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October 2007 Archives

October 9, 2007

Fall funk continues

Lately I've been increasingly disappointed with my life in general and some of the people who mill about in it with me. I need to breeze right past fall and into snow so things seem pure and right again.

October 11, 2007

Being an Iowan

Stories like this are why I stay in Iowa

Wednesday served perfect harvest weather, but many area farmers left their fields.

Instead, about 115 community members gathered their combines and farm equipment at one farm. They spent a long day harvesting more than 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans for a local family.

We're just that way and it's a good way to be. Hell, even if someone doesn't like you, they will help you if you need it.

Geeky Goodness

XML, cameras, other gadgets and Red Sox all under one roof? Too good to be true? Nope. Check out the XML Aficionado blog. There are some restaurant reviews thrown in there too! And he has a pinball machine in his basement!

Some things not mentioned much on his blog are that he is President of Altova, Inc. and co-creator of the popular Altova XMLSpy tool suite. We actually have used this tool at work. Fun to read about his hobbies and how smart he is in areas not related to XML.

October 13, 2007


I really dislike this time of year. Cold rain. Good for nothing but making mud. Spring rain at least makes grass green and sleepy things wake up and grow.

Looks like we'll have rain all weekend so guess I'll do something fun like put away summer clothes and pout.

Who sleeps??

It's well documented that my body finds sleep overrated and resists. I wonder if it's true that people sleep better in a comfortable bedroom with no clutter? The only "nice" bedrooms I sleep in are in motels and a motel is too noisy. Our cabin in Tennessee had an awesome bedroom but couldn't sleep there because Todd snored.

My ideal bedroom would be this. How pretty!

Seems silly to look at furniture from a dallas furniture dealer but hey, free shipping!! Even on queen beds and king beds.

My mother used to have a sleigh bed that she bought at an auction. It was really old and I think it folded up into a couch. As a bed, it was very similar to this leather sleigh bed. I don't have my mom's gift for finding bargains, nor the time to go to auctions, but if I had $1300, I'd buy a bed online and have it shipped for free. Shipping terms say bonded delivery men, shipment is blanket wrapped, they assemble if needed and they take the shipping debris away.

No Train

When I was a kid, trains used to go through my town a few times a day. My house was less than two blocks away from the tracks and my best friend lived right next to them. We spent a lot of times on or near the tracks and used to ride our horses on them from her house to where her dad worked about a mile up the tracks. Sometimes a train would come and we'd have to run like crazy to get out of the way. Since it was right on the edge of town the train would either be just picking up speed or slowed way down to enter town. Either way, we were never in danger of being squished I guess but it was exhilarating at that age.

They took the tracks out years ago and it's now the walking trail I walk every morning with the dog. I still have a fascination for trains and get my fix every two weeks when I take Christopher to his dads. Every single time I go up there I see a train on my way out to his place. This morning there was no train so I stopped in McDonalds and sat in the big window where I had an unobstructed view of the tracks across the road. Waited for a train that never came. Todd doesn't share my excitement so he ran out of patience and we had to come home without seeing one. Damn it!! Stupid rain and now no train.

I did find this cool youtube video of a coal train though. It'll have to do for now.

Wealth Expo

I have never understood stocks or bonds or trading or any tricks of the wealthy. I know how to work for a paycheck and stretch it to the last penny then repeat. I have much respect, and jealousy, for the people who do know how to start, grow and reap from a successful business.

I wish I could go to New York City for the Wealth Expo sponsored by MyWallSt.net: Your Financial Social Network.

Unfortunately I have no wealth with which to travel to NYC and that is also the weekend I have to horse and llama sit. If I had the money and no prior commitment, I'd go see my NYC friends and attend the seminar given by Colleen De Baise of SmartMoney on the “Top Five Things to Consider Before You Buy A Franchise”. I have often thought of investing in a franchise and keep it on my list of things to try and accomplish. It would be Ruby Tuesdays or a Long John Silvers.

