ever before.”

Since its founding in June of 2006, PayPerPost has signed more than 6,500 advertisers to its groundbreaking service, which has enabled Consumer Content Creators to be compensated for their efforts discussing specific companies, products or services via blogs, videos or other media. The content creators are required to disclose relationships with advertisers on their blog, providing transparency for the end reader. Over 125,000 Internet postings, most in the form of blogs, have already earned money for their creators through PayPerPost’s innovative marketplace. PayPerPost recently released PayPerPost Direct, a disruptive new service that allows advertisers to contract and negotiate directly with individual bloggers they identify through a safe, managed system.

“PayPerPost has laid a strong foundation for the future,” noted Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “It continues to attract a critical mass of participants from both the advertising and blogging communities. Analogous to Overture’s sponsored search model, we believe PayPerPost’s business model holds disruptive potential and will enable the company to thrive in the evolving paid-content arena.”

To mark the $7 million dollar funding, PayPerPost has launched a new website detailing the company’s service offering at http://www.payperpost.com. Bloggers and advertisers can easily sign up at the site and begin leveraging the self service marketplace.

June 16, 2007

Hanging around with Ben

C. went to his dad's to celebrate father's day and Emily wasn't feeling well so that left Ben as our only kid this evening. He and I went to my mom's to help finish water sealing the deck and what a learning experience it is to be able to focus on just Ben. We asked him if the girls still chased him because there were several little girls who would literally chase him. He said "Nope! None of them chase me now!". My mom asked him how he got that stopped . He shrugged and said "I just stopped running."

Later we went to the lake to play on the playground. (Yes, I play on the playground) It was dark when we left and some gentleman was mowing in the dark on his John Deere lawn tractor. I said "Wow, it's late to be mowing." Ben said "Actually, dark is a perfect time to mow because you can do it in your underwear." I said "Holy Moses, why on earth would you mow in your underwear??" and he said "Wellll, when you were done, you could just hop right into bed!"

We also went bowling this afternoon. First time I've bowled since my finger was injured and I'm relieved to report it functions quite well in that regard. When the accident first happened I was very concerned I wouldn't be able to bowl ever again. I used to bowl leagues three nights a week then burned out on it so only do it a couple of times a year. I would hate to never do it again. Thankfully, I can and I didn't do half bad. I got a 136. I think my average on league was 157 so not bad at all for the first time out. Everyone seemed to think it was silly to go to therapy for a finger but I have to say it was a great idea and I'm so glad I did it. There are a million things besides bowling that are very difficult to do when a finger won't bend.

Short vacation recap

I wrote in a notebook when we were on our trip and will transcribe it into here when I get time. I will also post pictures when I get time. I've gotten several emails asking how it all went so in the interim I'll share what I emailed my sister-in-law as a short recap:

Ben met Cletus from the Dukes of Hazzard and got his picture taken with him. Emily and Eva took an hour long horseback ride up the mountain and back. All the kids and Todd raced around in go karts. I got to sit in a rocking chair on top a mountain and also climbed to the top of Ol' Smoky. We sang and danced and laughed and Emily peed her pants from laughing so hard. Todd was only grumpy about 40% of the time and we all came home with limbs intact. Ben made it back with 80 cents in his pocket but only because no one would let him spend 75 of that 80 on a toothbrush in a motel vending machine. It was great!

June 17, 2007

Duane Shinn - Piano Guru!

I used to think I was a big shot because I could play piano by ear. By age eight I realized my grandma was my only fan and there were more songs than the dozen or so I knew. Without any formal training, I just gave up. Emily also dabbled in piano but hated the lessons so she quit also.

Duane Shinn has given the world over 500 books, cds and dvds on playing the piano so it's safe to say he's qualified to teach it. His website is chock full of links to explanations on how to *really* play the piano, not just read the notes. He publishes a free newsletter on Chords & Progressions Piano Tips with information on how to improvise and really jazz up a musical piece. His teaching technique is described and fun and full of laughter. Maybe that is what we need to get Emily back into music.

Vacation Photos

I uploaded the best of our vacation photos to Flickr and found my pro account has expired so I cannot create a set to organize them all. A pro account renewal isn't in my budget right now so you'll just have to go to http://flickr.com/photos/justlisa/535214753/ and scroll through to the end to see them all.

June 19, 2007


I'm breaking my no blogging during work hours rule to announce that it's official: Google is coming to Iowa! Finally we get something. Thank you Governor Culver and everyone else who worked so hard to bring it home.

June 20, 2007

For Faith

More info on google post

June 21, 2007

Can you put these in the garage?

I kid you not, our garage is the most expensive shed in town. I even asked the assessor to re-assess it's worth as it has no electricity yet and is therefore a big, overpriced storage shed. About once a week I say "Honey, can you put this in the garage?" Right now there are three boxes of drinking glasses on the table that Todd's mom collected for him when he was little. Smurfs, Care Bears, Star Wars, etc. just waiting to get packed to the garage until such time they are worth a million bucks or I get a hankering to drink out of a Care Bears cup.

We have checked into garage organization and even bought a few things to organize garden tools and racks for fishing poles and that sort of thing. This 15 piece modular unit would come in quite handy to organize all of Todd's automotive stuff. A lifetime ago he was a mechanic and still has all of his tools and such from school. They are crammed into a couple of stacking SnapOn boxes but the big cabinet set would also serve to hide things like Smurf glasses.

I'm sure Todd would rather have the car lift. Wonder how many boxes I could pile on that thing... hmmmmmmm....