Since I don't have any seed money, I'd need to also attend “Unlimited Financing… Without a Personal Guarantee” so I could get started. I would like to know how people without money get a business started. I think I could grow one if I could just get the door open. If someone goes to this expo, please let me know what you learned.

The WealthExpo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center

Friday, 10/19: 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT w/ a cocktail hour to follow

Saturday, 10/20: 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT w/ a cocktail hour to follow

Sunday, 10/21: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT (no cocktail hour)

October 18, 2007

Holy Cow!

Yesterday I took my walk on the walking trail and discovered the farm near us had moved new cows into the pasture on each side of the trail. I was walking along, talking to Todd, looking at the cows and saw one that looked just like the AE dairy cow statue in Des Moines. Weird site in a field of black cows and red cows.

This morning I checked the news and found that someone stole the smaller of the two AE cows from the dairy. This would be a really funny story if that had been the cow I saw in the pasture but they did find the fiberglass cow and the SUV that knocked it off it's pedestal and loaded it up to begin with.

Cheese ball

Since I'm big on football, I'm also quite the fan of easy to make snacks that can go to where the TV action is on Sunday. Something Emily and I like to do is make a cheese ball to spread on crackers. This is easy unless you don't have a stand mixer like the Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer. The Eclectrics® Mixer is part of the Eclectrics® group of small appliances. Since I can't change my ugly blue countertop, I'd buy one in the Sea Breeze color to match my kitchen. If you have a Hamilton Beach® Mixer, and want to try making a cheese ball, the recipe is as follows:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
1 cup shredded swiss cheese or cheddar cheese

Use stand mixer to beat cream cheese, sour cream and soup mix until smooth. Stir in ham and cheese and then form into a ball. You can roll it in nuts if you'd like but we don't do that since Todd hates nuts. After you get a nicely shaped ball, stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve with crackers.


October 19, 2007


Had to get up extra early this morning so C. and his friend could find & document the results of their science experiment. We are conducting an experiment of our own, the results of which might be heard around the world.

Todd buys the boy fruit2o flavored water, gatorade, propel, and other drinks along that line so when he comes in from weight lifting, he has something besides water to rehydrate with. Every time he will hand him one and say "I better not find this in your room later." Well later came the day before yesterday when Todd decided to check the room and found plates, bowls, popcorn bags and empty sports drink bottles crammed here, there and everywhere in the room.

Todd bagged all of these things up and carried them out to C's car. Now the car only gets driven on the weekends when we have time to go driving with him. Otherwise, it sits undisturbed all week. I thought Todd was going to put the bags in the car but instead he very carefully placed each peice of trash in the seats, under the seats, between the seats and in the floorboards. So far this has not been noticed but like any good experiment, it takes time and patience. Tomorrow morning about 10AM CST, you should hear something.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

I've been thinking about making up some Obama magnetic signs for my car but I've yet to get up the guts to put my bumper sticker on the car. (Republican in the house!!)

Buildasign.com has good prices and an easy to use interface for designing your own sign. Since we develop .net web applications where I work, I am always impressed to see creative sites built in asp.net. Since you do your own designing, you save on the cost of a designer so your end cost is much lower. I'm going to tell my friend about the real estate signs. It would be fun to make a couple of prank ones for his yard. I am remembering the time my mom and I stuck an "I love horses" bumper sticker on my dad's truck. My dad hated my horses and one had just bit him on the wrist and broke his watch. He was not amused.

October 20, 2007

Won't someone think of the vegetables?

Someone please tell me this Fishing Hurts campaign is a joke. From the site:

"Imagine using worms and flies to catch ... eagles and ospreys and hauling them around on 50 feet of line while they tried to get away. Then when you landed them, you'd release them. No one would tolerate that sort of thing with birds. But we will for fish because they're underwater and out of sight."—Jack Turner, former angler

Actually, that is tolerated and the accepted method to catch protected birds on airport property. Officers can't shoot them because they are protected. They can't leave them there for the planes to hit. So they trap them on cables and then take them somewhere else for release... only instead of worms and flies, they probably use meat. Oh dear. More unnecessary meat consumption.

Crazy PETA people got me wondering if anyone cared about the vegetables. I grow peppers and tomatoes and then I pick them from their life bearing stalk and I cut them up with a big freaking knife. Some pieces fall on the floor and I don't even give a damn. I just step on them as I prepare my pots of boiling water. I tune out the screaming as I toss their delicate fleshy bits into a 5 quart dutch oven and throw spices on them. The only tears I shed as I stir them are from forgetting my gloves while chopping the peppers. Weeks later when we open the jars to enjoy homemade salsa with our chips, we don't even pause to think of the vegetables sacrifice. We just eat like the heartless cowards we are.

There are people out there who campaign for the vegetables. God bless them.

October 21, 2007

Results of the experiment

Wrapping up the experiment Todd started last week. C. asked if they could take his car to pick up Ben and Emily and Todd handed him two grocery sacks and said "Sure, take these and you might need more." C. looked at him all puzzled and asked "Why would I need these??" Todd told him he'd find out soon enough. So I go out with the camera and pretend I'm trying to get a picture of the cat chasing leaves.

The car seat with some of the trash from the boy's bedroom floor.

The floorboard.

The reaction. This is the split second initial reaction and I lost the chance to capture the rest as I was on the ground, laughing so hard I thought I'd pee my pants. We could literally see him roll through each emotion as he took in what had happened. After I regained my composure I asked "What's the matter Bud? You act like you don't know whether to be pissed off, laugh or cry. Kinda how we feel when we find a big mess you've made." He said he knew he deserved it and got the shop vac, some more bags, and went to work. He did melt down a couple of times but never did ask for help. I think the experiment and the lesson were successful.

October 24, 2007

Mo' Money!!

Bush wants another $42 billion for the wars. That's a whole lotta zeroes. 42,000,000,000,000. See? A lot! I just want one zero. $420 would get me to Indiana and back this weekend. That's where I want to be but probably won't make it because there are never enough zeroes coming in here to pay the bills.

Sometime I am going to read more about creating a war economy. Maybe I can create that in my home and cause some sort of panic situation in which money is thrown at me.

Got ink?

Today has been a terribly long day and my eyes are about to fall out. Work is kicking my butt but I am kicking back and winning!

Before I forget, I wanted to share a site for finding the best deals on printer cartridges. Ironically enough, it's called Cartridge Finder and it's such a simple site in concept and look and feel but it is quite handy. Not only does it display info about your cartridge but also pulls in pricing from PriceGrabber.com to show you the best prices. From there you can click on the merchant pricing of your choice and go to the merchant site to order your cartridge.

The really cool thing for us is that we don't do much printing so our really old HP printers are still working well for us. I was surprised they had information and merchants available for a printer over 8 years old.

October 29, 2007

Did ya miss me?

We returned in the middle of the night from a whirlwind trip to Indiana and back to spend time with my favorite cousins. Left Friday around noon and drove pretty much straight through to get there. Took about 11 hours because it poured rain all the way across Illinois and most of Indiana. We hit Chicago at the tail end of Friday rush hour in a total downpour. One mile of I-80 took over 30 minutes to travel. I was so scared that by the time we did get safely to our desination, my guts were a total mess.

Saturday we hung out, met new people, raced some go karts, did some sightseeing and then the big reason we were there... Halloween party. My cousin goes all out for his favorite holiday with a haunted trail, big bonfire, lots of food, about 100 people or more. It was great fun.

Yesterday we left there about noon, hit a Cabela's in Chicago, a Kohl's in Rockport and drove and drove and drove. Iowa, Illinois and Indiana have got to be the most boring states to drive through. Corn and beans and corn and beans and look!! Corn!! It really is like that.

It's good to be home but wish we could have stayed a week or two there. Pictures later if they turned out.

About October 2007

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

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