June 23, 2007

Lost my rhythm

Since coming back from Tennessee, I've had an incredibly hard time settling down into the routine I used to have. I don't know how I packed so much into a day but I'm finding myself short on hours now. Hence the lack of updating here, the many emails I've unintentionally ignored, and phone calls unanswered. I'll get my groove back. It just takes me longer as I age I guess.

I've been sitting on happy news for quite a long time now and can tell it now that it's public knowledge. One of my best friends, Pete, and his family are moving back to town. This makes me happy beyond words. When I write about Pete here, it's usually due to one of our dustups over me leaning Democrat and him being Republican. He has a generous supply of nicknames for me and my causes and I'm so glad he'll be here to say them to my face. I'm also looking forward to watching their daughter grow up slowly instead of being shocked at her changes when they show up for their visits. Kids grow up too dang fast. Stay tuned next week as my big kid turns 14 and gets his driving permit. I don't know who is teaching him how to drive but it will not be me!

June 26, 2007

Parental control software

This is not a huge concern at our house since our kids aren't very interested in the internet. Being in a house with more than 10 computers makes one immune I suppose. In a household where the internet reigns supreme and children are utilizing it, parents should have some sort of content filtering or blocking software. At this website you can see reviews and prices of the best parental control software ever and make an educated choice regarding your child's protection.

They also review anti-spyware software which is important to all computer users I believe. In my spare time I fix computers for friends and in every case of "my computer is slow" it's been because their kids have been online, downloading music, probably sneaking a peek at porn, and clogging the computer with spyware that brings a computer to it's knees. It literally takes hours to clean a computer of that crap and most real shops will recommend just wiping the drive and starting over. Any of these alternatives are costly - certainly more than $50 or so to protect yourself in the first place.


My baby boy is fourteen today. 14!! I don't have time to write anything real meaningful other than to say he's suddenly looking much bigger and older and stronger and he took three girls to lunch yesterday. Granted, one was his sister but still...

We are now in the age of learning to drive, going to high school, and the girls are no longer "a bunch of freakin' retards". Well, some of them are still I guess. Anyway, please read back to last year's story of his birth if you want the details of how we got him here. I left out one detail and for the life of me I cannot remember why. A lot of times here I will leave out minor details that don't really affect the story and are no one's business. For some reason in that particular story I said I was on the phone with "a friend". Well yeah, I guess. Friend being ex-husband AKA the man who taught me how to get divorced. Weird, huh? Sometimes we are friendly and I was certainly glad he was on the other end of the line for me that night because I was FREAKING and after 8 or so years of marriage, he was pretty skilled at calming me down. He's also skilled at winding me up but that is a story for another day.

Happy birthday little man. I'm pretty sure you broke 5' tall today.

Since I can't afford a new couch

Several years ago we got it in our head that we needed a sectional. Well, actually I think I wanted a slipper sofa thing and a couch and maybe a nice side chair but we compromised and got the sectional that Todd wanted. It's pretty but it's big and can only go in the room one way. After all these years it's sorta like an elephant in the room. I change it up once in awhile if I find pillows on sale but otherwise it just sits there looking all big and tan.

If I knew someone who re-upholstered such monstrosities, I'd buy a variety of discount designer upholstery fabrics and have a whole new look. Maybe some purple.

This a fun site as you can skip around via type, brand, style, etc. and the best part is being able to choose how many thumbnails are viewable on the page at a time. At home on the cable connection I want to see as many as possible but that would be very painful on dialup at my mom's house. I appreciate it when site designers give users display options. I do wish they had a section explaining the terminology for us non-designer types who wouldn't know a Boucle from our breakfast oatmeal.

June 30, 2007

Where in the heck are all my commenters?

I used to get emails that I should enable comments again. I did that and about four people consistently comment. Maybe I should start political blogging so people will get pissed off and bash me in the comments. ha!

Clear the roads

The boy turned 14 last week, got his driving permit and a car. Yes, a car. I cannot tell you how many people have said "Why did you get him a car when he has no license yet??" Well, it's very simple. He cannot drive anything we currently own.

The Surburban is way too big and powerful for a kid to learn on. It's also got about 12 grand owed on it so no way. My car is on it's last legs and needs an ignition control module, a crankshaft positioning sensor, a part for the antilock brakes and an air conditioner compressor. I have to keep it running as long as I possibly can. Todd's truck is a manual transmission plus it's basically a two seater and seat #2 is full with of his spare clothes, work stuff and miscellaneous crap that a 150 mile per day commuter carries with them.

I've told him for years if he wants to learn how to drive, he has to get his own car. Not pick it out but actually get it. I don't think parents owe their kids a car. They will take better care of it if they pay for it themselves. They will also learn what it's like to make due with what you can afford.

What he could afford was an '82 Cutlass that needs a lot of little work done to it. He's just pleased as he can be with his great find. For a belated birthday present we bought the first round of necessities: steering wheel cover, oil and filter, carb cleaner, rubbing compound, fuel filter, air freshener, armorall and some other small things. Emily vacuumed it all out for him and Ben helped him wash it. I guess tomorrow we will all attack it with rubbing compound and see about getting the oxidized paint off. It's an excellent project car for him to learn about such things as oil changes, exhaust leaks and such. His dad and Todd both have experience working on older cars so hopefully there will be much male bonding over the next couple of years and, when he turns 16, he'll have a really good car that he's built himself.

I am terrified of this whole driving notion and have not seen him do it. His dad has and now Todd has. I believe I'll wait in the house where it's safe and let the brave men teach him.

About June 2007

This page contains all entries posted to JustLisa in June 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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